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3 Questions: First Round Draft Grades; Trading Up & Down


How many first round grades will the Cowboys have on their board in the draft?

Broaddus: What you need to know about these drafts is when a team sets their board, there are not 32 players in the first round. You work through the names and what ever number of players you give with first round grades, that's your number. There comes a certain time in the draft where you run out of first round names that you have graded, depending on where you are picking.

For example, the Cowboys took Travis Frederick with the No. 31 selection in 2013, but he sat on their board in the second round. One of the all-time great value picks that this franchise ever made was when Jerry Jones took Jason Witten in the third round when he was the final player of 16 first round grades in that draft.

In all my years of working on the draft for various NFL teams, I have found that number tends to run between 16 to 18 names when it comes to first round grades. In 2012, the Cowboys had 15. In 2013, they had 18 names. In this upcoming draft, I believe that number will fall between 19 to 22 names depending on how they view these receivers, quarterbacks and defensive line.

What you count on is that some teams ahead of you will take players that you do not have first round grades on, thus driving players in your direction. The more "Wow" picks you get ahead of you, the better chance you have to grab one of your first round graded players or think about trading back.

On the Draft Chart, if you trade up, at what point do the picks become more expensive?

Broaddus: With the Cowboys holding the 16th selection in this draft, that pick is worth 870 points. Say to go to the Rams who are sitting at No.13, you would need to make up about 90 points.

Ideally, you would like to just flip them a fourth and go on your way, but you are most likely going to have to overpay with your third, which is in the neighborhood of 125 points. Now if you want to get ahead of the Giants, to maybe grab Aaron Donald, Detroit might be your spot. [embedded_ad]

The Lions are sitting at No. 10, but their front office doesn't believe there are 10 elite players in this draft, so maybe they are willing to bail to 16. Their selection is roughly worth 1050 points, so with that thought you would surly over pay with your second round pick.

With their willingness to bail, you might get them to give you back their own third, or you can see if the straight three would do it. The numbers tell me that if you didn't want to part with that second, a third and fourth would get it done. The cleanest deal going forward would be to go to Minnesota at No. 8 and just give them your second round pick to select your player.

What if Jerry Jones decides to bail out of his spot at 16?

Broaddus: My first thought is never trade away from a great player, but this front office was able to pull it off quite nicely in 2013. So, lets start by going to Kansas City at No. 23. They overpay with their second round pick, so most likely, you can ask for the second and work a possible swap of your third to make up the difference. Under that trade, it would give you three selections in the top 55. If you go to San Diego at No. 25, you are talking just a straight second. New Orleans at No. 27, you are looking at a second and a fourth. New England at No. 29 or San Francisco at No. 30, you should ask for a two and a three.

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