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The Promiscuous Nature of 1st Round Draft-Day Trades Since 2007

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I have 4 kids under 4 and I can’t even keep up with the swinging nature of the NFL Draft.

Red Light Management 2016 Grammy After Party Presented By Citi Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Red Light Management

Robert Griffin III is the perfect example of what I’m not looking for (in more ways than one), in that, the trade for the #2 pick spent on RG III not only happened before the draft began, but also involved multiple 1st round picks in successive years. I didn’t look at 1st rounders sacrificed in previous years’ trade-ups, nor did I care about pre-arranged 1st round trades.

I was curious about one thing: how many 1st round trades might I expect to see happen after Roger Goodell kicks things off at 8:00 EST?

Ron Jeremy would’ve been rotten foreshadowing if there weren’t a lot of slots being swapped, right?

Try 5.5/year.

Of the 320 1st round picks in the last 10 years, there were 55 draft-day trades by my count.

That’s 17% of all draft activity in the 1st round, and that’s not double-dipping on the fact that a trade involves 2 teams: 1 trade = 1 trade, not 2 separate ones. In other words, I’m being very generous that I’m not including Dion Jordan and D.J. Hayden as two players drafted as a result of a trade, but rather just one total trade.

It got me thinking: is it any wonder mock drafts have a tough time prognosticating? Most don’t reflect trades and therefore miss out on the importance of scheme fit and prototype with some teams. Mock drafts often reflect draftees’ value, but do not have the luxury of knowing how teams will make real-time, fluid decisions - each front office is a different organism with a different dynamic.

Interesting note: 2016 (4) and 2015 (2) had the fewest draft-day trades in the entire 10-year cohort.

I’m not going to be as long-winded as I usually am. You’re welcome. I’ll leave you with this: in a deep class interspersed with thin individual positions, this is a draft ripe to rebound from the relative scarcity of trades in 2015 and 2016.

Just your good samaritan SUTTON reminding you to expect the unexpected.