2018 NFL Draft: Potential First Round Sellers
The 2018 NFL Draft is less than eight weeks away. The NFL Combine starts today. The time between the Combine and the Draft is what I like to call “Smokescreen Season”. I call it this because 90 percent of what you hear is generally B.S. or to use the parlance of the times, “Fake News”.
Today, I am going to start sifting through the haze and look at the teams that are prime candidates to be sellers in the first round. Later I am also going to look at the teams that may be looking to be buyers.
WHO WANTS TO MOVE DOWN?
PICK #2 – NEW YORK GIANTS
The Giants new brass is putting the word out that QB Eli Manning still has juice left. If they truly believe this, then they may pass on a QB. They could stay put and draft a playmaker like Penn State RB Saquon Barkley. The more likely scenario is they move back a few spots with a team looking to get their quarterback or Tampa Bay moves up for EDGE Bradley Chubb.
BB PREDICTION: Giants keep the pick and draft a QB
PICK #3 – INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
The Colts have a lot of holes to fill, but QB isn’t one them. The most likely scenario is they stay put and draft Chubb. However, if the Buccaneers (or someone else) jump them, a trade back is certainly in play for a QB needy squad.
BB PREDICTION: Colts stay put and select Bradley Chubb
PICK #4 – CLEVELAND BROWNS
No matter what GM John Dorsey says, I can’t believe the Browns will sell #1. The fourth pick is a different story. If they get their QB at one like I think they will, I believe a scenario exists to move back a few spots and still get a player like Alabama DB Minkah Fitzpatrick or Notre Dame OG Quenton Nelson.
BB PREDICTION: The Browns trade the pick
PICK #5 – DENVER BRONCOS
Most any prediction about what Denver will do completely hinges on their ability to sign free agent QB Kirk Cousins. If Cousins signs in Minnesota or with the Jets, Denver will wither stay put at 5 or move up to draft a QB. If they sign Cousins, then they will trade back or stay put and use it on a player like Quenton Nelson.
BB PREDICTION: Cousins signs with Minnesota, Denver stays put and drafts a QB
PICK #9 – SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
GM John Lynch has shown he isn’t afraid to move around the draft board to get a player he wants or to acquire more picks. If they have a cluster of guys on their board the scenario exists for them to move back a couple of spots and pick up a 3rd. They also may fall in love with a guy and see an opportunity to go up and get them. The NFL Draft is wide open for the Niners especially to be sellers.
BB PREDICTION: 49ers move back for extra picks
PICK #12 – CINCINNATI BENGALS
The Bengals have rarely traded up in the Marvin Lewis era. They have moved back several times. Cincinnati already has 11 selections with added comp picks. So moving back for more picks in the 2018 NFL Draft seems unlikely. However, if a team looking to get whichever QB is free-falling wants to move up, a trade back for a later 2018 pick and a 2019 2nd would be awful hard to pass up. Unless Quenton Nelson is there at 12, then you make the pick and see if he can play left tackle.
BB PREDICTION: Bengals stay put and draft BPA
PICK #23 – LOS ANGELES RAMS
The Rams do not have a second round pick this year or next year. They are also down a fourth this year. I could see a team at the top of the second round wanting to move up to get a sliding player or just to get a 5th-year option on a guy. If they stay put, they can add to their secondary.
BB PREDICTION: Rams move back to acquire picks
PICK #27 – NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Depending on what happens with Drew Brees in free agency the Saints could go several directions. Linebacker is probably their biggest need but I don’t think the value will be there. I could also see a field stretching TE. The same reasons that the Rams would want to trade down also applies to New Orleans. They also are missing their 2nd round pick.
BB PREDICTION: Saints stay put and select BPA
PICK #31 – NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
Bill Belichick is always looking to be a seller, so they are always going to be here. New England only has two picks on day three, so a move back is definitely in the cards.
BB PREDICTION: Patriots move back to the early portion of Round 2
PICK #32 – PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
The Super Bowl Champs do not have a 2nd or 3rd round pick. I can see where a team in the middle portion of round two will fall in love with a player and want to get up to this pick and give up a 2 & 3.
BB PREDICTION: Eagles move back
Let us know in the comments who you think will likely move back in the first round.
The old saying goes “It takes TWO TO TANGO”. Next time we will look at the NFL teams most likely to trade up in the first round.