What is the going rate for top 5 picks? Looking at NFL Draft trades with Cardinals facing choices

Apr 24, 2024, 8:00 PM

Trey Lance...

Trey Lance poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell onstage after being selected third by the San Francisco 49ers during round one of the 2021 NFL Draft at the Great Lakes Science Center on April 29, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

The Arizona Cardinals are in the opportunistic position of owning the No. 4 overall pick when more than three teams need a quarterback entering the NFL Draft.

There have only been three trades for top five picks over the last half-decade, one of which involved the Cardinals last year under then-brand new general manager Monti Ossenfort.

Ossenfort will reportedly wait until he is on the clock to move the pick unless he takes the best non-quarterback available.

Quarterbacks are expected to be selected with the top three picks on Thursday, but with momentum for Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy to go early and several teams outside the top 10 looking at signal callers, competition to move up could benefit Arizona greatly.

Looking at the past 10 years, what has been the going rate for these top five picks?

Top 5 NFL Draft picks traded

2023: Panthers go all in on Young

Bears acquire:
– WR DJ Moore
– 2023 Nos. 9, 61
– 2024 first- and second-rounders

Panthers acquire:
– 2023 No. 1

The Panthers went hard after their next starting quarterback, even trading their top receiver in Moore for the ability to select Alabama’s Bryce Young. The Bears knocked this trade out of the park considering Carolina ended up with the worst record in football during Young’s rookie season, allowing Chicago to take the top quarterback on their board Thursday.

2023: Texans and Cardinals swap 

Cardinals acquire:
– 2023 Nos. 12 and 33
– 2024 first- and third-rounders

Texans acquire:
– 2023 Nos. 3 and 105

Arizona ended up using the 12th pick and their own second-rounder to move back up to take Ohio State offensive lineman Paris Johnson Jr., a potential blueprint for this year.

Houston already took its quarterback in C.J. Stroud second overall but saw an opportunity to grab a difference maker on defense with Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. Anderson won the AP 2023 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and Stroud did the same on offense, as Houston marched to a division crown. Arizona found an OL staple and set itself up to add more talent in 2024 in what looks like a win-win trade.

2021: 49ers make a move for Trey Lance 

Dolphins acquire:
– 2021 No. 12
– 2022 first- and third-rounders
– 2023 first-rounder

49ers acquire:
– 2021 No. 3

The 49ers saw an opportunity to upgrade from Jimmy Garappolo at quarterback and moved up nine spots a month before the draft. They took North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance over Ohio State’s Justin Fields or Alabama’s Mac Jones, while the Dolphins used the trade package to move back up and take Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle sixth.

That was a steep cost for San Francisco considering Lance never became the long-term solution at quarterback and has since been traded. Kyle Shanahan’s group had just missed the playoffs after losing in the Super Bowl and the front office went all in on upside for its next quarterback.

2018: Jets go after another USC QB

Colts acquire:
– 2018 Nos. 6, 37 and 49
– 2019 second-rounder

Jets acquire:
– 2018 No. 3

This deal also came together well before draft day, and the Jets had their pick of quarterbacks Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Josh Rosen or Lamar Jackson. They went with Darnold out of USC, while the Colts stuck at No. 6 and picked guard Quenton Nelson. Similar to the 49ers-Dolphins trade, the Colts ended up with more draft capital and the better player.

Indianapolis only moving back three spots allowed them to take the top offensive lineman in the draft and add Braden Smith with the Jets’ second-rounder. Nelson and Smith are slated to start along the Colts’ offensive line this year, while Darnold is on his fourth team in Minnesota.

2017: Bears move up one spot for Trubisky 

49ers acquire
– 2017 Nos. 3, 67, 111
– 2018 third-rounder

Bears acquire:
– 2017 No. 2

The Bears wanted to make sure another team could not jump them and take quarterback Mitchell Trubisky from North Carolina, so they parted with four picks to move up one spot. Had that been for Patrick Mahomes, it would have been seen as a no-brainer in hindsight. Instead it was for Trubisky, who was replaced by Fields after four years in a continuation of the Chicago quarterback carousel the franchise hopes ends on Thursday.

San Francisco picked defensive lineman Solomon Thomas.

2016: Top picks for sale 

Titans acquire:
– 2016 Nos. 15, 43, 45, 76
– 2017 first- and third-rounders

Rams acquire:
– 2016 Nos. 1, 113, 177

In a separate trade …

Browns acquire:
– 2016 Nos. 8, 77, 100
– 2017 first-rounder
– 2018 second-rounder

Eagles acquire
– 2016 No. 2

This was only the fourth time the top two picks in the draft were dealt — wildly enough the Titans and Browns made another trade with each other. The Rams and Eagles were aggressive in search of franchise quarterbacks and picked Jared Goff and Carson Wentz, respectively.

The Rams were two years removed from the Sam Bradford experience and coming up on 12 years with no playoffs, winning 6-7 games in each of the previous four seasons and needing to get over the hump. The Eagles had a different leading passer for four straight years.

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What is the going rate for top 5 picks? Looking at NFL Draft trades with Cardinals facing choices