With draft season comes projection, and a lot of it. Fans, analysts, and just about everyone makes guesses — educated or not — as to who they think their favorite team will pick, where a player will be drafted, if their team will make a draft day trade, and so on.
If I have one ever so bold take on what the Jaguars will or won’t do come April 27th — the first round of the NFL Draft, it’s this: The Jaguars will most likely not trade back from the 4th overall pick.
Would a trade be O.K.? Yes, it allows the team to grab extra draft picks and perhaps draft a first round offensive lineman with a reasonable pick, such as Forrest Lamp in the 15-20 range. However, the Jaguars just aren’t in an ideal situation to be able to trade back.
If teams want to move into the top 5 picks, it’s going to be for a quarterback, or, if in some insane change of events, Myles Garrett falls past the second pick, with the latter situation being incredibly unlikely.
However, if a team is going to trade up for a QB, they’ll want to jump ahead of the New York Jets at 6th overall, as the Jets are reportedly high on Mitch Trubisky and Deshaun Watson.
At first, it’s easy to that say a team could trade up to the 4th overall pick to be ahead of the Jets... but that actually makes no sense in terms of value for the team that trades up.
If a team wants to hop in front of the Jets, they need not trade up higher than the 5th pick, belonging to the Tennessee Titans. The Titans have two first round picks and are reportedly willing to trade out from the 5th pick.
Those two factors automatically make the Titans the more likely team to trade out if a team wants to land their QB before the Jets are on the clock. To add to that argument, it would only make sense that a team trading up would want to get the most value in a trade that they can. Therefore, I linked a “draft pick value” chart from Pro Football Talk below.
In this chart, each pick is assigned a point value. That’s where math comes in:
- The 4th overall pick — belonging to the Jaguars — is worth 1800 points. Hypothetically, if the Browns selected Myles Garrett with the 1st overall pick and wanted to trade up to grab a quarterback before New York, they’d have to give up the 12th overall pick (1st round, 1200 points), the 33rd overall pick (2nd round, 580 points), and the 175th pick (5th round, 21.4 points) to consider it a “fair trade”, with Cleveland giving up 1801.4 “trade value points”.
- The 5th overall pick -- belonging to the Titans — is worth 1700 points. Hypothetically, if the Browns selected Myles Garrett with the 1st overall pick and wanted to trade up to grab a quarterback before New York, they’d have to give up the 12th overall pick (1st round, 1200 points), the 52nd pick (2nd round, 380 points) and the 108th pick (4th round, 78 points) to be about a “fair trade”, with Cleveland giving up 1658 “trade value points”.
Now, the teams may not use these exact picks or number of picks in completing a trade, as outlying factors such as competing offers can boost trade value, but based on this point system alone, the Browns would give up 143.4 less “trade value points” in trading up to the 5th pick with the Titans than to the 4th pick with the Jaguars.
For perspective, 143.4 “trade value points” is about equal to the 89th pick in the draft: A late 3rd round pick.
In conclusion, and keep in mind that this is simply my, although educated, opinion: I don’t believe it is plausible that the Jaguars will have the opportunity to trade out of the 4th overall pick with a team trading up for a quarterback. Teams can give up less without risking anything to get their QB with the 5th pick, leaving Jacksonville in a position where they will just draft a player at 4th overall.