clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

3 recent NFL trades including two first-round draft picks

Comparing recent NFL trades to the non-exclusive franchise tag

Baltimore Ravens v Chicago Bears Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

According to multiple reports, the Baltimore Ravens are considering placing the non-exclusive franchise tag on quarterback Lamar Jackson. If a team and Jackson come to a contract agreement and the Ravens do not match, they’ll receive two first-round picks. There have been a few trades in recent NFL history to feature two first-round picks. It’s time to take a look back on them to judge the value of such a trade and if either team ‘won’ such trades.

2018: Chicago Bears Trade for Pass Rusher Khalil Mack

On September 1, 2018, the Chicago Bears sent the then-Oakland Raiders a package of picks for edge rusher Khalil Mack.

Chicago Bears Received

  • DE Khalil Mack
  • 2020 second-round pick
  • 2020 conditional fifth-round pick

Oakland Raiders Received

  • 2019 first-round pick
  • 2020 first-round pick
  • 2020 third-round pick
  • 2019 sixth-round pick

Who Won the Trade?

Honestly, neither team. Khalil Mack did well, signing a $141 million contract with $90 million in total guarantees on a four-year deal with the Bears.

The Bears didn’t really find success in those four seasons, going 31-29. They did win an NFC North title in 2018, but were bounced on a double-doink against the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Raiders turned the draft haul into RB Josh Jacobs, who is expected to be franchise tagged this season. Damon Arnette was their 2020 first-round selection; the cornerback played 13 games with the Las Vegas club, and his last game was in 2021. Wide receiver Brian Edwards was the third-round selection and after two seasons was traded to the Atlanta Falcons for a 2023 fifth-round pick. Midway through the 2022 season, Edwards was released by the Falcons and signed to the Kansas City Chiefs practice squad.

As noted by NBC Sports’ Peter King, the Raiders would go on to burn $85 million on Trent Brown, Antonio Brown, Lamarcus Joyner and Tyrell Williams.

“The Raiders got nothing but headaches with Antonio Brown, and wasted $85 million on Williams, Joyner and Trent Brown. Hmmm . . . $85 million,” King wrote. “That’s about what it would have cost to keep Mack for these four seasons. Three failed players cost that much for two seasons.”

2019: Houston Texans Trade for Left Tackle Laremy Tunsil

364 days after the Bears made their big-time trade for Mack, the Houston Texans made a similar mega-move for a player. On August 31, 2019, they finalized a deal for left tackle Laremy Tunsil, Kenny Stills and a pair of picks.

Houston Texans Received

  • LT Laremy Tunsil
  • WR Kenny Stills
  • 2020 fourth-round pick
  • 2021 sixth-round pick

Miami Dolphins Received

  • 2020 first-round pick
  • 2021 first-round pick
  • 2021 second-round pick
  • CB Johnson Bademosi
  • OL Julien Davenport

Who Won the Trade?

Surely not the Texans. Though they won the AFC South with a 10-6 record in 2019, they rapidly plummeted in 2020, going 4-12. Afterward, quarterback Deshaun Watson did not play for the organization and was subsequently traded. Coincidentally, that’s another edition to this particular topic.

The Dolphins did well, as they flipped picks, made moves and eventually turned the capital they received from the Texans (and some of their own) into a play

  • CB Johnson Bademosi
  • OL Julien Davenport
  • CB Noah Igbinoghene
  • OL Solomon Kindley
  • WR Jaylen Waddle
  • S Jevon Holland
  • WR Tyreek Hill
  • LB Channing Tindall
  • WR Erik Ezukanma
  • OLB Bradley Chubb

2022: Cleveland Browns Trade for Quarterback Deshaun Watson

On March 20, 2022, the Cleveland Browns sent a richter scale sized trade to the Houston Texans.

Cleveland Browns Received

  • QB Deshaun Watson
  • 2024 sixth-round pick

Houston Texans Received

  • 2022 first-round pick (No. 13 overall)
  • 2023 first-round pick (No. 12 overall)
  • 2024 first-round pick
  • 2023 third-round pick
  • 2022 fourth-round pick (No. 107 overall)
  • 2023 fourth-round pick

Who Won the Trade?

It’s too early. It hasn’t been a year since the trade and the Texans still have two first-round picks to use. But, early returns are in the Browns’ favor.

Part of the problem with getting draft capital is turning it into NFL-caliber talent. As of now, that hasn’t been the case for the Texans’ 2022 first-round selection, offensive lineman Kenyon Green, who was penalized 12 times, allowed 47 pressures and was the lowest-rated guard in the NFL his rookie season with a 37.7 overall grade and a 27.0 pass block grade, per PFF.

However, the No. 107 overall pick in 2022 turned into running back Dameon Pierce, who rushed for 939 yards and four touchdowns in 13 games.


Trades are a crapshoot. Some win. Some lose. Sometimes neither win, or everybody does. Regardless, two first-round picks is low in return for a former league MVP quarterback, especially when there’s a fair comparison one AFC North team away.

It’s clear Jackson wants a hefty payday with mega guarantees, akin to Watson. If so, they should seek out a deal worthy of the same. Three first-round picks plus. The Ravens can retool and be their “compete every year” self and bank on a 2023 draft season that delivers multiple pro bowlers. If not, they’ll find themselves plunging to the bottom of an AFC North that boasts three NFL-caliber starters at quarterback.