Eagles mailbag: Did Eagles get enough to trade down?

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Dave Zangaro
·5 min read
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Eagles mailbag: Did Eagles get enough to trade down? originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

We’re a month away from the NFL Draft and yesterday I answered a bunch of your questions, including the Eagles’ options at No. 12.

But there are plenty more questions to get to today.

Let’s go:

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OK, as a reminder, here was the trade the 49ers and Dolphins made:

49ers get: No. 3

Dolphins get: No. 12, 2022 first, 2022 third, 2023 first

And here’s a reminder of the Eagles-Dolphins trade:

Dolphins get: No. 6, No. 156 (fifth round)

Eagles get: No. 12, No. 123 (fourth round), 2022 first

So, yeah, when you look at them side-by-side it’s clear that the Dolphins got an absolute haul for the No. 3 pick but that was a trade from 12 to 3 and that was also a trade for a quarterback. That’s a big difference. The 49ers traded up to get a quarterback and the Dolphins traded up to get (most likely) a skill player. The difference in value there is immense.

Remember, a few years ago, Howie Roseman made a similar trade up from 13 to 2 but he did it in two steps because he knew how big of a task it was.

So I think the Eagles got very good value for their trade down from 6 to 12. I’m still conflicted on that move. I understand how much ammo and flexibility they have now but I also thought they had a great chance to get a game-changer at 6. But as far as the value, that was pretty good.

Back in 2018, the Bills traded up from 12 to 7 to get Josh Allen and gave up two additional second-round picks to do so. So the fact that the Eagles got back a first is a win for Howie.

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The obvious answer to this question is Jalen Hurts, but I’ll pass on that one and I’ll give you one player and one coach:

Jalen Reagor: The 2020 first-round pick has talent but it obviously wasn’t a good rookie season. I’m still intrigued by his ability and want to see what he can do if he can stay healthy, in a new offense and with a full offseason. I don’t know if he’ll ever be as good as Justin Jefferson, who would have been my pick at 21 last year. But Reagor has explosive traits and I want to see if he can reach his potential.

Jonathan Gannon: I want to see what kind of defense the Eagles’ new defensive coordinator puts together. Even if the Eagles didn’t hire Gannon, he was going to end up as a DC somewhere. He was viewed that highly around the league. When the Eagles hired Nick Sirianni one of the things they liked about him was his plan for a coaching staff. Gannon was a big part of that.

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Speaking of Gannon … It’s an interesting question. It’s well documented that the Eagles haven’t drafted a linebacker in the first round since 1979 but this organizational philosophy goes beyond that. And Roseman hasn’t been shy about admitting that the Eagles value other positions on defense more. But it is fair to point out that the Eagles used a third-round pick on a linebacker last year and have used resources on them in the not-so-distant past with guys like Nigel Bradham, Jordan Hicks and Mychal Kendricks.

We haven’t seen the Eagles spend on linebacker in free agency but there’s evidence to suggest that Gannon will care about linebackers. Just look at his last two stops. The Colts obviously know the importance of having a stud linebacker. They drafted Darius Leonard in the second round in 2018 and he’s become an All-Pro. And in Minnesota, they’ve spent on guys like Eric Kendricks in the past and it has worked out. So we’ll see if the philosophy in Philly changes slightly. I think it might … at least slightly.

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I see your point here but it’s a different situation. Sanders is still just 23 and has two more cost-controlled years left; Ertz was older when the Eagles drafted Goedert. And while it makes sense to have a complementary back for Sanders, the Eagles used 12 personnel a lot over the last few years to get Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert on the field together. The Eagles probably aren’t going to start using 21 personnel just to force two running backs on the field together.

So it would definitely help to get another talented back in the rotation. I’m not sure about using that high of a pick on one this soon, knowing that the pick will have to split snaps with Sanders.

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