Cases For Trading Up Within Top Ten of 2014 NFL Draft

Updated: February 23, 2014

In each of the past three years, there has been substantial activity on the trade front within the top ten picks of the NFL Draft. With the current collective bargaining agreement in place, teams can now afford to sign multiple marquee draft picks and still hold their head above water. The Dirty Birds pulled a slick move in 2011 to grab Julio Jones at #6. Jerry Jones acted in surprising fashion to move up and pluck the so-far-underwhelming Morris Claiborne at #6 in 2012. The Fins shocked us all by falling in love with pass rush specialist Dion Jordan and taking him at #3 in 2013. These trades are quite difficult to predict, but here are a few scenarios which could make you fall off the couch on May 8th.


Cleveland Browns

Pick #4 is where things get interesting. Cleveland has the arsenal and positioning to pull off some crazy moves this May.

Let’s look at Cleveland’s Core Players: WR – Josh Gordon; TE – Jordan Cameron; OL – Joe Thomas, Alex Mack (Potential Free Agent); S – TJ Ward; CB – Joe Haden; RUSH – Barkevious Mingo, Jabaal Sheard.

Browns’ picks are – 1st Round (4), 1st Round (26), 2nd Round (35), 3rd Round (71), 3rd Round (83), 4th Round (102), 4th Round (123), 5th Round (133), 6th Round (164), 7th Round (195).

Possible Trade Scenario: Trade 1st Round (26) and 2nd Round (35) and 2015 1st Round Pick to STL Rams for 1st Round (2). The Rams are willing to pull the trigger on this one as they have been publicly content with Sam Bradford at the helm in 2014, and they stockpile solid value picks in return. The Browns now put themselves in position to grab their next QB project and a Stud Athlete with their first two picks. The #2 pick obviously depends highly on which avenue Houston goes with the #1 pick. If Houston goes with a QB, Cleveland can snag a QB at (2) and save (4) for a dynamic, explosive athlete in either Jadeveon Clowney or Sammy Watkins. If Houston goes with Clowney, Cleveland can pick Sammy Watkins and grab their QB at (4).


Oakland Raiders

Oakland also has an interesting situation at (5). Terrelle Pryor and Matt McGloin are not the long term future. Well, hopefully the Raiders have a plan to prevent another year of that show. If Houston uses their (1) pick on Jadeveon Clowney, and the STL Rams don’t take a QB, the top three QB’s are still on the board for picks (3), (4), and (5) if necessary. However, if Houston takes one of those QB’s, sitting pat at (5) may prove to be dreadful for Oakland as they miss out on a potential franchise QB. At this point, it should be a priority for Oakland to pick up that phone and dial up the STL Rams.

Let’s look at Oakland’s Core Players: WR – Denarius Moore, Andre Holmes; C – Stefan Wisniewski; RB – Darren McFadden (Potential Free Agent); RUSH – Lamarr Houston (Potential Free Agent); DT – Sio Moore; CB – DJ Hayden; K – Sebastian Janikowski.

Raiders’ Picks Are: 1st Round (5), 2nd Round (36), 3rd Round (67), 4th Round (103), 6th Round (165), 7th Round (196), 7th Round (212).

Possible Trade Scenario: Trade 1st Round (5), 2nd Round (36), and 2015 2nd Round Pick to STL Rams for 1st Round (2). The Rams easily take this trade and stockpile valuable picks, and Oakland snags a potential franchise QB.


Minnesota Vikings

Now here is a team with a dire need at the QB position. Christian Ponder is capable of pulling off six win seasons at most, and that is clearly unacceptable. Vikes’ management should be in full panic mode concerning the QB position, because the golden complement Adrian Peterson won’t be dragging defenders to paydirt forever.

Let’s look at Minnesota’s Core Players: WR – Cordarelle Patterson, Greg Jennings; RB – Adrian Peterson; TE – Kyle Rudolph; OL – Matt Kalil; DT – Kevin Williams, Sharif Floyd; RUSH – Jared Allen (Potential Free Agent); OLB – Chad Greenway; ILB – Erin Henderson; K – Blair Walsh; P – Jeff Locke.

The Vikings’ Picks are: 1st Round (8), 2nd Round (40), 3rd Round (72), 3rd Round (96), 4th Round (104), 5th Round (136), 6th Round (168), 7th Round (200).

Possible Trade Scenario #2: Trade 1st Round (8), 2nd Round (40), 3rd Round (72), and a 2015 2nd Round Pick to the STL Rams for 1st Round (2). Vikings pull off a solid trade and take a stud QB at (2).


Buffalo Bills

This team has some solid pieces, but still lacks consistently elite playmakers. Mario Williams is quite the terror alone for some offenses to handle, but could you comprehend the matchup issues it would cause if Super Mario were mirrored with that guy named Jadeveon Clowney? Good luck blocking those two, oh, and the other 2 Pro-Bowlers between them. How much would Sammy Watkins improve the rate of succession of one EJ Manuel? Elite, Dynamic, Explosive Prospects are a premium in this league, and it would benefit Buffalo to engineer a trade with the STL Rams to ensure they snare one of these two studs.

Let’s look at Buffalo’s Core Players: QB – EJ Manuel; RB – CJ Spiller, Fred Jackson; WR – Steve Johnson; OL – Cordy Glenn, Eric Wood; DT – Kyle Williams, Marcel Dareus; DE/RUSH – Mario Williams; LB – Kiko Alonso; S – Jairus Byrd (Potential Free Agent); CB – Stephon Gilmore.

The Bills Picks are: 1st Round (9), 2nd Round (41), 3rd Round (73), 4th Round (105), 5th Round (137), 6th Round (169), 7th Round (201).

Possible Trade Scenario: Trade 1st Round (9) and a 2015 1st Round Pick to STL Rams for 1st Round (2). If Houston picks Clowney, draft Sammy Watkins…..otherwise just grab Clowney and make Tom Brady’s geriatric NFL years an absolute misery.