In the expired CBA (collective bargaining agreement), it states there shall be an Annual Selection Meeting (college draft or draft) each league year during the term of the agreement and in the League Year immediately following the expiration or termination of this agreement.
So with that being said, all 32 clubs will spend these last four days making the final touches, adjustments and aligning their draft boards, while discussing “what if” scenarios. The teams have the option of trading away their picks, swooping picks with compensation in the form of multiple picks, within the same draft or picks into the future.
In the past, the inclusion of players was a very attractive way of consummating a trade. While player-for-player trades are rare during the rest of the year (especially in comparison to the other major-league sports), trades are far more common on draft day. However, because of the lockout, trades involving players are not permitted this year.
There are several reasons a team will look for a trading partner:
*Value. You must know the value of each player, so when a trade partner calls, you truly understand the value and what you should accept or give up.
*Heavy Position: Where position is weighted heavily throughout the draft.
*Team Needs: Teams study opponents’ rosters to develop an idea of a needs list that helps on draft day when trying to gauge a proper trade partner.
*Top prospects: These are players coveted and in high demand, where teams will consider giving up multiple picks in order to get in drafting position and select these players.
The early part of the 2011 draft is heavy in defensive linemen, wide receivers and corner backs. The defensive end position will have a run in the first round, so look for several teams to call about trading up to secure one of the 3-4 defensive ends (Cameron Jordan, J.J. Watt and Cameron Heyward), or those with great versatility.
Teams with the most ammo or picks to make the jump up the board are San Diego (No. 18) with multiple picks in the second and third rounds. New England (No. 17 and 28) is stocked with six picks in the first three rounds and is positioned to move up or trade back and accrue more picks, and store those extra picks to jump back up the board to secure the player they covet. They must move past Dallas (No. 9) and Washington (No 10), teams that have a need at defensive ends as well.
Other teams that are in desperate need of a pass rusher or quality defensive end are Tampa Bay (No. 20), Jacksonville (No. 16) and the Rams (No. 14). The player that has a huge ceiling, large wing span and explosive first step not to mention natural pass-rush skills and edge defender is Missouri’s Aldon Smith.
The other positions of great interest are wide receiver and cornerback early in the first round. Because of demand and there being only two at each position projected to go in the top 10picks, look for teams to make a move up the board. The Houston Texans (No. 11) has a depleted secondary and is in major need of a cornerback. The Detroit Lions (No. 13) are in need for a cornerback as well, so look for them to make a possible trade with the Redskins so they can leap-frog Houston. It would be a good deal for Washington because they would only have to fall back three spots.
When looking at wide receiver, there are only two at the top of the draft and after that it is a long dry spell into the second and possibly bottom of the first round. With A.J. Green a potential No. 1 overall draft pick, leaving Julio Jones as the lone receiver projected as a top 10 pick, look for several teams trying to find trade partners. There are several that are possibilities to make that move up the board
However, the Rams are not in position to do so. They have too many needs and would have to give up too much. The Redskins can sit and let Jones fall to them, and if he slips past Cleveland Browns at No. 6 the Titians at No. 8 are their only threat.
The teams that can blow this draft up on the first day are the New England Patriots. With six picks in the first three rounds and three in the top 33 players, they have the power to jump up and down the draft as if they were playing checkers, and crowning themselves king several times. Despite having the threat to do damage with trades, I think they will sit and pick and add some key pieces to an already championship based foundation at tackle, guard, running back or outside linebacker.
While trades normally take place on draft day, this week is when teams start to call and talk about the possibilities of movement. It is not out of the norm that teams make selection trades a few days before the draft even starts, positioning themselves for success early. However, keep in mind that sometimes no deal is the best deal.