With the NFL Draft officially just one week away, the smoke screens and rumors are bound to come in abundance for the next seven days.
On Wednesday, we got our first taste of that out of the Eagles with this tweet from 97.5 The Fanatic’s Joe Tordy:
It’s no secret that the Eagles are going to draft a wide receiver or two in this upcoming draft. It was a huge hole for this team during the entire 2019 campaign and the front office neglected to add a receiver during the free agency period, leading most to believe that the Eagles will finally address the need through the draft.
Trading up for a talent like CeeDee Lamb would certainly help fill that void on Doug Pederson’s offense. He has everything you want in an NFL wide receiver, and what better way to make up for missing out on the DeAndre Hopkins trade than drafting his clone?
The only question is, how much will it take to move up far enough to snag Lamb? Tordy added with another tweet that two likely trade partners for the Eagles would be the Carolina Panthers at No. 7 and the Las Vegas Raiders at No. 12.
After trading for Darius Slay, Howie now only has eight draft picks to play with, six of them coming in the top 150. It’ll probably take at least three picks to move up that drastically, mostly because teams like Carolina or Las Vegas can set their price to whatever they want; by not adding any wide receivers in free agency, it’s obvious what Howie would be trying to trade up for.
He more or less played himself here, which is why I’m not even sure if I believe this rumor. There’s also no chance I’d be willing to give up a king’s ransom to move up for a wide receiver, regardless of how talented he is.
There’s a few reasons for that, but first and foremost, wide receiver is far from the only need facing this team. Howie needs all the draft picks he has to try and replenish this team with youth, so giving up two or three of them for one player is just counterproductive.
Secondly, this draft class is loaded with wide receiver talent. Although the top three, Lamb, Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs, have set themselves apart, the rest of the top 10 wideouts are all still great prospects. Howie will more than likely be able to snag a very promising wideout at his current spot in the first round, or even later in the first round if he elects to trade back, which I believe would be the right move.
And lastly, having an elite receiver in the NFL does not automatically equate to wins. Elite quarterbacks do, and that’s why Howie is paying Carson Wentz like one. The organization wouldn’t have given that much money to Wentz if they didn’t have faith he could make up for some of the shortcomings at the offensive skill positions.
Lamb is a stud receiver and the idea of pairing him with Wentz is hard not to get excited about. But, I just can’t fathom giving up a handful of draft picks for a wideout when this draft class is as deep as we’ve ever seen at the position.
Wentz would do just fine with a prospect like TCU’s Jalen Reagor, Baylor’s Denzel Mims or LSU’s Justin Jefferson. Lamb is not our ticket to another Super Bowl, he’s not the lone missing piece we need to get over the top. If that were the case, I’d be all for moving heaven and Earth to get the guy.
I have to believe Howie is smart enough to see it this way as well.