Trading Places: Who's likely to shift around the board on Day 1 of the draft?

There’s nothing more exciting than a draft-day trade. What’s even better for fans is that as General Managers get younger and more aggressive, we are getting more trade action than ever before. In the last three years (96 picks), exactly 50% have been taken by a team originally slotted differently in the first round.

Already in 2024, we have three teams benefiting from trades, Chicago at 1, Minnesota now at 23 and Arizona who have a spot at both the start and near the end of the first day. All that said, the action looks set to ramp up even further as we get closer to the draft and even on the night itself.

So, without further ado let’s take a look at the teams we think will be most likely to shift around the board to maximise both draft capital and also talent acquisition.

Minnesota Vikings trade up for a Quarterback

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Let’s start with the most obvious team. Having made a move to acquire an extra first-round selection, it’s pretty clear what the Vikings have in mind. Packaging their two picks plus some future ones to move up in round one. The glaring position need on their roster – Quarterback.

The New England Patriots and Arizona Cardinals have been muted as potential trade partners. The Patriots need a quarterback themselves, but if they aren’t sold on their QB3, they could ride with Jacoby Brissett for a year and use the extra picks to build a roster more ready for a rookie signal-caller in 2025. For the Vikings, that would mean two of Jayden Daniels, Drake Maye, or JJ McCarthy would be available.

If they made the deal with Arizona, they’d be more pigeon-holed. The Pats likely grab a QB, and the Vikings would have to hope the 4th QB off the board was one they loved. The most popular selection in the scenario – Michigan’s JJ McCarthy.

My hunch is the Vikings are keen to reunite QB coach Josh McCown with Drake Maye, who he coached in high school. The buzz surrounding Jayden Daniels to Washington convinced them that Maye would be available at 3, and they have a loose outline of a deal in place with New England, but we will see.

Arizona Cardinals move down and then back up

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How about a Monti Ossenfort special? Say the Patriots stay put and take a quarterback, but the Vikings like what’s left on the board. They make the deal to come up to pick 4 and Arizona now has picks 11, 23 and 27—quite the haul for a team rebuilding.

The biggest issue, though, is that they likely move out of range to get one of the top three receivers. Not to worry, Ossenfort has previous as recently as last year. He traded down to allow Houston to get Will Anderson before coming back up to take his preferred o-lineman, Paris Johnson.

This year, my bet would be a trade down with the Vikings before targeting a team like the Chargers or Titans to come back and grab the consensus WR3, Rome Odunze.

The Broncos move back and still land their QB of the future

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What a mess in Denver! The Broncos find themselves on the hook financially for Russell Wilson but also lacking draft picks, thanks to one of the worst trades in NFL history. George Paton needs to get the ship back on course, and while the obvious move is to be aggressive and move up for a quarterback, what about doing the opposite?

Our very own draft guru, Si Carroll, thinks the Broncos could drop down the draft board, acquire picks, and still find a quarterback in a spot more befitting of the remaining options. Sean Payton surely has the self-confidence to believe he can make the offense tick with a player like Michal Penix Jr. or Bo Nix.

Look for them to stay in the first round so they can have five years of control over their new rookie QB, but the reception to drafting QB5 in the latter part of day 1 will surely be more positive than reaching at pick 12.

Vegas sees an opportunity to land a new Quarterback

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Staying in the AFC West, another team that needs an upgrade at quarterback is the Las Vegas Raiders. Aiden O’Connell is currently pencilled in, so it makes sense for Antonio Pierce to be on the hunt for a playmaker at the position.

Our draft analyst, Lee Wakefield, has this scenario in mind. Caleb Williams and Drake Maye go 1-2, and the Vikings move up for JJ McCarthy, leaving Jayden Daniels on the outside looking in.

One team likely to be comfortable with Daniels’ skillset is the Raiders. Pierce and other assistants in Vegas, worked with him as a young QB at Arizona State.

Familiarity is often key to success in the NFL, and for a player like Daniels, returning to a coaching staff he is comfortable with could be just what’s needed.

Commanders go hunting for a tackle to pair with rookie QB

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Washington GM Adam Peters is going with a quarterback at no.2 overall. We don’t know which one but he gets to start his era with a shot at landing a franchise-defining talent. What’s often overlooked is that the Commanders have nine picks, including six in the top 100. 

That gives them ammunition to move around the board. Yes, they have plenty of holes, but how deep is this draft? They may be better off turning those picks into fewer but more high-end pieces. In particular, finding a long-term answer at offensive tackle is imperative with a rookie quarterback.

The offensive line talent is deep in round 1, but it does fall off a cliff. You likely need to move up from pick 36 to get the tail-end of the first-round talent. If the Commanders can get back in, they could target the likes of Amarius Mims, Tyler Guyton, and Jordan Morgan. Peters needs to be aggressive with his capital; it’s a daunting task for a first-time GM.

Does Howie Roseman make a splash move for CB1?

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One GM with plenty of experience in trades is Howie Roseman. From looking like a Super Bowl favourite, the Eagles dropped off steeply late in 2023. One of their biggest problems is the secondary. They haven’t made substantial moves in free agency to freshen up the room, so I would expect them to be looking closely at the cornerbacks available.

Having two starters over 30 at outside corner is unusual for a modern NFL team, to the point that it is downright risky. James Bradberry and Darius Slay would be best served working with a rookie and developing him into a true stud.

The Eagles are regularly linked with Cooper DeJean and Nate Wiggins, but why sit and settle? Roseman is aggressive, and I could see him wanting to move up and get the top guy at the position. Quinyon Mitchell has done everything right in the draft build-up, and his versatility and eye-popping athleticism make him the clear front-runner to be the first corner taken.

You have to think the Eagles need to get above the Colts to land him. Could they pick up the phone with Denver and execute the deal we mentioned above? You bet they could!

Saints move to find long-term Ramczyk replacement

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The worrying news out of New Orleans this offseason was that starting right tackle Ryan Ramczyk was unlikely to be healthy for the start of the season and potentially may not return to the football field long-term. If you add that to Trevor Penning’s under-par performances on the left side, it’s easy to see why mock drafts have the Saints going tackle.

While they could stick and pick at 11 and get a solid starter, the Penning debacle may have them feeling the need to get a high-floor guy. The Saints are no strangers to moving up on draft day. They did so for the likes of Chris Olave and Marcus Davenport and could be tempted once more.

If they want to land consensus top tackle Joe Alt out of Notre Dame, they will have to get past the Titans at 7. However, there will likely be suitors. As mentioned previously, the Cardinals may be open to dealing, and so may the Chargers. Jim Harbaugh and co. face a major rebuild in LA, and dropping to 11 would give them extra picks and still a shot at landing a solid offensive line piece.

My bet is on the Chargers and Saints doing a deal and Alt going fifth overall to the Big Easy.

That’s just a snapshot of some deals that could be on the table come draft day. However things play out, there will be plenty of entertainment and plenty of trades for us all to enjoy!

Mock Draft

Rory-Joe Daniels

Cfb contributor

formerly writing for the inside zone, rory will be breaking down college tape and keeping you up-to-date with all things CFB for the touchdown. an avid bengals fan, you can also find some of rory’s work at