I have an unnatural fascination with draft day trade scenarios. I've got nerdy color coded charts showing which teams have which picks and the chart value of each pick. I've even got the Saints' second round pick and Raiders' third round pick (both forfeited, one due to penalty and the other for a supplementary selection) charted. Some don't believe that Nix is capable of moving up and down the board. Nix, if you recall, did indeed try to trade back into the first round in 2010. He's also talked about acquiring extra picks. The easiest way to acquire extra picks is to trade down. Both, in theory, are possible for Nix...though it would be very surprising if Nix traded up from 10.
Moving on from the theoretical to the practical, there are 8 teams who aren't in a position to trade up without mortgaging future drafts. The Ravens, Jets and Bucs are missing 4th rounders. The Panthers and Raiders don't have 3rd round picks. The Redskins, Cardinals, Raiders (again), and Saints don't have 2nd round selections. The Raiders (ouch-only 2 picks on draft day for the new owner), Falcons and Saints have traded away their first rounders.
Five teams are in prime position to move up in the draft. The Browns have an extra 1st and 4th. The Bengals have an extra 1st and 5th. The Patriots have an extra 1st and 2nd, though nothing after the 4th round. The Rams have an extra 2nd but no 5th. The Eagles have an extra 2nd and 6th. Other teams are able to move up, but only by shorting the number of picks that would normally be available. For this post I'll stick to the 5 draft rich teams.
For each of these scenarios, I'm going to suggest that Nix - who has a history of picking players about where they should be, otherwise known as staying true to the board - doesn't see any of the players likely to be on the board at 10 as worth that pick. Further, I'm going to speculate that the Bills are targeting an offensive weapon to help out Ryan Fitzpatrick. The 3rd year of the CHIX regime needs to show real progress and that requires putting points on the board.
While the knee jerk reaction would be to assume that an offensive weapon would be a WR like Blackmon (most likely gone by the 10th pick), Hill (Georgia Tech), or Quick (awesome name for a receiver), I think that the Bills might instead look at TE Coby Fleener. There's no way Fleener will get past San Fran and the 49ers might even trade up 5-6 spots to try to get him. My suspicion doesn't matter much in that even if the Bills wanted a WR somewhere in the high teens/low twenties would be the best place to be.
Rams-pick 10 for 33, 39, 66 and 97
I don't see the Rams expending their bounty of picks from Washington in this manner. Someone they just had to have would need to fall to 6 and someone else they just had to have would need to fall to 10. I don't see it. If anything, I see the Rams moving up to 5 if Blackmon is on the board.
Browns-pick 10 for 22, 37 and 101
This would be a fairly easy trade for the Browns to justify as they'd have a pair of top 10 selections. This would allow the Bills to get Fleener while adding a 2nd and 4th round pick. For a team like the Browns that has some talent this could allow them to add what they believe to be a couple of blue chip prospects. It's easy to imagine this working out if the Browns took Blackmon at 4 and Tannehill was on the board at 10-or if Holmgren really liked one of the DEs.
Eagles-pick 10 for 15 and 51
The Bills don't get as much out of this pick as dropping back to 22 would net. However, Nix is a cautious guy and this would ensure that the 49ers couldn't jump in front of Buffalo and take Fleener. Buffalo would get a TE would can stretch the field and an extra 2nd round selection. One pick for two picks happens more often than one pick for more than two picks.
Bengals-pick 10 for 17, 53 and 85......or pick 10, 72 and 125 for 17 and 21
It's more likely that the Bengals would go for the first of those two options as they'd still have a pair of first round selections. This works out a bit better for the Bills than the Eagles trade, in my estimation. The first round position is about the same and the Bills add an extra 2nd and 3rd. I'm not sure what player would have to be on the board for the Bengals to pull the trigger on this sort of trade.
Patriots-pick 10 for 27, 31, and 95
I just don't see Belichek flying all the way up the board unless someone remarkable slid all the way to 10, a guy like Kalil or Claiborne. In terms of picks, the Patriots would still have a pair of second round picks....at least one of which would be traded for a 2013 first rounder. If Fleener was the target, the Bills would need to move up from 27 to stay far enough in front of the 49ers. That would leave the Bills with a pick like 24 or so along with 31 (with 95 being sacrificed in the move back up).
Which trade would you prefer?
Rams--out of the first round entirely (10 votes)
Browns--trade into the low 20s (71 votes)
Eagles--stay in the middle of the first (68 votes)
Bengals--stay in the high teens (96 votes)
Patriots--deal with the devil (12 votes)
257 total votes