First-round trades have become all the rage in the NFL draft. So, if you’re a mocker, how can you not forecast a first-round deal or two? Or four?

By Don Banks
April 08, 2015

First-round trades have become all the rage in the NFL draft. Looking at the past five years alone (2010-14), there have been a whopping 30 of them executed, for an average of six annually. In the memorable 2012 draft, there were nine deals that impacted the first round, highlighted, of course, by the St. Louis-Washington blockbuster that paved the way for the Robert Griffin III era in D.C. (Yes, I said era, not error. It’s too early for that kind of snark. But just barely.)

So, if you’re a mocker, how can you not forecast a first-round deal or two? Or four? I’m splitting the difference in this case, projecting three new trades, to go along with the Buffalo-Cleveland and Seattle-New Orleans deals that have already been swung (those deals that have already been processed are listed in italics below). Three new trades for my third mock seems about right, and I’m even a buyer when it comes to that intriguingly plausible Philip Rivers-to-Tennessee chatter at No. 2, with those L.A.-bound Chargers moving up to nab Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota.

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Sometimes I’ve been known to even get my mock trades right. Hey, kids, did I ever tell you about the time back in ‘08, when my final mock absolutely nailed the Patriots-Saints trade at No. 7 and No. 10, with the No. 7 Saints taking USC defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis and the No. 10 Patriots selecting Tennessee linebacker Jerod Mayo? That was fun. It’s not every day you accurately tell the world what the Patriots are about to do.

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But don’t hold me to quite that same standard this time around. The draft is still three weeks away. These deals take time to properly sniff out. But there will be some moves come the night of April 30 in Chicago. You can count on that. Maybe even one that I’m closing my eyes and taking a stab at right now ...

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