Confession: I totally forgot about the NFL Draft.
I guess it doesn’t feel as important this time around because the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles don’t necessarily have a ton of holes to fill. This isn’t 2016, when Howie Roseman “mortgaged the future” (successfully) for a franchise quarterback. This isn’t 2017, when the Birds had a top-15 pick and the draft was held on the Art Museum steps. In 2018, it’s more placid than urgent as Howie and Joe Douglas head to Arlington with the 32nd overall pick and not much beyond that.
Here’s what they’re currently working with:
- Round 1, pick 32
- Round 4, pick 130 (from the Eric Rowe trade)
- Round 4, pick 132
- Round 5, pick 156 (from the Matt Tobin trade)
- Round 5, pick 169
- Round 6, pick 206
Seems like people think the Birds might trade out of the first round and swing that pick to someone else instead.
What say you? Good idea? Bad idea? Don’t care one way or another?
It seems like the precedent for trading out of this spot is a 2nd and 4th round pick in return. That’s what happened last year when Seattle traded the 31st overall pick to San Francisco for the 34th and 111th overall pick. The 49ers took Reuben Foster at 31 and the Seahawks grabbed a defensive tackle and safety.
New England traded out of 32 last year and threw in a third round pick to get Brandin Cooks and a 4th rounder in return.
And in 2016, Seattle traded pick 26 to Denver, who gave up a first and a third (picks 31 and 94) to select Paxton Lynch.
So maybe the Birds can turn this into a second rounder and a late third, but it seems more likely that they’d end up with a second and fourth based on recent history. That would give them three fourth round picks, allowing them to possibly package two of those to get back into the third round.
It would look something like this:
- trade #32 overall for a 2nd and a 4th
- trade two of your 4th round picks for a 3rd
- result = one pick each in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th rounds
That’s not unreasonable, right? You’re basically just streamlining your draft instead of having to pick at 32, then wait all the way until 130 rolls around on Saturday afternoon.
ESPN ran a story asking each team insider to weigh in on draft possibilities, and this is what Tim McManus wrote:
The Eagles will trade out of the first round
Then snag an offensive skill position player early in the second. The Super Bowl champs have a league-low six picks at the moment. They can add to their stockpile by selling their No. 32 pick, potentially to a quarterback-needy team. The top of the second round looks like a good spot to land a difference-making running back.
Peter King has the Eagles grabbing Texas lineman Connor Williams at #32, but also believes a trade is in the cards:
32. PHILADELPHIA—CONNOR WILLIAMS, G-T, TEXAS
But I think the Eagles are much more likely to deal this pick; I just don’t know to whom. They’re seeking a trade—that I can tell you. Philadelphia has no pick in rounds two or three, and the Eagles don’t pick until the end of round four. So as of now, they go from 33 to 129 without a pick. That’s why they’ll be trying to deal all night Thursday. If they stick … The Eagles have a 35-year-old left tackle, Jason Peters, coming off major injury, and starting guards (Stefan Wisniewski and Brandon Brooks) who will be 29 this season. Connor’s the perfect pick for them, in the unlikely event they stick.
Over at NFL.com, Daniel Jeremiah and Charley Casserly have the Eagles grabbing UGA running back Sony Michel at 32. Bucky Brooks thinks Notre Dame tackle Mike McGlinchey will still be available then and Curtis Conway likes South Dakota State tight end Dallas Goedert.
I like him, too:
Actually, let’s stop it there and think about what the Eagles really need.
Jason Peters is no spring chicken and he’s coming off a major injury. Is Big V your left tackle of the future? Do you draft and stash a guard? They added Richard Rodgers but will need another tight end to replace the departed Brent Celek and Trey Burton. Running back seems like a spot to address as well, and you can find that guy in the second round if you trade out.
Derrius Guice is a name that keeps popping up in relation to the Eagles. The LSU product is a downhill dude who would be a really nice replacement for LeGarrette Blount. Corey Clement is due for an increased role in 2018 but there’s plenty of snaps for everyone, considering how Duce Staley handled the rotation last year.
And if you’re thinking player trade, Mychal Kendricks might be on the block again. You could theoretically package him into a draft day deal to get back into the second round. The possibilities are endless! Oh my!
If the Birds do deal, who bites?
Green Bay makes sense. The Packers have the most picks in this draft, 12, and would package some together to move up.
Keep an eye out for teams in need of a quarterback, too. Buffalo picks #12 overall but might not get one of Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Josh Rosen, Baker Mayfield. Do they burn that pick on Mason Rudolph or let him fall a bit, then jump back in? The quarterback rush might push some top-15 talent down a bit further than usual, which has been the case in recent years.
Indy looks good. They’ve got three second round picks and a third rounder, and could get back into the late first round while still holding one or two of those selections.
Cleveland needs help everywhere. They have two early second round picks, 33 and 35, where the Birds could move down only a few spots and still get great return. The Browns have 9 picks to work with.
Will Brinson at CBS Sports seems to think this scenario is in the cards:
32. Cleveland Browns (PHI mock)
Derrius Guice, RB, LSU: The Eagles are trading out of this spot, it’s just a question of with who, and after the Browns missed on Barkley up high, they can land Guice here with the bonus of picking up his fifth-year option, a crucial element in a running back contract in 2018.
Seems unlikely to me that the Birds would trade out of 32 if Guice was still on the board, but who knows?
Either way, I think you’re in a good spot here. The worst case scenario is that no one jumps on a trade and you take the “best available player” at 32. This is a strong tight end group, and you could probably land one of Goedert, Mike Gesicki, or Hayden Hurst here, though the latter is a strong favorite to go to New Orleans at 27.
You could grab the best available offensive lineman, and hope for Connor Williams or Kolton Miller or McGlinchey to stick around. You could take a running back like Michel or Royce Freeman or even go slot corner/safety. Maybe cornerback is in play with the release of Daryl Worley. Who plays in the slot this season?
Another thing to think about is that pick #32, while technically existing in the first round, is basically a glorified second rounder, isn’t it? I mean, the Eagles are closer to pick 45 than pick 15, so when we’re using “first round” language, there’s a bit of semantics involved. Myles Garrett and Ryan Ramczyk were both first round picks, but no one in their right mind is putting pick #1 and pick #32 on the same plane of evaluation, right? Bottom-end first round guys are hardly describable in the same sense as top-ten selections. There’s more disparity from 1 to 32 than there is from 65 to 107. I guess what I’m explaining is that it would off-base to say, “well the Eagles wasted a first rounder on this guy!” if they stick with #32 overall and the player ends up being a bust.
Right, anyway, if the Eagles trade out of the first round, are you cool with that?