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April 11, 2023

Eagles 2023 draft: Will Howie Roseman trade up, trade back, or stay put at pick No. 10?

The Eagles have been active traders in the first round recently.

Eagles NFL
041123HowieRoseman Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports


When the 2022 offseason began, the Philadelphia Eagles held the 15th, 16th, and 19th overall picks. They did not make selections at 15, 16, or 19.

• Weeks before the draft, they essentially traded the 16th and 19th pick to the Saints for the 18th overall pick in 2022, a first-round pick in 2023, a second-round pick in 2024, and a third-round pick in 2022 (exact trade details here).

• On draft day, they traded up from the 15th pick to 13th overall to select Jordan Davis.

• Very soon after that, they traded the 18th and 101st overall picks to the Titans for A.J. Brown.

Howie Roseman was wheeling and dealing, as he loves to do. As any casual follower of the team knows, Roseman tends to move around in the first round more than most. For the second year in a row, the Birds hold multiple first-round picks, at 10 and 30. Could they move again? 

First, we'll recap the last 24 years (since the beginning of the Andy Reid era), showing the Eagles' picks in the first round of the draft, and then we'll determine their best course of action in the 2023 NFL Draft:

Green = Traded up | Blue = Stayed put | Red = Traded back

 YearOriginal draft spot Player drafted Traded up, traded back, or stayed put 
 202215 Jordan Davis Traded up 
 2021DeVonta Smith (10) Traded back, then traded up 
 202021 Jalen Reagor (21) Stayed put 
 201925 Andre Dillard (22) Traded up 
 201832 (Nobody in first round) - Dallas Goedert first pick in 2nd round (49) Traded back, then traded up
 201714 Derek Barnett (14) Stayed put 
 201613 Carson Wentz (2) Traded up 
 2015 (Chip year)20 Nelson Agholor (20) Stayed put 
 201422 Marcus Smith (26) Traded back 
 2013Lane Johnson (4) Stayed put 
 201215 Fletcher Cox (12) Traded up 
 201123 Danny Watkins (23) Stayed put 
 201024 Brandon Graham (13) Traded up 
 200921 Jeremy Maclin (19) Traded up 
 200819 (Nobody in first round) - Trevor Laws first pick in 2nd round (47) Traded back 
 200726 (Nobody in first round) - Kevin Kolb first pick in 2nd round (36)Traded back 
 200614 Brodrick Bunkley (14) Stayed put 
 200531 Mike Patterson (31) Stayed put 
 200428 Shawn Andrews (16) Traded up 
 200330 Jerome McDougle (15) Traded up 
 200226 Lito Sheppard (26) Stayed put 
 200125 Freddie Mitchell (25) Stayed put 
 2000Corey Simon (6) Stayed put 
 1999Donovan McNabb (2) Stayed put 

The tale of the tape:

• Traded up (7 times): Jerome McDougle, Shawn Andrews, Jeremy Maclin, Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox, Carson Wentz, Andre Dillard, and Jordan Davis.

  1. Jerome McDougle: Bust, largely because he got shot.
  2. Shawn Andrews: Stud RG for a few years, then he had some injuries and suffered from anxiety, which at the time did not garner understanding and empathy like it does now.
  3. Jeremy Maclin: Developed into a very good starting receiver, had 1,300+ receiving yards the year before bolting for Kansas City in free agency.
  4. Brandon Graham: Highly criticized pick for years, but Graham became one of the best players on the team, and a Super Bowl hero.
  5. Fletcher Cox: Star DT.
  6. Carson Wentz: He was the franchise quarterback for a while, and the Eagles almost certainly don't have a Super Bowl without his contributions in 2017, but, uh, it ended badly.
  7. Andre Dillard: Nine starts in four years with the team, some of which were disasters.
  8. Jordan Davis: Things were starting to click for Davis around mid-season, but an ankle injury knocked him out for a while, and upon his return the Eagles he saw fewer snaps with Linval Joseph added to the rotation.

• Traded back (4 times): Kevin Kolb, Trevor Laws, Marcus Smith, and Dallas Goedert.

  1. Kevin Kolb: In his first game as "the guy," he was pummeled by Clay Matthews and lost his starting job to Michael Vick before being dealt to Arizona. The Eagles selected Kolb, Stewart Bradley, and C.J. Gaddis with the picks acquired from Dallas in that trade.
  2. Trevor Laws: He had just 45 career tackles and five sacks in an underwhelming career. However, this trade netted Laws, Mike McGlynn, Quintin Demps, and Carolina's first-round pick in 2009, which the Eagles then traded along with a fourth-round pick and a sixth-round pick for Jason Peters. I'd say that trade eventually worked out.
  3. Marcus Smith: By moving back four spots and selecting Smith, who became a legendary bust, the Eagles also drafted Jaylen Watkins and Taylor Hart.

• Stayed put (10 times): Donovan McNabb, Corey Simon, Freddie Mitchell, Lito Sheppard, Mike Patterson, Brodrick Bunkley, Danny Watkins, Lane Johnson, Nelson Agholor, and Derrick Barnett.

  1. Donovan McNabb: Franchise QB for more than a decade.
  2. Corey Simon: Impact player early in his career, declined rapidly at around age 27.
  3. Freddie Mitchell: Made one huge play, talked like he was an All-Pro.
  4. Lito Sheppard: Quality starting corner for years, although like Simon, he too declined rapidly at around 26.
  5. Mike Patterson: Meat and potatoes guy on the interior of the defensive line. Solid career for a late 1.
  6. Brodrick Bunkley: Imposing interior defender, did not live up to vast potential.
  7. Danny Watkins: This was the stupidest pick the Eagles made over the last 20 years. He was freaking 26!
  8. Lane Johnson: Great pick in a weak draft class. Arguably the best offensive lineman in the NFL.
  9. Nelson Agholor: Bust for two years who broke out in year three with the team, and then reverted back to to bust form in his contract season.
  10. Derek Barnett: Disappointing production, maddening penalties.
  11. Jalen Reagor: The Eagles had their choice of Reagor and Justin Jefferson, and picked the wrong one.

Traded back, and then traded up (2 times): Dallas Goedert and DeVonta Smith.

  1. Dallas Goedert: By moving back 20 spots from 32 to 52, the Eagles were able to pick up a 2019 second-round pick. They also moved up seven spots in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft as part of the deal. They then traded up from 52 to 49 with Indy, giving up a fifth-round pick to select Goedert, who looks like a borderline top-5 tight end in the NFL.
  2. DeVonta Smith: Star receiver in the making.

A lot of the best players on the lists above have been drafted as a result of trading up, even if they initially traded back first.

A recent history of trades involving picks 9 through 11

The following is a list of trades made at or near the 10th overall spot (we'll show trades involving the 9th through 11th picks), just for the purpose of providing a recent historical sense of what it might cost to move up, or what can be gained by moving back. Trades involving veteran players omitted.

2022: The Commanders traded their first-round selection (11th overall) to the Saints in exchange for a first-, third- and fourth-round selections (16th, 98th and 120th overall).

2021: The Cowboys traded their first-round selection (10th overall) to the Eagles in exchange for first and third-round selections (12th and 84th overall).

2021: The Giants traded their first-round selection (11th overall) to Chicago in exchange for first and fifth-round selections (20th and 164th overall), along with their 2022 first- and fourth-round selections.

2019: The Broncos traded their first-round selection (10th) to the Steelers in exchange for first- and second-round selections (20th and 52nd) as well as their third-round selection in 2020.

2018: The Raiders traded their first-round selection (10th) to the Cardinals in exchange for first-, third-, and fifth-round selections (15th, 79th, and 152nd).

2017: The Bills traded their first-round selection (10th) to the Chiefs in exchange for first- and third-round selections (27th and 91st), as well as a first-round selection in 2018. Maybe worth noting here that the Chiefs' trade up netted them Patrick Mahomes.

2016: The Buccaneers traded their first-round selection (9th) to the Bears in exchange for first- and fourth-round selections (11th and 106th).

Should they just stay put?

In most drafts, the 10th overall pick is a spot where you're pretty certain that you're going to land a player that you can be really happy about. This year? Ehhhhh...

The most commonly mocked players to the Eagles are edge rushers Lukas Van Ness (Iowa) and Nolan Smith (Georgia), cornerbacks Christian Gonzalez (Oregon) and Devon Witherspoon (Illinois), tackle/guard Peter Skoronski (Northwestern), and, of course, running back Bijan Robinson (Texas).

You can poke significant holes in every one of those prospects:

Lukas Van Ness: No pass rush repertoire to speak of other than a bull rush.

Nolan Smith: College production leaves something to be desired.

Christian Gonzalez: No immediate role available with the returns of Darius Slay and James Bradberry. (Also, he probably won't even be available at 10.)

Devon Witherspoon: He 181 pounds and he ran a 4.43 40, which is fine, but those are not typically the measurables of a top 10 pick.

Peter Skoronski: Position value of a guard in the top 10 isn't great.

Bijan Robinson: Positional value of a running back in the top 10 is even worse than guard. 

Factoring in positional importance, Nolan Smith is probably the best of the above prospects because of his absurd athleticism and high character, but there's no guarantee that even he will be there at 10.

It's just not a great draft for where the Eagles' pick sits.

Should the Eagles trade back?

As noted already, the Eagles have two first-round picks, so they have strong draft capital, but they don't have picks in bulk. They are scheduled to pick 10th, 30th, 62nd, 94th, and then there's a loooooong wait until the seventh round when they're scheduled to pick 219th and 248th. They do not have any picks in the fourth, fifth, or sixth rounds.

An ideal scenario would be for the Eagles to move back from 10th overall into the teens, where they could add a few extra picks and still land one of the players above being mocked to them.

The two most likely scenarios for them to move back:

  1. There are four surefire first-round quarterbacks in this draft in Bryce Young (Alabama), C.J. Stroud (Ohio State), Anthony Richardson (Florida), and Will Levis (Kentucky). Should one of them still be available at pick 10, the best case scenario would be for the Eagles to land a package of picks similar to the one the Giants siphoned off from the Bears when Chicago traded up for Justin Fields in 2021. (The details of that trade are shown above).
  2. Other teams around the league could be jockeying for position to draft offensive linemen like Skoronski, Paris Johnson (Ohio State), or Broderick Jones (Georgia).

Of course, if the 10th spot feels like "no man's land" to the Eagles, if may feel the same to other teams as well.

Should they trade up?

In the 2014 NFL Draft, the Eagles really liked six prospects — Anthony Barr, Odell Beckham, Kyle Fuller, C.J. Mosley, Brandin Cooks, and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. With the Cardinals on the clock at pick 20, the Eagles, picking 22nd, felt good about landing one of the two remaining players from that list, Cooks or Clinton-Dix. But, OH NO (!) the Saints traded up to 20 and took Cooks, the Packers took Clinton-Dix at 21, and yada yada yada, Marcus Smith got Howie Roseman demoted to Storage Room B.

There are some blue chip defensive linemen who will very likely be gone by pick 10 who would all make sense for the Eagles. They are Alabama's Will Anderson, the heavily scrutinized Jalen Carter from Georgia (you can catch up on his trials and tribulations here), and to a lesser degree, Texas Tech's Tyree Wilson. 

If the Eagles feel like they can't just wait around and hope that a prospect they really like falls to them, lessons from the 2014 draft could be applied here. Unfortunately, the compensation demands from teams picking in the 5-9 range might be steep if they don't love what will likely be available at pick 10.

Should they trade the pick for a stud veteran player?

After trading for A.J. Brown last year, the two sides agreed to a four-year contract extension worth $100 million.

As we witnessed in March, the cap-strapped Eagles lost seven starters in free agency, and they still have to hammer out a contract extension for Jalen Hurts. While they may have the draft capital to trade for a stud veteran player, they have limited salary cap resources to make that kind of splash this year.


I'd rank them like so:

  1. Trade back
  2. Trade up
  3. Stay put
  4. Trade for some stud veteran player

But it does feel a whole lot like some other team will make a selection with the No. 10 pick.

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