After months of evaluations and mock drafts by professional writers and casual fans around the country, the 2017 NFL Draft has all but commenced. While it is certainly fun to mock a round or two of the annual event, here are five potential blockbuster trades that would completely shake up round one:
1. Cleveland trades up for the No. 2 pick – The Browns are reportedly very intrigued by North Carolina gunslinger Mitch Trubisky. It appears though, that they are all but dead set on taking Texas A&M defensive lineman Myles Garrett with the top pick. However, given that Cleveland does possess a plethora of picks in both this year’s and next year’s drafts (11 in each), it would not be out of the picture for them to trade up to the second slot to snag Trubisky. San Francisco (who currently holds the second pick) would likely demand a large price but if any team has the ability to fork up picks, it’s the Browns.
2. New England adds another weapon – With the off-season acquisition of WR Brandin Cooks from New Orleans came the loss of the first-round pick this year – No. 32 overall. However, if a player like Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey or Miami TE David Njoku is still on the board around pick No. 20, don’t be shocked if New England pulls the trigger and gets back into the first-round. Yes, the backfield is fine with the likes of Dion Lewis, James White and newly-signed Mike Gillislee. But just imagine what a game-breaker like McCaffrey could bring to the table. Tight end is also set but Rob Gronkowski is injured more often than not and newly-acquired Dwayne Allen has no guaranteed money (or dead cap) following the 2017 season.
3. Green Bay adds an elite bell cow – The Packers offense is scary as is, but one can only dream about how much better it would be with a consistent running game. By the playoff game in January, Aaron Rodgers was handing off to a return specialist turned wide receiver turned running back in Ty Montgomery. While the Stanford product put up respectable numbers during his brief time in the backfield, it should be a given that Florida State’s Dalvin Cook or the aforementioned Christian McCaffrey would be a major upgrade. Green Bay would have to move up from the current slot of 28, but anything is possible if GM Ted Thompson is in love with one of these backs. Oh, and the Pack just signed longtime Saints OL Jahri Evans. Could this be a sign of things to come?
4. Washington deals Kirk Cousins – It is public knowledge that Redskins QB Kirk Cousins is beyond unhappy in D.C. The seemingly only possible trade partner is San Francisco, a team now coached by Cousins’ former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. Assuming the Browns do not move up to the second pick, Washington could conceivably deal Cousins to San Francisco in exchange for this pick and perhaps another mid-to-late round throw-in. This would throw everything out of sorts, as the Redskins would now be in position to bolster a poor defense (Jamal Adams, Solomon Thomas, Jonathan Allen, etc.) or invest in a future signal caller in Mitch Trubisky.
5. Tennessee acquires even more picks – General Manager Jon Robinson is not afraid to be active on draft day in the hopes of stockpiling future picks. After all, Tennessee owns the fifth overall pick due to a trade with the Los Angeles Rams last April. Due to the fact that the Titans have both the 5th and 18th picks, it is conceivable that they could meet their needs (primarily WR and DB) all in one night. But if Trubisky is still on the board when Tennessee is on the clock, don’t be shocked to see a team leapfrog the Jets (who are reportedly heavily interested in the QB and hold the 6th pick) and grab Trubisky. Possible trade partners include the Bills (10th), Cardinals (13th) and Texans (25th). Swapping with any of these teams would return a boatload of picks for the Titans. Since there are three quality round-one WR (John Ross, Mike Williams and Corey Davis) in a loaded defensive back draft, Tennessee could still pick a WR with its 18th pick and a DB or two in the subsequent rounds.