Heading into the 2014 NFL Draft, the Eagles owned pick No. 22 in the first round. When Philadelphia was on the clock they made a trade with the Cleveland Browns to move down four spots to No. 26. The Eagles also picked up a third round pick at No. 83 in the process. The Browns would use No. 22 to draft polarizing Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. This much we know.
What we didn't know until now, however, is the story of other teams vying for pick No. 22. The MMQB's Peter King released an interesting column on this topic. Read the entire story here. These are the highlights:
The Eagles, who held the 22nd pick in the draft, informed teams after several players they loved at 22 were snatched—LSU wideout Odell Beckham, who went 12th to the Giants, and Virginia Tech cornerback Kyle Fuller, who went 14th to Chicago, among others—that they were auctioning the choice.
This kind of fits with what Eagles General Manager Howie Roseman had to say last week when he mentioned the Eagles were targeting six players at No. 22. By the time their pick was due, all of those six players were gone.
Six teams inquired about pick number 22. Philadelphia got four solid offers.
Though it was reported by Jay Glazer that the Vikings and Browns jousted for the 22nd pick (absolutely true), they were not alone. The source said that another team, not Minnesota, was the leader in the clubhouse when Eagles GM Howie Roseman told Cleveland GM Ray Farmer with three minutes left in the 10-minute draft period that he had to make a better offer than the one Cleveland had on the table.
Ooooooooh, mystery team.
Cleveland, as I reported Monday in my column, did sweeten its offer to move up from 26 to 22, by improving its last offer to the 26th pick and 83rd overall. (I don’t know what Cleveland’s offer was before this, but GM Ray Farmer had less than 30 seconds to improve it to Philadelphia’s satisfaction, and he did.)
I wonder what the previous offer was. Either way, good job by Eagles GM Howie Roseman here to force Farmer's hand.
If Farmer didn’t include the mid-third-round pick in the deal, Philadelphia absolutely would have made the deal with Team Unknown for the 22nd pick. Cleveland would have had to move on.
Mystery team strikes again. Well, almost.
The finish line: Cleveland won. The anonymous team seeking a player other than Manziel finished second. Minnesota was third—obviously because the Vikings didn’t want to include the 2015 first-round pick. (I don’t blame them.) The Eagles would have likely made that trade knowing the three or four players they liked at 22 would have been gone at 40. And another anonymous team finished fourth.
It would have been really interesting to see the Eagles get No. 40 and the Vikings' 2015 first in exchange for No. 22. But alas, it did not happen.
My takeaway from all of this is that Roseman did a really good job here of sustaining a competitive market for pick No. 22 and getting the best possible offer. He stayed aggressive and played the offers against each other until the final seconds of the draft clock were ticking down. Not bad for a guy who supposedly "botched" the DeSean Jackson situation.