There are few things more interesting things than a mock draft trade and these days they're capitulating a need unite quarterback Marcus Mariota with the Philadelphia Ducks. Then again, it might be a team sporting a light shade of green that's in position to draft Mariota in the first round of the 2015 NFL draft.
"We want competition at every position," Jets head coach Todd Bowles said to season ticket holders this Thursday. "Ryan (Fitzpatrick) is going to compete, as well as Geno (Smith) is going to compete, and we hope to add somebody else to compete with them, along with [Matt] Simms."
Will Brinson with CBS Sports released his latest mock draft, swapping first round picks between the Oakland Raiders and New York, sending Mariota to the Jets. "The Jets fall for the smokescreen, get aggressive and leapfrog Washington to grab Mariota," writes Brinson. "The cost isn't prohibitive because they're only jumping two spots and they lock down their quarterback of the future who could theoretically play right away in a Chan Gailey offense. Cannot fathom a world in which Mariota falls out of the top five."
NFL draft experts: Blowing up the value of quarterbacks since the early-80s.
(Yawn) some of you are expressing, What about the Bengals? Brinson has Cincinnati reaching an agreement with the Dallas Cowboys to swap first round picks so that Jerry Jones can snag Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon -- obviously assuming that Adrian Peterson won't be playing in Dallas?
What do the Bengals get in return? Well, that little detail is completely ignored -- only that the Bengals are picking No. 27 now. In the meantime, the Bengals grab Pittsburgh offensive tackle T.J. Clemmings:
Prepping for life after Andrew Whitworth, the Bengals grab a strong tackle who provides depth on the line and gives them an intimidating presence in the run game should he step in right away. In the meantime, they can groom him for the future.
In 2012, the Bengals had the No. 17 pick (cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick) and the No. 21 spot -- the former was part of the Carson Palmer trade. Prior to the pick, Cincinnati reached an agreement with New England, which allowed the Patriots to pick Chandler Jones at No. 21. The Bengals, now picking at No. 27 (guard Kevin Zeitler), acquired an additional third-round pick (defensive tackle Brandon Thompson). We can only assume that's the reward Cincinnati would receive if they dealt their first-round pick to Dallas in our mock draft.
There is a belief that after the top-10 or 15 prospects, the number of second-tier players that could be drafted from the middle of the first round through the end of the second is pretty big, yet even. Whereas one team might view a player as the 60th best prospect, another team might view him as a first-rounder. Draft boards are never identical obviously... But the spectrum of where a player could be drafted is pretty wide.
Cincinnati's "need", and the players that will be available to them is wide-ranging. We could see the Bengals trading their first round pick, acquiring another three (maybe more) to accumulate draft picks in areas that offer minimal discrepancies in the round that they're drafted in. What difference does it make if you're falling back 4-5 spots in the first round, if you're in a position to snag another third-rounder -- where starters are still found. That would give the Bengals three third-round picks, a two and a one -- or five picks in the first 99 selections. Why not?