We’re less than a week out from the 2021 NFL Draft, and after the Kansas City Chiefs traded for Orlando Brown Jr., there’s no telling what kind of wild trades could be in store in the coming days.
This is the so-called “silly season” of the draft process, where smokescreens are abundant, the rumor mill gets nuts, and all kinds of incredible possibilities are still alive.
Here are three amazing trade scenarios — not counting the one yours truly laid out for Russell Wilson still going to the Chicago Bears — in the 2021 NFL Draft just about any football fan would be hyped to see.
Odell Beckham Jr. traded to Patriots, Browns get 2nd-round pick & Stephon Gilmore
Because Stephon Gilmore is due to be a free agent in 2022 and has an uncertain future, the Cleveland Browns pick up an extra second-round pick from the New England Patriots in giving up Odell Beckham Jr.
It may seem like a strange play for Cleveland to give a superstar talent to the powerhouse Patriots, yet until they prove their quarterback situation is solved, they can’t be considered a legitimate Super Bowl threat.
With multiple years still left on his contract and financial flexibility, Beckham presents a legitimate No. 1 receiver New England has long coveted but failed to land.
As for the Browns’ side of this trade, their defensive backfield is littered with inexperience and a dearth of consistent, proven players at the cornerback position. Gilmore is the ideal veteran mentor for that group, and with that extra pick from the Pats, Cleveland could move up in the first round for another blue-chip talent.
From here, New England could still have enough assets to sacrifice and move up from 15th overall to either get its franchise QB on a rookie contract, or trade that No. 15 pick for, say, Jimmy Garoppolo.
Las Vegas Raiders trade Derek Carr to Chicago Bears, move up for QB
- Raiders get: 20th pick, 52nd pick, 2022 first-round pick
- Bears get: QB Derek Carr
Given that the Chicago Bears’ current quarterback plan for 2021 is to trot out Andy Dalton and hope for the best, what’s stopping them from making this move? It wouldn’t cost a king’s ransom for the Bears to land Derek Carr, who’s underappreciated in perpetuity by the Las Vegas Raiders. Carr hasn’t had even a decent defense to support him since — oh, right, when the Raiders traded Khalil Mack to Chicago.
How amazing would it be for Carr to reunite with Mack and become the two cornerstones of the Bears franchise after they were abruptly, misguidedly separated several years back? Carr is way better than Dalton, and would have an offensive line that improved a lot down the stretch in 2020 and a legitimate No. 1 receiver in Allen Robinson.
What’s great about Carr is that he doesn’t cost much against the cap ($19.6 million) given the caliber of QB he is. Meanwhile, the chaotic Raiders, who’ve been rumored to be digging deep into this year’s crop of quarterbacks, can finally move off Carr and get the latest signal-caller they’re infatuated with. And by “they” I mean Jon Gruden. A good coach who can’t seem to get out of his own way when it comes to personnel decisions.
Anyway, trading the 17th, 20th and 80th picks, along with a 2022 first-rounder — after all, they have Chicago’s in this scenario — for someone like Trey Lance or Justin Fields makes sense for the Raiders, who’d still hang on to a viable stopgap starter in Marcus Mariota.
Minnesota Vikings trade Kirk Cousins and Danielle Hunter
- Trade 1: Vikings send QB Kirk Cousins, 90th pick to Denver Broncos for 9th, 40th picks
- Trade 2: Vikings send DE Danielle Hunter, 78th pick to New York Jets for 23rd, 66th picks
- Vikings top three mock draft picks:
- Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State (Round 1, 9th pick)
- Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan (Round 1, 23rd pick)
- Landon Dickerson, iOL, Alabama (Round 2, 40th pick)
WOW! What a rush. That’s right, say goodbye to Captain Kirk and hello to a new era of Minnesota Vikings football with Justin Fields, at least according to the results of The Draft Network’s simulation.
Disgruntled defensive end Danielle Hunter doesn’t seem interested in sticking with the Vikings, and because the New York Jets could use an established pass-rusher such as him and will already have a franchise quarterback in tow, they could be tantalized at the possibility of pairing Hunter with Carl Lawson on the edge.
Dealing Cousins to Denver is a logical move, as he’d be the ideal operator for Broncos offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur’s West Coast offense. He’d be a serviceable starter for the old-school team led by Vic Fangio.
This trade gives the Vikings a fresh start with Kwity Paye on the edge, another early second-round pick and roster flexibility to build a team that can consistently compete to win the NFC North going forward.