More than in previous years, this offseason around the NFL has been filled with some blockbuster NFL trades. We’ve seen multiple Pro Bowl performers dealt for pennies on the dollar. That list includes the likes of Alex Smith, Marcus Peters, Michael Bennett and Aqib Talib.
In no way does this mean the trade market has dried up. Rumors are persisting that the New York Giants might look to move star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. Meanwhile, multiple teams are attempting to trade up in next month’s NFL Draft to land that coveted franchise quarterback.
Here’s our look at seven NFL Draft trades that we would absolutely love to see once the annual event gets going in Dallas in less than a month.
Bills trade up to second pick with the Giants
This just seems to make too much sense. Bills general manager Brandon Beane has made it clear he’s looking for a franchise quarterback in the 2018 NFL Draft. Trading away previous starter Tyrod Taylor and moving up from the 21st selection to No. 12 overall in the Cordy Glenn deal proves this. But Buffalo can’t sit back at 12 and expect to land one of the top signal callers in the draft. That’s not how the annual event is going to play out next month.
Beane has a built-in relationship with first-year Giants GM Dave Gettleman dating back to their time with the Carolina Panthers. Unlikely to look quarterback with the No. 2 selection, New York could very well decide loading up on draft picks is the way to go here. After all, Buffalo boasts two picks in each of the first two rounds as well as the top pick in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Beane built up that capital for a reason. It’s now time to use it.
Packers move up for Saquon Barkley
This isn’t to discount what Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams did as rookies for the Pack last season. The two combined for nearly 1,300 total yards and 10 touchdowns. That’s not too shabby for two first-year players. It’s also important to note that Green Bay is in need of multiple young defensive backs after failing to address those concerns in free agency.
Even then, wouldn’t it be a hoot and a half to see the dynamic Barkley team up with Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay’s backfield? Talk about a game changer. One of the three-most talented backs to enter the NFL in the modern era, Barkley would add yet another layer to an offense that’s been too reliant on Rodgers in the past. His receiving ability would also come in handy here. Should Barkley fall outside of the top-five, we say Green Bay should pull the trigger and get the generational back. Because, why not?
Rams trade for Odell Beckham Jr.
A battle between Los Angeles and San Francisco seems to be brewing for OBJ’s services. Of course, this is all dependent on the New York Giants actually pulling the trigger on what would be a franchise-altering trade. For their part, the Rams have already added fellow Pro Bowlers Ndamukong Suh, Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib thus far this offseason. They’ve also reportedly made the 23rd pick in next month’s draft available for Beckham.
It’s going to take more than just that one pick for the Rams to give franchise quarterback Jared Goff one of the most-talented pass catchers in the game. Maybe, Los Angeles offers up All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald in a trade. Though, the chances of that seem to be remote. A combination of this year’s first-round pick and a first rounder next year might get it done. In any event, we’d absolutely love to see a Rams offense with the trio of Goff, OBJ and Todd Gurley. That would bring sexiness to new heights in Hollywood.
Cowboys and Seahawks blockbuster deal
Dallas still has no idea what it’s going to do with malcontent Dez Bryant. The team has a major need at safety and could dangle the pass catcher to the receiver-needy Seahawks. Meanwhile, Thomas has reportedly been placed on the trade block after Seattle moved on from fellow defenders Michael Bennett, Sheldon Richardson and Richard Sherman earlier in the offseason. Oh, did we mention that Thomas has made it clear he wants to play for his hometown Cowboys?
A Bryant-for-Thomas trade would not necessarily work straight up. In fact, Dallas would have to part with a pick or two in order to make it work. Maybe something to the tune of its second-round pick could entice a Seahawks team that’s suddenly re-branding on the fly.
Patriots move up for Lamar Jackson
By trading Jimmy Garoppolo, the two-time defending AFC champion Patriots have made it clear that they need another quarterback of the future. Having picked up a early second-round pick from San Francisco in the Garoppolo deal, the team definitely has enough assets to land an heir-apparent to Tom Brady.
We have no real idea where NFL teams value Jackson. One former executive seems to think he’s a wide receiver. Though, that’s archaic thinking in its truest form. Here’s a talented quarterback that’s one year removed from hoisting the Heisman. He has the arm talent and athleticism to do wonders at the NFL level. Potentially a little raw, what better situation than for him to sit behind Brady over the short term? New England could easily make a move up to the late teens to secure a future beyond Brady. It makes too much sense. And we’re all here for it.
Colts package two seconds in move for Derrius Guice
Following a blockbuster trade with the Jets, Indianapolis was able to pick up two second-round picks in the 2018 NFL Draft and a second rounder in 2019 to move down just a few spots in next month’s draft. We fully expect general manager Chris Ballard to utilize those picks as a way to rebuild what has been a talent-stricken roster behind Andrew Luck.
Now, picking sixth overall, there’s a chance Indianapolis looks to team Luck up with Penn State product Saquon Barkley should he fall outside of the top five. We’re here to call shenanigans on that. In no real need of adding a quarterback, the Colts can use that selection on the best player available on defense. Why not then move up back into the first round for a player in Guice who has Pro Bowl potential? Now that Frank Gore has moved on and with very little at running back, a player of Guice’s ilk could create the balance Luck needs as he returns from injury.
Bengals and 49ers swap picks in A.J. Green deal
There’s very little question that Odell Beckham Jr. fits what Kyle Shanahan wants at receiver in San Francisco. The only question here is whether a team that’s intent on building through the draft is willing to exhaust a whole bunch of capital after already giving up a second rounder for Garoppolo. We’re not too sure.
Still in need of that Julio Jones-type playmaker on offense, we would be all for San Francisco offering up the ninth pick and change for Green and the Bengals’ first-round pick (21st overall). Green himself is rotting away with Andy Dalton under center in Cincinnati and would make sweet music teaming up with Garoppolo in Northern California. Whether Cincinnati would pull the trigger on this trade is a completely different question.