Trade analysis: Falcons, Jags boldly go for Jones, Gabbert
So dizzying was the trading action at last year's NFL Draft that the 24th overall pick went from Philadelphia to Denver to New England to Dallas in the span of about an hour. In the end, the Cowboys used it to take the most enigmatic player in that draft -- Oklahoma State receiver Dez Bryant.
It was one of more than half-dozen trades that occurred in Round 1 alone in 2010. Given the uncertainly of the labor situation -- especially with undrafted free agents -- there is clearly extra emphasis on the draft this year and Peter King reported there rumors aplenty in the final hours before the draft started. Here's how it played out:
The Deal: Cleveland traded the No. 6 overall pick to Atlanta in exchange for No. 27th pick overall, a second-round pick (No. 59), a fourth round pick (No. 124), and a 2012 first-round pick and fourth-rounder.
The Skinny: The Falcons moved from up 21 spots (and gave up a haul) to get the dynamic Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones. The Falcons have not won a playoff game since 2004 and with an eye on changing that, quarterback Matt Ryan now adds a second physical wideout alongside Roddy White.
Instant Reaction: Tweeted Sam Farmer of the L.A. Times: "Atlanta absolutely gave up the farm." Tweeted Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times: "Given where the Browns are as a franchise (in need of talent) I think that was a brilliant trade. Another feather in the cap of Holmgren ... "
The Deal: Washington traded the No. 10 overall pick to Jacksonville in exchange for the No. 16 overall pick and a second-round pick (No. 49).
The Skinny: Blaine Gabbert is likely to sit behind David Garrard this year but is clearly the Jaguars quarterback of the future. The Missouri quarterback has excellent accuracy and plenty of upside but he's just a junior. It's the first time since 1999 that we've seen three quarterbacks taken in the first 10 picks. The Redskins have a pair of second-rounders for a possible quarterback, and plenty of observers have said Washington likes Andy Dalton. Stay tuned.
Instant Reaction: Tweeted Don Banks: "So 3 quarterbacks go in top 10, and this is turning into the pass-happy draft that it looked like in recent days. NFL is spelled QB, QB, QB."
Instant Reaction II: The Washington Post's Mark Maske tweets the following about Gabbert: "Redskins pass up their chance to take Blaine Gabbert by trading down. Will they regret that in 10 years?"
The Deal: Kansas City traded the No. 21st selection to Cleveland in exchange for the 27th overall pick and a third-rounder (No. 70).
The Skinny: The trade-happy Browns grabbed Baylor nose tackle Phil Taylor, a 340-pounder with extremely quick feet for a big man. GM Mike Holmgren has long enjoyed moving up and down in the draft, so this isn't a surprise move, especially given the Browns recently released defensive lineman Shaun Rogers.
Instant Reaction: Ken Baab of the Kansas City Star tweeted: Perfect play for [Scott] Pioli. He parlayed that into basically a free third-rounder.
Instant Reaction II: Tweeted ESPN's Chris Mortensen: "[Browns] Defensive Coordinator Dick Jauron needed a presence in the middle to stop the run...allowed 129 rushing yards a game (27th)."
The Deal: New England traded the No. 28 overall pick to New Orleans for a second-round pick (No 56) and a 2012 first-rounder.
The Skinny: Same as it ever was. The Patriots traded out of the first round again, grabbing a No. 1 pick in next year's draft. Interesting that the Pats gave up Mark Ingram, who many beat writers thought would be the choice. With Pierre Thomas hurt and the signability of Reggie Bush an issue, Ingram looks like the long-term solution in the Big Easy. "It was a long wait, but I'm so happy to be part of a great organization," Ingram said.
Instant Reaction: Tweeted Reggie Bush: "It's been fun New Orleans."
Instant Reaction II: Tweeted Peter King: "I knew Sean Payton loved Ingram. He proved it by dealing away '12 first-rounder."
Instant Reaction III: Tweeted the NFL Network's Jason LaCanfora: "So the Pats have two first rounders next year again and Saints get Ingram and Jordan in same round. This draft has not disappointed."