Possible trades and draft philosophy in Eagles mailbag


We got a ton of questions this week, so the mailbag was split into two. 

The first part included questions about Jay Ajayi and appropriate Eagles fandom (see story). Today, we’ll get into some possible trades and the impact of this year’s draft.

Let’s go: 

I don’t know. Now, before you kill me for that answer: they don’t know either. The Eagles won’t know until that night. It really depends on how the draft shakes out before then. If there’s a prominent player (quarterback … Lamar Jackson) on the board at 32, then the Eagles will probably get some offers. That happened a few years ago when Teddy Bridgewater was drafted. 

The Eagles have only six picks and don’t have a second- or third-rounder, so the idea of trading back is attractive. It will depend on how many players they like at the spot. If there’s a guy that’s clearly ahead of the others, they draft him. If they like five guys around the same and have the opportunity to trade back four spots, why not? 

It’s possible, but I wouldn’t call it likely. After all, this is the 37th consecutive year Mychal Kendricks has been on the trade block. I understand why. He has a big cap hit and the team just re-signed Nigel Bradham. But Jordan Hicks is coming off another Achilles injury and I’m not sure the team can count on him. After that, do they feel comfortable with Corey Nelson or Paul Worrilow becoming a real starter? Maybe, but Kendricks is a great insurance policy for another year. He was a big part of the 2017 Super Bowl. 

The Eagles have six picks in the draft. And they can go in a lot of different directions. The only position that wouldn’t make a ton of sense would be quarterback. They love building along the lines, so both of those are on the table. Tight ends and running backs should be attractive.

But how about this one: they have a ton of cornerbacks, but safety is an under-the-radar position. And if the Eagles get a good one, that rookie could play a ton in 2018. Think about it. Malcolm Jenkins was all over the field last season, so much so that he was barely even a safety anymore. That meant aging vet Corey Graham played a big role. Graham is a free agent and could possibly return, but the Eagles could stand to draft a younger replacement. 

I’d imagine this is still on the table. The reason is easy to figure out. The Eagles have a stable of young cornerbacks: Jalen Mills, Sidney Jones, Rasul Douglas, Daryl Worley and Darby. Of the bunch, Darby is the most tradable. He has one year left on his deal and if the Eagles don’t have him in their future plans, they can get some sort of return out of him. He’s still just 24 and it might make sense to see what he can do in his second year in the defense, but if he’s the guy to go, he’d probably bring back a mid-round pick. If the Eagles could get a third-rounder for him, that would be about right and it would also help fill their draft pick void. 

Sure. You nailed the first two. The Eagles emphasize building along the offensive and defensive lines and offensive tackle and defensive end are the two most important. But I’d argue it doesn’t end there. After all, their highest-paid defensive player is DT Fletcher Cox and their highest-paid offensive player is OG Brandon Brooks. So I’d argue the positions they value the most after quarterback are all along the offensive and defensive lines. 

After that? Probably receiver and defensive back. I’m hesitant to say cornerback because the Eagles have so little money tied up with their corners, but have paid their safeties a ton. They really value versatility in the secondary and that’s part of the reason. 

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