I love a good NFL mock draft, but there’s one problem with everyone’s favorite April exercise: The vast majority of mock drafts don’t feature trades, and in the modern NFL, trades are a must. Of last year’s 32 first-round picks, only 20 were made by the original team holding the selection. One pick — the 30th selection — made its way from the Saints to the Packers and Seahawks before eventually ending up with the Giants on draft day.
Every year, I try to correct the imbalance by doing a mock draft that consists solely and entirely of trades. That means 32 picks, 32 trades. With every trade, I’m trying to consider what we know about each team’s roster and decision-makers. Teams like the Patriots and Seahawks love to trade down and amass draft picks, while the likes of the Bears and Saints are more inclined to move up for one particular player. The Ravens cherish draft picks, while the Texans would prefer to light them on fire.
I’ve gone through each selection in the first round of the 2020 NFL draft and come up with a trade that could serve as a fair representation of what each side might like to do if a certain opportunity or player was available when they come up. It’s important to note that the 32 trades take place in 32 separate universes, so while I note that a team might trade up to grab Tua Tagovailoa in a deal with the Lions for the No. 3 pick, I’m also willing to consider a scenario in which another team tries to trade for the Alabama star in a separate deal with the Giants at No. 4.
Each pick in the 2020 draft is notated by the round number and where it lands in the overall count, so 2-36 would be the fourth pick of the second round, which is the 36th overall selection. I’ve used the famous Jimmy Johnson chart to try to evaluate how teams will typically value picks, although analytics-friendly teams are likely to be using something closer to the Chase Stuart chart, which suggests that the picks at the top of the draft are less valuable than they might seem. Since teams that trade up typically pay a premium, I’ve incorporated that into the pick swaps.
Let’s start with the most unrealistic trade of the bunch and go from there:
Jump to a pick:
1. CIN | 2. WSH | 3. DET | 4. NYG
5. MIA | 6. LAC | 7. CAR | 8. ARI
9. JAX | 10. CLE | 11. NYJ | 12. LV
13. SF | 14. TB | 15. DEN | 16. ATL
17. DAL | 18. MIA | 19. LV | 20. JAX
21. PHI | 22. MIN | 23. NE | 24. NO
25. MIN | 26. MIA | 27. SEA | 28. BAL
29. TEN | 30. GB | 31. SF | 32. KC
Bengals get: 1-3, 2-39, 2021 first-round pick (from MIA via HOU), 3-67 (from DET)
Lions get: 1-5, 1-18 (from MIA)
Dolphins get: 1-1, 5-147 (from CIN)
Constructing a viable trade for the first overall pick is usually tough. Making one for the first pick this year is virtually impossible. The Bengals want a quarterback of the future to replace Andy Dalton. LSU’s Joe Burrow is coming off what is arguably the most stunning season we’ve seen from a quarterback in the history of college football. Some people have tried to manufacture narratives and spin quotes to say Burrow doesn’t want to play for the Bengals, which has rightfully gotten their fans upset. I would be absolutely, positively stunned if Burrow was playing quarterback for anybody beside Cincinnati in 2020.
The only reason the Bengals wouldn’t draft Burrow with the No. 1 pick would be if they preferred one of the other quarterbacks in the class. If they did, they could justify trading down to a place in which they could safely draft someone such as Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert or Jordan Love while also acquiring additional assets in the process. That means they can drop only to the third pick, but the Lions don’t need Burrow. So we need a third team in the mix.
While I weighed teams like the Chargers and Jaguars as capable of moving up, the most logical fit here is the Dolphins, who have the most draft capital of any team over the next two years by a considerable margin. They do have to give up a haul to make up the move; as Washington did in 2012 when it moved up four spots to draft Robert Griffin III, Miami sends three first-round picks and a second-round pick to march up the board, dispersing them between the two teams.
The Bengals get three extra picks, including a 2021 first-rounder from the Texans, and still have their pick of the non-Burrow quarterbacks with the third selection. A Lions team that is desperate to win in 2020 adds another first-rounder in this draft. Instead of picking between cornerback Jeff Okudah and linebacker Isaiah Simmons at No. 3, Detroit should still be able to add one of the two defensive standouts at No. 5 and then use the 18th pick to add another impact player on that side of the ball. The Dolphins get the most exciting quarterback prospect in years and still have extra picks in 2020 (first-rounder) and 2021 (second-rounder).
Trade with Jacksonville Jaguars
Washington gets: DE Yannick Ngakoue, 1-9, 2-42, 2021 first-round pick (via LAR)
Jaguars get: 1-2, 2021 second-round pick
With Washington out of the quarterback market, it’s going to take a whopper of an offer to get it away from star edge rusher Chase Young. One way to do that would be to get a big offer — and a bunch of picks — in a swap with the Jaguars. Ngakoue has made no secret of his desire to move on from Jacksonville, including a trip to NFL Live last week. Going off the Frank Clark and Dee Ford deals from last season, his trade value is somewhere around a late first-rounder or an early second-rounder, given that few people were projecting the pick the 49ers were sending for Ford to land at the bottom of the round.
This deal slots Ngakoue and the new contract he’s about to receive in that range. It leaves the Jaguars with the opportunity to draft Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert or Jordan Love, all of whom might be off the board by the time their pick comes up at No. 9. Jacksonville was pleasantly surprised with what it saw from rookie sixth-round pick Gardner Minshew last season, but as it kicks off yet another rebuild after shedding the best draft pick of the Dave Caldwell era, it’s only a matter of time before the Jags gets their quarterback of the future. They still have the Rams’ first-rounder in 2020 (No. 20) plus their own first-rounder and a pair of second-rounders in 2021 to rebuild that defense.
Trade with Los Angeles Chargers
Assuming the first two picks go as planned with Joe Burrow and Chase Young coming off the board, the Lions are in the catbird seat in this draft. The Giants haven’t traded down since 2006, so unless general manager Dave Gettleman gets hacked by his computer guys, any team that wants to get ahead of the Dolphins at No. 5 is going to talk to the Lions. With Detroit coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn likely all-in for their jobs in 2020, though, I wonder whether the Lions will place a premium on adding at least one veteran as opposed to amassing as many picks as possible.
Nominally, the Lions don’t need a tight end, given that they drafted T.J. Hockenson in the first round of last year’s draft and tight ends typically break out in Year 2. Coming from New England, though, I’m quite confident Patricia and Quinn were drilled by Bill Belichick in how valuable one star tight end can be, let alone two. The Lions wanted to run the ball more under Darrell Bevell last season and would be adding a good blocker and a very good pass-catcher in Henry, who would be in line for an extension. They could still add cornerback Jeff Okudah, linebacker Isaiah Simmons or defensive tackle Derrick Brown at No. 6.
The Chargers would be acquiring James on a three-year, $14.6 million deal, but the real benefit would be moving up past the Dolphins to draft their choice of quarterback in Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert or Jordan Love. Losing Henry would hurt their new quarterback, of course, but Henry’s injury issues suggest that they might be better off not signing the 25-year-old to a long-term extension.
Trade with Las Vegas Raiders
Giants get: 1-12, 1-19
Raiders get: 1-4
Another team with the ability to move up ahead of the Dolphins at No. 5 is the Raiders, who still have a first-round pick left from the Khalil Mack deal. Raiders fans might understandably suggest that they don’t need to add a quarterback, but think back to the 2016 Eagles. Both teams had an expensive, competent incumbent at starter with Sam Bradford and Derek Carr. Both teams added a veteran backup during the offseason in Chase Daniel and Marcus Mariota. The Eagles still packaged their picks to trade up for Carson Wentz, and things went just fine.
Coaches from the Mike Holmgren tree can never have enough quarterbacks. If Raiders coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock are in love with Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert or Jordan Love, and their passer is on the board at No. 4, here’s their chance. Carr would still have some trade value as the season approaches; he would be a great fit for the Patriots, who value consistency and protecting the football. The Giants, who will be looking for help on both sides of the line of scrimmage, can address both their offensive line and defensive line in Round 1.
Trade with Dallas Cowboys
Dolphins get: QB Dak Prescott, 1-17
Cowboys get: 1-5, 3-82
If the rumors that the Dolphins aren’t in love with Tagovailoa are true, here’s a Plan B that pushes Miami toward contending much quicker than anybody expected. The Cowboys have repeatedly balked at paying Prescott the sort of contract he expects, and if they don’t want to end up in a Kirk Cousins situation and lose Prescott to free agency after two franchise tags, they’re going to have to trade him before he has all the leverage in 2022.
The Cowboys would be moving up here for one of the non-Burrow quarterbacks, with somebody such as Jordan Love stepping in as the immediate starter in what would become more of a run-first Cowboys offense. This trade values Prescott as something close to the 17th pick in a typical draft by the Jimmy Johnson chart. The Cowboys stuck the exclusive franchise tag on him because they didn’t want to run the risk of losing him for two first-round picks, but I suspect they feared that a team like the Patriots might steal him away for two picks in the late 20s.
Marcus Spears provides some reasons why Dak Prescott is seeking a shorter deal in his contract talks with the Cowboys.
The Dolphins, who shouldn’t have any trouble giving Prescott the deal he wants, would still have three first-round picks in this draft (Nos. 17, 18 and 26) to build around their new franchise quarterback. With the Patriots losing Tom Brady and seemingly planning on building around Jarrett Stidham, the AFC East is suddenly open for business. If Miami trades for Prescott and drafts wisely around him, it’s not crazy to imagine a scenario in which it is competing for a division title in 2020.
Trade with Jacksonville Jaguars
Chargers get: 1-9, 2-42, 2021 third-round pick
Jaguars get: 1-6
While there are plenty of reasons to think the Chargers will draft a quarterback with this pick, it shouldn’t be the only position they consider. Anthony Lynn’s team has a big hole at left tackle and could easily be in the market for somebody to protect Tyrod Taylor‘s blindside. They could draft a left tackle at No. 6, but they would also comfortably still be in the market to grab one before the run on tackles really starts at No. 9. The Chargers already have one of the league’s most talented cores, and if they don’t want to draft a quarterback, trading down would allow them to add both that left tackle and valuable depth to help protect against their annual injury struggle.
The Jags aren’t one player away, but they could have a couple of different reasons for moving up three spots. The Panthers could still pursue a quarterback even after signing Teddy Bridgewater this offseason, and the Jaguars might want to get ahead of Carolina to snatch up Jordan Love. Both the Panthers and Cardinals could be interested in defensive tackle Derrick Brown, and after shedding Marcell Dareus and Calais Campbell this offseason, the Jags could add the 326-pound Brown as a building block alongside edge rusher Josh Allen.
Trade with Washington
Panthers get: 1-2
Washington gets: 1-7, 5-152, RB Christian McCaffrey
The Panthers are faced with an impossible bind when it comes to McCaffrey. The star running back was incredible last season and has a strong case as the NFL’s best back, but that guy was Todd Gurley two years ago. You know what has happened since. It would be unfair to use Gurley as the sole data point in analyzing McCaffrey’s future, but the vast majority of big contracts for running backs have turned out to be disasters. Carolina went through two such deals during general manager Marty Hurney’s first run with the team, when both Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams struggled after signing lucrative deals to stay with the team.
McCaffrey is eligible for an extension this offseason. If the Panthers are going to buck the trend and deal him before handing out a Gurley- or Ezekiel Elliott-sized contract, now is the time. Washington hasn’t been able to solve its running back problem for years, and McCaffrey gives it a player who can both take pressure off Dwayne Haskins and actually get people into what was a half-empty stadium last season. New coach Ron Rivera knows how helpful McCaffrey can be. Washington would miss out on pass-rusher Chase Young, but it would still be in line to draft its left tackle of the future at No. 7 and move on from Trent Williams.
This trade values McCaffrey as equivalent to the 15th pick in a typical draft by the Jimmy Johnson chart. The Panthers would be moving up to grab either a much-needed franchise pass-rusher in Young or their quarterback of the future, sneaking ahead of whichever team might try to trade with the Lions at No. 3. It’s far more likely that the Panthers just extend McCaffrey’s contract and hope he’s the exception to the rule about running backs, but if they trust recent history, the time to deal the former Stanford star is now.
Cardinals get: 1-23, 3-98 (from NE), 2-55, 3-92, 4-129 (from BAL)
Ravens get: 2021 first-round pick (from NE)
Patriots get: 1-8
The Patriots have never made this sort of trade under Bill Belichick, but desperate times call for desperate measures. If they want to move forward with Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer at quarterback, they won’t need to make this sort of deal. If they want to go after Justin Herbert or Jordan Love, though, this is the sweet spot for New England, which doesn’t have a second-round pick and probably doesn’t want to commit the draft capital to get much higher. The Jaguars could be in line to draft a quarterback at No. 9, so if the Pats think a franchise signal-caller is on the board, they’re going to have to move up to get him.
With just one player to show from the five drafts general managers Rod Graves and Steve Keim oversaw between 2012 and 2016, the Cardinals have been forced to rely on free agency to try to fill the holes on their roster. Nobody in the world will fault them for using a second-round pick to acquire DeAndre Hopkins as part of the David Johnson theft, but trading down here and acquiring extra selections makes sense for them in the big picture.
The Ravens, who have five selections in the first three rounds, can afford to be patient as they build their roster around reigning MVP Lamar Jackson. That first-rounder could turn out to be juicy if the Patriots take a step backward in 2020. Baltimore once traded a future first-round pick to the Patriots to find its quarterback of the future and ended up drafting Kyle Boller, with Belichick using the first-rounder from the Ravens to draft Vince Wilfork. This is Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta’s chance to get revenge.
Trade with Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jaguars get: 1-14, 2-45, 2020 fourth-round pick
Buccaneers get: 1-9, 4-116
Tampa Bay is obviously going to be in all-in mode to try to win around Tom Brady over the next two seasons, so draft picks are going to mean less to the Buccaneers than to most other teams. Their biggest remaining hole is at right tackle, and with the Browns likely looking toward adding a left tackle at No. 10, the Bucs probably can’t stay put.
Take Alabama tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. ESPN’s NFL draft predictor tool suggests there’s an 81% chance Wills will still be on the board at No. 9 but just an 11% shot he will still be available by the time the Bucs pick at No. 14. If it means protecting Brady, it’s a move the Bucs should consider.
Trade with Las Vegas Raiders
Browns get: 1-12, 3-81, G Gabe Jackson
Raiders get: 1-10
The Browns likely won’t want to move down too far as they look to draft a left tackle, but if they think they can end up with Jedrick Wills Jr. or Mekhi Becton at No. 12, this is a way to address the two weakest spots on their offensive line in 30 minutes. By trading down, the Browns are able to acquire Jackson, who would immediately step in as one of the league’s best right guards as an upgrade on Wyatt Teller. The 28-year-old, who was the subject of trade talks earlier this offseason, has three years and just under $28 million remaining on his contract. Cleveland could then use the No. 12 pick on one of those tackles.
The Raiders would be moving up to get ahead of the Jets, who have to be considering one of this draft’s many wide receivers at 11. ESPN’s NFL draft predictor tool suggests there’s a 93% chance Jerry Jeudy will be on the board here, but that falls to 56% at No. 12. This class is full of wide receiver talent, but if the Raiders think Jeudy is truly special, they probably need to beat the Jets to the former Alabama star.
Trade with Philadelphia Eagles
Jets get: 1-21, 3-103, 2021 third-round pick, CB Rasul Douglas
Eagles get: 1-11
The Eagles don’t typically trade up and give away draft picks, but they might very well think they’re one wide receiver away from competing for a Super Bowl after seeing their offense struggle without DeSean Jackson or Alshon Jeffery for chunks of 2019. I’m extremely confident that there’ll be a talented wide receiver on the board for them at No. 21, but with Todd McShay’s most recent mock draft projecting four wideouts to come off the board before then, the Eagles might need to trade up if they want someone like Henry Ruggs III. ESPN’s NFL draft predictor tool says Ruggs has a 99% chance of being available here and just a 3% chance of being on the board at No. 21.
Jets general manager Joe Douglas is also in the market for a wide receiver for Sam Darnold, but given their needs and a run of dismal drafts in years past, he might need to buy in bulk. Trading down would give them an opportunity to add somebody at No. 21 and another wideout with what would be one of three third-round picks. The unrelated Rasul Douglas would be a flier to compete at cornerback in the final year of his rookie deal.
Trade with Green Bay Packers
Raiders get: 1-30, 2021 first-round pick
Packers get: 1-12, 5-159
Like the Eagles, the Packers find themselves in a difficult situation. They could comfortably stay put and know there will be an interesting wide receiver available to them with the 30th pick. If there’s a guy they love, though, there’s a decent chance he’ll be off the board at No. 30. Again, here are ESPN’s NFL draft predictor tool’s estimated chances of the class’ top wideouts being on the board at Nos. 12 and 30:
If the Packers are willing to take their chances waiting for Brandon Aiyuk or Denzel Mims, they’ll be fine. With Aaron Rodgers declining and turning 37 in December, though, Green Bay should at least think about moving up to go after one of the top wideouts in this class in the hopes that he will make a more immediate impact. The Raiders also need help at wideout, but they’re in Year 3 of Jon Gruden’s 10-year contract and could still use the 19th pick on a wide receiver.
Trade with Miami Dolphins
49ers get: 1-26, 2-56, 5-154, 2021 third-round pick
Dolphins get: 1-13, WR Dante Pettis
The 49ers have two first-round picks but don’t pick again until Round 5 (No. 156). They’re almost surely going to trade away at least one of those two first-rounders for multiple selections to recoup some of the picks they traded away.
The Dolphins have more picks to work with than any team, and assuming they use the No. 5 pick on a quarterback, this would be a move up to grab a left tackle or one of the top wide receivers in this class before their other first-round selection comes up at No. 18. They would also be taking a shot on Pettis, who was publicly buried by Kyle Shanahan last season and might need a change of scenery.
Trade with Carolina Panthers
Buccaneers get: 1-7
Panthers get: 1-14, 2-45, 2021 fourth-round pick
Again, the Bucs are looking for a right tackle, and moving up to No. 7 should give them their pick of the tackle class. A rebuilding Panthers team should be looking to add extra selections as it pieces together its defense.
I considered throwing in a Curtis Samuel-for-O.J. Howard swap as part of the deal; the Panthers could buy low on Howard as part of their rotation replacing Greg Olsen, while Samuel could step in as the third wideout for Tampa after Carolina signed Robby Anderson. Howard spent last season in Bruce Arians’ doghouse, and he would have been a trade candidate under other circumstances, but the upside of giving him a shot with Tom Brady is just too big for the Bucs to move on.
Trade with Jacksonville Jaguars
Broncos get: 1-9, 6-189
Jaguars get: 1-15, 3-77, 3-83
In 2017, the Broncos needed a left tackle and used their first-round pick on Garett Bolles, a move that has turned out to be disappointing. General manager John Elway has invested heavily in trying to fix his offensive line over the past few years, but the Broncos can’t truly evaluate second-year quarterback Drew Lock until they have a competent left tackle protecting his blind side.
Check out the highlights that make former LSU wide receiver Justin Jefferson one of the top receivers in the upcoming NFL draft.
Trade with Minnesota Vikings
Falcons get: 1-22, 3-89, 3-105
Vikings get: 1-16
The Falcons have a horrific salary-cap situation and need to add multiple pieces to their defense. After trading up in the 2019 draft and sending the second-rounder they received from the Patriots for Mohamed Sanu to the Ravens for Hayden Hurst, general manager Thomas Dimitroff needs to add extra picks in this year’s draft to address needs across the defensive side of the ball.
The Vikings will almost surely use one of their first-round picks on a cornerback; they would be moving up here to draft CJ Henderson, who has a 33% shot of being on the board at No. 16 and just a 6% chance when Minnesota has its opening selection at No. 22, according to ESPN’s NFL draft predictor tool.
Trade with New Orleans Saints
Cowboys get: 1-24, 2020 second-round pick, OL Nick Easton
Saints get: 1-17, 5-164
Sean Payton’s team is one of many that have had virtual meetings with Jordan Love. ESPN’s projection suggests there’s still a 78% chance Love will be on the board at No. 17, but that mark falls all the way to 13% by the 24th selection. The Saints have the deepest roster in football, and while they might want to try to add one final piece around Drew Brees, this could be a chance for them to add their quarterback of the future while Brees is still on the roster.
The Cowboys would be adding a second-round pick and Easton, who would compete with veteran Joe Looney and 2019 third-round pick Connor McGovern to take over as Dallas’ starting center after the unexpected retirement of Travis Frederick.
Trade with Carolina Panthers
Dolphins get: 1-7, 3-69
Panthers get: 1-18, 2-56, 2021 first-round pick (via HOU)
If the Dolphins draft a quarterback with the No. 5 pick, they’re going to want to go after an offensive tackle to protect that passer. They addressed the interior of their line by signing Ereck Flowers and Ted Karras this offseason, but they need to draft at least one tackle with an early pick. The top four tackles could be off the board by the time Miami has its second selection at No. 18; moving up to No. 7 would likely let the team pick its favorite of the bunch. Ironically, the Dolphins would use one of the first-round picks they received from the Texans for Laremy Tunsil as part of the package.
Trade with Indianapolis Colts
Raiders get: 2-34, 2-44
Colts get: 1-19
The Colts no longer have a first-round pick after trading with the 49ers for defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, but they could still be looking for an impact receiver to help Philip Rivers and play alongside T.Y. Hilton and 2019 second-rounder Parris Campbell. As I’ve said, it becomes a question of each team’s individual scouting. There will be wideouts available when the Colts pick twice during the first half of Round 2, but if there’s somebody they love, will they be patient enough to wait?
If the Raiders draft their receiver of choice at No. 12, they could move down and use these two second-rounders on defensive help.
Trade with New York Jets
Jaguars get: 1-11, 3-68
Jets get: 1-20, 4-137, DE Yannick Ngakoue
One more Ngakoue trade before we wrap up the Jaguars section of the all-trades mock draft. The Jets re-signed Jordan Jenkins to a one-year deal but didn’t do much to address a pass rush that ranked 26th in adjusted sack rate last season. Ngakoue would slot in as an instant difference-maker for the Jets, who would still be able to draft a wide receiver with the 20th pick.
This deal values Ngakoue as being worth somewhere around the 30th overall selection in a typical draft. The Jags would then have the Nos. 9 and 11 picks, which would allow them to add a quarterback and a difference-maker on the defensive side of the ball. If they want to stick with second-year passer Gardner Minshew, they could use one of those two picks on a wideout to team with breakout star DJ Chark.
Trade with Detroit Lions
Eagles get: 2-35, 4-109, 2021 second-round pick
Lions get: 1-21, 2021 third-round pick
If the first round doesn’t break the way the Eagles are hoping at wide receiver, they could trade down and use two of what would become their four picks in the second and third rounds to add multiple wideouts. They would also add what could be a high-end second-rounder in 2021.
If the Lions don’t draft cornerback Jeff Okudah with the No. 3 pick, this would be a spot in which they could trade up for CJ Henderson or Trevon Diggs ahead of the Vikings, who are going to be thinking defensive back with one of their first-round picks at Nos. 22 and 25.
Vikings get: 2-37, CB Desmond King, 2021 fourth-round pick (from LAC), OT Trent Williams (from WSH)
Washington gets: 4-132, OT Riley Reiff (from MIN), 4-112, 5-151 (from LAC)
Chargers get: 1-22, S Anthony Harris (from MIN)
Let’s try to solve the left tackle market in one fell swoop. The Vikings have spent the past decade unsatisfied with their left tackle options, and while Reiff has been passable during his three seasons with the team, they weren’t thrilled with what they saw from him in 2019. Williams would be an enormous upgrade for Minnesota, although it would need to find the money to give the seven-time Pro Bowler a new contract. Trading away Reiff and Harris, who was given the franchise tag last month, gets the Vikings the room they need.
The Vikings get Williams and a valuable slot cornerback in King, whose role in the starting lineup is murky after the Chargers signed Chris Harris Jr. They could still address cornerback and wide receiver with their picks at Nos. 25, 37 and 58. Washington fans probably aren’t thrilled with this return for their star left tackle, but the market they were hoping to see for Williams hasn’t developed. The team gets three midround picks and a competent left tackle in Reiff, who has two years and $22.8 million remaining on his deal.
Assuming the Chargers use the No. 6 pick on their quarterback of the future, they would be moving up from No. 37 to No. 22 to draft a left tackle. They give up King and four draft picks to get there, but they also get back Harris, who has nine interceptions since taking over as Minnesota’s starting safety next to Harrison Smith in the middle of 2018. Harris would be an instant upgrade on Rayshawn Jenkins and give the Chargers yet another playmaker in their wildly talented secondary.
Trade with New York Giants
Patriots get: TE Evan Engram, 2-36, 4-110
Giants get: 1-23, 3-98
Let’s get the Patriots the tight end they desperately need after losing Rob Gronkowski a year ago. Engram isn’t Gronk, but his versatility and burst as a receiver is levels beyond anything else the Patriots have. He is also under contract for 2020 at just $3.4 million, which is a nice plus for a New England team that is hurting for cap space.
The Dave Gettleman regime didn’t draft Engram, and given the Giants general manager’s emphasis on building around the running game and getting rid of the players acquired by former GM Jerry Reese, it’s fair to say Engram sticks out as a possible trade candidate. He’s unquestionably a talented receiver, but he has also missed 14 games over his first three seasons with various injuries. If the Giants take a defensive piece at No. 4, this would be a place for them to trade up and grab a right tackle candidate such as Houston tackle Josh Jones, whose chances of remaining available fall from 88% at No. 23 to just 4% at No. 36, according to ESPN’s NFL draft predictor tool.
Trade with Miami Dolphins
Saints get: 1-26, 3-70, QB Josh Rosen
Dolphins get: 1-24, 3-88, 2021 sixth-round pick
Here’s another way for the Saints to try to find their quarterback of the future behind Drew Brees and Taysom Hill. Rosen has shown nothing in his first two seasons as a pro quarterback, but this would be acquiring the former 10th overall selection for what amounts to a late-round pick. He is due only $5.2 million over the next two years, and after dealing with disastrous offensive lines in Arizona and Miami, it’s entirely possible he could look like a new man after getting to spend time working underneath Payton and Brees. He did impress in a preseason win against the Saints back in 2018, if that’s worth anything.
If the Dolphins draft a quarterback in the first round, they don’t have a need for Rosen, who would be a distant third on the depth chart. They would move up three spots here to get ahead of the Vikings, who could consider drafting an offensive lineman or a wide receiver ahead of Miami at No. 26.
Trade with Carolina Panthers
Vikings get: 2-38, 4-113, WR Curtis Samuel
Panthers get: 1-25, 4-132
If the Vikings use the No. 22 pick to add a cornerback, this could be a way for them to add a wide receiver capable of making a more immediate impact than a draft pick. Samuel struggled to stay healthy during his first two seasons in the league and didn’t always get to show what he could do with Kyle Allen under center in 2020, but he has flashed potential at times as an explosive receiver who can threaten teams with his versatility and ability with the ball in his hands.
With Robby Anderson moving into the starting lineup, the Panthers could use Samuel as a way to move up and grab someone such as Justin Jefferson, who worked under new offensive coordinator Joe Brady at LSU last season.
Check out highlights from former Louisville offensive lineman Mekhi Becton, which make him someone to look out for in the upcoming draft.
Trade with Kansas City Chiefs
Dolphins get: DT Chris Jones, 4-132
Chiefs get: 1-26
The Dolphins spent millions to improve their defense this offseason, but the pass-rushers they imported were guys like Shaq Lawson and Emmanuel Ogbah. Both have upside, but neither is a star. Jones is, and the Dolphins have both the cap space and the draft capital to get a deal done.
He would head directly into the starting lineup alongside 2019 first-rounder Christian Wilkins and give Miami one of the league’s best interior disruptors. Jones has 24.5 sacks and 49 knockdowns over the past two seasons, and at age 25, his best days are still ahead of him. The Chiefs will miss Jones, but if they don’t want to pay the Mississippi State product, this is fair value.
Trade with Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Seahawks get: 2-45, 3-76
Buccaneers get: 1-27
The Seahawks think first-round picks are for two things: acquiring veterans or trading down. When general manager John Schneider chose defensive end L.J. Collier last year with the first-round pick he netted in the Frank Clark trade, it was the first time Seattle had made a selection in the first round of the draft since 2011. Of course, Schneider used his own first-round pick to trade down repeatedly, eventually nabbing six selections, one of which was DK Metcalf.
Few teams can make a better case for trading up than the Buccaneers, who want their best possible roster on the field for Tom Brady in 2020. If Tampa doesn’t address tackle at No. 14, this would be where it would want to add a big body for the offensive line. If right tackle is taken care of, the Bucs could go for added depth in the secondary or an edge rusher to rotate in behind Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul.
Trade with Chicago Bears
Ravens get: 2-50, 2021 first-round pick
Bears get: 1-28
The Ravens have five picks in the first three rounds of this draft, so while they are an organization that typically looks to trade down and amass extra picks, they can afford to get creative. The Bears, on the other hand, find themselves in a more desperate position after a wildly frustrating 2019 season. Their first-round pick went to the Raiders, and while they have an extra second-rounder, various trades have cost them their third-round pick and a pair of fourth-rounders.
General manager Ryan Pace & Co. would be moving up for a cornerback, given that they cut starter Prince Amukamara and have added only former Steelers first-rounder Artie Burns to replace him. Chicago could be looking for someone like A.J. Terrell or Kristian Fulton in this range; if Antoine Winfield Jr. were to fall here, the Bears could also slot Winfield in as a starting safety alongside Eddie Jackson.
Trade with Detroit Lions
Titans get: 2-35, 3-85
Lions get: 1-29, 5-174
The head coaches and general managers in both of these organizations share roots in New England, so it shouldn’t be much of a hassle to get both sides of this trade on the line. If the Lions take cornerback Jeff Okudah at No. 3, this would be a spot for Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn to add edge-rushing help to a pass rush that was 31st in adjusted sack rate a year ago.
Trade with Cincinnati Bengals
Packers get: 2-33, 2021 second-round pick
Bengals get: 1-30, 2021 fourth-round pick, G Lane Taylor
The Packers are in the rare position of having too many starting linemen. Rookie Elgton Jenkins impressed filling in for Taylor last season, which makes the 30-year-old Taylor a trade candidate.
The Bengals need to do a better job of protecting likely No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow than they did of protecting their quarterbacks in 2019, and while getting back 2019 first-round pick Jonah Williams will help, retirements hit the Bengals hard at guard last season. Taylor would give the Bengals a strong veteran on the interior, and this move could push them ahead of the 49ers and Chiefs if they want to target a front-seven piece.
Trade with New York Jets
49ers get: 2-48, 3-79, 5-158
Jets get: 1-31
Wide receiver? Tackle? Cornerback? The Jets need help just about everywhere, so while they could hold on to the extra pick they received from the Giants for defensive lineman Leonard Williams, this would be a move to go and grab someone who might be an immediate starter at one of those spots.
The Niners don’t have second-, third-, or fourth-round picks, so trading down gives general manager John Lynch & Co. something to keep busy with in the middle rounds.
Trade with Los Angeles Chargers
Chiefs get: 2-37, 2020 fourth-round pick, G Forrest Lamp
Chargers get: 1-32
The Super Bowl champs don’t need much; their weakest spot is along the interior of the offensive line, but that’s a spot in which Andy Reid typically trusts his coaching staff to mold midround picks and castoffs from other teams into starters. The Chiefs can trade down and potentially do both this offseason, as they would have two second-rounders while adding a former top-40 pick in Lamp, who has been limited to nine games over three seasons with the Chargers due to injuries.
The Chargers could move up to secure a fifth-year option on a player they like, and if they don’t draft a quarterback early, this could be an attempt to get ahead of the Colts at No. 34 if somebody falls to the bottom of Round 1.