NFL Draft trades have had a huge impact around the league over the past several years. Let’s look at last year as a case study. The Philadelphia Eagles would not have earned a trip to the Super Bowl without pulling off a blockbuster trade for star wide receiver A.J. Brown during the 2022 NFL Draft.
This has been a common theme for contending teams. That is to say, adding proven veterans to the mix during the draft rather than relying on rookies.
As the 2023 event quickly approaches Thursday evening, we have already seen one mammoth blockbuster take hold with the Carolina Panthers moving up from the ninth pick to No. 1 overall with the Chicago Bears.
In continuing with this theme, let’s check in on five NFL Draft trades we’d love to see during the 2023 event in Kansas City over the next three days.
Jerry Jeudy lands with the New York Giants
- Giants get: Jerry Jeudy
- Broncos get: 57th pick, 128th pick
New York has not been bandied about a whole lot when it comes to Jeudy trade rumors. However, the team is in desperate need of more wide receiver help for recently extended quarterback Daniel Jones. Re-signing Darius Slayton and adding someone like Parris Campbell in free agency just isn’t going to cut it.
In this scenario, the Giants part with second-and-fourth-round picks for a 23-year-old receiver who is coming off a career-best season. In return, Denver nets the type of value it has been demanding for Jeudy on the trade block. This just makes too much sense for both teams.
Related: 2023 NFL mock draft
DeAndre Hopkins to Patriots in blockbuster NFL Draft trade
- Patriots get: DeAndre Hopkins
- Cardinals get: 76th pick
Even after signing JuJu Smith-Schuster earlier in the offseason, wide receiver remains a major need for New England. The team has been linked to the likes of Jerry Jeudy in trade talks but is not willing to give up a first-round pick for the Denver Broncos star.
Instead, New England pulls off one of the most impactful NFL Draft trades for a veteran in recent memory. We know full well how much head coach and quasi general Bill Belichick likes Nuke. Teaming him up with Smith-Schuster for struggling young quarterback Mac Jones without giving up a first-round pick would be great.
Arizona has Hopkins on the block. It is said to be looking for a second-round pick and change for the All-Pro receiver. However, the market just has not been there for him. Instead, Arizona settles for a third-round pick as the team continues with its rebuild. It’s better than having to release the veteran altogether.
Related: 2023 NFL Draft rumors
Minnesota Vikings finally make a play for QB of the future
- Vikings get: 7th pick in 2023
- Raiders get: Lewis Cine, 23rd pick in 2023, 87th pick in 2023, 1st-round pick in 2024, 2nd-round pick in 2024
Minnesota’s decision not to commit to Kirk Cousins beyond the 2023 season tells us a story here. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah is looking to find a long-term solution under center.
What better way than to move up to the seventh selection for prized former Kentucky standout Will Levis or Anthony Richardson from Florida? He can sit behind Cousins for a season, learning the nuances of the NFL game from a true professional.
As for Vegas, it’s becoming clear that head coach Josh McDaniels and Co. are looking to push the quarterback thing down the road. These Raiders replaced Derek Carr with a stopgap option in Jimmy Garoppolo. Meanwhile, Vegas’ lack of movement on the defensive side of the ball during free agency suggests that it will go heavy in the draft.
In this scenario, general manager Dave Ziegler builds up the draft capital to remake one of the league’s least-talented defenses. He also adds a 2022 first-round pick (Lewis Cine) to the mix who can help what has been a disasterclass of a secondary.
Tennessee Titans pull off blockbuster trade to third spot
- Titans get: 3rd pick in 2023
- Cardinals get: Malik Willis, 11th pick in 2023, 41st pick in 2023, 1st-round pick in 2024, 2nd-round pick in 2025
New Titans general manager Ran Carthon is attempting to build the team in his image. That has included moving off several veteran players and making some questionable free agent signings. We now have Tennessee pulling off one of the biggest NFL Draft trades in memory to acquire a quarterback of the future.
The Titans can’t be sold on youngster Malik Willis after some major struggles as a rookie. Meanwhile, veteran Ryan Tannehill is nothing more than a one-year option in Nashville. Acquiring the third pick to select either C.J. Stroud or Anthony Richardson makes a ton of sense.
From Arizona’s perspective, the team is fielding calls for the third selection. We already know quarterback is going one and two. Quarterback-needy teams are going to want to jump the Indianapolis Colts at four, giving the Cards more value in the process.
In this scenario, Arizona picks up two additional second-round picks and what promises to be a high 2024 first-round selection. It also acquires a young quarterback in Willis who boasts untapped potential to exist behind Kyler Murray.
Trey Lance heads to the Indianapolis Colts
- Colts get: Trey Lance
- 49ers get: 35th pick
There has been a lot of talk about the San Francisco 49ers listening to offers for Trey Lance. General manager John Lynch did not shoot down these rumors during his pre-draft press conference. Sure the timing might not be right to move Lance during the NFL Draft with Brock Purdy recovering from elbow surgery.
However, San Francisco does not have a pick in either of the first two rounds. In win-now mode, the defending NFC West champs would be smart to acquire more NFL Draft capital for a player who will likely be a backup for them in 2023.
As for the Colts, they have been linked to Lance in trade talks. For good reason. General manager Chris Ballard and Co. are done with going the veteran stopgap route. Just two years removed from being a top-three pick, acquiring the young Lance for a mere second rounder would be a boon for Indy.