Edit: added more from Spielman on trading.
I ran across this article on yahoo and buried in the middle of it, was an interesting quote from Rick Spielman about his grading process for the draft.
“There have been some feelers,” general manager Rick Spielman said. “But I think if there is any type of trade, I think most of the talk with get serious the closer we get to the draft just because people, like we are, are getting ready to go into their final draft meetings.
“So I think once everybody gets their game plan and the players they identify as the ones they really want to hone in on, that’s when teams start to want to make trades up or down. But I don’t anticipate anything happening with us until we’re on the clock, if we do anything.”
The thing you have to be careful about is once we get all these guys graded and you’re in that blue range where we’re picking, how far do you trade back before you’re out of that blue area and into the red?” Spielman said. “Now, if a deal is too good to pass up and you’re going to get `X’ amount of draft picks that are going to set you up for your future, not only this year but down the road, you also have to consider that, too. That’s how you look at this thing: how far do you go back and do you pass a possibly blue to get as many picks as you can. That’s tough, but on the other side, you can really set up your organization for the future. Similar to what St. Louis did with (trading the No. 2 pick to) Washington.
So, apparently they assign X number of players a grading color of "Blue", which (according to the article) Spielman rates as potential Pro Bowl caliber players coming out of the draft. They want to make sure that they are able to draft one of those guys. At some point there is a cutoff, and then Y number of players get a grading color of Red, which are still rated highly, but only as potential starters (not Pro Bowlers). Naturally I would assume they want some guys with a red label too. So, I wonder which guys they will end up marking Blue vs Red? And where would the cutoff be on their big board?
If we're talking potential Pro Bowl talent straight out of the draft, the list has to be pretty short, I'm thinking the following guys:
Robert Griffith III
And that might be it. Maybe a guy like Michael Floyd or Melvin Ingram or Quinton Coples could make the list. As for the red list, surely that would stretch well into the 2nd round, maybe even into the 3rd. There are lots of potential day 1 starters in this draft. But who do you think has a shot at a Pro Bowl as a rookie? Not many players ever make the Pro Bowl their rookie year.