Jimmy Kempski of PhillyVoice (and formerly of Bleeding Green Nation, of course) made some waves on Wednesday night with this very interesting tweet:
Becoming more and more convinced daily that the Eagles are trading up to #1 prior to the draft.— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) February 26, 2015
Uh, wow. Let's talk about this.
Before we even talk about the move itself, let's talk about the source. Many of you are already familiar with Kempski from his time here at BGN. Kempski isn't necessarily a regular news-breaker by any means, but he did break the biggest Eagles story of the 2014 offseason: DeSean Jackson's release. At the time Kempski first reported that the Eagles were open to parting with Jackson, a lot of people didn't believe him. Over time, however, more and more signs pointed to Jackson's release and then it finally happened.
Now back to this tweet. Clearly, Kempski isn't reporting anything concrete (at least yet). But for him to mention this... it hardly seems like he's just guessing. This sounds like it was motivated by inside information.
So if that's the case and the Eagles are truly planning to move up to No. 1 before the draft, well, it seems pretty clear who they would be moving up for: Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota. There have already been reports that the Eagles are "going to try" to land Kelly's former quarterback. One NFL scout has said the Eagles are prepared to "mortgage the future" in order to get him. Kelly hasn't made his appreciation for Mariota a secret; earlier in the year the Eagles coach compared him to future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning.
Trading up to No. 1 would not be cheap, but it would assure that Kelly gets his quarterback. Keep in mind Kelly now has full control over player personnel following a power struggle that took place early in 2015. Kelly had success with Nick Foles in 2013 but even after that season there were reports that the Eagles weren't fully sold on him. Foles led the NFL in turnovers in 2014 before suffering a season-ending injury in Week 9, so he didn't exactly help his case. Foles is currently slated to enter the final year of his rookie contract. He has been involved in trade rumors this offseason.
Perhaps the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who own the No. 1 overall pick, have interest in Foles. Maybe not. It's not clear exactly what it would take to get a deal done. Keep in mind the Eagles currently pick at No. 20 so they have a long way to move up. And if the Buccaneers are so sold on Jameis Winston as some have reported, trading out of No. 1 means they likely won't be able to get him.
Only time will tell if there's anything to Kempski's tweet. There's still a long wait before the 2015 NFL Draft begins on April 30. But in the meantime, it wouldn't be wise to completely dismiss this rumor. Unless you want to end up in a post like this.
This could be a crazy offseason.