The 49ers could be on the hunt for a trade partner for the No. 2 pick.
The Cleveland Browns don’t anticipate trading the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, although Executive Vice President Sashi Brown did say there have been offers. But if the Browns don’t pull the trigger on a trade, there are sure to be other teams in the market.
During the 2016 NFL Draft, there were five trades during the first round, and it’s likely that we’ll see a similar amount next Thursday.
Brown said Wednesday that one of the teams that called Cleveland about possibly acquiring the No. 1 pick was interested in a quarterback, presumably Trubisky. But the likeliest scenario is that the Browns stick with Garrett, leaving the next 31 picks in the draft open for business.
Here are a few teams that could be in the market for a draft day swap during the first round:
Trade down candidates
Garrett appears to be the consensus top player on most draft boards, but there’s a mishmash of prospects in the next tier. Most mock drafts project Stanford’s Solomon Thomas as the second player off the board, but Trubisky, Jonathan Allen, Jamal Adams, and Malik Hooker are all among the names that could also be in the mix.
The 49ers have a lot of needs to address, so plenty of those names make sense, but dropping down to add more young talent is even more logical. And with so many prospects on the board, San Francisco could be in business with the No. 2 pick.
New York has a whole bunch of needs it could address, including quarterback, running back, offensive line and defensive back. Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan has already made it clear he’d like to add more value, and with no clear, best-case scenario at No. 6, the team looks like it wouldn’t hesitate to move down if another team wants to come up.
The Bills have a lot of needs to fill, but just six draft picks to work with. That’s not much for a team that needs help at quarterback, wide receiver, and defensive back.
Like all moves down, it will depend on the players on the board and it’s difficult to project what prospects would be available at No. 10 overall. But if the Bills get an opportunity to add another second-day selection — which should be rich with receiver and defensive back talent — Buffalo should jump at the opportunity.
Trade up candidates
After four consecutive winning seasons and back-to-back trips to the playoffs, the Chiefs have one of the NFL’s best rosters. With 10 draft picks (two each in the third, fifth and sixth rounds), it’s difficult to imagine so many rookies making the team. Packaging some of those picks to get better value early would make sense.
It would also be a good move by the Chiefs to find a quarterback to groom for the 2018 season when Alex Smith’s cap hit balloons to $20.6 million, and has the potential for $17 million in savings if Kansas City moves on. Going up to get the No. 1 quarterback isn’t realistic, but if a passer the Chiefs like drops to an attainable range, they’re primed to go up and secure the future of the position.
Like the Chiefs, the Bengals have a lot of draft picks to work with after receiving one compensatory selection in each of the last four rounds. Cincinnati doesn’t typically make big trades in the draft, but it may not cost much to get a little higher in the top 10 and ensure that the team lands one of the top defensive ends.
In the last three years, Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap were the only players to have managed more than five sacks in a season. Maybe the Bengals could sit tight for Derek Barnett, but if either Solomon Thomas or Jonathan Allen are on the board after the first four or five picks, Cincinnati may opt to slide up.
Everybody knows the Patriots like to wheel and deal on draft day, but New England doesn’t have any chips to play with. After acquiring Brandin Cooks and Kony Ealy, the Patriots aren’t slated to be on the clock until the third round.
But Jimmy Garoppolo and/or Malcolm Butler could be New England’s ticket back into the first round. It’s not exactly the traditional “trade up” scenario, but the Patriots could end up having an impact early in the draft if it moves either player.