As expected, the Eagles traded back from 32nd into the 2nd round on Thursday night. In a deal with the Baltimore Ravens, the Eagles gave up their 1st (32nd), and their later 4th round pick (132nd) for a 2nd round pick (52nd), a 4th round pick (125th), and a 2019 2nd round pick. This gives them a few options to move around on Day Two of the draft. However, none of them are that appealing.
Move up in the 2nd
One option is to trade up from 52. In 2014 the 54th and 122nd picks were traded for the 42nd; in 2016 the 49th and 117th picks were dealt for the 41st. The Eagles took the risk of missing out on a run at a position they like, and if they feel the need to jump in they could flip 52nd and one of their 4ths to move up 10 or so spots.
Trade back from 52
Having run the risk of missing out on another tier of prospects, the Eagles might decide that adding a bunch of late round picks is the way to go..
However if the Eagles were to trade back, they wouldn’t get much. In 2011 the 53rd pick was traded for 62 (late 2nd) and 127 (late 4th). In 2012 the 51st pick was dealt for 59 and 123 (late 4th). In 2014 the 50th pick was traded for 57 and 125 (late 4th), and in 2016 the 50 pick was again traded, for 52 and 195 (mid 6th).
2019 2nd rounder
The addition of the 2019 2nd rounder was fair value. In 2011 the 28th pick was dealt for the 56th pick and a 2012 1st. In 2013, the 29th pick was dealt for the 52nd, 83rd, 102nd, and 229th picks. When we looked at potential trade backs, the expectation was the Eagles would stay in the top 40, which would add a 4th. Moving back 20+ spots requires a steeper price, and the Eagles got that.
The 2nd round 2019 pick could help in round 3 of 2018. The going rate for trading a pick in next year’s draft for a pick this year is giving up a pick in the preceding round. In other words, trading for a 2018 3rd rounder would cost a 2019 2nd rouner. With the Eagles in line to receive a bunch of compensatory picks in 2019, they might feel that they can afford to turn a 2019 2nd round pick into a 3rd this year. Such trades don’t happen often, and looking ahead to 2019 offers no hints: the Rams, Jets, and Seahawks don’t have a 2nd next year, but they also all have a shortage of picks this year, the Seahawks don’t even have a 3rd at all. Teams currently with multiple 3rds this year are the Cardinals, Bills, Panthers, Bengals, Broncos, Texans (3), Chiefs, Giants, and Steelers. They only need one of those teams to bite.
Move up into the 3rd
The Eagles could sit still at 52 and then look to trade both their 4ths to get into the 3rd round. That’s would leave them with just 5 total selections unless they trade back on Day Three, which won’t get them much. However the Eagles have so few roster holes for 2018 that they could survive a small draft, especially with the high volume of picks they will have in the 2019 draft.
Lastly, it is interesting that the Eagles traded the pick to a team that was taking a QB. When teams trade back they ask who the other team is trading up for. There’s no doubt that Baltimore were honest brokers due to the Joe Douglas connection to the Ravens front office in addition to the Ravens being a trustworthy front office to begin with. It’s hard to imagine that Baltimore was the only team making an offer, or that 52nd was the highest pick being offered. With the Giants on the clock with the 2nd pick in the 2nd round and Lamar Jackson on the board, it would make sense if the Eagles were willing to trade off on moving 20 spots down in exchange for ensuring that the Giants couldn’t land Jackson. The Eagles have owned the Giants on the field in recent years, one upping them off the field is a bonus.