2022 NFL Draft: What the past decade says about moving up for a quarterback, plus some trade hypotheticals

The 2022 NFL Draft lacks the quarterback intrigue that last year’s cycle brought. Reason indicates that at least one quarterback will be taken in the first round, but it would be a surprise if more than three found their way into Day 1. 

In the event that the Steelers or another team wants to trade up, CBS Sports looks back at previous deals to hypothesize what it might take to facilitate a move up to land a quarterback. The point differentials were determined by the trade value chart arranged by SportsLine’s R.J. White. 

Over the past 11 drafts, 31 quarterbacks have been taken in the first round and there has been an average of one trade up each year to take a quarterback in the top half of the round. 


San Francisco leaps up for third QB off the board

49ers receive: No. 3 overall (Trey Lance)
Dolphins receive: No. 12 overall, No. 29 overall in 2022, No. 102 overall in 2022, 2023 first-round pick
Points differential: Dolphins +224.33

Bears move up for Justin Fields 

Bears receive: No. 11 overall
Giants receive: No. 20 overall, No. 164 overall, No. 7 overall in 2022, No. 112 overall in 2022
Points differential: Giants +342.83


Jets move up 3 spots to land Sam Darnold

Jets receive: No. 3 overall (Sam Darnold)
Colts receive: No. 6 overall, No. 37 overall, No. 49 overall, 2019 second-round pick
Indianapolis used picks to select G Quenton Nelson, OT Braden Smith and others.
Point differential: Colts +282.16

Bills deal 3 picks in top 60, select Josh Allen

Bills receive: No. 7 overall (Josh Allen), No. 255 overall
Buccaneers receive: No. 12 overall (Vita Vea), No. 53 overall (M.J. Stewart), No. 56 overall
Point differential: Buccaneers +101.21

Cardinals pick up franchise hopeful Josh Rosen

Cardinals receive: No. 10 overall (Josh Rosen)
Raiders receive: No. 15 overall (Kolton Miller), No. 79 overall, No. 152 overall
Point differential: Raiders +0.17


Bears make shocking move for Mitchell Trubisky

Bears receive: No. 2 overall (Mitchell Trubisky)
49ers receive: No. 3 overall, No. 67 overall, No. 111 overall, 2018 third-round pick
San Francisco turned the third pick into DE Solomon Thomas. Pick No. 67 was used on RB Alvin Kamara, but the rights were traded to the Saints.
Point differential: 49ers +45.51

Chiefs land generational talent in Patrick Mahomes

Chiefs receive: No. 10 overall (Patrick Mahomes)
Bills receive: No. 27 overall, No. 91 overall, 2018 first-round pick
Buffalo selected CB Tre’Davious White after trading back but it also came at the expense of selecting Mahomes. 
Point differential: Bills +104.47

Browns bypass chance at Deshaun Watson

Texans receive: No. 12 overall (Deshaun Watson)
Browns receive: No. 25 overall, 2018 first-round pick (No. 4)
Cleveland took quarterback Baker Mayfield the following year. The Browns did select CB Denzel Ward and S Jabrill Peppers, who was used in the Odell Beckham Jr. trade, with the picks acquired from Houston, but Watson’s value easily supersedes those additions.
Point differential: Browns +377.26


Rams get aggressive by trading up for Jared Goff

Rams receive: No. 1 overall (Jared Goff), No. 133 overall, No. 177 overall
Titans receive: No. 15 overall, No. 43 overall, No. 45 overall, No. 76 overall, 2017 first-round pick, 2017 third-round pick
Tennessee’s pick from Los Angeles was No. 5 overall the following year. The Titans used the picks in return to essentially remodel their offense: OT Jack Conklin, RB Derrick Henry, WR Corey Davis and TE Jonnu Smith. Conklin was the result of the team trading back up.
Point differential: Titans +68.42

Browns punt on chance to fill quarterback need

Eagles receive: No. 2 overall (Carson Wentz), 2017 fourth-round pick
Browns receive: No. 8 overall, No. 77 overall, No. 100 overall, 2017 first-round pick, 2018 second-round pick
Cleveland traded back a second time and took WR Corey Coleman. The return on Wentz was pretty abysmal. 
Point differential: Browns +176.89


Washington mortgages future for RGIII

Washington receives: No. 2 overall (Robert Griffin III)
St. Louis Rams receive: No. 6 overall, No. 39 overall, 2013 first-round pick, 2014 first-round pick (No. 2)
St. Louis landed the No. 2 overall pick in the following draft but used it on OT Greg Robinson. In 2013, they traded back a second time and selected DL Michael Brockers and later added CB Janoris Jenkins with a pick received from Washington.
Point differential: Rams +782.54
Based on the trade value chart, the point differential surrendered by Washington was the equivalent to No. 2 overall, No. 20 overall and No. 182 overall. At the end of the day, it might have been worth it if Griffin had built on his Rookie of the Year campaign and had a prosperous career.


Jaguars move on from David Garrard, select Blaine Gabbert

Jaguars receive: No. 10 overall (Blaine Gabbert)
Washington receives: No. 16 overall, No. 49 overall 
Washington traded back in 2011 and selected DL Ryan Kerrigan, who has been one of the most productive edge rushers in the NFL over the past 10 years. 
Point differential: Washington +35.8

In each of the 12 trades, the team trading the rights to the quarterback received greater compensation than the pick equivalency. On average, the team trading the higher pick received a +211.799 point differential, which is the equivalent of the No. 23 overall selection. Teams trading down last year received above market value. The cost to move up this year could be less with a perceived shallower talent pool. 

If the quarterback goes on to be successful, it was all worth it. Kansas City loses zero sleep by getting the “worst” end of the deal, according to the trade value chart, but still getting Mahomes. Hindsight is 20/20 in some cases when future picks are traded. It is essentially taking out a loan on the team’s success. Some loans default, while others are paid off early. In three of the 12 trades, the team moving up to take a quarterback sent a top-5 pick back in the following draft. 

What does it mean for this year’s trade market? 

To explore some hypothetical situations, let’s use New York’s No. 7 overall selection to construct some trade offers. In this scenario, Carolina would still be getting its pick of the litter at No. 6 overall if it chooses to go quarterback. Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert noted Monday that the team has explored trades up and down the board and explicitly mentioned No. 7 overall. It is known that the Giants would like to get out of one of their picks to acquire future draft capital as a result of not having ample salary cap space in 2021.

If future assets are included, then the team trading up has to surrender more because of the unknown. An NFL team is not going to take a chance on looking bad for acquiring a future first-round pick that could become No. 32 overall when the trade value chart indicates they should have gotten No. 16 overall equivalency in return. By inflating the price, there is a larger window for it to look as though they won the deal. 

Steelers receive: No. 7 overall
Giants receive: No. 20 overall, 2023 first-round pick, 2024 third-round pick
Point differential: Giants +123.38
*Based on picking 16th in each future round

Saints receive: No. 7 overall
Giants receive: No. 16 overall, No. 19 overall
Points differential: Giants +83.82

If a team’s targeted quarterback is still available after No. 6 overall, they may be able to wait and trade into the early teens much like Chicago did last year for Justin Fields. Let’s use Houston at No. 13 overall to construct those hypothetical trades:

Steelers receive: No. 13 overall, No. 108 overall
Texans receive: No. 20 overall, 2023 first-round pick
Points differential: Texans +163.09
*Based on picking 16th in each future round

Saints receive: No. 13 overall
Texans receive: No. 16 overall, 2023 second-round pick
Point differential: Texans +67.21
*Based on picking 16th in each future round  

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