April 11, 2023
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
|Year||Original draft spot||Player drafted||Traded up, traded back, or stayed put|
|2022||15||Jordan Davis||Traded up|
|2021||6||DeVonta Smith (10)||Traded back, then traded up|
|2020||21||Jalen Reagor (21)||Stayed put|
|2019||25||Andre Dillard (22)||Traded up|
|2018||32||(Nobody in first round) - Dallas Goedert first pick in 2nd round (49)||Traded back, then traded up|
|2017||14||Derek Barnett (14)||Stayed put|
|2016||13||Carson Wentz (2)||Traded up|
|2015 (Chip year)||20||Nelson Agholor (20)||Stayed put|
|2014||22||Marcus Smith (26)||Traded back|
|2013||4||Lane Johnson (4)||Stayed put|
|2012||15||Fletcher Cox (12)||Traded up|
|2011||23||Danny Watkins (23)||Stayed put|
|2010||24||Brandon Graham (13)||Traded up|
|2009||21||Jeremy Maclin (19)||Traded up|
|2008||19||(Nobody in first round) - Trevor Laws first pick in 2nd round (47)||Traded back|
|2007||26||(Nobody in first round) - Kevin Kolb first pick in 2nd round (36)||Traded back|
|2006||14||Brodrick Bunkley (14)||Stayed put|
|2005||31||Mike Patterson (31)||Stayed put|
|2004||28||Shawn Andrews (16)||Traded up|
|2003||30||Jerome McDougle (15)||Traded up|
|2002||26||Lito Sheppard (26)||Stayed put|
|2001||25||Freddie Mitchell (25)||Stayed put|
|2000||6||Corey Simon (6)||Stayed put|
|1999||2||Donovan 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.
• Traded back (4 times): Kevin Kolb, Trevor Laws, Marcus Smith, and Dallas Goedert.
• 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.
• Traded back, and then traded up (2 times): Dallas Goedert and DeVonta Smith.
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.
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).
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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
But it does feel a whole lot like some other team will make a selection with the No. 10 pick.
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