Draft Debate: Chances Of a First-Round Trade?
As we count down to Thursday, Tim and Sheil give their takes on how the Eagles will approach the 2014 draft.
In case you missed our previous installments, on Monday, they each gave their three most likely targets for the Birds at No. 22. And yesterday, they debated whether the team will draft a QB.
Today’s question: What are the odds the Eagles will trade up, stay put or trade back in the first round?
Kapadia: Let’s start with the least likely scenario in my opinion: trading up. I’ll put that at a 10 percent chance.
I’m all for being aggressive, but there’s a time and place. The Eagles dealt a fifth-round pick earlier this offseason to acquire Darren Sproles. That leaves them with six total picks in what is largely considered a loaded draft. Giving up more resources to move up in the first round just doesn’t make sense to me.
Moving up for a wide receiver would be especially puzzling, considering the team let DeSean Jackson go for nothing and Howie Roseman has said he sees starting-caliber pass-catchers likely to be available in the middle rounds. If the Eagles eye a stand-out defender at a spot that’s difficult to fill (UCLA OLB Anthony Barr, Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix) and want to be bold, fine. But I still think it’s unlikely.
Next scenario? The trade-back. This one makes a lot of sense to me. I’ll put it at 30 percent. Really, the reasons are ones I’ve already mentioned. If you can pick up extra ammo later in the draft by moving down (or even out) in the first round, I say do it. In my opinion, this roster still needs plenty of work. There are obvious question marks at wide receiver, outside linebacker and safety. But an upgrade at corner wouldn’t hurt. And depth (on the offensive line, defensive line, inside linebackers) should be a priority also. I think the Eagles would definitely entertain the idea of moving back. The problem could be finding a partner who wants to move up. But it only takes one.
And finally, the most likely scenario: staying put. Tim and I gave our top three potential options for the 22nd slot earlier this week. But the draft can be unpredictable, and you never know who’s going to slide. Maybe someone like Alabama inside linebacker C.J. Mosley starts to drop. Or perhaps the media are higher on Barr than actual personnel people.
I still say USC WR Marqise Lee, Virginia Tech CB Kyle Fuller and Oregon St. WR Brandin Cooks are the three most likely options. But one way or another, the Eagles should be able to find a quality player at No. 22.
McManus: We’re pretty much on the same page, my friend, though I’m leaving the door a little more open for a trade up than you are. With all this buzz about them trying to move higher, I’m guessing they have one or two guys that they are very keen on and are exploring ways to jump up if their target is within reach and the demands within reason. A lot of stars have to align, though, and the fact that they have only six picks makes the idea of depleting your resources in a deep draft less than appealing. For those reasons, it is still the most unlikely scenario in my mind.
Trading back could be the move. The more I read about the quarterback dynamic, the more I believe most of the QB-needy teams will pass on a signal-caller the first time around. That could create a situation where those teams attempt to move into the back end of the first round to ensure they get their guy rather than hoping he makes it into the second round when they are scheduled to pick again. All of a sudden, the 22nd slot is in demand. I’m looking at Cleveland in particular as a logical trade partner. They hold the fourth and the 26th selections in the first round, then pick again at 35. They need a QB, and are in great position to move up if need be. Would the Eagles be willing to slide back to 26? Could be.
Agreed, though, that staying put is the most likely scenario. And I have Lee, Fuller and Mosley as the potential picks if that’s how it shakes out.