February 26, 2020
After having just five picks in each of the last two seasons, the Philadelphia Eagles will have twice that amount heading in to the 2020 NFL Draft. And the strategy behind their accumulation of picks is fairly straightforward.
"There is a hit and miss rate that is just the nature of the beast," Eagles GM Howie Roseman said on Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine. "The more draft picks you have the more chance you are hitting on those guys."
Whether or not they intend to use all of those picks to select a player remains to be seen, as the Eagles could use those picks as ammo in the trade market this offseason. Or, Roseman and Co. could do something they really haven't had the luxury of even considering the past couple years: trading up* to get a guy they really want.
*Yes, they technically traded up three spots to get Andre Dillard last year, but we're talking about a bigger move up, like the one they made to get Carson Wentz in 2016.
First, let's take a look at the 10 picks the Eagles currently posses:
|1||Eagles' own pick|
|2||Eagles own pick|
|3||Eagles' own pick|
|4||Eagles' own pick|
|5||Eagles' own pick|
|5||From the Patriots, via the Michael Bennett trade|
|6||From the Falcons, via the Johnathan Cyprien trade|
Unfortunately for the Eagles, they still only have one pick in the first and one in the second, which will come at 21st and 53rd overall, respectively. That could make it difficult for them to move up significantly in the early rounds, but with enough middle-round ammunition and some of that Roseman creativity, he might be able to do more than you can think.
The question then becomes whether or not the Eagles would actually be willing to move up, especially in the first round when every indication is that they will target one of the wideouts in this historically deep draft. Roseman has recently said he wants the Eagles to get younger this offseason — and 10 draft picks would go a long way to helping that cause — but the Eagles GM clarified those comments on Tuesday.
“We’re not talking about a total rebuild, we’re talking about a retool period, and injecting some youth,” Roseman said, as part of an answer about anticipating having 10 picks in the upcoming draft, double the Eagles’ total in 2018 or ’19. “We’ve got a lot of highly paid players on our team — good players, that’s why we paid them — and so you have to supplement them with some good young players. ...
"We did it for a reason. We sacrificed the draft picks because we were in a win-now mode, and fortunately, we won. But at the same time, now, some of the repercussions for that come forward and we've got to make tough decisions."
Not only will the Eagles have to make tough decisions with the players currently on their roster, but they'll have to make tough decisions on draft day as well. Those 10 picks could tempt Roseman into making a move up the draft order if he feels strongly about one of the prospects, something the Eagles dearth of picks in recent years has prevented him from doing.
“As we sit here, we would love to say that we’re going to be having 10 picks, but there were moments in the last two drafts, when there were guys within reach, that we would want to move up, and we just didn’t have the ammunition to do it,” Roseman added. “So if there is a guy still that we thought was an incredibly high value, and we could go up and go get him, we couldn’t take that off the table.”
But with such a plethora of talented wideouts likely to be available in the first round, would it make sense for the Eagles to waste one of their bullets to move up a few spots? Well, that depends on what you think the difference is between a guy like Clemson's Tee Higgins or Alabama's Henry Ruggs III and, say, Ruggs' teammate CeeDee Lamb or Oklahoma's Jerry Jeudy.
That's the decision now facing Roseman and the Eagles as they scout players this week ahead of the 2020 NFL Draft. Will they fall in love with one of the top guys enough to trade up? Or will they sit back and be happy with whoever is available when they're put on the clock with the 21st pick?
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