Sean McVay and Dak Prescott
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NFL Draft: An Early Look at Some Potential Draft Day Movers and Shakers

If your favorite team is drafting within the first five to 10 picks of the NFL Draft, odds are that the franchise is in a state of rebuilding and looking for a player to come in and turn the team around. And while this has happened plenty of times over the history of the league, there is one draft move that does rival having an early draft pick trading up in the first round or trading into the first round.

For example, say you're a team that made the playoffs last year but know exactly what you need to get over the hump and into the Super Bowl. So, you trade up from pick No. 27 and throw in a late third-round pick, get the 10th overall pick and draft Patrick Mahomes. And now you have two Lombardi Trophies in your trophy case and, most likely, have more to follow.

Here are some other examples of how trading up can be beneficial:

  • 2011: Atlanta Falcons trade up from No. 26 to No. 6 to draft wide receiver Julio Jones.
  • 2018: Baltimore Ravens trade back into the first round (32nd overall) and draft quarterback Lamar Jackson.
  • 2016: Los Angeles Rams trade from No. 15 to No. 1 and draft quarterback Jared Goff.

And these are just a few examples of teams making that gamble in moving up in the first round to get "their guy." With the depth at some positions being greater than others, a handful of teams could do just that in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Los Angeles Rams

Head coach Sean McVay of the Los Angeles Rams celebrates after a field goal in the fourth quarter of the game against the Seattle Seahawks

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Since drafting Jared Goff with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 draft, the Los Angeles Rams have not had a first-round pick. But after their very disappointing Super Bowl-defending season, the Rams have been making a lot of moves. So using one of their 11 draft picks in the 2023 draft, including their early second-round pick (36th overall), the Rams could be in play to trade up into the first round to grab an offensive tackle, defensive lineman or cornerback they desperately need.

New Orleans Saints

Alvin Kamara #41 of the New Orleans Saints puts on his helmet for warm ups before their game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium

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The New Orleans Saints have been busy this offseason with the signing of quarterback Derek Carr and with the trade of head coach Sean Payton to the Denver Broncos, which gave the Saints their only first-round pick (29th overall) for 2023. But with the roster they have and their new QB1, do not be surprised if the Saints trade up a little bit further to grab another addition to their team. And with Alvin Kamara's current legal situation, a certain running back out of Austin, Texas, could be on the agenda.

Dallas Cowboys

Quarterback Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys calls a play at the line of scrimmage against the Philadelphia Eagles during the second half at AT&T Stadium

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The Dallas Cowboys have traded for both cornerback Stephon Gilmore and wide receiver Brandin Cooks, but they may not be done trading this offseason. The Cowboys once had one of the best offensive lines in the league but have not been at that standard for the past couple of seasons. And given the pass- and run-blocking talent in this year's draft, trading up would not take much and would make a lot of sense.

Philadelphia Eagles

Josh Sweat #94, Javon Hargrave #97, T.J. Edwards #57, Fletcher Cox #91, Haason Reddick #7, and Darius Slay #2 of the Philadelphia Eagles huddle against the Tennessee Titans at Lincoln Financial Field

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The Philadelphia Eagles have done a fine job of bringing back players from last year's Super Bowl-qualifying run, but they also have lost some key players including safety C.J. Gardner Johnson. With two first-round picks, their latest (31st overall) could be used to trade up into the late teens or early 20s to fill a positional need or add depth to their defensive line.

Chicago Bears

Running back Khalil Herbert #24 of the Chicago Bears and quarterback Justin Fields #1 of the Chicago Bears celebrate,

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Originally, the Chicago Bears had the No. 1 overall pick but sent it to the Carolina Panthers for wide receiver D.J. Moore, the ninth overall pick, an additional second-round pick and a first-round pick in 2024. With two second-round picks, the Bears might be eager to move back up into the late part of the first round to make sure they do not miss out on someone at the top of their draft board. And with how well their offseason has been going, this might be the biggest no-brainer trade-up of them all.

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