The draft-day trade market is always a reflection of supply and demand at marquee positions. Decision makers will evaluate the depth at each position group and pinpoint a player who could be the last of the crown jewels at a particular spot. Given some time to survey the 2015 NFL Draft class, here are five prospects (listed in alphabetical order) who will be worth trading up for on April 30:
Vic Beasley, OLB/DE, Clemson: The 2015 class is loaded with disruptive edge rushers -- and Beasley is the most explosive guy on the board. The 6-foot-3, 246-pound playmaker finished his college career with 33 sacks, 52.5 tackles for loss and a whole host of splash plays. Beasley displays exceptional first-step quickness and snap-count anticipation off the edge. He complements his remarkable athletic attributes with a polished game built upon three rush moves (speed rush, bull rush and inside rip move) and a non-stop motor that allows him to chase quarterbacks down from the back side. While others might offer better skills against the run, Beasley is the most pro-ready pass rusher in the draft, possessing a skill set that will allow him to consistently notch 10-plus sacks throughout the course of his career. Given the importance teams place on knocking down opposing quarterbacks, Beasley's talent and potential should make him a coveted commodity on draft day.
La'el Collins, OL, LSU: There is always a demand in the NFL marketplace for big, athletic offensive linemen with quick feet, explosive athletic attributes and a nasty demeanor. Thus, it shouldn't come as a surprise that Collins' stock has been rising in the pre-draft season, thanks to a rock-solid week at the Senior Bowl and an impressive showing at the NFL Scouting Combine. Evaluators view the 6-4 1/2, 305-pounder as a potential left tackle candidate who boasts the ability to snuff out elite pass rushers with his brute strength and physicality. Most importantly, Collins is athletic enough to mirror finesse edge rushers attempting to win with speed and quickness. With Collins also showcasing the versatility to play right tackle or move inside to either guard spot, the ex-LSU standout is an attractive O-line prospect capable of delivering a Zack Martin-like impact to a team in need of an upgrade along the offensive front.
Landon Collins, S, Alabama: The lack of quality at the safety position will make Collins' stock soar through the roof on draft day. The ex-Alabama All-American is a sensational deep-middle defender with the instincts and ball skills to defend the pass. Collins also displays the toughness and tackling ability to be a disruptive playmaker against the run. With few top options available at a position that's as important as ever for NFL defenses, teams in need of a difference-making safety will have to consider moving up to secure the services of the premier talent on the board.
Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia: It's crazy to consider an injured prospect as one of the hottest commodities in the draft, but scouts universally view Gurley as a top-10 talent when healthy. Before tearing his ACL last November, the 6-1, 222-pound back thrashed SEC defenses with a rugged running style built on toughness and physicality. Gurley routinely ran through contact at the point of attack, yet displayed the speed, quickness and burst to blow by defenders on the second level. With Gurley also exhibiting exceptional balance and body control in the hole, several teams are salivating over the possibility of adding a Marshawn Lynch-like playmaker to the lineup. If Gurley gets a clean bill of health from the medical personnel at the NFL combine re-check in a few weeks, the ex-Georgia standout could come off the board sooner than expected in Round 1.
Danny Shelton, DT, Washington: Shelton is arguably the top pure defensive tackle in the draft, due to his versatility and disruptive skills. Evaluators view the 339-pounder as a dominant interior defender with rare athleticism and playmaking ability for his size. Shelton is capable of wreaking havoc from the 0-technique (head up on the center) or 1-technique (aligned on the outside shoulder of the center), but he also possesses the athleticism to line up as a 3-technique (aligned on the outside shoulder of the guard) in an aggressive 4-3 scheme. With fellow defensive lineman Leonard Williams expected to come off the board almost immediately, the market could bubble up for Shelton.