DeAndre Hopkins is an Arizona Cardinals.
After weeks of anxiousness on behalf of Cardinal nation, Hopkins and former Cardinal David Johnson finally completed their physicals last week.
And in doing so, Steve Keim officially shipped off pick 40 to buddy Bill O’Brien in exchange for his fancy new All Pro receiver.
So for the second time in five years (2016), Keim will go into draft weekend without the benefit of a second round selection. Chandler Jones’s arrival, while historic in it’s own right, did directly lead into a long wait on draft weekend between first rounder Robert Nkemdiche and third round pick Chad Williams.
That brings us to this coming week, where Keim and company will see 64 players taken between picks 8 and 72.
Which is why, to no one’s surprise, the Cardinals are actively looking to trade down come Thursday night.
Keep an eye on Eagles and Broncos as possible "move up" teams.— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) April 19, 2020
Keep an eye on Cardinals, Browns and Jets as "move back" teams.
Falcons are known to want to move up, but no one thinks they're on a WR.
Probably going to see 6-7 OTs go in round 1.
Keim has famously said, on numerous occasions, that his preference is to always deal down for additional draft capital. The Cardinals’ roster as a whole. although much improved, is still far too top heavy.
There is no question the team would benefit from additional draft capital, particularly in the second round.
The question then becomes what would it take and how far would Keim be willing to free fall into round one?
Let’s find out!
For the sake of this exercise, I am using the Draft Pick Trade Value Chart via Pro-Football-Reference.com.
Understand that there are numerous online resources depicting the process of measuring draft value, not to mention the element of desperation from a team.
This isn’t science but should give us a sound idea of what may or may not be realistic come Thursday night.
Now onto the trades...
The Arizona Cardinals trade pick 8 (1400) to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for pick 14 (1100) and pick 45 (450).
This is about as clean of a swap, in terms of equal value, as you can get. If anything, the Cardinals may have to kick in a 2021 5th round pick.
Tampa Bay has long been rumored as a team that could trade up for blindside protection for newly signed QB Tom Brady. The Cardinals have history with not only current Buccaneer head coach Bruce Arians but also general manager Jason Licht. One would assume the perameters of a potential draft day trade between these two teams has already been discussed.
Arizona would likely still secure a tier two player of their choosing while also adding a top 50 pick in the process. Depending on how the first seven picks shake out, this is probably Keim’s ideal choice for a trade down.
Any scenario involving Denver (pick 15) or Atlanta (pick 16) would likely net similar value in return.
Option at pick 14: Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina
Option at pick 45: Austin Jackson, OT, USC
The Arizona Cardinals trade pick 8 (1400) to the Miami Dolphins for pick 18 (900) and pick 39 (510).
It seems like near certainty that the Miami Dolphins will navigate the top five picks to secure the quarterback of their choosing. Whether or not they will have to surrender premium draft capital to a team like Detroit is a different question.
Lets assume that the Dolphins call Detroit’s bluff, and Miami is able to stand pat at pick 5 to secure either Tua or Herbert.
They are now left with the remainder of their embarrassment of riches to maneuver as they so choose. The addition of a quarterback doesn’t change the fact that the Dolphins dealt away Laremy Tunsil, leaving said rookie incredibly vulnerable upfront.
Striking a deal with Keim to secure a top tackle is realistic enough, especially when they only have to part with a second round pick in the process.
Keim may see the majority of his first and second tier targets dwindle away while awaiting pick 18, but he’ll be sitting pretty newly equipped with a premium day 2 pick that would likely net him a first round caliber talent.
This is likely Keim’s best bett at securing an extra pick inside the top 40.
Option at pick 18: Josh Jones, OT, Houston
Option at pick 39: Ross Blacklock, DT, TCU
The Arizona Cardinals trade pick 8 (1400) to the Philadelphia Eagles for pick 21 (800), pick 53 (370) and a 2021 second round pick.
The Eagles are desperate for an impact receiver. That much is clear.
After failing to address this area of need during free agency, it’s obvious that general manager Howie Roseman plans to take advantage of this incredibly deep group of pass catchers.
At pick 8, one would assume this would be the ideal spot for a trade up involving any team looking at securing the top wide receiver prospect.
It’s incredibly feasible to see the likes of the Jaguars (pick 9), the Jets (pick 11), the Raiders (pick 12) and the Niners (14) all target the receivers with their pick. Which means Roseman’s board could be picked clean come 21.
Arizona could take advantage of the team’s desperation while giving Keim 2021 ammunition to target his next great second round trade (Chandler Jones, DeAndre Hopkins).
It may be tough to stomach such a dramatic first round drop in 2020, but Arizona’s roster is still in need of a huge influx of talent. Regardless of what happens this coming week, the 2020 draft doesn’t change that.
Option at pick 21: Kenneth Murray, ILB, Oklahoma
Option at pick 53: Michael Pittman Jr., WR, USC
The Arizona Cardinals trade pick 8 (1400) to the New England Patriots for pick 23 (760), a 2021 first round pick and a 2021 third round pick.
Whew. A lot to unpack here.
With all the talk of Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa potentially falling due to medical concerns, could Patriot’s head coach Bill Belichick really be the benefactor?
Keim and Belichick have a history, so establishing them as potential trade partners isn’t tough to fathom.
What could be difficult to stomach is any scenario that involves trading down into the 20s and not coming away with additional 2020 draft capital.
The Patriots don’t have a second round pick after carelessly trading it away mid season to Atlanta for WR Muhammad Sanu. Which means any trade up discussion starts and ends with New England’s 2021 first round pick.
To secure his quarterback of the future, I have little doubts Belichick would pull the trigger on a deal like this.
The question becomes whether or not Steve Keim is confident enough in his own 2020 big board to compromise it by selecting 15 picks after his initial slot.
And who really knows where New England will be picking a year from now.
Top 10?! Top 20?!
Keep in mind the New England Patriots have won 11 straight AFC East titles.
Option at pick 23: Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU