The NFL Draft is mere hours away, which means that it’s time for trade talk to really heat up. The two hours before the start of the draft, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. EST, are considered the most likely time for blockbuster trades to be worked out. It’s too difficult to do anything too radical during the draft–after all, teams are only on the clock for 10 minutes and negotiations need to move very quickly if you want to finalize the terms and get league approval in that window. Many deals will be discussed this afternoon and rough terms will be agreed to. Then, during the draft, and provided the players targeted are still on the board, the deals will be finalized.
So, what deals are we likely to see?
One rumor that has emerged this afternoon involves the New England Patriots trading up to Seattle’s No. 12 pick. The Patriots own the No. 27 (acquired from New Orleans as part of the Mark Ingram deal) and No. 31 picks in the draft. According to the draft value chart, both of New England’s picks are roughly equal Seattle’s pick. Seattle is rumored to be interested in Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill, but he’s expected to go off the board at No. 8 to the Dolphins. If so, the Seahawks may look to trade down and accumulate picks. New England is known for that same strategy, but this could finally be the year that the Patriots decide to trade up to target a true impact player. Who might that be? Bill Belichick is rumored to be enamored with Alabama safety Mark Barron.
The Buffalo Bills are another team that is said to be interested in trading up. The Bills hold the No. 10 pick and reports say that they want to move into the top five, perhaps as high as the Vikings’ No. 3 pick, to draft the top left tackle available, USC’s Matt Kalil. As we reported yesterday, the Vikings are interested in moving down and are talking to multiple potential partners.
Another rumor has the perpetually-woeful Cleveland Browns trying to pull off the rarest of maneuvers–using three first-round picks in the same draft. Cleveland owns the No. 4 and No. 22 picks and they are rumored to be targeting Alabama running back Trent Richardson and Georgia Tech wide receiver Stephen Hill with those selections. According to reports, the Browns are considering trying to obtain a third pick in the round, likely between No. 25 and No. 32. They would use this pick to take a quarterback, likely Oklamhoma State’s Brandon Weeden. The Browns would try to package their second-round pick (No. 37 overall) and another mid-round pick to make the deal happen, but they would probably have to give up a first-round pick in the 2013 draft.