Realistic Draft Day Trade Possibilities for the Cincinnati Bengals

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistApril 29, 2014

Realistic Draft Day Trade Possibilities for the Cincinnati Bengals

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    The Cincinnati Bengals enter the 2014 NFL draft armed to the teeth with nine selections and a roster in place simply in need of some complementary and forward-looking pieces.

    Owner Mike Brown and coach Marvin Lewis aren't known for consistent draft maneuvers, but this year is a special case for two reasons:

    1. It's widely hailed as one of the deepest drafts in recent years. It won't cost as much to move around, and moving down won't result in a major drop in quality.
    2. Nine picks aren't going to make such a talented roster, and may just get stolen by others off the practice squad.

    This isn't to suggest the Bengals will or should make a move this year. But the following deals—based loosely on Draft Countdown's value chart—are certainly within the realm of possibility and worth consideration.

Trade Up to No. 10 Overall

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    The Deal: Cincinnati sends No. 24 overall, a third-round pick (88) and a 2015 second-round pick to Detroit in exchange for No. 10 overall.


    Look, Cincinnati isn't known for such an aggressive maneuver, but if Marvin Lewis and Co. fall in love with a guy who takes a tumble—perhaps a Jake Matthews—using extra resources to move up and pounce is possible.

    Just not all that likely. But Detroit is in a strange position in terms of need-value marriage, so the front office may be on the hunt to move down.

    For Cincinnati, this nets a top prospect at a position and doesn't mortgage too much of the future. An elite offensive tackle, or perhaps a defensive lineman like Aaron Donald, is worth the sacrifice.

    Again, just don't hold that breath too long.

Trade Down to No. 30 Overall

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    The Deal: Cincinnati sends No. 24 overall to San Francisco in exchange for No. 30 overall and a third-round pick (94).


    Cincinnati has pulled similar moves in the past and won't have any qualms about doing so again in such a deep class. If the Bengals aren't thrilled with the prospects on the board at No. 24 or feel one of their guys will still be around near the end of the first round, some teams have the ammunition to seduce Cincinnati.

    The most noteworthy is San Francisco. Recent reports suggest the 49ers are set to be aggressive this year and may want out of No. 30 overall.

    Much like Cincinnati, the brass in San Francisco may feel their very talented roster is one piece away and a bottom-three pick won't have the necessary impact. Given the depth of the draft, it won't cost the 49ers to move up, and while Cincinnati would prefer that No. 77 overall instead, adding No. 94 and getting another top-100 selection is a steal.

Trade Down out of 1st Round Entirely

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    The Deal: Cincinnati ships No. 24 overall to Atlanta in exchange for a second (37) and third-round pick (68).


    Rinse and repeat.

    Cincinnati doesn't have to pull the trigger at No. 24, especially if other teams are desperate to get the selection.

    One such team may be Atlanta, a franchise that seems to be of the mindset it is one or two upgrades away from title contention. After picking in the top 10, the Falcons may see another prospect at No. 24 they desperately want. They have two picks in the fourth round and a bevy of picks in the 2015 class, so giving up consecutive picks this year isn't a major issue.

    Instead of three picks in the top 100, the Bengals then get four. No-brainer.

Use Depth to Grab an Additional 2015 1st-Round Pick

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    The Deal: Cincinnati sends second-round pick (55), fourth-round pick (123) and 2015 second and fourth-round picks to Tampa Bay in exchange for a 2015 first-round pick.


    This is a bit out there, but with so many teams looking to invest in a deep class and turn things around or take the next step, Cincinnati may be content to ride the coattails of its current roster while building up more resources in future classes.

    To that end, perhaps the Bengals will look to add a first-rounder in 2015, with the thought process being that more holes will be known by then—and quarterback Andy Dalton will have played out the final year of his contract, for better or worse.

    This is a tricky endeavor, but Tampa Bay is one team with a new regime in place and plenty of needs. The Buccaneers are also one of the teams with the most selections in 2015, so a first-rounder is not the typical loss.

    Again, the Bengals don't have a bevy of roster spots up for grabs this year. If the team is content to shift some of the focus to 2015, the above move or something similar isn't a horrible consideration.

Use Extra Selections to Move Up in Mid-Rounds

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    The Deal: Cincinnati sends its third-round pick (88), fifth-round pick (164) and sixth-round pick (212) in exchange for St. Louis' third-round pick (75).


    Thanks to two compensatory selections, bringing the total amount of picks to nine this year, the Cincinnati Bengals may want to translate late-round picks into assets in the top 100.

    Of course, a willing partner is necessary. St. Louis is no stranger to trading down and likely won't mind moving down in the third round while adding additional selections to acquire depth.

    Maybe Cincinnati sees a prospect it likes—such as Terrence Brooks or Scott Crichton—has taken a fall. This applies in the second round as well, but the point is Cincinnati has a wealth of picks it can package to move up at a reasonable price.


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