Five underrated players who could be traded during the NFL Draft

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve read all about big-name players being on the trade block ahead of this week’s NFL Draft. There’s a number of household names who could be moved.

On the other end of the ledger, I fully expect some lesser-known players to be traded. That includes a franchise-tagged guard in New England and an electric, young running back currently calling Northern California home.

Here is a look at five underrated players who could be moved during the three-day NFL Draft starting Thursday evening.

Joe Thuney, guard, New England Patriots

New England’s decision to place the franchise tag on Thuney now looks like a bad idea in retrospect. He will earn $14.78 million next season. Given that the Pats are closer to last place than division title contention following the departure of Tom Brady, look for them to move the 27-year-old guard.

The Pats likely won’t get the compensation they’re hoping for here. They are looking at nothing more than a third-round pick. Even then, other teams with needs at guard could come calling. It would require signing Thuney to a long-term deal, but could be well worth their while.

Matt Breida, running back, San Francisco 49ers

It’s quickly becoming a numbers game for San Francisco in the backfield. The defending NFC champs have five running backs currently on their roster after bringing back the injury-plagued Jerick McKinnon. He’s joined by breakout star Raheem Mostert as well as Breida, Tevin Coleman and Jeff Wilson

At least one of these players will be moved. The 49ers extended a second-round restricted free-agent offer to Breida, paying him a mere $3.3 million next season. The former undrafted free agent is averaging nearly 800 total yards at a clip of 5.5 yards per touch throughout his three-year career. He will be of major interest to other teams during this week’s NFL Draft.

Rasul Douglas, cornerback, Philadelphia Eagles

There’s been talk that Philadelphia could very well look to move this former third-round pick during the 2020 NFL Draft. The Eagles upgraded big time at corner, trading for Pro Bowler Darius Slay and signing fellow veteran Nickell Robey-Coleman. Could the 25-year-old Douglas be the odd man out after he took a step back last season?

It’s more than possible. Some speculation has surrounded a player-for-player trade with the above-mentioned 49ers. That could involve Breida or a wide receiver. Either way, look for Douglas to be dealt at some point within the next few days.

Corey Davis, wide receiver, Tennessee Titans

The No. 5 overall pick back in 2017, Davis simply has not lived up to expectations in Nashville. Splitting time between catching passes from Marcus Mariota and Ryan Tannehill, he hauled in just 43 receptions for 601 yards last season. This came after a solid 65-catch performance back in 2018.

Tennessee could very well look to cut its losses by moving Davis for a mid-round pick during the draft. It has an impressive second-year player in A.J. Brown set to become the team’s No. 1 receiver. Let’s not even mention the presence of free-agent acquisition Adam Humphries. It would not be a surprise if Davis were moved. He could use a change of scenery.

Tarik Cohen, running back, Chicago Bears

Speaking of needing a change of scenery, Cohen simply has not fit Matt Nagy’s offensive system since the head coach took over that role back in 2018. The former mid-round pick recorded just 669 total yards last season. He averaged all of less than 10 touches per game. That’s not what I would call using the electric back to the best of his ability.

Chicago is set to move forward with David Montgomery as its top back. Why not look to move Cohen to a better situation while adding valuable draft pick assets? If you’re not going to use him, there’s no reason to retain the smallish back.