6 First-Round Trade Candidates: 2018 NFL Draft

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It’s draft day!

The 2018 NFL Draft is expected to be explosive, with multiple teams in possession of multiple picks within the initial two rounds and significant opportunity for movement across the board.

The New York Jets made the biggest pre-draft splash on March 17 when the organization shipped picks No. 6, No. 37 and No. 49 to the Indianapolis Colts for the right to move up three spots and ensure themselves a quarterback.

The question becomes: Where else is there potential for a trade up throughout the first night of the draft?

No. 4 overall: Cleveland Browns

  • The difficulty in acquiring this pick is rooted in the unlikelihood that Dorsey & Co. will be seeking additional assets from the 2018 NFL Draft. Holding five of the first 64 selections in this year’s spectacle, conventional wisdom would suggest Cleveland’s starting price for a move-down would include a 2019 first round pick.

No. 5 overall: Denver Broncos

  • John Elway has long-maintained he’s open for business here. Though the roster isn’t as bad as its 2017 record suggests, the proposition of leveraging one of the teams with multiple first round picks is intriguing. Though steep, if the Bills find their preferred quarterback option available when Denver is put on the clock it may be a trivial having to concede No. 12 and 22 overall.

No. 18 overall: Seattle Seahawks

  • Since the start of the Schneider/Carroll era in 2010, Seattle has traded down with its first round pick four times and traded it for a player twice. Suffice it to say, they’re always willing to deal. This may be a prime location if a team desired to jump the line for a receiver or linebacker with the Cowboys pick looming one spot later.

No. 24 overall: Carolina Panthers

The always-aggressive New England Patriots never seem to keep it straight forward on draft day. Movement is to be expected.

  • In all probability, the Panthers should find a heavily stacked board at this point and feel they can slide into the early part of day two to get better pick-value on a safety or receiver. Don’t rule out new Giants general manager (and former Panthers general manager) Dave Gettleman orchestrating a mutually beneficial deal with his old club.

No. 31 overall: New England Patriots

  • Typically an aggressive mover on draft night, New England has dealt backward four times since 2008 – and of those four trade backs, the team did so twice before making its first pick in that draft. Look for the Patriots to parlay one of its two picks into a future asset if it can. Unless of course, you think they’re packaging picks to leapfrog the board (but I don’t see it).

No. 32 overall: Philadelphia Eagles

  • As is the case with the New England pick at No. 31, these are potential hot spots for teams looking to sneak back into day one for their quarterback. Why? Because first round pick contracts come with the added bonus of a fifth-year team option – something organizations covet. Having said that, Philadelphia’s list of needs is sparse and Howie Roseman’s staff currently isn’t slated to pick again until round four, pick No. 140 overall. They may want to recoup some pick volume.


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