Trading up, trading down in the first round

Posted by Darren Urban on April 12, 2016 – 2:47 pm

It’s one of the favorite topics pre-draft for any team, and I have no doubt GM Steve Keim will be asked the question when he and coach Bruce Arians have their upcoming pre-draft press conference: What are the chances of trading up or back with that first-round pick, which is 29th overall?

(Of course, I expect an answer along the lines of, “We’ll consider both those options, depending on what deals are out there.”)

Given that the Cardinals already gave up their second-round pick in the Chandler Jones trade, however, I find it hard to believe there would be any trade up. Keim loves his draft picks, the Cardinals only have six right now, and to move up and give up yet another choice somewhere would seem to be cost-prohibitive (and also, I’m not sure there will be someone out there in the 24 or 25 range, which is probably about as far as the Cards would be able to maneuver without gutting the draft class.)

Trading down, though, that’s completely different. At 29 — just two picks from the end of the first round, thanks to the Patriots losing their choice in Deflategate — moving back into the second round isn’t a crazy thought. To move down a handful of spots and pick up, say, another fourth-round pick would be enticing (especially if, for example, there is a quarterback later on upon which the Cards might want to take a flier.)

There was talk about possibly trading up last year, to get a pass rusher, but in the end the Cardinals stayed put and took tackle D.J. Humphries. Two years ago, they traded down (from 20 to 27) with the Saints, taking linebacker Deone Bucannon and then snagging wide receiver Smokey Brown with the extra third-round pick.

It’s impossible to know if it will happen. Too many variables that come from being on the clock need to be filled in: Who is still on the board, what team might want to move up to get someone, and whether the Cardinals are OK with giving up a chance at whomever might be left. It would be interesting, though, to come in April 28 for the first round and have the story that night be that the Cardinals don’t have any players yet.

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26 Responses to “Trading up, trading down in the first round”

  1. By Marlin on Apr 12, 2016 | Reply

    SK won’t trade up in rd 1. Odds are that he trades down as you indicated he might, Darren. We all keep talking needs at center and corner, etc. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see SK go wide receiver sooner than people expect.

  2. By D on Apr 12, 2016 | Reply

    Jerry Jones, keep your phone lines open on draft weekend. Jerry has pick #34 in round 2 and 2 picks in Round 4. I could see him wanting to move up into the back of round 1 for a stud RB. If we could pull off that trade, then my draft would be the following:

    Round 2- N. Martin C Ntr Dame
    Round 3- M. Canady CB
    Round 4– C. Jones QB OH St
    Round 4– J. Ward DE
    Round 5– J. Schobert OLB
    Round 5– W. Beavers OT
    Round 6– N. Kwiatroski ILB

  3. By andystandsup on Apr 12, 2016 | Reply

    Could totally see the Cowboys or Niners trading up to 29th to get Lynch /Cook over Denver and Cards using that 4th rounder for Cardele Jones, whom they supposedly are infatuated with.

  4. By joe holst on Apr 12, 2016 | Reply

    thanks for your insightful insight Darren, greatly appreciated, in comparison that John Gambo guy was terrible during early free agency, everything g he said was inaccurate and really a waste of time, sorry I can’t remember any examples I just know he was reaching badly.

  5. By creditcard on Apr 12, 2016 | Reply

    Agreed, speculation at this point in time. I’ve mentioned a few times — better to trade down.

    My opinion, this is a draft that the top 50 predicted picks have moved up and down violently this year. That is players 1-2 months ago that were expected to be a mid 1st round are now being pegged in the 2nd round or lower and vise versa. Plus, I really don’t see this year’s class as a real stellar pro class, much like the 2013 draft class.

    The Cards have picked gems from some of the smaller schools. I see that trend continuing. Seems like each year, the Cards select players, that now of us fans have even heard of, and lo and behold — they end up being great picks.

  6. By All Day on Apr 12, 2016 | Reply

    If we get to our pick and Connor Cook is still on the board then I think we should draft him, Paxton Lynch as well but I doubt that. Or Robert Nkimdeche. If all 3 are gone then trade down to Maybe where Dallas or Cleveland is picking and get an extra pick

  7. By Mike on Apr 12, 2016 | Reply

    I’m pretty sure SK will trade back and collect an extra draft pick unless someone completely unexpected drops to us at 29. Personally I think that would be the best move for us anyhow.

  8. By Don on Apr 12, 2016 | Reply

    “We’ll consider both those options, depending on what deals are out there.”)

    Heck Darren, I bets it’s almost verbatim.

  9. By AzBirdFan on Apr 12, 2016 | Reply

    I think they trade down unless C Ryan Kelly or QB Paxton Lynch are available.

  10. By Big Ken on Apr 13, 2016 | Reply

    I like Ryan Kelly but he is moving up the boards.

  11. By Rick Chancellor on Apr 13, 2016 | Reply

    He got what he wanted in the first round with a 2nd round. Sounds good to me. Now he can take best player on the board.

  12. By Jerry on Apr 13, 2016 | Reply

    Can’t see the Cards taking a center in round one, even if Kelly is available. Lynch, yes.

  13. By Kenneth on Apr 13, 2016 | Reply

    It would not come as a surprise to see a receiver chosen. Az core players are darn good but teams have their cards “pun intended”. A new wideout sounds like something BA or SK would do

  14. By John The Draft Guy on Apr 13, 2016 | Reply

    The Draft;

    It is funny that most are all about players of need. For a moment, take all want and emotion out of it.

    Usually, every year we have those, including Keim, saying we will take the best player available.

    I haven’t seen the BPA crowd post anything yet. But, Just going off the ratings, we have 9 players rated as a 6.1. Meaning from the 25th pick to 33rd pick are all rated the same and one of those players would be our pick.

    So, according to BPA (if all the teams pick this way and rated them the same as ) here are the nine players the cards would pick.

    Guard Cody Whitehair
    DL Jarron Reed
    DL Vernon Butler
    DL Emmannual Ogbah
    QB Paxton Lynch
    DL Hassan Ridgeway
    RB Derreck Henry
    OLB Noah Spence
    RB Jordon Howard

    Not needing a RB, it is down to 7. four of these players would be gone in picks 25-28, leaving 3 players with the highest rating being available. I think the 4 gone are Lynch, Reed, Whitehair, and Ogbah.

    That leaves Butler, Spence, and Ridgeway. I think the trade for Jones , allows us to pass on Spence. Now, Although Ridgeway is very talented, his work ethic is a question mark , which means Keim will pass.

    So, if BPA is used, Vernon Butler, who could play end or nose in our 3 man front will be the pick at 29.

    We know that emotion , need, and different ratings by teams will happen, along with assumptions by me. But it will be interesting if , just using BPA, Butler is our pick.

    What is funny about this BPA example is; players like Eli Apple, Mackenzie Alexander, and LB Darren Lee are rated lower than a 6.1 and would be available.

    So, if you push up a few players, you could see a few higher rated players drop. At 6.3 rating Robert Nkemdiche could fall to 29 due to off field. Chris Jones is a DE rated at 6.2 and could be a good fit with AZ.

    Then there is Jaylon Smith, who has a 6.4 rating but due to injury, might drop.

    So, chances are, if you make a few changes to the formula, Smith will be available at 29 and will be the highest rated player on the board. You can’t argue BPA and not take Smith.

    This is a much tougher decision than the last 3 years, where I was banging the table for players.

  15. By Scott H on Apr 13, 2016 | Reply

    How in the name of all that is good and decent can there still be 15 days until this draft??? I just want it to come and go so we can move on with discussion of how the players we come away with seem to fit in among what we already have.

    We know we already got a great player in the 2nd round!

    As with many others, I am most interested in whether they draft a QB or not. They don’t really need a camp arm….and there is no way they keep any more than 3 QB’s ( if they even keep that many )….so I can only assume they are thinking of the future if they do.

    For what it’s worth, there was a story on yesterday naming several teams who “need” to draft a QB this year and the Cards were one of them. Not sure if I agree with the “need” part THIS year, but….I get it.

  16. By D on Apr 13, 2016 | Reply

    I don’t know why, the so called experts and fans discount the Center position.
    The Cards have a aging, immobile QB that gives them the only chance of getting to the next SB. They can talk up AQ all they want, but he is basically a Ted Larsen in terms of physical talent. Carson, like all QB’s don’t perform well with pressure up the middle.

    When you look at this draft, after the top 2 Centers (Kelly & Martin) and the best Guard, Whitehair who could do well at Center, you have a big drop off in talent, plus the fact that AZ doesn’t have a 2nd round draft pick, I see this position the biggest hole on the team.

  17. By sbrown on Apr 13, 2016 | Reply

    Scott H –
    Cards will have a fourth QB in camp, most all teams do have four, just to work with all the players, plus BA likes to run two fields, so you need two QB’s on each field for practice and drills.
    now the question is do they use one of their current six draft picks to grab one, or wait until after the draft and sign a undrafted college free agent ?

    IMO, no to using a draft pick, with #29 and #92, SK will need to draft two players who can come in now and be a starter.
    Fourth and Fifth round, good rotational players and play special teams.
    Sixth round, good depth player.

    Just don’t think SK will burn a pick, for a QB to set, when he can take a player who could play 60 – 70 plays a game and make a difference.

  18. By Scott H on Apr 13, 2016 | Reply

    sbrown –

    OK, I hear you about a 4th QB for camp, even if just for the sake of having enough QB’s to do everything they want to do. But I agree with everything else you say. No, they don’t need to burn a draft pick just for what may only amount to a camp arm. And I VERY whole-heartedly agree that their earlier picks should be used for players that would seem to have the ability to have an impact RIGHT NOW.

    I know the future matters and is always on SK’s mind but I think we all know there is a window for winning NOW, and this team can’t afford to not go all-in with it.

    PS – And I have said all along that I really don’t mind having someone else in camp at the QB position that may have more to offer than what I believe Barkley does.

    Really, I just want this damn draft to get here already. Is it me or does it seem to take longer every year to get to draft day??? Funny….as I get older, EVERYTHING goes by faster, EVERYTHING gets here sooner than you think – except the NFL draft.

  19. By John The Draft Guy on Apr 13, 2016 | Reply


    Discount center spot;

    Way back in January, I was saying Ryan Kelly was one of my two guys to draft (along with Eli Apple) . But here is why I have changed my mind.

    Just like all spots, you can’t reach because of need. Again, just using the scouts rankings, the first center (Ryan Kelly) is ranked the 59th best player.

    By taking him at 29, you are passing on better talent and drafting him at a -30 where he should be. (5.8 grade) . Nick Martin is #75. Max Tuerk is at #81. While Jack Allen is sitting at 109. and Glascow is at 112. Five centers ranked in the top 112 players means, we can get a center later.

    The cards pick at #92, meaning, they could sit tight and land a top 5 center or, if they trade down, maybe pick up a 3rd rounder and take a center high in round 3.

    Remember , also, whether you like him or not, there is a sleeper the cards may like in Kyle Friend (5.2) who fits what the cards like to do and could be grabbed in round 4.

    So, I don’t think anyone is discounting the center spot. I just think it is not a first round or even a high second move.

  20. By hminus on Apr 13, 2016 | Reply

    We did the same thing w/Deone Buccannon too,but over drafting him was ESSENTIAL based on special circumstances…

  21. By John The Draft Guy on Apr 13, 2016 | Reply


    Essential ? We thought we needed a safety. He was drafted , No, overdrafted (meaning way too soon), then he didn’t play safety. So, he didn’t even fill a need.

    He wasn’t the best player available and he didn’t fill a need that was thought to be needed.

    It was James Betchler who came up with idea to move him to LB, since DWash was suspended. Mainly because an undrafted player (Tony Jefferson) stepped up to fill the void along with Honey Badger.

    I am Ok with filling a need with a player with a grade that makes sense. For instance, if Eli Apple, whose grade is very close to the 29th player is picked , that makes sense. But to draft a guy whose grade is bottom of round two for 29th, well that makes no sense.

  22. By Scott H on Apr 14, 2016 | Reply

    Here’s who IS trading up – the Rams. They just got the first pick in the draft for a kings’ ransom to the Titans. Interesting. Clearly, the Rams are looking to tab THEIR QB of the future.

    As pointed out in the story I read, could turn out to be a bit of karma for the Rams if this trade comes back to bite them as the trade THEY made with the Redskins ( for what became RGIII ) failed for the Redskins. Shoot, then again, maybe the Redskins are better off with Kirk Cousins.

  23. By William on Apr 17, 2016 | Reply

    I would expect any trade to be late, VERY late.

  24. By Coach K on Apr 17, 2016 | Reply

    Cards must move down get more picks

  25. By Big Ken on Apr 19, 2016 | Reply

    I’m with you Coach K, but like always they have to find a dance partner.

  26. By sbrown on Apr 19, 2016 | Reply

    Coach K , Big Ken
    really depends on who is on the board when the Cards are on the clock at # 29.
    Yes I would think they could take a call for a move from a team in the top third ( picks 33 – 43 ) and pick up a late third / fourth pick.

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