Trading up in the draft. It's rarely something a fan enjoys seeing unless it happens to be for a franchise QB or can't miss prospect. I've heard numerous conversations involving trading down for such players as Phil Taylor and Brooks Reed for extra draft picks, which I think most of us would thoroughly enjoy, but I think it's just as likely that we trade up. Who is our potential trading partner? Who could Pioli and the Chiefs be targeting? I have a good idea, but it's not one that's going to thrill most fans.
We all know how much the Patriots enjoy trading down in the draft and acquiring extra draft picks. And I imagine they are going to do it numerous times in this year's draft. We also know of the relationship between Pioli and Belichick, and it's likely there is a possibility we see them as a good spot to trade with. Why you ask? So that we can get ahead of the San Diego Chargers, our biggest rival in the division. It's almost a given that the Chargers will be looking solely at two positions with their 18th pick: OLB and DE.
Here is my list of 4 players that Pioli could be targeting by trading up to #17. It's very likely that at least two of these guys could be off the board already, and if it's a player that Pioli is highly coveting, the option of trading up may be thrown out the window.
- Aldon Smith, DE/OLB Missouri
- Cameron Jordan, DE California
- J.J. Watt, DE Wisconsin
- Muhammad Wilkerson, DE/NT Temple
Don't be fooled by the notion that because we have two good DE's in Tyson Jackson and Glenn Dorsey, that it means Pioli is not considering the selection of a DE at this spot. I happen to think there is a very good chance Pioli goes with one of these players if he trades up. I've seen numerous mocks where one of these players was selected by San Diego (and New England for that matter), so there would be legitimate reason to trade up. All four players fit the defense we run (Aldon Smith will rule as an OLB despite what others say!), are high character players, and have great work ethic. The only thing missing is the SEC connection!
For those who are curious, even though its only a reference of perceived value, here is the draft pick value chart and what it would likely cost to move up to #17.
#17 - 950 points
#21 - 800 points
150 point difference equals the 88th (3rd round) pick. Interesting that the Chiefs have the 86th pick. Seeing as how NE has plenty of picks this year, I could see a case where they may accept a 3rd round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.