The NFL has been a huge uptick in trades over the past five or ten years. Teams have become much more likely to part with their draft capital for talent. Over the last several years, teams have given up large chunks of their draft picks to pursue high end talent.
The Rams gave up a ton for Matthew Stafford. The Browns and Broncos gave away multiple first round draft picks for their new quarterbacks. Teams traded top draft picks for guys like Tyreek Hill, Davante Adams, and Khalil Mack.
This past offseason was a huge indicator of how teams are approaching their team building, and even the trade deadline saw a huge trade where Denver acquired a first round pick from the Dolphins for Bradley Chubb.
Before, team building seemed to be a drawn out process where GMs would build up their rosters through the NFL draft. They’d draft a quarterback, develop him, and surround him with talent. The process took multiple years.
Even with the teams today who are undergoing full scale rebuilds, they have been willing to part with draft capital. The Chicago Bears traded a second round draft pick for Chase Claypool. It’s clear the Bears are a ways away from winning, but they still parted with draft capital for a pass catcher.
The instant gratification mindset that many teams have is showing. The Los Angeles Rams are perhaps the biggest example of this, as they’ve had no troubles parting with years of first round draft picks to acquire high end talent for their roster, and it ended in a Super Bowl last year.
Even teams who use their top selections on quarterbacks are wanting them to hit the ground running rather quickly. The sped up process that NFL team building has turned into is obvious now. In some respects, it seems like a giant footrace. Who can get to the finish line quickest? Who can build a Super Bowl team the quickest?
Whether we agree we this or not is a moot point, as this is what the NFL has turned into.