Traditionally, trade talk is all the rage before the NFL Draft.
But NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport is here to pump the brakes a bit:
From @NFLTotalAccess Draft Preview: I'll tell on myself first (CC: @OldTakesExposed), but the trade winds seem a bit calmer this year. One reason? Teams don't want to move where the top talent is out of reach. pic.twitter.com/rLcUQrvWRd
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 27, 2021
Rapoport throws it out there that trade talks are quieter than one might expect this time of year. But I want to break his commentary into multiple pieces, if only to provide balance, perspective, and context.
For starters, one reason for fewer whispers is that two dynamite trades have already happened. Remember, the 49ers trading up to get the Dolphins’ No. 3 pick? That was a pretty big deal. As was Miami’s other move, in which they leapt back into the top-10, trading with the Eagles for the sixth pick. In other words, one reason pre-draft trade whispers aren’t as prevalent as one might expect is because two sizable deals have already been cut.
But Rapoport also mentions that teams seem hesitant to move out of a spot where top-tier talent is unavailable. Fair enough. It’s easy to lose that both sides of a deal want to feel like they’re getting something. And if teams feel like trading back won’t scratch that itch, then it’s reason enough to stand pat. Then again, I can’t help but hear this and think this is a way for teams inside the top-10 to publicly tell suitors: Hey, try harder and this pick is yours!
Based on one angle Rapoport provides, I’m thinking that might be the case.
“Now, depending on which quarterbacks are available in the top-10,” Rapoport says. “I would expect there to be at least serious discussion about trading up for one quarterback in the top-10, just based on who probably is taken and where that quarterback ends up going.”
Of course, remember, Bears ownership might want to nix a Bears future-mortgaging trade up, anyway:
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) April 27, 2021
Alright, so trade whispers appear to be hush — except for those involving teams with eyes on a certain quarterback? Well, that would make sense, too. It’s going to be tough for teams to want to trade up until they know their preferred prospect is on the board. Think back to how the GMs recently discussed their own recent trade-ups. Sure, there was pre-draft movement in 2018. But the Bills couldn’t make a deal with the Broncos unless Denver’s prized prospect wasn’t available. That needs to be taken into consideration as we discuss and dissect Rapoport’s latest report.
We’re bordering on draft overload. But in the end, it’s important to consider all angles and prepare for everything between now and Thursday. Fasten those seatbelts.