JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jacksonville Jaguars general manager David Caldwell reiterated his position during the NFL owners meetings last week that he’s keeping his options open with the No. 3 pick in the upcoming draft.
He’s not ruling out trading up or down, though he said it’s much more likely that the Jaguars would give up their spot for more picks.
"It depends on who falls to three," Caldwell said. "We don’t know who’s going to go the first two picks before us and we don’t know if there’s going to be a player at three that teams are going to covet, but we feel like there’d be some options there at three if a team may want to come up."
There likely will be some teams interested in doing so, but nothing will likely develop until it’s the Jaguars’ turn to make their pick on May 8. Like Caldwell said, it depends on which players are taken with the first two picks.
But it’s fun to game plan some scenarios now. For parameters, let’s limit the teams interested in trading up to No. 3 to those that are picking fourth through 10th: Cleveland, Oakland, Atlanta, Tampa Bay, Minnesota, Buffalo and Detroit.
Houston takes Jadeveon Clowney and St. Louis takes Sammy Watkins, or vice versa: This is probably the least desirable scenario if the Jaguars are hoping to trade down because all three quarterbacks remain on the board at this point. That means Cleveland and Oakland are guaranteed of getting Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel or Teddy Bridgewater, so neither team would need to move up. Granted, the Raiders did sign Matt Schaub but he’s certainly not the long-term answer and they could decide to try and find his replacement.
Tampa Bay and Minnesota do need quarterbacks and they could be interested in moving up, but they wouldn’t necessarily have to jump all the way to No. 3.
Houston takes Bortles/Manziel/Bridgewater and St. Louis takes Greg Robinson: This could be the jackpot scenario for the Jaguars. Atlanta is very interested in Jadeveon Clowney and it wouldn’t be hard for Caldwell to work out a deal with Atlanta GM Thomas Dimitroff, with whom Caldwell worked for while with the Falcons from 2008-12.
That would allow the Jaguars to pick up an extra pick or two and still be in a position to grab an elite pass-rusher, Khalil Mack, at No. 6. Bortles being off the board also makes Bridgewater and Manziel more valuable and the Cleveland Browns may be tempted to move up one spot just to ensure they get their pick of the final two QBs.
Minnesota’s quarterback situation is not ideal, either. With new coach Mike Zimmer saying recently that there were some red flags around Manziel, he’d likely be more apt to target Bridgewater -- which means the Vikings would need to move to No. 3 to ensure they’ll get him.
Houston takes Clowney and St. Louis takes Mack, or vice versa: This is similar to the first scenario in that all three quarterbacks are still on the board, but the availability of receiver Sammy Watkins gives the Jaguars more bargaining power. There isn’t a team in the top 10 that wouldn’t love to add him to their roster. Detroit has been searching for someone to line up opposite Calvin Johnson and adding Watkins, the best offensive player in the draft, would make the Lions’ offense a nightmare.
It’s all speculation at this point, but it’s a good way to fill the time with more than a month to go before the draft.