Ben on the Bolts: Trade Down

SAN DIEGO - There's no sure-fire way for teams to be successful in the NFL draft. Years of scouting and months of planning and preparation often come down to the luck of the draw. One strategy, though, could give the Chargers at least a better statistical chance of have a good draft this week. Two words: trade down.

It's easier said than done. For the Chargers to move out of the 25th spot in the 1st round, they need a willing trade partner that also can offer an enticing enough package to make Tom Telesco give up his valuable pick. Ultimately, though, if the Chargers can add high 2nd and 3rd round draft picks in exchange for their 1st round selection, that's exactly what they should do.

Tom Telesco said last week that by the time it's his turn to pick, there won't any guaranteed stars left on the draft board. Sometimes, even the No. 1 pick doesn't pan out, so the 25th selection is even more of a guessing game. Right now, the Chargers have one selection in each of the first three rounds. That's three chances to find a potential impact player (not that an impact player can't be chosen in the 4th round or later, but it becomes less and less likely).

If the Chargers have the chance to add a fourth pick in the first two days in the draft, it would substantially increase the team's likelihood of having one or more of those players turn into contributors on the roster. Simple math. 4 > 3.

So, is there a team out there that might be willing to play ball with the Chargers? Keep an eye on the Houston Texans. If they select Jadeveon Clowney with the No. 1 pick as many expect, the Texans will likely be in the market for a quarterback with their second pick. However, if one or two of the top quarterbacks (i.e Johnny Manziel) start falling toward the end of the 1st round, the Texans might be interested in moving up ahead of the Cleveland Browns, who also need a QB, depending on what they do with the 4th pick (the Browns also have the 26th pick, right behind the Chargers). In that scenario, the Texans might be willing to offer up their 2nd and 3rd round choices to move up for the 25th pick. The Chargers may still be able to draft one of the cornerbacks they like with the first pick on the second day, and then have three more valuable selections to add potential impact players to the roster.

(Thanks to viewer Ed for mapping out that specific scenario in the mock draft he sent me over the weekend.)

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