Every year the first round throws us curve balls as teams move up to target prospects they desperately want. Last year we saw the Los Angeles Rams and the Philadelphia Eagles make those moves in the weeks leading up to the draft while there were six draft day trades in the first round alone. Who could be making those trades this year and for what players? Here is a look.
Cleveland Browns to get North Carolina QB Mitchell Trubisky
With reports of internal debate on whether to take Myles Garrett or Mitchell Trubuisky and 5 picks in the first three rounds, the Browns have the ammunition to move back up to get Trubisky. To get Trubisky the Browns were thought to need to get in front the Bills who have also shown interest. However there is still a belief that the Jets have interest while talk of the Bears and 49ers planning on drafting Trubisky have recently surfaced. But let’s not forget that the 49ers, Bears and Jets have all been rumored to be wanting to move down. To be safe the Browns could move up to #2, but more than likely they’ll need to get somewhere between 5-9.
Prediction: Trade up to 5 with Tennessee and take Trubisky
Carolina Panthers to get LSU RB Leonard Fournette
Most of the offseason the Panthers were the favorite landing spot for Fournette as they transitioned away from Jonathan Stewart and moved to more of a traditional offense. That all changed with Jacksonville’s free agency run filling all of their needs except running back. While the Panthers could stand pat and take Christian McCaffrey, they could also trade up to #2 with the 49ers or with the Bears at #3 where as both teams are wanting to move down.
Prediction: Panthers stay put and draft Christian McCaffrey
Los Angeles Chargers to get Ohio State S Malik Hooker
A common landing spot for Malik Hooker is the Chargers because of their desire to get a single high free safety to be their version of Earl Thomas in the Seattle Style defense. While Hooker could fall into their laps at 7, there is a good chance that the 49ers, Bears, or Jets could draft him. While waiting is likely their option, if Hooker is not available they are sitting there looking at the likes of Jonathan Allen and Solomon Thomas being the choices and neither fill a huge need while receivers like Mike Williams and Corey Davis or any offensive lineman will be a little too rich. This could mean the Chargers hand is forced and they make a move to get the play that fills a major need.
Prediction: Chargers stand pat and hope Hooker falls to them.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers to get Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey
With starting running back Doug Martin on his way out of Tampa Bay the Buccaneers have long been in the running back market. One name that has popped up has been Christian McCaffrey who could provide the creative playcaller Dirk Koetter a true weapon to pair up with Jameis Winston. At one point 19 seemed early for McCaffrey, but now we are hearing he’s a lock to go in the teens and could easily be the pick for the Panthers at 8. If the Panthers get Fournette that means the Saints, Eagles, Colts and Redskins could all be in play. To avoid missing out the Bucs could make a move up to target their next back.
Prediction: McCaffrey goes in the top 10 and the Buccaneers use a day two pick on their next runningback.
Denver Broncos to get Utah OT Garett Bolles
Offensive line and running back issues tanked the Broncos season as it forced Trevor Siemian to be a drop back thrower. Denver made strides this offseason adding Ronald Leary to fill their need at right guard but cut Russell Okung and have a gaping hole at left tackle. While this draft class is weak along the offensive line there are still some talented prospects including Garett Bolles who could be the first lineman taken. John Elway has shown that he can be aggressive when he wants someone as he’s traded up for Shane Ray and Paxton Lynch the past two seasons. 2017 could be a third straight year as Bolles seems to be the only true left tackle option worth taking in the first round. Denver could wait till 20 to get Bolles but to secure him they may have to move ahead of the Ravens who also need a right tackle badly. Making a trade with Indianapolis could be looking to accumulate draft picks to rebuild their defense.
Prediction: Trade up with Indy to get Bollles.
Houston Texans to get Texas Tech QB Patrick Mahomes
Houston performed an act of God by trading away Brock Oswieler and his contract to free up room to potentially make a run at Tony Romo. However with Romo retiring the Texans are now left with only Tom Savage and Brandon Weeden on their roster. Even if they could have signed Romo drafting a quarterback of the future was always an option. Rumors of the Texans and head coach Bill O’Brien loving Patrick Mahomes have littered the rumor mills for weeks. With loads of teams liking Mahomes the Texans may feel they can’t wait till 25 and could move up. The teams ahead of them that could take Mahomes are the Giants at 23 or the Redskins at 17. However there is another report out there that the quarteback talk is all a smoke screen to drive better players down the board.
Prediction: Houston stands pat and passes on a quarterback in round 1.
Atlanta Falcons to get a Pass Rusher
Don’t let their Super Bowl hangover fool you, the Falcons are not going to stand pat. Vic Beasley’s emergence with 15.5 sacks in 2016. However what hurt the Falcons is they lack another edge rusher to take the pressure off of him. Edge pass rushers usually go off the board early which could leave the Falcons sitting high and dry at pick 31. However General Manager Thomas Dimitroff has shown to be aggressive in the past trading all the way up to draft Julio Jones. Could they make another move again this year. The top targets would likely be Derek Barnett and Charles Harris, but they may have to move into the teens to get one of them? Do they move up into the early twenties and get a Taco Charlton to be their new base end? Or do they stand pat and draft someone like TJ Watt or reach a little for Ohio’s Tarrel Basham?
Prediction: Atlanta moves up with Detriot to take Taco Charlton