The inherent flaw in creating mock drafts is the fact that they don’t account for trades. Joe Malfa takes a look at a few trades that may ultimately shake up the entire draft:
1) The Cleveland Browns trade back into the top-10 for Mitchell Trubisky
I was actually confident enough in this prediction to include it in my most recent mock draft.
It has already been made public that the Browns are torn between Myles Garrett and Trubisky at No. 1. They have the ammo to move up in order to end up with both players, and the most logical trade partners are the Titans and Jets.
2) The Titans trade out of the top-10
Whether it’s a deal with the Browns or some mystery team, it makes a lot of sense for the Titans to slide back. They are in possession of the No. 5 pick thanks to trading last year’s No. 1 overall pick to the Rams, and they also have their own first round pick at No. 18.
Sliding down to the mid-teens could earn the Titans another first round pick in 2018, giving them back-to-back seasons with two first round picks. They could essentially put themselves in the same situation as the Browns in terms of having a wealth of high draft picks, but there is one major difference — the Titans already have a franchise quarterback in place.
3) The Jets stand pat at No. 6
Trading back would make a lot of sense for the Jets because they have a plethora of needs and could use the extra draft picks, but game-changing players at positions of need will lead them to stay put.
The Jets desperately need a playmaker at safety who can also quarterback the defense. Jamal Adams or Malik Hooker (or both) will likely be there at No. 6, and I simply cannot see Mike Maccagnan passing on either (nor should he).
4) The Panthers trade up to select Leonard Fournette
When it comes to draft season, it is always tough to decipher between smokescreen and genuine interest.
When it comes to the Panthers and Fournette, the interest is genuine.
Fournette would be a perfect fit and he has the potential to be a perennial All-Pro. His addition to the offense would also take pressure off Cam Newton in more ways than one. Newton would be able to rely on the run game a bit more, and he wouldn’t have to absorb extra hits trying to pick up those tough yards in short-yardage situations.
The 49ers (No. 2) and Bears (No. 3) would be the most likely trade partners. Both of those teams have expressed interest in trading down, and the Panthers need to get in front of the Jaguars (No. 4) to make sure they don’t miss out on this can’t-miss prospect.
5) The Patriots get back into the first round
I see three possible ways the Patriots end up with a selection on Thursday night:
- Trade Jimmy Garoppolo (the least likely scenario)
- Trade Malcolm Butler
- Package two of their three third-round picks plus a future selection.
I don’t know exactly how Bill Belichick will accomplish this, but he will.
6) The Texans trade up to draft a QB
During the playoffs, I asserted my belief that the Texans would have beaten Patriots and won the Super Bowl with a competent QB. I stand by that.
The Texans failed to improve their QB situation this offseason (though getting rid of Osweiler might be addition by subtraction). The need must be addressed on Thursday night, and they are going to need to trade up in order make sure they get the guy they want.
A player like Deshaun Watson will not be a Pro-Bowler as a rookie, but he is certainly capable of leading a team with the league’s best defense and on a deep postseason run.
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