With the 2019 NFL Draft quickly approaching, trade talks are starting to heat up. What teams are best suited to use their draft capital in a trade situation on draft day?
Believe it or not, the 2019 NFL Draft is this week. Beginning Thursday, April 25 and concluding on Saturday, April 27, 254 young men will hear their names called as they join NFL franchises. This can be viewed as a life-changing event for everyone involved: players, coaches, executives and, yes, even fans.
Every year, we see teams swap picks. Whether it’s for other selections in the draft or for already established players, it’s inevitable. Because eight teams possess at least two or more picks in rounds 1 or 2 of this year’s draft, many teams will have the chance to make a splash. If you expand that to rounds 1-3, that number jumps to 15. With nearly half the league able to some damage, which three teams can do the most?
Honorable Mention: Green Bay Packers. With a pair of first, fourth and sixth-round picks to work with, general manager Brian Gutekunst has a tad bit of flexibility. As quarterback Aaron Rodgers will turn 36 by the end of the season, time is running out for the Packers to surround their star with talent.
3. New York Giants
Shipping stud wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to Cleveland in exchange for safety Jabrill Peppers and a pair of 2019 draft picks, this offseason featured one of the biggest moves in franchise history for the Giants. General manager Dave Gettleman sent a clear message by trading Beckham: This team means business.
Jumping back into the third round and adding the 17th-overall pick to an already legitimate list of selections, New York has some options. Here’s a list of rounds in which the Giants hold at least two selections:
- Round 1: 6, 17 overall
- Round 4: 108, 132 overall
- Round 5: 142, 143, 171 overall
- Round 7: 232, 245 overall
That’s a lot of maneuverability. Starting with the first round, it’s time to draft Eli Manning’s eventual replacement. At 38 years old, the two-time Super Bowl winner hasn’t been able to elevate the play of his team recently. While he certainly has not played as poorly as most would suggest, now is the perfect time to start the transition to life post-Eli. Select a quarterback at 6 or 17 and allow him to redshirt a year under a consummate professional.
After that, possessing a duo and trio of fourth and fifth-round picks opens the door for some depth moves. This team has a bunch of holes, but lots of them can be partially filled with five mid-round opportunities. There’s potential at wide receiver, tight end, offensive line and defensive line — all significant areas of need for New York.
Winning three and five games in 2017 and ’18, respectively, incremental improvement is the focus here. The Giants are unlikely to return to the postseason in 2019 but if Gettleman and company play their cards right, they can set the franchise up for a smooth, quick rebuild.