NFL Draft 2023: 3 Eagles who could be on the trade block

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Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Quez Watkins (16) carries the ball against Washington Commanders safety Bobby McCain (20) during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Nov. 14, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The NFL Draft is rapidly approaching and the only thing more synonymous with the Draft than the picks themselves is Howie Roseman making a trade. Could the Eagles be on the move again in 2023? If so, here are 3 players who could be on the trade block.

*Note* It’s actually scary how many players I’d label as ‘trade exempt’. A year or two ago, many were ready to hit the big red button and start over, but the Eagles have such a strong foundation that it’s hard to imagine many players either being shipped off…and that says a lot.

Derek Barnett

Barnett missed near enough the entire 2022 season with a torn ACL. It would’ve been interesting to see how much, or how little, he would’ve contributed on a defense that went on to put up 70 sacks that year, but he’ll be hoping for a shot at redemption this season.

Unfortunately, as time wears on, it feels as though the Derek Barnett experiment is nearing an end. The Eagles have continued to give him chance after chance and while he isn’t quite a bust, he’s hardly been a home-run hit either.

He won’t fetch much value, but the Tennessee product could at least sweeten a deal if the Eagles were looking to move up the order for whatever reason.

PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 27: Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Derek Barnett (96) looks on during the game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Philadelphia Eagles on September 27, 2020 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

Sua Opeta

Opeta has quietly been another great graduate from Jeff Stoutland’s school of world beaters. He joined the Eagles as a UDFA in 2019 and appeared in 7 games for the Birds in 2022.

It’s easy to forget that Opeta made 3 starts in 2021 and played in 11 total games. One of those starts came against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and their vaunted pass-rush, where he flaunted the athleticism and agility that made him so attractive as a UDFA.

With the versatile Jack Driscoll waiting in the wings, the Eagles may decide to cash in on Opeta, who is debatably a better prospect than Nate Herbig was when he fled the nest.

PHILADELPHIA, PA – OCTOBER 22: Philadelphia Eagles offensive guard Sua Opeta (78) warms up during the game between the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles on October 22, 2020 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

Quez Watkins

Watkins probably holds the most value of all 3 players in this list. He’s a serviceable slot receiver who put up 354 yards and 3 touchdowns last year, but he also struggled with concentration drops and missing very catchable passes.

That’s not to say he doesn’t have value. He could very easily produce elsewhere and benefit from a change of scenery. It’s likely hard having to play third-fiddle to A.J Brown and DeVonta Smith, let alone then lose touches to Dallas Goedert and Zach Pascal.

The Eagles took a huge leap forward in terms of production and Watkins struggled to keep pace. Mediocrity no longer makes the cut on a championship-level team. With Zach Pascal signing a deal with the Cardinals, the Eagles may look to move on from Watkins and take a flier on another speedy slot wideout with a softer pair of hands.

PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 19: Philadelphia Eagles WR Quez Watkins (16) carries the ball in the first half during the game between the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles on September 19, 2021 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)