I spoke to a source recently who pointed me to other positions of interest for the Cowboys' 27th pick besides the usual suspects of offensive tackle and safety. He said the team will be prepared in the event the first wave of OTs and top safety prospects like Earl Thomas are gone. Almost as an afterthought, he added, "of course, they could look to trade down..."
In last week's mock prep, I asked people to consider what you would do if the bigger 1st round targets were gone by pick 27. Today, in the spirit of considering all possible permutations, I'm going to investigate trading down. Let's say for argument's sake that the pickings at 27 don't suit the Cowboys. Every player carrying a first round grade is gone, there's little difference between players at 27 and at 37 -- and the phone is ringing.
I've argued that with such a deep draft, teams at the top of the 2nd probably would not look to move up, since they probably wanted to get extra picks in the upper rounds. That was before the free agency period started. Since then,, some teams in the early 2nd have fortified themselves by dealing veterans for extra picks. Right now, I see three teams at the top of the 2nd with the ammunition to move up.
Going off draft value charts*, here are three potential points swaps:
- Dallas trades its 27th pick (value 680 points) to Cleveland
- Cleveland trades its 38th pick (520 points) & the 85th pick (165 points) to Dallas
- Dallas gives 680 points and gets 685 points in picks
I would not be surprised if a deal like this occurred. New Browns kahuna Mike Holmgren and Jerry Jones have traded several times over the years. They swapped 1st round places in '99 so the Cowboys could pick Ebenezer Ekuban; they made the Joey Galloway deal the following spring and they swapped places again in '08 so the Cowboys could move up and take Mike Jenkins. Holmgren isn't a stickler for the draft value chart, taking less than chart value in the Jenkins deal two years ago.
The Browns have traded several vets recently, QB Brady Quinn, LB Kamerion Wimbley and DT Corey Williams, and now have three 3rd rounders and multiple 4th and 5th rounders. If a player grabbed their fancy at 27 they could move on a deal like this and give Dallas an extra 3rd, which would trump the Cowboys lost 5th rounder.
- Dallas trades its 27th pick (680 points) and its 59th pick (310 points) to Kansas City
- Kansas City trades its 36th pick (540 points) its 50th pick (400 points) and its 132nd pick (40 points)
- Dallas gives 990 points in picks and gets 980 points of picks in return
The Cowboys move down into the early 2nd and get to move up nine spots from their late 2nd to the mid round, going from 27th to 18th within the round. This could get Dallas into the end of the 2nd round graded players and out of the early 3rd round grades. Dallas has been burned picking on the wrong side of this fault line in recent years, losing out on guys like Steve Smith and Max Unger. The deal also recoups the 5th rounder Dallas traded away for Montrae Holland. What's more, the pick comes at the top of the 5th, rather than at the bottom.
- Dallas trades the 27th pick (680 pts.) the 59th pick (310 pts.) & the 123rd (49 pts.) to Tampa Bay
- Tampa Bay trades the 35th pick (550 pts.) and the 42nd (480 pts) to Dallas
- Dallas gives up 1039 points in picks and gets 1030 points of picks in return
This is the go-for-broke scenario. Dallas has only six picks because of the Holland deal. This swap costs Dallas its 4th rounder as well. On the other hand, it gives the team two picks in the first ten slots of the 2nd round. Would you swap a 4th for the chance to double dip here?
*(I am aware that draft charts carry less weight these days. I'm using these numbers to identify teams who have the picks to make the type of swaps that Dallas might accept.)