NFL insider Adam Schefter had some interesting things to say about the Philadelphia Eagles during a Friday appearance on the 97.5 The Fanatic Morning Show with Marc Farzetta, Tra Thomas, and Bob Cooney.
In a conversation about Philadelphia Eagles first round pick Andre Dillard being available at No. 22, Schefter mentioned that Howie Roseman had conversations with the New York Jets about moving up to the No. 3 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Say what!
Now, of course, Schefter didn’t suggest a deal was close to getting done. But he was certain the Eagles and Jets at least had a conversation. Full transcript of the exchange below:
FARZETTA: People in Philadelphia are very excited about Andre Dillard!
SCHEFTER: And they should be because he was the guy that I had projected to go as early at pick No. 7 to the Jacksonville Jaguars. There were teams that thought he was going to go that high. And when you’re talking about a guy who is good enough to be the seventh overall pick, to went to the slot that he did [at No. 22], that’s somebody they should get excited about. Hopefully Andre Dillard could have the run in Philadelphia that Tra Thomas did from 1998 to 2008. If he can do that, he’ll [have] a successful career. He’s known for his pass blocking, they believe that they’re going to get him in there and work on the run blocking, and there’s nothing more important than protecting the future of one Carson Wentz. Particularly if they’re going to have to get rid of [Wentz] if he doesn’t win a playoff game in the next couple years (joking).
THOMAS: What caused him to drop?
SCHEFTER: Well, listen, it was a strange draft. There were some odd things going on. And you saw some teams make some decisions that pushed players down the board. And look, Philadelphia was sitting there at No. 25 the whole time. And they had in their mind the idea that they wanted three quarterbacks to go before them, which happened. Once three quarterbacks go, it pushes another player down. Once a player like Clelin Ferrell sneaks in at No. 4, which some people weren’t expecting, maybe that pushes another player down. There were some surprises along the way. And so sometimes things just happen. Look, Drew Lock, nobody thought he’d be on the board as a quarterback, but there he is today. Jawaan Taylor — I had, yesterday, conversations with teams, and the way were looking at it is: Andre Dillard and Jawaan Taylor and Jonah Williams would come off the board somewhere between picks 7 and 16. And here we are, Jawaan Taylor from Florida is still on the board today, which a lot of people didn’t expect. Jonah Williams went later than people expected, at No. 11. And when you look at these guys in that spot, it kind of just pushes them down. So, when Williams goes 11 — when some people thought he could go as high as 6 or 7 — then all these other guys again get pushed down. Chris Lindstrom from Boston College, a really good player, moves up, goes higher than people think. And there are some players in there that you wouldn’t think would go that high. And with each time that that happens, one gets pushed down to the Eagles, where eventually they decided to move up to No. 22.
Now, let me say this. I told you that the Eagles would be active, and they always are. And they had conversations — and I don’t think it ever got very serious, but they conversations about the New York Jets for the No. 3 selection. Now, again, I don’t think that it was ever real practical. But were there talks between those two teams about that pick? There were! So, that gives you an idea that they’re always going to be aggressive to jump all around the board to get where they want, to do what they have to do, to get the players they wanted. So they saw Dillard sitting there, they moved up, they got a guy that some people viewed as a top 10 talent. He now protects Carson Wentz’s blindside. That is important because everyone knows Carson’s injury history.
FARZETTA: Did it get as far as where the Eagles would go if they got up to No. 3?
SCHEFTER: You know, I wondered that myself. And I think it’s one of those cases where you’re doing your due diligence to say: ‘Can I get to 3? Can I get to 10? Can I get to 15? Where can I go? And what’s it going to cost me? And what do I have to do?’ If they were going to go to No. 3, which, again, I don’t think was ever very realistic in my mind, but if they ever could have gotten there, who would they have taken? (sighs) You go with the best player, right? The best player on the board would’ve been Quinnen Williams, who the Jets took. That’d be my guess but I really don’t know what their thoughts were if they ever really could’ve gotten that high, which, the cost of doing that would be so prohibitive, that, like I said, I don’t think it was real practical. But the fact that they’re talking to these teams just shows you how open-minded and aggressive they were going to be. And knowing that, that’s why I just figured they’d be active and they were and I knew that they wanted to move up and they did. And there we go.
As Schefter notes, trading up from No. 25 to No. 3 is hardly practical. Consider how much the Eagles gave up just to ultimately move up from No. 13 to No. 2 (with a stop at No. 8 between) to draft Carson Wentz back in 2016:
My guess is that Roseman heard the rumors about the Jets wanting to move down and called up just to see what the price was. Why? Well ... why not? What if, by some stroke of incredible luck, the price was much more reasonable than expected? It doesn’t hurt to ask.
This note from Schefter cements the notion that Roseman is always calling around, even if the Eagles aren’t necessarily super interested. We heard another example of this earlier this offseason when Antonio Brown was on the trade block.
It’s nice to know the Eagles aren’t just giving out lip service when they say they’re always trying to better their roster. It’s this type of philosophy that could allow the team to land, say, Jordan Howard for the mere cost of a 2020 sixth-round pick.
But back to the Jets thing for a second. It’s fun to think about the who the Eagles could’ve added to their team if they actually had that selection. It had to be Quinnen Williams, right? Can you imagine the Eagles having Fletcher Cox, Malik Jackson, Timmy Jernigan, and Williams all rotating at defensive tackle? That’d be insane.
We’ll see if Roseman has any more aggressive tricks up his sleeves as the Eagles enter Day 2 of the 2019 NFL Draft.