Blockbuster Trade Ideas for the 2024 NFL Draft

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The 2024 NFL Draft is three weeks away, and the rumor mill is heating up. While the NFL Draft is full of chaos and excitement without trade action, everyone loves to see a blockbuster deal made.

A few expected blockbuster deals are getting thrown around on social media, headlined by the Minnesota Vikings trading into the top five for a quarterback. While that trade likely occurs on draft night, what other deals could happen during the first round?

Let’s dive into seven potential blockbuster trade ideas for the 2024 NFL Draft.

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Buffalo Bills Acquire a Star Receiver

The Bills traded Stefon Diggs to the Houston Texans on Wednesday, leaving the team with Curtis Samuel, Khalil Shakir, and Mack Hollins as the top-three wide receivers on the roster. Many expect the team to use its first-round pick in the NFL Draft (28th overall) on a wide receiver. However, what if they traded the pick to acquire a proven star wide receiver heading into the final year of his contract?

Reportedly, the San Francisco 49ers tried to deal Brandon Aiyuk to the Jacksonville Jaguars for Zay Jones and the 17th pick in the NFL Draft. While Buffalo’s pick is 11 spots lower than Jacksonville’s, the Bills can send the Minnesota Vikings’ 2025 second-round pick they received in the Diggs deal to San Francisco with the 28th overall selection for Aiyuk.

New York Giants Trade for Tee Higgins

Many believe the Giants will draft a quarterback if one of the top-four options falls to them with the sixth overall pick. Unfortunately, that seems unlikely, which would force New York to draft a wide receiver like Malik Nabers with its first-round selection. However, what could the team do to improve its wide receiver corps if it can select a quarterback with its top draft pick?

After getting slapped with the franchise tag, Higgins has requested a trade out of Cincinnati. The Bengals won’t want to send the star receiver to an AFC powerhouse team like the Buffalo Bills or Kansas City Chiefs. However, the Giants are in the NFC. They could send Cincinnati their second-round pick (47th overall), a 2025 second-round pick, and Darius Slayton for the unhappy star receiver.

Los Angeles Rams Get Their Quarterback of the Future

Several mock drafts in January had the Rams drafting J.J. McCarthy with their first-round pick at 19th overall. While Matthew Stafford played well to end the 2023 season, he turned 36 in February and has dealt with injuries throughout his career. Unfortunately, McCarthy won’t be on the board when Los Angeles is on the clock unless it trades up for the Michigan star.

General manager Les Snead and head coach Sean McVay are unpredictable. The Rams traded up from pick 15 to first overall in 2016 to draft Jared Goff. Thankfully, the team won’t need to be that aggressive to secure McCarthy but will need to part with its 2025 first-round pick to make a deal work. If the Michigan star slips out of the top-seven picks, Los Angeles could jump ahead of the New York Jets to secure McCarthy as Stafford’s heir apparent.

Arizona Cardinals Make Two Moves Inside the Top Five

Last year, the Cardinals were arguably the most entertaining team during the NFL Draft. They moved down from the third overall pick to 12th in a blockbuster move with the Houston Texans. Arizona then quickly moved back up to sixth overall in another shocking trade to secure Paris Johnson Jr. General manager Monti Ossenfort was aggressive during last year’s NFL Draft and should be again this year.

The Cardinals could trade the fourth overall pick to the Minnesota Vikings so they can select a quarterback. Arizona would likely get back picks 11 and 23 overall in the first round, plus a future Day 1 selection. Unfortunately, that would mean missing out on Marvin Harrison Jr. unless the Cardinals can pull off another blockbuster deal with the Los Angeles Chargers. Arizona could flip 11 and 23 to Los Angeles for the fifth pick, allowing them to draft Harrison while adding a 2025 first-round selection.

New York Jets Trade Up for a Superstar Receiver

Before free agency began, most mock drafts had the Jets selecting an offensive tackle with their first-round pick at 10th overall. However, New York added three new starting offensive linemen this offseason, including Tyron Smith from the Dallas Cowboys. While an offensive lineman isn’t out of the question with their first-round pick, the Jets now have options.

Reportedly, New York would like to trade back from the 10th overall pick and acquire a Day 2 selection. The team doesn’t have a second-round pick because of the Aaron Rodgers trade. However, what if the Jets continue their push to go all-in this season and trade up for Marvin Harrison Jr.? NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah had New York trading into the top five to select the Ohio State star in his latest mock draft.

Houston Texans Make Another Splash Move

Despite trading for Stefon Diggs on Wednesday, the Texans could make another blockbuster move. Houston is wisely pushing to win a Super Bowl while C.J. Stroud is on his rookie contract. The team has two picks in the second round (42nd and 59th overall) but not many needs on paper. Could the Texans jump back into the first round after moving out earlier this offseason?

Houston’s top need is at the cornerback position. Derek Stingley Jr. had an outstanding 2023 season, while the team added Jeff Okudah and C.J. Henderson in free agency. Yet, the Texans could trade up for a first-round cornerback like Terrion Arnold or Nate Wiggins. Houston could send its two second-round picks to the Los Angeles Rams for the 19th overall selection to secure a star cornerback prospect.

Buffalo Bills Jump Into the Top 10

Many have criticized Buffalo’s decision to trade away Stefon Diggs this late in the free-agency period. The team doesn’t have a No. 1-caliber wide receiver on its roster. While Josh Allen is an elite quarterback, he no longer has his top-two wide receivers from last season’s squad. The Bills could trade for a star replacement like Brandon Aiyuk, but that will cost the team salary-cap space and draft capital.

Instead, what if Buffalo makes a blockbuster move on draft night and jumps into the top 10? The Bills would need to part with their first-round pick this year and in 2025 to make a deal happen, but they could get their hands on Rome Odunze. If the Washington star is still on the board when the Atlanta Falcons are on the clock at eighth overall, Buffalo could entice them to move back and pick up a first-round selection in 2025.

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