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Eagles currently project to have 11 picks in the 2019 NFL Draft

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NFL: Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

You might think it’s too early to look ahead to next year’s 2019 NFL Draft since, you know, we’re still in the middle of the 2018 NFL Draft, but to that I say: nonsense.

The topic of next year comes up since the Eagles picked up Baltimore’s 2019 second round pick when Philadelphia moved down from No. 32 last night.

An early glimpse ahead to 2019 shows the Eagles are currently projected to have 11 selections. 2019 is the first year since the Carson Wentz trade in 2016 that Philly doesn’t owe any more draft picks to the Browns. The Eagles possess their own selections in every round.

But wait, there’s more! In addition to having Baltimore’s 2019 second, the Eagles also have Denver’s 2019 seventh thanks to last year’s Allen Barbre trade. (The Eagles also acquired a 2019 seventh from the Saints last summer in the Jon Dorenbos trade, but Philly sent that back after it was discovered Dorenbos medically couldn’t play football anymore.)

According to Over The Cap, the Birds also project to receive two compensatory picks: one in the fourth round (thanks to Trey Burton) and one in the sixth round (thanks to Beau Allen). Note that these comp picks won’t be officially confirmed until about a week before the 2019 NFL Combine.

The Eagles’ interest in acquiring picks for next year could indicate they believe the 2019 class is potentially deeper than this year’s crop.

Another thing to consider is the Eagles have a lot of players set to be free agents after the 2018 season. That list includes: Brandon Graham, Jordan Hicks, Haloti Ngata, Chance Warmack, Nelson Agholor (unless the Eagles exercise his fifth-year option), Chris Long, Mike Wallace, Corey Nelson, Ronald Darby, Jay Ajayi, Steven Means, Paul Worrilow, and Richard Rodgers. There are some real important names in that group.

The unfortunately reality is the Eagles won’t be able to keep everyone. Philly currently projects to be $20 million OVER the cap in 2019, which is the lowest cap figure in the league. And that’s before we account for the inevitable Carson Wentz mega-contract.

Loading up on draft picks, then, is a necessity for the Eagles. It’s their best opportunity to acquire young, affordable talent.

The Eagles’ 2018 roster lacks holes. That’s part of why Philly could afford to trade down from No. 32. The guy they picked likely wouldn’t have played a major immediate role anyway. Howie Roseman decided thinking about the long-term was important, and that’s smart.

Eagles 2019 NFL Draft picks

1st

2nd (from Baltimore Ravens)

2nd

3rd

4th

4th (projected compensatory pick)

5th

6th

6th (projected compensatory pick)

6th (projected compensatory pick)

7th

...

UPDATE: The Eagles sent a seventh-round pick to the Patriots during the 2018 NFL Draft in the move up to get Jordan Mailata. It’s unclear if Philly gave up their own seventh or the one they’re owed from the Broncos. It’s also worth noting the Eagles might receive TWO compensatory picks in the sixth round due to creative contract work on the Mike Wallace deal.