Rumors emerged last week that the Philadelphia Eagles are interested in making a big splash in the 2014 NFL Draft. More specifically, ESPN Insider Adam Caplan reported that both wide receivers Mike Evans and Brandin Cooks are on the Eagles' radar. Caplan noted it would take a trade up for the Eagles to land Evans. The large Texas A&M wide out is expected to be one of the top two receivers selected in this upcoming draft class.
Caplan's original report is echoed by a new report that came out on Friday via Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net. Here's what Pauline had to say regarding the Eagles' interest in Evans. Bold emphasis is mine:
Consensus is Mike Evans/WR/Texas A&M is a lock to be a top ten pick. Several teams feel the spread between he and Sammy Watkins of Clemson is not a great as many are making it out to be, something I completely agree with. Based on conversations its my educated "guess" the team who selects Evans will make a trade to acquire his services . Right now it looks like three teams are the frontrunners to make some sort of move for Evans. If the St Louis Rams trade out of the second spot, and they will make every effort to do as much, Evans would be a target assuming they stay in the top ten. Two teams selecting in the middle of the first frame who are very high on Evans and would consider trading up to grab him are the Philadelphia Eagles and Baltimore Ravens.
OK, that's interesting. It's apparent the Eagles have some level of interest in Evans, as they should. He's one of the top wide receivers prospects in this draft class and he boasts a great combination of size and speed. Evans was brought in by the Eagles for a pre-draft visit. But the problem here is that the Eagles only have six picks so it's not like they have a ton of ammo to trade up from No. 22. Perhaps this is just a... you guessed it... smoke screen?!
Who knows. Pauline goes on to say the following:
Now that DeSean Jackson is no longer with the organization receiver becomes a need for the Philadelphia Eagles. With the way this draft shapes up a receiver in round one is a likely possibility if they stand pat at pick 22. I’ve mentioned Brandin Cooks of Oregon State being a good fit for the team and I understand he’ll be a consideration in round one. The other wide out I expect to get play from the Eagles is Marquis Lee of USC.
Nothing unexpected here. You have to imagine the Eagles will be interested in top receivers such as Lee and Cooks.
If any of these reports are to be believed, the Eagles clearly have a lot of interest in drafting a wide receiver early. Whether that's true or an attempt at misdirection remains to be seen. Perhaps the Eagles want everyone think they take a receiver in hopes a defensive target will fall to them (Anthony Barr?). Misinformation is the name of the game at this point of the year. Still a lot of time left before the 2014 NFL Draft starts on May 8th. This rumor will hardly be the last.