With the draft just a few days away now (oh my god…) I wanted to do a ‘general’ piece about various topics, with the main focus being on the inevitable trade down.
Any long standing readers here will know I’ve been preaching a trade with Cleveland whereby they get #18 and in return send Seattle #33 (the much coveted first selection on day 2), #64 (the last pick of the second round) and #114 (a 4th rounder).
In terms of value charts, it all adds up perfectly and would be a very fair trade for both parties, however…
Barring their second 2nd round pick (#35) it means Cleveland would be done with day 2 very early. They don’t have a 3rd rounder and they’ve given us their 4th rounder so their day would be over just 3 selections in to the day. With a team like Cleveland being in full rebuild mode selections are valuable. I’m just not 100% convinced the trade makes sense for them, with that said there are arguments for both sides which I will go into shortly. I know fans like to poke fun at Cleveland given their lack of success and mismanagement over the years, however they are still a pro football team with people in the building looking to make smart choices. If it comes down to a multi personnel discussion about whether to do the trade, I wouldn’t be surprised if more voted ‘no’ than ‘yes’. That could sway things.
So why could it still happen?
Well…With the departure of the much loved left tackle, Joe Thomas, Cleveland are without the most important protector of the fancy new quarterback they’re about to draft. Realistically, there are only two legitimate first round talents at left tackle this year, Mike McGlinchey and Kolton Miller. If Cleveland want to get a legitimate talent at this position, they’re going to have to move up for one of those two, I’d expect both to be gone before the 21st selection is called out and Dallas is very unlikely to trade down from #19 so Seattle is an obvious choice. John Schneider is also very friendly with John Dorsey (Browns GM) so a trade certainly does make sense in some respects.
Given John Schneider being such a fair man he may even be on board with getting #33, #64 and instead of #114 (4th round), taking their 5th round pick (#150) or even the first 6th rounder (#175).
If Seattle got #33, #64 and #150, it would be a trade that favours Cleveland by 15.64 points, or the equivalent of a (high) mid-tier 5th rounder. Given Seattle’s clear desperate need to infuse the roster with talent and tapping into the strongest part of this draft (day 2), it may be a price they are more than willing to pay.
Another way Seattle could play it is to trade down once, by only a couple of picks, then do the trade with Cleveland. I think it’s fair to say the Cowboys, Lions or Bengals (picks #19, #20 & #21) aren’t going to be thinking about LT). The Bills at #22 certainly could if they keep 2017 second rounder Dion Dawkins at right tackle and the Patriots at #23 are certainly in need of a left tackle, too. However both teams could well trade up for a quarterback, so it’s very much a fluid situation. How the draft board sits now almost certainly won’t be how it sits on draft day. I think this year’s draft is going to set records with trades and am fully expecting the Bills to move up into the top 5, they certainly have the ammo.
When I started writing this article, I was convinced that, in fact, Cleveland wouldn’t pull the trigger on the proposed trade, I even said as much on twitter yesterday –
However, having looked at all the options and put those options onto paper in this article, I am now back to being pretty sold on the trade, however Seattle will receive Cleveland’s 5th rounder as opposed to their 4th.
Another possible consideration is if Cleveland gets an offer they can’t refuse for either #1 or #4, that may really put the trade with Seattle to bed as they will potentially get 2 first round picks plus change in this year’s draft, they’d have absolutely no need to trade with Seattle so let’s explore backup options.
Fortunately, plenty of times have multiple day 2 selections this year. Let’s break them down team by team exploring the possibilities.
New York Giants
Giants could send #34, #66 and #108 (2nd, 3rd and 4th). That would be a fair trade however I don’t believe the Giants will be a realistic trade partner. They are already low on draft picks, trading 3 picks for another 1st rounder doesn’t add up to me.
Colts could send #36 and #49 (both second rounders) which would be a very fair trade. They also have a lot of selections (9) so this trade really makes sense. The Colts also have needs up and down their roster so if they’re really high on a certain round 1 player, I could easily see them pulling the trigger.
Several teams do have a second and then two thirds which wouldn’t work straight up for Seattle, but may do after an initial trade down from #18 but staying in the first round.
For example, if Seattle did a small trade down from #18 to say #23, #24, #25 or #26 then teams such as the Denver Broncos, 49ers, Bengals, Cardinals, Chiefs, Panthers and Patriots may well be interested in taking that pick off Seattle’s hand in exchange for a second and two thirds. Not many teams would likely sell all their second day selections, but it only takes one team to be really high on a particular player for the trade to come off. It’s far from unlikely in my opinion.
Given Seattle would have already traded down once, likely netting a third, that could potentially mean in exchange for the 18th pick, they walked away with a single 2nd and three 3rd round picks. Seattle would be well in play to then trade back into the second with two of those picks and still have a 3rd rounder to make a selection with. It’s a whole lot more ‘long winded’ than a single trade, but it may be what’s needed come draft day when teams are moving all over the place. In this situation, having 2 seconds and a single 3rd would be fantastic value, throw in a possible Earl Thomas trade and Seattle would all but steal the show on day 2. Given they don’t currently select there at all, it would be quite the spectacle.
That’s the trade down talk covered, now onto a few other draft related notes.
I am coming around to Christian Kirk as a Seahawk. Originally, I wasn’t totally sold on the idea at all as I was so fixated on getting a big bodied ball catcher on the roster that Kirk just seemed like ‘another’ short guy that isn’t really needed. However after spending some more time watching him I’m somewhat sold on one basis…That Seattle ends up with multiple day 2 picks. We have needs at various spots and, with the right draft capital, drafting Kirk would be a fantastic addition to the receiving corps in Seattle. He is a perfect fit for the Air Coryell offense that Brian Schottenheimer will bring and will excel in the scramble drill when the offensive line goes to shit and has Russ running round like a maniac.
Everyone seems to have totally gone off the idea of an offensive line selection and transitioned over to the defensive line and for good reason, outside of Frank Clark on the edge, it’s a whole lot of unproven commodities and ‘let’s hope they work out’ guys. There’s a strong chance Seattle does address the need but equally, if Seattle doesn’t love a specific player, I guarantee they will wait. The 2019 draft class is seriously loaded with defensive line talent and the team will know that, if there isn’t a ‘guy’ this year, don’t be too shocked if they add nothing more than a developmental piece on the third day.
I am also convinced an Earl Thomas trade has already been agreed in principle, and with Dallas. Given the draft is in Dallas and Jerry Jones being Jerry Jones, he will want to make it as much of a spectacle as possible with the nations eyes all on him. I am fully expecting the trade to happen on the Thursday or the Friday and the reason for the silence is for the reasons listed above, plus the team and Earl’s agent are discussing a contract extension.
At this point I would be truly shocked if Earl isn’t moved and have said in the past that I didn’t believe for a second that a trade would occur during the draft, but before. However it is becoming more apparent that this won’t happen and for good reason, Jerry will want to make the absolute most out of the blockbuster trade. A simple press conference on a Monday afternoon won’t cut it with the draft so close.
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