Trading Back Best Move in Deep Draft?

NFL Draft Trading Back Best Move in Deep Draft?

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As it stands today, the Ravens currently hold the 22nd pick in the NFL draft, then won’t head to the podium again until the 82nd overall pick in the 3rd round. While they can surely land a solid player at 22, I believe there’s value in the depth provided in Day 2 of the NFL Draft (Rounds 2 & 3) and the Ravens stand to benefit more from moving back out of pick 22 and possibly into the 2nd round while stockpiling picks where the depth of this draft plays to the Ravens’ advantage. 

Yep. #TeamTradeback

With that in mind, I believe that Baltimore can stand to make multiple trades in Days 1 & 2 of the NFL Draft in order to maximize value picks on Day 2, without totally sacrificing the quantity of picks in the 2019 draft. 

So let’s do a mock…. is it a mock trade? Mock draft trade?

[Related: 7-Round Ravens Mock Draft – Pre-Combine Edition]

You get the point.

In this exercise, I’ve taken the past 10 years of draft day trade data and used average compensation packages based on similar moves at each stop along the way (i.e- what did a team in the early 20s gain by tradign back two spots? Five spots? Ten spots?). As for determining trade partners, it’s simply a matter of need: which team has a specific need and could see a player of value fall to the Ravens pick, that doesn’t marry up with Baltimore’s needs? Or another possibility: where do the Ravens see the most depth that allows them to slide back so many spots, but still maximize value in their picks?

Ready? Let’s mocking go!

Starting picks: 22 (1st), 82 (3rd), 105 (3rd), 113 (4th), 123 (4th), 160 (5th), 191 (6th), 193 (6th)

TRADE 1: Baltimore Ravens send pick 22 to New England Patriots for picks 32 (1st), 98 (3rd) and 205 (6th)

Analysis: In the first trade-back scenario, the draft approaches the 22nd pick, and Tight End T.J. Hockenson has just fallen past the Titans, who opted not to draft a replacement for talented, injury prone, and decrepit TE Delanie Walker. The Ravens have both Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews going into their second year, so they’re not interested in drafting Hock… but the Texans at 23 would absolutely love to nab the Iowa product to fill a perennial void at TE. 

The Patriots are looking for their next Gronk, and decide to move up in a swap with Baltimore to ensure Hockenson is their guy. While New England tends to be the trade back team, and not the trade up team, in 2019 they have three picks in the 3rd round (74, 98, 102), giving them some Day 2 depth to play with.

For the Ravens, they gain an extra 3rd round pick and add a 6th to boot. Compensation for moving back from the early 20s to the final two picks of the first round can range from a 3rd and a 5th to a 3rd and a 7th, so this trade puts them smack dab in the middle of that.

Post-Trade picks: 32 (1st), 82 (3rd), 98 (3rd), 105 (3rd), 113 (4th), 123 (4th), 160 (5th), 191 (6th), 193 (6th), 205 (6th)

TRADE 2: Baltimore Ravens send pick 32 to the New York Giants for picks 37 (2nd), 108 (4th) and 143 (5th)

Analysis: Having already dropped back 10 picks, the Ravens figure ‘what’s another five slots?’

In this scenario, we’re talking quarterbacks: much like the Ravens in 2018, teams would love to have that 5th year option on an NFL QB’s rookie deal, and this mock simulated the QB crop falling off after QB1 and QB2 found homes. Why are QB’s dropping? Simply put, QB-needy teams are steering clear of the draft: the Broncos will go with Joe Flacco, the Jaguars are inking Nick Foles, and the Dolphins are rumored to be going in the tank (sorry, PETA. Bad joke). The Giants currently hold the 6th pick, and I believe both Dwayne Haskins and Kyler Murray will be gone at this juncture, which isn’t great for the G-Men, but also leaves them one of the following players on the board at their pick: Nick Bosa, Josh Allen, Quentin Williams, or Rashan Gary.

Just like in 2018 when the Giants drafted Saquon Barkley, they’ll again take BPA over a QB.

With Haskins (Skins trade up) and Murray (Raiders at 4) gone, we don’t see another QB off the boards the rest of the opening night of the NFL draft… until this trade, where the Giants move up for Drew Lock.

For the Ravens, I think wide receiver is where we pegged them to go with their top pick, and sliding down five picks isn’t going to crush anybody’s hopes and dreams here. Instead, they gain a 4th and a 5th – both day 3 depth picks, but which serve value in the grand scheme of this mock-trade.

Likely in question: how did the Ravens get an additional 3rd as their top compensation when moving from 22nd to 32nd while staying in the first, but only mustered a 4th as top comp when trading back to round 2 from 32nd? Math is how: moving 10 picks versus moving five picks is a big difference, but the other angle here is that the Pats’ 3rd rounder is 98th, while the Giants 4th is 108 – only a 10 pick difference – while the disparity between the Pats’ 6th and Giants’ 5th is 62 slots in the draft.

There’s your difference!

Post-trade picks: 37 (2nd), 82 (3rd), 97 (3rd), 105 (3rd), 108 (4th), 113 (4th), 123 (4th), 143 (5th), 160 (5th), 191 (6th), 193 (6th), 205 (6th)

TRADE 3: Baltimore Ravens send picks 97 (3rd) and 113 (4th) to New Orleans Saints for pick 62 (2nd)

Analysis: The third and final trade in this mock gets the Ravens back into Round 2 for a double dip!

Based on a half dozen trades in which a team jumped back into the final 5-7 picks of the 2nd round, I found that the usual compensation to do so was a 3rd and a 4th. Fortunately for the Ravens, their first pair of trades on Day 1 of the draft netted them a 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th round pick, giving them a disposable 3rd and 4th to jump back into the 2nd round, while still having a 5th and a 6th to either use for more moves, or to take some depth players. 

As for the other half of this equation, the Saints would be more than willing trade partners, as they’re coming into the draft without a 1st or 3rd round pick. Ponying up their 2nd to add an extra pick is worthwhile move on their end.

Post-trade picks: 37 (2nd), 62 (2nd), 82 (3rd), 105 (3rd), 108 (4th), 123 (4th), 143 (5th), 160 (5th), 191 (6th), 193 (6th), 205 (6th)

In essence, these three trades would cost Baltimore picks 22 (1st) & 113 (4th), but in turn, they stand to gain picks 37 (2nd), 62 (2nd), 108 (4th), 143 (5th), and 205 (6th).

Parting ways with the 22nd overall pick may be a tough pill to swallow for Ravens fans, especially if [insert your favorite wide receiver] is still there, but being able to add three net picks, with two of them in Round 2, is a huge advantage in a draft that’s projected to have a ton of depth in the 30-100 overall range, while still allowing Baltimore to likely land a very good WR…

…or two?

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Adam Bonaccorsi

About Adam Bonaccorsi

Living on the farce-side of Baltimore sports, Adam spends his time focusing on the satirical nature of our local teams- conveniently, sometimes the narrative writes itself! He's not one to shy away from controversial opinions, speaking his mind, or dropping a truth bomb into the Purple Kool Aid. More from Adam Bonaccorsi

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