Three first-round trades are already in the books for tomorrow's first round of the 2016 NFL draft: The Rams moved up to No. 1 overall, and the Eagles moved to No. 2 overall after previously swapping picks with the Dolphins.
And trade rumors are popping up left and right suggesting there are a lot more trades to come:
- Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported today that Cleveland's front office -- picking No. 8 overall -- has spoken with a handful of teams hoping to move up the board for Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott. The Giants (No. 10), Bears (No. 11), and Dolphins (No. 13) all make sense as trade partners.
- Alex Marvez of Fox Sports writes that the Vikings and Bengals both want WR Josh Doctson and could move up in the first round to get him.
- The Lions really want to draft Alabama center Ryan Kelly. However, the Colts want to draft Kelly, too. Detroit has the 16th pick, two spots ahead of Indianapolis. Could this perhaps entice a trade?
- Jason La Confora of CBS Sports reported that Titans GM Jon Robinson is tirelessly searching for opportunities to move Tennessee back into the top 10.
Even the Cowboys are the subject of some recent trade rumors, though perhaps not in the way most fans would have expected:
Was told Cowboys aggressively looking into having TWO 1st round picks tomorrow night.— Ben Rogers (@BenRogers) April 27, 2016
Frankly, I think if I were to look long enough, I'd find a first-round trade rumor about every NFL team, which makes you wonder just how many trades we'll see by the time the first round is over tomorrow.
The current record for most first-round trades, if I counted it correctly, was in 2012 when 19 separate trades involving that year's first-round picks took place, 16 of which happened on the day of the draft itself.
Could the 2016 draft surpass that total? Teams are more willing than ever to wheel and deal: The new collective bargaining agreement ensures that first-round picks don't cost as much as they used to, and the financial risk of moving up in the first round is much lower than it used to be. A a result, teams are much more likely to move around the board and acquire the prospects they like.
With the amount of teams jockeying for position in this year's draft, surely there's a trade partner for the Cowboys somewhere in there?
Jason La Confora thinks that regardless what happens at No. 3 overall, the Cowboys at No. 4 get a player at a position of acute need, but also thinks the Cowboys could shop the pick.
But the Cowboys will shop this pick and maybe they can convince Dolphins honcho Mike Tannenbaum, who loves to make a splash, to come all the way to get the back he covets. In the end I think the trade probability is relatively low, and Dallas takes the gamble on Bosa, but this is a spot evaluators are watching closely.
La Confora also has an interesting take on a possible Cowboys target:
Sheldon Rankins is going to end up going in the top 10. Maybe even as high as 4th overall to Dallas— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) April 27, 2016
I would love to have Rankins, though I think Rankins would likely be the target if the Cowboys were to trade down a few spots.
But moving around in the draft is not the only way the Cowboys could be a key driver of trade activity tomorrow. Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com believes the Cowboys are one of five teams that control the draft.
Do they take Ezekiel Elliott at No. 4? If they pass on him, it will be interesting to see how far he slides. For a long time, I thought the decision for Dallas at No. 4 would come down to Buckeye vs. Buckeye: Joey Bosa or Elliott? In the last 24-48 hours, I'm hearing that if Jalen Ramsey is available, he's more likely to be their pick.
If the Cowboys do end up passing on Elliott, or trade down and leave Elliott on the board, all hell could break loose in terms of trade activity.
Most common text I've received from teams in Top 15..."We need Zeke Elliott to go the Cowboys at 4." He just might. @NFLonFOX— Peter Schrager (@PSchrags) April 26, 2016