Rumors abound about the Eagles possibly trading up in the first round, presumably for QB Carson Wentz. Let’s take a look at three recent rumors that surfaced…
First, Lance Zierlein of NFL.com had this:
“Don’t be surprised if a team like the Eagles makes a really strong move up the board to get (Carson) Wentz. I don’t think he’s worth it, but I think they do. Everyone thinks you have to move ahead of Cleveland, but (Browns Chief Strategy Officer Paul DePodesta) will want to get as many picks as possible out of this draft. It wouldn’t surprise me if a team moved directly to Cleveland’s spot for Wentz.” — NFC executive
Then Robert Klemko of Sports Illustrated’s MMQB had this:
At the moment, there are four teams in play to trade up to the No. 1 spot: Cleveland (as insurance against losing their preference of Goff or Wentz), San Francisco (No. 7), Philadelphia (No. 13) and Los Angeles (No. 15). And I don’t believe it will take the “king’s ransom” Titans GM Jon Robinson says a team will have to give up to move to No. 1. (Robinson later clarified his remarks, saying he did not want to give the impression the Titans were unwilling to move down). My hunch is that the deal will land somewhere south of the legitimate king’s ransom Washington paid for the right to draft Robert Griffin III—basically, three first-rounders and a second-round pick.
The latest rumor comes from thasportsjunkies101.com (Note: I’m not familiar with this site nor do I know how connected they are with legit sources. However, their Twitter account has over 20,000 followers…if that means anything):
Quarterbacks are the primary target in football. And yes, the Eagles don’t necessary have a franchise quarterback and haven’t had one since Donovan McNabb. But, do they need to pick Wentz as their first round overall pick? The answer is NO. Our sources are indicating that the Eagles are interested in moving up to take Florida State DB Jalen Ramsey and not Wentz.
So, we have one rumor about the Eagles moving up for Wentz, one for the Eagles moving up to No. 1, then one for the Eagles moving up for Ramsey. The notion of the Eagles moving up for Ramsey is an interesting one.
Earlier this year, former Eagles President Joe Banner stated that, if not for the Lockout in 2011, the Eagles had a deal in place with Arizona that would have netted them Arizona’s fifth overall pick in that draft (for Kevin Kolb). And, they would have drafted Patrick Peterson.
Howie Roseman was Banner’s protégé, so, could Ramsey be Banner’s Peterson? I find it unlikely that the Eagles would give up a whole lot by way of draft picks in order to take a Defensive Back. I can, however, see them doing so for a Quarterback.
In any case, if the Eagles want to move up from 8th overall, it’ll cost them. The cost will depend on which slot they’re trading up to and for what player. If a team knows you want to move into their slot for a top QB prospect, the price typically gets higher.
The Eagles do not have a second-round pick which really hurts them as far as trade-up ammunition. They have two third-rounders, but not having that second could be costly (if they do, in fact, have a strong desire to move up).
So, what could we be looking at in terms of cost? To get ideas it’s always good to look at past precedent and hone in on teams that moved into the top-5 and see what kinds of compensation was given up. Here’s a look at some potentially comparable trades that took place within the last seven years…
2014: The Bills trade up from 9th to 4th and only gave up a 4th rounder (Buffalo took Sammy Watkins)
2013: The Dolphins trade up from 12th to 3rd and give up 2nd rounder for Dion Jordan
2012: The Redskins trade up from 6th to 2nd and gave up 2 future 1’s and their 2nd for RG3
2012: The Browns trade up from 4th to 3rd and gave up a 4th, 5th, and 7th round picks for Trent Richardson
2012: The Jags trade up from 7th to 5th and gave up 4th rounder for Justin Blackmon
2009: The Jets trade up from 17th to 5th and gave up three players (two starting caliber guys and one backup) along with their 2nd rounder for Mark Sanchez
The most obvious trades to look at are the two involving a trade-up for a QB. As far as value is concerned, the RG3 and Sanchez trades are significantly different. Look at how much more it cost the Redskins to move up just four spots as compared to how much it cost the Jets to move up 12 spots.
The difference is the caliber of Quarterback.
RG3 was a much more highly touted QB coming out than was Sanchez, therefore the cost was significantly higher. There is no QB in this draft on the level that RG3 was coming out. Wentz and Goff are viewed more along the lines of Sanchez, perhaps slightly higher, but certainly not like the year with RG3 and Andrew Luck.
The 2014 trade when the Bills only gave up a 4th rounder to move from 9th to 4th is probably the closest trade in terms of what the Eagles could actually end up doing. The problem is that in 2014, there weren’t any highly rated QBs coming out and the Jags took Blake Bortles at No. 3 so there was no question that the Bills were not trading up for a QB (hence the lower price).
Competition to move into a certain draft slot is also a big cost driver. If, as the SI rumor suggests, the Eagles are competing with Cleveland, San Fran and the Rams to move into the No. 1 spot, it’ll drive up the cost significantly. The Titans would have to weigh what they’re getting versus how far they’d have to move down.
There is also the good ole draft pick value chart. That says that the No. 1 pick is worth 3,000 points while the No. 8 is worth 1,400. The Eagles’ two third rounders are worth a combined 400 points, which would leave them about 1,200 points shy.
Going by the chart, the Eagles could give up every single pick and it would still be way off value-wise for the No. 1 pick.
The Eagles could entertain trading future picks to move up that far, but I sincerely hope they wouldn’t trade a future first. For all intents and purposes, trading up to the No. 1 spot is highly unlikely for the Eagles. The only way that would happen is if there was no competition for it and the Titans were willing to settle for less.
Or, the Eagles offered up a player or two along with picks.
I hate to even mention this, but, the thought has crossed my mind about whether or not the Eagles would consider trading Fletcher Cox in a package to move up. Howie Roseman has already gone on record saying how important it is that they keep Cox. He has stated this on multiple occasions as well.
However, they still haven’t extended him even though they still have the cap space to do so. It doesn’t mean they won’t and they still have plenty of time to get a deal done.
But, if push comes to shove and the Eagles are really in love with a QB in this class, Cox could be a powerful trade chip in lieu of not having a second round pick. Roseman has said he wants to retain Cox, but until he actually does so, I can’t completely rule out the notion of trading him.
Yes, he’s our best defensive player and possibly our best player on the team, but QB trumps DT in the grand scheme of things.
If not Cox, the only other trading chip with some value I could see is Connor Barwin. The Titans run a 3-4 defensive scheme with Dick LeBeau and Barwin could be an appealing player for them. It’s hard to say what kind of value Barwin would bring, but a reasonable guess would be along the lines of a third-round value.
Would Barwin and both the Eagles’ third-rounders be enough to move from 8 to 1?
In any case, as I said, it’s highly unlikely we will see a move to the top spot as the cost would be too prohibitive.
In my latest mock draft, I have the Eagles giving up one of their third rounders to move up two spots for Wentz. They could possibly pull off the same deal with the Jags for the No. 5 spot but that is about as high as I can see the Eagles going.
Moving up to be within the top 5 will be too costly with Wentz and/or Goff on the board at that time. If Wentz and Goff get selected within the first four picks, I could then see the Eagles trying to make a slight jump up for Ramsey. That would be a more feasible scenario because the cost would come down.
Of course, if the true goal is to get Wentz or Goff, then all bets are off on what the Eagles would be willing to give up.