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MMQB rains on my parade

Although I'm a huge advocate of trading down, it's unlikely to happen, or so says Peter King. First, let me point out that I acknolwedge the difficulty of doing so, as I was given a unique opportunity to act as the Redskins GM. And despite both Adrian Peterson and Brady Quinn falling to me at #6, no teams came a-callin' for a trade. Why?

Reality of the Month: In the last two NFL Drafts, no team with a top-10 pick in the first round has traded down for said ransom. In fact, the last two drafts have yielded only one trade with a team in the top 10, but it wasn't a trade-down.
Point taken. Trading out of the Top 10 is difficult, if for no other reason than the damn Draft Trade Value Chart is so top heavy. A trade down to #16 from #6, for example, would likely require a 2nd and 3rd rounder (or at least a 4th rounder) from the one moving up. Incidentally, moving up 10 spots to #6 from #16 is the same as it would cost to move from #6 to #2 -- choke on that for a bit when you scream for Calvin Johnson.

The "reality" is that teams don't want to give up three picks for one pick when we're talking about kids, none of whom have played a single down in the NFL. And while there is a partial science to predicting future success at the Professional level, enough anectodal evidence -- in the form of busts -- exists to make any GM weary towards dishing out the necessary picks. Peter King outlines a number of specific reasons why teams are reluctant to trade up. Interpret all of them as individual excuses for the Redskins not to trade up:

1. Making an error by trading up can hurt a team's salary-cap situation and future drafts more than ever.
As draft picks are paid out in accordance with where they're picked, the difference between a #1 and a #32 pick is substantial. At #6, we look forward to the opportunity to dish out 15 someodd million in guaranteed money. Any team that covets the #6 pick must consider the cost, thus eliminating all frugal or financially troubled teams below us.
2. The fear of the mega-mistake. The last one -- unless Eli Manning shows significantly more than he's shown in three shaky seasons, and fast -- came in 2004.
Coward factor. Teams can't be blamed by fans for selecting the best available player at whatever position they landed; our hands were tied, right? But fans will never forget those wasted picks when you traded up for the bust. This reasoning does not compel me personally, but it's worth repeating. If a team has a guy valued at a certain level, and if that player fits their needs, and they have available draft resources, I'd like to think GMs aren't scared enough out of those decisions just because of possible reprocussions.
3. Too many teams are slaves to the Draft Trade Chart. You may have heard of this chart. It was invented as a way to equalize the value for both sides of a trade in the NFL. I'll use the Giants' silliness as an example of the silliness of the chart. (And I'm not even saying the draft chart was used by Ernie Accorsi when he made this deal; he did not live his life by the chart.) The draft chart assigns a value to each pick in the seven-round draft. Some teams have different values for picks, but the value board does not vary widely.
He makes the point about top heavy charts, though also provides a historic example to prove that sometimes the Draft Value chart is meaningless. The Carolina Panthers (with GM Bill Polian) left nearly 800 points on the table when they traded down from #1 to #5+#36. But what did they care? They wanted Kerry Collins and he wasn't going to be off the board at #5 anyways. They got something for nothing and weren't going to have to dish out as much money to Collins anyways, and teams (at the time, I imagine) were reluctant to give up more than what the Panthers ultimately accepted. Remember that if the Redskins trade down, there's a good chance we won't get exact Draft Value for that pick. This doesn't by itself mean the move was wrong. Suppose Gaines Adams is off the board at #6. If we are set on Jamaal Anderson than there's a good chance he'll fall a couple of picks. If we trade down (even for low value) we could pay him less and pick up at least some additional picks on the way.

Does this mean we're doomed to no trade downs? I hope not, as I've argued countless times that I think that's our best option. But we should recognize the difficulty of doing so. In my opinion, the best strategy is to move down bit by bit. It's difficult to ask any NFL team to part with 1,000 Draft Points in a trade, as that comes with multiple picks. But moving down two or three spots only takes up 200 to 250 points; the equivalent of a 3rd rounder. I do think that if the right guy falls to #6, than we have a much better shot of convincing a team to part with just one third rounder than we would of trying to get them anyone to dish out multiple picks. And nothing prevents us from trading down again with our new pick.