No matter what number of mock drafts are carried out earlier than an precise NFL draft goes on the clock, it is inconceivable to predict all of the trades that can occur in the primary spherical.
The Dolphins made current strikes with the 49ers and Eagles that already shook up this 12 months’s order. Last 12 months, the Buccaneeers, Chargers, 49ers and Packers all moved up at sure factors between Nos. 13 and No. 30 total through the draft, whereas the 49ers, Patriots, Vikings and Dolphins all moved down.
When a workforce trades down, it is not locked into one specific participant at its preliminary choice and would favor to improve its quantity of picks. When a workforce trades up, it’s focusing on a particular participant it would not need to threat dropping to one other workforce selecting or buying and selling up forward of it.
Although 2020 did not have any early motion, the 2021 NFL Draft figures to be totally different due to quarterback demand vs. provide. Knowing the Jaguars, Jets and 49ers are locked into QBs 1-2-3, here is a glance on the most likely trade scenarios growing proper after these picks:
NFL MOCK DRAFT 2021: Patriots, Broncos, Bills make bold trades up; Falcons, Panthers enjoy payoff
Five most likely trade-down candidates
Falcons, from No. 4
This turns into a a lot more durable determination ought to North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance nonetheless be on the board, as Atlanta is enamored with him as a possible successor to Matt Ryan. Regardless if the 49ers take Lance forward of them, the Falcons want to suppose extra about stockpiling throughout positions for a rebuild with Arthur Smith and Jerry Fontenot.
For non-QB choices, Florida tight finish Kyle Pitts additionally will probably be tempting to put in the offense with Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley. But edge rusher, sort out, outdoors linebacker and cornerback are all key defensive wants and the Falcons can flip this choose and nonetheless get good worth at a kind of positions later whereas including draft capital. Between future in Lance and luxurious in Pitts, there is a robust medium obtainable as there are sufficient groups wanting their choose of the fourth QB to give the Falcons nice return.
Dolphins, from No. 6 or No. 18
The Dolphins first ended up three spots decrease, with the 49ers selecting in their previous spot at No. 3 and the Eagles going down to No. 12. But the Dolphins nonetheless can use both their additional choose from the Texans or their very own later choose to manipulate the board additional.
Miami can nonetheless have its choose at vast receiver at No. 6, however it might higher off flipping that for much more capital figuring out it nonetheless holds No. 18. Or, the workforce can take pleasure in one of the best participant obtainable at No. 6 and use No. 19 to get a second-rounder whereas additionally nonetheless getting a participant it wants close to the underside of the primary spherical.
Panthers, from No. 8
The Panthers have freed themselves from going after a QB with the Sam Darnold trade, leaving a number of possibilites in the highest 10. Staying put, vast receiver, offensive sort out, Pitts or a cornerback might be very useful. But additionally they ought to notice they choose a spot forward of the Broncos, the workforce set for now to take the fifth and closing first-round caliber QB. Depending on the place Lance goes and the Bengals, Dophins or Lions not buying and selling down with a QB-needy workforce forward of them, the Panthers might be positioned to maximize return.
Really, it is not solely a QB. Pitts, the remaining top-two sort out (Oregon’s Penei Sewell or Northwestern’s Rashawn Slater) and the presumed third vast receiver (Alabama Jaylen Waddle) all might trigger any variety of groups to go exhausting after No. 8 with the Cowboys, Giants and Eagles looming behind the Broncos at Nos. 10 by way of 12.
Cowboys, from No. 10
The Cowboys are beginning to heat up to taking Pitts as a substitute of addressing their urgent defensive want and taking one of the best cornerback obtainable, both Virginia Tech’s Caleb Farley or Alabama’s Patrick Surtain II. But ought to each corners be off the board, Dallas can be smarter to trade out of its choose vs. going luxurious in the passing recreation. It’s extra of a no brainer for Jerry Jones to trade down ought to Farley, Surtain and Pitts all get chosen in the highest 9.
Under Jones, the Cowboys have a tendency to let the draft come to them, very similar to leaping on falling vast receiver CeeDee Lamb final 12 months. Dallas picks subsequent at No. 44, so flipping this choose for picks in the 20s and 30s would work properly in utilizing three picks on a nook, edge rusher and security vs. sticking with two picks the place the primary is likely to be a attain, anyway.
Patriots, from No. 15
There is a few buzz in regards to the Patriots buying and selling up for Lance, Ohio State’s Justin Fields or Alabama’s Mac Jones. But that is not been in their DNA with Bill Belichick as they’ve way more usually been shrewd trade-down companions. If the 5 QBs are lengthy gone, New England will not be locking into one prospect as many might outline “best player available” for the workforce.
Someone is sure to fall unexpectedly who could have nice worth to one other workforce. The Patriots received the Chargers to trade up for Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray final 12 months, and a both a coveted edge rusher for a selected scheme or Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons may cause a simliar proactive response from one other workforce. The Patriots have 10 picks however solely three in the primary rounds, in order that they ought to take into consideration strengthening capital through high quality over amount.
Five most likely trade-up candidates
Broncos, from No. 9
The Broncos’ clear-cut path to a top-five QB additionally clarifies what different groups want to do to grow to be obstacles towards that, leaping someplace between No. 4 and No. 8. There’s additionally the possibility the 49ers take Jones and the Falcons cross on Lance, and the Broncos could not need to accept who’s left between Lance and Fields.
Denver in a way can be making a preemptive definitive trade for a QB, very similar to San Francisco did when it shot up to No. 3. In that situation, Atlanta, at No. 4, and Miami at No. 6 earlier than the Detroit-Carolina run, can be the most possible as Cincinnati wants to be extra dialed right into a top-five non-QB expertise.
Chargers, from No. 13
The Chargers might use Sewell or Slater at left sort out. They might use Pitts to change Hunter Henry. They might be determined to improve No. 2 vast receiver with an immediate-impact elite starter reverse Keenan Allen. With Justin Herbert coming off a powerful rookie season, it is smart to be a bit of aggressive to guarantee a kind of three picks occurs.
Sitting round for one of the best defensive participant obtainable or reaching for a sort out or vast receiver would not really feel proper. The Chargers might be contenders with one or two huge strikes with Herbert in thoughts and the expertise at offensive positions of want is simply too priceless early. Between the Lions, Cowboys, Giants and Eagles, these plans might be ruinted in the top-dozen picks.
Washington Football Team, from No. 19
Washington signed Ryan Fitzpatrick as a bridge QB for one 12 months and has former Panthers children Kyle Allen and Taylor Heinicke behind him. The Football Team might hope to land Florida’s Kyle Trask at No. 51 total in Round 2, but it surely additionally might need to assault to make amends for the terrible first-round selecting of Dwayne Haskins in 2019. Don’t be stunned if new GM Martin Mayhew makes an influence move with say, the Lions (his one-time employers) at No. 7 to make Washington beat Denver to the punch.
Like the Chargers in the AFC however flipped, with WFT coming off a playoff berth and powerful free company, it might suppose it is a younger upside QB from turning right into a constant NFC contender. That might make touchdown a desired franchise QB whereas the category is robust properly value giving up a a future first-rounder.
Bears, from No. 20
The Bears have the identical reasoning as Washington, though they is likely to be rather less determined now as they had been following the Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson disappointments. Andy Dalton is their bridge they usually is likely to be tremendous including a later-round developmental possibility.
Beyond making an enormous move up for a QB, which they’ve carried out earlier than with GM Ryan Pace — see for Mitchell Trubisky in 2017 — the Bears might need their eye on defensive participant or an offensive sort out to slide up just a few notches.
Buccaneers, from No. 32
The Super Bowl 55 champions have gained one other offseason after nailing their “all in” work with Tom Brady final 12 months. They are taking part in with home cash at this level with no actual instant wants. Would they soar to stash a QB behind Brady? How a couple of key defensive reinforcement or near-future substitute? With Antonio Brown not re-signed but, a luxurious vast receiver choose will also be in the works.
Tampa Bay has been aggressive with GM Jason Licht with the current in thoughts so it is smart it will push for another key piece of alternative as a substitute of sitting on the final first-rounder.