When Is Trading Up Acceptable?

KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 29: Melvin Ingram #6 of the South Carolina Gamecocks celebrates during the game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium on October 29, 2011 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The rumor mill was hot last week with rumblings the Jets might look to trade up to land Melvin Ingram. It is impossible to say how valid this rumor is. It might be a smokescreen. It would fit Mike Tannenbaum's nature. He has been a guy much more inclined to move up for a guy he really likes than he is to move down to stockpile picks. Would this be a good move?

I am sure some would say no since trading up would mean giving up picks that could be used on necessary cheap depth. I do not agree with this school of thought. It is easy to say in a dream world that you hit on all of your picks late in the Draft and find sleepers to help the team. It never works out that way, though, even for really good general managers. These picks still have value, though.

My feeling is that the Jets can trade up for Ingram, but Ingram needs to be a game changer to justify the move. He needs to impact the game like a Terrell Suggs or DeMarcus Ware. You are giving up a chance to add cheap talent when you move up so the reward needs to be adding premium talent. Sure, the Jets might be giving up a chance to address all of their needs in this case, but that is a short sighted view. If you add DeMarcus Ware for the next decade, everybody would praise the move in the long run.

Think back to the 2007 Draft. The Jets only came out with four picks because they traded up twice. The two guys they traded up to get were Darrelle Revis and David Harris. Does anybody regret that? Can anybody be critical of those moves? Revis and Harris turned into excellent players who helped the team go on long Playoff runs. The need for talent also is relative to round. Take Jeremy Kerley. He is never going to be Andre Johnson, but the playmaker he looks like he is going to be could very easily justify moving up in the fifth round last year to snag him. For a fifth rounder, he looks like a great bargain.

Ingram would still need to turn into this kind of premium talent to justify a trade. Look at the trade for Shonn Greene. Greene has been a perfectly capable back for the Jets, but the team mortgaged its last day of the Draft to land him. If he was a game changer like Matt Forte, it would have been worth it. Was an average back worth giving up chances to add depth? I think that is a tough case to make.

I don't think the Jets can get caught in dogma when they think about moving up. They need to evaluate the long-term impact.

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