Eagles mailbag: No veteran receivers; a possible trade-up


I answered a bunch of your questions in Part 1 of the mailbag yesterday, but you guys gave me plenty. 

Let’s get to the others: 


I totally agree with you. Howie Roseman’s claim that the cupboard isn’t as bare as we think it is … not buying it. The Eagles don’t have any receivers they can really rely on right now. DeSean is 33 and coming off surgery. Alshon is 30 and we know his situation is murky as best. JJAW had a terrible rookie season. And Greg Ward deserves a chance but is he it? 

Look, I get that the prices of free agent receivers dropped after the Eagles spent that money elsewhere. But it just looks bad when guys like Breshad Perriman and Robby Anderson get pretty cheap deals elsewhere. The Eagles’ biggest need all offseason has been receiver and putting it all on the draft seems like a risky strategy. 

It’s also important to remember that the hit rate for receivers in the draft is a pretty low one and it can sometimes take them a few years to hit their peak. And this year, the Eagles won’t have much of an offseason and they have a new receivers coach. In order for the Birds to be successful, they have to surround Carson Wentz with at least viable weapons and they have failed to do that at receiver. It’s a concern. 

I’m not saying it’s the most likely position if they don’t go with a receiver but if we’re talking about immediate impact, it would be one of the linebackers, either Patrick Queen from LSU or Kenneth Murray from Oklahoma. We all know the Eagles’ aversion for taking linebackers in the first round, but because of how light they are at that position, either Queen or Murray would be Day 1 starters. Both of those players at first-round talents and either would probably be the Eagles’ best linebacker immediately. 

I wouldn’t rule out receivers in the first two rounds, but I wouldn’t bet on it either. The Eagles have other needs at important positions and value other positions too. I completely expect the Eagles to draft at least two receivers — that’s the position they’ve put themselves in — I just wouldn’t guarantee they come in the first two rounds. 

The other two positions are possible. The Eagles need more depth at offensive tackle because their top backup right now is Jordan Mailata, who has never played in a meaningful football game. And they might use a later-round pick on a tight end. It’s not a very good class, though, so the value might not line up right. They do need a third guy after Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert, though, so it’s possible. 

I’m a little torn on this. I really like Ngakoue. But I’d be hesitant to trade that No. 21 pick for him and I don’t think the Eagles will either. 

Sure, I understand why it would make some sense. The Eagles could use more pass rush, Ngakoue is still just 25 and is very good. But he’ll be very expensive. He comes with a price tag of nearly $18 million on the franchise tag and the Eagles will want to extend him, which won’t be cheap either. 

Generally, I think draft picks are overvalued. They’re sort of like new cars that lose value the second they’re driven off the lot. But the Eagles need to hit on their top draft picks to get 21 and 22-year-old star players on rookie contracts. That’s the way to built, not trading them away for expensive players. 

So while it might seem counterintuitive to draft a defensive end when you can trade for Ngakoue, it’s important to remember that you’re drafting a cheap player and the money that would have gone to Ngakoue over the next few years will be spread out elsewhere, to other positions of need. 

Any team that wants to trade up to that area of the draft, should definitely call the 49ers first. The Niners have two first-round picks but don’t have any picks from Rounds 2-4, so they’d probably be willing to move down and pick up one in that range. Just last year there was a trade from 20 to 10, so we have a template: 

Steelers got: No. 10 

Broncos got: No. 20, 52 and a third-rounder in 2020

It’s not exactly perfect, but based on that template, the Eagles could maybe trade No. 53 and a Day 3 pick to move up into that range. The problem might be that the 49ers are in the market for a receiver too, so they might choose to just stay there and take whatever prize the Eagles have their eye on.  

Interesting. Good work on the trades; that makes it fun. A few notes: 

- I like Delpit, but I’m not sure the Eagles are really considering a safety at that position. I guess it also matters how the board fell before this pick. 

- Aiyuk is a fun player who would add an element of explosion to the Eagles’ offense. I’m in on him if the top guys are gone. I wonder if the Chiefs would be willing to make this trade, though. This trade would mean they wouldn’t have a pick until No. 63. 

- Cushenberry is a nice choice after moving up from 53. Not a desperate need but time to start thinking about life after Kelce. And three picks in the top 48 is fun to think about. 

- Not the biggest fan of Lipscomb but I agree with the double dip. Also think a LB and OT might be in the mix too. 

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