Over the last week or so since I have come over to BTB away from the Mothership, I have noticed one prevailing trend, the discussion of trading the 14th pick and moving back in the draft. Of course this only works if someone is willing to trade several picks to move up to get a player, but the idea is still a good discussion.
The main reason why I feel as though trading back in this draft in particular makes sense, is because of the projected rankings of the players available. All of the players who are deemed to have mid-1st rd value have glaring question marks, Ingram, Coples, Kirkpatrick, Brockers, Poe, Jenkins, all have questions and all these questions can certainly muddy the water so to speak. So the natural answer is either to trade up out of the mud, and into the clean water, and get a stud, or trade back out of the mud, and let the draft action clear the water for you.
Considering how shallow the top part of this draft is, only about 6-8 elite guys, I don't think trading up has the value. So I vote for a trade down.
More after the jump...
Another aspect of this draft that lends to trading down is the depth of the second tier of players. According to Wes Bunting at the National Football Post, who I hold in VERY high regard, the "dirty starter" level of player in this draft reaches as far as the high 70's in his player rankings. What that means is that the difference between the mid-level 1st round guys and the guys all the way through the 2nd and even into the 3rd, is minimal. The draft is especially deep in the secondary, and interior O-Line. So your goal should be to get as many picks in this top 80 as possible to find early contributor/future starter types on defense and the O-Line.
So we trade down... With who and what do we do with that pick?
I think the draft starts to clear up a little bit in the low to mid 20s so that should be the goal, also a trade back to that level would earn back a 2nd round pick, and having an extra second in this draft would be hugely valuable...
So we look at maybe the Browns at 22. I think a suprise partner could be the Patriots, who have 2 firsts and 2 seconds, For illustrations sake here, we'll use the Patriots, assuming Belichek sees a pass rusher or CB in the middle of the first that he falls in love with and moves up to 14 to get. If we take the 27th pick in the first and the 48th pick (2nd Round), that equals the 1100 value pts that the 14th pick recieves.
So the trade happens and the 27th pick rolls around, what do the Cowboys do??? I posted a comment on this earlier but I think it merits discussion.
With the 27th PIck in the 2012 NFL dream Draft, the Dallas Cowboys select.... (this could get me yelled at)
Coby Fleener, Tight End from Stanford.
Before I get mauled in the discussion lets talk about why...
If you look away from the interior O-Line, which is a need, the biggest area of concern is the 2nd TE and the 3rd WR. Basically the need is a 4th recieving option to give flexibility to the offense. Fleener is 6'6" just shy of 250 lbs, and ran a sub 4.5 40 at his pro-day. Thats a guy with an elite size/speed combination, who will grow into his frame even more and could play at 260-265 by 2014. He played in a pro style multiple TE set at Stanford, and caught 10 TD passes. He has the ability to split away from the line and line up in the slot, or out wide to create mismatches in the Redzone (ala Aaron Hernandez/Jermichael Finley).
The flexibility he would provide Jason Garrett from a gameplanning perspective is unreal. Fleener, Witten, and Phillips could be on the field at the same time, and it could be anything from a 2 back 2 TE set to a 2 back 1 TE 2 WR set to a 1 back 1 TE 3 WR set with Witten and Fleener away from the formation. This personnel would give defensive coordinators nightmares, as the offense would be equally potent running and throwing the ball, and if you leave Austin and Bryant on the field with Fleener Witten and Murray, you can be 2 Tight, or 3 or 4 Wide, with the same personnel. This would make the Cowboys offense almost impossible to gameplan for. Fleener would take some of the reps, and the catches that Robinson received last year, and allow the Cowboys to use Andre Holmes, or Dwayne Harris or Kevin Ogletree as the 3rd true WR. He would also make up for Robinson's lost redzone production.
But what about the defense, you ask? Well lets look at the D as we stand now. We are 3 deep at CB, 3 deep at Safety, 3 deep at ILB, 3 deep at OLB, and 7 deep on the D-Line. If we did take a defender, they would be at most a rotational guy, unless its a safety in all likelihood. Are we better off drafting a defender at 14 or even later in the first, and having him be the 4th CB, 3rd or 4th OLB or a rotational D-Lineman, or turning the 14th pick into 2 picks and taking a huge offensive difference maker, and taking a CB who is only slightly lower rated than the one we would have gotten in the 1st, and is equally capable of playing the role they are asked to play? We would get the same product on defense, and add an element to the Offense in the process.
Anyway, I know the likelihood that this happens is little to none, but I think that it is a legitimate idea. Fleener would be a matchup nightmare, and having the extra 2nd round pick might end up being worth more to the D, than a first rounder with just as many questions...
Anyways lets vote.