What Does A Trade Down From 26 Look Like?

There have been lots of discussion about what the Browns will do with their pick at 26, trading down is a real possibility considering they are a forward-thinking analytically driven front office looking to maximize value. I decided to take a look back over every draft trade since 2011 and see what a move can net you.

Why Trade Down?

The draft is a lottery if we look at how many players in the first round get the fifth-year option followed by a second contract, it is only 37.7% of players. That means 20 of the 32 players drafted in the first round likely won’t be on the team that drafted them in six years time.

There is no evidence of teams cracking the code on draft picks either. in 2017 the Saints had one of the best draft classes in recent memory. Since then they haven’t been able to repeat this, success year on year.

This is why many of the smartest people looking at the draft have drawn the conclusion that getting more darts to throw at the board is a better idea via trading down, let’s look at what they can get.

The History Of Trade Downs Around the 26th Overall Pick

Just using pick 26 for examples of trade downs gives us too small a sample so I will use two picks either side to give us a good idea of value in that range. I am only using pick for pick trades, anything involving a player has been removed as they are impossible to give exact values to.

25 > 31, 126 (2012)
The Broncos traded their pick to the Patriots for them to draft Dont’a Hightower. The Broncos then traded both picks away.

25 > 31, 117, 176 (2020)
The Vikings traded their pick to the 49ers for them to draft Brandon Aiyuk. The Vikings got Jeff Gladney, D. J. Wonnum & K. J. Osborn.

26 > 31, 94 (2016)
The Seahawks traded their pick to the Broncos for them to draft Paxton Lynch. The Seahawks got Germain Ifedi & Nick Vannett.

26 > 31, 95, 249 (2017)
The Seahawks traded their pick to the Falcons for them to draft Takk McKinley. The Seahawks traded out of 31, then with the other two picks drafted Lano Hill & Chris Carson.

26 > 46, F2 (2019)
The Clots traded their pick to the Football Team for them to draft Montez Sweat. The Colts traded a pick to the Browns who got Greedy Williams & Michael Pittman Jr.

26 > 30, 136 (2020)
The Dolphins traded their pick to the Packers for them to draft Jordan Love. The Dolphins got Noah Igbinoghene & they traded the other pick away.

28 > 56, F1 (2011)
The Patriots traded their pick to the Saints for them to draft Mark Ingram Jr. The Patriots got Shane Vereen & then traded the 27th pick the following year to the Bengals for them to draft Kevin Zeitler.

28, 249 > 37, 105, 178 (2016)
The Cheifs traded their picks to the 49ers for them to draft Joshua Garnett & Prince Charles Iworah. The Cheifs got Chris Jones, Parker Ehinger & D. J. White.

So What Could The Browns Get For 26?

This question all depends on how far they are willing to move back and also if a team is willing to pay the capital to move up. Let’s group them into the range of where they moved back to initially and then see the future assets that were gathered. I’m going to drop the trade where a second pick was given up as this can make it more awkward to value.

25 > 31, 126 (2012)
25 > 31, 117, 176 (2020)
26 > 31, 94 (2016)
26 > 31, 95, 249 (2017)
26 > 30, 136 (2020)

If the Browns are trading back to the end of the 1st round to 30-32 then we should be expecting something in the 95-120 range, which would be a 3rd round comp pick or top half of the 4th round.

26 > 46, F2 (2019)

Trading back to the mid 40’s gets them a 2nd round pick in 2022.

28 > 56, F1 (2011)

Trading back to the mid 50’s gets them a 1st round pick in 2022.

It Takes Two To Tango

Just because the Browns are willing and wanting to trade down from 26, it doesn’t mean it is always possible. It takes a team wanting to trade up as well to make a deal work. From above we can see the most likely trade is coming from a team that is picking at the back of the first round. Unfortunately, there isn’t a team out there that also has a 3rd round comp pick to pair with it as in the examples above.

I think the Browns will be chasing future trade picks in any deal because this roster is too good to fit even the 9 picks they currently have. Adding future picks means they can replace the one year deals on their roster this season with picks from the 2021 and 2022 draft.

If I had to guess here is what their expectation would be roughly:

Trade back to 30-40, add a future 3rd

Trade back to 41-51, add a future 2nd

Trade back to 52-64, add a future 1st

Obviously that is quite a wide area for those picks, if you’re on the higher end then you are likely adding in another pick moving their way and if you’re getting say the 50th pick and a future 2nd, they likely send a kicker your way with a day 3 pick.


The trade I most prefer is the one jumping to the mid 40’s and swapping with a team that isn’t likely to rebound next year, meaning that future 2nd could gain value than a team set to breakout.

If someone gave you the option over the next four years of having four picks in the 25-32 range or having eight picks in the 36-50 range which would you take?

Personally I’m taking the eight picks straight away, these are super cheap players and the more you can get taking roles on your roster, even if it is just your 3rd Edge, 3rd interior defensive lineman, swing tackle then the more money it frees up for extensions. Obviously several of those eight would become starters.

Spread the risk on draft picks and set yourself up for maximum reward by having more high draft picks.

I hope you enjoyed the piece, if you have any questions feel free to ask me on Twitter at @JackDuffin, my DM’s are always open.

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