5 Teams Who Need to Trade Down in 2014 NFL Draft
The NFL Draft is the easiest event for teams to turn around their misfortunes of the previous season or to continue the successful momentum they achieved in their season. While most of the "sexy" talk in the NFL Draft concerns teams trading up to get the one franchise player who will change a team's season, the best direction for teams is to take a step back in the draft.
Just in 2013, two teams helped themselves by trading back in the draft. The New England Patriots traded back, giving their first-round pick to the Minnesota Vikings for second, third, fourth and sixth-round picks.
The Green Bay Packers also traded back in the second-round with the San Francisco 49ers and were able to select franchise running back Eddie Lacy at No. 61 overall rather than their projected first-round pick at 26.
Finally, the Buffalo Bills, who were supposed to take Tavon Austin, traded back with the Rams and with the picks acquired drafted E.J. Manuel at No. 16 and Kiko Alonso at No. 46.
2014 will be no exception. There will be teams that will trade up with the hopes that one franchise player will bring a team to championship glory while others will employ what I feel is the smart strategy and trade back to accumulate more picks.
Although the Senior Bowl and the NFL Combine have not yet occurred, this is my early look at the five teams most likely to trade back in this year's draft.
5. Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome is notoriously good at trading back in the draft to get his guy.
The Ravens are still a good team despite an 8-8 Super Bowl hangover season in 2013. There are not a lot of true needs for the Ravens, so they can afford to get the best available player if they trade back and accumulate some more picks to either move up or down again if need be.
4. New England Patriots
The Patriots are the one team each and every year that is the safest bet to trade down to accumulate more picks.
With a late pick again, just like last year, teams will be calling to get back in the first-round to grab a top tier talent that has fallen in the draft. The Patriots could also use these accumulated picks to trade back in order to look ahead to the 2015 draft which the Patriots are not afraid to do.
3. St. Louis Rams
The Rams have two first-round picks in 2014 at No. 2 overall pick from the Redskins as part of the RG III trade and their own pick at No. 13 overall. Regardless of their picks, they are guaranteed to find a good player who can fill an immediate need.
One of the quarterback needy teams will want to trade up in order to get one of the elite quarterback talents this year. The Rams could perhaps pull another blockbuster deal just like they did in 2012.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars
With so many good players at the top of the draft board like Johnny Manziel, Jadeveon Clowney and Anthony Barr to name a few, it would be very tempting for the Jaguars to select whoever they feel is the second best player available on their board.
Despite this knowledge, the Jaguars have a bunch of needs on a team that has marginal talent at best at multiple positions on their team. More picks means more depth and more players means more competition to improve the Jaguars.
1. Cleveland Browns
With a franchise that has yet to hire a head coach, has no great option at quarterback and a team in almost complete turmoil, Manziel, should he be available, would be the consensus pick here for a franchise in desperate need of star power and celebrity.
The Browns should be the favorites to trade down in the draft to accumulate more picks, improve the offense and get some more playmakers on defense.