The Eagles had previously been rumored to be exploring trade up scenarios for wide receivers. Those discussions may now come in handy, as USC wide receiver Marqise Lee is not expected to reach pick No. 22, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen.
"Everybody in the league" believes Lee will be taken by No. 21, which is currently owned by the Packers, per Mortensen. Green Bay could be interested in trading back with a team that needs a wide receiver and wants to jump the Eagles at No. 22 or the Chiefs at No. 23, according to Tom Oates of the Wisconsin State Journal.
Lee has been grouped with Odell Beckham, Brandin Cooks and Cody Latimer as possible targets at the Eagles initial draft spot. However, with Beckham getting Top 10 consideration, it looks like wide receivers will be taken in droves in the middle of the first round. Beckham serious interest from the Bills at No. 9, according to WGR 550 Buffalo.
The Eagles may be forced to trade up for the likes of Cooks or Lee, which initially didn't seem like a necessity. The team could trade up but they could also trade down if their wide receiver isn't available. This would allow them to acquire more picks and possibly select another receiver with better value. They could also decide to draft another position and wait until Day 2 to address wide receiver.
By all accounts, this is one of the greatest wide receiver classes in NFL Draft history, so the Eagles shouldn't feel pressured to move up. There will be several talented receivers with starter potential in the second and third round like Allen Robinson, Jordan Matthews, Bruce Ellington, Donte Moncrief, Davante Adams and Devin Street.
Also, if the Eagles fail to get one of the top five receivers, it means that other talented players will fall. This could lead to them selecting from the likes of Kyle Fuller, Anthony Barr and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. Those would be solid consolation prizes for Philadelphia.