As we continue our long conversation about the upcoming draft one idea that is often tossed about is trading back into the second round. This strategy to move back makes perfect sense, most reports point to this draft class being high on depth but short on super elite talents at the top. Or as the now famous quote from draft czar Mike Mayock:
If you’re a playoff team this year, you have to be laughing. First I don’t see much difference between the fifth and 25th pick this year. And I don’t see the immediate difference makers in the top 10.
The reality of this quote has led many to believe that trading back is not going to be easy for many teams this year. However, expanding this concept to the whole of the first round is not necessarily a good idea.
Mayock, appearing on PFT Live, also pointed out that some teams may be aiming to get back into the end of the first round. Most of the teams looking to move back will probably be teams sitting in the top ten picks of the draft and in desperate need of a quarterback, the most obvious three being the Kansas City Chiefs, the Arizona Cardinals, and the Buffalo Bills. Mayock, like many others, points out that none of the quarterbacks in this draft class are worth a top 10 pick, but, he also admits that teams typically need to spend a first round pick in order find that franchise quarterback every organization needs. In order to find value then, it’s entirely possible for one of these teams to use one of the high picks on player more worthy of spot and then attempt to get back into the first round in order to get that needed quarterback.
This is not an unusual strategy. The Cincinnati Bengals successfully made such a move in 2011 drafting stud wide receiver A.J. Green at the number 4 spot and then waited until the second round to pick quarterback Andy Dalton. This allowed the Bengals to get the quarterback needed in Dalton, an amazing offensive playmaker in Green, and best of all they were not forced into joining the rush on quarterbacks like what happened with other franchise that year (cough, cough, the Minnesota Vikings).
If a team like the Chiefs, Cardinals, or Bills needs to move back into the first round the Packers may be in a prime spot to move back. Each of these teams would be high enough in the second round that a similar level of talent should be available, and the Packers would be able to maximize their picks in rounds 2-4, where the most talent lies in this draft. This could be even better if a run on quarterbacks starts in the late 20’s, allowing the Packers to get maximum value for their pick.
Of course this is idle conversation until the draft actually starts. The first round is a fluid day with trade opportunities appearing almost out of thin air, and disappearing almost as fast. Despite the fact that it’s impossible to plan for such an occurrence, it’s nice to know that there still may be plenty of opportunity for the Packers to trade back and still get value on draft day.