There has been talk recently around the NFL world that each team in the top four of the draft (Rams, Lions, Bucs, and Redskins) are trying to trade down.
Who isn't these days?
Even though this year is uncapped, teams are still not simply made of cash. With talk of a rookie cap being implemented in 2011, this may be the last year that draft choice salary is any kind of issue. This year, the owners are not so lucky.
Couple that with the fact that there is no clear cut choice for the number one overall pick, and you've got quite the situation. Essentially, the Rams are going to be handing out $40 million to a guy who is either a defensive tackle or a decent quarterback prospect.
This was the situation the Lions were in last year, and for their money, they probably made the right decision by taking Matthew Stafford. I used to be a believer in Ndamukong Suh to the Rams, but the more you look at it the less it makes sense to me.
Then again, there is a reason this team is picking atop the draft.
It's no wonder these teams are trying to trade down. They are all starved for talent at nearly every position, and this is a very talent rich draft. Unfortunately, there are no can't miss prospects, just a couple of guys who will be very good at the next level like Suh, Eric Berry of Tennessee, and Gerald McCoy of Oklahoma.
When teams trade up in the draft, they are mortgaging a lot. Either they have every other piece in place for a title run, or they are banking a certain player to turn the franchise around while mortgaging significant pieces of their future.
You saw this last year when the New York Jets moved up to the fifth overall pick to take Mark Sanchez, and then they traded up to the top of the third round to select running back Shonn Greene. Not a bad couple of picks, and both were big parts of the Jets' AFC Runner Up season.
The Jets scored big last year. Despite not having a bounty of draft picks, they took great quality with two of their picks and largely had most of the rest of the pieces in place. In short, their gamble paid huge dividends.
Will the Broncos try a similar approach? I don't claim to know the way Josh McDaniels' mind works, or how he works his way around the draft, but in a limited amount of time (2009 offseason) we've seen a glimpse at least, and it's no question this guy likes to wheel and deal during the draft.
Denver moved into the 2nd round two extra times in 2009 after trading Jay Cutler for an extra first and third. They traded a future fifth round pick to the Lions to get Tom Brandstater. Clearly they are not going to be shy about trading for a guy they really like.
That being said, I don't see them trading up in the first round of the 2010 draft. There will be great value at the 10th or 11th overall picks, and as you've seen from my 20 mock drafts so far, there are countless opportunities.
Right now, I can't see the Broncos trading up with the limited assets they currently possess (six picks in total). The wiser move would be to trade down from the 10th overall pick, but that possibility seems to dwindle by the day with teams trying to stockpile picks to take advantage of this very deep draft.
Then again, that's just my take on the situation. I don't know that I've seen many (if any at all) mocks this offseason that include a trade up other than to the first overall pick for Ndamukong Suh.
I pose you the question: Would the Broncos trade up in the NFL Draft?