NFL Draft: Three clubs that could be poised to trade up in Round 1

3 potential NFL draft movers and shakers outside of New York

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It happens almost every year. One team sits silently in the months leading up to the NFL draft before making a big move during the first round, instantly putting everyone’s mock drafts in the shredder.

The Chicago Bears did this last year when they traded up one spot for Mitchell Trubisky. The Bills did this in 2014 when they traded up to grab Sammy Watkins. And then there are your more extreme examples, like Mike Ditka trading every pick he had in 1999 for Ricky Williams.

With the quarterback volatility in this year’s draft, it would seem likely that we will see some movement during the first round. Last year, all three first-round quarterbacks were selected by a team trading up to secure their rights.

So who will make the big move this year? Given that the Buffalo Bills already moved up from No. 21 to No. 12, it appears they are positioning themselves to take a stab at a quarterback. Meanwhile, the Odell Beckham Jr. cloud continues to hang over the entire league and the draft, so all eyes are on the Giants at No. 2 as well.

But let’s look beyond more obvious choices like the Bills and Giants. Here are three other teams who could be on the move come April 26:

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Arizona Cardinals

Replacing Carson Palmer with Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon isn’t exactly a solution. There’s a reason why the Vikings just gave Kirk Cousins $84 million guaranteed and the Bears drafted Trubisky just a month after signing Glennon last year. Bradford and Glennon can hold down the fort for a little bit, but GM Steve Keim should have his eye on one of these incoming rookie quarterbacks. The problem is, the Cardinals pick 15th, which means they’re going to need a lot of luck to end up with their guy. Or they could avoid settling by making a big trade to move up. Don’t forget about the Cardinals on draft night.

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Miami Dolphins

Adam Gase has been awfully active this offseason, overhauling a broken culture in Miami. There’s been a ton of “addition by subtraction,” which is something he experienced during his one-year stint in Chicago with the Bears cutting ties with Brandon Marshall and eventually pushing out Martellus Bennett. The Bears never really replaced that production, though, which is a lesson Gase learned as well. This draft is extremely important when it comes to filling those holes on the Dolphins’ depth chart.

The wild card here is Ryan Tannehill. Gase is an offensive-minded guy and already entering his third season in Miami. He needs to find his franchise quarterback, and if Tannehill is not that guy, then one would have to imagine Miami is targeting a quarterback in this draft. There’s certainly been a lot of smoke around Baker Mayfield and the Dolphins. Moving up from No. 11 might be a necessity depending on how the first hour of the draft plays out.

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Chicago Bears

Bears GM Ryan Pace has moved up in the first round each of the past two years, selecting Leonard Floyd in 2016 and Trubisky in 2017. Because of that, most seem to assume Pace can’t afford to give up any more draft capital to move up again. But if you’ve been paying attention to Pace’s three-plus years in Chicago, you know that while he is mostly patient and calculated when it comes to personnel acquisitions, he’s not afraid to strike when he has conviction on a player. That even applied to the hiring of new head coach Matt Nagy, who Pace hired in less than 24 hours after interviewing him in January.

The Bears are rooting for as many quarterbacks as possible to be drafted in the first seven picks, but that still might not push pass rusher Bradley Chubb back to No. 8. Have you seen the Bears depth chart at outside linebacker? It’s Floyd, Sam Acho, Aaron Lynch and former undrafted free agent Isaiah Irving. All together, they have a combined 43.5 sacks in their careers. That’s not good.

If Pace is enamored with Chubb, it wouldn’t shock me to see the Bears move up for the third straight year. On the flip side, if Chubb is gone, they could also be a potential trade partner for a team like the Cardinals or Dolphins looking to move up for a quarterback. Either way, the Bears could be in the middle of a draft shakeup for the second straight year.

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