The NFL draft is all about scenarios.
If this happens then do that. If this player falls, trade up. If the run on this position doesn’t happen, then trade back.
The possibilities are endless and even more so when you pick at the end of each round.
One scenario the Buccaneers will be considering is the option of trading back. Many teams will want to move back up into the first round to secure their guy and that coveted fifth-year option.
Speaking of options, or lack thereof: If there is no option that the Bucs love at No. 32, then they are better off trading back and capitalizing on the depth of various positions.
The trick is finding a dance partner. Considering things like number of picks to trade, position needs, teams in front of them with similar needs, etc.; it’s often hard to find the right match.
With all that said, it appears that the Jacksonville Jaguars are a prime candidate to trade up (or back from Tampa Bay’s perspective) with the Bucs.
What’s the trade?
Jacksonville receives picks No. 32 and No. 137 overall.
Tampa Bay receives picks No. 45 and No. 65 overall.
Why does this makes sense?
The Jacksonville Jaguars have a chance to reshape their franchise in this draft. They have two first-round picks, including the first overall pick, and two second-round picks. But as they say, “If two are good, then three is better.”. If the Jaguars were interested in adding another first-round pick, with a third shot at a fifth-year option, it would lay the foundation for their franchise.
This would give the Jaguars four picks in the top 33 and the Bucs four picks in the top 100. These picks would presumably include their franchise quarterback with the first overall pick, protection for him on the offensive line and a young defensive building block. In addition, they have a new coach in Urban Meyer who has been one of the most successful college coaches ever. All of a sudden their is real reason for optimism in Jacksonville.
From a Tampa Bay perspective, this move adds depth and talent for another Super Bowl run. The Bucs could really hit the sweet spot in this draft with a move like this. There is still good value at the end of the second round. The Bucs could find quality depth players, here, as well as high-upside, developmental players who could be stars down the road.
How have other teams fared in this type of trade?
Keep in mind, the Jaguars wouldn’t likely trade the 33rd overall pick for the 32nd overall pick. This scenario would be Jacksonville trading the 45th overall pick to move back into the first round. The Jags would have to offer something significant to Tampa Bay in order to make this move.
It’s likely to require Jacksonville’s third-round pick, No. 65 overall, for this to happen. This might require the Bucs to send an additional pick back in the exchange, potentially their fourth-round pick to make the values close to even.
You don’t have to go back far to find a similar draft day trade as a point of reference. In 2019, the Atlanta Falcons traded up into the first round, moving from pick No. 45 to pick No. 31. In exchange, Atlanta also sent the Los Angeles Rams their third-round pick (No. 79 overall). The Falcons also received the Rams sixth-round pick (No. 203 overall) as part of the deal.
Since the Bucs are receiving a better third-round pick in exchange, it makes sense that they’d have to send a more valuable Day Three pick back. And although there may be a larger numerical gap between the Day Three pick the Bucs would send compared to what the Rams sent, the value of the third-round pick the Bucs would be getting is actually much higher than what the Rams got.
Trading down would make sense for the Bucs. It is unlikely they are going to find a super star with the 32nd pick and if they do it’s because they took a chance on a flawed player. In the grand scheme of things, there probably isn’t much difference for them between the 32nd pick and an early-to-mid second-round pick.
What is most important here is having multiple opportunities to add talent. Whether those players turn out to be solid depth or a gamble on a high ceiling and low floor player, either pathway is fine. The more picks the Bucs have, the more opportunities they have to get someone who will help them win another Super Bowl.