2018 Final Quarter Trades Mock
Published at 12/5/2017 4:15:53 PM
We're not doing multiple rounds here because dear god I do not have the time to handle all the intricacies of two-three rounds of drafts and moves, but even so, let's do a hypothetical trades mock! All options are on the table, and we're working off these results: https://playoffpredictors.com/Football/NFL?L=EzCMLdOlT8GLJe9nIejaMXVPOPFIxNKVciM7WAok3C2W-Up01FarzXOymQpIRgzqIFjSQA
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Yes, this is a trades mock, and recent information hints heavily that the Browns would be a less-than-obvious candidate to start running trade downs from this position; but the Cleveland FO and coaching staff, if retained, is going to have no choice but to go QB at this pick. Even a new regime is going to need to nail this pick, and QB is basically the only option. Rosen, at least as of the start of December, looks like the top QB prospect in this class, and will deserve a hard look from Cleveland.
TRADE - Arizona trades 2018 1st + 2018 2nd + 2018 4th + 2019 1st to New York Giants. I think the time is now for the Cardinals to make their splash pick, even at the risk of blowing up their own draft a bit. The Cardinals have a fantastic core of players, but they are running out of time with Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald. Meanwhile, New York, although they need a QB to succeed Eli Manning, has some tricks they can keep up their sleeve, and needs a lot of additional help in the wake of the upheaval of their current regime. The bonus picks will give New York a chance at building up a foundation for their new QB...which is coming soon. Meanwhile, Palmer can work to mentor a fellow USC big-armed QB into the NFL system, with an established run attack to boot.
Had they remained at 2 in my projections, I think the Niners would happily make a trade down with a QB hungry team, but they don't have the same level of flexibility now. Thus, I think San Fran plays it safe and takes the obvious top player in the draft. Barkley slots in for the Niners immediately and adds a dynamic to the Jimmy-G led offense.
TRADE - New York trades 2018 1st + 2018 3rd + 2018 4th to Chicago Bears. Yeah, we're projecting a bit here, but I think the Baker Mayfield hype train is going to continue to run out of control, all the way to the draft. And thus, we have the Jets making their move ahead of what appears to be a murderer's row of potential QB needy teams. Mayfield makes plenty of sense in New York, having the personality to lead in a city that would otherwise chew him up and spit him out. Chicago, in the meantime, recoups some of their lost draft assets from their own trade for a QB in 2017.
Tampa Bay actually has a ton of routes here; they could make a trade down for more assets, they could go crazy and reach for a Guice or Love at RB, or they could stay pat and take a clear top-10 talent in Bradley Chubb. Chubb is a dominant pass rusher who looks set to go in the top end of this upcoming draft, and would help to bolster a Tampa team in desperate need of a pass rush.
TRADE - Dallas trades their 2018 1st and Dez Bryant to the Cleveland Browns (Houston Texans). On the surface, this sounds absurd; the Cowboys are already having issues with their receiving corps in 2017, so why would they trade their best passing game asset to Cleveland to get a safety? First, Cleveland needs a wideout, and this is an up-and-down class at the position, so the Browns would be more than happy to gain a legitimate WR1. Second, Dez can opt out after next year, and he just might coming off so-so year where he's only registered 5 touchdowns and doesn't appear to be reaching 1000 yards before the end of this campaign; he's also about to be 30 years old. And lastly, Dallas does, in fact, need help at safety; Fitzpatrick appears to be the clear top safety in this class, and would provide an immediate improvement to Dallas' secondary. It's a splash pick that might help a fully tooled Dallas squad (plus perhaps a FA WR like Davante Adams?) get right back into the driver's seat in the NFC East, and moves minimal draft picks.
TRADE - New York trades 2018 1st (Arizona) + Eli Manning to Denver Broncos, who send 2019 second. Oh shit, here we go. So Denver really has been absolute ass developing Paxton Lynch and/or Trevor Siemian. Where they have their best success at the position is by adding legitimate QB options, and they already have a solid relationship with Eli's brother Peyton. So Denver takes a risky option here, allowing themselves to jump back a few spots in order to allow the Giants to get their QB of choice. Rudolph meets the Bill Parcell's QB chart impeccably, and with new leadership in New York, he'd certainly have a legitimate chance to be a star. The parallels between him and fellow Big 12 QB Mayfield will be on immediate display, but the Giants would now have an immense amount of assets to move even if they wanted to find a bridge QB for Mayfield in the middle of all of this. Denver gets a QB who can try to get them over the hump, and New York gets their QB of the future. Works for me.
Indianapolis can basically just stand pat here and still fall into a top-tier pass rusher. While the rest of the teams in this class are falling over themselves trying to obtain a QB, the Colts still have Andrew Luck in the pocket, so they need to start building back up a struggling, pass-rushless defense. Key is a freak athlete who was slowed by injuries, who, if healthy, could rain hell upon the likes of Mariota and Watson for years to come.
[From Jets] - The Bears have plenty of needs, but getting Trubisky a legitimate #1 WR seems like a legitimate need moving forward. Ridley has established himself (so far) as the top wideout in this class, and although he may lack WR1 size, the Bears really just need SOMEBODY who can make plays, and that's certainly the bill for Ridley.
[From Giants via Cardinals] - Remember this guy? Quenton Nelson is arguably the best player in this class, but guard is not a highly-favored position to most teams. That is not Denver's MO, who need to continue to bolster an offensive line that will now be protecting Eli Manning in this scenario. Nelson in any other situation might be a top 5 pick, because, yeah, he's that good. This sets a legitimate foundation for Denver moving forward to try to step right back int the playoff situation.
TRADE - Los Angeles trades 2018 1st + 2018 3rd to Miami Dolphins. Miami really doesn't have an incentive to keep this pick because they have so many difficult decisions to make this offseason, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. The Chargers on the other hand are suddenly positioning themselves for one final rodeo with Phillip Rivers, and for that, I think protecting their star QB will be the key. Brown may not be the best OT prospect in this draft, but he is by far the most intriguing; with a fully tooled OL, the Chargers will at least get an opportunity at winning the Bolo-Tie Bandalero a ring.
Cincinnati got jumped so that the Chargers could get their pick on the OL; Cincinnati meanwhile is going to need to take someone on the OL. Yes, Derwin James is still out there, but it's a deep class at safety, and I'd assume retooling an absolutely absymal trench on the offensive side of the ball is going to become the top priority for Cincinnati. McGlinchy is a solid prospect who would provide an immediate upgrade on either the right or left side for Cincy, particularly in pass blocking.
I don't think the Washington [REDACTED] are in a position to get cute with this pick; take the BPA and move along. James may be out of the top 10 consideration (so far), but Washington doesn't have an obvious top-level QB to take if Cousins is gone, and the WR class is fairly poor. Therefore, they can take care of both a need and adding top tier talent. James is still a top 3 safety in this class and could be a fantastic player given time.
The Tyrod Taylor era has come to a hellish end in Buffalo. The Bills are out of legitimate options now, barring a chance to obtain Kirk Cousins or Alex Smith, and I'm not sure that ends up being the way things play out. and if so, this has to be the best QB available. Some will argue that could be Josh Allen, but I'll argue that Lamar Jackson is Tyrod Taylor with more legitimate potential as a dual threat. It wouldn't require rebuilding the entire gameplan for the offense, and it gives them a much larger window in a division that will already be adding one new QB to the fold.
[From Chargers] - Provided that Smith does come out, he would be the obvious top fit for the Dolphins; Quenton Nelson is out, there isn't an obvious RB fit, and aiming for a safety or QB might prove tricky. Smith is a dynamic and bombastic ILB prospect who is certainly playing his way into the conversation for top half of the 1st round.
I very nearly had the Ravens trade up for Ridley at WR, but again, it's not the best WR class in history here, so Baltimore can get a viable receiver one round later. For the first round, RUNNING JOKES ABOUT ALABAMA PLAYERS. Damien Harris' draft stock is soaring at this point, and with good reason. Would the Ravens actually select him over Guice? In my opinion, yes.