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10 NFL trades that are likely to happen by the end of the 2021 Draft

Christian Wilkins celebrates with Roger Goodell during the 2019 NFL Draft
Christian Wilkins celebrates with Roger Goodell during the 2019 NFL Draft
Kyle Heim
ANALYST
Modified 29 Apr 2021
Rumors

NFL drafts never lack suspense, speculation and surprises.

Another aspect that remains constant year after year is trading -- teams wheeling and dealing to either move up and nab a highly coveted prospect to fill a need or add extra draft capital to restock the roster.

The 2020 NFL Draft featured 29 trades. The one before that had 40 trades. Expect another influx of deals when the 2021 installment kicks off.

10 most likely trades of the 2021 draft

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during the 2019 NFL Draft.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during the 2019 NFL Draft.

Patriots trade up to draft a quarterback

The New England Patriots resigned quarterback Cam Newton to a one-year, $14 million deal in March. They're still searching for a franchise quarterback, and this year's draft presents a handful of top prospects in the position who could go into the top 10.

With 10 picks in this year's draft, look for the Patriots to move up from the No. 15 pick into the top 10 and take either Ohio State's Justin Fields or North Dakota State's Trey Lance.

Chargers deal for No. 4 pick

The Los Angeles Chargers lost tight end Hunter Henry to the Patriots, opening a need at the position. One option would be Florida tight end Kyle Pitts, who is considered one of the best non-quarterback prospects in the draft.

A deal for the fourth pick with the Falcons, who may not be ready to draft Matt Ryan's replacement at quarterback, would allow the Chargers to add another weapon for quarterback Justin Herbert.

49ers trade Jimmy Garoppolo

The San Francisco 49ers are expected to draft quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo's replacement with the No. 3 pick in the draft.

The pick will allow the 49ers to ship Garoppolo to the Chicago Bears, who wiffed on their attempt to get Russell Wilson from the Seattle Seahawks, and haul in draft picks to address needs at cornerback, wide receiver and offensive line.

Ravens trade up to get a receiver

Baltimore finished last in the NFL in catches and receiving yards in 2020. They have two first-round picks, No. 27 and No. 31, and the No. 58 pick in the second round.

They have the resources to trade into the top 20 and get a receiver like Mississippi's Elijah Moore or Minnesota's Rashod Bateman.

Lions trade into top 10 to get a quarterback

Jared Goff passes against the Green Bay Packers on Jan. 16, 2021
Jared Goff passes against the Green Bay Packers on Jan. 16, 2021

Like the New England Patriots, the Detroit Lions are in need of a franchise quarterback after trading Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams in a deal that sent Jared Goff to Detroit. And like the Patriots, the Lions have draft resources -- they received first-round picks in 2022 and 2023 as well as a 2021 third-round pick -- to trade up into the top 10 and get Justin Fields or Trey Lance.

Seahawks swap for more draft picks

Seattle will enter the NFL Draft with three picks, the fewest of any team. Trading down from the No. 56 overall pick in the second round would allow the Seahawks to add more picks in the later rounds.

Chiefs deal back into first round

Orlando Brown and Mark Andrews celebrate against the Cincinnati Bengals on Oct. 11, 2020.
Orlando Brown and Mark Andrews celebrate against the Cincinnati Bengals on Oct. 11, 2020.

After trading the 31st pick as part of a package to the Baltimore Ravens for Orlando Brown, the Kansas City Chiefs no longer have a selection in the first round of this year's draft.

With a pair of second-round picks, the Chiefs could make a move to get back into the first round and add depth to the offensive line or draft a wide receiver to replace Sammy Watkins.

Browns move up to get edge rusher

One of the Cleveland Browns' biggest needs is on the defensive end opposite Myles Garrett. With nine picks in the draft, starting with the No. 26 pick, they have the resources to move up into the top 20 and get someone like Michigan's Kwity Payne.

Eagles trade back into top 10

With 11 picks, it's hard to imagine the Eagles not attempting to move up the NFL Draft board. They have a need at wide receiver, and a surplus of draft selections could help them move back into the top 10. Options there include LSU's Ja'Marr Chase, Alabama's Devonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle.

Packers trade up to get cornerback

The Green Bay Packers have a need at cornerback and haven't been shy about trading up in the first round. Last year, they moved up to get Utah State's Jordan Love. They'd likely have to leapfrog the Bears, who might also consider drafting a cornerback after losing Kyle Fuller, to get into the top 20 and get someone like Northwestern's Greg Newsome II.

Published 29 Apr 2021
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