Here are a few trades that simply make too much sense not to happen as teams attempt to meet last-minute needs before the NFL draft.
The last few pre-draft weeks are all about two things for an NFL general manager: fit and flexibility.
Most NFL teams have cemented the tops of their draft boards well ahead of the actual event, with a solid working knowledge of the elite and very good prospects they are considering with their respective selections in the first couple rounds of the event. In the ensuing weeks, prospect visits turn to late-round flyers and potential rookie free agents as general managers and coaches consider a player’s fit for their particular scheme and roster.
When it comes to any real transactions in April, a trade or free agent signing is likely about flexibility for that particular roster. The Chiefs just traded safety Eric Murray to the Cleveland Browns to grab defensive lineman Emmanual Ogbah. For Chiefs GM Brett Veach, it was not just a chance to buy-low on a once-heralded edge rusher—generally a decent proposition no matter the trade. It was also a way to gain draft flexibility, to not feel the urgency to reach for a particular position given the team’s roster needs.
While the very definition of the draft is to serve as a way to refill the roster, teams that make moves to fill immediate needs are always playing catch-up to the league’s elite. The best teams follow their draft boards and insist on best overall value, regardless of need. A team’s best chance of doing this is to reduce the felt need involved.
As teams prepare for draft weekend at month’s end, here are a few trades that simply make too much sense not to happen. Each of these trades would help with flexibility and reduce pressure on general managers to make significant reaches when it would hurt to do so.