After all the hype and speculation of who was going to be traded where and what team was going to offer the Titans the best deal, nothing really happened. We saw two trades last night, neither of them were blockbusters and the most one team moved was five spots. That being said, there were some more surprising picks last night. Two in particular stand out because it could very well mean that the trade block found a few new players. Muhammad Wilkerson and Zac Stacy both could find themselves on the move in the next few days with their teams adding Leonard Williams and Todd Gurley respectively. It makes you wonder what the best fit would be for these players on another team.
Let’s start with Stacy. He actually already demanded a trade from the Rams. Not exactly surprising when the entire world touts Gurley as the best running back prospect since Adrian Peterson. Stacy hasn’t had a whole lot of opportunities to showcase his skills only receiving 326 carries in 27 games played. He likely isn’t a starting caliber running back quite yet but he is a nice change of pace back. The issue for Stacy is that this is one of the best running back drafts in recent memory. There is a whole lot of depth throughout with Jay Ajayi, Tevin Coleman, Duke Johnson, T.J Yeldon and Ameer Abdullah all still on the board. Once day 3 rolls around and most of those guys are gone, that’s when we could start seeing a market for Stacy open up.
With that said, there are a couple of teams that Stacy would probably fit well on assuming they don’t draft a running back first. Dallas would certainly be an option as the Cowboys head into the season with Darren McFadden as their starter. I think Stacy and McFadden could form a nice blend of speed and power. Stacy’s presence would also limit that amount that McFadden would have to carry the football, which is ideal with his injury history. Stacy would be an upgrade over Lance Dunbar or Joseph Randle and he would receive a massive upgrade along the offensive line. It would also offer him the potential to start one day if McFadden is injured or once McFadden’s two-year deal with Dallas is up.
Another team that could warmly welcome Stacy would be the Miami Dolphins. Miami will likely target one of the runners in the draft but if they aren’t able to pick one they like, Stacy could be a nice consolation. The Dolphins have three running backs under contract but with the frustration surrounding Lamarr Miller and two other players who haven’t shown any real promise, Stacy would compete for the starting job. If nothing else, he should push Miller to perform better and be part of a running back committee. If Day 3 rolls around of the draft and the Fins are still looking for a back, don’t be surprised if we find out Stacy was swapped for a fourth or fifth round pick.
Now over to Wilkerson. He has been the Jets best player for the better part of the last two years but he is in a contract dispute with the team and seems a bit disgruntled. That would make this the perfect time to move him for New York, with Williams essentially brought in to take his place. With 24 sacks, 7 forced fumbles and 30 run stuffs in his 61 game career, Wilkerson is one of the best young defensive lineman in the league. He does not rank as highly as J.J. Watt or Ndamukong Suh but he is in that next tier. An easy fit for the 25-year old Wilkerson would be New Orleans, where he would play for the other Ryan brother, Rob. The Saints were one of the worst teams against the run a season ago and with rumors that the team does not plan to keep outside linebacker Junior Galette, he could be a trading piece. Swapping Wilkerson for Galette and a couple of early round picks could be a good deal for the Jets. Galette has registered 22 sacks in the last two seasons and would certainly aid the Jets pass rush.
Another team that could be in the mix for Mo would be Kansas City. The Chiefs ranked 28th in the league last year and allowed 4.7 yards per carry. Wilkerson is a massive run stuffer and pairing him with Dontari Poe would make that front line dominant against the run. The Chiefs would obviously need to give up something in return. Two possible scenarios would be either Tamba Hali and a couple of draft picks or Justin Houston. Hali is much older so the picks would need to be high. However, with Houston, this could be a straight swap. He is currently on the franchise tag and seeking a new deal the Chiefs are not currently able to give him. Sending him to New York in exchange for another top defensive player, who will likely cost less than Houston to keep, would be a smart idea. The Jets could need to throw in a mid-round draft pick to truly make it even but both are elite defensive players.
The NFL is full of surprises and there will plenty more over the next two days. Just keep an eye for some players to be on the move too, in addition to just draft picks.