Mock drafts dominate the NFL conversation in April. (We have an entire page and weekly show just for mocks.) Once the actual draft starts in New York, the most exciting moments are usually provided by trades.
The new rookie pay scale has only encouraged more deals. There were 26 trades during the NFL draft last year, with five in the first round alone.
NFL Media's former scouts Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks broke down the four trades they believe are most likely to happen on this week's episode of NFL Network's "Mock Draft Weekly." Let's break them down:
1. San Francisco 49ers trade up for Anthony Barr
This makes all the sense in the world, at least on paper. The 49ers need an edge rusher, especially with Aldon Smith's future in question. They also have ammunition with six picks in the first three rounds. Barr looks like a prototypical outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense, an increasingly difficult player to find.
2. St. Louis Rams trade down in the top 10
The guys kept this prediction purposefully vague because they can imagine St. Louis still picking up tackle Jake Matthews, tackle Greg Robinson or wide receiver Mike Evans. The Rams are in an incredible position in this draft with the No. 2 and No. 13 overall picks. It's the most talented first round we've seen in a while. Matthews and Robinson are both far more talented than the top two picks in last year's draft, both tackles.
No matter whom Houston takes with the top pick, the No. 2 overall pick should be popular. If Houston takes Jadeveon Clowney, any team targeting a quarterback could want to hop above Jacksonville. If Houston takes a quarterback, everyone will go after Clowney.
There is also the ever-so-slight chance the Rams could shock the football world and deal quarterback Sam Bradford in a mega-move. There have been some whispers that the Rams have interest in Johnny Manziel. We're rooting for this scenario if only to make draft week more fun.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars trade back into the first round for Derek Carr
The distance between the "big three" quarterbacks (Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater and Blake Bortles) in this draft has been closing, at least if you listen to conventional wisdom. Carr, AJ McCarron, Tom Savage and Zach Mettenberger are among those who could sneak into the back of the first round or go somewhere in the second round.
Teams like the Jaguars, Vikings, Texans and Browns could look to move up from the second round if they pass on signal-callers at the top of Round 1. The Jaguars staff coached Carr at the Senior Bowl, so they know him well.
4. New England Patriots trade back into second round for Austin Seferian-Jenkins
A player who has been compared to Rob Gronkowski for years could potentially join Gronk in New England. The Patriots want more flexibility in their offense, and nothing increases flexibility like a tight end who can block and catch passes.