by Greg Gabriel
April 11, 02012
There have been a few reports in the last few days saying that there could be a slew of teams in the top 10 or 12 picks of the draft that want to trade down. Is this true, and will it happen? Yes, it could happen but it’s unlikely it will happen. Here’s why.
While I feel this is a good draft, the top of the draft after Luck and Griffin is thin. Most feel the top tackle is Matt Kalil but Kalil is not as good a prospect as linemen like Jake Long or Joe Thomas were when they came out. There is no dominating defensive lineman that most teams would say they have to have. These are the positions that teams trade up for. What it gets down to is that for the same reason clubs in the top 10 want to trade down, clubs don’t want to trade up. You want to get value for the money that is spent on those premium picks and top value isn’t there after the two quarterbacks.
Many feel there are six premium players at the top of this draft. There are the two quarterbacks plus corner Mo Claiborne, Kalil, running back Trent Richardson, and receiver Justin Blackmon. The next group of players are all solid prospects but opinion on each will vary from club to club. With that being the case, why give up a pick or picks to move up when you can be patient, stay where you are and still draft a good player? The group of Kalil, Blackmon, Richardson and Claiborne should all be good NFL players but they are not difference makers. You don’t trade up in to the top 10 unless you feel the player you are getting is a difference maker. As good as Richardson is, he is not an Adrian Peterson who went at the 7 spot. On top of that, Richardson is coming off a knee surgery. Blackmon is a dynamic receiver and big playmaker but you would be hard pressed to find a scout or GM who would say he has more talent than A.J. Green or Julio Jones last year.
While it makes for good television or good reading as we wait for the draft I just don’t see the quality there for people to move up. What will happen over the next two weeks is many clubs will make calls to the clubs behind them in the drafting order and let them know that if the player they are targeting isn’t there when it’s their turn to pick they may be willing to move down. It’s just usual procedure, but in order to make a trade, you have to have a partner and that’s the hard part. What is more than likely is the trades we see will happen after the 15th pick when the cost to move up isn’t as great.