When you're picking in the twenties in the NFL Draft, there's a decent chance one of two things will happen where moving spots is beneficial:
1. There isn't a player on the board who fills a position of need that's worth that spot.
2. There is a guy you could certainly use to upgrade your roster, but he's assured to be gone by the time your pick is set to be made.
That may be the case this year with the Dallas Cowboys and Cincinnati Bengals. Dallas has several holes on their roster that need to be filled, particularly at running back, if they hope to make it back to the playoffs in 2015. Trading up to land a player who they're confident will fill that hole may be a smart play for them.
As for the Bengals, there is no one glaring hole on their roster, at least, there may not be a player available at spot 21 who's capable of cracking the starting lineup as a rookie. Taking a guy at 21 to sit on the bench for a year, as Marvin Lewis said he wants, would be a bit high, but trading back in the first round to get a guy who may ride the bench as a rookie may be smarter.
That could give them more picks to acquire more players who could potentially contribute at some point, and that's part of why Sports Illustrated's Don Banks had Dallas swapping picks with Cincinnati in his latest mock draft.
The Cowboys move up to Cincinnati's spot to take Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon:
The Cowboys corral their new lead running back (sorry, Darren McFadden) and the Bengals pick up a little extra draft ammo, while still probably landing the same player at No. 27 that they were targeting at No. 21. If I’m Dallas, and in win-now mode, I’m turning Gordon loose behind that superb offensive line, with his proven ability to run north and south and powerfully break tackles. Dallas does the deal because it had to be wary of the No. 24 Cardinals, and their need of a lead running back.
As for the Bengals, who now hold the 27th pick in this mock, they go with Texas defensive tackle Malcom Brown:
I had Cincinnati taking Brown at No. 21 in my second mock, so if the Bengals can move down, acquire more picks, and still get their man at No. 27, that’s a win-win draft move for a team that usually likes to stay put and play the hand its dealt. You’re welcome, Mike Brown. Keep in touch.