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Re: First-round trade scenarios
or this could be one of the most active drafts in years. tough to call. im hoping for the latter.
How the draft could turn upside down
By Pat Kirwan
NFL.com Senior Analyst
(April 25, 2007) -- Each year, there is the potential for the draft to get turned upside down. Sometimes it happens and sometimes the names peel right off the board in the projected order. I spoke with a number of personnel people who truly anticipate some action in the 2007 NFL Draft, especially on the first day. A number of teams have already set up contingency plans for draft-day trades if all the stars are aligned when they are on the clock.
Calvin Johnson might be an excellent trade bate for the Lions.
Keep in mind, the key word is if when it comes to draft-day trades. Here are a number of situations that could affect the draft process as Saturday rolls on and even into Sunday. There's no doubt that Detroit general manager Matt Millen holds the key to the big first-round action followed by Tampa Bay GM Bruce Allen and Washington's Daniel Snyder.
The Oakland Raiders do not look like they are going to take anyone other than JaMarcus Russell. But they also haven't initiated contract negotiations with Russell's agents, which is perfectly within their rights to do so. For now, it looks like when Commissioner Roger Goodell announces, 'the Oakland Raiders are on the clock', the franchise will wait the allotted time and turn in the name JaMarcus Russell. Before the weekend is over, there might be a chance the Raiders will trade a pick to the Lions for Josh McCown, who told me he thinks he'll be a Raider before the end of the draft.
With Detroit on the clock and the rights to Calvin Johnson now in their possession, the first draft-day trade could take place. The Bucs should have a solid offer in place to move from No. 4 to No. 2. Their picks at No. 35 and No. 64 are fair compensation for the move. Detroit would land up at No. 4 where it could select DE Gaines Adams and still have solid picks at Nos. 34, 35, 64, and 66 to build its team. The Bucs are hoping the Lions take Adams at the No. 2 spot and Johnson would just fall to them. But other teams are calling the Lions and if Detroit passes on Johnson, then Cleveland, with the No. 3 pick overall, now becomes the dealer. Atlanta has the firepower to move from No. 8 to No. 2 to get Johnson. The Lions might love the No. 8 spot to save money and still get a very good player. They would also probably wind up with Atlanta's picks at Nos. 39 and 44. Detroit could walk away with a guy like LaRon Landry and hit the second round with pick Nos. 34, 39, 44 and 66. Millen could grab a QB like Trent Edwards and trade McCown for an early second-day pick.
Cleveland has to have a plan just in case Detroit stays put and selects another prospect other than Johnson. The Browns will get calls from a number of teams to move up -- Tampa Bay, Atlanta and maybe Minnesota could compete for the spot. At one draft during my time with the Jets, we moved one spot in a switch with Arizona at the exact same position Cleveland and Tampa are now and we selected a 1,000-yard back named Johnnie Johnson. I believe the Browns will stay put, unless Calvin Johnson is still on the board and then they really should sell the spot.
If Johnson falls to the Bucs, then it's a no-brainer. If he's gone before Tampa Bay picks at No. 4, then I expect the Bucs to take Adams or strongly consider an attempt to go down in the draft. I'm confident GM Allen has already set up some framework for a move. If Brady Quinn happens to be available, it sounds like the Dolphins will pick up the phone.
Arizona never likes to pay the money the top picks command and not many teams have as much practice at signing top-five picks as the Cardinals. If Arizona believes Levi Brown can do most of the things Joe Thomas can do as a left tackle, then it will field calls to go south. Keep in mind Atlanta, Miami and Houston would all like to see a guy like Thomas on their rosters. If the Cardinals don't have a ridiculous asking price to move down the draft board, then there could be some action at the five spot.
The Redskins need to move down with just one pick on the first day. After they select at No. 6, their next pick is at No. 143. A move up to the Redskins spot would probably get you Adrian Peterson, Amobi Okoye or LaRon Landry. There could also be a long-shot deal with the Redskins if a team like the Patriots wanted to surrender their picks at No. 24 and No. 28, which is about the compensation required to move. Landry in a Patriot uniform would be hard on the AFC East.
The Vikings don't seem too excited to move up and probably like their chances to just stay put and let a good player come to them. But if they decide Leon Hall or Darrelle Revis is their guy, then a move down is a possibility. They may be staring at Peterson and that decision would be tough. Trust me, a few teams within close striking distance to the Vikings will call.
Atlanta has to be considered a contender to move up for Johnson, who could wind up being as popular as Michael Vick in Atlanta. If the Falcons don't go up, I don't see a move down.
Miami seems very interested in Quinn, but a draft-day trade for Trent Green could squash the move up.
If the Texans decide a left tackle is critical or a running back like Peterson would change the face of the franchise, then they will have to get on the phone and work a deal to move up on the board. If they stay put, a corner or wide receiver could be the target.
Veterans mentioned as possible trade candidates for draft picks are starting to mount. And if just a few of the players mentioned get moved, we are in for some rollercoaster ride on Saturday. Players who would change the course of the first day include Green, Lance Briggs, Michael Turner, Alan Faneca, Kris Jenkins, Randy Moss, Asante Samuel, Cory Redding and really any veteran that a club feels they can't get re-signed long term and has one year left on his deal. Keep in mind, all the new head coaches are entitled to an extra mini-camp. Most of them are finishing up their pre-draft camps and might have concluded that some veterans are not good fits for their teams and are could now become potential trade bates.
Chiefs QB Trent Green could be on the move in a draft-day trade.
Always anticipate that Jerry Jones (Dallas) and Mike Shanahan (Denver) are dealmakers and while both are sitting at the No. 21 and No. 22 spots, they could use their second-round picks to move up eight or nine slots in the first round or even higher with future picks. Draft-day trading has increased over the past few years, mostly because the salary cap increase provides teams with the space to maneuver trades. Secondly, with half the league turning over at the head coaching position in the past two years, there's a strong desire to get the old regime of players out and new faces through the draft in the locker room.
When all is said and done at Radio City Music Hall this weekend, I wouldn't be surprised if there are 4 to 5 veteran players traded and 6 to 8 draft trades of significance. Thursday and Friday are the critical days where trade parameters are being discussed in seriousness. Teams are not going to expose who they want to move up or down for, but they will say things like, 'if the guy we want is there when you are on the clock then we would be interested in your spot and here's what we are willing to give'.
If the terms are agreeable to both parties, then it is usually left with, 'we look forward to hearing from you when we are up'. Not many trades have ever been fully constructed in the timeslot when a team is picking. There's simply not enough time to focus on who is left on the board, the compensation and what might be available if you are the team moving down in the trade. As for the veteran players like Briggs, now is the time to talk with your agent if a team is serious about a draft-day trade.
Finally, not every team has a dealmaker in the front office and that can prove to be very frustrating to teams looking to get a trade done. It becomes easy to just shut down the trade lines and pick when your turn comes. But that is not always getting the best value for the pick. For example: When the Chargers traded Eli Manning to the Giants minutes after selecting him, they got the extra pick that brought them Shawne Merriman. That is maximizing the value of a pick.