Howie Roseman and the Philadelphia Eagles are “movers and shakers” when it comes to the NFL Draft. This, of course, means that they love to trade up and down in any given round of the draft.
I can’t remember the last time the Eagles did not do at least one trade during the seven rounds of the draft. Often times, they’re involved in multiple trades over the course of the draft and get more common in the mid-late rounds as opposed to the first three.
Now that it’s finally draft week, mock drafts will be in full-swing as writers and bloggers try their best to predict what their team will do.
I’ve done a few mocks for the Eagles already, but this week will be full of exercises in ideas of what I might attempt to do if I was the General Manager. After a couple of these exercises, I’ll come down to a final mock draft by Thursday.
One of the struggles in doing a mock draft is deciding what you think the Eagles will do as opposed to what you think they should do, all while keeping scenarios as “realistic” as possible.
With that said, everyone is enamored with the idea of the Eagles trading out of the No. 4 spot in this year’s draft. It’s a distinct possibility, but it will only happen in particular scenarios regarding what players are there at No. 4.
Being a “fake GM” and coming up with grandiose trade ideas is a lot of fun, I must admit. The “purists” see this as drivel, but I see it as entertaining and food for thought, if done well.
For this exercise, I thought it would be fun to focus on mostly trade ideas. I’m not opposed to just keeping the fourth-overall pick and taking a player there, but if I had my druthers, I’d be trying to acquire extra picks in this draft.
Therefore, this would be my version of “wheelin’ and dealin'” if I were in charge of the Eagles’ draft:
Miami is in trade talks for Brandon Albert and if it goes through, that will cost them one of their second round picks. This may or may not impact their desire to move up, but if anything it may reduce the likelihood.
The Jets just acquired the No. 13 pick from Tampa in the Revis trade. Does this make them more or less likely to move up in Round 1? The Jets have holes to fill, but Rex Ryan may need to make a bold move in order to save his job beyond 2013.
Two of the more active teams in Round 1 trade-ups in recent years have been the Jets and Browns. The biggest question is whether either of them want a QB with their first round pick.
Both have significant reasons to take one, but the lack of confidence in this QB class could be a severe deterrent in any team selecting one high in the draft, much less trade up for one.
If the Eagles do trade down in this round, I think it will be with the Jets or Browns, with an outside chance of Miami making another bold move (they have been aggressive this offseason and would still hold two third-rounders if they trade for Albert).
The Jets could trade up from No. 9, then look to trade down from No. 13 to make up for picks lost. Therefore, I’m rolling with the Jets trading up for Geno Smith.
This would cost New York only their second round selection (pick No. 39).
At No. 9, the Eagles select DT Star Lotulelei.
Yes, I think he would last to No. 9 if the draft falls like many predict. Therefore, the Eagles come away with a versatile DL player that can play multiple positions in their hybrid defensive front as well as an extra second-rounder.
If Dion Jordan is somehow still available, he would be the pick.
Round 2 (Round 1?)
With the Eagles sitting there with two high picks in the second round and watching Day 1 of the draft wind down, they decide that their Day 1 is not quite over. This is where the Eagles pull a “shocker”…
They package Jeremy Maclin and pick No. 35 and send it to Indy for the Colts’ first (pick 24), third (pick 86) and a maybe a conditional 2014 pick as well. In this trade, Maclin has the value equivalent to a second-rounder.
The pick? QB Ryan Nassib.
For the Eagles to make this move, it has to be for someone they’d consider franchise-changing. That’s why this move would be made for a QB.
Nassib is a popular choice to be selected by Buffalo at No. 8 nowadays, but they could pass thinking they’ll get him in Round 2. If the Jets’ trade-up with us is for someone other than Smith (or even Nassib) and Geno is available here, he’d be the pick.
E.J. Manuel would be a possibility here as well.
As for Nassib, the Eagles didn’t have him in for a visit but they did show interest in him at the Senior Bowl and combine. Nassib has underrated mobility in the pocket and should be capable of running a read-option offense.
Remember, the Eagles have a history of drafting players in Round 1 that they didn’t bring in for a pre-draft visit or have a private workout with.
Round 2 (continued…)
With the Eagles’ high second-round targets gone by pick 39, they opt to trade down again. This time, it’s Tom Gamble’s old buddies in San Fran who come calling with their armory of draft picks.
They give the Eagles pick 61 and 74 for pick 39. That trade works out perfectly according to this draft pick value chart. The difference in points between picks 39 and 61 is 220. Coincidentally, pick 74 is worth exactly that.
At pick No. 61, the Eagles select TE Gavin Escobar. They have shown a lot of interest in Escobar and if this scenario worked out, he’s the pick. Kelly gets another big offensive weapon and can now envision running dynamic two-tight end sets.
Wow, now the Eagles have three third-rounders with picks 67, 74 and 86. This is the meat of the draft right here and I would use all three picks.
No. 67: S D.J. Swearinger – the Eagles have shown interest in Phillip Thomas, but Swearinger is the better prospect.
No. 74: WR Da’Rick Rogers – I became very, very intrigued by Rogers after researching him extensively. He may not actually last to this pick, but right now it’s about where he’s projected to go.
He would replace Maclin and be the kind of physical receiver that Kelly likes.
No. 86: OL David Quessenberry – Versatile lineman that can provide depth at multiple positions along the OL.
The Eagles start off Day 3 of the draft with another trade, albeit a minor one. Cleveland comes calling and offers up their sixth-rounder to swap spots.
At pick No. 104, the Eagles select CB Sanders Commings.
They held a private workout with him and could be impressed by his versatility and physicality. He can play both at corner and at safety, therefore providing depth at two positions and has the potential to be a future starter.
This could be another spot for the Eagles to make a trade, but they decide to stay put and help with depth at the OL position and take G J.C. Tretter.
Tretter has good size, athleticism and is the hard-working kind of player Kelly will like. Should provide depth along the interior and push for a starting job in 2014.
With the Eagles now holding a pick in this round, they decide to take a flier on a player who may be slowly rising up draft boards and therefore not available here. However, at this time, he’s projected to go anywhere between the fifth and seventh rounds.
The player? S Cooper Taylor.
In a previous article, I brought Taylor up as a potential sleeper pick for Kelly because he’s a 6′ 5″ 228 lbs safety that might be an ideal fit as a hybrid strong safety and cover linebacker.
With the Eagles holding four seventh-rounders, they decide to package two of them to move back into the sixth round. Trade with who? Whomever wants two sevenths instead of one sixth!
With their second sixth-rounder, the Eagles take DE Joe Kruger. At 6′ 6″, Kruger has the frame to add 10-15 pounds to put him in the 280-285 range. He would be drafted with the idea of being a 5-tech DE.
No. 218: DL Quinton Dial – he is a 6′ 5″, 318 lbs player who projects as a versatile DL player that can either be a DT in a 4-3 or DE in a 3-4. The Eagles had him in for a pre-draft visit so there is at least some interest here.
Comp pick: RB Knile Davis – Davis is a player who could be taken higher, but injury concerns and a down senior year drop him to the end of the draft. Eagles also held a private workout for him, showing some interest.
1. DT Star Lotulelei
1. QB Ryan Nassib
2. TE Gavin Escobar
3. S D.J. Swearinger
3. WR Da’Rick Rogers
3. OL David Quessenberry
4. CB Sanders Commings
5. G J.C. Tretter
6. S Cooper Taylor
6. DE Joe Kruger
7. DL Quinton Dial
7. RB Knile Davis
If there was a way I could fathom Dion Jordan dropping to nine in this trade-back scenario in Round 1, he would definitely have been the pick. If so, that would have changed at least one of my third-rounders, if not the second-rounder, to a DT/NT.
Unfortunately, I can’t see Jordan falling that far. But, I can see Lotulelei being there and he would represent the best value at that point.