Mock Drafts are interesting, but the problem is that they don’t take into consideration how trades completely change the complexion of the draft. Last year only HALF of the 32 teams selected in their chosen spot. Trades were made weeks before (RGIII), hours before (Trent Richardson), and on the clock. Part of the fun is trying to guess what trades will be made. We’ve seen just one so far, with the Vikings getting a pick for Percy Harvin. So here are my guesses at potential trades:
1. Top four stay put. I don’t see Geno Smith going here. Some combination of two LTs and two DL emerge from this group.
2. Detroit. This is where it gets interesting. If I’m the Lions, I’m calling the Browns and saying “If you want Dee Milliner, we need to deal.” These teams could swap picks, and the Lions could still get the third best LT to protect Stafford, one pick before the Cardinals who also covet a LT.
3. Arizona at 7 through San Diego at 12. These teams plus Buffalo could all use a LT, and in the case of Arizona even a G. Does San Diego trade up if Lane Johnson is on the board? Is Arizona content with Chance Warmack? Does a QB go in this group possibly to Jets or Bills by moving back getting the QB and an extra pick.
5. The NFC South picks 13, 14, and 15. If I am the Dolphins, I’m probably hearing from of the these teams wanting first crack to improve in the division.
6. The Rams at 16 and 22. If they don’t want Tavon Austin, they might auction this pick off to a team that does. I don’t see them packaging the two picks to move up – they need players.
9. Falling QBs. Is Barkley or EJ Manuel still out there? Does a team in the early 2nd round (Jacksonville or Buffalo) not want to wait til day two and let a team like the Patriots or Ravens trade out of the first round?
10. Speaking of the Ravens and Patriots, its time for their annual game of cat and mouse. In past years, the Patriots have zoomed ahead by one pick to select Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, and last year they moved up twice for Hightower and Chandler Jones. It will be interesting to see how Ozzie and Bellichick play it out this year. Is it a WR or Safety that these team covet?