The 2016 NFL Draft is still a ways away and there will be free agency before it begins, but looking at the field now, is it worth it to the Jacksonville Jaguars to trade back from the fifth overall pick?
Right around now is the time when 2016 NFL mock drafts may finally start to skip the more vanilla standard draft order and start incorporating some trades.
Super Bowl 50 will finally settle the order and everyone can start to eye free agency and set their sights on premiere talents that could bolster their teams. At the same time, the 2016 NFL Draft will remain an ambiguous, almost abstract certainty lurking in the shadows.
Everyone knows it is coming, but until the actual day gets here there are very few certainties. Teams will make trades the day of, the hour of, and the minute of their selections in the 2016 NFL Draft, just like the other NFL drafts before it.
Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell has often stated he would try to move back in the first round of the draft in order to accumulate more talent for his team. It hasn’t worked in his favor yet in the three drafts he has overseen for the Jags, but he has also managed to bring in some quality talent.
Would Caldwell like to do that again in 2016? Would he like to move back from a fifth overall spot that is likely to yield some much needed talent like cornerback/safety Jalen Ramsey?
Right now, it doesn’t look like the Jags will be all that interested in trading back. They know the team is coming together, they know they need to focus on the defense, and they know that the team needs an influx of talent across numerous positions. It may simply be better to sit back and let the picks come to them, regardless of which talent is available when the team finds itself on the clock.
If the Jaguars did opt to trade back, there will still be plenty of defensive talent available, especially if they manage to stay in the top 10 selections. If the right deal comes along, Caldwell may finally get his wish to trade back and get more picks.
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The real question is whether that’s a good decision. If the Jaguars fall in love with a talent, much like they did with running back T.J. Yeldon in 2015, they my be tempted to either remain where they are or even leapfrog another team to try and get the guy they love.
Caldwell isn’t afraid of staying where he is and simply taking the guy he knows he wants. That’s how the Jacksonville Jaguars landed quarterback Blake Bortles at third overall in what may have been considered a bit of a reach for a development prospect at the time.
There will be plenty of evaluation between now and draft day and the entire Jaguars roster could shift. How that impacts the calculus behind Caldwell’s approach to the draft is yet to be determined. Expect him to be looking for the best deal for his team overall, though. He won’t be afraid to make a big move if he knows it will help his team out. If that means trading back, then the Jags could do that and be willing to miss out on some top talents like Ramsey.
In my mind, Caldwell has done an admirable job shaping this roster from what it was (a dumpster fire) and turning it into a respectable unit with some quality talent. Whether the Jaguars should trade away their fifth overall pick is up to him and I’m comfortable knowing he’ll weigh the options appropriately.