Philadelphia Eagles: Could a draft night trade be in the cards?

Dec 4, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Philadelphia Eagles outside linebacker Mychal Kendricks (95) against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals won 32-14. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 4, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Philadelphia Eagles outside linebacker Mychal Kendricks (95) against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals won 32-14. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /

I can’t claim to know who the Philadelphia Eagles will pick when number 14 is on the clock on April 27.

While we know the holes that the Philadelphia Eagles would like to fill. No one knows what order they will end up filling them. No one knows what their big board looks like either. Joe Douglas comes from organizations that followed the best player available motto over reaching for someone that suits the team’s needs but in the grand scheme of things, this complicates the draft thinking even more.

One thing that is certain is that Joe Douglas is no stranger to draft night trades. We’ve already examined the case for the Philadelphia Eagles to move back in the NFL Draft. I’d like to offer a counter-argument that the Eagles should actually move up in the draft. Take a second to hear me out on this.

While I don’t think that moving up in the first round is worthwhile or even feasible. I do think that in the second round and beyond, the team should be exploring all options. While the Timmy Jernigan trade added much-needed depth to the defensive line, it also hindered the Eagles’ flexibility in the third round of the draft.

With the trade, the Philadelphia Eagles swapped the 74th overall pick in the draft for the Ravens’ compensatory pick. That pick comes in at number 99 overall. While it doesn’t seem like much, that 25 spot change is almost an entire round. That difference can potentially keep the Eagles from drafting a first team caliber cornerback in the third.

The Eagles have eight draft picks currently with one in each round except the fourth in which they own two picks thanks to getting the Browns’ fourth rounder in the trade to acquire Carson Wentz.

How would the Philadelphia Eagles move in the draft?

The two most logical ways for the Eagles to move around in the draft is either by packaging future picks or current members of the roster. Due to the need for picks in order to build a contender for the future, I’ll take a look at moving current players in order to move up.

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The Philadelphia Eagles have three guys on the roster who could easily be traded on draft night with little to no hesitation. They are Jason Kelce, Mychal Kendricks, and Ryan Matthews. All three likely would have been cut if their contracts allowed it (or in Matthews’ case was healthy enough to pass a physical) which has hindered their trade value.

On draft day, as boards begin to shift and moves begin to happen, the trade market could begin to warm up on them. If a team misses out on a target in the first few rounds, Howie Roseman’s phone could begin to buzz and he’ll likely entertain all offers. Trading for a player during the offseason requires significant logistics. Things are slightly simpler on draft night. If the Philadelphia Eagles are able to package their natural pick with one of the three players mentioned, moving up in the draft wouldn’t be too tough.

It all depends on how the board shakes out on if this a viable option but with the plethora of talent available in rounds two through four, it’s one that the Eagles should explore. If Joe Mixon or a top running back falls into the second round, the Eagles could have a tough decision on their hands to make their natural pick at 43 or move up. The same situation could play out in the third round if a corner drops that the Eagles have a high grade on. If that happens, waiting until their pick at 99 could be too long. While this is dependent on how the Eagles draft board falls, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t an option.

Is moving up in the draft worth it for the Philadelphia Eagles?

This is the tough question because drafts can’t be properly judged for a few years after they happen. If the Philadelphia Eagles are able to fill their holes while moving up it looks like a good move. But every pick also has bust potential which could see the Eagles move up and fail. This is why it comes down to risk versus reward.

If the Philadelphia Eagles move up and draft a bust, it’s a failure. It’s also a failure if the Eagles stand pat and draft a bust. Moving up shows that the team has ambition but is it worth it? The answer is that it’s purely situational.

Depending on the round, moving up can have more risk. In the early rounds, picks are worth more so moving is riskier. This issue is mitigated slightly by the amount of depth in the draft. Through the fourth round, teams should be able to find good fits. Where the Eagles should move is if they have a second round grade on a prospect available in the third.

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The Eagles will have to trust their talent evaluation and stick to their guns. If Joe Douglas thinks that it is worth moving up, then it’s likely the right call. Douglas may not have been calling the shots in each draft that he has been involved in but he has the experience to pull the trigger. Don’t be surprised if the Eagles begin wheeling and dealing on draft night.

If someone isn’t in the Philadelphia Eagles plans to compete for a super bowl in 2018, they’re expendable. We’ll see if the team pulls the trigger.