Every year it happens as the clock ticks down at the NFL draft and fans start to get anxious about a potential trade brewing.
Then, bam! A team that nobody saw coming moves way up into the top 10 and everybody is thrown for a loop. NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah has one candidate in mind to pull off a major move when the draft rolls around in Chicago this year: the New Orleans Saints.
"Jimmy Graham is gone. Kenny Stills is gone," Jeremiah said on NFL Network's "Path to the Draft" Friday. "Brandin Cooks, let's give him a running mate. Kevin White would look good with the Saints. But maybe the Saints, who are in the South division and are thinking Southeastern Conference, go all the way up to No. 4 and grab Amari Cooper. Let's have a happy Drew Brees."
That would be a draft-day trade that is eerily similar to what happened last year when the Buffalo Bills moved up to the No. 4 overall selection to take Sammy Watkins. The team gave up quite a bit to do so, however -- surrendering its 2015 first-round pick and a fourth-rounder in 2014 -- so it would be interesting to see if the Saints would be willing to part with some lucrative picks in order to grab a talent such as Cooper.
Keep in mind that the quasi-rebuilding effort that general manager Mickey Loomis has embarked on this offseason has netted the franchise considerable ammunition within the top 100 picks. The Saints have an extra first-round selection from the Jimmy Graham trade alone. The Oakland Raiders would probably be intrigued by the idea of moving back and picking up an extra quality player, but it might take a lot for the Saints to move up high enough to land a player some consider to be the best receiver in the draft.
Outside of the Saints, there's one other team that came up as a potential trade-up candidate, and it should come as no surprise given how much this team has been bandied about as one looking to move up for a certain player.
"On that Thursday night, if they get to about No. 9 and Marcus Mariota has not been selected, then I believe Chip Kelly is going to make a phone call," analyst Brian Baldinger said about the Philadelphia Eagles drafting another Oregon player. "I believe he calls (the Rams') Jeff Fisher and Les Snead and says 'We want your pick (at No. 10).'"
Kelly has maintained that Mariota is the best quarterback in the draft, but also has said he won't mortgage the future to trade up. That might be the case, but as history shows, we shouldn't rule out the possibility of a big-time trade that shakes up the top 10 of the NFL draft.