This is a historic draft. The top two picks in the NFL draft have been traded in the same year and those two picks will almost certainly be quarterbacks. Within a week, both the Los Angeles Rams and the Philadelphia Eagles traded a good portion of their next two drafts to grab the tops two spots. You don’t mortgage the future for a “franchise linebacker”. So how does that affect your favorite team?
Jared Goff (QB/Cal) and Carson Wentz (QB/North Dakota State) would have gone in the top five regardless according to most mock drafts. The only difference is how it affects the picks that were swapped and the teams around them. The Cleveland Browns move back to the 8th pick. They were considered to be in the market for a QB and still may use that pick on Paxson Lynch (QB/Memphis). If he is someone they liked, he will be much cheaper at #8. He is also a serious reach in the top fifteen picks. A month ago he was a possible high pick for the second round. As the top position players come off the board, need makes players more attractive.
Also, most thought Philadelphia would take Ezekiell Elliott (RB/OSU) if he was available at that slot. That means Elliott may drop a little further down the board. If Dallas doesn’t go RB at #4 then Elliot could slide to the Giants, who need a reliable running game to help Eli Manning. Or Cleveland could take Elliott at #8. They have needs almost everywhere.
It is also likely that even if Lynch doesn’t go at #8, he will be gone long before the Broncos pick at #31, since there are several teams that will still be searching for a QB after picks one and two. Also, with all of the picks the Titans grabbed for their top spot, they could easily trade back into the top ten and try for a offensive lineman that can protect their franchise QB drafted last year, Marcus Mariotta.
Will San Diego grab Laremy Tunsil (OT/Ole Miss) now that he isn’t going in the top two picks? Or will they stick with a defensive player like Jalen Ramsey (CB/Florida State) who was the pick most thought they would take before the trades. Dallas won’t find Tony Romo’s replacement in round one so will they take a defensive lineman or linebacker out of the mix at four. The 49er’s won’t have a QB left for pick #7, so what do they do for Plan B?
No draft is ever static – manuevering happens every year. But 2016 promises to be one for the record books, even if no other trades happen. Fifteen picks have already traded hands. You can bet teams that had their sights set on someone in the second round will be knocking on Tennessee’s door. The NFL marketing machine has exactly what it wants. A steady buzz and everyone tuning in to find out who will make the next move!
And the dominoes continue to fall.