Howie Roseman estimates that he has spoken to two-thirds of the league about possible trade scenarios to date, and will have touched base with all 31 clubs prior to Thursday at 8 o’clock when the draft kicks off.
“It’s calls about moving up, calls about moving back. I think that’s the nature of what we do right now, this time of the year. A lot of it’s going to be determined by who’s on the board, and really, who’s off the board,” he said.
An example: Roseman and Seattle general manager John Schneider talked prior to the 2012 draft and hammered out a deal that would send the 12th overall pick to Philly in exchange for the Eagles’ first (15th overall), fourth and sixth-round selections. The trade was contingent on the Eagles’ desired target — Fletcher Cox — still being on the board. Cox was, and the deal was executed.
It’s possible the Eagles have similar arrangements set up for this Thursday. Whether a trade ever materializes depends on how the draft unfolds in front them.
One thing to keep an eye on is how the early portion of the first round plays out when it comes to quarterbacks. Peter King hears that at least four of the teams with a top-five pick (Houston, Jacksonville, Cleveland and Oakland) are “strongly considering” passing on a QB with their first-round selections. He added that he anticipates Minnesota (eighth overall pick) will wait until the second round to take a signal-caller.
Asked how many quarterbacks he expects to go in the first round, Roseman said there is an internal debate within the Eagles whether the number is three or four.
“I think that’s the interesting part of this draft: How many go before we pick and then how many teams are jockeying to get their guy?” he said.
Might one of these quarterback-needy teams, fearful that their guy is taken before the next time they are on the clock, try to trade into the back end of the first round? Would the Browns, who also hold the 26th overall pick, try to slide up? What about the Texans (33rd overall) or Raiders (36th overall)? The Eagles’ No. 22 slot could have a good deal of value depending on how it all shakes out.
With only six picks, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them trade back at some point in this draft to gather more resources. Trading up appears less likely given their limited supply, but it’s not out of the question. Like Cox a couple years back, the Eagles will have their eyes on a few players in particular. If one happens to come within striking distance (Justin Gilbert? Anthony Barr?) they sound willing to sacrifice in the name of snagging a highly-rated player.
“We would not be concerned with that if we felt like the value of the player is right,” said Roseman. “That’s the name of the game. We’re not going to make any move unless it’s based on our board, so to sit here and know we’re going to move up, move down, if we have a guy that’s in the top five in our draft, and he’s falling? Would we look at that? No question.”
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Zach Ertz is expected to have an increased role in Year 2, writes Jeff McLane.
Ertz actually went back to school after the season. He worked out in Palo Alto, Calif., with other Stanford alumni, including Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, from whom Ertz caught many passes.They worked the entire route tree, and Ertz lined up all over the place, as he did in college. The Eagles had him split wide often last training camp, but he ended up running most of his routes from inside or out of the slot.
“He’s got the ability to be a flexed-out guy,” Roseman said. “He can play with his hand down. He can play in the slot. He can line up outside. He’s a hard guy to cover because he’s got really good feet, [and] obviously he’s big.”
Todd McShay isn’t as high on Barr as others are. From PhiladelphiaEagles.com.
“I thought I was going to see a different player than what I actually saw when I studied the tape after the season. He wasn’t bad, I don’t want to give the wrong impression, but his take-on skills have to improve. He’s not very strong at the point of attack. He does not do a good job of setting the edge. He’s close to a one-trick pony as a pass rusher, in terms of just speed rush. His speed-to-power moves, they stall.
“He can still be a very, very good player at the next level. I just think it’s a lot bigger of a projection, still, than I was expecting it was going to be at this point in the process. To me, I still have a late-first-round, kind of a fringe first-round grade on him … I’ve talked to people recently who say, ‘Oh, he’s a top-10 pick.’ That’s a reach, and I think you’re taking a big gamble.”
Three days away from the draft.