Trade down? Why not?
When you do what we do for a living, people expect you to have all the answers. And, so, this time of year, everyone expects you to know exactly what the Bucs are going to do on draft day.
Got news for you: not even the Bucs know yet.
Anyhow, I still make an effort to answer the frequently-asked question. One theory I find myself espousing lately is this: the Bucs could trade down. The latest to get this speech was my cousin, Sheldon, on Sunday. Not sure if he bought it. You can judge for yourself.
Here's my thinking (which, by the way, is echoed in Peter King's column on SI.com this morning): I believe that if it's the Bucs' intention to target wide receiver with their first pick, they might believe trading down into the second round -- and picking up an extra second- or third-round pick -- is wise. My rationale is, given the ordinary class of receivers we're looking at this year, how much difference will there be in a guy they can select at No. 20 versus one available to them in the second round?
It's impossible to say how much better Limas Sweed, for example, will be than, oh, Early Doucet. But my gut is that Tampa Bay might feel the gap between the first- and second-round receivers is narrow enough to make moving down for the sake of an extra pick worthwhile (does that make sense?).
The most significant variable that could derail this theory is someone taking an unexpected fall in the first round. Not sure who that might be, but let's say they don't expect USF's Mike Jenkins to be there -- and there's a good chance he's gone by No. 20 -- maybe they stand pat and grab him. It's unclear who the Bucs deem to be the best cornerback available this year, but if it's another guy and he happens to be available at No. 20, I'd say they'd grab him. And that would be a good move, in my opinion.
Whether the Bucs trade down or not, I think they will definitely field calls if anyone's interested. Their shortage of picks is no small factor, I think (they only have five). And there are several positions where it's believed there will be good value available in the second and third rounds. Cornerback and receiver, which happen to be primary needs for the Bucs, are among them.
For those who want star power, this probably isn't what you want to hear. But that doesn't mean it's not the smart thing to do. If I'm wrong, feel free to come back a week from today and let me have it.
Of course, we hope to see you before then. Don't be a stranger.