by Michael Chastain – just “lil ole” me
Whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune when trading up, or to field offers from the sea of GMs wanting the extra contract year and by playing them against each other get the most from them by trading down! To think, to plan; to plan, perchance to dream, of what trades may come as we shuffle around on draft weekend, Must give us pause. Tis but part of the calamity that makes us all lifelong Falcons fans! Sorry, I was stuck somewhere in the late 1500s for a moment. Back to 2017…
Trade up! Really!? Is there a Julio Jones quality player in this draft to trade up for? Yes! Myles Garrett is one such player. Is he worth the cost to trade up to get him? Not just NO, but H. E. double hockey sticks NO! How did it turn out for Coach Ditka when he traded his entire draft class plus the following years 1st and 3rd for Ricky Williams? Or, when Washington traded how many first round picks (3) for RGIII? History says do not do it! There is a reason that NFL also means Not For Long. It only takes one play or moment to end a career. Even though Easter is almost here there is no need to put all of even multiple picks into one prospect! Not even prospects with high 1st round grades are guaranteed to become stars or even solid starters. Just ask Todd Marinovich or DE Jamal Anderson!
Patience pays off! Have you ever gone to an auction and found something you wanted so much that you decided to bid on it. You get super excited when you win the item! Then you go to pay for it and you think “How much did I just pay for that?” Stay away from the “Man crush” syndrome! It is very easy to fall so in love with a prospect that feelings get hurt if they go to another team. Then the second guessing starts up and we begin to lose faith in those we trust. Build a list of prospects that will fit and perform well with the current team structure. Maybe a prospect, which is a good fit, with a second round grade is still on the board in the 4th round. Walla! You just drafted great value! But, if that 4th round pick would have been traded away to move up in the second round to select a player that was coveted, then you lose that extra value! Only reach for a player when there are no reasonable offers on the board to add value by trading down!
Trading down in the draft does not always maximize value! Some factors to take into consideration when trading down include: what prospects are currently available, how many spots down are you willing to move, what is the return (are you adding picks or just moving up in later rounds?), how many prospects with later round projections have been identified as positive fits that can help the team be successful, and how many picks does the trading partner have? The final factor is not about greed, but with willingness to give-up draft picks in a trade! Generally speaking people with greater means have an increased willingness to spend. Those with less tend to be more careful about how they spend. The following teams are expected to draft a quarterback: Browns, 49ers, Cardinals, Texans, Chiefs, Chargers, Jets, Bills, and Saints. Of those teams the 49ers and the Browns have 10 and 11 draft picks respectively. Here are two possible scenarios that are low risk high reward for trading out of the 31st pick to quarterback needy teams.
Cleveland has picks 1, 12, and 33. They have a grand total of 11 picks in the draft, the most of any team. Cleveland also has a need at quarterback. Most of the quarterbacks in this draft are considered to be developmental, but that has not stopped Cleveland from selecting a quarterback in the first round in previous drafts. However they currently have a much better front office than in the past. There is not a quarterback worthy of the number 1 or number 12 pick. They will draft DE Myles Garrett with the number 1 pick. They will most likely draft a DB with the number 12 pick. They could trade back from 12 to later in the first round, but it is doubtful that they will use the pick on a quarterback. Cleveland is very interested in a fifth year option on any quarterback they might select in draft this year. They have identified two quarterbacks that they like, Deshone Kizer and Davis Webb. Cleveland is also going to want to jump ahead of New Orleans who has a 38 year old quarterback. Evidently they do not see Garrett Grayson as the future if they are not willing to allow him to be the back-up. Why else would they sign 30 year old Chase Daniels? Look for New Orleans to draft a quarterback with the 32nd pick to learn for a year or maybe two behind Drew Brees before he retires. If we go by the numbers on the draft chart, worst case is Atlanta gets Cleveland’s second pick in the 5th (pick 175) to move back to pick 33. If Atlanta gets a premium for the fifth year option then Cleveland could give-up as high as their 4th rounder, pick 108.
San Francisco has picks number 2 and 34. In all they have 10 picks in the draft. Here again we come back to teams with more picks have an easier time parting with them. Brian Hoyer is not the future of the 49er franchise. New Head Coach Shanahan wants to give a young quarterback a year to learn while Hoyer takes the lumps. He will have John Lynch call up Tommy Dimitroff about that 31st pick. Again worst case by the numbers this trade is worth San Francisco’s second pick in the 4th round (pick 143) and a swap of picks in the 5th round. Atlanta would move up from pick 174 to pick 161. If Atlanta gets a premium for the fifth year option, and to jump ahead of Cleveland and New Orleans, then San Francisco could give-up as high as their 4th rounder, pick 109 and an additional day three pick. A windfall for Atlanta would be to acquire the 49er’s 3rd round pick to move back to pick 34. Lynch is an inexperienced General Manager who may be willing to sell part of the farm to get the player his coach wants!
Both of these trades could potentially add a draft pick for the Falcons with very little risk of another team selecting the prospect that Atlanta would select with pick 31. The biggest factor will be how many quarterback are still on the board when pick 31 is on the clock. The second factor to take into consideration is Coach Quinn’s short draft history. In the 2016 he showed no fear selecting a player with a high second round grade in the middle of the first round. If the top player on his list is on the board there may not be any trading back.
What are your thoughts on the two trade scenarios?
How risky would it be to move farther down in the second round in a trade with one of the other quarterback needy teams?
What players would you be ok with the team trading up in the draft to select and at what cost?
Should Atlanta be more like Green Bay and refrain from draft weekend trading?
Are draft weekend trades more exciting or frustrating?
Are there any players on the team that you would not mind being traded away for a draft pick? If so what round pick would you want in return?