Every year fans of just about every NFL franchise dream of “trading down” in the 1st round of the NFL Draft. For Bucs fans, this has been the case, as well. Is 2012 the year that it will finally happen? Well, Mark Dominik recently went on record saying the Bucs are open for business.
With Andrew Luck slated to go #1 and Robert Griffin III slated to go #2, any team wanting to draft the consensus number three QB, Ryan Tannehill, in the first round will have to look in the #5-8 range. Currently, the Miami Dolphins are sitting in the 8th overall position, and appear to be in desperate need of a franchise quarterback. The Browns at #4 overall could be in the mix, as well.
Lets take a look at the teams in the top 15 that will be interested in potentially drafting Tannehill. Three teams jump out as potential TRADE UP candidates. The Bills at #10, KC at #11, and Arizona at #13. Even with Ryan Fitzpatrick only one season into his new deal, some believe the Bills could target Tannehill if they view him as a franchise QB. The Chiefs are looking at Matt Cassel or Brady Quinn as their potential starter in 2012, so the QB position is certainly appealing to them in the first round. And finally, Arizona appears to be keeping one eye on Kevin Kolb, and the other on anything that resembles an upgrade.
All three of those teams will need to jump the Dolphins at #8 if they value Tannehill as a legitimate franchise quarterback. The one caveat is that the Browns at #4 pass on the QB position, which many mocks have them doing. The Bucs will be sitting there at the #5 position with a prime opportunity to trade down. If the Bucs move down to the #10-13 range, they could be in a position to target Trent Richardson, or if they want to go the cornerback route, Dre Kirkpatrick (who the Bucs have coming in for a visit) or Janoris Jenkins, both of whom will more than likely still be available.
This is just the QB market that is starting to unfold. We haven’t even touched on the teams that could be interested in moving up to grab Justin Blackmon, Trent Richardson, or any other draft prospect. This could finally be the year where the Bucs can stockpile some draft picks, and inject some additional talent into the organization.