With the NFL draft just days away, trade rumors are flying. Last year, perhaps because of the lockout, there were just four trades in the first round. That was a big drop from the previous four years, when there were seven trades on average in the first round. The Seahawks have talked to other teams about moving down in each of the last two years, and they should consider it again this year unless they want to take David DeCastro or Luke Kuechly at No. 12. Here’s the third in a series examining potential trade partners.
One thing seems to be becoming clear: Mark Barron is the odds-on favorite to be drafted 12th overall Thursday.
The Philadelphia Eagles might not be the only team thinking of leaping over No. 14 Dallas to get the Alabama safety. The New England Patriots, who own the 27th and 31st picks, are reported to covet Barron as well and might consider moving above Dallas.
One of the tripping points in any trade down for the Seahawks is the fact that Arizona sits at 13 and might be the first team most movers would contact, since the Cardinals are just above the Cowboys and people would want to pay the minimum necessary to move up. Plus, the Cardinals appear amenable to moving down. So, the Seahawks would need to make sure they are not charging more for the move than the Cardinals.
Instead of asking for both of the Patriots’ first-rounders, Seattle could go for a 1-2-3 combo — the Patriots’ pick at 27, the second-rounder they got from the Raiders (48 overall) and their third-rounder (93 overall).
There are plenty of good players in the second round and the Seahawks should try to add a couple of picks in that round if they can, especially because — based on the consensus of draft analysts — there appear to be about 27 players worthy of first-round grades. As with most drafts, the second round begins toward the end of the first.
The Seahawks’ top target in the second round could be Marshall pass rusher Vinny Curry. After him, there are a bunch of other players they could pursue: LB Zach Brown, LB Lavonte David, TE Dwayne Allen, DT Brandon Thompson, OT Bobby Massie, et al.
Now, the odds are pretty slim that the Patriots, who almost always trade down for a future first-rounder, would alter course and move up high. But their draft strategy of piling up second-round picks and future firsts has not paid off as well in recent years, so maybe they are indeed ready to be aggressive for once.
If so, the Seahawks should have a pre-draft chat with Bill Belichick and let him know they’ll give him a better deal than Arizona.
Here’s how that might work out:
1) Indianapolis QB Andrew Luck
GM Ryan Grigson says the Colts have decided, but he won’t say who it is. He doesn’t have to.
2) Washington QB Robert Griffin III
The Redskins are betting their future on Griffin (let’s hope they don’t ruin his).
3) Minnesota OT Matt Kalil
Absent a move down, the Vikings could use the top tackle in this draft.
4) Cleveland RB Trent Richardson
This doesn’t fit the Holmgren-Heckert blueprint, but how can they pass on Richardson?
5) Tampa Bay CB Morris Claiborne
Forget the Wonderlic; this guy is Ronde Barber’s replacement.
6) St. Louis WR Justin Blackmon
Sam Bradford needs a No. 1 receiver.
7) Jacksonville CB Stephon Gilmore
The Jags would move down if someone wanted Ryan Tannehill here.
8) Miami QB Ryan Tannehill
Can the Dolphins really afford to pass on the QB they know so well?
9) Carolina DT Fletcher Cox
The Panthers need help in the middle of the defense in the worst way.
10) Buffalo WR Michael Floyd
This would seem to be the best-case scenario for the Bills, who could use the big receiver.
11) Kansas City OG David DeCastro
If the Chiefs don’t gamble on Dontari Poe, they figure to go DeCastro or Luke Kuechly.
12) New England S Mark Barron
The Pats would need to jump the Cowboys to get their version of Earl Thomas.
13) Arizona OT Riley Reiff
The Cardinals need to rebuild their line.
14) Dallas DE Quinton Coples
With Barron gone, the Cowboys would go D-line. Could be Coples, Poe or Michael Brockers.
15) Philadelphia LB Luke Kuechly
The Eagles could go DT, but they might love the idea of pairing Kuechly with DeMeco Ryans.
16) NY Jets OLB Melvin Ingram
The Jets need pass-rush help and would have to love seeing Ingram here.
17) Cincinnati CB Dre Kirkpatrick
With Leon Hall iffy to return from an Achilles injury, Cincy is hurting at corner.
18) San Diego OL Cordy Glenn
With McNeill and Dielman gone, the Chargers need to rebuild their offensive line.
19) Chicago DE Whitney Mercilus
The Bears hope pairing local boy Mercilus with Peppers would create a merciless pass rush.
20) Tennessee DT Michael Brockers
The Titans might want to move up for a CB or pass rusher.
21) Cincinnati DE Courtney Upshaw
The Bengals have been collecting former first-rounders at end. Here, they get their own.
22) Cleveland WR Kendall Wright
The Browns need all the offensive help they can get.
23) Detroit OT Jonathan Martin
If they don’t gamble on CB Janoris Jenkins, Martin could replace Jeff Backus at LT in 2013.
24) Pittsburgh DT Dontari Poe
Both lines need help, and Poe could be Casey Hampton’s replacement.
25) Denver DT Jerel Worthy
The Broncos badly need to plug the middle of their D-line.
26) Houston WR Stephen Hill
Andre Johnson can’t stay healthy and has no one on the other side.
27) Seattle DE Nick Perry
The Hawks get an extra second and third, plus a relentless pass rusher Carroll coached at USC.
28) Green Bay DL Kendall Reyes
Reyes would change from DT to end in the Packers’ 3-4.
29) Baltimore LB Dont’a Hightower
The Ravens need to find Ray Lewis’ replacement and should be happy to get Hightower.
30) San Francisco OT Mike Adams
If Stephen Hill is gone, the 49ers figure to fortify their front five.
31) New England DE Andre Branch
The Patriots need a pass rusher, but they are more likely to move down, as usual.
32) NY Giants TE Coby Fleener
Fleener could help replace Mario Manningham and become the next Jeremy Shockey.