The Case for Moving Down
This section may be redundant as I could probably copy and paste the information from the last section and make a pretty compelling argument for the Eagles dropping into the second round. It doesn’t take a deep dive down memory lane to establish Howie Roseman’s penchant for trading back in the draft. If the Eagles haven’t moved up by the time their number is called and select names are missing from the big board, expect them to move down. My magic draft ball posits the names among Howie’s wish list look something
Montez Sweat, Andre Dillard, Christian Wilkins, Brian Burns, Cody Ford, Greg Little, Devin Bush, a top three corner.
Some of those names are much more plausible to stick around than others. It’s likely that none of those players even sniff the lower quarter of the first round.
Instead, the Birds could trade down. Teams looking for a top corner could still be in luck if the Eagles are content with their youth movement in the secondary. Any team could also start the run on safeties or look to scoop up the best remaining defensive line talent with the 25th selection. It’s also possible a team in need of a quarterback could see the late first round as the perfect window to steal away Daniel Jones, Will Grier or Combine winner Tyree Jackson.
The Jaguars, Dolphins
The latest second round selection of those teams mentioned is owned by the Miami Dolphins, who own the 16th pick in the second round (48th overall). The earliest being held by the Arizona Cardinals at pick number 33, Philadelphia could find themselves in prime position to steal a first round talent in the second round. Who, you ask?
My first thought jumps to any one of the top safeties in the draft. Adderly and Gardner-Johnson are the best fits to overtake the Malcolm Jenkins role. Remaining in the secondary, the Eagles have also been linked to CB Amani Oruwariye, who some think could be the best corner in the draft after the dust settles. Other options at corner include Justin Layne, Rock Ya-Sin and Julian Love. Any of these options would be fair value in the early second round. It is my belief the Birds are more likely to seek a safety than a corner, noting their stockpile of young talent at the latter position.
Staying on the defensive side of the football, the options for front seven talent will be boundless at the top of the second round. Linebackers such as Vosean Joseph, Mack Wilson, Ben Burr-Kirven and Terrill Hanks all have second to third round tags. Ranking the second tier of backers depends on highly opinionated evaluations and any number of these prospects should fit right in the wheelhouse for Philly should they trade back.
Along the defensive line, most of the options available to the Eagles at 25 should stick around until the top of the second round. The team could likely trade back and still land Tillery or Simmons. Adding to that list, Dre’Mont Jones and Charles Omenihu figure to be fantastic second day options on the interior. Howie could also look to snatch up any of the remaining edge rusher talent. Look for possible targets like Jachai Polite, Chase Winovich, Jaylon Ferguson and Oshane Ximines to still be on the table.
All the running backs should still be in play — yes even Josh Jacobs. Although look for the Raiders, Buccaneers and Bills to consider the Alabama product should be slide past the first round. In my opinion, the remaining bell cows will carry better value in the late second to third round, but if you like a guy, you’ve got to secure him. Philadelphia has been rumored to have their feelers out for Penn State RB Miles Sanders, who has done well to cement himself as a second round talent. Without a third round selection, the Eagles may need to secure a back in the second round if they feel their rotation is incomplete. It would make sense for the Birds to add a third-down back instead of a power runner. Options include Darrell Henderson, Justice Hill, Myles Gaskin and Bryce Love. All of these targets could probably wait until later rounds.
The overlooked possibility in this scenario may be a receiver. There will be ample options in the second round. Of the class, it may only be Ole Miss WR D.K. Metcalf hearing his name called in the first round. Deebo Samuel and A.J. Brown make a lot of sense in terms of value and fit. This road may also make Nelson Agholor expendable and allow the Eagles to recoup a third to mid round selection. After comparing the Amari Cooper and Golden Tate trades to the transfer of Antonio Brown, I have no idea what a receiver is worth any more. Marquise Brown and Kelvin Harmon are also intriguing options that should be available in the early second round.
Overall, there is reasonable hope that most of the options available to the Eagles at pick number 25 should still be available — in some capacity — should Howie make the call to move down. The only avenue they rob themselves of is stealing away one of the draft’s top 20 talents. However, that possibility will become obvious by the time the Birds are on the clock, which would leave them free to field calls. Unless Christian Wilkins is still hanging around, or Montez Sweat’s fall becomes drastic it makes more sense for the Eagles to trade back into the second round than stay put.