NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- In the last 10 years, six teams have traded out of a top-five draft spot. One of them traded out but still stayed in the top five.
With the Tennessee Titans second in the draft order and a possible scenario where they don’t want a quarterback but someone might want to trade up for them, I set out to look at those six trades. (Thanks to Evan Kaplan of ESPN Stats and Info for the help.)
Here is a run through of each of the trades, and a look at how the two teams involved fared the next season. The changes in records were hardly a result of only the trade. Bad teams draft at the top and make a lot of changes. They often regress to the mean. Still, we want some sense of how much, or how little, things improved.
The deal: The Bills took Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins. The Browns dropped down to No. 9 and got 2015 first- and fourth-rounders. They then traded up to No. 8 with Minnesota (cornerback Justin Gilbert), giving up a fifth-rounder. The 2015 first rounder is No. 19.
Review: Watkins started all 16 games, catching 65 passes for 982 yards and six TDs, but other less costly rookie receivers did better or as well -- Mike Evans, Odell Beckham Jr., and Kelvin Benjamin. Gilbert had a troubled rookie season and the team said it recently learned of a personal issue that contributed.
The Browns improved by three games.
The Bills improved by three games.
Review: Jordan has three sacks in 26 games. Hayden has two interceptions in 18 games and Watson has 12 starts in two seasons.
The Dolphins improved by a game.
The Raiders’ record didn’t change.
2012 -- St. Louis Rams trade out of No. 2 with Washington
The deal: Washington took quarterback Robert Griffin III. The Rams got No. 6, a second-rounder (cornerback Janoris Jenkins), No. 22 in 2013 and No. 2 in 2014 (tackle Greg Robinson). St. Louis traded No. 6 in 2012 to Dallas for No. 14 (defensive tackle Michael Brockers) and a second-rounder. The Rams traded that second-rounder to the Bears for a second-rounder (running back Isaiah Pead) and a fifth-rounder (tackle Rokevious Watkins). The Rams traded No. 22 in 2013 and a seventh-rounder to Atlanta for No. 30 (linebacker Alec Ogletree), a third-rounder (receiver Stedman Bailey) and a sixth rounder. They packaged the sixth-rounder to get a fifth-rounder (running back Zac Stacy).
Review: Griffin was fantastic as a rookie with 20 touchdown passes, seven touchdown runs and just five interceptions while leading Washington to the playoffs. The two years since have raised all sorts of flags. The Rams got 66 starts and 89 games out of six players still with the team in 2014. Brockers, Robinson, Ogletree and Jenkins are starters.
The Rams improved by five games.
Washington improved by five games.
2012 -- Minnesota Vikings trade out of No. 3 with the Browns
The deal: The Browns took running back Trent Richardson. The Vikings got No. 4 (tackle Matt Kalil), a fourth-rounder (receiver Jarius Wright), a fifth-rounder (defensive back Robert Blanton) and a seventh-rounder (traded to the Titans for a 2013 sixth-rounder they used on end Scott Solomon). The Vikings' sixth-rounder ultimately went to Arizona for cornerback A.J. Jefferson and a seventh-rounder (linebacker Michael Mauti).
Review: Cleveland traded Richardson after just 17 starts, getting a 2014 first-rounder from the Indianapolis Colts for him. The Browns traded what wound up No. 26 and a third-rounder to Philadelphia for No. 22 and took quarterback Johnny Manziel. The Vikings got 36 starts in 2014 from three of the players obtained with picks from the trade.
The Browns improved by one game.
The Vikings improved by seven games.
Review: Blackmon caught 93 passes in 20 games, but the troubled receiver was suspended by the NFL for the first four games of 2013, played in four games and was then indefinitely suspended. He has not played again. Barron has started 46 games in three seasons. The Bucs traded him to St. Louis during the 2014 season for fourth-and sixth-round picks.
The Buccaneers improved by three games.
The Jaguars got three games worse.
2009 -- Browns trade out of No. 5 with New York Jets
The deal: The Jets took quarterback Mark Sanchez. The Browns got No. 17, a second-rounder (defensive end David Veikune) and three veterans: Safety Abram Elam, quarterback Brett Ratliff and end Kenyon Coleman. Cleveland traded No. 17 to Tampa Bay for No. 21 and a sixth-rounder (defensive back Coye Francies). The Browns traded No. 21 to Philadelphia for No. 24 (center Alex Mack) and a sixth-rounder (running back James Davis).
Review: Sanchez helped the Jets make it to the AFC Championship Game in his first two seasons and was their starter for four years. He was with Philadelphia in 2014 and is set to be a free agent. Mack started every game over his first five seasons, earning two Pro Bowl selections and one second-team All-Pro nod. The other six players the Browns got out of the trade combined for 58 starts and 83 games. None are still with the team.
The Browns improved by one game.
The Jets posted the same record but went to the playoffs.