It’s officially draft week, everyone. After the most incredible, fast paced, and bizarre early offseason in recent memory, it’s time to turn down the crazy and just enjoy the 2022 NFL Draft, right? Oh, you couldn’t be more wrong. Things are only getting started. Teams are making transactions and the currency used is draft picks. More first-round picks have been traded this offseason than in any prior one in NFL history. As of the time of writing, 11 first-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft have been traded, 8 teams have two of them, and another eight don’t have a single one to work with.
That, almost certainly, will change rapidly. Here are 3 major trades that need to be done during the NFL Draft.
2022 NFL Draft Trades
1. Jets trade 10th overall pick (and other picks) to 49ers for Deebo Samuel
The Jets are in an interesting position to go grab Deebo Samuel, who asked for a trade last week in the wake of failed contract negotiations with the team that drafted him 36th overall in 2019. The Jets currently hold both the 4th and 10th picks in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, and rumors have been flying that the Jets are very willing to use the 10th overall pick to get Samuel, one of the best receivers in the league last season. If they’re able to pull it off they’d likely be shipping at least one other first-round pick as well, but that’s not this year so it’s not relevant to the confines of this list.
For the 49ers, it would provide the flexibility to draft almost anyone they could want, as for the first time in a long while, the early parts of the first round are pretty unclear as to who will or could be selected, simply due to the insane talent present at numerous positions all over this draft. For the Jets, it would provide a cornerstone to continue building, and a receiving core of Elijah Moore, Corey Davis and Deebo Samuel would be one of the better ones in the AFC almost from day one.
2. Titans trade 26th overall pick (and other picks) to Eagles for 15th overall pick
The Titans have been attached to rumors which have them both trading up into the earlier parts of the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, or trading down the order and possibly out of the first round entirely. However, here we’re going to entertain the idea that the Titans trade up. There’s any number of players they’d do this for, at a few different positions. It could very well be for a quarterback, possibly a receiver or offensive lineman, who knows. The Titans have played their interest very close to the vest this draft cycle, so it’s really unclear who they’d be willing to take.
For the Eagles, the math is simple. They hold both the 15th and 18th picks, so moving one or the other backward a bit isn’t really that big a deal, plus they’d get a return of extra second or third-day picks to help fill out the roster.
3. Chargers trade 17th overall pick (and other picks) to Giants for 7th overall pick
The Chargers have been incredibly aggressive this offseason, partially due to the nuclear arms race that is the AFC West right now, and partially to maximize the three years left on Justin Herbert’s rookie contract. They’ve signed JC Jackson and traded for Khalil Mack to bolster their defense, and here, they trade up in the hopes of drafting whichever one of Ikem Ekwonu or Charles Cross fall out of the top five in the 2022 NFL Draft. The Chargers could always use offensive line help, and numerous mock drafts have them taking a pass blocker in the first round, so it’s only logical that if they truly want a certain prospect, they decide to just go get him.
The Giants lose nothing in this scenario and actually gain quite a bit. They’d still be able to select someone like Kenyon Green or Tyler Lindenbaum to improve their own offensive line at 17 and might be able to get the Chargers to come off of one of their future firsts as well. Right now in their rebuild, the Giants need players and lots of them after half a decade of sheer incompetence by former general manager David Gettleman.