Eagles GM Howie Roseman’s mantra has been all offseason that the key to sustained success is to build through the draft. It’s hard to argue that philosophy, but with only six picks and many needs, they don’t have much in the way of resources to do their building.
The Eagles currently hold one pick in rounds one through five, then one in round seven. This is the least amount of picks they’ve had in a draft since 2003.
In a draft that is supposedly the deepest and most talent-laden in the past decade, I’m sure the Eagles wouldn’t mind having a few more at their disposal. And we all know that Howie likes to wheel and deal as he’s one of the most active GMs during the draft.
I’ve previously discussed what I thought the trade values are of the three main players thrown around as possible trade bait (DeSean Jackson, Bryce Brown and Brandon Graham). Well, we can obviously scratch Jackson off that list.
I still find it highly disappointing that we didn’t get any compensation at all for a player of Jackson’s caliber. But, nothing can be done about that now so we have to move forward with what we have.
It’s still possible that Brown or Graham gets traded, and it’s also possible neither of them do. Or perhaps there is a player that gets dealt that would shock us, like the sudden report about Evan Mathis being on the trade block.
The only thing I can say with 99.9% certainty is that the Eagles want more picks for this draft. The question is how to get them. Player trades are the most obvious, but are sometimes the hardest to do.
Besides Brown, Graham and Mathis (even though I seriously doubt it), the only other player I can foresee them possibly trading is Vinny Curry. That makes it four potential players who could feasibly be traded prior to, or during, the draft in May.
If so, here is my best guess as to what kind of draft pick the Eagles would get in return:
Mathis – 4th
Graham – 5th
Curry – 5th
Brown – 6th
I certainly don’t foresee them trading all four of those guys, that’s a little much. Two of them isn’t out of the question though. However, I will say that with their lack of depth at the OLB position, trading Graham before the draft would be risky.
Besides player trades, the only other way to acquire more picks would happen during the draft in the form of trading down. Obviously, it takes two to tango so there has to be a team that wants to trade up for a particular player.
Last year, there were some trades that could be similar to what the Eagles could do in regards to trading back from pick No. 22. Here are comparable deals that went down in the back half of the first round during the 2013 draft:
- The Vikings traded with the Patriots to move up from the second round to the end of the first. The Pats traded pick No. 29 for Minny’s second (pick 52), third (pick 83), fourth (pick 102) and seventh (pick 229).
- The Falcons traded with the Rams to move up from pick No. 30 to 22. The deal was the Falcons get pick 22 and the Rams’ seventh rounder and the Rams received pick 30, a third rounder (pick 92) and a sixth rounder (pick 198).
- The 49ers traded with Dallas to move up from pick No. 31 to 18. Dallas received a third rounder (pick 74) in the deal.
Speaking of the Vikings and Falcons, they have been two of the more aggressive teams in recent years in terms of trading up in the first round. The 49ers are also loaded with draft picks and with them being on the cusp of a Super Bowl, they will probably look to be aggressive again as well.
What the Eagles can get in terms of picks will depend on how far they’re willing to trade down. The further they trade back, the more picks they would get. But, they have to be careful about trading back too far so that they don’t miss out on some top talents.
Since we’re talking about trading back from pick 22, the most obvious teams to look at as far as potential trade partners are those who have extra picks within the first three rounds. It’s hard to imagine any trade back from No. 22 wouldn’t involve at least a third-rounder, at the minimum.
Surprisingly, there aren’t many teams with extra trade-able picks in these rounds, unless you count the teams that received third round compensatory picks thereby thinking they may be apt to trade their original pick (since teams can’t trade compensatory picks).
The 49ers are absolutely stacked with 11 total picks, including two picks in Round 2 and three picks in Round 3 (though one is compensatory).
The Browns have two first and two third round picks.
The Vikings have two picks in the third-round.
The Steelers, Packers and Ravens (and 49ers) each received a third round compensatory pick, so we could feasibly include them as well (assuming they would trade their original pick).
That’s it for teams with multiple picks in the first three rounds, except for the Rams who have two first-rounders, though both are before where the Eagles pick.
Other teams with numerous overall picks are the Texans and Falcons, both of whom have a total of 11 picks but only one in each of the first three rounds.
Alright, so now we’ve laid out some teams who could be trade partners, based only on the fact they either have multiple picks within the first three rounds or numerous picks overall. Now, we can consult the handy dandy draft pick value chart and start putting together possible deals…
Based purely on their dearth of picks, everyone’s most logical trading partner is the 49ers. When you see that they traded up last year (history of dealing) and the fact they likely think they’re one or two impact players away from a title, you can’t help but think they will be aggressive in this draft.
The Eagles would likely squeeze pick No. 77, San Fran’s first third-rounder, if they traded back from 22 to 30. However, if the 49ers really think they’re two players away and wanted to be aggressive, they could use their second and third rounders to move into the first without giving up pick No. 30.
If that happened, according to the draft pick value chart, the Eagles would get both of their seconds plus a third and fifth rounder. Of course, that would mean the Eagles would be dropping from pick 22 all the way down to 56 before taking their first player.
That would leave the Eagles with three picks in the second, two in the third and two in the fifth rounds respectively. It would be similar to the Patriots/Vikings trade from last year but the Eagles would get more because they’d be dropping further.
If the Vikings wanted to continue their aggressive ways and wanted to trade back into the first round again, they’d have to give up their second, their first third-rounder and their fourth-rounder according to the value chart.
However, how would you feel if the Eagles traded back from 22 to 40 and only received an extra third and fourth rounder? According to the chart, that’s fair. But, I’d have to think the Eagles could squeeze both of the Vikings’ third round picks instead of their fourth.
That would leave the Eagles with two picks in round two and three in round three.
How about an off the wall trade? Maybe the Texans at No. 1 overall really want to take Clowney, Mack or one of the top offensive linemen. But, they also really need a quarterback.
The best thing that can happen for the Eagles is that one of the top quarterbacks are still on the board at pick 22. Teams that need one but chose to bypass them in the top 10 could be willing to move up to snag their guy.
If that’s what the Texans hope to do, perhaps they become an interesting trade partner.
They own the first pick in rounds two and three, which is probably what it would cost them to trade with the Eagles. That’s decent value and what’s more is that the first pick in Round 2 is extra valuable in that it is the first pick on the second day of the draft.
Teams would have all night to convince themselves to move up to snatch a player at the top of Round 2. The Eagles could parlay pick 33 into more picks as well and still have the first pick in the third round.
If the Eagles do move back, which I think has a decent chance of happening this year, I think it’ll be more of a simple move such as picking up an extra third round pick from San Fran to drop back eight spots.
That would be just enough to come out even on losing DeSean Jackson and using the extra pick on a receiver. Whether that is a good trade off is yet to be seen, but it’s at least something.