As the NFL draft rapidly approaches, you may begin to notice some teams making moves. Whether it be trading picks, players, or both, teams around the league are gearing up to solidify the future of their franchises. The NFL Draft will be held in Cleveland, Ohio from April 29 – May 1.
Below are some likely trade scenarios, backed by my own personal research and opinions:
Falcons Trade Down with Denver Broncos
It would be in the best interest of the Falcons organization to trade the 4th overall pick to the Broncos. This would drop them down to nine and probably get them a few later-round picks as well. At 9, they should continue to build their defense and draft Patrick Surtain II.
With Surtain II and AJ Terrell JR lining up on opposite sides of the field, the Falcons’ secondary would drastically improve overnight. On average, the Falcons gave up 25.9 points per game to opposing teams in 2020. Their record was 4-12, ending the season on a 5-game losing streak.
For a team that gave up 293.6 yards PER GAME to opposing teams through the air last year, most in the NFL, the secondary unit is definitely priority #1 for the Falcons in this year’s draft. Priority # 2 would be getting a DE that can rush the passer. The Falcons’ pass-rushing last year was abysmal. They only averaged 1.8 sacks per game, ranking 24/32 in team sacks per game; lack of pass rush also contributed to the number of passing yards opponents could get off the Atlanta Falcons.
Pro Football Focus believes that this trade is likely in a Falcons trade-down scenario:
Denver can chase their franchise QB this year; Atlanta can do so next year. With Matt Ryan still playing at an elite level, the Falcons would be wise to trade down. Trading down means they can build their defense, and compete to win now!
Bears Track Russell Wilson
Imagine the Russ to Robinson connection. The City of Chicago would riot, and this hypothetical trade would obviously turn the Bears‘ organization around immediately. To get this done, the Bears would need to part with Khalil Mack AND Allen Robinson.
Below is what Dan Orlovsky (ESPN) predicted would be a viable three-way trade scenario. Obviously, Sam Darnold is now with the Carolina Panthers, so keep that in mind. The hypothetical below is unlikely at this point but is a good reference to show the value of Russell Wilson to the Seahawks‘ organization.
The question remains: is this something Carolina would do? No.
Carolina picked up his fifth-year option and seems ready to go to battle with him. The offensive line is a priority for them here. It’s safe to say Carolina is officially out of the QB market, considering they already have their franchise QB.
I would love to see the Bears be dominant again, and it would take a big three-way trade like this for them to have a chance at redemption.
Russell Wilson threw for 4,212 yards last year with the Seattle Seahawks.
Patriots Move Up
Cam Newton is not the Patriots’ long-term solution. He struggled last year and at times it was difficult to watch. He’s their guy to carry the team through this rebuild. However, the 2021 Cam will be vastly improved compared to last year! The Pats added Hunter Henry, a great pass-catching tight end. They also added Jonnu Smith and Nelson Agholor, who will be two more above-average targets for Cam Newton, as he comes off a rough year.
Jarrett Stidham is not going to be the Patriots franchise quarterback for years to come. The Patriots are clearly not confident in the young QB, offering Cam Newton nearly $14M to return to the football club this year. The Patriots will trade up to grab a young QB in this draft.
To acquire a young QB with the ability to lead the Pats to their next dynasty, they are going to need to trade up with the Detriot Lions. The Lions already acquired their QB from the LA Rams, putting them out of the QB market. The Lions can continue to build their Defense by trading back with New England.
Patriots take Trey Lance at 7. Lance, the North Dakota State star, is a mobile QB that is projected to have a lot of upside from this draft class. See footage from Trey Lance’s pro day below.