Draft Daily: Players who might be worth trading up for
The PFF Draft Daily will hit on a number of NFL Draft-related topics including recent news, scouting reports, PFF draft takes, and much more on a daily basis.
Go get your “guy”
One of the things that makes the first round of the draft appointment television (and predictive mock drafts an exercise in futility) is the trades. While teams would love to trade back and accumulate more picks — a tactic that has helped the Patriots build their empire — there also comes a time when a team needs to be willing to risk draft (and potentially existing roster) capital to trade up for the perfect player. Here’s a look at three such prospects that should be highly coveted by multiple teams, and may require aggressiveness and a leap of faith to secure.
Haason Reddick, Edge, Temple
Reddick is unique because he is an every-down, every-system player capable of top-end production in all three phases on defense. In 2016, he racked up 10 sacks and 44 total pressures on just 257 rushes, and QBs had a rating of just 46.8 when throwing into his coverage. Sitting at picks 9 and 10, Cincinnati and Buffalo have been popular destinations for Reddick in recent mock drafts, but he’d be a great fit in New Orleans, which currently owns pick No. 11.
With Hau’oli Kikaha having missed all of 2016 with an ACL tear and Dannell Ellerbe not playing at a high level, Reddick would be a great fit for a team that doesn’t just need speed off the edge, but better run support and coverage production from the linebacking corps as well. The Saints of course also hold the 32nd pick of the first round, and could likely move up to Carolina’s No. 8 pick without parting with that, so they could make the move without sacrificing the first of their Day 1 plans.
Derek Barnett, Edge, Tennessee
Barnett lacks the elite measurables of Texas A&M’s Myles Garrett, but has been the more dominant player over the past three seasons. In 2016, he was second to Utah’s Hunter Dimick in total QB pressures, and had the second-highest overall grade for an edge player in each of the past two college seasons. Cincinnati at No. 9 is a possible destination for him, but if the Bengals don’t select him there’s a slew of teams in the teens that should be highly interested.
The Cardinals at pick No. 13 could be in a position where they lose out on the QB they covet, and if that happens, they could look to drop back in the draft. Picking immediately behind them at picks No. 14 and No. 15 are the Eagles and Colts, respectively, and both would do well to take a player of Barnett’s caliber. However, the Ravens hold pick No. 16, and he would be an absolutely perfect fit for their defense.
Baltimore lacks a long-term solution on the edge, and Barnett has a lot of Terrell Suggs-like quality to his game. Suggs is entering year 15 of his career, and he’d be the perfect player to mentor the young Volunteer, who like Suggs is not a top athlete but is capable of dominating against the run every bit as much as he is capable of terrorizing QBs. With multiple third-round picks, and both being tradeable this year (the NFL now allows compensatory picks to be traded), Baltimore has the flexibility they need to make an aggressive move up for Barnett.
Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
Overall this is a weak class at offensive tackle, as all of the top prospects have significant question marks. Wisconsin’s Ramczyk has, in PFF’s opinion, the fewest on the field. His ability to mirror opponents in pass protection in 2016 was extremely impressive for a first-year FBS player, and this skill translated into him yielding just one sack and three QB hits on the year. If teams are comfortable with the progress of his hip after having surgery this offseason, we could hear about a significant bidding war for his services considering the weaknesses of the rest of his peers.
The Titans hold pick No. 18, and their most pressing needs are deep positions like cornerback and edge, so trading back into the 20s won’t significantly affect value for them. Denver has an obvious need at No. 20, but the Giants made a strong run last season despite poor QB play, which is certainly at least partially attributable to poor play on the offensive line. Obviously New York would need to surrender more than Denver to get up to No. 18 from No. 23, but with Eli’s shaky play and the rest of the roster looking capable of a playoff run, the Giants would be wise to sacrifice later picks for likely a huge upgrade at left tackle.
We have two great podcasts to listen to this week. The first is a look by Mike Renner and myself at potential late and early round targets for each team at their biggest positions of need. The second is “5 bold predictions” from Renner and Sam Monson. (Also, Renner embarrassingly admits he hasn’t seen the greatest comedy film series of all time.) Be sure to listen and write their predictions down so you can RIP their mentions when they prove wrong this weekend.
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