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The tension will be part and parcel of the 2022 NFL Draft, but that drama will go beyond rookie selections. Throughout the night of April 28, teams will consider a number of trade offers.
As usual, most trade conversations will focus on the draft picks themselves. NFL teams routinely pack a few of their picks to progress and grab a specific prospect.
Although less likely, current NFL players will also be discussed further. These trades tend to happen in the week leading up to the event, but the possibility of a big-name player being dealt on draft day is still worth considering.
The list is subjective but takes into account the latest rumors, as well as each team’s current needs and project capital.
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On paper, it’s a perfect match.
After sending Davante Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders, the Green Bay Packers are missing a No. 1 receiver. They acquired a first- and second-round pick in that trade, creating the opportunity to use one of four top-64 selections to land an established receiver.
Meanwhile, the Seattle Seahawks appear to be pivoting to Pete Carroll’s preferred running style. Russell Wilson is now a member of the Denver Broncos. Between that philosophical shift and Tyler Lockett having his own big-money contract, it’s hard to believe Seattle wants to go along with DK Metcalf’s impending extension. Why be a first offense while having two high-end receivers and no franchise QB?
But if the Packers are open to extension talks, they need both Metcalf and the capital draft to get there.
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Following a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles, the New Orleans Saints are giving some rival leaders some extra thought in the first round of the 2022 draft.
And the Pittsburgh Steelers are definitely one of those teams.
Pittsburgh signed Mitch Trubisky in free agency, but he’s unlikely to be Ben Roethlisberger’s long-term replacement. The Steelers are more likely to consider Trubisky or Mason Rudolph serving as a working option for someone else.
New Orleans—who also needs a QB—now owns the 16th and 19th picks overall. If the Steelers didn’t already suspect the Saints were planning to sign a flagman, it certainly seems inevitable now.
Pittsburgh should be a strong candidate to strike a deal with the Minnesota Vikings (12th) or the Houston Texans (13th).
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For a very good reason, the pair of New York Jets top-10 picks grabbed attention. They are in a great place to recruit an elite prospect and acquire a few more picks if they trade from the fourth or 10th overall pick.
Don’t forget Round 2 either.
Thanks to the Sam Darnold trade last year, the Jets hold the No. 35 pick and the No. 38 spot from the Carolina Panthers. They are also in a privileged position to modify the last part of the opening night.
If an earlier deal for a top-10 position nets an extra third round (or maybe fourth), New York could wrap that selection—the one he didn’t have at the start of the draft anyway—with No. 35 or 38 to return to the first round.
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It’s already been a busy offseason for the Kansas City Chiefs, and they could be approaching another major move.
Kansas City dealt star Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins, who sent the San Francisco 49ers’ No. 29 pick to the Chiefs as part of the blockbuster deal. That put Kansas City, which already had the No. 30 selection, into back-to-back slots.
And that’s only the beginning.
Thanks to Hill’s trade and a compensating third-round pick, the Chiefs hold two draft picks in four straight rounds to start the 2022 draft. Kansas City has more than enough firepower to go for a top-20 spot. first overall and keep either #29 or #30.
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New Orleans is among the most intriguing teams in the 2022 draft.
While the need for a quarterback was obvious, the Saints weren’t in primary QB territory at No. 18. Just holding the 16th pick doesn’t drastically change that perception, but having a pair of picks from first round does.
Given that came at the expense of a first-rounder in 2023 and a second-rounder in 2024, the Saints are now focused on winning in an NFC that has an unimpressive mid-level. Expecting a major trade seems insane, although a little higher for the right immediate impact player is always a possibility.
It’s only fair to question what New Orleans did, considering the roster isn’t considered a true NFC competitor.
True or false, however, the Saints go there. And they may not be finished yet.
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When rebuilding, enjoy the draft.
This statement may seem obvious, but it’s not just about selecting the right prospects. The value of a draft pick to use is always greater than a replacement level player on the roster.
Yes, any choice is ultimately like a lottery ticket. However, the Houston Texans aren’t in a position to make much in 2022. They can afford to spend an offseason loading up rookies in hopes of finding a few players who will become staples of the future.
Retaining the No. 3 pick to add a fundamental piece makes perfect sense, but presenting the best offer for the No. 13 pick is both a wise and likely strategy for the Texans.
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Like their MetLife Stadium housemates, the New York Giants have a few top-10 selections in the first round.
As we covered recently, it’s an optimal situation for the G-Men with the fifth and seventh picks. Maybe the Falcons (eighth) or Seahawks (ninth) want to skip the Panthers (sixth) for a QB. Maybe another team is aiming for a spot ahead of Atlanta or Seattle. These are just two of many downside trading scenarios.
But the Giants also own an extra spot in the third and fifth rounds. As a mid-level NFC team at best, they head into the 2022 draft with the ability to prioritize future flexibility.
With extra capital, Giants can trade in one of first three rounds, still have valuable picks this year and boost what is available to them next April.
Plus, if Daniel Jones doesn’t make some serious improvements in 2022, the Giants might need the 2023 draft ammunition anyway.