The 2011 NFL Draft is still 16 days away, but NFL teams are already making phone calls about potentially draft-day trades.
According to multiple sources in the league, the Denver Broncos, Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins and Chicago Bears are all exploring their options.
The Broncos, owners of the No. 2 overall pick, are thought the unlikeliest to actually be able to trade out of their selection. The significant cost of signing a player drafted that high and this year's lack of an elite prospect hurts their chances.
The Titans, owners of the No. 8 overall pick, however, could be in a more enviable position. Sitting ahead of the Dallas Cowboys -- who many believe are targeting USC offensive tackle Tyron Smith -- the Titans could auction off the pick in the hopes that some team is willing to pay to steal him from Dallas.
Sources tell me the Titans would like to draft a quarterback at No. 8, but are worried that there won't be one worthy of the No. 8 pick. They may have to trade back into the first round, however, rather than waiting for whichever quarterback might slip to their second round pick, No. 39 overall. In trading down from No. 8, they could add the picks needed to move up from the second round and still keep enough selections to help re-tool their young roster.
The Redskins, owners of the 10th overall pick, also could be looking to trade down and acquire more picks. Washington does not have a third or fourth round pick in this year's draft and have several needs. Mike Shanahan is thought likely to pick up a quarterback in this year's draft and has to figure out a way to add talent to a 3-4 defense still largely built on players ideally suited to a four-man front.
The Chicago Bears are perhaps the biggest surprise of the bunch. Despite playing in the NFC Championship game, the Bears have concerns along both lines and could use help at receiver and in the secondary. Considering the talent likely to be available at each of these positions, the Bears could have plenty of options staring at them at No. 29. As such, they could be one of the teams at the end of the first round willing to trade back to allow a club desperate to snatch up a quarterback before the expected run on the position begins in the second round.
Fellow Senior Analyst Chad Reuter and I aren't allowed to project trades in our mock drafts. Here they are anyway...