By Rob Staton
I don't include trades in my mocks, but obviously there will be some movement during the draft. Last year, Cleveland alone moved down three times before selecting Alex Mack. Tampa Bay moved up to get Josh Freeman, as did Baltimore to select Michael Oher. Green Bay also made a switch to get Clay Matthews. Of course, we also remember the significant deal between Seattle and Denver that gave the Seahawks an extra first round pick this year and a similar deal occurred between San Francisco and Carolina.
The 2010 draft won't be any different and I wanted to discuss four potential moves that could happen in the first two rounds.
Cleveland (#7) trades into the top three
A lack of options outside of the top two quarterbacks will make Sam Bradford and Jimmy Clausen hot property. We saw this last year when Matt Stafford went first overall and the Jets made a big move to get Mark Sanchez. Mike Holmgren admitted this week that 35-year-old Jake Delhomme is not a long term option (clearly). Trading in front of Washington to get a WCO fit like Jimmy Clausen would make sense.
The Browns have five picks in the first three rounds, so own the ammunition to trade up. Clausen fits the bill for Holmgren's offense, although the Browns new 'football czar' may prefer to work on a bigger project whilst running Delhomme. Detroit and Tampa Bay have shown interest in moving down - but both teams are well placed to grab Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy.
This could heat up if Holmgren likes Clausen enough and Washington show strong interest in the quarterback. A costly move into the top three still seems a bit ambitious, but Tampa Bay are in penny-pinching mode and might feel obliged to move down if it means making a financial saving.
Kansas City (#5) moves down the board
Scott Pioli comes from the New England school of drafting which means trying to accumulate as many picks as possible in rounds 2/3. Any potential move to trade down last year were scuppered by the fact KC picked so early (3rd overall) and they ended up drafting a prospect they could have had further down the board in Tyson Jackson. They may face a similar problem this year, but if Jimmy Clausen is available and the Chiefs don't intend to select him - teams might be willing to move up to pick #5 to usurp the Seahawks.
It'd be quite the story if Cleveland (and Holmgren) jumped ahead of Seattle to take Clausen. If the Chiefs were preparing to take an obvious 3-4 scheme fit (such as Rolando McClain, who would fill a big need too) they would have no qualms about moving down a couple of spots for an extra pick or two. If the Seahawks want the Notre Dame QB, Kansas City pose a threat in more ways than one.
Should Clausen get past the Redskins - but interest the Seahawks - teams will view Kansas City as a potential trade partner if they want the quarterback. Pioli and co. won't waste any time discussing a trade.
Jacksonville (#10) moves down the board
By now everyone has heard the theory - the Jaguars will draft Tim Tebow to sell season tickets. Of course, there's no obvious threat for Jacksonville in the first round if they wanted to wait until later. The only problem is - the Jags don't own a second rounder. If they want to select Tebow without spending the 10th overall pick they'll have to explore a trade.
The Jaguars situation at quarterback isn't secure and having David Garrard on the roster would buy some time to prepare the Florida QB. They could move down into the late first and take Tebow there, or try to accumulate a second rounder. Alternatively - they could trade a future pick. In my latest mock draft, I had Tebow going 41st overall to Buffalo. Chan Gailey experimented with the spread as the Chiefs offensive coordinator using Tyler Thigpen at QB. Like Jacksonville, Buffalo need a QB and a face of the franchise. Who picks directly before Buffalo in round two? The Seahawks. That could be an understated position of power for Seattle.
If Jacksonville really intend to draft Tebow for financial purposes - then it's likely. Taking the local hero will generate a huge buzz and likely ignite ticket sales - regardless whether Tebow would start in year one or even have an impact at all.
Seattle (#6 , #14 and #40) trades for Brandon Marshall
The Seahawks didn't fly in the Broncos receiver on a seaplane to fill an empty weekend. There was a certain element of showmanship too the way Pete Carroll embraced Marshall with a warm hug as he boarded at the VMAC. There's genuine interest there and I have no doubts that Seattle fully intend to do everything it takes to make a trade with Denver. To get the best deal, however, they're going to have to wait it out - potentially right up until draft day.
Seattle won't agree an offer sheet and cough up the #6 pick before the deadline passes well before April 22nd. Denver might not want to pick twice in the top fifteen picks due to the cost involved. The Seahawks might be better served trying to trade down from #14 to accumulate more picks and present a more reasonably priced first round option to the Broncos. Alternatively, maybe Seattle has no intention of spending a first round pick and thinks it can work out a deal elsewhere. That may be unlikely, but with little reported interest elsewhere, Marshall's off the field concerns and possibly Denver's desire to find a deal could be the catalyst for something to happen.
Marshall hasn't made any other visits yet, but that doesn't mean he won't do or that teams aren't interested. The alternative options do appear limited though and if it becomes a two-way discussion, Seattle will be better placed to work on a deal. It really depends on Denver's willingness to keep Marshall on the roster in 2010 if they don't get what they want.