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2022 NFL Draft Rumors: Five Trades We'd Love to See Go Down During the NFL Draft

The NFL Draft is fast approaching. Ryan Kirksey brings you five possible trades that we'd love to see go down at the NFL Draft.
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2022 NFL Draft Rumors: Five Trades We'd Love to See Go Down During the NFL Draft

Pittsburgh Steelers Swap First Round Picks With Atlanta Falcons to Select Malik Willis

The entire tone of this draft will be determined by what three of the top six teams elect to do (or not do) about the quarterback position. Are the Lions, Texans, and Panthers comfortable with one more year of Jared Goff, Davis Mills, and San Darnold, respectively? And even if they are not, do they consider this relatively weak quarterback worthy of a top-six pick.

If these three teams don't go quarterback, then all hell starts to break loose beginning with the Falcons' pick at number eight. Atlanta signed Marcus Mariota to a multi-year deal, so you have to assume they don't go quarterback here. After pick eight, picks nine, 11, 13, 15, and 16 could all be looking at the quarterback position. Which means a team wanting to ensure they get their top guy would need to jump in front of all of them.

Enter Pittsburgh who only have Mitch Trubisky and Mason Rudolph on the depth chart and are apparently enamored with Malik Willis. His dual-threat ability aligns perfectly with the new direction of NFL offenses and would give Pittsburgh an added dimension they haven't seen since Kordell Stewart. Pittsburgh would need to throw in potentially a third and fourth-round pick to move up from 20 to number eight, but they might be willing if it means they get their guy.

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New Orleans Saints Move Up in a Trade With Minnesota to Select Kenny Pickett

The Saints would be thrilled if no one from picks 1-15 took a quarterback and they could target the heir apparent to the Andy Dalton-Jameis Winston era. But that's not likely to happen. New Orleans owns picks 16 and 19, and that should be enough to move to number 12 and get Kenny Pickett (or Matt Corral if they prefer), and perhaps gain a fifth or sixth-round pick in the process.

Minnesota needs help across the defense and a pass-rusher or defensive back might be where they want to end up. But with the top four edge rushers often mocked to go in the top 10 picks, the Vikings might be just fine moving down to select a George Karlaftis or Kaiir Elam if they miss on the top-graded prospects at those positions.

Houston Texans Trade Pick No. 13 to San Francisco for Deebo Samuel

Tim Kawakami of The Athletic recently tweeted that the Texans, who possess the third and 13th pick in the draft, might emerge as suitors for Deebo Samuel. The 13th pick would certainly get it done if it were offered, so if the Texans get Evan Neal (offensive tackle from Alabama) at pick three, they might look to acquire an impact player on offense for Davis Mills.

San Francisco doesn't presently have a pick before number 61 in this year's draft, so a jump into the first half of the first round would be an immediate boon and could help add a weapon to the beginning of the Trey Lance era. Meanwhile, a Texans' wide receiver combo of Brandin Cooks and Deebo Samuel would immediately make them one of the best duos in the league and could jumpstart a middling offense from 2021.

Carolina Panthers Trade Their 2022 4th Round Pick for Jimmy Garoppolo

Checking back in on those first six picks, the question again is: Do the Panthers value any of this class of quarterbacks as worthy of a top-six selection? If they do, and they stand firm, they likely have their pick of whomever they want. If they don't and choose to upgrade the offensive line, a trade could be on the horizon.

The 49ers will clearly look different next year if all these changes materialize, but Trey Lance is lying in wait and there seems to be no reason to let him ride the bench for another year. Carolina plainly saw last year that Sam Darnold is not the long-term answer and might look to create a bridge to the next franchise guy with Garoppolo. Jimmy-G will be an unrestricted free agent after this next season. So the Panthers can trade for Garoppolo, with no real incentive to do anything but tank again, and then have a high draft pick for what looks to be a very strong quarterback class in 2023.

And hey, if Garoppolo shows something they like, the Panthers can always re-sign him to a deal past 2022.

Seattle Seahawks Trade Their 5th and 7th Round Picks for Baker Mayfield

Maybe the worst-kept secret heading into the 2022 draft is that the Browns are desperate to trade Baker Mayfield, and Mayfield is desperate to get out of Cleveland. Knowing those parameters, what is someone going to be willing to pay for his services? If Seattle does not take a quarterback at pick nine, and then the signal-caller pieces start falling like dominoes right after that, the Seahawks might be looking for external options.

Say whatever you want about Mayfield, but he is better than Drew Lock. Does Seattle really want to waste the primes of DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett with Lock while they try to figure something else out? Seattle does own picks 40 and 41 in the second round, so they could use those to try and trade into the back half of the first to grab a Desmond Ridder. But why not grab Baker for next to nothing and then see if a guy like Matt Corral falls to you at 40?

If the Browns get desperate enough and the market is soft for Mayfield, the Seahawks might get away with just offering a sixth-round pick.

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Proudest husband and dad you will ever find. When I'm not with my wife and two kids I split my time working in higher ed, grinding DFS and season-long, collecting silver age comics, studying behavioral economics, and drinking coffee. I once played Pat Connaughton in an actual NBA DFS lineup for money. Astros, Rockets, and Texans for life.


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