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2020 NFL Draft: Projecting five trade-down scenarios for the Packers from #30 overall

Brian Gutekunst has been quite the mover and shaker on draft day in his first two years on the job. This year will probably be no different, but a move back seems more plausible than a move up. Here’s how the Packers could move back out of pick #30 by partnering with one of five different teams.

2018 NFL Draft Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

Several times in the past few years, the Green Bay Packers have moved off of their original spot near the end of the first round of the NFL Draft. The Packers traded back from 29 in 2017, picking up a fourth-round pick to slide back four slots to 33. In 2008, they entered the draft holding pick #30 but moved back six places, adding a fourth-rounder that year as well and grabbing Jordy Nelson at 36.

This year, the Packers sit at 30 once again, and a trade back seems like a reasonable possibility. This year’s group of wide receivers and offensive linemen is a deep one, and the Packers might be able to even add a top-100 pick in a move back off that spot this season. The freeing up of compensatory picks to be traded a few years ago offers up some possibilities, and there are several potential partners in the top half of round two who could offer reasonable compensation for that 30th pick.

Of course, judging the value of a trade to see which picks could be involved is the challenge. To that end, APC has analyzed five other teams picking between 34 and 45 as potential trade-back partners, breaking down the options that could make sense. Each of the possible trades will come with discussions of the trade options based on three different trade value charts:

  1. The classic Jimmy Johnson chart that has been in use for decades.
  2. The Rich Hill chart, published by Rich of SB Nation’s Pats Pulpit blog, which looks at past trades to estimate pick values.
  3. The Jason Fitzgerald chart from Over the Cap, which looks at approximate value above replacement to determine the “true” value of each pick.

When examining these charts, keep in mind the values for pick #30 on each: 620 points, 196.31 points, and 1209 points, respectively. OTC has conveniently gathered all of these charts here for easy access.

Indianapolis Colts (#34 or #44)

The Colts are in an interesting position in 2020, having no first-round picks (due to trading for DeForest Buckner recently) but adding pick 34 during last year’s draft when they traded back with Washingon (who moved up for pass-rusher Montez Sweat). This leaves Indy with picks at 34, 44, and 75 on day two and 122 in the middle of round four.

Per Johnson, it would only take 34 and 122 to be at 610 points, fairly close in value to the Packers’ pick at 30. The Colts could toss in one of their sixth-rounders, maybe 193 (13 points) or 197 (11.4) to make up that difference. By the Hill scale, this trade works out to a similar value as well. 34 and 122 are worth 197 points, right on par with pick #30.

Fitzgerald sees a big win for Green Bay here, however, bringing back 1613 points against the Packers’ 1209. On the Fitzgerald scale, small differences in picks towards the end of round one and early in round two have little changes in value, and the drop from 30 to 34 is only 76 points — a difference that is lower than even pick #255. Indeed, by this chart 44 and 193 would be an equivalent for pick 30, totaling up to 1236. However, in practice it should certainly take far more than a sixth-round pick to get the Packers to move back fourteen spots from 30. This will be a trend you will notice with the Fitzgerald model as we go along.

New York Giants (#36)

Dave Gettleman has already shown that he doesn’t really understand positional value, so maybe Gutekunst could get a good deal on draft pick value as well. The Giants forfeited their third-round pick thanks to a selection in last year’s supplemental draft, but they do have a compensatory pick at 99 that might make a deal work, especially if the Packers toss in their fifth-round pick at 175.

Looking at moving back from 30 to 36 and adding that 99th pick might just be doable. The Johnson chart has those two Giants picks at 644 points, leaving the Packers +24. Gutekunst could then throw in pick 175 to make it just GB +4 if Gettleman wants to stick closely to the chart. The Hill chart likes this deal as well, with the Packers getting 202.8 points, or +6.5. That’s almost exactly the value of the 175th pick, making a 30+175 <-> 36+99 swap almost perfectly even.

Once again, Fitzgerald prioritizes the number of picks more so than how high they are. 36 and 99 come out to 1693 points, 484 points higher than the value of the 30th pick at 1209. Even adding 175 won’t make it even, though; Green Bay would have to throw in their fourth-rounder at 136 (413 points) to make it remotely close.

Houston Texans (#40)

In this case, the Packers could ask Bill O’Brien for Houston’s third-round pick at 90 to move back from 30 to the 40th pick, which the Texans acquired from the Arizona Cardinals in the DeAndre Hopkins/David Johnson Trade. That deal would come out as a bit of a win for the Packers under the Jimmy Johnson chart, with Green Bay sending 620 points and getting back 640. Adding the Packers’ 175th pick at 20.2 points would balance this out nicely here.

The Rich Hill chart gives the 30-for-40 and 90 swap as an almost perfectly even trade, however, with Green Bay sending 196 and getting back 194. But under Fitzgerald’s model, the Packers come out ahead again, very close to the initial proposed Giants deal at 1687 to 1209. Again, 30+136 would make this closer on that chart.

If Brian Gutekunst wanted to play hardball however, he could try to talk O’Brien into giving up both of Houston’s second-round picks at 40 and 57 if there’s a player that BOB covets. That would be an even bigger win for Green Bay, but knowing O’Brien’s approach to trades recently, it just might be worth the ask.

Cleveland Browns (#41)

With a new front office taking over in Cleveland, it’s tough to know what their approach will be. However, they have an extra third-round pick this year, the top compensatory selection at 97, and they might be willing to offer that pick and their second-rounder at 41 to move up to 30. Our Shawn Wagner mentioned Cleveland as a possible trade target in a post on Friday.

This looks like a similar compensation in round three to that of the Giants, but with a bigger five-spot drop from 36 to 41. On the Johnson chart, this skews a bit more in the Browns’ favor, as the Packers would get back 602 points. Adding in the Browns’ sixth at 187 would bring it closer at 620 to 617.4.

Per the Hill model it’s farther in Cleveland’s favor, with 41 and 97 worth 184 points total. A better deal for Green Bay under this approach would be picks 41 and 74, which would send the Packers 209.5 points instead. Maybe 30 and 136 for 41 and 74 could do the trick here, giving Cleveland 212 back.

The Fitzgerald model puts 30 for 41 and 97 as another Packers win, with their arrival picks in the low 1600s again.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (#45)

The Packers could also move even farther back, perhaps to pick 45. Tampa has picks at 14, 45, and 76 in the top 100, then also has a pair of fourth-rounders thanks to a comp pick at 139.

Per Johnson, 45 and 76 is a good deal for Green Bay, bringing back 660 points, a net positive of 40. The Hill model likes this as being pretty well-balanced, however, with the Packers getting 192.3, coming up just a bit in the red at -4.0. As usual, Fitzgerald has this as a big plus for Green Bay, however, netting 1714 points and putting the Packers ahead at +505.