Recent Draft History Points To Trade At No. 21

Posted Apr 10, 2011

The 21st overall pick has been part of draft day trades three of the past four years

For the first time in several years, the Chiefs sit in prime position to exchange first-round picks with another team. Kansas City hasn’t selected outside of the top-five since the 2007 NFL Draft when WR Dwayne Bowe was drafted 23rd overall out of LSU. Top-five selections have become increasingly difficult to trade in recent years.

Slated to pick 21st this year, recent draft history points to the Chiefs as likely candidates to swing a first-round trade. The 21st pick has been dealt three of the past four drafts and choices in the late teens and early 20s have proved especially active in recent years as well.

Scott Pioli owns a history as an active trade partner as well. He’s executed a draft day trade each year he’s served as Chiefs General Manager.

In 2009, the Chiefs drafted TE Jake O’Connell in the seventh round after acquiring the 237th pick from Miami in exchange for a seventh-round pick in 2010. Last year, Kansas City parted with fourth and fifth-round selections for the rights to move into the third-round and select TE Tony Moeaki.

Specific to the 21st overall pick, the positioning offers the ability to move up or down and teams have taken advantage of both strategies. Maybe it’s time to revise those mock drafts.

Here’s a look at some recent trades involving the 21st overall pick.

BlockBUSTER Deal – Denver and Jacksonville (2007)

Denver Trades: Selection Choices: Round 1,  Overall #21 (Reggie Nelson)

Round 3,  Overall #86 (Marshal Yanda - BAL)

Round 6,  Overall #198 (Doug Datish - ATL)
Jacksonville Trades: Selection Choice: Round 1,  Overall #17 (Jarvis Moss)

The Broncos moved up from No. 21 to select DE/LB Jarvis Moss out of Florida. In addition to the 21st overall selection, Denver also dealt Jacksonville its third and sixth-round picks for the rights to select Moss at No. 17.

Moss started just one game for the Broncos and now plays in Oakland. He owns 30 career tackles over 39 games played.

If Jarvis Moss isn’t the biggest first-round bust of the 2007 NFL Draft, his candidacy is certainly up for debate.

The Jaguars went on to select S Reggie Nelson with the 21st pick vacated by Denver. Nelson came out of the gates hot, starting 15 games and setting a Jaguars rookie record with five INTs, but he’s only posted four picks since the 2007 season.

Nelson was a regular in the Jacksonville defensive backfield before being traded to Cincinnati in 2010 for CB David Jones (a fifth round pick in 2007).

Advantage: Jacksonville

Investment Protection Service – Atlanta and Washington (2008)

Atlanta Trades: Selection Choices: Round 2,  Overall #34; from Oakland (Devin Thomas)

Round 2,  Overall #48; from Houston (Fred Davis)

Round 4,  Overall #103 (William Hayes - TEN)
Washington Trades: Selection Choices: Round 1,  Overall #21 (Sam Baker)

Round 3,  Overall #84 (Harry Douglas)

Round 5,  Overall #154 (Kroy Biermann)

The Falcons found Mike Vick’s replacement by drafting Boston College QB Matt Ryan 3rd overall in 2008. With a big-money contract impending, Atlanta had to find a better way to protect their newest investment.

Pioli’s former personnel colleague in New England, Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff, decided that USC offensive tackle Sam Baker was that man.

Moving up to select Baker may have been a reaction to the run on offensive tackles. Five had already gone off the board before the 21st pick and Dimitroff obviously saw no reason to gamble with Baker not being there when Atlanta chose in the second round (34th overall).

Atlanta packaged a pair of second-round picks with a fourth-round selection to complete a trade with Washington. Eight offensive tackles ended up going off the board in the first round.

Though Baker would only start five games as a rookie, he’s been the primary protector of Ryan’s blindside since 2009.

Washington used its second-round picks on WR Devin Thomas and TE Fred Davis. The Redskins would trade away the fourth-round pick to Tennessee.

Advantage: Atlanta

Maclin’s Free Fall – Philadelphia and Cleveland (2009)


Cleveland Trades: Selection Choice: Round 1,  Overall #19; from Tampa Bay (Jeremy Maclin)
Philadelphia Trades: Selection Choices: Round 1,  Overall #21 (Alex Mack)

Round 6,  Overall #195; from Minnesota (James Davis)

Once University of Missouri WR Jeremy Maclin fell out of the top-10, he kept dropping. By the time pick No. 19 came around, Philadelphia couldn’t let the play-maker slide any lower.

The Eagles struck a deal with Cleveland that sent the 21st overall pick, as well as a sixth-round selection, to the Browns for the opportunity to draft Maclin. Cleveland slid two spaces lower and used its first-round pick to select Pro Bowl C Alex Mack.

The set-up for the trade was part of the fallout from the Jets trading into the top-five to select QB Mark Sanchez 5th overall.

New York gave Cleveland the 17th and 52nd overall picks, as well as DE Kenyon Coleman, DB Abram Elam and QB Brett Ratliff in exchange for the 5th overall selection. Cleveland then traded down again, exchanging the 17th pick with Tampa Bay for the 19th and 191st overall selections. The Bucs would use the 17th pick to select QB Josh Freeman.

No Advantage: New York, Tampa Bay, Philadelphia and Cleveland all selected quality players