To trade, perchance to err. Ay, there's the rub.


To be or not to be? - Shakespeare


Should I stay or should I go? – The Clash


Paper or plastic? Bob at Kroger’s


These are among the myriad of questions plaguing mankind.  There is no one correct answer to these enduring queries.


Paper will reduce plastic in landfills.  Plastic helps reduce the number of trees cut down each year.


I should stay at the bar chatting to this very attractive woman.  I should go when her really big boyfriend arrives.


To be or not to be – that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And, by opposing, end them.


The NFL draft is approaching fast, so all else is put on hold while the ever encompassing question of whether it is better to trade up or trade down is bandied about.  I know where 5Blings stands on the subject (


Here is what I have found:


Mark Sanchez

Josh Freeman

Jeremy Maclin

Michael Oher

Clay Matthews

Eric Wood


Were all selected by teams trading up in the 2009 NFL draft.  Sanchez led the Jets to the AFC Championship game.  Freeman started the last half of the season in Tampa Bay.  Maclin was a big play threat in Philadelphia.  Oher started at right tackle for the Ravens. Clay Matthews was selected to the Pro Bowl from Green Bay.  Eric Wood played for Buffalo.


Alex Mack was the only first round selection made in last April’s draft (Cleveland) by a team trading down.  The second round selections all need more time to develop to properly judge the results of the trades.  For now, however, the trading seems one-sided in favor of the teams trading up.


In the 2008 NFL draft:


Sedrick Ellis

Derrick Harvey

Branden Albert

Joe Flacco

Jeff Otah

Sam Baker

Mike Jenkins

Dustin Keller


Were all acquired through the draft after their respective team traded up.  Ellis has a Super Bowl ring now in New Orleans.  Harvey plays for the Jaguars.  Albert started for the Chiefs and came on at the end of last season.  Joe Flacco has led the Ravens to back-to-back playoff appearances and an AFC championship game.  Jeff Otah started for the Panthers.  Sam Baker played for Atlanta.  Mike Jenkins went to a Pro Bowl last season.  Dustin Keller made it to the AFC championship game and was a solid tight end for the Jets.


Jerod Mayo (New England), Duane Brown (Houston), and Gosder Cherilus (Detroit) were all selected by teams that traded down but remained in the first round.  John Carlson was acquired by Seattle on a trade up in the second round with the Ravens, but Baltimore drafted Pro Bowler Ray Rice later in that round through that transaction.


Similarly, in 2007, the Jets moved up following a trade with the Panthers to select Darrelle Revis, while Carolina selected Jon Beason.  Both players have played in the Pro Bowl. 


Jacksonville moved back after trading with Denver, and selected Reggie Nelson, while the Broncos moved up to select Mike Shanahan’s last first round bust, Jarvis Moss.  Cleveland also selected an underachieving first round quarterback after trading up to get Brady Quinn


Dallas moved up after the trade to select Anthony Spencer, who played very well at the conclusion of last season.  The 49ers traded their first round pick in 2009 to New England to draft Joe StaleyRyan Kalil from Carolina and Sidney Rice from Minnesota were a pair of Pro Bowl players selected in the second round after their respective teams traded back.


This is just a small incomplete sampling from the last few years, but it seems that trading up smartly will lead to acquiring a player that provides an immediate impact at least half of the time.  Exactly 9 of the 18 players selected in the first round following a trade up either have helped their respective team garner a playoff victory or have made the Pro Bowl.


Consequently, only Jon Beason has made a Pro Bowl (or won a playoff game) as a player acquired with a first round pick after a trade down (20% success rate).  Ray Rice, Sidney Rice and Ryan Kalil improve the success rate of trading down, but second round picks seem to require a little more time to develop. 


Because of the developmental time necessary, it is difficult to judge the efficacy of the trading down strategy.  Examining drafts from earlier in the decade introduces more variables, but should be completed.


Do I have the time to do it, or not?  Yet another question…

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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