2013 Draft Trade Opportunities by Tyler Lurkins
As the draft approaches, prospects begin to solidify their draft grades. Players fall into a range of picks, teams balance their own issues of player selection based upon an average of player talent and team need. The current collective bargaining agreement favors a very strict rookie pay scale. Obviously, understanding a bust pick no longer financially cripples a franchise, the era of trading picks takes prominence on draft day.
Below are teams with most to gain by negotiating a trade on draft day.
- Buffalo Bills-Buffalo laid their cards on the table, face up. With Tavares Jackson being the only QB on the roster, Kansas City and Jacksonville will begin the sales process of convincing Buffalo to trade up for a QB. As Geno Smith continues to rise in popularity, clearly becoming the draft darling, Buffalo has the most to gain by drafting him. Clearly Buffalo will be forced to give up more selections now than they would prior to the release of Fitzpatrick. At this point they haven’t much of a choice considering the options will be Jackson or a 2nd tier prospect. Look for them to give a little less than the blockbuster RGII trade, a proper value will probably be their 2013, first and second round picks, and an additional second or third round pick in 2014.
- San Diego Chargers-Though coming off of a couple of down years, the D consistently ranked better than average in the NFL. After hiring an offensive minded coach, the team’s draft priority lies in selecting weapons for the aging, but talent Phillip Rivers. Currently no left tackle is on the roster and the free agent market dwindles. A possible scenario, should their division rival allow it, is shopping their second round pick, and possibly more, to Kansas City for Brandon Albert.
- Miami Dolphins-Whipping out the check book early in free agency, the Dolphins still failed to fill the biggest holes. Martin is the heir apparent at left tackle, so right tackle will come as a mid round pick. What about an end pass rusher, and more importantly, a corner? With six picks in the first four rounds, Miami has two options. Find the best talent available and develop, or find a package of picks and select a star. Oakland, Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Arizona are good landing spots to select a premier end, left tackle, or corner. With minimum talent on the roster, the cash strapped Raiders will invite a low cost trade to hoard draft picks to fill their roster. A swap of first rounder’s, and either a third or fourth round selection will give the Dolphins the third pick in the draft.
- New Orleans Saints-The fifteenth pick is a hard spot for the Saints. With no draft picks to trade up for a premium left tackle or secondary help, they will surely trade down. Teams like Dallas or San Francisco are trade friendly teams in need of a defensive help. Both teams will covet free safety, Kenny Vaccaro.
- St. Louis Rams-This team seems to act like the New England Patriots of old. They will continue to deal picks and select an arsenal of young talent. Possessing two first rounder’s, it’s highly unlikely they will stay in their current position. Asking little in return, they will move up and down as needed to grab the players on their big board.
- San Francisco 49er’s-With little to no needs and a bevy of picks, this team will trade up for talent. Dahl is not the answer at free safety. A top corner like Milliner, Rhodes, or Trufant are also very attractive prospects. The Niners simply will not have the room to use all their picks and keep them on the roster. They have the luxury of a pick package that will bring them the player they want, anywhere in the first round.
Naturally any team looks to pull the trigger on a beneficial trade. The Jets need talent and will trade down for a small package of picks. The Giants are in win now mode and may move up in the draft. Green Bay shows limited needs on their roster. Carolina needs talent to move from a rebuilding roster to a developing one. Anything is possible on draft day, but the six teams listed have the most to gain, and lose, from a blockbuster on draft day.
Mock Drafts below: