Less than a week away from the 2014 NFL Draft. Which happens to be one of my favorite days of the year and it’s been a long time coming. The NFL actually pushed back the 2014 draft two weeks, so they can “own” more of the calendar year. Smart for the NFL and great for sites that cover the NFL draft, like this one. But, as a fan, the extra two weeks is killing me, not literally of course. Just this time last year, we would have been talking about draft grades and 53 man rosters. Instead, we have to read more mock drafts….boo-hoo right? No, it’s actually pretty awesome.

Here are five teams that could potentially be trading up to get a player they want or trading down in the first round and stacking draft picks for 2014 and so on.

The first team we are going to talk about is the Houston Texans. The Texans currently hold the first overall pick of the 2014 NFL draft. Houston was supposed to be a contender last year and they ended up losing 14 games in a row, to finish 2-14. Shocking pretty much everybody. But, I digress.  What could the Texans do with the first pick? The Texans have more than a few options at number one, they literally could pick whomever they wanted too. But, as of late the Houston has expressed more and more interest in possibly trading down from that number one spot. The Texans currently have 11 picks in 2014, so if they did trade down, one would think it would be to stack draft picks for the 2015 NFL draft or potentially to acquire a current NFL player on another team’s roster. Jadeveon Clowney should be the Texans pick though, unless they get some sort of crazy deal that no team in their right mind should pass up.

Probable trade partners: The Atlanta Falcons, The Cleveland Browns and The Detroit Lions.

The next team likely to trade on May 8th, in the first round? The Oakland Raiders, another team that as of late has expressed interest in moving from where they pick at five. But, unlike the Houston Texans who have 11 picks, the Raiders only have seven this year and they don’t have a pick at all in the fifth or sixth round. If the Raiders do happen to trade down, it would probably be to get some additional draft picks for 2014 and possibly 2015. Just over this past weekend, Chris Mortenson of ESPN.com reported that the San Francisco 49ers general manager, Trent Baalke had mentioned the possibility of making a “big move” in the first round. Mortenson had also mentioned the Raiders could be a potential trade partner for the 49ers. But, nothing the Raiders or 49ers have said confirm this, it’s all just speculation at this point. However, it is completely possible the Raiders also would have some interest in trading up and maybe trying to acquire Jadeveaon Clowney, Sammy Watkins or Khalil Mack if the Raiders feel they can’t get either of those players at five.

Probable trade partners: San Francisco 49ers, Jacksonville Jaguars and the Dallas Cowboys.

The St. Louis Rams, one of two teams in the 2014 draft that have 12 picks, the other team being the New York Jets. The Rams are the only team though, to have two picks in the top 15 this year. Presently they pick at two and thirteen. The Rams have actually said they want to stay at the number two spot. Now, everything we hear this time of year regarding trades and draft picks should be taken with a grain of salt. Nevertheless, if you were to believe St. Louis, the pick they would either be moving down or up from would be their second pick in the first round, when they pick at 13. This is interesting because the Rams have the “ammunition” to possibly trade up with Falcons, Buccaneers or Raiders and take someone like receiver Mike Evans. Alternatively, maybe they trade down with Cowboys or Jets in the middle of the first, where guys like safety Calvin Pryor or offensive tackle Zack Martin could be available. Everything will depend on what the Rams take with their first pick and is was still available.

Probable trade partners: New York Jets, Oakland Raiders, Atlanta Falcons, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Dallas Cowboys.

Number four on this list, a team that’s been the cause of a lot of trade talk lately, the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons have conveyed interest in drafting a lot of team’s top prospect this year, Jadeveon Clowney. The Falcons have met with Clowney, interviewed Clowney and flew Clowney into Atlanta to work him out at their training facility. I would say they had some interest in, well, Clowney. The Falcons are also one of the eight teams with double digit draft picks in 2014. Needless to say the Falcons have the picks to make a move and jumping from the sixth overall pick to the first isn’t the biggest of moves, but rest assured, the Texans will want another first rounder in return and probably a second for this year. The question here, is Jadeveon Clowney something that the Falcons can pass up on? Because there is no scenario at which Clowney will fall to the Falcons at six. Atlanta will definitely have to trade up to get him. If the Texans do happen to draft Jadeveon Clowney with first pick in 2014 or another team trades up and takes him. It’s not out of the realm of possibilities for the Falcons to trade down too, maybe they don’t like the value of the players left at six. I don’t think the Falcons will trade too far down from their spot at six, maybe to the middle of the pack, around where the Jets pick at 18.

Probable trade partners: Houston Texans, St. Louis Rams, Detroit Lions and the New York Jets.

Trent Baalke said on Friday, “the answers the same every year. Do we have the ammunition to make a jump and go up and get somebody? Yes. Are we motivated to do that? Depends.” So what does it depend on? The player. To figure out what player, we need to look at San Francisco 49ers needs. Personally, I only see two possibilities. The first one being cornerback. The 49ers lost starting cornerbacks Tarell Brown and Carlos Rogers in free agency, both players subsequently signed with the Oakland Raiders. The 49ers did however sign former Vikings cornerback Chris Cook, re-signed CB Eric Wright and Perrish Cox. But, the other cornerbacks on the 49ers’ roster are Tramaine Brock, Dax Swanson, Darryl Morris and Chris Culliver. Only a couple of those guys played at all last year. In today’s NFL, that’s just not going to cut it, you need at least four to five starting corners. Which leads me to where the 49ers might go with their first pick. If San Francisco is going to trade up and select a corner, it will be for one of two guys, either Justin Gilbert or Darqueze Dennard. Currently both are projected to go as early as ten in the draft. Based off of team needs past the ten spot, Gilbert and Dennard could be gone by the 12th pick. So to ensure the 49ers get one of those guys, a trade with the Lions at ten or Bills at nine would have to happen. The other rumor going around, is the 49ers could jump up to as early as five and trade with Oakland Raiders to draft either receiver Sammy Watkins or Mike Evans, depending on who is there when the trade happens and most recently the 49ers have expressed “great interest” in Odell Beckham Jr. The 49ers don’t currently have a large need at receiver, but Michael Crabtree’s contract is up after 2014 and Crabtree in recent times has said he wants “elite receiver money.” The 49ers have a few marquee free agents contracts up in 2015 not named Crabtree and with the re-signing of Aquan Boldin, I don’t think Crabtree will be a 49er after 2014. So a replacement would be smart, maybe just not in the first round.

Probable trade partners: Dallas Cowboys, Baltimore Ravens, Detroit Lions and the New York Jets.

 

The 2014 NFL draft airs on May 8th and goes through the 10th. Let us know if you have questions leading up to the draft.

Follow Trent on twitter @TrentaSaru and see more articles of his on SpoonFedSports.com and listen to him live on NFL Draft Insiders weekly podcast every Wednesday night. 

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