In going back through the miasma of mock drafts, the one thing that sticks out is the incapability to predict trades accurately. Unlike the picks themselves which can predicted with a decent amount of accuracy based on team need, player stock and front office style, trades are much harder to foresee.
With so many trades on Day 1 of the 2012 NFL Draft, the first draft conducted after the ratification of the new CBA, it's impossible to see a 2013 first round that doesn't at least approach a handful of moves.
That being the case, here's a few options that could shake up the 1st round order as it's currently set:
Arizona moving up from 7th overall to take Texas A&M OT Luke Joeckel
Nate Potter didn't exactly wow in his rookie year at left tackle. As a result, mocking the Cards to take a tackle is one of the easier selections these days. Both Mel Kiper and Todd McShay mocked Central Michigan's Eric Fisher to the Cards at 7th in their updated mocks last week. And while Kevin Kolb initially dug in against revising his contract, the new braintrust in Phoenix made it obvious that he wouldn't survive in a Cardinals uniform past March 15th when he's due a multi-million dollar bonus. And if the options are unemployment or making a few million instead of $9m, guys usually don't look at unemployment with all that much fervor:
Yes, I'm told he's open to discussing restructuring, could offer incentives. RT @the_realdizzle: if he declines 2 restructure he's gone rt?— Mike Jurecki (@mikejurecki) February 5, 2013
So I could certainly see a situation going into the draft where the Cardinals have Kolb at leaner cost looking to fill that O-line with some talent immediately. My personal take is that Mocking the Draft's new mock would nearly be a nightmare scenario for them: Luke Joeckel gone at 3, Fisher at 4, and two pass rushers at 5 & 6. It's the kind of set up that could force their hand (or at least guide it) to do something as wacky as Dan Kadar suggested in the MTD mock: taking Arkansas QB Tyler Wilson.
As for the good folks over at Revenge of the Birds?
.@3k_ Don't see the Cards trading up, especially when there will be other linemen available.— Revenge of the Birds (@revengeofbirds) February 11, 2013
Something to track once Joeckel's off the board. Especially with certain pundits starting to suggest the Cardinals are headed to the playoffs in 2013...
Tampa Bay moving up from 13th overall to take Alabama CB Dee Milliner, Mississippi St. CB Johnthan Banks or Florida St. CB Xavier Rhodes
To play my own devil's advocate, I see two major factors working against this. First, the cornerback class is deep. Second, and maybe more important, the Bucs are hardly in a position to trade away picks. Their needs, and I'd argue corner is tops among them, need help.
And though the Chargers dealing with two cornerbacks who are now free agents in Quentin Jammer and Antoine Cason, I could see the Bucs moving to 11 to try and get their top CB left on the board. San Diego would be able to address their offensive line and tap into that CB depth later on.
Dallas moving up from 18th overall to take any offensive lineman that doesn't project as a left tackle
Between Alabama OT D.J. Fluker, Oklahoma OT Lane Johnson, Alabama G Chance Warmack and North Carolina G Jonathan Cooper, the Cowboys have plenty of options to address their O-line (if you think Johnson can cover down at RT). While their O-line and DT needs are their only real top tier holes, I could see the Cowboys jumping at a top name to fill that spot.
Indianapolis moving up from 24th overall to take Fluker
The Colts are on the verge of having a pretty nice offense. Reggie Wayne put in a hell of a season and TY Hilton didn't disappoint in year one as a gamebreaker. Heck, even Donnie Avery proved workmanlike in their offense. But the Colts would be wise to shore up their run blocking and improve at RT where Winston Justice was keeping a hot seat last season, when healthy.
I wouldn't be surprised if Colts GM Ryan Grigson pulls the trigger if he starts hearing whispers of a team ahead of him considering Fluker seriously.
San Francisco moving up from 31st overall to take Cal WR Keenan Allen or Tennessee WR Cordarrelle Patterson
If the 49ers are comfortable sorting through the depth of the safety class to add to the roster, I could see them jumping up to take a WR to replace Mario Manningham and Randy Moss. And no, I wouldn't like it. Not one bit.
What moves do you see happening? Granted, we're still pre-combine, but I could see these coming to pass in two months time.