Eagles: Trading Up in The Draft is a Possibility

Howie Roseman and the Eagles front office are locked in on free agency and spending their $20+ million in cap space to reload for 2020 and beyond. With that said, the team still has an eye on next month’s Draft, and a swap of picks before late April isn’t out of the question.

With six picks in rounds 2-4, the Eagles are a prime candidate for San Fran to deal with. While a team like the 49ers — who plan on being in contention for a few years — may chose to hang onto the 13th pick and trade 31 overall, both picks are assumed to be on the table.

The Eagles have ten picks total:

  • Round 1 (21st overall)
  • 2 (53)
  • 3 (85)
  • 3 (103)
  • 4 (127)
  • 4 (145)
  • 4 (146)
  • 5 (166)
  • 5 (168)
  • 6 (190)

It’s likely that the Eagles want to package their first round pick in this deal; a team with an expressed desire to get younger across the board wouldn’t be wise to gut their draft capital with a big package of mid-round picks.

I think a 2020 First (21 overall), 2020 Third (85 overall), 2020 Fourth (145 overall) is a good starting point, with a possible 2021 4th or 5th from SF added in return. The Eagles only have six picks in 2021 — a 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 & 7 — so if they can avoid using a future year pick that would be ideal.

Obviously the team isn’t going to move up for the sake of it, but if a player who they love is sitting there at 13 then they shouldn’t hesitate to make a move. Here are three players who I think the team would consider leaping for if they’re available at 13.

CeeDee Lamb
WR, Oklahoma

Lamb is one of the three wide receivers in this class who are considered on a top-tier of their own. The order that they rank in is generally considered a toss-up — I wouldn’t disagree with any of Lamb, Jerry Jeudy, or Henry Ruggs if the Eagles decided to move up, or if they somehow fell down to 21.

Nonetheless, my receiver of choice is Lamb. He may be a tad small (6’2” just 195 lbs) but he’s a monster both before and after the catch, and is elite at all three levels. He produced 62 rec 1,327 yards and 14 TDs in 2019 for the Sooners.

His ball skills are impressive for someone of his size — I consider them elite — and this is the trait that I believe separates him from the pack. He’s a hawk when the ball is anywhere in his vicinity, and he clearly has a knack for winning at the point of catch that appears natural and effortless. From body control, to high-pointing, to soft hands, it’s impossible to fully encapsulate all the traits that allow him to be a menace when the ball is coming his way.

His comparisons range from Odell to Ochocinco, but I think the more accurate comp is Deandre Hopkins. I know when people talk about Hopkins they picture someone who’s 6’3” or taller like most jump-ball experts (though he’s obviously more than just that), but the truth is Hopkins is just 6’1”. He uses a similar skill/toolset to Lamb to win in the air and deceptively “play taller” than his listed height.

He’ll be an immediate contributor who won’t have any problem getting himself involved week-to-week, and will be a nightmare to game plan against. I’m not sure if the Eagles have him as the #1 WR on their board, but if they do and he’s available at 13 then it’s an absolute no-brainer.

CJ Henderson 
CB, Florida

Early on in the draft process Henderson was mocked to the Birds at 21, but an impressive combine and further evaluation of his tape has lead to a steady climb up boards and cemented his status as the clear CB2 in this class, if not a CB1(a) to Jeff Okudah.

Henderson has prototypical size for a corner (6’1” 205 lbs) with great speed (4.39-40 time) and quickness to mirror receivers. He plays strong and is willing in the run game (though has room to improve). He’s loose-hipped, fluid, instinctive and elite in reading the quarterback — there’s a lot to like here.

He can play in multiple coverages and would ideally be able to man-up with opposing team’s top pass catchers on one play, and sit back as a ballhawk in zone on the next. On top of that, he possesses the makeup speed to recover if he’s getting beat — something every corner on the current roster lacks.

In some years he would be the top corner coming out and he’s starting to be recognized as a bona fide top prospect. The team that he’s linked to most often is Dallas at 17, so don’t expect him to drop further than that; if Howie likes what he sees out of Henderson he shouldn’t hesitate to move up and fill a need in the secondary that’s ailed them for close to a decade.

K’Lavon Chaisson

Obviously pass rushers and lineman are always in play for the Birds, and the draft is usually the best way to go about addressing those needs.

I don’t love Chaisson and I’m not sure he’s worth moving up for if the price is too high, but if a team is confident in their ability to fully develop him then they’d be foolish not to.

He’s long, explosive, and bendy. His athleticism helps quell the usual concerns for an end of his size, and he makes for an intriguing edge prospect. He has enough tools to provide an instant impact disrupting the backfield, with the potential to develop into an all around edge defender and double-digit sack producer.

A 3-4 team would likely be more enamored with his potential versatility, but assuming he can beef up he’ll be able to fit as a 4-3 end. His tools will no doubt appeal to Schwartz, so if he’s a guy the team has in their top 10-15 then he could be the right fit.

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