2013 NFL Draft: 5 Teams Most Likely to Trade Up in the First Round
Which 5 Teams Will Trade Up in the 2013 NFL Draft?
If there's one thing that can throw a monkey wrench into a mock draft, it's a draft day trade. They almost always happen, and they almost always leave someone shaking their head.
In 2012, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots (twice), Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, and Jacksonville Jaguars all made draft day trades to move up in the first round, while the Washington Redskins made their deal a few weeks before the draft to be able to pick their coveted QB Robert Griffin III with the No. 2 overall pick.
Last year was actually an extreme example of the number of trades to happen on draft day, and with a little less talented QB crop and not as many teams stockpiling draft picks this year, the activity could be a little slower.
Still, there are some teams with gaping holes that could not be filled via free agency, and some of those teams will have no choice but to move up in the draft if they want to get their targeted player. Other teams have simply put themselves in a good position to move up if they want to, and see someone fall who is worth the trade.
It's always a risk, trading up in the first round, and sometimes it pays off handsomely, while other times teams look back grasping for all the picks they gave up. In 2011 the Atlanta Falcons gave up a handful of picks to move up and grab Julio Jones, a move what was heavily scrutinized and questioned at the time. Based on the return on investment, the Falcons seem to have made a good move.
In 2013, here are some teams that would seem likely suspects to have a need or desire to move up to a higher first round pick.
#5: Philadelphia Eagles
Current Picks:1.4, 2.3, 3.5, 4.4, 5.3, 6.28 (from DEN), 7.4, 7.6 (from CLE), 7.24 (from IND)
Why They'll Trade: While it's true the Eagles have the fourth overall pick this year, I still see a trade higher into the first round in their future. Chip Kelly is probably going to want to be fairly active on draft day, and one of the targets he may have in mind is Florida State QB EJ Manuel, who is probably the only quarterback likely to go in the first round this year. The Eagles could use their No.3 pick in the 2nd round packaged with a couple of their later picks to move up to near the 24th or 25th pick of the first round to grab Manuel before teams like the Buffalo Bills or Jacksonville Jaguars--who are also going to be hunting QBs--have a chance to get him.
#4: Baltimore Ravens
Current Picks:1.32, 2.30, 3.32, 4.32, 5.32, 6.31 (from SF), 6.32, 7.32
Why They'll Trade: Having the number 32 pick in the first round just isn't going to cut it for the Ravens, not with the attrition they've suffered this offseason due to retirements and free agent losses.
Baltimore is going to have a lot of needs to fill on defense, and most of the top players to go in the first round this year are more than likely going to be on the defensive side of the ball. Look for the Ravens to make more than one deal to move up to possibly get two high to mid-round picks in the first round. Reaching out to brother John in San Francisco isn't out of the question either.
The Ravens don't have a lot of late round picks this year, so this could be a case where Baltimore throws all their eggs in the first and second round baskets.
#3: Dallas Cowboys
Current Picks:1.18, 2.15, 3.18, 4.17, 5.18, 6.17
Why They'll Trade: Two words as to why Dallas will trade up in the draft--Tony Romo. The Cowboys have to protect their quarterback, and sitting back at No.18 could cost them. After spilling blood on the checkbook to extend Romo, it's a sure thing that Jerry Jones is going to find a way to keep his QB from hitting the turf quite so often.
Chance Warmack and Jonathan Cooper are two of the top guards available, and probably wont be there when the number 16 pick rolls around. Dallas wont need to break the bank to move up for one of these players, it's doubtful that a guard will be taken with a top 10 pick. If the Cowboys can move up to 12 or 13, they should be able to tap either Warmack or Coooper.
#2: New York Jets
Current Picks:1.9, 2.7, 3.10, 4.9, 5.8, 6.10, 7.9
Why They'll Trade: Does anyone really have to ask why the Jets will move up in the first round? Yes, the number nine pick is nice, but given all the personnel questions surrounding the Jets, and the need for Rex Ryan to show some immediate results this year, it wouldn't surprise me to see the Jets give away a couple of this year's picks as well as some 2014 picks to secure two or possibly three picks in the first round.
The Jets have needs at practically every skill position, and will need to get high picks to find impact players, especially at wide receiver and running back.
Oh, there's that whole quarterback thing as well, unless Ryan honestly believes he'll survive the season with Mark Sanchez and David Garrard under center.
#1: San Francisco 49ers
Current Picks:1.31, 2.2 (from KC), 2.29, 3.12 (from CAR), 3.31, 4.31, 5.24 (from IND), 5.31, 6.12 (from MIA), 7.21 (from CIN), 7.31
Why They'll Trade: The biggest reason San Francisco will make a trade up in the first round--because they can. The 49ers have put themselves (again) in an excellent position to dictate whatever they'd like to do in round one.
Thanks in part to the Alex Smith deal with the Kansas City Chiefs, the 49ers now have five picks in the first three rounds. That gives them plenty of leverage to scope the board and make whatever moves are necessary to grab exactly who they want. It also gives them the opportunity to trade up to a first round pick, and then use that pick to trade for even more picks (something Bill Belichik is a master at doing).
When you have a roster as deep and stacked as the 49ers, having all those early round picks is just a way to add further depth.