Mary Kay Cabot, of the Plain Dealer in Cleveland, reported that the Philadelphia Eagles are one of four teams interested in trading up to the No. 4 overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft.
Not to discredit Cabot, who’s reputation is solid, but it seems awfully convenient that the report comes out of Cleveland. The Browns, as you may know, are the holders of the No. 4 pick.
Someone within the Browns’ organization could have leaked this information in an effort to drum up business for such a trade. If the Browns want to move down, the best way to maximize value is to create the notion that there is a market for their pick.
However, that’s neither here nor there. The closer we get to the draft, the more the rumor mill will start to churn. Sure, the Eagles could be interested, but at what price? And for who would they be willing to move up that far?
There are only three players I could imagine the Eagles would move up into the top five for: QB Ryan Tannehill, OT Matt Kilil and CB Morris Claiborne.
The likely cost for such a trade would be both of the Eagles’ second-round picks. Is that worth it for any of these players? Tannehill has all of 19 starts at quarterback to his credit and is really more of a project player.
Claiborne is far and away the best cornerback in the draft. However, do the Eagles have such a pressing need at that position to warrant paying such a high price? I don’t think so.
Same goes for Kalil, do we need a left tackle that bad? Kalil is a good prospect but not good enough to merit giving up multiple draft picks for. Plus, like Tannehill, he would likely ride the pine for a while.
Though it’s fun to think about all the “what if” scenarios, I wouldn’t read too much into this report. Could the Eagles trade up in this draft? That’s a definite possibility, but only to a slot where they wouldn’t have to give up both second-round picks.
However, since we’re talking about trading up in the draft, I thought it would be interesting to look at the past to see what players the Eagles have traded up for and how it worked out for them.
Looking back as far as 1991, the results of draft day trade-ups have been rather forgettable.
In 2010, the Eagles gave up two third-round picks in order to trade up from pick No. 24 to 13 in round one to draft DE Brandon Graham. Because of his injury, the jury is still out on Graham. But, so far, we certainly can’t say the trade was worth it.
In 2009, the Eagles traded up two measly spots from pick No. 21 to 19 in order to select WR Jeremy Maclin. They only gave up a sixth-round pick for the move and Maclin has proven to be a solid receiver. Good trade by the Eagles.
In 2004, Andy Reid and crew gave up a second-round pick in order to move up to slot No. 16 and pick OT Shawn Andrews. After missing his rookie year with a broken leg, Andrews went on to give the Eagles three years of pro bowl-level play.
However, the “Big Kid” from Arkansas began a seemingly sudden downward spiral in 2008 after battling with depression and perpetual back problems. His problems got so bad that Andy Reid brought in his big brother Stacy Andrews to potentially play along side him on the offensive line.
The Eagles paid Stacy a big amount of money, even after coming off of a serious injury towards the end of the previous season. The move seemed to be more about coddling Shawn than improving their offensive line.
Ultimately, after a promising start to his career, Shawn Andrews’ career crashed and burned in a bizarre manner.
In 2003, the Eagles gave up a second-rounder in order to move up to pick No. 15 and draft DE Jerome McDougle. After a series of injuries and an irregular heartbeat completely disrupted his first two seasons, he ended up being shot in the stomach during a robbery just before training camp in 2005.
The only positive thing McDougle ever did for the Eagles was give Eli Manning a “welcome to the NFL” sack. It was one of only three sacks he’d ever record for Philly.
Going back to the pre-Andy Reid days, there was the infamous trade-up for DE Mike Mamula in 1995. The Eagles traded two second-round picks to Tampa Bay to move up from 12th to seventh in order to take the original combine warrior.
I usually defend Mike Mamula because I think he gets too bad of a rap around here in Philadelphia. He did post 31.5 sacks over a six-year career with the birds. However, when you consider the price they paid to get him, he never lived up to expectations.
Going back a few years before Mamula, in 1991 the Eagles traded Green Bay their next year’s No. 1 pick in order to move up from pick No. 20 to pick No. 8 so they could select OT Antone Davis.
The best words to describe Davis’ career with the Eagles are: injuries, penalties, benchings and disappointment. There have been bigger first round draft busts for the Eagles than Davis, but the fact they traded up for him makes it that much worse.
That is six players the Eagles have traded up for since 1991. All trades were significant move-ups in round one except the Maclin deal, and he is the only one that was worthwhile.
The other five never lived up to expectations.
If the Eagles do, in fact, trade up in this draft, I just hope they pick the right guy and not someone like Antone Davis or Jerome McDougle. When you give up multiple draft picks to acquire a player, the expectation is that the player will pan out to at least be a solid 10 year starter, if not a pro bowl-caliber player.
I highly doubt that the Eagles will move up to No. 4, but if so, is Tannehill, Claiborne or Kilil worth it?