The 2014 NFL draft brings not only a test of analyzing who are the best college prospects and who will fill needs for teams, but also tends to be a chess match, with general managers and coaches either trading up or down to get the players and amount of draft picks that they want.
The Patriots' Bill Belichick is one coach known for trading away late-round spots to pile up more picks later in the draft. The St. Louis Rams were noted for their trade with the Washington Redskins that led to an eventual No. 2 overall pick in this year's draft in exchange for Robert Griffin III.
With several teams looking to maximize their opportunities this year in the NFL draft, here is where teams would currently pick in the first round, followed by a breakdown of three teams that could look to trade down when the draft rolls around on May 8.
|2||St. Louis Rams (from WAS)|
|7||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|12||New York Giants|
|13||St. Louis Rams|
|18||New York Jets|
|21||Green Bay Packers|
|23||Kansas City Chiefs|
|25||San Diego Chargers|
|26||Cleveland Browns (from IND)|
|27||New Orleans Saints|
|28||New England Patriots|
|29||San Francisco 49ers|
Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers certainly didn't want the highest pick of any teams to make the playoffs this season, but they'll certainly take it. With several teams drafting early in the second round needing to fill holes, the Packers could find several suitors for their high draft pick.
While they could go in the direction of taking a player like Ra'Shede Hageman to boost their defensive line or wait to see if Ha Ha Clinton-Dix remains on the board by the time the Packers pick, their defensive needs can perhaps be filled in the second round as well.
Though there is no official word that the Packers are looking to trade down in the draft, they do have a history of trading back in the draft, albeit a much later trade than the first round.
It might seem like a ridiculous move at first glance, but it is one that makes sense. The Houston Texans have more talent on their roster than just about any other team with top-10 picks in this year's NFL draft, similar to the Atlanta Falcons.
Though the pick could be used on a quarterback that they are sold on like Teddy Bridgewater or Johnny Manziel, Texans owner Bob McNair has already told Adam Schefter of ESPN that they are willing to trade the pick:
Texans owner Bob McNair said Houston is willing to trade No. 1 overall pick so it can land another QB and a defensive player as well.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 3, 2014
With a quarterback-heavy draft this season including Blake Bortles and even Zack Mettenberger and A.J. McCarron in the second or third rounds—Derek Carr likely won't be going to the Texans due to some bad history with his brother—the Texans can afford to trade down.
If they strike out again with one of their quarterback choices, players like Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota will be likely candidates in the 2015 NFL draft.
St. Louis Rams
Stealing a quote from Yogi Berra—better known as a "Yogi-ism"—this looks like "It's déjà vu all over again."
The only question is: Will another team fall for a trade similar to the one the Redskins made in 2012? Likely not, but the Rams are still interested in trading down yet again out of the No. 2 slot, according to NFL.com:
Which Team Would Benefit Most From Trading Down?
With several teams looking for quarterbacks—including a Minnesota Vikings team that sits at the No. 8 spot—there are a few trade partners that might want to move up to take either Bridgewater, Manziel or Bortles with the No. 2 pick.
Though the Rams probably won't get two future first-round picks like they did in the 2012 draft, getting a later first-round pick and an additional second-round pick would still leave them with two first-round picks.
With exceptional talent like Sammy Watkins, Jake Matthews or a defensive player possibly still on the board, the Rams would be wise to move down.