For NFL Draft enthusiasts, Christmas is here! The commencement of the 2018 NFL Draft is just hours away and like every year, there should be several trades made. Over the last five years there has been an average of five trades made in the first night of the draft. Of those five trades per year, on average two happen within the top 10 selections. With all the rumors, speculation and reports, I have come up with seven first round trades that could happen this year.
All pick values are based off the NFL Trade Value Chart.
Broncos trade pick 5 (1,700 trade points) to the Bills for 12, 53, 2019 first round pick (about 2,570).
It is no secret that the Bills are trying to get into the top five to grab a quarterback, and many believe that quarterback is Josh Allen. However, reportedly they want to keep pick 22 to select an interior offensive lineman. The only way the Bills are going to get into the top five is to give up two first round picks and then some. While losing their 2019 first round pick is tough, going into the season without a long-term answer at quarterback is even tougher, especially after making all those trades to acquire extra picks.
I believe the two quarterbacks the Broncos would select, if available, at pick five are Sam Darnold and Baker Mayfield. However, I expect Darnold to go first to the Browns and Mayfield third to the Jets. With no quarterback in play for them they could take a non quarterback, but I think Saquon Barkley goes second to the Giants and Bradley Chubb goes fourth to the Browns.
With both players gone, the Broncos move down seven spots, where they can still get an EDGE defender like Harold Landry or maybe even see Denzel Ward slide to them.
Colts trade pick 6 (1,600) to the Cardinals for 15, 79, 2019 first round pick (about 2,245).
I’m not sure what the Vegas over/under is set at for the number of games Sam Bradford plays this season, but I’m taking the under. For years the Cardinals have ignored the quarterback position and finally it’s come to bite them in the rear end. The so called “slide” for Josh Rosen ends here. The price of a future first round pick is costly, but it’s needed to secure the future at quarterback. General manager Steve Keim will get a “thank you” call from David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald.
For the Colts this is exactly what they want; to trade down and add more picks. I believe the Colts would consider a trade down unless Barkley or Chubb make it to pick six. With the expectation that they both go in the top four, the Colts move down while picking up their sixth pick in the top 80 selections and add a potential top ten pick in next year’s draft as well. Some players they could target at pick 15 include Leighton Vander Esch, Marcus Davenport, or Mike McGlinchey.
Redskins trade pick 13 (1,150) to the Patriots for 23, 43 (1,230).
I believe in the Lamar Jackson to the Patriots hype; which probably means it won’t happen. However, if the Patriots are serious about Jackson they will need to get ahead of the Ravens at pick 16 and the Chargers at 17 in order to guarantee getting him. While the Patriots have some holes to fill, they still have picks 31, 63 and 95 to fill them with. Tom Brady will be back for the 2018 season but after that who really knows?
For the Redskins, trading back is always a good option, especially when they traded away their third round pick in the Alex Smith deal. In order for this trade option to work Derwin James, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Vita Vea and Roquan Smith all need to be taken already; I believe that is a possibility.
At 23 the Redskins might still be able to get Da’Ron Payne or Derrius Guice. Now with two second round picks back-to-back at 43 and 44, they can target an interior offensive lineman and either a defender or running back depending on who they take at 23.
Seahawks trade pick 18 (900) to the Panthers for 24, 88, 197 (902.2).
Unless the Panthers think Devin Funchess is capable of being the number one receiver for them long term, they need to give Cam Newton another weapon. I don’t expect a wide receiver to be drafted till the Cowboys go on the clock at pick 19. Instead of waiting to see what wide receivers fall to them, the Panthers flip the Seahawks their third and sixth round picks to have their choice of Calvin Ridley or D.J. Moore. Both would provide Newton with a different style of wide receiver to pair opposite of Funchess.
The Seahawks don’t have a second or third round pick and recently have a habit of trading back in the first round. If moving back six spots would net them a third round pick, I believe they would make this trade in a heartbeat.
At pick 24 the Seahawks could target a cornerback like Joshua Jackson or Isaiah Oliver or an offensive lineman like Will Hernandez. With so many holes to fill, it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Seahawks trade down again from pick 24 and acquire more picks.
Lions trade pick 20 (850) to the Falcons for 26, 90, 200 (851).
The Falcons have traded up in the first round three of the last seven drafts including last year for Takkarist McKinley. Each time they traded up it was to fill a clear hole they had in the starting line up. This year the Falcons don’t have any real holes other than at right guard. With the Bengals at 21 and Bills at 22 both looking for interior offensive line help, the Falcons spend a third and sixth round pick to jump up and get the guard of their choice.
Reportedly the Lions are one of the teams looking to trade back. Unless Landry or Davenport are still available when they pick at 20 — both of which I think could be gone — the Lions could move back and target Taven Bryan or Sam Hubbard at pick 26. With the extra third round pick the Lions could fill another one of their secondary needs like running back. Two potential dark horse selections for pick 26 are Dallas Goedert and Mike Hughes.
Titans trade pick 25 (720) to the Giants for 34, 66 (820).
Reportedly the Giants love Darnold but have similar grades on Allen, Rosen, Mayfield, Jackson, and Mason Rudolph. This report has many people — including myself — believing that the Giants will target Rudolph with pick 34. With teams like the Saints, Steelers, and Jaguars all considering quarterbacks, the Giants might not see him there. So instead of taking that chance they could flip one of their two third round picks to the Titans in order to secure him. Also this way, they would have the cheap fifth year option on his rookie contract.
Recently Titans general manager Jon Robinson stated that he wanted to add more draft picks and reportedly the Titans are looking to trade down. I can see them moving down unless Davenport, Landry or Rashaan Evans is still on the board. I doubt the two EDGE rushers are still available at pick 25, while Evans has a chance. Some players the Titans could target at 34 include an offensive lineman like Billy Price or a linebacker like Malik Jefferson.
Eagles trade pick 32 (590) to the Colts for 36, 104 (626).
The Colts reportedly are looking to trade back into the bottom of the first round since they have all those second round picks. Some positions they could target are running back, offensive lineman, and cornerback depending on what they do earlier in the first round. With the Browns looking at all three of those positions with picks 33 and 35, the Colts give up a fourth round pick to get ahead of the Browns. The Colts could take Connor Williams or Sony Michel with this pick.
Much like the Seahawks, the Eagles don’t have a second or third round pick thanks to previous trades. The Eagles are working the phones looking to trade back. While pick 104 is a top of the fourth round selection, it’s a fair return for moving down four spots and it would give the Eagles seven total picks; three in the fourth round. At pick 36 the Eagles could target a tight end or a cornerback.