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Is Trade Into Top 10 Worth Cost?

Posted Apr 24, 2012

For weeks now, the assumption among many is that the Eagles would use their ample draft cache and try to move into the top 10 of Thursday's proceedings to nab that can't-miss, difference-making player ...

It's just guesswork on the part of the pre-draft observers, but it makes for good discussion. How worthwhile is it for the Eagles to move from the 15th spot in the first round into the top 10 to get what would have to be an "instant-impact" kind  of player?

It would certainly be a bold move, one the Eagles have done before with mixed results. What they have done in the past, though, should have no bearing on what they do on Thursday night. There are a lot of things going on behind the scenes as Howie Roseman and Andy Reid work the telephones. They have a fistful of players on their wish list for Round 1, and included in the scenario is a move up into the top 10 for a certain someone who has caught the fancy of the team.

Who is that player? I don't know. It could be defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, whom the Eagles  reportedly love for his versatility and skill in the trenches. It could be a quarterback, or a wide receiver or a cornerback as well. Someone is up there and if he slips past a certain point in the draft, say pick number 6, the Eagles are going to consider moving into position.

The cost would be substantial, likely the 15th pick plus one of the second-round selections the Eagles currently have.

If the Eagles can go up and get themselves a player who is going to be in the Pro Bowl and who is going to be a difference-making football player, then go for it. Those are the kinds of players you win Super Bowls with, and the Eagles need more of them.

The challenge is that there is no way to predict success. There is substantial risk involved, and the question to me is this: How much of a risk do the Eagles want to take in this draft?

The offseason approach has been relatively conservative. The Eagles wanted to retain roster continuity, and they did it by keeping offensive guard Evan Mathis, wide receiver DeSean Jackson and defensive tackle Derek Landri from their group of players who, at the end of 2011, were question marks to return. They made the trade to acquire linebacker DeMeco Ryans at the cost of draft picks.

Would a trade into the top 10 represent a change in direction from what this offseason has been all about? That remains to be seen. It would represent a bold decision, true enough, and the payoff would be acquiring a player the Eagles think can make a difference between a good team and a Super Bowl team.

Moving up is one of the options are considering. It is something, frankly, that some fans believe is destined to happen because the Eagles are so aggressive and willing to move during draft weekend. I have my doubts that the Eagles can crack the top 10. I think, at the end of the day, moving up just might be too prohibitive in cost.

We shall see on Thursday night. All of the I's have been dotted and the T's have been crossed by now. The Eagles have their final board in place. Nothing is going to change there. The next two days are all about talking to other teams and setting up moves and counter moves and being prepared for every scenario possible.

THE DRAFT BUZZ WITH THE COUNTDOWN HERE ...

  • Sounds like defensive tackle Fletcher Cox could go as high as No. 6 to the Rams. If that's the case, I just don't see the Eagles moving up that high in the first round. A physical, run-stuffing tackle like Michael Brockers might then be an option at 15 if the Eagles want to go in that direction.
  • Even if quarterback Ryan Tannehill is on the board if the Eagles are picking 15, I still wonder if the Eagles would take a quarterback in the first round. Don't they want to get a player who get on the field right away in 2012?
  • Running back is going to be interesting to watch. Adding a veteran makes sense to work in with youngsters LeSean McCoy and Dion Lewis, doesn't it? And there are plenty on the streets. Still, there appear to be some good fits for this offense in the draft, so look for a, er, run on running backs in the fourth round.
  • I want to see the Eagles play a lot of press coverage with their cornerbacks this season, so work in the team's conditioning program is essential. Gotta have a good punch to jam receivers and take them out of their routes. I think a more in-your-face approach from the corners, instead of the "off" looks we saw last year, would serve this defense well.

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