ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --There are few words more exciting when covering a draft than, "We have a trade."
Perhaps I'm overstating this, but the sudden pivot that comes with a deal -- especially when the team you're covering is now on the clock or has been pushed back -- creates a shockwave. Your entire line of thinking changes in an instant.
Next week, I'll return to the traditional mock draft, but for today, I wondered -- what if every pick was part of a trade? And imagine if they were all NBA-style, made after the selections, leading to the sight of rookies-to-be wearing one hat, then hurriedly donning another.
Thirty-two picks; thirty-two picks traded. If this happened, Chris Berman and Mike Mayock would spontaneously combust. Here we go:
1. HOUSTON (2-14): Trades the pick to Atlanta, which takes DE Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina.
We'll start with the trade proposed last week in the "If I was GM" mock draft. Why not? The Falcons are looking for a quick rebound, and Clowney fills a gaping void.
2. ST. LOUIS (7-9, from Washington): Trades the pick to Oakland, which takes QB Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M.
And now, it gets real. Well, as real as a "mock" draft can be.
3. JACKSONVILLE (4-12): Trade the pick to Buffalo, which takes OL Jake Matthews, Texas A&M.
The Bills get a bit skittish and decide to pounce on the most prepared offensive tackle in the draft. Matthews' family background and mentality ensures that no situation will be too daunting for him.
4. CLEVELAND (4-12): Trades the pick to Tampa Bay, which takes LB Kahlil Mack, Buffalo.
Picturing Mack on the same line of defense with Lavonte David ought to give NFC South rivals nausea.
5. OAKLAND (4-12): Trades the pick to St. Louis, which takes OT Greg Robinson, Auburn.
The trade-down costs the Rams a shot at Matthews playing for the same coach his father did in Tennessee, but nets a franchise tackle who a bit more bust potential, but a higher ceiling.
6. ATLANTA (4-12): Trades the pick to Houston, which takes QB Blake Bortles, Central Florida.
Another product of the swap proposed in last week's mock draft -- it's just the name of the quarterback that has changed. The Texans can use a deal like this and pick up an extra second-round pick, which they can potentially utilize on a young tight end or offensive lineman.
7. TAMPA BAY (4-12): Trades the pick to Cleveland, which trades the pick to Detroit, which takes CB Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State.
A buzz builds about Gilbert, who is the only cornerback worthy of top-10 consideration. The Lions can't afford to let the draft pass without addressing that spot.
8. MINNESOTA (5-10-1): Trades the pick to Tennessee, which takes WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson.
Minnesota takes a long look at the quarterbacks off the board and the trades that have been made and rolls the dice. Tennessee gets the No. 1 receiver in the draft.
9. BUFFALO (6-10): Trades the pick to Jacksonville, which takes WR Mike Evans, Texas A&M.
Can we call back-to-back receivers "a run"?
10. DETROIT (7-9): Trades the pick to Cleveland, which takes S "Ha-Ha" Clinton-Dix, Alabama.
Here's a surprise. But the Browns have picked up selections, can be flexible and can find a quarterback later. We'll get back to that.
11. TENNESSEE (7-9): Trades the pick to Minnesota, which takes QB Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville.
The Vikings have added an extra selection, while still getting a quarterback and stopping Bridgewater's slide.
12. N.Y. GIANTS (7-9): Trade the pick to Miami, which takes OT Taylor Lewan, Michigan.
Another swap from last week's mock draft. Will it work out as neatly for the Giants this time?
13. ST. LOUIS (7-9): Trades the pick to Dallas, which takes OT Aaron Donald, Pitt.
The Cowboys get the best defensive tackle in the draft, an immediate starter and a perfect fit for their scheme.
14. CHICAGO (8-8): Trades the pick to Pittsbugh, which takes LB Anthony Barr, UCLA.
Barr slides in as a pass-rushing outside linebacker, and the Bears decide to wait on filling a defensive tackle need after being jumped by Dallas.
15. PITTSBURGH (8-8): Trades the pick to Chicago, which trades the pick to Baltimore, which takes S Calvin Pryor, Louisville.
The Ravens jump the Rams and get the safety they want.
16. DALLAS (8-8): Trades the pick to St. Louis, which trades the pick to the N.Y. Jets, who take CB Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State.
St. Louis makes another deal down after seeing the No. 2 safety fall off the board. The Jets look to the second round to find their receiver of the future.
17. BALTIMORE (8-8): Trades the pick to Chicago, which takes DT Timmy Jernigan, Florida State.
Jernigan will improve their defensive line -- not as much as Donald, but by picking up a later draft pick to move down three slots, they can further address their defensive issues.
18. N.Y. JETS (8-8): Trade the pick to St. Louis, which takes S Jimmie Ward, Northern Illinois.
The fast-rising Ward is the best available safety, and the Rams have picked up two later selections for moving down five slots after Clinton-Dix went early.
19. MIAMI (8-8): Trades the pick to the Giants, who take TE Eric Ebron, North Carolina.
And there it is. The Giants fill a pressing need and add a selection. Fist bumps for all in East Rutherford.
20. ARIZONA (10-6): Trades the pick to Carolina, which takes OT Zack Martin, Notre Dame.
Consider this a pressing need addressed for the Panthers. The key for Carolina will be in keeping the cost of a swap down; they still need wide receive help, too.
21. GREEN BAY (8-7-1): Trades the pick to New England, which takes DE Kony Ealy, Missouri.
The Patriots pounce on another pass rusher in their attempt to knock the Broncos off the AFC perch.
22. PHILADELPHIA (10-6): Trades the pick to Cincinnati, which takes CB Bradley Roby, Ohio State.
We haven't had another run on receivers yet, so the Eagles can afford to move down and still address the spot.
23. KANSAS CITY (11-5): Trades the pick to Green Bay, which takes LB C.J. Mosley, Auburn.
Another product of receivers dropping through the round; the Packers opt to move back up.
24. CINCINNATI (11-5): Trades the pick to Philadelphia, which takes WR Odell Beckham Jr., LSU.
As close to a one-for-one replacement for DeSean Jackson as the Eagles could possibly imagine.
25. SAN DIEGO (9-7): Trades the pick to San Francisco, which takes WR Marqise Lee, USC.
Another target for Colin Kaepernick, as the 49ers try to find more speed and explosion downfield.
26. CLEVELAND (4-12, from Indianapolis): Trades the pick to Arizona, which takes DE/LB Dee Ford, Auburn.
If Carr had been off the board, Eastern Illinois' Jimmy Garoppolo could be in play here.
27. NEW ORLEANS (11-5): Trades the pick to Cleveland, which takes QB Derek Carr, Fresno State.
And there's your Browns quarterback.
28. CAROLINA (12-4): Trades the pick to Arizona, which trades the pick to Cleveland, which trades the pick to New Orleans, which takes DE Demarcus Lawrence, Boise State.
Got all that? New Orleans had incentive to move down after the Cardinals jumped them to take Ford. Lawrence is a 'tweener-type player who will fit.
29. NEW ENGLAND (12-4): Trades the pick to Green Bay, which trades the pick to Kansas City, which takes WR Brandin Cooks, Oregon State.
Kelvin Benjamin could be in play here, but Cooks is the call. Another trade down would be possible in this scenario.
30. SAN FRANCISCO (12-4): Trades the pick to San Diego, which takes DT Louis Nix, Notre Dame.
Kyle Fuller is still on the board and is tempting, but the Chargers need help up front.
31. DENVER (13-3): Trades the pick to Jacksonville, which takes QB Jimmy Garoppolo, Northern Illinois.
A premium position extracts a premium price: the Jaguars' second-round pick and future second- and third-rounders. Hey, we can dream, right?
32. SEATTLE (13-3): Trades the pick to Denver, which takes LB Ryan Shazier, Ohio State.
And one of those future Jaguars picks allows the Broncos to quickly move back into the round and get an every-down linebacker.