Who doesn't love a good old-fashioned trade?
And how great is it when Commissioner Roger Goodell steps to the podium at the NFL draft and says those four magical words: "We have a trade ..."?
Trades are bold, fun, dramatic and often impact a team's success.
Here are the deals I'd love to see on draft day, Schein Nine style:
1) Dallas Cowboys move up for a running back
I vehemently disagreed with Dallas' decision to let DeMarco Murray walk via free agency, especially to an NFC East rival. Murray's domination fostered the most efficient (and best) year of Tony Romo's career. Sadly for the quarterback -- and for the great Cowboys fans -- the 2014 Offensive Player of the Year is gone.
On the plus side, Jerry and Stephen Jones have an opportunity to make amends of some sort.
The Cowboys, though, aren't on the clock until No. 27. And despite the fact that we haven't even seen a running back go in Round 1 since 2012, it's beginning to look like both Gurley and Gordon could be gone by Dallas' pick. (That's the case in the two latest mock drafts at NFL.com, courtesy of Charley Casserlyand Lance Zierlein.) The Joneses need to find a way to get their hands on one of these two dynamic backs. If that means trading up, so be it. Romo and Co. need a legit backfield threat -- not Darren McFadden.
2) If Amari Cooper's gone, New York Jets trade down
Don't let general manager Mike Maccagnan's strong offseason fool you -- predecessor John Idzik left the cupboard bare. The Jets still have needs all over the field: at receiver, among the defensive front seven (specifically at pass rusher), on the offensive line and at quarterback; they could also use some youth at running back. If Cooper's gone, strength in numbers is the motto. Procure as much draft currency as possible.
3) Cleveland Browns jump up to snag Marcus Mariota
Yes, that's the same glaring need they've had for over two decades. It's a spot that hasn't been properly filled since the halcyon days of Bernie Kosar. From Tim Couch to Ty Detmer to Spergon Wynn to Doug Pederson to Kelly Holcomb to Luke McCown to Jeff Garcia to Trent Dilfer to Charlie Frye ... OK, I'll stop. This isn't just painful to Browns fans, it's painful to football fans. Point is: Cleveland has been searching for an answer at the position for an interminable period of time.
As I said last week, there just isn't a long-term QB solution on the current roster. Josh McCown's a stopgap guy and Johnny Manziel simply cannot be trusted. (Besides the fact that Manziel's spent the bulk of this offseason receiving rehabilitation treatment, he didn't show us anything last fall -- on or off the field -- that would indicate he's ready to assume the toughest job in the game.) Marcus Mariota is the antithesis of Johnny Football in terms of how he carries himself. Of course, the Oregon product probably needs some seasoning before he's ready to run an NFL offense. Fortunately, Cleveland could start the year with McCown under center and let Mariota marinate.
Now, it's highly unlikely Mariota will still be on the board at No. 12. The natural solution: package the picks and trade up! An NFC GM told me last week that he thinks Cleveland is targeting Mariota. Go get your man! There are a number of teams in the top 10 that could be willing to trade out for the right price ...
... of course, that price won't be cheap. Jameis Winston appears destined to come off the board at No. 1. And Mariota's the only other quarterback in this draft worthy of a first-round selection. As always, QB demand is spectacularly high, but this year's overall draft supply is low.
Long story short, the cost of admission for a draft slot in the Mariota range might just be too rich for Cleveland's blood. No matter. I have another potential move in mind ...
4) If a Mariota deal's untenable, Cleveland trades for Mike Glennon
From what I'm hearing, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers aren't looking to move Glennon. They want to have a solid No. 2 backing up the rookie QB they're about to draft (again, all signs point to Winston).
But if Mariota isn't in the draft cards for the Browns, they should offer up their second-round pick and make Tampa's brass change its mind. Glennon has the arm to rip the ball through the inclement Ohio weather in the winter. (No, the irony of a Glennon-McCown reunion wouldn't be lost on me.)
And here's the best part about this hypothetical deal: Cleveland significantly improves the quarterback room without having to use either first-round pick on the position. Spend those selections on other areas of need. (Yes, Cleveland has a few ...) Or flip one/both of them for more picks. (Cleveland needs depth, too.) Either way, the Browns would be able to address the QB spot without mortgaging their future, while also upgrading the rest of the roster in tangible fashion. Win-win!
5) New Orleans Saints fly up the draft board to snag an impact defender
Now, after the Jimmy Graham deal -- which I still don't quite understand -- New Orleans has two first-round picks. GM Mickey Loomis is always aggressive and looking to make trades. There are a number of high-quality pass rushers in this draft, but typically, high-quality pass rushers fly off the board. Who will be left for the Saints at No. 13? Is someone like Vic Beasley or Shane Ray highly desirable for coach Sean Payton and defensive coordinator Rob Ryan? If so, Loomis should take the initiative and move up.
6) Trader Mike strikes again! Miami Dolphins go get a top wideout
Mike Tannenbaum, the Dolphins' freshly minted executive vice president of football operations, loves to make draft-day deals. Remember when he moved up to snag Darrelle Revis and David Harris for the Jets in 2007? Or Mark Sanchez in 2009? Mike isn't shy. And Dolphins owner Stephen Ross loves to make a statement.
I could see Tannenbaum wisely doing what he needs to do to nab one of the top three wide receivers in this draft class: Amari Cooper, Kevin White or DeVante Parker. Parker could be available for Miami at No. 14, but that might not be the case, while the other two will almost certainly be gone by then. Tannenbaum should make sure he gets one of these guys. And trading up to accomplish this wouldn't be making a splash for the sake of make a splash. It'd be giving young QB Ryan Tannehill exactly what he needs.
7) Baltimore Ravens move ... nowhere
Wait, what? In a draft-day trades column, I'm talking about a team that shouldn't make a trade? Allow me to explain ...
As I wrote earlier this month, it's Ozzie time right now. GM Ozzie Newsome and the Ravens typically own the draft. And they often succeed by moving up or down. (Believe me, they will do so again if their draft board calls for it.) Well, I'm proposing Baltimore surprises everyone ... and stays put at No. 26.
I think the Ravens are sitting pretty in that slot. They can allow the draft to come to them, as quality players in their two biggest areas of need -- receiver and cornerback -- should be available near the end of the first round.
8) Chicago Bears trade Jay Cutler on the cheap
Let's say a QB-needy team -- Tennessee or Cleveland, for example -- eschews the position early in the draft. Would either entertain the idea of "fixing" Cutler if it only meant taking on his salary and giving up a low-round pick? The Titans need buzz and Cutler made a name for himself in Nashville while starring at Vanderbilt. Cleveland ... well, you can never be sure what the Browns are thinking. So who knows?
9) If the Minnesota Vikings must move Adrian Peterson, he goes to ...
A few things ...
If I'm Minnesota, I'm not trading Adrian Peterson. You can't get equal value. It's beyond backwards that Peterson wants to drive the bus here, saying he feels "uneasy" about returning to Minnesota. I felt "uneasy" reading the police report on his treatment of a child.
The Vikings, not Peterson, should make the call as to whether he's changed and ready to return to Minnesota.
If -- and it's a big if -- the Vikes feel like, for whatever reason, Peterson should go ... Enter Arizona. The Cardinals have the need, the locker room and the leadership (with Larry Fitzgerald and Bruce Arians) to make it work. Oh, and there's the fact that a number of folks within the Cardinals organization -- including current GM Steve Keim -- wanted the team to select Peterson with the No. 5 pick in 2007. Rod Graves, the general manager at the time, opted for Levi Brown instead.