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Why the Eagles will trade up for a defensive lineman

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You are what you are

NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

It seems a forgone conclusion that the Eagles will draft a defensive lineman in the first round. Notice I said “in the first round,” not “with the 25th pick.” The history of Howie Roseman and Joe Douglas suggests that they’ll trade up in the first to get the DL they want. If we look at the drafts the Eagles have had with Roseman as GM (even though he had varying degrees of control for them) and that Douglas was a part of with the Ravens, it’s pretty clear.

Hits:

Brandon Graham (traded up)

Fletcher Cox (traded up)

Derek Barnett (traded for)

Terrell Suggs (stayed put)

Haloti Ngata (traded up)

Misses:

Marcus Smith (traded back)

If you’re Roseman and Douglas, your history tells you that being aggressive pays off. Graham, Cox, and Ngata were huge hits. The Ravens stayed put and landed Suggs, but he was the 10th overall pick and the first edge defender drafted. And Derek Barnett was the end result of being aggressive and trading Sam Bradford on the eve of the season starting, which catapulted Carson Wentz to starting. Meanwhile the one time they moved back and took a DL, he sucked.

So when the Eagles move up to take a defensive end or tackle, I not only won’t be surprised, I’ll be expecting it.

Coaching matters

I agree with Wesseling, Jason Garrett could not get Tom Brady to improve his team.

Receiver wide, roster deep

The Eagles hosted a WR prospect this week. And another. And another. They’re wisely planning for moving on from Nelson Agholor (not that I’m saying they should get rid of Agholor, but because WRs take time to develop, getting his replacement now, not later is a sound plan). And if they do take a WR, they’re going to have a pretty strong depth chart. Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, Nelson Agholor, Mack Hollins, and a drafted rookie is a good place to be. And maybe to the point where if an injury somewhere else happens and a team is desperate enough, Agholor could be flipped for something.

Timing is everything

Note the timestamp. Doesn’t everyone have something better to be doing on a Friday night?

Mocking some mocks

Sports Illustrated’s Andy Benoit, who is Idaho’s leading importer of milk, a noted women’s soccer fan, and college football watcher, has an opinion on who the Eagles should draft.

Biggest need: Linebacker.

Linebacker is closer to the the bottom of the Eagles draft needs than it is to the top.