In five of the last six drafts, the Eagles have made a first-round trade.
In three of those instances (2009, 2010, 2012), they traded up for Jeremy Maclin, Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox, respectively. In 2007 and 2008, the Eagles traded out of the first round.
So while we continue to discuss and analyze what the Eagles might do with the No. 4 pick, the prospect of a trade definitely exists. Even though this is not considered a top-heavy draft, all it takes is one team looking to move up.
The obvious questions are: Who might those teams be? And what could the Eagles get in return?
Let’s start with the latter. There are a few different ways to evaluate what the No. 4 pick is worth. There’s the old draft value trade chart; there’s this table from Harvard Sports Analysis; and there’s this chart from Chase Stuart of FootballPerspective.com.
I asked around about the old chart earlier this offseason, and while it’s outdated, the sense I got was that it still comes up in conversation among general managers. The chart was created in the 1980s and over-values early picks. But it doesn’t appear to be extinct. We might see a new league-wide value chart in the next couple years, but that hasn’t happened yet.
In the last two years, the Eagles have made three trades on the first two days of the draft that have not included players or future picks.
Trade 1: Eagles move up three spots in the first round to take Fletcher Cox. Eagles acquire the No. 12 pick (first round) from the Seahawks for Nos. 15 (first round), 114 (fourth round) and 172 (sixth round).
Trade 2: Eagles move down eight spots, dealing the No. 51 pick (second round) to the Packers. They acquire Nos. 59 (second round) and 123 (fourth round).
Trade 3: Eagles move down five spots, trading the No. 85 pick (third round) to the Ravens for Nos. 90 (third round) and 191 (sixth round).
Here’s how those trades stack up using the old value chart:
Trade 1 1138.6 1200 +61.4 +5.4%
Trade 2 390 359 -31 -7.9%
Trade 3 165 155 -10 -6.1%
If you’re wondering, I crunched the numbers for the Harvard and Football Perspective charts too. The values didn’t come nearly as close to matching up.
Getting back to this year, below are some teams that have been rumored to be interested in moving up. There’s always the possibility of players or future picks being involved, but for our purposes, let’s see what the Eagles might be able to get from each team, using the three different charts.
Arizona has the No. 7 pick and is in desperate need of offensive line help. There are three stud tackles expected to go in the top-10: Luke Joeckel, Eric Fisher and Lane Johnson. The Cardinals could sit tight and wait for Fisher or Johnson to fall. But that could be risky, and they could look to move up. They have seven overall picks.
Draft Value Chart: The Eagles could move down three spots and also pick up a third-rounder (No. 69 overall), a fifth-rounder (No. 140) and a sixth-rounder (No. 176).
Harvard: Not as generous. According to these values, the Eagles could move down three spots and pick up a sixth-round pick (No. 176).
Football Perspective: The Eagles could move down three spots and pick up a fifth-rounder (No. 140).
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS
You’ll notice a pattern here. The Chargers could also move up for a tackle. Staying put for one of the top three guys is much riskier for them, considering San Diego has the No. 11 pick. The Chargers have seven overall selections, one in each round.
DVC: This one really shows how the original chart put too much weight on early picks. The Eagles could move down seven spots, pick up an extra second-rounder (No. 45), a fourth-rounder (No. 11o), a sixth-rounder (No. 179) and a seventh-rounder (No. 221).
Harvard: A huge difference using this chart. The Eagles could move down seven spots and pick up a fourth-round selection (No. 110).
Football Perspective: A little more generous. The Eagles move down seven spots and pick up a third-rounder (No. 76). Another option would be to move down seven spots and pick up a fourth (No. 110), a sixth (No. 179) and a seventh (No. 221).
Similar scenario to San Diego. Miami is in the market for a tackle. But the Dolphins have a lot of ammo – 11 picks overall, including five in the first three rounds (two second-rounders and two third-rounders). If they target a player in the top of the draft, they can afford to be aggressive.
DVC: The Eagles could move down eight spots and pick up a second-rounder (No. 42), a fourth-rounder (No. 111), a fifth-rounder (No. 146) and a seventh-rounder (No. 217).
Harvard: According to these values, the Eagles could move down eight spots and pick up a fourth-rounder (No. 111).
Football Perspective: The Eagles could move down eight spots and pick up a third-rounder (No. 77) and a seventh-rounder (No. 224).
They are one of two teams with a pair of first-round picks (St. Louis is the other). Would the Eagles be willing to slide all the way down to 23? I’m not sure. But Minnesota has 12 total picks and can afford to be aggressive.
DVC: According to the old chart, the Eagles could get quite a bit from the Vikings: two first-rounders (Nos. 23 and 25 overall), a third-rounder (No. 83) and two fourth-rounders (Nos. 102 and 120). I doubt Minnesota would consider giving up that haul, but those are the numbers.
Harvard: According to these values, the Eagles could get one of Minnesota’s first-rounders (No. 23) and a second-rounder (No. 52). That doesn’t seem like enough from the Eagles’ perspective.
Football Perspective: Similar idea here. The Eagles could move down 19 spots to No. 23, while also picking up a second-rounder (No. 52) and a sixth-rounder (No. 176).
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
This will make you feel good about the Tom Gamble addition. Coming off a season in which the 49ers went to the Super Bowl, they have 14 draft picks, including five in the top 100. If San Francisco wants to add a stud early in the first round, it can move up pretty easily. Perhaps someone like Star Lotulelei or Tavon Austin could catch their eye.
DVC: Another great example of how this chart puts so much weight on early picks. The Eagles would need to receive the 49ers’ first five picks to match the value for No. 4. Those are a first-rounder (No. 31), two second-rounders (Nos. 34 and 61) and two third-rounders (Nos. 74 and 93).
Harvard: These values would give the Eagles with Nos. 31 (first round) and 34 (second round) in exchange for the No. 4 pick.
Football Perspective: According to these values, the Eagles could get Nos. 31 (first round), 34 (second round) and one of the 49ers’ four seventh-rounders.
Those are the numbers, but as always, compensation depends on the market. For example, if the Eagles get multiple teams interested in No. 4, they’re in a great spot. On the flip side (and perhaps more likely given the nature of this draft), they might not get a serious offer at all.
If history is any indication, Howie Roseman will be talking to several teams leading up to the draft. We’ll find out in a couple weeks whether the Eagles will draft in their original first-round slot for just the second time in seven years.