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Tradable Comp Picks Could Help Chargers Trade Down

Trading down is hard, could the ability to trade compensatory picks make it easier?

NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Whenever a team has a top 10 draft pick and also a franchise QB, one of the most popular answers to what the team should do in the draft is “trade down.”

Trading down is much easier said than done. Or at least it has been.

Lets look specifically at the Cardinals here. Arizona currently has the 13th overall pick in the 2017 draft, and they are reportedly looking to find their QB of the future as Carson Palmer is 37 and might be considering retirement soon.

The Cardinals are reportedly big fans of Texas Tech QB Patrick Mahomes, having brought him out for a private work out in front of top Cardinals brass. The problem is that Mahomes is rumored to have clubs with top 10 picks that also really like him, so they will need to move up if they hope to grab him.

Arizona doesn’t have much ammo to trade up in this draft, they have their standard picks in each round plus an extra 5th round compensatory pick. However, next year they will have a lot of extra ammo to work with. has a chart predicting compensatory picks for players lost in Free Agency and the Cardinals are currently projected a 3rd (Calais Campbell), a 4th (Tony Jefferson), and 2 6th rounders (DJ Swearinger, Kevin Minter).

Now that compensatory picks are tradable, the Cardinals can trade some future picks with the reasonable assumption they will have those extra picks next year.

Let’s say the Chargers are on the clock at 7 and Mahomes (or another QB for that matter) is available, which may not happen as it appears the Jets at 6 are in the Mahomes fan club, Tom Telesco should be calling Arizona. Using this draft pick value chart, the 7th pick is worth the same as the Cardinals 1st and 2nd round picks this year. However, the Cardinals might be more comfortable trading their 1st and 3rd this year, and throwing in a 2018 2nd round pick, knowing that they will almost certainly have 2 3rd and 2 4th round picks next year.

This would be a great move for the Chargers, as they would move back into a spot that provides better value for drafting an OT/WR/S in this draft, while also picking up an extra 2nd next year which could help them trade up for Rivers’ replacement. The Cardinals meanwhile get the guy they want this year, while still keeping their early day 2 pick to grab an impact player to replace one of the players they lost in FA this year to earn their comp picks.

While the likelihood of all this happening is still very low, I think the ability to trade comp picks may make teams more bold in trading up for what they want, which can only help the Chargers if they want to trade down.