Of the prospects who could realistically be available with the 22nd pick there isn’t any one that I’m really sold on, but there are plenty who I could buy into. Combine that with the, in my opinion very implausible, rumors the Colts are looking at a QB early and I think a trade down is very possible. Using a trade value chart adjusted to better fit the behavior of teams in recent years I drew up some possible moves back by the Colts.
The most likely trades to consider are a team needing a QB moving up to grab their favorite. While I don’t put any stock into the rumors that the Colts are considering a QB early, there could be some doubt in other teams minds and Seattle a couple picks later at #25 is definitely in the market for a quarterback. Jake Locker, Ryan Mallett, Christian Ponder, Andy Dalton and Colin Kaepernick are all possibilities to remain on the board until 22 and be snatched up by some team trading into the 1st round, and if Aaron Rodgers can fall to the 24th pick, Cam Newton or Blaine Gabbert certainly could.
6 of the 12 teams that could take a 1st round QB currently have the picks to trade up to #22 without including future year picks.
San Francisco: #22 to SF for #45, #76, #108 and #141
A lot to give in one draft, but after picking up a premier defensive piece the Niners could get Harbaugh his choice from a number of promising developmental QBs. With a move back from 7 offsetting the cost or some future picks substituted in the deal is more plausible. It’s a big move back, but with 7 picks between number 45 and 152 the Colts could add a lot of role players, depth, future starters and would have a good chance to hit upon a steal of a pick.
Cincinnati: #22 and #119 to CIN for #35, #66 and #207
A much less extreme deal, with no QBs worth their top 5 pick the Bengals take an elite talent like AJ Green or Patrick Peterson and get a much more appropriately valued QB. Indy’s move backwards is small enough that they could still get one of the players in contention for the #22 pick, bumps their mid-late 4th to a very early 3rd and gets a better 7th rounder than the one they gave up for Tryon.
Tennessee: #22 and #188 to TEN for #39, #77 and #109
The Titans get their QB without having to burn the #8 pick and are left with plenty of late rounders to fill out their depth needs. Indy still has a shot at a high impact player and picks up the pieces to add some more quality talent in the middle rounds.
Buffalo: #22 and #119 to BUF for #34, #68 and #206
A slightly more balanced version of the trade I made in the live mock last weekend. In that scenario I still got one of the players off my short list for the #22 pick, Nate Solder, and was able to still get Quinton Carter after passing on him in the 2nd in favor of Danny Watkins thanks to the early 3rd rounder.
Arizona: #22 and #188 to ARI for #38, #69 and #171
QB is a massive hole on the Cards roster, but there are many better uses of the #5 pick than Newton or Gabbert, what are the Cards to do? For their 3rd rounder and a swap of 4ths they can get a player worthy of the #5 pick and a 1st round QB.
Seattle: #22 to SEA for #25, #156 and #157
Maybe the Seahawks take the Colts interest in a QB seriously, maybe they aren’t willing to risk the Colts, Eagles and Saints trading their pick to someone else interested in a QB, maybe they don’t want a QB at all and are eyeing a sliding DL talent who is unlikely to make it past both Indy and NO. For the cost of some 5th rounders they can be sure to get their man.
The rule of thumb for future picks is a round discounted per year away the pick is. So a 2012 1st is very roughly worth a 2nd rounder this year. The other 6 teams looking for a QB lack the 2nd&later around picks this year to move up to 22, but could make a deal with future picks if Polian decides to try out his Belichick impression.
Jacksonville: #22 to JAC for #49 and a 2012 1st
The Jags add a badly needed pass rusher and use the 2012 1st rounder they’ll probably be using to replace Garrard anyway to get the QB of the future in the fold now. Indy moves back pretty far, but can anticipate holding a 1st round pick that’s earlier than their norm in addition to their traditional late 1st rounder.
Washington: #22 and #87 to WAS for #41, #177 and a 2012 1st
The Redskins add much needed talent elsewhere with the #10 pick and get a QB who can be expected to stick around unlike the out of favor McNabb and Rex Grossman. Indy is a bit worse off in this draft, but picks up the first rounder of a team with serious issues in a strong division.
#22 to WAS for #41, #144, #155 and a 2012 2nd
The Colts don’t weaken their 2011 draft nearly as much, but are looking at a best case of a early 2nd rounder rather than holding one of the top picks in next years draft. The Redskins don’t give up such a valuable rebuilding piece for a team that needs some rebuilding.
Minnesota: #22 to MIN for #43, #106 and a 2012 2nd
Indy is still in the range of a high caliber player with their first pick, picks up an early 4th and a quality pick for next years draft. Minny gets a piece that could help them win some games under Tarvaris Jackson, and someone to take over for him down the line.
Miami: #22 to MIA for #79, a 2012 1st and a 2012 3rd
Miami is considered a prime contender to move down from the 15 spot as their biggest needs, RB, C and QB are best addressed outside the top 15 this year and they lack a 2nd rounder which a tradeback could return to them. If the Dolphins do want Mark Ingram in the first they’d be well advised to either not trade back further than the 23rd pick (limiting their options and the possible return) or to move back up in front of the Saints, like to the Colts 22nd pick giving some of their haul from the trade down from 15 and/or future picks.
Carolina: #22 to CAR for #65, #98 and a 2012 1st
The Panthers really shouldn’t waste the #1 pick on Newton or Gabbert, but what if they still want a QB? That 2012 first of theirs would look very appetizing to the rest of the league, but with a wise use of the #1 pick they could improve significantly. Indy could still get some impact from their 2011 class and would hold the 2012 1st of a team that might not be awful again, but definitely has a low ceiling.
Oakland: #22 to OAK for #48, #81 and a 2012 2nd OR #22 to OAK for #48 and a 2012 1st
Is the Raiders 2010 draft a sign of more rational drafting to come, or a lucky result of them no longer even having a method to their madness? While Jason Campbell is a viable starter it seems to be his destiny to be plugged into a new offense every year or two and kicked around the league, good enough to keep getting starting jobs, but not enough for a franchise to be stable around him.
Teams move up for more than just QBs, though those are the easiest trades to foresee. Some non-QB scenarios for a Colts move back:
St. Louis: #22 and #119 to STL for #47, #112 and a 2012 1st OR #22 and #87 to STL for #47, #78, #112, #145 and a 2012 2nd
The Rams are usually linked to a defensive lineman, but if Julio Jones falls to them at 14 it’ll almost certainly be too good for a team lacking a top receiving threat to pass up. They’d still really need some DL help though and at the #22 pick there are probably going to be some excellent options.
Pittsburgh: #22 to PIT for #31, #95 and #162
The Steelers could jump up to grab some OL help (possibly re-uniting the Pouncey twins) or grab Jimmy Smith before the Eagles can. Coming from inside the 1st round the price tag wouldn’t be too hard to swallow. Indy would add some picks and still in well positioned for a strong addition with their 1st pick.
New England: #22 and #87 to NE for #28, #74 and #159 OR
#22, #53, #87 and #188 to NE for #28, #33 and #125 OR
#22, #87 and #152 to NE for #28 and #60
The Patriots have a mountain of picks so could ensure themselves the tackle, 5-tech or edge rusher they have their eyes on without digging too deep into their reserves. Indy would have a wealth of options for positioning the later parts of their draft in choosing what to take in return for #22.
Chicago: #22 and #188 to CHI for #29, #93 and #195
The Bears have very similar needs to Indy, but scheme and draft preference differences could have them in love with a OL or DT prospect Indy is lukewarm on. The Bears get the prospect they love and the Colts pick up some value later in the draft instead of drafting a player they aren’t sold on.
Denver: #22 and #152 to DEN for #36 and #67 OR #22 and #87 to DEN for #36 and #46
Denver needs to add defensive talent badly, especially on the DL as they convert to a 4-3 defense. Luckily for them this draft has quite a bit of it. Even a deep class has drop offs though, if a front 7 prospect they are high on starts to slide, especially if they went value over need with the #2 pick and took Patrick Peterson, they could look to go get them before the board is picked clean by the numerous late 1st round teams in need of DL help. With the defense in such a wretched state they probably won’t want to reduce their number of picks, but they have some extra early rounders that would let them provide the value through pick swaps, rather than giving up picks outright.
Cleveland: #22 to CLE for #35 and #70
Like Denver the Browns are rebuilding their front 7 as they switch to a 4-3 front. Though without an extra pick until the 6th round they’d have to give up a pick to move up for a 2nd high impact player. Indy slides back to a range where a 1st round talent could still reach them and picks up an extra pick that should yield a good player.
Dallas: #22 and #152 to DAL for #40, #71 and #110
Dallas, like Miami seems like a good candidate to move down, then look to hop part of the way back up. The draft is deep with 5-tech prospects and #9 is pretty early for anyone from this OT class, but is high enough that some highly prized prospect is still available who will command quite a haul for a team to move up for them. Even if they stand pat at the 9th pick the Cowboys could justify blowing most of their draft on two major additions with the hopes that they will be enough to put them into contention when combined with a healthy Tony Romo and stability on the coaching staff.
NY Jets: #22 and #188 to NYJ for #31, #94 and #161
If Phil Taylor isn’t taken by the Chiefs or the Jets have a 5-tech prospect or LB they don’t trust to make it through to 31 a hop up to 22 would leave them sitting on their hands until the late 4th round afterwards, but give them an impact piece who could put them over the top.
Green Bay: #22 and #87 to GB for #32, #64, #129
Champs have needs too, but generally less of them. The Pack can take care of a major hole with a great prospect without gutting their draft, while the Colts gain some later value and remain in good position for their 1st.