As we have heard throughout the offseason, the depth of this year’s draft class will make teams more inclined to trade down in the draft rather than trade up. However, as the 2014 draft draws ever closer, and as more prospects get the opportunity to show off their skills at various pro days and official visits, some of those prospects may start to shine a little brighter in the eyes of certain clubs.
When that happens, we start to hear rumors that some teams may be willing to trade up, to sacrifice a pick or two (or three or four) in a deep draft in order to land the player they covet, just as the Falcons did to take Julio Jones in 2011 and the Broncos did to nab Tim Tebow one year earlier. Here are some quick notes regarding draft-day trades:
- The Redskins, who are without a first-round pick in this year’s draft, do hold an early second-rounder, No. 34 overall. Rich Tandler of CSNWashington.com believes the reversing fortunes of two young signal-callers may allow Washington to add to its satchel of picks. LSU QB Zach Mettenberger‘s stock is on the rise while Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater‘s is on the decline, and both players might be available after the first round closes on May 8. Quarterback-needy teams that filled a different position in the first round may be looking to land one of those two players in the early stages of the second, which would put the Redskins in a prime position to swing a deal.
- The Jaguars have 11 total picks in the draft, including the N0. 3 overall selection, but GM Dave Caldwell has indicated he wants to add more, according to Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union. The Rams, who have the No. 2 overall pick, may want to trade down as well; the Falcons have expressed interest in making a deal with St. Louis, and it was recently reported the Lions might be willing to trade up to land Clemson WR Sammy Watkins.
- As Stellino notes, the Rams and Jaguars could switch spots in the first round, giving Jacksonville the opportunity to land Texas A&M tackle Jake Matthews, who has been linked to the Rams in various mock drafts. Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union reported that the Jaguars are interested in Matthews, but perhaps not with the No. 3 (or No. 2) overall pick. They would be more inclined to draft the seasoned tackle if they traded back a few spots.
- Although his willingness to trade back in the draft is the aspect of Patriots head coach Bill Belichick‘s draft strategy that is discussed the most, he has had just as much success moving up, writes Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald. She notes that the Pats seem to be in “go-for-it mode,” so they may stand pat and make a selection with their No. 29 overall pick, or even consider moving up. However, given the depth of this year’s class, she believes the chances New England drops back is “fairly strong.” Guregian cites NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt, who believes there is not much difference between picks 25 and 40.