The 2011 NFL Draft is a little more than two months away. Mock drafts are popping up left and right, but one thing none of them can predict is trade-downs and trade-ups.
That being said, one near-constant in the NFL Draft is Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots never met a first-round draft pick they weren't willing to trade away.
This tells you two things: One, they know how to wheel and deal and, two, they have really good scouts because no one gets more "hits" in their draft over the last decade than Belichick and the Patriots.
It is important to remember Tom Brady was a sixth-round draft pick.
We're going to take a look at who besides the Patriots will trade down this year.
The Cowboys have the ninth pick in the draft. They need a new cornerback because Mike Jenkins is a plague upon the defense.
In my last mock, both Patrick Peterson and Prince Amukamara were off the board by the ninth pick. If that holds true, there really is no other position of need the Cowboys would want to take with the ninth pick, and therefore they would entertain trade offers.
The Washington Redskins have a lot of needs, but with the 10th pick they will be entering a kind of "No Man's Land" of the draft where the guys they really want are gone and the guys they can pick instead still will be on the board for pickup later.
If the Redskins want a quarterback, moving down a few slots won't change anything. The top QB prospect probably goes before the Redskins pick and quality of the other four top-ranked QBs is about the same.
Like the Redskins, the Vikings are stuck between the guys they want being gone and the guys they need not going anywhere. So why not try and get more picks?
The Vikings need as many picks as they can get, so a trade-down makes sense.
The Miami Dolphins need a running back, but they also need more picks. They are the only team that really will try and get a running back in the first round as things stand at the moment, so they can move down a few spots and still get Mark Ingram.
The New York Giants need an offensive lineman and some help on their defensive line. The talent at the 19th pick is plentiful, so they can and will move down.
The New England Patriots need a wide receiver and another good offensive lineman as their top two priorities.
A.J. Green will be long gone by the time the Patriots go on the clock with their first pick and Bill Belichick is too smart to draft Julio Jones.
The Patriots can get an offensive lineman later in the first round and then pick up a wide receiver with the other pick at the end of the first round.
Note on Julio Jones: He drops passes. You don't draft a guy who has a reputation for drops in the first round.
I'm making this call now, so you heard it here first. The Steelers want Mike Pouncey. They have his twin, he's one of the best players on the team, and drafting his brother would be the biggest "can't miss" pick in the history of the draft.
Pouncey will be gone by the 31st pick, so expect the Steelers to trade up to get him, probably with New England.