Forecasting top of draft order

There will be a trade in the top seven picks of the draft.

John Schmeelk: Fiction – Without a quarterback in this class being truly elite, a team will not try to move into the top seven picks of the draft to get one. Could a team move up for an offensive tackle, pass rusher, cornerback, or even a wide receiver? Sure. But the haul to drop is likely to be smaller without the premium fee often placed on the potential to move up for a quarterback.

Dan Solomone: Fact – There’s no rule against trading up for a position other than quarterback. The value of wide receivers is as high as ever, and this is another class loaded with them. On top of that, GM Joe Schoen said he has received preliminary calls on both the fifth and seventh overall picks.

Lance Medow: Fiction – Normally, a team would move up in the top seven to grab a quarterback and, unlike last year (when the Niners traded spots with the Dolphins to select Trey Lance with No. 3), I don’t think this year’s group of signal callers warrants that type of a jump. The Panthers, Seahawks and Falcons, who may have interest in a quarterback, could stay put in their current spots and have a player fall to them as the Patriots did when they landed Mac Jones at No. 15. Why give up extra assets if you don’t need to be aggressive. Could a team make a move to select a non-quarterback? Of course, but in the top seven, that’s less likely.

A quarterback will be taken before the Giants pick at No. 7.

John Schmeelk: Fiction – Hot take time. A quarterback will not be taken before the Pittsburgh Steelers make their selection at No. 20. They could move up for a quarterback, but it’s unlikely. We will see a lot of movement from teams at the top of the second round looking to move back into the first round to take a quarterback between Nos. 24-32 – that’s where this group of quarterbacks should be taken and teams would get the bonus of the fifth-year option.

Dan Solomone: Fact – It’s hard to be convinced a quarterback or two won’t go higher than people think right now. The position is too important to pass up, and like Joe Schoen said, teams have played it close to the vest regarding the quarterback market. “Right now, I mean, you call around and you ask. Nobody has shown their hands on the quarterbacks. They really haven’t,” he said. “We know what teams have been where. We know, again, where these kids have gone on visits, private workouts. We track a lot of that stuff. Really haven’t heard a lot on what teams are high on which quarterbacks. Hasn ‘t been a lot of that.”

Lance Medow: Fiction – The only team you could make an argument for in selecting a signal caller up high is Carolina at No. 6. They already have Sam Darnold, who they acquired last off-season, and could very well trade for Baker Mayfield, which makes a lot of sense. If you’re Panthers head coach Matt Rhule, entering Year 3 off two losing seasons, would you rather have a veteran quarterback with a bit of polish or roll the dice with an unproven commodity. Take take the former.

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