Ray's Replies: Should the Eagles trade down?

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Ray's Replies: Should the Eagles trade down?
February 18, 2013, 9:00 am
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Q. Because there are so many needs to fill this year, would it make sense for the Eagles to drop down in the draft to obtain an additional draft pick? Let’s say they trade first round picks with Tennessee at No. 10. What would be the normal pick a trade like that would get them -- an additional third rounder? If so, would you make that trade?

Also, if they switch to a 3-4 defense, how does that effect Brandon Boykin as the nickel back? Is there a nickel in the 3-4 alignment? If not, is he suitable for the safety position?

-Howard P.

A. The Eagles have multiple needs which makes a trade down for additional picks very tempting. If you are Chip Kelly and Howie Roseman, you should just wait and see what is offered when your turn comes on draft day. The phone is sure to ring once the first three picks are off the board and the other teams see who is still available. That will determine how much interest there is and what teams are willing to offer.

The deal you propose – a trade down from four to ten – should net you more than a third round pick. You are trading down six spots in the first round, that’s a lot. You should ask for the second round pick, not the third. Or perhaps the third round pick in this draft and a second round pick in the 2014 draft. If you have several teams bidding against each other, you can drive a pretty hard bargain.

But if I were the Eagles, I wouldn’t be anxious to trade the No. 4 pick. If a team blew me away with an offer – say, a first and second this year plus another high pick next year – I might consider it, but there is sure to be a very good player on the board at No. 4 and the Eagles would probably be better off staying put and taking him.

Offensive tackle Luke Joeckel (Texas A&M), cornerback Dee Milliner (Alabama), nose tackle Star Lotulelei (Utah) and linebacker Jarvis Jones (Georgia) would all fill needs for the Eagles. I’m assuming the Eagles are switching to a 3-4 defense. Lotulelei would give them a stud nose tackle. Jones could step right in as an edge pass rusher. Milliner would start immediately for what figures to be a totally overhauled secondary.

It is unlikely Joeckel falls to four. He could be Andy Reid’s pick at No. 1. Jacksonville and Oakland are looking for pass rushers which means they could take Jones, Bjoern Werner (Florida State) or Damontre Moore (Texas A&M). Let’s say it does go down that way. That means the Eagles at four would have their choice of Milliner, the best corner in the draft, Lotulelei, the best interior lineman, and possibly Jones. I don’t know how they could trade out of the fourth spot and pass on one of those guys.

Regarding Boykin, I still think he has a bright future. If the Eagles switch to a 3-4, they still need a slot defender because 3-4 teams do play nickel coverage. In most cases, they replace an inside linebacker with an extra defensive back.

That’s what happened to DeMeco Ryans in Houston. In passing situations, the Texans took Ryans off the field (Brian Cushing stayed on) and they could not justify paying Ryans that much money to be a two-down linebacker. That’s how he wound up on the trade market.

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