The 2013 NFL Draft lacks star power at the top of the board, but it boasts fantastic depth. Thus, several teams -- starting with the Kansas City Chiefs at No. 1 -- would love to move down and stockpile picks. The only problem is finding a trade partner, as teams only want to make a move when there's a prospect they want and can't pass up.
Based on what I know and what I'm hearing, I took a quick stab at identifying three teams that could trade down and three teams that could trade up, along with a group of prospects who could spur movement.
Cleveland Browns: The Browns entered the offseason with a glaring need at outside linebacker and proceeded to nab free-agent upgrades Paul Kruger and Quentin Groves. They still have a major need at cornerback, but defensive back is shaping up to be a very deep position in this draft. If the Browns are in love with Alabama CB Dee Milliner, they likely will stand pat at No. 6 with him in mind. However, if they don't view Milliner as an "elite" cover corner -- or if he's no longer on the board when the Browns' turn comes up -- it would make a lot of sense for them to bail and make an effort to recoup the second-round pick they forfeited when they selected Josh Gordon in the supplemental draft this past summer.
New England Patriots: The Patriots are no strangers to trading down in the draft; they have mastered the art of accumulating extra picks while still staying within range of their targeted players. This is a unique situation for Bill Belichick's squad. The Pats currently possess just five picks in this draft. I would be very surprised if they didn't add to that total by dropping down a few spots in either the first (where they have the No. 29 overall pick) or second (No. 59) round.
Miami Dolphins: Miami has been one of the most aggressive teams during the offseason. Clearly, the main focus is upgrading the talent around young quarterback Ryan Tannehill. The Dolphins brought in Mike Wallace, Brandon Gibson and Dustin Keller. However, they failed to re-sign Jake Long, their starting left tackle. There are three top-tier LT prospects in this draft: Luke Joeckel, Eric Fisher and Lane Johnson. I don't see any of the three dropping to the Dolphins at No. 12. They could, though, target Fisher with the Eagles' No. 4 pick, or possibly Johnson with the Browns' No. 6 selection. They have plenty of extra picks to make a move happen.
Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings are coming off of a season in which their passing attack ranked 31st in the NFL. They can't rely on Adrian Peterson to shoulder the entire offensive load for a second straight season. During the offseason so far, they've lost one major weapon (trading Percy Harvin to the Seattle Seahawks) and picked one up (signing Greg Jennings). They still have a pressing need at the receiver position. All signs point toward the St. Louis Rams selecting a receiver with one of their two first-round selections (Nos. 16 and 22). The Vikings also have two first-round selections (Nos. 23 and 25), but they will have to wait in line behind St. Louis. I could see the Vikings seeking to move just ahead of the Rams to secure their top pass-catching target in the draft.
Eric Fisher and Lane Johnson, offensive tackles: All signs point toward the Chiefs selecting Joeckel with the first overall selection. If that does indeed happen, Fisher and Johnson will be the only surefire Day 1 starting left tackles remaining on the board. Teams like Arizona (No. 7 overall pick), San Diego (11) and Miami (12) have a desperate need at the position and could look to move up for one of these two players.
Sheldon Richardson and Star Lotulelei, defensive tackles: This draft is loaded at defensive tackle. Usually, quality depth at a certain position limits the potential trade-up scenarios, but these two players could alter that thinking. Richardson is an ideal 3-technique for a team that runs the 4-3 defense; Lotulelei is an ideal 5-technique for a team that employs the 3-4. If either player were to slide, teams with a need at either of those spots could be compelled to make a move up the board.
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