2015 Draft: Most Likely Trades In Round One
Trade rumor speculation is at an all-time high with less than two weeks remaining until draft day. Until Roger Goodell shakes hands (or not in the case of our two favorite QBs) with these rookies, these rumors are only just that but regardless of their validity, few of these proposed deals would actually make sense for the respective franchises.
In 2013, the Dolphins moved up to select Dion Jordan, the Rams moved up to select Tavon Austin, and the Jets were able to secure Sheldon Richardson for Darrelle Revis. 2014 saw the Bills move up to take receiver Sammy Watkins, the Browns move up to take Justin Gilbert and Johnny Manziel, and the Saints move up to take Brandin Cooks. All of these players have undoubtedly impacted their teams in extremely positive and negative ways as well as the resulting picks and players sent the other way.
That brings us to now where Marcus Mariota seems to be the epicenter of a rumor hurricane. We've heard plenty of potential landing places from Washington to compete with RG3, to a reunion in Philadelphia, to a swap in San Diego for Philip Rivers.
While most of these scenarios are most likely overly-ambitious fans drooling over the prospect of starting a new season with a fresh face, there are certainly plenty of opportunity beyod Mariota for legitimate deals to unfold as early as day 1. Let's take a look at some of these game changing deals that could drastically change the trajectory of both teams involved.
Atlanta Falcons move up to #2 to select Leonard Williams
With one of the weakest defensive lines in the league, one would think the Falcons were in a great spot with a high pick in a draft full of ferocious pass rushers. Most were certain that Randy Gregory would be available at #8 for them to take which is now almost definite with his recent string of poor team visits and drug related activity. By this time, Dante Fowler, Vic Beasley, and Shane Ray should be off the board. Gregory has created the ultimate boom or bust scenario that Atlanta should not want any part of with such immediate need on the defensive side of the ball. Should the Bucs pass on Williams, I expect the Falcons to be aggressive and secure the safest pick on the draft to join Ra'Shede Hageman on a rebuilding defensive line.
Cleveland Browns move up to #5 to select Amari Cooper
The Browns might be best equipped to make a move on day 1 with a pair of first round picks. There are plenty of dynamic duos they could take and be perfectly content with, or they could take another route by swapping picks with the Redskins to take Amari Cooper. Yet another drug policy violation renders Josh Gordon's 2015 now non-existent while pass catching pro-bowl tight end Jordan Cameron makes his way to Miami. This depleted a large majority of the Browns passing attack and while veteran reinforcements Dwayne Bowe and Brian Hartline, the Browns are in desperate need of a playmaker.
Dallas Cowboys move up to #6 to select Todd Gurley
Gurley's injury history makes him a bit of a risk this early, but his presence is desperately needed in Dallas with Darren McFadden so far the only replacement for last year's leading rusher DeMarco Murray. The Cowboys may roll the dice and hope for Melvin Gordon to be around at #27, or wait until the second round to take Jay Ajayi but taking the tough runner in Gurley might pay off big time for Jerry Jones.
Philadelphia Eagles move up to #7 to select Marcus Mariota
Chip Kelly says none of his moves were part of some grand scheme, but it certainly seems like he's prepared his roster for a big time trade to grab his 9th Oregon Duck in Marcus Mariota. Should the Titans pass on Mariota, I see him falling to Chicago where the Bears have the chance to snag an edge rusher or wide receiver, but could get a value pick at both by trading down with a deep class at both positions.
New England Patriots move up to #11 to select Trae Waynes
The defending champs have a ton of work to do in rebuilding a defense that lost Vince Wilfork, Brandon Browner, and Darrelle Revis in a single offseason. Florida State's Ronald Darby and LSU's Jalen Collins might be around at the end of the first round but the Pats would certainly benefit from making a rare aggressive move to grab the best corner in this draft class.
Buffalo Bills move up to #19 to select Landon Collins
After trading this year's first rounder to Cleveland last year, look for them to get back into the action on day one by snagging the same spot back. With three more capable quarterbacks in Buffalo than in any in Cleveland, and a plethora of young receivers, the Bills might be able to secure the best safety in the draft to address their biggest hole outside of quarterback.