With just a few days to before the first round of the NFL draft, buzz is heating up about what the Eagles plan to do with their 22nd overall pick.
The latest headliner came from TheMMQB.com's Peter King, who reported that he’s hearing the Eagles are talking to teams about trading up to capitalize on this year’s rich class of receivers, specifically former LSU wideout Odell Beckham Jr. (see bio).
“Keep hearing they want in on the prime receiver action, and the receiver they want could be LSU’s Odell Beckham, who can play outside, inside in the slot and as a returner,” King wrote. “But the Eagles would have to trade up, and GM Howie Roseman is doing his due diligence, talking to at least two teams in the mid-round neighborhood when Beckham would likely go.”
Beckham is considered the third-best receiver prospect behind Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans, both of whom are expected to be drafted in the top 10. Beckham could go anywhere after, but several analysts believe he’ll go between 15 and 20.
King reported that moving up for Beckham “could be too rich for the Eagles’ blood” and that they may “settle for (former USC wideout) Marqise Lee, who would be some consolation prize.”
The Eagles, who released three-time Pro Bowl wideout DeSean Jackson in March, have done their homework on this year’s loaded class of receivers. Beckham and Lee were both brought into the NovaCare Complex for visits.
On the flip side, this also silly season for the media. NFL executives constantly leak false information with hopes of either driving a trade market or scaring other teams away from prospects they want. Every report, even by someone as credible as King, should be viewed with a degree of skepticism.
Still, it makes sense that the Eagles would look to the draft to find another weapon for coach Chip Kelly’s offense, and Roseman is one of the more aggressive general managers when it comes to draft-day trades. The Eagles have moved up in three of the past five drafts.
The Eagles have only six picks, but Roseman hinted last Thursday that he would be willing to deal an extra pick and move up “for the right guy.” Dealing a pick to move up would leave the Eagles with just five picks for a draft considered the deepest in recent memory.
“We would not be concerned with that if we felt like the value of the player is right,” Roseman added. “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.”
The Eagles last traded up in 2012, moving from 15 to 12 in a deal with Seattle to acquire former Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox. The team moved up from 22 to 13 in 2010 to select former Michigan defensive end Brandon Graham and jumped up two spots in 2009 to pick former Missouri wide receiver Jeremy Maclin.
All three are still on the team.