With the novelty of mock drafts wearing off, I thought it might be more useful to spend some time on our ability to trade up, at least in the first round.
As a baseline, I relied on the Draft Value Chart available at WalterFootball.com. These draft value charts are only a guide -- a team desperate to move up may have to pay more, and a team desperate to move down may have to accept less, than the chart calls for. But with those caveats, the value of the Ravens tradable (i.e., non-compensatory) draft picks are as follows:
Round Pick Value
1st 17 950
2nd 48 420
3rd 79 195
6th 194 20.2
Note that the draft chart does not include the compensatory picks. As a result, the numerical values of the draft picks get misaligned once you get to the bottom of the 3rd round due to the comp picks. So to get the true value of the 18th pick in the 6th round, I took the value of the "18th pick of the 6th round" rather than the value of "pick 194" (which in the draft chart is actually falls in the 7th round and only worth 13.8 points).
The total value of our tradable draft picks (or draft day "currency") is 1,578.8.
Here are four trading up scenarios, including what they would cost and what we could buy.
1. PICK #6 or #7. Pick #6 in the 1st round is worth 1,600, and #7 is worth 1,500. So depending on the leverage between the parties, the maximum pick with could trade up for would be pick #6 or #7. If we made this trade, we would also still have our four comp picks available later. Who might be there that we covet at #6 or #7? At least one of the following: Jake Matthews, Sammy Watkins, Khalil Mack, Taylor Lewan, Mike Evans, Eric Ebron and Jake Gilbert (and perhaps a .0001 percent chance that Clowney falls this far). The two top safeties, HHCD and Pryor, will both be there, too. But the only player I think is truly worth this trade would be Jake Matthews, because by all accounts, he is the safest pick in the draft -- the most likely to be a 10-year+ All Pro OT. He could play RT for the next five years while Monroe holds down LT, and then switch to LT when Monroe starts to decline and hold that down for another 5+ years.
2. PICK #8 or #9. Combining our first two picks, Pick #17 with Pick #48, would give us 1,370 points in draft value. Draft pick #9 is worth 1,350. Paying 1,370 would constitute slight overpayment, but we might need to do that to sweeten the deal. Pick #8 is worth 1,400 points. Including our 6th round pick would bring us to 1,390.2, which might be close enough (if not, maybe tossing in next year’s 7th rounder from Miami gets it done). Under this scenario, we would still have our comp picks plus and our 3rd pick (and possibly our 6th, depending on whether we’re forced to include it). You could rule out Jake Matthews falling this far. Sammy Watkins and Khalil Mack are also unlikely to fall this far. But Evans, Ebron, Lewan and/or Gilbert should still be there. Of these choices, I would take any except Ebron here (I worry that he’ll be more like Ed Dickson than Jimmy Graham). Keeping our 3rd and possibly 6th rounders in this scenario reduces the risk makes me more comfortable that we’ll cover our other needs.
3. PICK #13 or #14. Combining Pick #17 with Pick #79 would equal 1,145 points. Under this scenario, we’d still have our 2nd round pick, our comps and the 6th round pick (six picks total). Pick #13 costs a hair more that we have to offer at 1,150. If the other party is difficult, we might have to toss in the 6th round pick to make it work (which would give us 1,165.2) or keep the 6th rounder and overpay for the lower Pick #14 (worth (1,100 points). The Rams have Pick #13, and if they already drafted at Pick #2, they might be willing to trade down with us here. This trade doesn’t dramatically change things, but at minimum, it allows us to potentially draft in front of the Rams, Bears, Steelers and Dallas, who reportedly have interest in some of our top needs like free safety, offensive tackle, cornerback, and defensive line. For example, Lewan might drop to #13, but there’s no way he gets past the Steelers at #15.
4. PICK #30 or #31. We keep Pick #17 (or use it to trade down), and trade Picks #48 and #79, which are collectively worth 615 points. 615 points comes within a hair of the value of Pick #30 (worth 620 points) and slightly exceeds the value of Pick #31 (worth 600 points). Thus, we could end up with two first round picks (#17 and #30 or #31), our four comp picks, and possibly our 6th round pick (depending on whether we need to include it to close the deal). This scenario allows us to possibly land a top player on our board who falls to #17, such as Lewan, while still allowing us to pick up another coveted player at the bottom of the first round, like Jimmie Ward or Dennard. It’s ideal if we believe a player we want won’t fall all the way to Pick #48 (and Ward may not).
Do we make one of these moves, and which one makes the most sense? The answer, of course, depends on how the draft unfolds compared to our own board. But with all of our needs, I would think that if we were to trade up, we’d prefer to do so in a way where we keep either our 1st or 2nd round picks (scenarios 3 and 4). The only way I can see us going with scenarios 1 or 2 is if a top 5 player on our board falls, and we believe we won’t be in a position to draft a player of that quality again in years. The four comp picks make it a little easier to consider scenarios 1 and 2 -- they almost save us from ourselves and "force us" to take care of some of our other needs even if we give up the farm.
Trading down scenarios are also interesting to consider, including when you factor in which teams are likely to want to trade up to Pick #17, but that’s the topic of another post.