Indianapolis Colts 2019 Draft Day Trades: How to trade down twice and still screw up

The Indianapolis Colts swung three draft day trades and received an unspectacular “C-” grade from your benevolent dictator. All teams start with an average “C” grade and then need to impress me in order to move up. Despite trading down twice, the Colts still failed to impress me. Here’s the net of what they did:

Began with: No. 26 (1st), No. 129 (4th), No. 135 (4th)
Ended with: No. 49 (2nd), No. 109 (4th), No. 144 (5th), 2020 2nd round pick

While trading down normally delights me, especially when it yields an additional second round pick, I don’t like seeing Indy drop all the way from No. 26 in the first round to No. 49 in the second round. There is a huge gap in the quality of players available at those two spots. Any GM and scouts worth their salt should be able to find Pro Bowl caliber players at No. 26. It’s much, much more difficult to do the same at No. 49. As dictator of Trade Down Island I don’t advocate trading down just for the sake of trading down. Teams need to smartly trade down, and I don’t think trading back 23 spots that early in the draft is very smart. We’ll see what yields more value over time, Montez Sweat (No. 26) by himself or the combination of Ben Banogu (No. 49) and the Colts 2020 second round pick.

The other issue I had with the Colts trade strategy is flipping two fourth round picks (No. 129 and No. 135) for one (No. 109). There isn’t that much difference in the quality of player available at any of those spots. The Colts really wanted Khari Willis at No. 109 and paid a heavy price to get him. We’ll see who yields more value, White by himself or the combination of Isaiah Johnson (No. 129) and John Cominsky (No. 135).

The unknown variable in all of this is who the Colts will ultimately draft with their 2020 second round pick. If Ben Banogu (No. 49) turns into a solid starter and then they land another stud with their 2020 second round pick then these trades could make sense. But for now I’d be hesitant to move off the No. 26 pick so easily.

Overall the Colts net trade rating is a +322 based on the Dallas Draft Value Chart, meaning they got a significant amount of draft capital back versus what they traded away, due mostly to the 2020 second round pick. While I normally love trading down, I just don’t love this one. Prove me wrong, Colts. Prove me wrong!

–Benevolent Dictator

NFC – 2019 Grades:
East: Cowboys | Eagles | Giants | Redskins
North: Bears | Lions | Packers | Vikings
South: Buccaneers | Falcons | Panthers | Saints
West: 49ers | Cardinals | Rams | Seahawks

AFC – 2019 Grades:
East: Bills | Dolphins | Jets | Patriots
North: Bengals | Browns | Ravens | Steelers
South: Colts | Jaguars | Texans | Titans
West: Broncos | Chargers | Chiefs | Raiders

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