Who is Looking to Trade up in the NFL Draft?
The Titans showing interesting in Marcus Mariota
With the Tampa Bay Buccaneers recently indicating that they intend to draft Jameis Winston with the first overall pick, the focus shifts to the Titans with the second overall pick. The trend of taking quarterbacks at the top of the draft will probably hold true again this season, as the teams without franchise quarterbacks have once again witnessed the difference that can be made at the quarterback position. The Tennessee Titans have a young quarterback in Zach Mettenberger, that they believe could be their future at the quarterback position. However they have decided that they are willing to take Marcus Mariota with the second pick in this year's NFL draft, because he potentially represents an upgrade at the quarterback position for them. The fact that the Titans have a young quarterback and they are considering drafting another quarterback, makes them a candidate to trade the second overall pick if a team offers them enough value for it. With several teams picking just behind the Titans in this years draft that need a quarterback, the possibility of a significant trade happening is very strong. A further look at who these teams might be, and other possible moves that could be made, will give NFL fans a better idea of how this year's NFL Draft might play out at the top of the first round.
Jets, Browns and possibly the Chargers looking to draft Mariota
The New York Jets have the sixth overall pick in this year's draft, and they would like to end up with Marcus Mariota with their first round pick. The Browns have two picks in the first round this year, but with the twelfth and nineteenth picks, neither pick is very close to where Marcus Mariota is likely to be selected. The Rams have the tenth pick in this year's draft, and their interest in Mariota is mild after trading for Nick Foles this offseason. This leaves the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns as the two most likely teams to move up in an effort to acquire Mariota at the top of the first round. With only one first round pick this year, the Jets would likely have to offer their first round, second round, third round pick and more in order to move up four spots to take Mariota. They could put together a package that sends the Titans a future first round pick, instead of taking away so many picks from this year's draft. The Browns would likely have to start their package for the second overall pick by including both of their first round picks in this year's draft. This positions them as the team that is most likely to make a move up to the top of the draft in order to take a quarterback. Many fans believe that the Eagles will make a significant offer to the Titans for the second overall pick, but that is just speculation at this point because Chip Kelly coached Marcus Mariota at Oregon.
The Jets and Browns will likely continue to negotiate with the Titans leading up to the draft, but the Chargers could get involved as a surprise team in the negotiations. With Phillip Rivers not wanting to play for a team that might move to Los Angeles, the Chargers have been considering their options for the future of the franchise's quarterback position. It remains unlikely that the Chargers would part with Rivers in a one for one deal that would eventually net them Mariota. However, if the Titans were willing to add something to the deal, the Chargers may deal them their franchise quarterback who is still in his prime years. All of this adds up to some very interesting storylines surrounding the top of this year's NFL Draft. With the Jets and Browns having real needs at the quarterback position, they are the most logical choices among the candidates to trade up. The Eagles are in the mix still, and if they emerge with a trade package good enough to trade up to the second overall pick, that would likely mean Sam Bradford would be traded away to one of the other teams that want to trade for the right to pick Mariota.
Who else could trade up in the draft?
With plenty of teams needing an upgrade at the cornerback position, there could be a run on cornerbacks once the top ten selections are made. The result of the first cornerback coming off the board could be that contending teams start trying to trade up in order to select the second and third best options at the cornerback position. With Byron Jones, Kevin Johnson and Marcus Peters likely to be the three cornerbacks drafted after Trae Waynes, teams could move up in order to get the opportunity to select one of those great players at the cornerback position. The Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers are three teams that might be willing to trade a later pick in order to move up a few spots in an effort to guarantee they get the player they want at the cornerback position. With these teams also looking to move up in the draft, the fans could be in for quite a show with interesting moves happening throughout the first round action of this year's draft.
What team or teams will make the big move?
The expectation is that the Philadelphia Eagles will build on their big offseason by making some noise with a significant move in the first round of the draft. The team from the NFC East that is most likely to make a move on draft day this year, is the Dallas Cowboys in search of a top cornerback. The Cleveland Browns with two first round picks, are likely to be the team that moves up to the second overall pick to take Marcus Mariota. These moves might not be the most flashy or the most popular among NFL fans, but if both these teams move up, they will be getting the player they need to make their rosters better. Even with teams not making many flashy moves, this year's NFL Draft should be one of the better drafts in recent memory with depth at many positions of need. Throughout the process of the combine workouts and pro days, many fantastic athletes have emerged for teams to consider taking in the first round.