Just because it’s peak free agency doesn’t mean that the wheels of draft season ever stop turning.
On Saturday, the Indianapolis Colts and the New York Jets struct a deal that will have major implication in the 2018 NFL draft with the moving of first and second round picks.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 17, 2018
With so many holes on the Colts roster, a move back from No. 3 overall was certainly alluring to Colts general manager Chris Ballard, especially knowing that there would be quarterbacks to choose from to drive the price up from other teams.
The Jets previously were selecting No. 6 overall, one spot in front of Tampa Bay. Though this trade doesn’t mean that there will be different teams in front of the Bucs’ selection (as it stand right now), that change in the order does impact what might be on the table when Jason Licht and the Buccaneers are on the clock at No. 7.
People were already expecting a quarterback to be a top target for the Jets, even though they just signed Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater — one-year deals each. But, with only four quarterbacks in this class getting Top 5 hype, staying at No. 6 meant the Jets were running the risk of not being able to take one. With this move up to No. 3, that almost guarantees that they’ll be taking a quarterback.
The current order of the draft is now as follows:
- Cleveland Browns
- New York Giants
- New York Jets
- Cleveland Browns
- Denver Broncos
- Indianapolis Colts
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Browns are going to take a quarterback at No.1, it’s just a matter of which one. Though we hear that offensive guard Quenton Nelson and running back Saquon Barkley could be options for the Giants at No. 2, it’s more likely that they go quarterback as well to prepare for Eli Manning’s departure in the next year or two. With the Jets moving up to No. 3, they’ll like take a quarterback, too, as one would expect for the price they paid to move up. As for No. 4, I ultimately believe the Browns will trade back with that pick and a team, like say Miami, Buffalo or Arizona, will ultimately be selecting a quarterback there, as well.
With the real possibility that four quarterbacks could all go in the first four picks, that will leave some good players left to round out the Top 10. That is the good news for the Bucs. The bad news might be that who the Bucs really want might line up with who the Colts also want, as both teams are desperate for impact trench players and not interested in quarterbacks.
Any slide in the draft for prospects like Bradley Chubb or Quenton Nelson could be stopped one pick short of becoming Buccaneers by the Colts. Though a quarterback frenzy at the top is what the Bucs want, having the Colts, the team whose needs line up closest to Tampa Bay’s, picking now one spot in front of them is not ideal.
Could a good player still be left for the Bucs after the Colts pick? Yes, absolutely.
But, as stated before, there is a good and bad for the Bucs to what happened between the Colts and the Jets on Saturday.