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2019 NFL Draft: Will a Top-10 Pick Be Traded on Draft Day?

2019 NFL Draft: Will a Top-10 Pick Be Traded on Draft Day? article feature image

Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Roger Goodell

  • The 2019 NFL Draft begins on April 25 and will be held in Nashville, TN.
  • Matthew Freedman breaks down the odds of a top-10 pick being traded on draft day.

Each day, I publish 1-2 pieces on props I like. See my master list of 2019 prop bets for more information.

The 2019 NFL draft class isn’t great, but at the top of the board are several strong defensive linemen, and it’s not uncommon for quarterbacks to enjoy an inflated market.

It’s more than possible that we could see a flurry of draft-day trades in Round 1.

The draft is rapidly approaching, and for the first time ever it will be held in Nashville, TN.

Here’s the seven-round schedule.

  • Thursday, April 25: Round 1
  • Friday, April 26: Rounds 2-3
  • Saturday, April 27: Rounds 4-7

In this piece, I look at the odds of a top-10 pick being traded on Day 1.

2019 NFL Draft: Will a Top-10 Pick Be Traded on Draft Day?

  • Yes: -700
  • No: +400

No suspense: I’m expecting at least one trade involving a top-10 pick. And we might see multiple trades.

At -700, there’s an 87.5% implied probability of a top-10 trade happening, but I think the true odds are higher. Over the past decade, there have been 15 draft-day trades involving top-10 picks.

Granted, in two of the past 10 years there hasn’t been a top-10 trade, so there’s a chance that we won’t see one this year. But I’m encouraged by the average of 1.5 such trades per year and the median of two.

Additionally, there are some factors particular to this year that make me think a top-10 trade is likely.

To start with, the New York Jets have the No. 3 pick, and they are reportedly very desirous to trade back (per Brian Costello of the New York Post). They traded up last year in order to draft quarterback Sam Darnold at No. 3, so they are without a Round 2 pick now, but if they trade back they will likely be able to pick one up.

At one sportsbook, you can actually bet on the Jets to trade the No. 3 pick at -112 odds.

Additionally, the New York Giants have been regularly linked to quarterbacks throughout the pre-draft process. Starter Eli Manning is rapidly aging, and even he expects the team to draft a quarterback.

Eli Manning on whether #NYG will draft a QB early next week: “I figure the Giants are gonna get a young quarterback, I understand that. Hey, I still have to do my job and do my part. My job, as I see it, is to go out there and play quarterback and win football games.”

— Art Stapleton (@art_stapleton) April 15, 2019

The Giants have two Round 1 picks at their disposal, head coach Pat Shurmur has indicated that he would like for the Giants to find Manning’s successor “sooner than later” and at the combine, general manager Dave Gettleman indicated that he was open to the idea of drafting a quarterback with a premium pick and letting him sit behind Manning.

Dave Gettleman clarified on his original lukewarm comments about Eli Manning returning by stating “The Kansas City model really worked well.” It’s clear the Giants are looking at Eli starting with a rookie first-round pick waiting in the wings.

— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) February 27, 2019

If the Giants really want a quarterback, they could trade up from No. 6 to ensure that another team doesn’t draft him. Or they could address another position first and then trade back into the top 10 from No. 17 to get their guy.

And Gettleman has historically been the type of GM who likes to trade up, so it’s not hard to envision the Giants moving up from Nos. 6 or 17.

#Giants currently have league-high 12 draft picks.

Dave Gettleman has been GM for six career drafts. He has never traded down but loves to trade up. Here’s how many picks he’s actually used by year:

2013: 5
2014: 6
2015: 5
2016: 5
2017: 7
2018: 6

Avg: 5.7 picks used per year.

— Evan Silva (@evansilva) April 23, 2019

And there are more considerations beyond the Giants.

Since the combine, two players have been regularly mocked to the Detroit Lions at No. 8: Edge defender Montez Sweat and defensive lineman Rashan Gary. But over the past week both players have seen their draft stock drop due to medical issues: Sweat has a heart condition, and Gary has a torn labrum.

With both players falling down the board, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Lions trade down from No. 8.

And the Carolina Panthers and Houston Texans, both in need of help along the offensive line, could look to trade up from Nos. 16 and 23 (per Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated).

Finally at one book you can bet on the total number of Round 1 trades this year.

  • Over 7.5: -120
  • Under 7.5: -120

If we see around 7.5 trades on Thursday, the odds are high that at least one of them would occur in the top 10.

I’d bet “Yes” all the way to -850.

The Pick: Yes (-700)

For daily player props, follow me in The Action Network app.

Matthew Freedman is the Editor-in-Chief of FantasyLabs. He has a dog and sometimes a British accent. In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, he’s known only as The Labyrinthian.

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