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.

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:

  1. Cleveland Browns
  2. New York Giants
  3. New York Jets
  4. Cleveland Browns
  5. Denver Broncos
  6. Indianapolis Colts
  7. 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.

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About the Author: Trevor Sikkema

Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: trevor@pewterreport.com
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Ron Potter
3 years ago

Colts probably aren’t too happy we took Jensen from them either!

Darin
Reply to  Ron Potter
3 years ago

Exactly Ron. I think this helps the Bucs chances of getting Chubb too, if thats who they want. I said before the Jets trade and am almost certain now that 4 qbs will be gone in the top 6. Maybe 5, as there will be more trades. So I think the Colts will be selecting between Chubb and Nelson. Since the Bucs just got Jensen, I now think the Colts go Nelson to fill the role Jensen would have. So getting Jensen rather than the Colts getting him could help the Bucs land the best DE too in tbe draft.… Read more »

tpeluso
3 years ago

Ugh. I hate this trade for us. It very easily creates a scenario where all three of the top names that fill needs for us (Chubb, Barkley, and Nelson) will be gone by the time we pick. Chubb especially is as good as gone to the Colts if he makes it that far… the scenario I was hoping for is that they’d trade down with the Bills or another team behind us.

Licht needs to have a trade down plan ready to go on draft day.

Darin
Reply to  tpeluso
3 years ago

It does the opposite Tpe. Means QBs are going early and often. Bucs should have 2 of the 3 to choose from in Barkley, Chubb, and Nelson.
Nelson or Barkley is the colts pick IMO of the 3, probably Nelson since Luck is coming off a major injury. Gota protect the franchise. Wooohoooo love this trade.

FLBoy84
3 years ago

Would be curious if Licht looks to trade up w/ Denver in order to get ahead of the Colts, being that they’d know neither us or Indy are taking QB’s. They’d pick up more draft capital and still get the QB they would’ve picked at #5. Not a proponent of this necessarily, but just a thought.

Mr. Incredible
3 years ago

Thanks for the quick hit on a Saturday, Trevor. Is Chub worth trading up one pick?

Horse
3 years ago

Please Licht do not trade up!!!!!!!!!

Michael
3 years ago

4 QB’s going ahead of us would be perfect then we are guaranteed Chubb, Barkley or Nelson

Dude
3 years ago

I’m hoping Barkley is there for us at 7. We need this missing piece for our offense. Second, and a close second, I’m hoping for Chubb, Nelson is my not too distant 3rd choice. I think Barkley is a generational talent, better than any of the RB’s last couple years IMHO. We would be set at offensive skill positions for awhile. This is going to be an exciting draft, that’s for sure.

Buc76