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Free agency is all but over in the NFL, until after June 1st anyway, and the major players have all been signed and released leaving teams free to focus 100% of their efforts on the NFL draft. By now most teams will have completed their board, excepting any small changes gleaned from team interviews or new background information that shows up before the draft. For teams that intend to win now acquiring specific players (trading up) makes sense and for those teams that are a year or two away from being a playoff team acquiring developmental talent for the bottom of their roster, or upgrading multiple starting positions to average play (trading down) becomes more important. Most of the communication between teams at this time are geared towards trade possibilities. Truthfully most any first day trade involving a team moving up has had the groundwork laid through discussion in the weeks leading up to the draft. Here's a list of teams that might be interested in moving up or down.

 

#2 San Francisco - Solomon Thomas is probably the second best player in the draft and he almost fills a need for the 49ers, but he is not an ideal fit for a team that has taken similar defensive ends in the last two first rounds. Ideally the 49ers, who are at least two years away from a winning record would like to drop to lower in the top ten so that they can add some extra early round picks over the next two seasons. Carolina and Cleveland are the two most likely suitors, although the Bengals also have the ammunition, if not the desire to move up.

 

#3 Chicago Bears The Bears probably won’t trade unless they are blown away with an offer.

 

#4 Jacksonville Jaguars The Jags could make a move down but would probably prefer to take Leonard Fournette for themselves unless they were blown away with an offer.

 

#6 New York Jets Unless the Jets are sure that there is a quarterback that is their future they need to trade down. A team like Cincinnati  might look to leap over Carolina and take a defensive lineman or running back. If the notoriously cheap Bengals move up it likely won’t be for much and the Jets are the most likely trade partner. Cleveland could, again, move up here for a quarterback.

 

#8 Carolina Panthers Reports from inside the organization are that the Panthers have zeroed in on Leonard Fournette. Other reports are that the team is hoping to get their choice of pass rushers. Truthfully Carolina can probably sit tight and fill both needs with their first two selections, but if they love Fournette then they’ll need to move up. Jacksonville makes sense but might not want to drop and the Bears could be a threat to move their selection as well.

 

#9 Cincinnati Bengals The Bengals almost never trade up, they rarely trade at all, but this could be the year. Jonathan Allen or Soloman Thomas falling to within striking distance of a first and second round choice would be well worth the price. It is reported that they are also enamored with Fournette but it seems like they would have to leapfrog Jacksonville, or else pay a premium to keep the Jaguars from selecting him for themselves.

 

#10 Buffalo Bills probably won’t go anywhere but might drop if the price is right.

 

#12 Cleveland Browns The question is basically do the Browns like Mitch Trubisky. If they do then a trade up makes sense. The Browns have plenty of draft capital and a front office that will be both thorough and efficient at finding it in the future. Adding your QBOTF and Myles Garrett would go along way towards solidifying the team for the future.

 

#20 Denver Broncos Denver needs a left offensive tackle and there are really only two in this draft. Garett Bolles is the better of the two and probably won’t be around at #20. Denver has an extra third round selection and using it to guarantee Bolles would be the wisest use of that pick.

 

#23 New York Giants The Giants need a left tackle pretty desperately and should Denver move up that might force the hands of either the Giants or the Seahawks (also desperate) to move up immediately afterwards. It’s also possible that the Giants don’t plan to wait for Denver and move up to the mid teens to grab Bolles anyway.

 

#26 Seattle Seahawks It looks like the Seahawks are about to be left without a top level left tackle. To keep that from happening the team could also try to move up into the mid teens and select either Bolles or Ramczyk but the Seahawks seem to be more interested in developmental offensive linemen which is why I think waiting until the second round to select a player like Roderick Johnson makes more sense for them, even though Johnson would need a year or two before he could play effectively.

 

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