Twitter Mailbag: On Draft Strategies

NCAA Football: Outback Bowl-Iowa vs Louisiana State
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For the purposes of this exercise, let’s assume the early portion of the draft goes exactly the way Don Banks of Sports Illustrated sees it.  Mike Evans, Ha-Ha Clinton Dix, Calvin Pryor, Darqueze Dennard, Bradley Roby, Anthony Barr and C.J. Mosley are all off the table. However, Brandin Cooks, Odell Beckham, Jr., Marqise Lee, Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier,Virginia Tech corner Kyle Fuller and Missouri pass rusher Kony Ealy are among the names still available.  What do you do?

Do you pounce on the opportunity to draft your receiver of choice? Do you slide back, knowing one of the three will still be on the board? Do you grab a corner or pass rusher before the really good ones run out?




The difficulty in predicting what the Eagles will do is that 1) we don't know how the draft will unfold before they are on the clock and 2) we don't have access to their value chart. Could be that one of these players is rated well above the rest. Maybe all the grades are similar and therefor it makes sense to move back.

What we do know -- and what the above scenario helps illustrate -- is that there are a lot of options at receiver in this draft but not as much at other positions, including outside linebacker. That's why it makes sense to go defense early assuming the players' grades are similar.

I'm no draftnik, but this would be my list if the draft fell as laid out above:

1) Odell Beckham, Jr.
2) Brandin Cooks
3) Marqise Lee
4) Kyle Fuller
5) Kony Ealy

Beckham looks like a polished, dynamic receiver that can line up all over the field. He appears to be a really good fit for this offense and is an quality return man as well. You can make a good case for any of the receivers, though.

I don't know how probable it is that all three would actually be available at 22. Seems unlikely. However, we've heard Howie Roseman and others suggest that wideouts will drop in this draft because of the quality and depth, so there could be a couple real good ones sitting there.

I was surprised about that, too. The Sunday night game that week is Steelers at Panthers, which looks good but not great. Monday night is Bears at Jets. The Eagles are at the Niners the following week, so avoiding the Monday night slot is a probably a good thing for them (and perhaps factored into the schedule-makers' thinking).

I checked with the league office on this. The networks have not made their protections as of yet, so that wasn't an issue. It should be noted that the Saturday game between the Eagles and Redskins in Week 16 could wind up in prime time. There are two games scheduled for that day -- the Chargers at San Francisco being the other. One will be played at 4:30, the other at 8.

 

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  • Andy

    I think by week sixteen the Skins will be so far out of contention that even the De Sean angle won’t make it a prime time game.

  • jabostick

    Weird scheduling thing I noticed that has nothing to do with anything…
    Does anyone know why, in Week 8, CBS is showing SEA-CAR while FOX is showing HOU-TEN?

    I don’t know if the networks switched conference games any other weeks but just an odd thing I noticed…

    • jbird

      I would take Fuller over a WR. According to Chip, we have zero starting corners for 2015. We better get one now.

      • jbird

        By the way Tim, who was the last good player out of LSU. That place is a bust factory. Stay away from Beckham!

        • jbird

          And what about Su-a-Filo at 22? Mathis is unhappy and Herremans has been finished for two years. He is a liability in pass protection at this point. Does anyone know why they don’t see Barbre as a starter? Does he suck at run blocking?

        • oreofestar

          Patrick Peterson, Dwayne Bowe, Eric Reid,Donnie Jones, Tyrann Matheiu, Mychal Brockers just a few aight players off the top of my head in the NFL right now

          • Andy124

            Bennie Logan

        • korman

          Having anti-school bias is one of the worst ways to draft.

          • peteike

            unless youre talking USC QBs haha

    • Johnny Domino

      Is this the crossflex phenomenon?
      Trying to introduce teams to new markets to further NFL global domination.
      [evil scientist laugh]

    • ohitsdom

      It’s part of the new flex process, the NFL doesn’t want Fox to have a strong schedule while CBS has a weak one, They want the most people to have access to the best games. Check out this MMQB article if you haven’t seen it:

      http://mmqb.si.com/2014/04/24/making-of-2014-nfl-schedule/

      • jabostick

        Thx! Interesting read

    • FMWarner

      Starting this year, CBS and Fox will swap some games in the interest of evening up the value of their schedules due to Sunday night flexing.

  • Jim

    The Redskins were awful 3-13 and had awful defense that gave up over 30 points per game….now their best defensive All-Pro London Fletcher has just retired, which will made their awful defense even WORST….Come on, the Redskins will stink again this season with DeSean catching only 4 passes per game.

    • lisa741

      my Aunty Sienna recently got a stunning red
      Nissan Maxima by working part time online… find out here now F­i­s­c­a­l­P­o­s­t­.­ℂ­o­m

      • jabostick

        Everyone’s Aunt on here is getting sweet new rides, while my lazy Aunt is stuck driving the same Corolla she’s had for 6 years.

      • George

        Its a nissan, so its probably not that stunning. Let’s be honest.

    • anon

      They said that about us before last season — thankfully we had the vision to replace the coordinator.

      • Jim

        They said the Jaguars stunk before last season, and sure enough they stunk the same last year. Did 14 year All-Pro and defensive leader London Fletcher play for the Eagles also….LOL.

  • Breakerdog

    The problem with trading down is finding a trade partner. GMs around the league are looking at the same draft as we are. Why trade up? Why give up lower round picks in a deep draft.
    One way this could happen is if one of the QBs falls. If JFF, Bridgewater, Bortles falls down to 22 we could find a partner with one of the teams that skipped QBs for other players early, like Texas taking Clowney.

  • Glenn

    I agree with picking Cooks or Beckham at 22 if it breaks down the way Banks predicts. I have a really good feeling about Cooks potential in this offense. Wouldn’t be surprised if he is the steal of the first round.

  • Chris Jones

    The best scenario I think would be to trade back but I don’t know how easy that will be considering other teams are thinking the same thing. If we stay at 22 I would love to grab beckham, cooks, or ealy if they are there. Any one of those guys would be instant starters. But overall I think with a draft this deep it’s best to grab as many picks as you can.

  • eneagled1

    Maybe I’m stating the obvious, but it seems to me the ease of trading back in the draft is being overestimated. I think a lot of fairly complicated factors have to fall in place in order to have a willing partner.

    While teams will have different grades on individual players and have different strategies; in general I think that if a late rd 1 pick is less valuable to the Eagles than 2 later picks, then it will be more valuable to the team that currently has the pics to just keep their picks. The only way this works is if the team really really wants a player that they think will go off the board right around the Eagles. And even then, the trade could just happen with someone near the Eagles in the draft, because in a draft this deep, I would have to think most teams would be happy with a couple extra picks.

    • Adam G

      Feel like a lot of fans just assume the Eagles can trade back if they want to. I think they tried last year with no takers. Stars have to align for that to happen.

      • h

        yeah in a lot of cases it depends on the team’s needs that are picking after the eagles. for example, the chiefs need to draft OL and probably will knowing reid. if a stud lineman falls to the eagles, a team would probably trade up, assuming that the chiefs would take him. the problem last year was the lack of elite prospects and the costs of trading up were too high.

        • Warhound

          The Niners are a more likely trade partner than most because they might struggle to find spots for this many guys:

          1. First round – No. 30 overall
          2. Second round – No. 56 overall (from the Kansas City Chiefs)
          3. Second round – No. 61 overall
          4. Third round – No. 77 overall (from the Tennessee Titans)
          5. Third round – No. 94 overall
          6. Third round – No. 100 overall (compensatory)
          7. Fourth round – No. 129 overall
          8. Fifth round – No. 170 overall
          9. Seventh round – No. 242 overall (from the New Orleans Saints)
          10. Seventh round – No. 243 overall (from the Carolina Panthers)
          11. Seventh round – No. 245 overall

          22 for: 30, 94, 170 and 242 and 243?

          • JofreyRice

            ugh, embarrassment of riches in San Fran. If Lattimore and Tank Carradine return from their ACL injuries as the players they were, they might have a viable replacements for Gore and Justin Smith AND all those picks.

      • Richard Colton

        its not a given. first-pick.com makes it look like you push a button and its automatic. I’m thinking the perceived depth of this draft makes it harder to trade down. Certainly makes it more difficult to get value in a trade down.

      • peteike

        ha, I just asked this question up top.

    • All In Eagles

      I’m getting the feeling we are trading back, unless someone falls unexpectedly. This will of course come with the instant reaction from fans as, ‘here we go again, Big Red territory again’. I really wouldn’t mind to drop back and acquire more picks. I trust Chip that he’ll make the right decision (although still peeved about Desean leaving).

  • mtn_green

    If Barr is available at 20! Go get him Howie!
    He is in Don Banks draft.
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nfl/news/20140422/2014-nfl-mock-draft-jadeveon-clowney/

    • Glenn

      I wouldn’t trade up to get Barr. I wouldn’t pick him at 22, if Cooks, Lee or Beckham are available. I agree he would be intriguing if he is available at 22, and he should be picked if the three receivers are all gone.

      • mtn_green

        The need is so bad for LOLB of the future and the cost to move up 2 places so little. The drop off from Mack and Barr to the rest is huge.

        • Glenn

          He will be there at 22, more likely than not. There is no need to trade up to get him. I still would pick one of those WR’s over Barr. I like Jeremiah Attaochu, who can be their second round pick, and address both needs. Like it or not, big play #1 WR, is a need too!

          • jbird

            Attaochu is long gone at 54. And I agree on picking him. That’s why after Houston takes Mack you call them about 22 in exchange for 33 and 65. Attaochu is a good pick at 33, but a reach at 22, and gone at 54. OLB is biggest need and I would make that move even with Barr staring me in the face at 22 because I think Attaochu is the better player. WR is not a priority. We have plenty of money to re-sign Maclin if we feel like the price is right. Just because it is a one year deal doesn’t mean he is automatically out of here. Now if he is his usual mediocre self, he will be out and good ridance. Then you sign a FA or draft someone. But for now we have two starting WRs and zero pass rushing demons at OLB, so how is WR a priority???

          • Glenn

            The team does not have a true #1 WR. And our de facto #1 WR, Maclin, has a history of two ACL repairs in the same knee. There is no precedent for a WR remaining explosive after two ACL repairs. Even at 100%, Maclin is a 2. But I agree with you, that OLB is a need as well. Attaochu will be available in the second round, and it would be a consideration to move up.

  • botto

    we will need the speed and toughness of cooks on this team. we need someone to make the defenses think twice about getting beat deep.
    we need cooks

  • phillylove21

    Is it me or does Florida State have the most versatile defensive players in this draft? Joyner, smith, Jones, and Brooks.. Yes I’m a Florida State fan but these guys are ballers.. Joyner plays safety and corner.. Telvin Smith covered slot receivers for god sakes and also dropped back to a zone safety on several occasions.. Terrance Brooks played both safety positions.. And Christian Jones played inside and outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense.. Don’t be surprise if they bring in one of these guys..

  • h

    if the opportunity presents itself, the eagles should trade down unless pryor, haha, evans, barr, gilbert, or dennard are on the board. odds are, they all will be gone. there is too much value in the second and third rounds to keep the pick. for example, I would rather them trade down and draft an OLB in the early second round and pick up additional picks rather them pick up someone like beckham. I think they can wait to draft a WR (I personally think bryant will be one of the best to come out of the class and I like huff, hoffman, and street in later rounds). In the second, there will potentially be solid OLB prospects like attaochu and van noy. if they are stck at 22 though with no partner, Id take mosley, ealy, cooks, beckham, and then fuller in that order.

  • peteike

    Okay a fair question if anyone knows or can take a good guess. Do teams from say picks 20 to 30 in the first round always get offers to trade back? Or how often would you guess that happens 5 out of the 10 picks that late get some kind of offer, good or bad? Do they sometimes get nothing coming down the line in the form of an offer, this would be good to gauge if possible somehow. Trading back seems like the wise thing to do (depending on board of course) but Id guess its never a guarantee that you are able to or at least get value in the deal.

    • Birds4Life

      I’d say that it really depends on what happens at the beginning of the 1st round. Last year, every wanted to trade down but no one wanted to trade up since the draft didn’t have a ton good prospects. This year, someone will have a player rated high that might slip. That’s when team A looks to jump ahead of a team B because team A thinks team B might draft that player. Example: Browns have 2 picks in the 1st round. Say they draft defense with the first pick. Another team might think the Browns will draft a QB with their second 1st round pick, so if a QB drops, that team might want to jump ahead of the Browns to draft that QB.

  • Weapon Y

    What are the odds any of Beckham/Lee/Cooks will actually be better than DeSean?

    • peteike

      better teammates or player? haha. They dont have to be, like Mac said ” As far as trying to replace somebody…I’m not here to replace anybody — there is nobody to replace. I’m going to go out there and do my thing and do what the coaches ask me to do. Not only be the best football player but be the best player I can be.”

  • Neanderthal

    With this draft being so loaded, I would try to trade next years #1 for additional picks this year and Trade down from #1 for more picks. As many 2nd,3rd and 4th rounders in this draft as I could get.
    Round 2 Pick 2 (WASH): Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri (A)
    Round 2 Pick 5 (ATL): Jimmie Ward, SS, Northern Illinois (A)
    Round 2 Pick 22: Kyle Van Noy, OLB, Brigham Young (A)
    Round 3 Pick 2 (WASH): Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt (A)
    Round 3 Pick 4 (ATL): DaQuan Jones, DT, Penn State (A-)
    Round 3 Pick 22: Keith McGill, CB, Utah (B+)
    Round 4 Pick 22: Jordan Tripp, OLB, Montana (B+)
    Round 5 Pick 22: Brandon Coleman, WR, Rutgers (A)
    Round 7 Pick 22: De’Anthony Thomas, RB, Oregon (B)

  • Tom W

    Barr, Ebron, Gilbert, trade back, odb Mosley

  • Ray888

    SF, with 11 picks, can’t possibly use them all for selections in this draft. Their options are to use some extra picks to trade-up this year, to swap some of them for picks next year, or to do both. In any case, they are a trading partner if the Eagles want more picks in this draft.

    • peteike

      maybe, they are just as likely to trade up to the teens to get their guy

  • Mike J

    JUST DRAFT SOMEBODY! AAAAAHHHHHH!

    Why again did they move the draft back another two weeks? To my recolection the Combine & Free Agency started when they normally always did.

    • Birds4Life

      Radio City Music Hall had something scheduled during the normal time they have the draft, so they moved the date back instead of moving the venue.

      • Mike J

        I had not heard that, thanks. Seems like the NFL would have precedence though…

  • korman

    Same list, maaan

  • Joe from Easton

    Your score is: 4104 (GRADE: B+)

    Your Picks:
    Round 1 Pick 22: C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama (B+)
    Round 2 Pick 22: Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State (A)
    Round 3 Pick 22: Demarcus Lawrence, DE, Boise State (A-)
    Round 4 Pick 22: A.J. McCarron, QB, Alabama (A-)
    Round 5 Pick 22: Deandre Coleman, DT, California (C)
    Round 7 Pick 22: De’Anthony Thomas, RB, Oregon (B)

    • Joe from Easton

      Your score is: 4759 (GRADE: A-)

      Your Picks:
      Round 1 Pick 22: Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech (B)
      Round 2 Pick 22: Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State (A)
      Round 3 Pick 24 (CINN): Deone Bucannon, SS, Washington State (A)
      Round 4 Pick 22: A.J. McCarron, QB, Alabama (A-)
      Round 5 Pick 22: Brandon Coleman, WR, Rutgers (A)
      Round 7 Pick 22: Aaron Colvin, CB, Oklahoma (B-)
      Round 7 Pick 24 (CINN): Calvin Barnett, DT, Oklahoma State (A)

      • Andy124

        McCarron in the 4th? Really? Mr. Kinne would like to have a word with you.

      • thompsontime

        Deone Bucannon in the 3rd round would be a absolute steal.. sadly he will not last that long

    • JofreyRice

      If you come out of a draft with Mosley and A-Rob you’d get an A+ from me.

  • Rick H

    The way I understand Chip Kelly from afar (so far) is that his philosophy is get the best offensive player in the draft at 22. In fact I would not put it past them to trade up to get Evans with such limited picks (6). I can see it happening.
    Chip will keep filling the roster during the first two years of his time as head coach with offense first then fill adequately with defense.
    Anyone of us could blow this philosophy apart but I see them giving a 1st & 3rd for Evans if he drops to 10 or so. Then trade guys like Graham/Brown and someone unexpected to fill the lack of picks.
    The opposite approach is possible. Loading up with top defensive draft picks and going offense in the 4th round or something of that nature. But if I was a betting man I see a trade up for Evans!!! Cooks or Beckham or Lee at 22. I think they really want Evans badly!

  • Tom W

    Be nice to know How many first round trade picks there has been since new rookie wage scale went into effect … Remember top picks used to cost tens of millions. And be nice to know what Howie or eagles have done last five yrs throughout draft w trades.

  • thompsontime

    I would trade out of the first and let a team that wants to jump on Carr before Cleveland at 26 to take the spot. Then look for a WR at 26, Deone Buchcannon if you feel he wont last to the second round, or take a marcus smith out of louisville or the kid from Georgia tech OLB