Folks, it's finally NFL draft weekend and that means trade rumors start brewing even more.
And trades occur every time the draft rolls around. Whether it's before or during, going on the clock does impact last-minute decision-making regarding this so-called inexact science.
Factor in trades that have already occurred, and draft strategies throughout the league will get affected. Therefore, let's check out what's buzzing as we hit pro football's most popular festivity.
What is your favorite aspect of the draft?
Oakland and Cleveland?
The Oakland Raiders sit in the No. 3 spot, but don't have an abundance of selections to choose from overall. As a result, the Raiders take a greater risk by not trading back to stock up.
It's all about the law of averages here, because more selection opportunities presents better odds of connecting on a prospect when addressing a need. And in an article by Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk, NFL.com's Albert Breer reports that Oakland has been listening:
There’s increasing talk that the Raiders will trade down from the third overall pick.
Oakland is getting a lot of calls from teams that want to move up to No. 3, according to Albert Breer and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
In addition, Breer tweeted of the Cleveland Browns' potential move up:
The rumor out there that Browns could reverse field and deal up to third overall? Would likely be to jump Eagles/Lions for a pass rusher.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) April 25, 2013
This makes for an interesting potential swap between two AFC bottom-feeders attempting to make strides for 2013. At the very least, keep a close eye on the Raiders and Browns throughout the draft.
What's happening in the AFC East
Receiver Davone Bess is one of the NFL's top slot targets. And although he's consistently reliable, the Miami Dolphins are open to parting ways, according to NFL.com's Jeff Darlington:
Yes, the Dolphins have begun actively shopping Davone Bess. And yes, it's part of an offseason plan they've debated for more than a month.— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) April 25, 2013
Regardless of what happens with Bess, he'll be a significant contributor to any offensive scheme. He has been rather productive during his career despite not putting up electrifying numbers. That said, it'll be intriguing to see how this situation progresses.
In Buffalo, the Bills may move out of the No. 8 overall selection as Albert Breer also reported:
The Bills are among the teams that have done plenty of homework on trading down. Buzz is they may wanna drop to get a QB later in the round.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) April 25, 2013
Given the lack of depth for elite talent at the quarterback position, this would not be surprising. West Virginia's Geno Smith is the lone signal-caller worth a Round 1 selection, but even he may be a risk inside the top 10.
Still, Buffalo definitely needs a quarterback for the long term. So watch how the Bills approach this position during the entire draft, because it will have a great impact on their future.
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers obviously field one of pro football's most dominant defenses. However, San Francisco was vulnerable to big plays last season.
In turn, ESPN.com's Adam Schefter reports that the 'Niners may end up moving up to keep emphasizing defense:
Increasing chatter of SF coming up into top 15. 49ers looking to strengthen an already tough defense.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 25, 2013
Don't feel surprised by this option, however.
San Francisco's secondary was suspect at times in 2012 and most notably in the postseason. Waiting at No. 31 overall is not a bad idea to select the best available safety or cornerback, but moving up would ensure a better pool of talent to choose from.
With the NFC being filled with high-powered offenses and the Seattle Seahawks only improving, the 'Niners must field an even more suffocating defense. If not, 2013 won't offer the hype that 2012 brought to the Bay Area.