NFL Draft 2019: Realistic Trades That Could Shake Up the 1st Round
The big day is finally here!
On Thursday evening, the 2019 NFL draft will get underway in Nashville, Tennessee. Months of anticipation, speculation and mock drafts will give way to the Arizona Cardinals likely selecting Oklahoma signal-caller Kyler Murray with the first overall pick. The San Francisco 49ers figure to follow that up by taking Ohio State edge-rusher Nick Bosa at No. 2.
After that? Mayhem.
In some respects, the chaos has already started. Teams have swapped draft picks in trades involving superstars such as Odell Beckham Jr. and Khalil Mack. The Seattle Seahawks joined that club Tuesday, as they obtained the 29th overall pick (and others) in a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs for defensive end Frank Clark.
That wheeling and dealing is far from over.
Using the NFL draft trade value chart as a benchmark for creating equitable deals and taking into consideration each team's draft capital, needs and propensity for haggling, here's a look at some realistic trade scenarios that could further shake up an already seismic night in the NFL.
Washington Redskins get: 2019 first-round pick (No. 3 overall, 2200 points)
New York Jets get: 2019 first-round pick (No. 15 overall, 1050 points); 2020 first-round pick (projected No. 13 overall, 1150 points)
It's only right to start off with a big jump up the board that would send shockwaves throughout the rest of the first round.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Washington Redskins are not likely to trade for Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen. That means Washington's long-term future under center remains an open question.
Meanwhile, the New York Jets would like nothing more than to trade out of the No. 3 slot, per SNY's Ralph Vacchiano.
"They seem to really, really want to move down," one NFL executive told Vacchiano. "Maybe they're just keeping their options open, but it sure seems like that No. 3 pick is for sale."
Sliding from No. 3 to No. 15 is quite the drop, but picking up an extra first-rounder would go a long way toward breaking New York's fall. Giving up said first-rounder is a steep price to pay to move up, but if Jay Gruden and the Redskins are high on a quarterback (say Dwayne Haskins) at that spot, it's worth it.
Just ask the Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs whether they regret sacrificing a future first-round pick to get Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes, respectively.
Raiders Move Up
Oakland Raiders get: 2019 first-round pick (No. 8 overall, 1400 points)
Detroit Lions get: 2019 first-round pick (No. 24 overall, 740 points); 2019 first-round pick (No. 27 overall, 680 points)
Armed with three first-round picks, no team is better positioned than the Oakland Raiders to move up.
The Raiders do have holes all over the roster, so they may stand pat, make all three picks and attempt to add three difference-makers on Thursday night.
However, the odds of hitting on picks decrease the further down the board a team gets. Therefore, Oakland's best course of action may be increasing the quality of its picks by decreasing the quantity.
On a recent RapSheet and Friends podcast, Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network that the Lions are "open for business" at No. 8. Moving back into the 20s is likely further than Quinn plans to slide, but turning one first-round pick into two would be tempting.
The Raiders could then potentially add a pair of top-10 defensive prospects to a pass rush that managed only 13 total sacks in 2018. For instance, they could select Kentucky edge-rusher Josh Allen at No. 4 and Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver at No. 8.
That would do.
Giants-Sized Double Dip
New York Giants get: 2019 first-round pick (No. 8 overall, 1400 points)
Detroit Lions get: 2019 first-round pick (No. 17 overall, 950 points); 2019 second-round pick (No. 37 overall, 530 points)
Yep, another deal involving Detroit. Hey, the man said open for business.
In his latest mock draft, The MMQB's Gary Gramling forecasted the New York Giants moving all the way up to No. 1 to select Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray. While that would be quite the jaw-dropper, it doesn't appear especially likely.
However, the Giants could get their quarterback of the future without sacrificing their only top-10 pick to do so. They just need to obtain another one.
By using the extra first-rounder they acquired n the Odell Beckham Jr. trade and their early second-round pick, the G-Men could wrangle a top-10 double-dip of a quarterback and defensive prospect, whether it's Dwayne Haskins at No. 6 and Ed Oliver at No. 8 or Devin White at No. 6 and Duke's Daniel Jones at No. 8.
Sure, Jones might make it all the way to No. 17. He also might not.
The Lions wouldn't fall back as far as they did in the previous deal, and they'd still add another pick inside the top 40.
Giants general manager Dave Gettleman has been aggressive for much of the offseason. There's no reason for him to stop now.
Andy Dalton and John Elway Need a Hug
Cincinnati Bengals get: 2019 first-round pick (No. 9 overall, 1350 points)
Buffalo Bills get: 2019 first-round pick (No. 11 overall, 1250 points); 2019 third-round pick (No. 72 overall, 230 points)
This deal could also involve the Lions and the No. 8 pick, but there's no need to go back to that well for a third time. Instead, let's focus on the team that picks right behind them.
As Vic Carucci of Buffalo News noted, Bills general manager Brandon Beane has a reputation for making trades. And Beane made it clear he's not averse to making more in 2019.
"I am not one that is afraid to make mistakes. And let's be honest: Trades, especially this day and age, get ridiculed or critiqued, however you want to put it. So the best way to not get scrutinized is to not do one, right? If you don't do one, then nobody can say anything."
Buffalo was aggressive last year in moving up to grab quarterback Josh Allen. With him now in hand, the Bills are more likely to slide back a few spots rather than jump up.
The Cincinnati Bengals aren't known for being draft-day movers and shakers. But for the cost of a third-round pick (and their No. 11 overall selection), the Bengals could jump up two spots in the first round.
Why would they do that? So they can get ahead of the Denver Broncos—who are widely expected to draft a quarterback at No. 10—and choose the heir apparent to Andy Dalton under center.
Granted, Dalton wouldn't be feeling the love at that point, and Broncos general manager John Elway would be apoplectic if he missed out on his guy at quarterback by one measly pick.
Seattle Seahawks get: 2019 first-round pick (No. 16 overall, 1000 points)
Carolina Panthers get: 2019 first-round pick (No. 21 overall, 800 points); 2020 second-round pick (projected No. 60 overall, 300 points)
The Seahawks already shook up the first round Tuesday by dealing defensive end Frank Clark to the Chiefs for a haul that included the 29th overall selection.
Seattle general manager John Schneider could turn around and package his team's pair of picks in the 20s (Nos. 21 and No. 29) to get into the top 10. However, the Seahawks have only five picks this year, two of which are in the top 100.
The extra 2020 second-rounder the Seahawks got in the Clark trade should be enough to boost them a handful of spots. Perhaps they could jump to No. 16, where the Carolina Panthers may be open to sliding down.
"I think it all depends on your board and who's there," Panthers general manager Marty Hurney said last week, via Marcel Louis-Jacques of the Charlotte Observer. "You'd much rather trade back than up to get extra picks—when you're trading up, you're giving away picks."
Landing an edge-rusher like Mississippi State's Montez Sweat at No. 16 would help fill the void Clark's departure created. Alternatively, Seattle should have the pick of the litter in the secondary at that spot, too.
Pack on the Attack
Green Bay Packers get: 2019 first-round pick (No. 15 overall, 1050 points)
Washington Redskins get: 2019 first-round pick (No. 30 overall, 620 points); 2019 second-round pick (No. 44 overall, 460 points)
We kicked this piece off with the Washington Redskins mortgaging their future to get a quarterback. But according to Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington, team vice president of player personnel Doug Williams intimated the Redskins are just as likely (if not more so) to move back.
"I've said all along the chances of trading up is a lot slimmer than trading back. I'm going to go on the record and say that it's a possibility that we won't trade up. But it's a great possibility that we trade back if that opportunity came."
If Williams is serious, the Redskins may be able to find a trade partner in the Green Bay Packers.
With a pair of first-round picks (Nos. 12 and 30), the Packers are well-positioned to make a move up the board. And last year's miserable season aside, they're also in win-now mode.
Acquiring Washington's No. 15 pick in exchange for the Nos. 30 and 44 picks would give Green Bay two selections inside the top 15, while a Washington team with more problems than picks would get another bite at the apple.
Houston Addresses a Problem
Houston Texans get: 2019 first-round pick (No. 13 overall, 1150 points)
Miami Dolphins get: 2019 first-round pick (No. 23 overall, 760 points); 2019 second-round pick (No. 54 overall, 360 points); 2019 fifth-round pick (No. 161 overall, 26.6 points)
The Houston Texans won the AFC South in 2018, but they still have one massive, glaring problem: an offensive line that allowed an NFL-high 62 sacks this past season.
If you think signing Matt Kalil fixes that problem, you clearly haven't watched him play in recent years. He also missed all of last season with a knee injury.
That puts the Texans in a prime position to trade up this year. And while this year's class of offensive tackles isn't ideal, Houston shouldn't have to trade up as far to get one of the top options.
The No. 13 pick might get the Texans any tackle they want. At worst, only one will be off the board.
The Miami Dolphins are either in the early stages of a ground-up rebuild or the beginning of Operation Tank for Tua, depending on who you believe.
Either way, it makes sense for a Dolphins team with holes all over to stockpile draft picks.
Ravens Get a Receiver
Baltimore Ravens get: 2019 first-round pick (No. 18 overall, 900 points)
Minnesota Vikings get: 2019 first-round pick (No. 22 overall, 780 points); 2019 third-round pick (No. 85 overall, 165 points)
If the Miami Dolphins want to amass draft picks, a number of teams in the back half of Round 1 might be interested in moving up. But the further those teams move up, the more it'll cost.
However, once the draft begins to play out, moving up (or down) a few spots in the latter half of the first round can be relatively inexpensive.
This theoretical deal between the NFL's purple teams would hinge on a few caveats. For starters, a player needs to be available—perhaps a wide receiver like D.K. Metcalf of Ole Miss—who's worth the late Day 2 pick it would cost Baltimore to move up.
Enough options also must remain for the Vikings to slide back, add that third-round pick and still get a player who can help them return to the playoffs.
And by "player," I mean "offensive lineman," as the Vikings badly need help in that regard.
Fulfill those two qualifiers, and this deal could make sense for both sides.
John Dorsey Strikes Again
Cleveland Browns get: 2019 first-round pick (No. 31 overall, 600 points)
Los Angeles Rams get: 2019 second-round pick (No. 49 overall, 410 points); 2019 third-round pick (No. 80 overall, 190 points)
No team has been more aggressive (or talked-about) this offseason than the Cleveland Browns. That aggression comes at a cost, though.
After trading for veteran receiver Odell Beckham Jr., the Browns don't have a pick until No. 49.
But given the ferocity with which general manager John Dorsey has attacked the roster this offseason, the Browns could make a late play to get into the back end of Round 1. And depending on how the draft plays out, several teams may be amenable to helping them do that.
If Clemson nose tackle Dexter Lawrence is available at No. 31, this deal would all but surely be off, as Lawrence would be a ready-made replacement for the departed Ndamukong Suh. The Rams also need to address the interior of their offensive line.
But there should be some capable guards available at No. 49, and adding a third pick in Round 3 would help lessen the sting of the Rams having only one pick (No. 31) in the top 90.
In exchange for those two picks, the Browns could choose between a number of potential options in the secondary and on the offensive front who can contribute right away.
The Patriots Do Patriots Things
New England Patriots get: 2019 first-round pick (No. 27 overall, 680 points)
Oakland Raiders get: 2019 first-round pick (No. 32 overall, 590 points); 2019 third-round pick (No. 97 overall, 112 points)
If the Rams don't want to trade with the Browns, then the New England Patriots all but certainly will. No NFL team is more active with draft trades, as evidenced by the fact that they have as many picks from other teams in 2019 as ones they originally possessed.
While the Patriots often trade back in Round 1, they'll also trade up if a player they covet drops. In 2012, they did so twice for linebacker Dont'a Hightower and edge-rusher Chandler Jones.
If an edge-rusher like Louisiana Tech's Jaylon Ferguson is on the board late in Round 1 or injured Mississippi State defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons hasn't been taken, the Patriots have more than enough draft capital to make one of their patented surges up the board.
The Raiders have as many roster holes as any team in the league, even after a busy offseason. Falling back from No. 27 to No. 32 isn't that big a hit, especially if Oakland can add another top-100 selection.
Given the number of teams who might be interested in making the last pick of Round 1, the Raiders could perhaps then turn around and flip that No. 32 selection.