10 Picks That Will be Traded (2020 NFL Draft)
The 2020 NFL Draft is just a few weeks away. With the rest of the sports world at a standstill, the NFL is making arrangements to ensure that fans, teams, and the incoming rookie class are not robbed of a day they have been looking forward to all season, and in the case of the rookies, most of their lives. It is disappointing that these prospects will not get to follow in the footsteps of their contemporaries and sit in the green room with their families, walk across the stage to get their jersey, and embrace commissioner Roger Goodell, but these are the scary times we live in.
Every year, the NFL Draft features a number of picks traded. The 2019 NFL Draft saw six trades in the first round, and there could be at least that many this year as well. Things will really get interesting on Day 2, as there could be even more than last year’s 17 trades. Let’s take a look at the 10 draft picks most likely to be traded.
2nd overall: Washington
Washington is in an interesting position. One on hand, they can stand pat and land the draft’s most talented player in Chase Young. On the other hand, they may already be deep in discussions with one or more teams looking to leapfrog the Miami Dolphins and Los Angeles Chargers for Tua Tagovailoa or Justin Herbert.
Young would be the ideal scenario if Washington was closer to competing, but the allure of collecting multiple additional assets to move down the first round may prove too tempting to pass up. Washington has no second-round pick, so adding additional capital in such a talent-rich draft should be an internal priority. They have already tried to drum up demand from potential trade partners by letting news leak that they had a discussion with Tagovailoa about competing with Dwayne Haskins. As long as the offers are reasonable, Washington should be considered a strong bet to move out of the second overall spot.
3rd overall: Detroit Lions
If Young is off the board, the Detroit Lions look all but certain to trade down. They are likely hoping to make a deal with the Dolphins or Chargers, as moving to fifth or sixth overall would still give them a shot at Jeffrey Okudah. With the way Washington is run, it is possible that the Lions’ asking price for the third pick is significantly more palatable than what Bruce Allen is trying to extract. Any trade for Detroit’s pick would have to be a draft-day deal, as the team trading up would want to ensure that its target is still on the board.
4th overall: New York Giants
There is no reason for the New York Giants to hold onto the fourth pick. They have a host of needs, and no player they are expected to target — absent Young slipping here if both Washington and Detroit trade down — is a true value at fourth overall. The Giants’ ideal scenario is one or both of Washington and Detroit holding onto their pick, making the fourth pick all the more valuable to quarterback-needy teams looking to land their target.
The Chargers may look to leapfrog Miami, or a team like Jacksonville may believe it prudent to acquire a true franchise quarterback in Tagovailoa or Herbert. The Giants will likely want to stay inside the top 12, so their trade partners will be limited in that regard. With that said, there is a strong probability they move this pick on draft day.
17th overall: Dallas Cowboys
Center, cornerback, wide receiver, edge. The Dallas Cowboys have a plethora of new needs and will also be looking to land an impact player at safety, and potentially tight end. Dallas is dealing with some major free-agent (and one early retirement) losses and is now retooling on the fly. Adding Ha Ha Clinton-Dix likely means that Dallas will no longer be pressured into selecting the top safety on their board.
Moving down from 17th overall would allow the Cowboys to pick up additional draft capital. This is the route they are expected to take, as trading down would enable them to target a positional need without worrying about whether their selection was a true value. Their pick should be a coveted one if made available. Miami will likely select the best player available at 18th overall, which could get teams behind them nervous enough to trade up.
24th overall: New Orleans Saints
The New Orleans Saints should look to trade down from the 24th pick. While it is likely that they would prefer to remain in the first round, they may receive proposals enticing enough to at least consider dropping into the second round. New Orleans does not have a second-round pick and should explore options to acquire one. Trading down makes the most sense for a team without any major needs to address later in the first. As long as the offers are reasonable, this pick should be moved on or before draft day.
29th overall: Tennessee Titans
If there is no right tackle left that Tennessee feels is a first-round talent, the Titans may see it fit to trade out of the first round. They will likely prefer trading back to the top of the second round with a team that wants to get a fifth-year option on a particular prospect. Quarterbacks like Jake Fromm, Jacob Eason, and Jalen Hurts should still be available here. However, there is going to be a wealth of first-round talents still on the board at this point in the draft, so if a team does indeed trade into this spot, it could be for virtually any position.
31st overall: San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers’ motivation to trade this pick may change if Javon Kinlaw, Isaiah Simmons, or Derrick Brown drop to them at 13th overall. They’re expected to take a receiver like Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb, or possibly even Henry Ruggs if no top-10 worthy defensive talent falls into their laps. If they get their wide receiver with the 13th pick, there will be zero incentive to keep this selection. San Francisco has two first-round picks but does not pick again until the fifth round at 156th overall. There was always a strong likelihood that the 49ers traded out of this spot. Now that they have 13th overall from the DeForest Buckner trade, it should be considered all but a certainty.
50th overall: Chicago Bears
Chicago has no first-round pick, but two second-round selections at 43 and 50. After that, the Bears do not pick again until the fifth round (163 overall). Pick 43 overall will be the hotter commodity, and they will likely be tempted to trade it given the superior offers they receive for it versus the 50th overall. However, getting the best player available on their draft board at 43 will likely be in their best interest. This could change if there are a number of similarly ranked prospects left at their targeted position, but pick 50 remains the better bet to be moved. Ideally, Chicago will stay in the second and acquire a third or fourth for its troubles of moving down five or more spots. Houston is a potential trade partner here, as Bill O’Brien may be motivated to move up in order to land a particular prospect.
57th overall: Houston Texans
The Texans a host of needs to address and are candidates to use this pick to either trade up, or move down in an effort to collect additional assets. Three of their eight picks are in the seventh round, and they have no first-rounder. Reeling from some major losses over the last calendar year, they need to be careful not to slam the door shut on Deshaun Watson’s rookie contract window. Questionable trades notwithstanding, O’Brien is always open for business, so he should look to move this pick to accrue additional draft assets. While there will likely be a flurry of picks traded on Day 2 of the 2020 NFL Draft, this is one we can comfortably project to be moved.
98th overall: New England Patriots
Those of you who follow the entire NFL Draft, and not just your favorite team, are well aware that Bill Belichick often puts on a master class on trading up and down to collect additional assets. He is also very cognizant about exploiting the compensatory pick formula to the New England Patriots’ benefit. This year, they have no second-round pick due to the ill-fated Mohamed Sanu trade, which looks even worse in hindsight. Whether they look to package 98th overall in a trade up or trade down to acquire additional draft capital, it is very likely that New England moves this third-round pick. The team has three third-round picks in a 14-pick span (87, 98, 100), and 98 and 100 are close enough for Belichick to shop the higher one. It will be interesting to see which direction the Patriots go here as far as trading up or down.