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NFL draft buzz: Cardinals, Panthers could trade down

However you measure the passage of time -- a clock, a sundial, or the number of "sleeps" remaining until a momentous occasion -- we're near one of the most exciting moments of the NFL's offseason.

The 2020 NFL Draft is one day away. And unsurprisingly, crumbs of information are starting to turn into piles.

The Arizona Cardinals have expressed interest in trading down from the eighth-overall pick, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported. Without a second-round pick due to the deal that landed All-Pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins, the Cardinals may use a trade back to acquire additional draft capital as they continue assembling a collection of young talent. Arizona could leverage the prime position of No. 8 -- where an interested suitor could select an offensive lineman, a premier defender or even a quarterback -- to stock up on some picks.

That's not all. Not to be outdone, the Carolina Panthers are also among the teams open to sliding back a few spots if an interested party would like to move up to select its prize prospect.

Is it coincidence that the Panthers, who are picking seventh -- one spot ahead of the Cardinals -- joined the discussion about trading back shortly after the Cardinals' willingness to listen to offers for eight became public? Perhaps it is, but it's following a trend that has taken over much of this space this week.

On Friday, Lions GM Bob Quinn made it clear to reporters he's listened to and will continue to hear trade offers for the No. 3 pick. On Monday, the Giantsintimated a similar willingness about their No. 4 pick, an effort which has also included extensively interviewing a quarterback they're highly unlikely to take (Oregon's Justin Herbert). Weeks before this, the Redskins (picking at No. 2 overall) floated the idea they might seriously be interested in Tua Tagovailoa, which influenced a handful of mock drafts at the time, even when Dwayne Haskins is already on their roster. Washington doubled down on such smokescreening and price-inflating efforts Tuesday when Rapoport reported the team has begun receiving calls on the No. 2 pick.

Most of this bartering and sales competition is coming from one unavoidable truth in today's NFL: The quarterback is the most important position in the sport. Two teams picking in the top six are in need of a quarterback of the future -- the Dolphins at No. 5 and the Chargers at No. 6 -- which could drive up the price of the picks in front of them. And now that there's interest in moving from the teens into the top 10 -- the Falcons have very much dominated this topic -- clubs that follow the QB-needy Dolphins and Chargers (the Browns, picking at No. 10, are also rumored to be interested in trading back) are also looking to leverage their picks for more assets.

In a draft stocked with premier talent -- see Tuesday's anonymous executive revelation of his overflowing draft board -- everyone wants out. In fact, you can blame the depth for teams' willingness to move. Plenty of good seats are still available.

NFL.com will keep you updated on the latest 2020 NFL Draft buzz, rumors and reports in the days leading up to Thursday's Round 1. Here's what else we're monitoring Wednesday:

»TCU receiver Jalen Reagor appeared on Rapoport's RapSheet + Friends podcast and explained he's having a small draft gathering while abiding by social distancing guidelines. The world will get a peek into his draft night experience, too.

"So, it'll just be the virtual draft; I think they're putting cameras in my house," Reagor said. "They shipped the stuff out this week. But yeah, it'll be just me and a few people cause they sent out some rules that we can't have but like 10 people so it'll be a small crowd. We'll just celebrate and blessed. But hopefully I'll be gone Thursday night so it doesn't have to drag on to Friday and so on."

»*Isaiah Simmons, widely projected to go somewhere in the top 10, is best regarded for his ability to play various linebacker positions and all over the secondary. Does that versatility make him more valuable? He believes so. During a Wednesday appearance on *NFL Total Access Draft Preview, the Clemson product said, "You only get 53 on a roster. I feel like if you draft me, you get 56."

»A year after Jon Gruden sent his scouts home to avoid leaks before the draft, everyone is stuck at home. Ron Rivera is taking full advantage of that by putting his wife and daughter to work.

"It's teamwork, just like in the military," Rivera said, via ESPN. "Everyone in the house will be doing something."

Rivera's daughter, Courtney, is a Redskins employee working in the team's social media department. She and his wife, Stephanie, will take notes for the coach during the draft and cross off names as they come off the draft board. Stephanie's cell phone is also listed as an emergency number with the league in the event of technical difficulties.

»NFL Network's Mike Giardi reported that the Miami Dolphins gave top prospect Tua Tagovailoa a passing grade during his physical with the team back at the combine.

»The Falcons aren't scheduled to make a selection until No. 16 in the first round. They might be on the clock sooner than that, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported. Atlanta has been in contact with several teams about trading up, including some in the top 10. While it's expected that the move would be for a cornerback, say Jeff Okudah or CJ Henderson, Rapoport added the Falcons have been FaceTiming with several offensive tackles and could target that position for the second year in a row with their first pick. In 2019, Atlanta drafted guard Chris Lindstrom and tackle Kaleb McGary on Day 1.

»*CeeDee Lamb* or Jerry Jeudy or Henry Ruggs? Amid a wide receiver draft class considered the deepest in years, the debate has raged on for more than a month about which one of the aforementioned trio will (and should) go first. Lamb declared it doesn't matter to him if he earns that distinction.

"But it would definitely be an honor on my end to be the first receiver taken off the board, especially with this loaded receiving class we have," Lamb shared Wednesday while appearing on NFL Now. "Just guys that's willing to put it all on the line for their organization, and just for me to be one of the headliners, I'm honored."

»The Dolphins have done their homework on offensive tackles and might be in the market to take one in lieu of a QB with their first pick, as Rapoport reported. NFL Network's Charley Casserly is hearing Miami is focused on two players in particular: Andrew Thomas and Tristan Wirfs. With Thomas more likely to start at left tackle, he could be the more desirable option.

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