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2011 NFL Draft Trade Projections

April 17, 2011

Two things to keep in mind as you're reading this 2011 NFL Draft Trade Projection article:

First, I'm not going to predict any trades in the top eight. It just doesn't happen unless Eric Mangini is involved. Recently, an NFL Draft Web site owner irresponsibly tweeted that there is an "80-percent" chance that the Broncos trade out of the No. 2 pick. More like 0.80 percent. Trades don't happen in the top eight because A) Teams don't want to give up a bunch of picks to trade up, and B) No owner is going to sign off on paying an unknown commodity $40 million guaranteed.

There will be more trades in the top eight once there's a rookie salary scale, but not this year. Like most Aprils, the trades will commence between picks 9-12.

And second, don't think, "I heard on Twitter or SportsCenter that Team X and Team Y might do a trade." The deals that happen on Draft Day are the ones you don't hear about. The trades that are rumored seldom come to fruition.

All of these trade projections below have never been rumored as far as I know. They're just deals that make sense to me.

Redskins trade the No. 10 pick (1,300 points) to the Lions for Nos. 13 (1,150) and 75 (250)
Forget all the talk about the Redskins moving up. As noted above, that's very unlikely to happen. Instead, Washington will think about moving down to recoup some of its draft picks. The team has no depth and no selections in Rounds 3-4.

If the Redskins move down to No. 13, they can draft Aldon Smith to bolster their weak pass rush.

Meanwhile, the Lions would love to land Prince Amukamara. If Dallas and San Francisco pass on the Nebraska corner, it makes sense for Detroit to move ahead of Houston, although from what I'm told, the Texans will not take Amukamara because they have "some concerns" about spending consecutive first-round choices on corners.

By the way, I know 1,150 and 250 don't add up to 1,300. Not all deals match up perfectly on the trade value chart. The 100 missing points makes this off by 7.6 percent, which isn't very significant.

Redskins trade the No. 10 pick (1,300 points) to the Buccaneers for Nos. 20 (850) and 51 (390)
This is another chance for Washington to move down. The Redskins have needs at almost every single position, so they can't afford not to trade down.

At No. 20, Washington can go after a pass-rusher like Justin Houston, Akeem Ayers or Brooks Reed. A quarterback (Andy Dalton, Christian Ponder) would also be in play.

As for the Buccaneers, I know for a fact that they'd love to move up for one of the following four defensive ends: Robert Quinn, J.J. Watt, Cameron Jordan and Ryan Kerrigan (not Aldon Smith). Quinn could be available at No. 10. If not, Watt and Jordan would be fine selections there.

Vikings trade the No. 12 pick (1,200 points) to the Chargers for Nos. 18 (900) and 61 (292)
Like the Redskins, the Vikings almost have to move down because they have so many needs. This trade will allow them to pick up an extra second-round pick.

At No. 18, Minnesota could still get Jake Locker. If not, the team would just take the best player available to fill one of its many holes.

The Chargers have three Day 2 selections, so they have the ammunition to move up. At No. 12, San Diego could target J.J. Watt, Cameron Jordan, Aldon Smith, Tyron Smith or maybe Nick Fairley if he falls out of the top 10.

Vikings trade the No. 12 pick (1,200 points) to the Saints for Nos. 24 (740), 56 (340) and 88 (150).
This would be an ideal trade for the Vikings. They can recoup their third-rounder while picking up an extra second to fill depth. They can get a quarterback at No. 24.

Like the Chargers, the Saints have three Day 2 selections, so they can afford to move up. At No. 12, they could take a blue-chip defensive lineman. Both Cameron Jordan and J.J. Watt have the size they covet. And again, Nick Fairley could be in play if teams are scared of his character concerns.

Rams trade the No. 14 pick (1,100 points) to the Eagles for Nos. 23 (760) and 54 (360).
These next three projected trades focus on the Eagles attempting to move up. Andy Reid's draft strategy is simple - he focuses on one guy he wants. If he can't move up to get that guy, he trades out.

I believe Reid's guy is Jimmy Smith. Reid doesn't care about character concerns, so Smith's undeniable talent has to intrigue him. The Eagles desperately need help across from Asante Samuel. The offensive line also has to be addressed, but Philadelphia brought in Howard Mudd to fix that area.

Meanwhile, the Rams will be targeting Julio Jones and Aldon Smith at No. 14. If both are off the board - I think they will be - St. Louis will have to either reach to fill some sort of need or trade down.

With the 23rd pick, the Rams might still be able to land Corey Liuget, a player popularly mocked to St. Louis. If not Liuget, then Muhammad Wilkerson, Marvin Austin, Justin Houston, Randall Cobb and Gabe Carimi would be options.

Dolphins trade the Nos. 15 (1,050 points) and 111 picks (72) to the Eagles for Nos. 23 (760) and 54 (360).
Here's another way for the Eagles to land Jimmy Smith. They can pick up Miami's fourth-rounder in this deal.

The Dolphins have no second-round selection, so they'll be looking to move down. Miami can get Mark Ingram or the quarterback they want at No. 23.

Redskins trade the Nos. 10 (1,300 points) to the Eagles for Nos. 23 (760), 54 (360) and 85 (165).
This is a late add. What if the Eagles really want Prince Amukamara? They'd have to move up to No. 10. To do so would require Philadelphia to surrender its second- and third-round selections. That sounds like a lot, but the Eagles have two picks in both the fourth and fifth rounds, so they could make a big move.

Dolphins trade the No. 15 pick (1,050 points) to the Saints for Nos. 24 (740) and 56 (340).
This is another way the Dolphins can move down. Doing so is imperative, given all their holes and their lack of draft choices.

If the Saints are truly smitten with either J.J. Watt or Cameron Jordan, this is how they can jump ahead of the Patriots and Chargers.

Eagles trade the No. 23 pick (760 points) to the Jets for Nos. 30 (620) and 94 (124).
As mentioned earlier, the Eagles will look to trade down if they can't get the player they want. Moving down to No. 30 would still allow them to obtain someone like Ben Ijalana, Brandon Harris, Aaron Williams or Ras-I Dowling.

Like Philadelphia, the Jets' strategy is targeting a player and moving up for him. New York lacks a second-round pick, but it'll only cost a third-rounder to move up seven slots. They could then take Phil Taylor, Muhammad Wilkerson, Justin Houston or Cameron Heyward.

Patriots trade the No. 28 pick (660 points) to the Titans for Nos. 39 (510) and 77 (205).
The Titans are getting ripped off here, but they're desperate for a quarterback. Because of all their picks, the Patriots have the luxury of fielding the best possible offer from one of these second-round teams in search of a franchise signal-caller. Tennessee is the most desperate because its current starter is Rusty Smith.

As mentioned in my 2011 NFL Mock Draft, don't rule out the Patriots acquiring a 2012 first-round selection from one of these squads.

Packers and Steelers trading down.
It appears as though both the Packers and Steelers will be in a position where they won't be able to fill any sort of need with the top talent available. Considering how many teams in the second round need a quarterback, it wouldn't surprise me if both Green Bay and Pittsburgh trade down and pick up an extra pick.

Leave a comment

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wdghtj/yjhtgrfedwsdwefrgh 04-27-2011 03:48 pm (total posts: 1)
24     31

make fins get qb!!!!!!!!!
Chuck from Mpls 04-26-2011 09:31 pm (total posts: 1)
30     31

I like most of the trades. One thought on a move higher up: what if Washington is REALLY targeting Blaine Gabbert (Shanahan not showing interest aka Cutler in Denver). Hop up to #4 just in case AZ could take him. Cincy takes Dalton at 10.
gatch75 04-26-2011 09:09 am (total posts: 1)
30     31

Great article yet again. Would love to see the Dolphins trade with either the Saints or Bucs. Then get either Pouncey in the 20s and the highest RB or QB left on the board, or Mallett to fall and pick up someone like Hudson in the 3rd. There will as always be a potentially great player who falls into the 20s and 30s maybe even the early second and the trade talk will go crazy. Bowers or Mallett maybe? Sadly the Pats are in prime position and that first 2nd round pick is gonna be huge and will probably translate to a first next year.
seb4298 04-25-2011 09:38 pm (total posts: 1)
29     31

I agree with Bob From Dallas. Can't the team they trade with (most likely Arizona or Buffalo, or maybe even Carolina) just acquired Kolb for nothing if (when) the lockout is lifted. They could just give Philly extra cash or something.
M-Dogg 04-25-2011 09:11 pm (total posts: 1)
30     32

Wow the Vikes would love to get that trade with New Orleans. The Saints don't have many holes so if they really are in love with J.J. Watt or Cam Jordan it could happen. Also if the Prince falls to them I believe they'll get quite a few handsome offers from teams wanting to leap-frog the Lions who will take him no matter what. At first with players not being able to be traded I thought there'd be less trades on Draft Day but cuz teams won't know whether they can get "their" guy in free agency so I think they'll be more inclined to give up as many draft picks as they need to in order to get what they want.
Bob from Dallas 04-25-2011 06:28 pm (total posts: 1)
30     31

Don't forget about where Kolb can end up. I know teams can't technically trade players during the lockout, but look to see what kind of sneaky back-room deals happen on Thursday. Philadelphia could trade up to the top 5 and steal Patrick Peterson.
Kate Capshaw 04-25-2011 12:08 pm (total posts: 1)
25     28

Current NFL players can't be included in any draft deals.

Also, wouldn't the Rams have to leapfrog the Redskins if Julio Jones is available? I'd think that Tennessee &/or Dallas would be more sensible prospective trade partners.
Missing the obvious 04-25-2011 11:52 am (total posts: 1)
27     28

The most talked about trade possibility with the Redskins involves Julio Jones being available at 10. If that happens you're looking at STL trading up and giving the Skins the 14 and 78.

Being the one that has been discussed for weeks, it's not remotely surprising that Walt doesn't have it listed. What a clueless schmuck.
bigdan1000 04-24-2011 11:34 am (total posts: 1)
24     28

This is going to be the 2nd time SuperBowl champ uncle Ted trades up to grab a player he wants.
jt 04-23-2011 11:34 am (total posts: 1)
24     21

w/o lockout
panthers trade steve smith to patriots for #33
panthers trade deanglo williams to dolphins for #15 and #111
Andrew 04-21-2011 11:19 pm (total posts: 1)
21     23

I think the panthers could trade DeAngelo Williams with a late draft pick to get the patriots first pick in the second round or late first round
Math of your analysis 04-21-2011 01:33 pm (total posts: 1)
21     21


Thanks again for your excellent work, writing and site. I understand well your point that trades of Top-8 picks rarely happen and presume your reasons why are valid.

Your analysis here uses the standard chart values, not the corrected chart on your site. Fair enough. The original chart developed by the Cowboys must have used Emmitt Smith's math for its values, but it is cannon.

Your assertion here is that the PVC should peak in value at or around the 1-9 at 1350 points and that the 1-1 is worth less than the 1-9. Both reasons, that owners don't want to give up picks and that they don't want the contracts of top picks should mean that the PVC's values are incorrect in both respects. The first reason should increase the value of 2-4 round picks that would be used to up trade into the Top-8 and the large contracts should diminish the values assigned to the Top-8.

This creates a number of complications. If indeed the 1-2 is worth less than the 1-9 as your analysis suggests, then shouldn't Denver simply pass at 1-2 and allow their value in the draft to improve? If there is some undisclosed rule or understanding in the NFL that teams can't pass their upper 1st picks down, it would still be rational given your conclusions to trade out of the 1-2 by adding picks to it to come down. That is, Denver could trade down by offering the 1-2 and some other pick to go to 1-9 and still be better off, if your analysis is correct.

I don't mean to shoot the messenger here. You are correctly observing that tarding out of the top 8 is impossible. I agree. I am only following this observation through to its logical conclusion.

Regards, Glenn (7o62x39)
shawn 04-18-2011 10:56 pm (total posts: 1)
22     21

pretty good ideas here....i also see the packers trading back to the second round targeting a wr which seems to be there biggest need with jones probably gone in f.a and with drivers carrer winding down not to mention they have no depth at wr at all if u look at there depth last year had one of the 4 starters had gone down to injury all they had left was a undrafted nobody with one career catch.
Stefan 04-18-2011 06:20 pm (total posts: 1)
22     20

This is really cool and gives us a perspective of what might happen come draft day. Nice job Walt
Dustin 04-18-2011 08:55 am (total posts: 1)
21     20

Sorry but you are wrong, they can't sign rookies to any contact till the CBA comes out. I would say there is about a 99% there is a rookie scale in the new CBA.

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