Bucs considering trading up, but what would it cost?
The down side to the Darrelle Revis trade is the fact that Thursday night could be awfully quiet at One Buc Place, when the rest of the NFL goes about the business of making first-round draft picks.
But if you know Bucs general manager Mark Dominik’s methods of operation, you are viewing the draft with the expectation that anything is possible despite his decision to trade the No. 13 pick to the Jets for the All-Pro cornerback.
Dominik, as he has proven, is willing to be aggressive and take chances when it comes to navigating the draft through trades, and this year provides some opportunities for the Bucs to do that with their most pressing need (cornerback) now addressed.
Already, the Bucs have made it clear they will consider moving back into the first round if a player they want falls down the board.
“You get a little antsy, but we’ve already gone through scenarios,” Dominik said. “Who are the guys you’d consider going to get depending on how far they drop? Here’s what it takes. We’ve gone through a lot of (debates) that way.”
But there’s an important question associated with this proposition: What will it take to move up?
This is the calculation the Bucs will have to make if one of their targets is still available late in the first round. We saw them do this last year when they traded up five spots to No. 31 to select running back Doug Martin, who proved to be a superb choice.
But it will be a bit tougher this time. The Bucs don’t have the 36th overall choice like they did last year. Instead, their first pick is No. 43, the 11th pick of the second round. It will take a little more than that to net a first-rounder.
Teams refer to some version of the so-called draft-value chart when making these decisions. It provides guidelines for determining what respective picks are worth by assigning a point value to each pick.
At No. 43, let’s consider what it would take for the Bucs to make a significant jump. The first thing you have to look at is what kind of ammunition the Bucs have. They happen to think they have plenty.
“We still have all our selections behind us (after the first round),” Dominik said. “We walk into this draft with seven picks still. . . I think it allows you the ammunition to be able to move around and be fluid if you want to.”
The Bucs own the 73rd pick, which is the ninth pick in the third round. Based on the trade chart, the 43rd and 73rd picks, at least on paper, are enough to make a play for, say, the 27th overall choice.
That range of the draft can net a decent player. The past five picks at No. 27: guard Kevin Zeitler (Bengals), cornerback Jimmy Smith (Ravens), cornerback Devin McCourty (Patriots), running back Donald Brown (Colts) and cornerback Antoine Cason (Chargers).
Trading up higher than No. 27 likely would require an additional pick, but the Bucs have that option if the trade is appealing enough. They have a pair of fourth-round picks, and throwing one of them into the deal would be enough to propel Tampa Bay higher if Dominik desires.
This isn’t a decision that can be taken lightly because giving up picks in any round is a difficult choice. And the Bucs’ potential efforts to trade up will only succeed if there are willing partners to make a deal with in the first place.
But the Bucs are going to be open to moving on Thursday night, and if they do, now you have some idea of what it will take.