The 2020 NFL Draft is almost here, and as teams prepare their final big boards and fans complete their mock drafts, the trade rumors are circulating. At this time, select teams look to be likely candidates to move up and down the board on Thursday night. Here is a look at who might move and why:
Los Angeles Chargers (#6)
The Chargers are facing a pivotal decision: Do they gamble and trade above the Miami Dolphins in order to land their long-term replacement of Philip Rivers? This seemed to be a sound bet a few weeks ago, but worrying reports over Tua Tagovailoa’s injury record have clouded the issue. With social distancing measures at hand, it has become increasingly difficult for team doctors to make an informed decision on the Alabama signal caller. The Chargers could wait and see what Miami does, but it will likely depend on the draft board.
Denver Broncos (#15)
John Elway appears to be all-in on getting one of the top three wide receivers in the draft. It is certainly a need if Denver is to put Drew Lock in a position to succeed, but at what cost? The Broncos have a second and three third-round picks in order to execute a deal, but it’s unclear what position they would want to move up to.
Atlanta Falcons (#16)
The Falcons seem determined to move up, and a likely draft target is either Javon Kinlaw or C.J. Henderson. Atlanta needs a play-maker on defense, so the move fits. However, in order to draft Kinlaw, they would likely need to move inside the top 10. With only six total picks in the upcoming draft, they may need to depart from draft compensation in the 2021 Draft.
Indianapolis Colts (From No 34)
The Colts are one of six teams without a first round pick after trading for DeForest Buckner. Chris Ballard is slowly building a contending team, but Indianapolis could use the likes of a first-round talent. They could add Philip Rivers’ long-term successor with a fifth-year option, or simply add an impact player. In the latest mock draft, neither Yetur Gross-Matos or A.J. Epenesa will still be available on Day 2.
New York Jets (#48)
The Jets believe they finally have their franchise quarterback in Sam Darnold. However, they need to grant him a dangerous receiver to target. The Jets can get an offensive tackles in the first round, but are not on the clock again for another 37 picks. They have two third-round picks to make a move into the late first round in order to grab a receiver. With the sands shifting in the AFC East, this looks to be a good time for New York to make an aggressive move.
Detroit Lions (#3)
The Lions have made it clear they’re open for business with the third overall pick. Part of the reason they’re so keen to move back is they know they will probably get the opportunity to draft cornerback Jeff Okudah while trading back a few spots. The assumption has been either the Dolphins or Chargers will move up to get their preferred quarterback. The chances of that may have receded, but the option to move back could still be on.
Cleveland Browns (#10)
The front office may have changed, but the Browns’ money-ball strategy may return. Having acquired cornerstone players over the last few years, trading back and acquiring more picks to add depth is a viable strategy for Cleveland. However, they still need a quality left tackle. A trade deeper into the first round almost certainly means forgoing the four elite prospects in this class.
Dallas Cowboys (#17)
The Cowboys are in an awkward spot. At this time, safety Xavier McKinney would seem a good fit for them, and they’re rumored to be looking at center Cesar Ruiz. Still, both prospects could be considered a reach at this point in the first round. Moving back looks a logical move for Jerry Jones and company, however, finding a suitor to move into the middle of the first round at the right price will be difficult.
New England Patriots (#23)
Bill Belichick will get on the board earlier than he’s become accustomed to in recent years, but needs to replace two Patriots legends. The tight ends in this year’s class aren’t worth a first-round investment, and Jordan Love likely won’t be on the board at this stage. In a redefining year for New England, taking a step back and acquiring more picks might be the most logical move.
San Francisco 49ers (#13, #31)
The 49ers have two first-round picks, but don’t pick again until the fifth round. John Lynch will probably try for one of the elite wide receivers with their first selection, but the second is likely to be shopped. There will be teams looking to come up late in the first round and receive a fifth-year option on a standout prospect.