Saturday, April 28, 2007

NFL Draft: Win-Win Trades

You often hear the term win-win after a trade, but rarely does that turn out to be the case. I remember people calling the Celtics-Blazers draft day trade a win-win last summer, when Telfair was swapped for the pick that ultimately netted Brandon Roy for Portland. How did that work out?

However, during the first round of the NFL Draft today, I think we might have seen two actual win-win deals.


The first - and bigger deal - was between Cleveland and Dallas, as the Browns sent their 2008 #1 pick (and another '07 "first day" pick) to Dallas for the #22 selection. With that draft choice, the Browns took Brady Quinn, their QB of the future (and who knows, maybe the present), and a guy they were strongly considering at #3. Now they can pay him a lot less money, keep some pressure off (and limit the Tim Couch jokes), AND protect him with the best offensive lineman (best overall prospect, perhaps?) in the draft in Joe Thomas. Stellar work by the Browns. Plus, they have Jamal Lewis as a stop-gap at running back, which means they can gamble on a guy tomorrow or just wait until next year. As for Dallas, they will undoubtedly get a much better pick next year in the Browns' first rounder. Despite Cleveland's good moves today, it is highly unlikely they will win more than eight games in the loaded AFC, which means the 'Boys are looking at probably a #14 pick or higher (probably quite a bit higher), in what projects to be a better draft. They didn't need Quinn because they have Romo (unless they were looking at Brady as a holder) and there really wasn't anybody else at #22 with as much value as an upgraded pick. Very smart move.


I also really liked this deal for both teams. The Broncos are in need of a pass rushing phenom and by moving up four picks, they were able to get Jarvis Moss of Florida. Not only did this guy dominate Ohio State in the national title game, but my experiences with NCAA Football 2007 on X-Box lead me to believe that he is the best end on planet earth. The video game version of Moss is unblockable. (By the way, I'm thinking of grading all the first round picks this way. Any thoughts?) Expect Moss to flourish in a limited roll next year while being groomed as the next great speed rusher. I think he can match Adam Carriker and Jamal Anderson and even rival Gaines Adams in the long run. As for Jacksonville, this was some deft work. They got the guy they wanted - stud safety Reggie Nelson - AND a third and sixth round pick. Not bad. Nelson gets to stay in state and challenge for an immediate starting gig with playoff contender. Nelson was one of my favorite college players last year and the way he nearly single-handedly beat Florida State and then overcame his mother's death to lead the Gators in the title game was inspiring.

First Round grades of A's for all four teams. Good to see teams willing to make mutually beneficial deals as well.

No comments: