Dec 8, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Draft Trade Machine: Latest Movers to Watch

Breaking down the prospects of the 2014 NFL draft has been exhausted.  What comes now is figuring out which teams will throw the board into chaos with trades.

St. Louis Rams

This isn’t really a surprise.  Though quiet during most of the free agency period, the St. Louis Rams remain favorites to move up and down the board in the first round, especially with the #2 pick.  Their needs on the offensive line and in the secondary remain unaddressed so that is likely where they will focus but such needs won’t require such a high pick given that there are three quality tackles available and two pairs of corners and safeties.  Somebody should offer a good enough package for them to move down.

San Francisco 49ers

Antoine Bethea was one of the quietest steals in free agency but it didn’t solve the lingering issues for the San Francisco 49ers at cornerback.  Nor did re-signing Anquan Boldin eliminate their receiver needs.  With five picks in the first three rounds they are probably the best equipped team to move up the draft board to go after a difference-maker at either position.  Depending on how aggressive they want to be they could go for the home runs like Justin Gilbert (CB) of Oklahoma State and Mike Evans (WR) of Texas A&M or they go eyeball some mid-first options like Brandin Cooks (WR) of Oregon State or Darqueze Dennard (CB) Michigan State.

Chicago Bears

Having done a solid job of addressing some needs in free agency at defensive end and then getting back cornerback Charles Tillman, the Chicago Bears have been able to narrow their 2014 NFL draft focus.  However, they still have work to do and could really use some extra picks to continue their overhaul.  There may be some opportunities to move back with teams like the Jets, Browns and 49ers.  Depending on how far they move back they should have some quality options still available like safety Calvin Pryor, corner Kyle Fuller, and defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan.

Cleveland Browns

Another team that can move up and down in the first round at their leisure.  The Cleveland Browns made some solid moves remaking their defense and adding help at running back but they still remain without an established starter at quarterback and their offensive line needs a lot of work, especially if center Alex Mack doesn’t return.  With the #4 pick they have the chance to move up or down, up for a quarterback or down for picks and settling on a luxury item like Sammy Watkins or Justin Gilbert.  With the #26 pick then they could get that quarterback or reinforce the offensive line with one of the top guards like Xavier Su’a-Filo or David Yankey.  The possibilities are quite rich.

New York Jets

The Darrelle Revis saga will not end up get the New York Jets an extra third round pick but they do get a consolation of an extra fourth rounder.  Having signed Eric Decker in free agency, they have a real chance to give their anemic offense a jolt by getting a top talent in the first round.  One can imagine how could they could be with a Mike Evans across from Decker or Eric Ebron at tight end.  Perhaps if they’re thinking aggressively enough they could put together a package to go after Watkins.  A lot depends on how the board falls but this team needs just a few more quality additions on the offensive side and they should be serious contenders in the AFC East.

Green Bay Packers

Normally a team that takes a more measured approach to free agency and such, the 2014 NFL draft might see a bit more aggression from the Green Bay Packers.  Having retained most of their key free agents and adding Julius Peppers, the Pack are in a good position to go after a defensive playmaker to bring it all together.  One area they haven’t upgraded yet is safety.  With no guarantee that top options like Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Calvin Pryor will fall to them at #21, they should have enough ammunition, within reason, to jump up a couple spots to grab one or the other.

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: 2014 Nfl Draft Chicago Bears Cleveland Browns Green Bay Packers New York Jets San Francisco 49ers St. Louis Rams

  • Kenneth Kumerle

    Pryor, Hageman, Nix, Ebron or Amaro!

    • Erik Lambert

      Pryor would be your best get. Hageman is a good consolation prize. Nix could probably be had in the second round as could Amaro. Ebron I think will go somewhere in the teens.

  • Bear fan

    While the point system chart may no longer be the be all and end all it once was it still provides a good launch point for discussion purposes. The Bears #14 pick has a value of 1100 pts. and matches nicely with the 49ers #30 (620 pts), #61 (292 pts), & #77 (205 pts) which =1117. The 17 pt difference could easily be addressed by switching a higher later Bear pick for a lower 49er later rd pick. The result would give the Bears two 2nd & two 3rd rd picks for a total of 5 of the first 82 picks in the draft. Now all we need to do is get Emery and Baalke to agree. haha.

    • Erik Lambert

      It all depends on who the Bears can dangle for the 49ers to bite. Mike Evans would certainly qualify. I believe Justin Gilbert would as well. Their two key needs are receiver and corner and they haven’t addressed either in free agency. If I were the Bears I would be itching for one of those two to fall to me, provided enticing the 49ers is my goal.

  • Bear fan

    That agrees with my thinking. Would Pryor on Dennard (because of the dropoff after him) be of enough value for the niners to pull the trigger? That’s what makes the draft interesting and fun.

    • Erik Lambert

      Not Pryor. Remember they already had Eric Reid and just signed Antoine Bethea. I don’t know if Dennard will be enough of a draw but he’s definitely a maybe.

  • Beer O’Clock

    Nice point on the Niners, Eric. SF moving up to get Mike Evans makes perfect sense to me. He would be a tailor-made fit for Kaepernick and the SF offense. I’ve never seen a college WR react better than Evans when the QB has left the pocket (I’m sure Johnny would agree with me).

    • Erik Lambert

      He’s exactly what they need. He’s big, strong, can jump through the roof and deceptively fast. Nobody is more tailor-made to play those Seahawks defensive backs than him.

  • Jarod Cook

    I’ve been rather disappointed with the Browns in FA so far. They got older and spent more money on the 2 defenders they brought in, then the ones they let go. They brought in a RB who’s going to miss 4-6 games a season because of injuries, and didn’t upgrade the OL. They most be planning on hitting with all 10 of there draft picks. At this point they still need a WR2, CB2, and another ILB. They can use upgrades at OG, FS, RB, and get a QB for the future. Luckily this is one of the deepest drafts in years, so maybe they can come away from this draft filling all there needs with quality prospects. Hopefully this regimes player annalist is better then the previous regimes, we can’t afford another 2012 draft where we took Rich/Weeden in the 1st rd. I disliked both of those picks when they happened, and they where set back because of them.

  • Paul Newbold

    Here’s mine. Jets trade Sanchez, #18, and a 2nd rounder next season to the Raiders for their #5 pick. LOL

    • Erik Lambert

      Sammy Watkins in mind?

      • Paul Newbold

        Options are wide open. It’s merely fantasy…but ….they could even float Smith as bait…and grab a QB if they are not comfortable with him. The great thing about this season for the Jets, all the options are on the table!!

        • Erik Lambert

          Teams do strive for that sort of flexibility in the draft. Jets are in great position.

  • sharod martin

    Man I wish the Panthers could sign a vet WR to offset all of the rookies they will have. I wish Steve Smith was still available for them to sign! LOL