The 2020 NFL Draft is only a week away as all 32 teams prepare to find their next potential impact starters that will take over the NFL. During a time when draft picks are more valuable than ever, some savvy general managers could take advantage by trading them for proven talent.
We’ve already seen plenty of big trades this offseason that will have a tremendous impact on the upcoming season. History has also shown that some big names get moved during the NFL Draft and that will likely happen again this year with top players at premium positions available.
Whether an NFL team needs a top pass rusher or a big piece for their offense, the talent is out there on the trade market. Here are five players that could be traded during the 2020 NFL Draft.
Yannick Ngakoue, defensive end, Jacksonville Jaguars
If any star player is going to be moved on Day 1, Ngakoue will be the guy. The 25-year-old edge rusher is a disruptive force coming around the outside. He’s proven it over the past four seasons with 37.5 sacks and an absurd 14 forced fumbles with two interceptions. While the team hit him with the franchise tag, the 25-year-old made it clear he wants out of Jacksonville.
The asking price for the Pro Bowl lineman is admittedly high. When the 2020 NFL Draft arrives, though, odds are the Jaguars will bring down their asking price and be willing to accept a first-round pick. He could be an excellent fit for a team like the Seattle Seahawks or Tennessee Titans, organizations looking for that big piece to put them over the top. Any team that lands Ngakoue will be a winner from the 2020 NFL Draft.
Desmond King, cornerback, Los Angeles Chargers
It’s not often an All-Pro cornerback can be acquired during the draft. However, the Chargers signed Chris Harris Jr. this season and seemingly are overcrowded in their secondary. Given their needs along the offensive line, defensive and at receiver, it could make sense to trade King. After all, this secondary would be able to trade him and still claim its title as one of the best units in the AFC.
There would be no shortage of suitors in King, even if he’s set to become a free agent after the end of the 2020 season. He has proven he can be an excellent cornerback and there are likely still teams around the league that believe he can convert to safety. A few organizations will inevitably miss out on the cornerback they wanted in the first two rounds. When that happens, expect the Chargers to start receiving a lot of calls on their 25-year-old cornerback and he could easily be moved on Day 2 of the NFL Draft.
Kenny Stills, wide receiver, Houston Texans
Less than a year after acquiring him, the Texans are reportedly ready to move on from Kenny Stills. Given the depth at receiver in this year’s draft class and that Stills would carry a $7 million cap hit for the upcoming season, Houston’s potential return would be limited. However, getting something for him is better than paying $7 million for a player that has the same skills as every receiver on the roster.
Given his skills as a vertical threat, the 27-year-old receiver would be intriguing to a lot of teams. Notably, he could be an excellent fit for teams like the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Baltimore Ravens, Denver Broncos and Philadelphia Eagles. He’d likely only cost a sixth-round pick, a move that would provide excellent value for the team that lands him. It’s not how the Texans imagined things would play out, but that’s what happens when Bill O’Brien makes decisions.
Trent Williams, offensive tackle, Washington Redskins
Ron Rivera did his best to try and salvage the relationship with Williams. Ultimately, Williams’ contract demands and a history of issues with the organization led to the current situation. It’s a matter of when, not if, the Redskins trade their top offensive tackle. Washington initially wanted a second-round pick from another team, but that possibility is out the window after not moving Williams during the 2019 season.
The Cleveland Browns, Los Angeles Chargers, Miami Dolphins and New York Jets jump out as potential suitors for the Pro Bowl tackle. Of course, Williams hasn’t played since 2018 and his contract demands are another negative against him. The best-case scenario for the Redskins is landing a 2020 fourth-round pick. At that price point, other organizations will likely be interested and also willing to get an extension done with Williams. Wherever he lands, Williams will be a tremendous upgrade at left tackle and be a wonderful gift for that team’s quarterback.
O.J. Howard, tight end, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers want to provide Brady with as many weapons as possible, but they seem ready to move on from Howard. The No. 19 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Howard hasn’t exactly lived up to his potential. However, his athleticism, size and receiving ability is something that teams will want to take a chance on.
Given Howard isn’t a fit in Bruce Arians’ offense, moving the young tight end for a draft pick is an understandable decision. The timing is also right, with the 2020 NFL Draft being particularly weak at tight end and multiple teams in need. Realistically, the Buccaneers would accept a third-round pick and a fourth-round pick for Howard. It’s a bit of a gamble for any team that acquires him, but the upside could result in them having a stud at tight end.