Since there’s pretty much nothing else to talk about right now, we continue to hear about teams wanting to move up and move down in the NFL draft. But because it’s now a near-certainty that the NFL and its players won’t have agreed on a new collective bargaining agreement prior to next week’s draft, it’ll be tremendously hard for teams to make trades at Radio City Music Hall.
Picks can be traded. Players can’t. And when you consider that teams haven’t had a chance to form their rosters with a look toward 2011 at this stage, they’ll be less willing to part with the picks they’ve been handed.
“It’s completely dead out there this year,” one NFC general manager told Yahoo! Sports’ Jason Cole last week. “Nothing!” Cole elaborates:
While it’s still early in the process and many teams are still finalizing their NFL draft boards, the feeling among a handful of league executives right now is that next week’s draft could feature a stunning lack of trades. Because roster moves are prohibited during the lockout, there have been no trades at a time when there are usually at least a dozen.
It also doesn’t help that there are no clear-cut top prospects in this draft. Very few players have separated themselves from the pack, making teams less likely to move in or out of that top region.
“I would definitely agree with that,” Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider told Cole. “There are going to be some need issues for different teams, but you’re probably not seeing a huge difference in terms of who goes second and who goes sixth.”
Cole did the math on deals made between February and the end of the draft, concluding that “in three years, the percentage of trades involving players went from 33 percent to nearly 50 percent.”
So there will still be quite a few pick-for-pick trades on Apr. 28, 29 and 30, but it’s looking as though the first round will go down pretty much the way it’s supposed to. And that kind of sucks, because I’ll admit that I love hearing Roger Goodell arrive at the podium to announce a pick before saying those six magic words.
“There is a trade to announce.”