What the trade-down mock drafts tell us
- The simulators sometimes give tremendous, even unlikely value. Tight end Cole Kmet, for example, is really unlikely to last to the third round. Center Cesar Ruiz is similarly doubtful to be available at pick 51. And defensive tackle Derrick Brown slipping all the way to 17? Come on! That’s crazy! But who knows. Cowboys guard/center Connor McGovern fell all the way to the third round last year.
- The simulators vary widely in terms of trade value too. I got excessively high value on PFF. It was much harder on The Draft Network. How likely are either of these? Equally, I think. The truth is that any team might be willing to trade anything on any given day if they want a particular player badly enough. It’s just blind luck.
- Even absent one of these ridiculously one-sided trades, I think trading down looks especially smart this year. Unless one of the elite players is available, I think Dallas is better off with a trade down, even they only receive a third-rounder. It looks like the quality of players from pick 18-32 is pretty even.
- You might notice that on The Draft Network drafts, I usually waited until the fourth round to draft a receiver, whereas I usually took a receiver in the third round on PFF. That’s just how their simulators worked out. On PFF, if I waited until the fourth round most of the good receivers were gone. I found the Draft Network’s simulator more likely in this respect due to the number of excellent pass catchers this year.
- According to most of my mock drafts, and most others I’ve seen, it’s very likely the Cowboys can find a good receiver in the fourth round because of this year’s extreme depth at the position. That’s a big advantage if you want a big draft haul. But you never know. Simulations don’t guarantee anything in the real world.
- As likely as it is to find a good receiver in the mid rounds, it’s just as unlikely to find a satisfactory cornerback past the second round. Sometimes a good CB was available in the third, sometimes not. I sure hope the Cowboys’ brain trust has noticed this.
- Trading down multiple times also worked out pretty well, both on The Draft Network and PFF. I wonder how realistic this is. Maybe it would work fine. I remember how Seattle made eight trades last year, all on draft day.
- This kind of wheeling and dealing might prove more difficult this year because the draft will be all remote and dependent on communication technology. Or it might be fine. I guess we’ll see.
I’d be hard-pressed to decide which of these options I like the most. In general, I love the drafts where I was able to get the most picks in trade. But that doesn’t always guarantee the best results. Luck plays a part.
For example, in option four, I got several extra third-rounders, but I didn’t love how the draft went. The picks were okay, but it’s not my favorite.
The drafts that I like the best combined good deals in trade, and luck with players falling to the Cowboys’ pick. Any draft where Ruiz falls to pick 51 or Leki Fotu falls to Dallas’ fourth-round pick is going to look better to me.
What do you think? Which is your favorite trade-down mock? Have you tried mocking-trading and gotten better results? Tell us in the comment section below.