The Eagles have the 14th pick in the first round of this weekend’s NFL draft. One of the biggest questions the Eagles front office must consider is if there are 14 players worth drafting at No. 14.
If the answer to the question is no, then the very realistic possibility of trading up or trading down comes into play.
“You get into these situations where it’s pretty clear-cut when you have a draft board, you’re picking at 14, you have a list of guys that you have graded as worth going at 14,” Howie Roseman told the media last week. “If you have a bunch of those guys that are available when you pick, you entertain trade-down offers, far enough that you can still get one of those top guys. If you don’t have 14 guys, you see if there’s an opportunity to move up.
“I think it goes that way for every round in the draft. If you have guys that are really highly graded and you think they’re worthy of moving up, you have those conversations. If you have guys that fit where you’re picking right there, you stay. If you have a group of those guys, you pick up additional picks.”
The Eagles have eight picks in the draft — to be held in expansive fashion at the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. They also are missing next year’s second rounder as part of last year’s Carson Wentz trade.
Can they afford to shed more picks in an attempt to move up?
Speaking of the aformentioned Wentz, one argument is how can they afford not to.
Recent Eagles’ history shows that trading up — for players like Wentz, Fletcher Cox (in 2012) have paid off, while trading back — to pick 26 where they took a huge stretrch in taking Marcus Smith in the first round, are more risky.
The Birds would be better off doing what they can to target a player in their wheelhouse. The number of specific scenarios are almost immeasurably vast — as each pick will effect the Eagles eventual strategy when they send their name to the podium Thursday night. But if a player like Marlon Humphrey, Leonard Fournette or Reuben Foster (off-field issues aside) are getable a few slots ahead of Philly’s, the preponderence of evidence says they should pull the trigger.