There’s less than three hours to go until the start of the 2018 NFL draft, so here are some things that came across the phone lines the last few hours …
1. There are teams that have discussed dealing up (Raiders, Packers, Saints). How would that come to pass? The quarterbacks need to go. Until they’re gone, prices will be inflated for picks. Once the Big Four (Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen, Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold) are gone, the rates will come down.
2. A place where Buffalo could trade to get its quarterback could be Denver’s No. 5 pick. Word is that Browns GM John Dorsey is asking for a lot for the fourth pick, and Indianapolis may be reluctant to drop too far down.
3. If the Cardinals are going to trade up for a quarterback, my feeling is that it might be closer to the No. 10 pick than No. 5. Arizona values its picks. If the team sticks at No. 15, and all four QBs are gone, I’d be surprised if they reach for one.
4. If the Saints are able to trade up, one player they’re rumored to have their eyes on is UTSA DE Marcus Davenport. The trouble is they don’t have a second-round pick (traded to the Niners to get Alvin Kamara last year).
5. I would also keep an eye on Davenport to the Colts if Indy were to move down. If they stay at No. 6, as we’ve said, the star linebackers in this class (Roquan Smith, Tremaine Edmunds) make sense. They want a difference-maker and there are only so many in the class, so their willingness to move down is limited a bit.
6. The Raiders’ move would be more contingent on, again, how the quarterbacks come off the board. But the name that’s been attached to Oakland through the rumor mill is Notre Dame OT Mike McGlinchey. If it’s not McGlinchey, there are a number of defensive guys (Davenport, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Denzel Ward, etc.) in whom they’ve shown interest for the No. 10 pick.
7. The Packers showed their hand on needs with the offer sheet they gave Kyle Fuller (the Bears matched). A move up by new GM Brian Gutekunst would be a bold start, but I’m not sold that it happens.
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8. Teams I’ve heard that are looking at moving down: 49ers, Seahawks (if Derwin James and the pass rushers are gone), Lions, Titans and Eagles. The Niners could benefit from a falling quarterback, and maybe get back the second-round pick they gave up for Jimmy Garoppolo.
9. We hit it here, but the reason teams would trade up in a draft year that’s not great in the first round is because there are a couple positions where there’s a big dropoff after the first few guys. One is offensive tackle (hence the Raiders and McGlinchey). Another is with edge players (Saints and Davenport).
10. I think it’s possible that the Jaguars are faced with the chance to draft Louisville’s Lamar Jackson with the No. 29 pick. If that happens, it’ll be interesting to see what they do.