Philadelphia Eagles: Making the Case to Trade Back

Nov 28, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman gestures during a NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 28, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman gestures during a NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

There are seemingly endless possibilities for what the Philadelphia Eagles could do with the 14th overall pick in this years draft. One of those options is trading the pick and moving back in the round.

If you would have asked if I would be willing to trade away our pick two weeks ago I would have said hell no. Before Sidney Jones tore his Achilles at Washington’s Pro Day I was conducting the “draft Sidney Jones at 14” train. Unfortunately for Jones and all passengers on the aforementioned train, he will not be the Philadelphia Eagles first round pick.

This leaves us discussing other cornerbacks at 14. Do they take Marlon Humphrey from Alabama? What about Gareon Conley from Ohio? Personally I can’t get behind drafting a cornerback who is susceptible to getting torched like Humphrey is. Conley, on the other hand, might be a good prospect, but he is a late riser on draft boards everywhere and he may be a reach at 14.

Sure the Birds have other needs, linebacker is high on the list, another defensive end or tackle would help, they still need a long term answer at wide receiver, and I highly doubt Wendell Smallwood and Darren Sproles is enough running back depth, so put that on the list. The best player available approach should be the move for sure. However, with this many needs and only eight picks in this draft to get some depth, why not trade out of the 14th position to get some additional picks?

There is only one player in this draft that could be there at 14 that I would take. That player is Reuben Foster, the linebacker from Alabama. Foster was widely considered a top ten talent before he was dismissed from the Combine earlier this month. If he slides out of the top ten I would snatch him up in a heartbeat.

He would come in on day one as a starting middle linebacker which would allow Jordan Hicks to move to the weak side. This situation is a huge maybe, if he is not available at 14 the Philadelphia Eagles should find a trade partner in the late teens, early 20s and try to get a second or third round pick.

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When the Philadelphia Eagles are on the clock they should make calls to teams like the Washington Redskins at 17, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 19, the Denver Broncos at 20, and the Detroit Lions at 21, to see what they would give to move up to 14. If the Eagles can make the move to the late teens, early 20s, I would target an offensive player. Someone who can grow with Carson Wentz and be a playmaker in Philadelphia for years to come.

Christian McCaffrey is the name, making big plays on offense and special teams is what he’s known for. I have seen McCaffrey mocked to the Eagles at 14, but this is a reach in my opinion. He can/will be available later in the round. Todd McShay, draft expert, had this to say about the stud ‘back from Stanford during an appearance on First Take earlier this week.

"“He’s not only a running back, he’s also a wide receiver, and I don’t say that about many people. I think you can legitimately put McCaffrey in the slot and have him go run routes like a slot receiver. And then you can move him into the backfield and run him 10, 12, 15 times a game if that’s what you decide to do. And he’s got the return ability. And to be honest with you, the combine stuff, I only take for a very small portion of the process, but what he put up at the combine, those numbers were absolutely ridiculous in terms of the explosion, speed.”"

Christian McCaffrey would come in on day one and complete the offensive side of the ball. He is another weapon for Carson Wentz and will make a difference immediately. This move would allow Howie Roseman and Joe Douglass to grab a cornerback in the second, maybe a player like Fabian Moreau from UCLA, Rasul Douglas from West Virginia, and even Teez Tabor or Quicy Wilson from Florida if they fall out of the first round.

USC’s Adoree Jackson wouldn’t be a bad pickup either. I’d even take Sidney Jones late in the second or the third with the extra pick from trading back. This is a historically deep cornerback class, players that will go in the second and third rounds might be first round prospects in other years. It’s no secret that the Birds need help on defense, trading back in the first round to get more picks  should be a serious thought in Howie Roseman’s mind.

I know what you’re thinking, what if McCaffrey is taken between 14 and whenever the Philadelphia Eagles pick next. If that’s the case then take the next best player available. If there’s a corner you like at say 19, take him. If there’s an edge rusher you like grab him. There is a lot of talent in this draft, I wouldn’t count out guys like Taco Charlton or Jabrill Peppers from Michigan, Haason Reddick from Temple, or Gareon Conley if he’s still there. At the end of the day, the additional second or third round pick will be huge in getting this team ready for the future.

Next: Philadelphia Eagles: Three Draft Prospects

Trading back is a controversial topic. It might not be the right move, but I would rather have more picks than reach for someone at 14. Christian McCaffrey later in the round is the best move for the Philadelphia Eagles in my opinion. Finishing the offense with our first pick and going defense heavy (in a deep defensive draft) in the second, third, and fourth rounds should be the game plan come draft day.