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5 NFL Trades That Should Happen Before The Draft

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The first major trade of the NFL season took place on Tuesday as the New England Patriots sent pass rusher Chandler Jones to the Arizona Cardinals for offensive guard Jonathan Cooper and a second-round draft pick.

We’re going to look at five trades that should take place prior to April’s NFL Draft.

Browns Trade Joe Thomas To Packers For The 27th Overall Pick

It’s time for Cleveland to trade their star left tackle Joe Thomas.  Sure, they won’t be better without him, but it’s proven that they also won’t be good with him and at his age (31 years old), by the time the team is good, he won’t be.

Packers general manager Ted Thompson would probably rather sign Ndamukong Suh or talk honestly to the media (two things he hates doing) than trade a first-round pick, but his picks haven’t worked out very well of late and his team needs to win now.

Thomas can help Aaron Rodgers maximize his Hall of Fame potential.

Other possibility: Cleveland trades Thomas to Seattle for the 26th overall pick

Seattle has pulled the trigger on first round trades twice before (Percy Harvin and Jimmy Graham) and neither has worked out particularly well.  Thomas seems like more of a sure thing.

Titans trade the No. 1 Pick to the Chargers for the 3rd Overall Pick and a pair of 3rd’s

The Titans hold the top pick in the draft and they don’t have a desperate need at left tackle.  Laremy Tunsil is the best player in this draft and he should go first overall.

The Chargers need that franchise left tackle and Tunsil would fit perfectly.  By trading back with San Diego, the Titans would feel more comfortable with taking Myles Jack or Jalen Ramsey at No. 3 and can pay them less.

To move back just two spots and get their man, Tennessee gets a third-round pick this year (67th overall) and a third in 2017.  That will help rebuild one of the worst rosters in the NFL.

Titans trade No. 1 pick to 49ers for No. 7 pick, a second-round pick and a 2017 third

San Francisco gets to move up and new head coach Chip Kelly has his choice of quarterbacks. Kelly never had a quarterback that fit his system perfectly in Philadelphia, and that was part of the reason why he lost his job. Whether he feels Carson Wentz or Jared Goff is the proper fit (or even Paxton Lynch), Kelly’s only chance to succeed is with someone he can trust under center.

For moving all the way back to No. 7, the Titans will have three selections in the first 38 picks of the draft to rebuild their roster.  They may still be able to get a player like DeForest Buckner with the seventh-overall pick, and he would fit perfectly next to Jurrell Casey.  They can also get quarterback Marcus Mariota another great target in Laquon Treadwell.

49ers trade Colin Kaepernick to Broncos for a Conditional 3rd and more

The 49ers would get to kill two birds with one stone here as they officially usher out the Colin Kaepernick era while replenishing their draft stock, especially if they have to trade up to get their quarterback.  The third-round pick would be the 96th overall selection in the 2016 NFL Draft, and if Kaepernick meets certain statistical criteria, the Broncos would fork over an additional third in 2017 (if not, they would give up a fifth-round pick in 2017).

For Denver, it’s pretty simple.  Do you really want Mark Sanchez to be your starting quarterback in 2016?  The opening Thursday of the NFL season and you start….Sanchez?

Kaepernick might not be any better, but he seems like a pretty good fit for Gary Kubiak’s system and he’s started in a Super Bowl.  That you can sell to your fans after an offseason where the roster was decimated.

Chargers Trade No. 3 Overall Pick To Jaguars For No. 5 pick plus two third-round picks

If San Diego can’t get Tennessee to agree to trade the No. 1 pick in the draft, there’s no reason for them to stay at No. 3.  The Chargers desperately need line help and pulling the trigger on a Ronnie Stanley or DeForest Buckner with the third pick seems like a bit of a reach.  If they select either guy at No. 5 overall, they wouldn’t have to pay them quite as much and they pick up a pair of third-round picks in the process (70th overall in 2016, 3rd round pick in 2017).

For the Jaguars, they desperately need a playmaker at linebacker, defensive end or safety, and there’s a strong possibility that Myles Jack, Jalen Ramsey or Joey Bosa might all be gone when they go on the clock at pick No. 5. Trading a pair of third round picks won’t matter if the team doesn’t get an impact player which helps lead to wins, because general manager Dave Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley won’t be around to feel the loss in 2017.


About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.