The 2022 NFL Draft is nearly upon us, as we are only days away from the festivities kicking off. Things have been relatively quiet when it comes to trade rumors, as the New Orleans Saints and Philadelphia Eagles pulled off a draft-day trade that included four first-round draft picks, but nothing else has really been discussed. Two teams to keep a close eye on for potential trades will be the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans.
This could just be the quiet before the storm, as plenty of trades could occur during draft day. Teams are always looking to maximize their value and match needs on the roster, which could necessitate some deals being made.
Over at NFL.com, Cynthia Frelund put together some mock trades involving first-round picks to do just that. The deals that she put together are considered win-wins for both teams involved based on different projection models.
One of the trades that she put together involves the two Texas teams; the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans. Houston is flush with draft capital after trading Deshaun Watson to the Cleveland Browns, but their roster could use upgrades virtually everywhere. So, they make a trade with the Cowboys to add even more.
Dallas acquires the No. 13 overall pick in the draft, sending No. 24 and No. 56 to the Texans. For the Cowboys, the motivation would be simple. If someone such as Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton slips in the draft, they should be aggressive in moving up and selecting him.
According to Frelund’s models, landing Hamilton and having him play under Dan Quinn would have an increase in win share of 0.74, which is a sizable jump over the 0.58 win shares for a rookie safety that is already considered very good.
Hamilton is one of the highest-rated players in this year’s draft class, but because he doesn’t play a premium position, could slide down the draft board a little bit. A team is going to benefit from that and it could be the Cowboys, who took full advantage of Micah Parsons experiencing a similar slide last season right into their laps.
However, it would be very unlikely for Hamilton to slide to No. 24, so the move up is necessary. The Texans are more than happy to continue stockpiling picks, as they would now have five in the top-68. In a draft that possesses as much depth as this one, they will be able to land solid players with every selection.
According to Frelund’s models, the No. 13 pick has a lower return on investment probability, so Houston is improving their chances of finding value with the selections they now have. For a team that needs as much help as they can get, taking as many bites at the draft apple is the way to go.