Will the Eagles trade up, trade back, or stay put with their 1st round pick in this year’s draft? The Eagles are usually movers and shakers during the 3 day event and have 10 picks at their disposal this year. Not having a free agency period beforehand makes it difficult to figure out the best course of action when it comes to the draft. The Eagles have plenty of holes to fill at OL, CB, S, and LB. You might as well throw DL in there too and possibly QB if they really think they’ll trade Kolb.
Last year, the Eagles traded up in the 1st round, traded back several times in rounds 2 through 5, then traded back into the 7th round to pick Jamar Chaney. As far as the 1st round goes during the 12 drafts of Andy Reid era, they have traded up 4 times (’03, ’04, ’09, ’10), traded back twice (’07, ’08), and stayed put for the other 6 years. To put it another way, Reid has moved out of his 1st round draft slot 50% of the time.
For today though, let’s take a look at some players the Eagles could target in a trade-up scenario and what it might cost us to do so. The 4 times Reid has moved up were to slots 13, 15, 16, and 19 so I wouldn’t expect that to change this year (trading up to the middle of draft). Looking at the teams in this range, the most likely trade partners I see are Miami at pick #15 (could trade back and still grab top RB) and Detroit at pick #13 (only have 6 picks in draft).
In order for the Eagles to get to #13, they would have to trade their 2nd round pick (#54) to go along with their #23 pick. To get to #15 they might be able to get away with trading their 3rd and both 4th rounders (picks #85, 104, and 120). With the potential for trading Kolb after the draft for a 2012 pick, the Eagles could also consider using 2012 picks as compensation in a trade. As I’ve written before, a 2012 1st round pick has the value of about a high 2nd rounder in 2011. A 2012 2nd round pick has an approximate value of a 2011 3rd rounder but these are highly subjective values.
So, who could the Eagles target in the mid 1st round range? 3 out of their previous 4 trade-ups have been for linemen (McDougle, Andrews, Graham) though that doesn’t rule out other positions (such as CB). With that said, I can only see 3 players that the Eagles would make a move for if they made it to at least pick 13, and yep, they’re all linemen.
1. DE Da’Quan Bowers, 6′ 3″ 280 lbs: Lately some draft pundits see him falling in the draft. At one time he was a sure-fire top 10 pick but concerns about his knee have hurt his stock…supposedly…along with “1 year wonder ” chatter. I’ve seen some draft observers having him drop all the way into the 20’s. But with 25 TFL’s, 15.5 sacks, 2 FF’s, and an INT last year…this guy is a game changing impact player.
2. DE Ryan Kerrigan, 6′ 3″ 267 lbs: Unlike Bowers, his stock has been rising from late 1st/early 2nd up into the mid-first round. This guy is my darkhorse pick for the Eagles as I really feel he is an excellent fit for our defense, especially with Castillo and Washburn. With 26 TFL’s, 12.5 sacks, and 5 FF’s last season to go along with all the outstanding intangibles, I’m sure that Reid and Co. love him.
3. OT Tyron Smith, 6′ 5″ 307 lbs: Would we select a USC right tackle to replace another USC right tackle? Yes, I believe we would. Smith is projected to go somewhere around 9th or 10th overall by most draft pundits but if he makes it past Dallas, he could certainly be there at #13. This is probably the least likely of the 3 to trade up for but he is very young and has the skills that new OL coach Howard Mudd could mold into a perennial all-pro lineman.
Would the Eagles actually move up 2 years in a row for a defensive end? Probably a long shot but stranger things have happened. Graham’s injury is serious enough to where he most likely won’t have an impact next year, Parker is getting older and wearing down, and Cole gets worn down by the end of every season and seems to disappear. The wild cards are Ricky Sapp and Daniel Te’o-Nesheim. If the coaching staff is confident that they can step up this year, then they most likely don’t draft another DE in the high rounds. But, one thing we know is that the Eagles place a very high value on the defensive end position so if they do grab one it wouldn’t be a shocker.
If the Eagles trade up in round 1 it would almost be a certainty that they’d trade back in the 2nd round in order to get a few more picks back that they would have lost in the trade up. But in all honesty I don’t feel that the Eagles will move up in this draft. I think there is a more likely scenario of them moving back and collect more picks. It may also be the more prudent thing to do since nobody knows what will become of the CBA/Lockout situation.