Trading Up Hullabaloo

Note: The post below operates on the premise that drafting Johnny Manziel is a good idea and that no other QBs are going in the top 7 picks. If you disagree, stop reading. Seriously, stop. It's not worth the argument.

Anyway, I've seen much talk over the past few days (mostly in the media) about our beloved Bucs supposedly looking to do a very daft thing by moving up to #2 in the draft. Now, after hearing this, I spent a good half an hour banging my head against the nearest wall. Well, the nearest metaphorical wall (considering I work in an open-plan office, with glass all around, so the nearest solid wall is 3 floors down). My point is though, I wasn't happy. At all.

However, because I'm super smart, I realised that the likelihood of us trading up is about as likely as (the great) Myron Lewis making a triumphant return to the team and leading us to Super Bowl glory. So why then are there murmurings about trading up, you ask? After all, there's no smoke without fire. But after running through a few mock draft scenarios, I realised we absolutely HAD TO investigate the possibility of trading up. Why? To see if the Rams are serious about moving down, of course.

If the Rams are truly serious about trading away the pick, it means they have no interest in Johnny Manziel. This is important. They likely know he'd be the only player we'd trade up for, therefore, earnest pick-trading discussion between the Bucs and the Rams means he's not their target. They're also highly unlikely to draft another QB in that spot. It's even more important, however, because for our purposes, the Rams ABSOLUTELY NEED TO DRAFT ANYONE OTHER THAN JOHNNY MANZIEL.

According to my mock drafting, if the Rams take Manziel, this is how the draft plays out:

Mack (the above two picks could be switched)
Evans (to the Raiders or to a team who trade therewith)

We're screwed, in this case. Jake Matthews is the best player left on the board but there is absolutely no need for him. We're forced to either make a pretty sizeable reach for Odell Beckham or Eric Ebron, or desperately look to trade down.

However, if the Rams draft Greg Robinson (the most realistic option after Manziel), it's almost certain that the Falcons take Matthews and Manziel falls to us. Even if the Raiders decide to take Manziel, Mike Evans would then be the pick. Either way, we get the right player.

Therefore, it's vitally important to evaluate whether the Rams are looking to trade down. If they stonewall the Bucs' advances, this is worrying. They could trade from 2 to 7 and still pick up Matthews (or at the very, very worst, Taylor Lewan). But if they're set on staying? This means one thing: Manziel. In which case, we have a head-start in terms of looking to either trade to #5 for Evans or, and this makes more sense, trade back in the draft.

In conclusion: our front-office is smart and we're not trading up. Unless we do. In which case, I was wrong and I apologise.

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