2013 NFL Draft: Does trading down make sense for the Arizona Cardinals?

Chris Trotman

Lots of factors come into play when determining whether to stay put or move in an NFL draft.

Last few days on Revenge of the Birds comments I've seen quite a few thoughts about whether or not it would be beneficial for the team to trade it's seventh pick in the upcoming NFL draft to a lower one which would net, likely more selections. But a lot of variables have be thought out in advance in order to pull a trigger on such a trade.

Of course, the number one item has to be a trade partner. If you don't have a slot that other teams crave will "get" their player, then you're screwed. If other clubs have sensed the player available at 7 will bring basically the same guy they can pick at 12, then why waste losing later picks? And more than a few draftniks have thought this season's pool is fairly average, especially at quarterback - which almost always the position that triggers such moves.

Plus, you have to remind yourself of your team's current roster and needs and surrounding teams same status. For instance, if you've just signed Antoine Cason, Bryan McCann and Jerraud Powers at cornerback and currently have Patrick Peterson and Jamell Fleming yet Alabama's Dee Milliner is available with the first round pick, do you reckon a team is "threatened" by the chance Arizona will select him? Probably not. But if you couple that with say, Tampa Bay looking to replace Rhonde Barber and the Browns and Lions pass on him, could he be bait?

And conversely, if a franchise realizes that the Cardinals covet an offensive tackle, which many feel they do and there are only 3 supposed top-tier guys (Luke Joeckel, Eric Fisher and Johnson), could they hold the supposed "tackle-starved" Miami Dolphins hostage with their number 12?

You additionally have to consider how much depth the current roster has. If your goal is to build quality players behind your starters, then maybe getting "more bang for your buck" with plural picks would be prudent. If you're behind the eight ball and looking for difference-makers up front, keeping the original first rounder would make sense. (Kinda the way the Draft Value Chart is comprised, first rounders (playas) worth more than scrubs. Would rather a big playmaker at 7 than 2 or 3 middling day 3 guys.)

Finally, you have to see how the draft plays out. If Joeckel and Fisher is picked first and third, for giggles, does that make the Philadelphia Eagles suddenly clamor for Lane Johnson at 4, which makes tackle-needing teams think about trading up?

So many moving parts that happen withing that first round 15 minutes of decision-making. Good news is former GM Rod Graves, other than the 2003 Calvin Pace/ Bryant Johnson/ nixed Terrell Suggs 2003 tradedown is the only recent one I can think of.

Bad news is, new GM Steve Keim hasn't been on the clock yet and philosophy and history isn't known yet.

Should the Cardinals trade down from the seventh choice?

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