The NFL Draft is now officially under one week away and while it will be an event like we’ve never seen before, we can expect one thing to remain the same – the Eagles will be active in the trade market.
Howie Roseman has never shied away from draft-window trades. Dallas Goedert, Andre Dillard, and Hassan Ridgeway have all been beneficiaries of this in recent years and with plenty of ammunition on his side, one can only wonder what Howie has up his sleeve if he wishes to move up, down, or even left and right. But which assets will give Howie the most leverage in a trade?
Sul’ has been shopped for a while now and almost a year ago today, we heard a similar story about the team looking for a potential suitor. Now entering his contract year, Rasul Douglas just seems to be the ‘odd man out’ at a position that has gotten progressively shorter and quicker. The 6’2 West Virginia product has a lengthy wingspan and is very efficient around the catch-point, but the lack of long-speed hurts.
Douglas is young and could be a great addition to any team looking for serviceable depth/fringe starters. In a draft class where teams may not get training camp to familiarize their prospects with NFL talent and reps, the experience Douglas has in cover 2/3 could be extremely valuable and a team may be willing to take a flyer.
We already know the Eagles have turned down one trade offer, don’t be surprised to see another.
This one hurts my heart to type, but the Eagles have a plethora of nickel cornerbacks and most recently signed former Rams CB Nickell-Robey Coleman. It’s no coincidence that LeBlanc missed most of 2019 dealing with a Lisfranc injury, and NRC has played in 111 out of 112 possible games. The secondary has been ravaged by injury and the Eagles don’t want history repeating itself.
In 2018 and 2019, quarterbacks averaged a rating of 87.9 and 86.9 when throwing NRC’s way respectively, allowing a completion rate below 66 percent in that timeframe and that may be enough to convince the Eagles to let the Captain set sail.
LeBlanc is a dog. He hustles hard, hits harder, and refuses to take a play off. His week 17 outing against the Giants was simply exceptional and I think any team looking for nickel depth could do a lot worse and a lot more expensive than Cre’Von, who could be used as a deal sweetener.
Round 1: Pick 21
Make no mistake, this will be the cake that the Eagles want everyone to taste. Whether it’s moving up or moving back depending on how the board falls, pick 21 will likely be at the epicenter of whatever move the Eagles make, especially with this first-round being so tricky to read.
Entering year 4 of his contract, the Eagles are yet to pick up Barnett’s option. Injuries have hampered his play and although he had a career-year last year (6.5 sacks), it was still regarded as a huge work in progress.
Barnett was a first-round selection in 2017 and it may well be that Roseman wants to restart that process as opposed to paying the young Tennessee product. If that’s the case, drafting his replacement early or even shifting Barnett in a trade will make a ton of sense here to give the Eagles a new 4-5 year window to find an X-factor on the outside.
This is a weird one. Jackson hasn’t actually played more than a few snaps as an Eagle due to the fact his 2019 season was ripped away from him thanks to a week one injury. However, Jackson’s cap hit in 2019 is $4.6M and that will leap to around $12M in 2021. With Javon Hargrave now on-site, the Eagles may be well aware of escalating cap hits and push Jackson to a team craving some versatile DT help, knowing they’ll restructure.
I don’t think this is overly likely, but stranger things have happened…
Bonus: Alshon Jeffery
Sigh. Alshon’s terrifying cap-hit, woeful character concerns and awful 2019 season make this almost impossible outside of a team with a lot of cap-room willing to take on all of this as a sweetener. It’s far more likely that Jeffery plays through 2020 and the Eagles move on after giving him a shot to increase his value and lower his cap hit.
More honorable mentions: Sidney Jones, Zach Ertz
As far as Sidney Jones goes, I don’t think the Eagles want to move on from him just yet as a corner that fits their physical prototype and can play outside.
As far as Ertz is concerned, he isn’t. There’s very little chance the Eagles move on from their franchise tight end, but we can’t write it off entirely, as confusing as the move would be.
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