Draft-day trades are the bane of a mock drafter's existence.
Putting together a mock draft is a difficult endeavor in the first place. Trying to predict the way 32 front offices perceive their rosters, the prospects in the class and the values of their picks is tricky business. When you throw in just one trade, the whole thing can get blown up pretty quickly.
Yet predicting trades adds another layer of difficulty to the proceedings. In most cases, these mocks are an exercise in slotting players close to where they will be taken and taking a stab at what teams are thinking anyway.
Last season's event included six moves in the first round; here's a mock with three that would have an impact on the proceedings.
2020 NFL Mock Draft
1. Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
2. Washington Redskins: Chase Young, Edge, Ohio State
3. *Miami Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
4. New York Giants: Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
5. *Detroit Lions: Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State
6. Los Angeles Chargers: Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
7. Carolina Panthers: Derrick Brown, DL, Auburn
8. Arizona Cardinals: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
9. *Philadelphia Eagles: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
10. Cleveland Browns: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
11. New York Jets: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
12. Las Vegas Raiders: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
13. San Francisco 49ers (via Indianapolis Colts): Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama
15. Denver Broncos: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
16. Atlanta Falcons: K'Lavon Chaisson, Edge, LSU
17. Dallas Cowboys: Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
18. *Detroit Lions: A.J. Epenesa, Edge, Iowa
19. Las Vegas Raiders (via Chicago Bears): CJ Henderson, CB, Florida
20. Jacksonville Jaguars (via Los Angeles Rams): Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
21. *Jacksonville Jaguars: Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
22. Minnesota Vikings (via Buffalo Bills): Josh Jones, OT, Houston
23. New England Patriots: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
24. New Orleans Saints: Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU
25. Minnesota Vikings: A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson
26. Miami Dolphins: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
27. Seattle Seahawks: Yetur Gross-Matos, Edge, Penn State
28. Baltimore Ravens: Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
29. Tennessee Titans: Austin Jackson, OT, USC
30. Green Bay Packers: Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
31. *Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
32. Kansas City Chiefs: Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
* denotes a projected trade
Dolphins Trade Up to Get Tua
Dolphins Get: 3rd overall pick
Lions Get: 5th, 18th and 39th overall picks
This deal just makes too much sense. The Dolphins are stocked with draft capital. They have three first-rounders, two second-rounders and nine total picks in Rounds 3-7, meaning they can afford to pay up to move up the draft board and secure their quarterback of the future.
Matt Miller of Bleacher Report has reported that scouts around the league are saying that Tagovailoa isn't the unanimous QB2 on the board; Justin Herbert is gaining some steam. Miller also reported that a source tells him Jordan Love could be in play for the Los Angeles Chargers at No. 6.
When considering these reports, it's important to keep in mind we are in full-blown smokescreen season. While there could be fire beneath the smoke, it isn't always the case.
Concerns about Tagovailoa's hip are justified, but everything publicly seems to check out in terms of his recovery from the injury that sidelined him nine games into his final season at Alabama.
For the Detroit Lions, this trade makes perfect sense. They don't appear to be connected to taking a quarterback with Matthew Stafford on the roster. They can trade down a few spots while demanding a premium price and still get Jeffrey Okudah.
The Ohio State product is the presumptive pick here following Darius Slay's departure. The Lions need a shutdown corner, and Okudah is as shutdown as they come in this class.
They would also likely be able to pry the Dolphins' second first-rounder in the deal as well. Another first-round pick would give them the ability to snag another defensive playmaker. They take A.J. Epenesa in this mock, bolstering a pass rush that lost Devon Kennard in the offseason.
Eagles Fill Their Need for an Elite Receiver
Eagles Get: 9th overall pick
Jaguars Get: 20th and 53rd overall picks and 2021 third-round pick
The Philadelphia Eagles come into this draft with a glaring need at receiver. Alshon Jeffery has proved to be injury-prone. DeSean Jackson is getting old, and no one stepped up to take the role when the team had a surge in injuries at the position last season.
So the Eagles have two options: wait and take someone from the second tier of receivers in this strong receiver class or make a move for one of the elite guys.
The franchise is heavily invested financially in quarterback Carson Wentz. It only makes sense to do what they can to give him the weapons to succeed.
Here they use the structure of the Pittsburgh Steelers' trade for Devin Bush last season. The Steelers gave up their first- and second-round picks (Nos. 20 and 52) and a 2020 third-round pick to move up to No. 10 to take the Michigan linebacker.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are in full-on rebuild mode and are clearly into acquiring picks. After dealing A.J. Bouye, Calais Campbell and Jalen Ramsey in the past year, they could use the three picks to continue to build the war chest for 2021, when they may be in the Trevor Lawrence market.
Here the Eagles take Jerry Jeudy but could just as easily take CeeDee Lamb. Moving to No. 9 should give them their pick of the group at receiver while giving Jacksonville more bites at the apple.
Owning pick Nos. 20 and 21, the Jags pair Alabama's Xavier McKinney with Oklahoma's Kenneth Murray to build an athletic and versatile defense.
Bucs Trade Up to Take 1st Running Back
Bucs Get: 31st and 217th overall picks
49ers Get: 45th and 76th overall picks
Whether a running back is taken in the first round is one of the storylines coming into this draft. There's a good group of them available, but none stand out as guys who should be taken on April 23.
It could take a team trading back into the first round to make it happen.
With the acquisition of quarterback Tom Brady, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in win-now mode. Everything they do needs to maximize their chances of winning in 2020 and 2021.
That includes upgrading the running back position. Last season, the Bucs were 26th in rushing offense defense-adjusted value over average, per Football Outsiders. A faulty offensive line was a big reason for that. The lack of talent at running back was another.
Ronald Jones II and Peyton Barber provided no spark for the offense. In this scenario, the Bucs address the offensive line with a mauler in Jedrick Wills and then trade back up to take Jonathan Taylor at the end of the first round.
Taylor is a big back at 226 pounds, but he's fast (4.39 seconds in the 40-yard dash) and picked up chunk plays better than anyone in his time at Wisconsin:
The Bucs could pull off a trade like the Atlanta Falcons did last season to acquire offensive tackle Kaleb McGary. Atlanta gave up the 45th and 79th picks to get to No. 31 while also getting pick No. 203 in return. The San Francisco 49ers don't have two first-round picks and don't pick again until the fifth round.
It's likely this pick is going to be traded so the Niners can drop back into the middle rounds. This deal would satisfy that requirement, as they would pick up second- and third-round picks while Tampa Bay gives Brady another weapon to find early success.