NFL Draft 2014: Teams with top-three picks open for trades

Scott Halleran

The Jaguars joined the Texans and Rams as teams willing to trade their draft picks in the 2014 NFL draft. It's highly unlikely that Cincinnati would apply for such a trade, but if they do, a few players they may address would be at defensive end and offensive tackle.

When teams are open to trading their top-five draft picks during the NFL draft, you can make two interpretations.

1) The draft doesn't have the top-end star-power that those teams could use for immediate and long-term production.
2) The draft is stronger after the first round and gaining extra selections will help rebuild a talent-deficient roster.

Jacksonville Jaguars general manager David Caldwell admitted to the team's official website that they're open for discussions trading their No. 3 overall selection -- a position that's similar to the Houston Texans (1st overall) and the St. Louis Rams (2nd overall).

"We would not discourage that at all," Caldwell said. "I think it’s a possibility, but it’s so early in the process. There are going to be guys who are going to be weeded out. Some may have injury issues. Some may have other issues. Everyone thinks they’re going to be a Top 10 pick and now they’re not even going to be in the conversation."

In other words, it's too early and publicly announcing a willingness to move in the NFL draft is smart. At least teams that covet a top-five player in the draft will ring Jacksonville, who could use additional picks to rebuild their roster.

As for the Bengals, we always project a conservative approach with Cincinnati. There's no doubt that Cincinnati has been historically open to moving around; recently falling backwards in the first round with additional draft picks as compensation.

Could they move up into the top-five?

If so, who would be their target? Perhaps South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, to replace the likely-departing Michael Johnson? Perhaps Auburn offensive tackle Greg Robinson or Texas A&M offensive tackle Jake Mathews as Cincinnati's answer for allowing Anthony Collins to leave and keeping Andrew Whitworth at left guard. If you're thinking quarterback, don't. The team has already said that they're not taking one early.

Realistically, this is obviously a non-story; more like an examination on our current mindset. Cincinnati won't sacrifice several selections to move inside the top-five. This is a roster without immediate needs (then again, doesn't that point actually support moving into the top-five?). Michael Johnson and Anthony Collins may leave, true. But in reality, both players were selected in the third and fourth rounds respectively -- why not again?

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