All of those mock drafts we've posted over the last few weeks — they're no substitute for the real thing. The NFL Draft is a whirling storm of activity, with the landscape and big boards changing by the second. This, of course, brings about a ton of trades.
There are the teams looking to move down and acquire more picks and the partners who want to move up, hop over a competitor, and land their man.
There's almost no way to accurately predict every trade in the NFL Draft, but we can highlight the best candidates to make a move before or during Thursday's first round.
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Cleveland Browns (No. 12)
Cleveland could move its No. 12 pick to go up or go down, but it's highly unlikely to select No. 12 in this draft. Moving up would allow the Browns to land quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, and trading down would allow another team to jump ahead of the Arizona Cardinals to land Pat Mahomes or Deshaun Watson.
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Chicago Bears (No. 3)
Chicago has a ton of needs, though its situation is significantly different than that of the team that picks before them, the 49ers, who are also on this list. While San Francisco has a new head coach and general manager, GM Ryan Pace and coach John Fox's seats are at least lukewarm right now. That means the long-term play might not be in the cards for Chicago.
That said, there are serious injury concerns surrounding Ohio State cornerback Marshon Lattimore's hamstrings and Alabama defensive tackle Jonathan Allen's shoulder — if Myles Garrett and Solomon Thomas are off the board, is there a solid pick for Chicago at No. 3, outside of a quarterback? And is Pace willing to go all-in on a young QB who would be extremely unlikely to help his team win games this season?
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San Francisco 49ers (No. 2)
The 49ers' second pick is both a blessing and a curse for the team, which has a ton of needs and probably sees no clear-cut second-best player in this class.
New 49ers general manager John Lynch is in this for the long haul, and moving down will give him more picks to fill those plentiful holes. A team looking to land Trubisky is an excellent suitor.
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Houston Texans (No. 25)
Houston needs a quarterback, it's looking likely that two will be taken in the top 10, and Bill O'Brien is supposedly infatuated with Mahomes — you can do the math. Houston is a prime candidate to make a deal with the Browns (No. 12) or Redskins (No. 17).
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Washington Redskins (No. 17)
Will they do the prudent thing and trade down to acquire more picks to help fill out their depleted defense (and not-exactly-in-great-shape offense)? It's foolhardy to guess what's happening in Ashburn, but if one of the three top quarterbacks is still on the board, Washington should absolutely move down.
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Tennessee Titans (No. 5)
The Titans have two first-round picks and two clear-cut needs that need to be addressed with them: wide receiver and cornerback.
If a top cornerback — namely Lattimore — isn't on the board at No.5, look for the Titans to trade down, but not by much because the top receivers in this class will still be on the board a few picks layer.
This is another pick that could be dangled in front of a team looking to land Trubisky or Watson.
Christopher HanewinckelChristopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Carolina Panthers (No. 8)
Carolina might not be able to fill its two largest needs — offensive tackle and defensive end — effectively in its current spot. Unless the Panthers are keen to select a running back or wide receiver at No. 8, trading down would be a prudent move that wouldn't put their draft board in jeopardy.