When the Eagles front office decided to trade out of the top-10 in the upcoming NFL Draft, the fanbase was split. Some loved the move because it gave the team extra high-end draft capital, while others scoffed at the move and the missed opportunity to grab one of the best prospects in the draft (i.e. Kyle Pitts or Ja’Marr Chase).
Now sitting at 12, the team will still more than likely have a number of great prospects to choose from. Jaylen Waddle, DeVonta Smith, and Jaycee Horn would fill immediate needs and they could all be sitting there when the Eagles get on the clock. Not to mention players like Micah Parsons, Rashawn Slater, and Kwity Paye could also be available, although their positions aren’t as big as wideout and corner.
One scenario that hasn’t been discussed enough is the possibility of Howie Roseman trading back in the first again come draft night.
I know, this won’t be popular amongst the fanbase, but trading back to gain even more draft capital isn’t the worst thing in the world and the Eagles could still find a day one starter if they pick closer to 20.
We know Howie Roseman prides himself in building through the trenches. So, selecting an offensive/defensive lineman in the first round shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s a real possibility.
If Slater is sitting there at 12 and Roseman has his mind made up that he wants to solidify his offensive line, take Slater and shift your focus to the second round. But let’s say Slater is gone — if getting an offensive lineman is a priority, moving back towards 20 makes a ton of sense. Alijah Vera-Tucker out of USC will probably be available in the 15-20 range, so why not move back, pick up some extra draft picks, and take the best player available at the position your targeting?
Personally, I don’t want the team to take an offensive lineman in the first round this year. Let me lay out a trade-back scenario that would see us fill the team’s biggest position of need: cornerback.
Virginia Tech’s Caleb Farley is arguably the best cornerback in this year’s class. But due to injury concerns, most recently his back surgery that could hold him out until training camp, scouts and draft analysts project that Farley will drop to the latter half of the first round. Even if Jaycee Horn is on the board at 12, I’d prefer trading back, adding draft capital, and snagging the guy I believe is the best cornerback prospect in the 2021 class.
Although he’s dealt with injuries, Farley isn’t necessarily ‘injury prone.’ That phrase tends to get overused nowadays.
That extra draft capital could be used to make more trades during the draft. If Roseman wants to add one of the better receivers in this class, he may need to trade up from No. 37 in the second round. Trading up into the first round, somewhere in the 23-32 range, and the Eagles should be able to get someone like Elijah Moore, Terrence Marshall, or Kadarius Toney. All of which probably won’t be available at 37 overall.
There are several scenarios that could play out come draft night. This year’s draft has been one of the hardest to predict in my time.
Whether the Eagles decide to trade up, stay put, or trade down, one thing’s for certain — Howie Roseman will keep all of his options open once draft night begins.