Nov 23, 2012; Fayetteville, AR, USA; LSU Tigers wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (3) on a kick return defended by Arkansas Razorbacks kicker Cameron Bryan (47) at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

RUMOR RECAP: Eagles Targeting, Willing to Trade up for Odell Beckham Jr.?


Nov 23, 2012; Fayetteville, AR, USA; LSU Tigers wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (3) breaks a tackle by Arkansas Razorbacks cornerback Will Hines (9) at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. LSU defeated Arkansas 20-13. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

For the second straight week, MMQB.com Senior Editor Peter King‘s weekly column contained a draft nugget pertaining to the Eagles.

No. 22, Philadelphia. Keep hearing they want in on the prime receiver action, and the receiver they want could be LSU’s Odell Beckham, who can play outside, inside in the slot and as a returner. But the Eagles would have to trade up, and GM Howie Roseman is doing his due diligence, talking to at least two teams in the mid-round neighborhood, when Beckham would likely go. But the cost could be too rich for the Eagles’ blood. They may have to settle for Marqise Lee, who would be some consolation prize.

 Along with the majority of the 2014 wide receiver class, Beckham Jr. has been linked to the Eagles since the start of the draft process. That speculation was ramped up in a big way when the team decided to cut ties with DeSean Jackson. Though Beckham Jr. does possess some of Jackson’s abilities on the field, the two are very different receivers, in my opinion.
Beckham measured in just south of 6’0″ at the combine and pushes the 200 pound barrier. Unlike Jackson, the former LSU Tiger excels all over the field. As a number one receiver in the SEC that did not tower over defenders the way someone like Mike Evans did at Texas A&M; Beckham excelled using his crisp route-running, exceptional speed and quickness, along with the type of physicality necessary to haul in passes in one-on-one situations. In 2013, he collected a career-high 57 catches for 1117 yards and eight touchdowns. Beckham Jr. also has substantial experience in the return game, boasting a pair of punt return touchdowns to go along with nearly 100 overall returns (kick and punt) over the course of his collegiate career. Here is Beckham Jr.’s spider graph from the NFL combine.

Beckham Jr. grades out quite favorably compared to his peers in the upcoming class. There are some that see him as the third-best player after Evans and Clemson’s Sammy Watkins. There is little doubt that he would be able to make an impact with the Eagles.

My only question mark regarding King’s report is to whether Philadelphia would actually use additional resources on a player that plays the deepest position in the class. If they are head-over-heels about Beckham Jr. and are convinced he will become the next great Eagles receiver, maybe they make a move. However, the other name mentioned by King in his column (Marqise Lee) has also been linked a fair amount to Philadelphia and I imagine the USC product will be available when the Eagles pick at 22. King’s sources are light years beyond what I could hope to defend, but this is more of a gut-feeling for me. If the Eagles DO end up trading up in the first round, I believe it will be for an impact defensive player or Mike Evans if he somehow falls out of the top ten. With the draft on Thursday, expect rumors like this to only intensify as the smokescreens continue to billow and the chess-match that is the NFL Draft draws upon us.

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