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Old 04-26-2007, 04:10 PM   #1
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Default First-round trade scenarios

First-round trade scenarios April 26, 2007

Decision time is drawing nearer and for teams with which we have consulted, selections have been narrowed down to three or four options and for the most part, they have cemented in their minds what they would like to do if the board falls the way they want it to.

What is very clear from talking to many decision-makers is that there is a much greater interest in trading down than there is in moving up. The way we hear it, teams will be able to find more willing trade partners if bad decisions are made early on and Joe Thomas happens to slide out of the top five, which remains a distinct possibility.

If JaMarcus Russell is drafted first, two quarterbacks are expected to be drafted in the top five and the player that stands to slip out is Joe Thomas, which could create additional trade opportunities for the Redskins at No. 6. They remain very interested in moving down in the draft.

If Calvin Johnson is drafted first ? and sources say the decision to take Russell has not been agreed upon by those that matter and that Johnson is gaining momentum ? Russell would likely be the only quarterback drafted in the top five and, the way we hear it, Brady Quinn could slide similar to the way Matt Leinart did a year ago.

Following is a breakdown of trade interest and dynamics that could affect the first round:

The Raiders recognize that Calvin Johnson has the most value in the draft and are dangling the option of picking him because they know he gives them the most opportunity to trade down. However, if Randy Moss cannot be dealt prior to Draft Day, it will be difficult to carry two of the league?s highest paid receivers on the roster, especially when one is a malcontent who could negatively influence the other.

The Lions are desperately seeking to move down and are hoping that Calvin Johnson will slip to No. 2 so that they have more interest in their pick when they are on the clock. Even if Johnson is available, they are struggling to drum up enough interest to move the pick and are preparing to have to stand pat and make a call.

Cleveland, Tampa Bay, Arizona, Washington and Minnesota remain very open to trading down, especially if their desired targets do not fall to them.

The Falcons and Redskins have very similar needs on the defensive line and secondary and have discussed swapping picks.

It is growing more unlikely that Miami will trade up, with Dolphins? brass becoming more confident that a good player will fall into their laps.

The Texans remain very open to trading.

San Francisco, with eight picks in the first four rounds, remains a strong candidate to move up if good players begin sliding.

Buffalo, Carolina, Pittsburgh and Green Bay are exploring options to move down, with the Bills and Packers considering options to bring in an established veteran runner to fill pressing backfield needs.

Prime suitors to move up from the back half of the first round are the Broncos, the Patriots, the Eagles and the Chargers, who have all discussed the possibilities.
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