Less than a year ago, the Jets traded from their sixth overall position in the 2018 draft to No. 3 with the Colts, and fans and pundits were speculating what the Green & White might do next.
"I wouldn’t necessarily rule anything in or out because it's so fluid," GM Mike Maccagnan said before the Jets ultimately spent the 3 on Sam Darnold. "It’s really all about trying to maximize your opportunity of using your resources to better the team and move the team toward the vision that you have for it."
Maccagnan could well say the same thing this year as the Jets sit again in the three-hole. They could trade up. They could stand pat. But what about the option of trading down and multiplying their picks? What might they be able to get in return?
One immediate answer is what they gave up to Indianapolis last year. For swapping ones, the Jets sent three second-rounders to the Colts — a "good price," as Maccagnan said. Teams in similar positions have paid less, still others have paid more. Assuming Darnold is "the one," the price was certainly fair.
Here are some other recent examples of NFL teams with a top-five pick trading down:
2017 — When San Francisco at No. 2 and Chicago at No. 3 swapped places, the 49ers got two third-rounders and a fourth from the Bears, who wanted to grab QB Mitch Trubisky.
2016 — The Rams, in going from 15 to Tennessee's top pick ultimately for Jared Goff, paid to the Titans two twos and a three that year and a one and a three in '17. The Eagles, in traveling from 8 to 2 with Cleveland with Carson Wentz in their sights, gave the Browns a 1-2-3-4 package.
2014 — Buffalo, for the privilege of swapping its 9 with the Browns' 4 to ultimately draft WR Sammy Watkins, gave up first- and fourth-rounders in the '15 draft.
2013 — In another non-QB transaction, the Dolphins got a great deal in giving up only a second-rounder in going from 12 to Oakland's 3 to draft DE Dion Jordan.
2012 — In the most expensive draft-picks trade since 2000, Washington exchanged its 6 for St. Louis' 2 and also kicked in a second-rounder and two first-rounders to select QB Robert Griffin.
Also that year, Minnesota held the third pick and Cleveland the fourth. The Browns sent three lower picks (in Rounds 4, 5 and 7) to the Vikings to rise one spot for RB Trent Richardson.
If we go back 10 years, we of course encounter the Jets' trade with Cleveland in the Mark Sanchez draft. The Jets went from 17th overall to fifth and paid for the long move with a second-rounder plus three players.
And which team traded up into the top five most recently before that? The Jets again, in their 13-to-4 swap with Chicago, giving up the 22nd overall pick plus a fourth-rounder to draft DT Dewayne Robertson.
The Green & White's top-five tradedown history extends further back, to 1997 when Bill Parcells moved back from No. 1 to No. 6 (and then again to No. 8), with the Rams going to the top spot for T Orlando Pace. In 1993, the Jets did a one-place switch, from 3 to 4, with the Phoenix Cardinals. The Cards wanted RB Garrison Hearst. The Jets got veteran RB Johnny Johnson in the trade, then plucked LB Marvin Jones from under his Florida State shade tree at four.
And back in 1980, the Green & White were the ones moving up, trading their 13th and 20th overall picks for San Francisco's second pick to tab WR Lam Jones.
So how much the Jets could get by dealing their third pick in the upcoming draft depends on how far down they're moving, a "QB surcharge" if a prime signalcaller is available at that spot, and how many teams come calling before Mac and his personnel team decide the price is right.