With the Atlanta Falcons on the clock at No. 16 in the 2020 NFL Draft and CeeDee Lamb still on the board, many Philadelphia Eagles fans were clamoring for Howie Roseman to trade up. Ultimately, he did not, and the Dallas Cowboys selected the Oklahoma play-maker at No. 17. (Ugh.)
But apparently it wasn’t for a total lack of effort on Roseman’s part. The Eagles seemingly did try to move up ahead of Dallas, if this is to be believed:
Jerry Jones said opinion around the NFL that WR was not a priority for the #Cowboys prevented other teams interested in Cee Dee Lamb from trading in front of Dallas. A division rival tried. Failing to trade with Falcons at 16 for Lamb, the #Eagles took WR Jalen Reagor at 21.— Ed Werder (@WerderEdESPN) April 24, 2020
Roseman had the following to say on Thursday evening when asked if the Eagles tried to move up from No. 21 at all:
“I think for us, we looked at those options. It was important to us that certainly we kept our high picks. We haven’t had a lot of those. And guys really weren’t in a range where it was even in consideration that we could get somewhere without a really high pick.”
Roseman was then specifically asked about a move up from No. 21 to No. 16 to get Lamb. His answer:
“We’re very aggressive in working the phones and having these conversations with teams and trying to figure out where we can move and when we can move. It just has to work for both sides obviously, but we are also very comfortable sitting here and taking a player that has a great skillset for what we’re looking for. Like Coach [Doug Pederson] just said, we knew there were a lot of talented receivers in this offense and there is a lot of different flavors, and this was the one we felt could really help our football team in multiple ways.”
It’s not perfectly clear what the cost would’ve been for the Eagles. If we go by the Rich Hill trade value chart, the No. 16 pick is worth 305 points. The No. 21 pick is worth 261 points. The Eagles’ packaging their third-round selection at No. 103, worth 32 points, would’ve put their offer just 12 points shy of the valuation of the Falcons’ pick.
Of course, trading picks isn’t necessarily that simple. More context is needed. And in the case of the Falcons, well, Thomas Dimitroff has NEVER moved back in the first round since he became Atlanta’s general manager in 2008.
One must also consider that the Eagles really lacked leverage in a trade up scenario. They entered the draft with a gaping hole at wide receiver; other teams knew they had to address the position. Thus, they were likely to demand a high price from the Eagles. One could imagine that moving up would’ve required Philly’s second-round pick at No. 53.
If that’s the case, Roseman was in a tough spot. The Eagles have made the fewest draft picks in the NFL over the past two years. They weren’t in prime position to further consolidate valuable assets to use on a single player.
The Eagles would’ve had more flexibility to part with No. 53 if they hadn’t already given up both No. 85 and No. 166 to the Detroit Lions in the Darius Slay trade. That’s the downside to that deal. The upside is that he could be a great cornerback for Philly. But one may wonder if the Eagles would’ve been better off making an even stronger push to sign Byron Jones in free agency instead of trading picks for Slay. Maybe the Eagles could be looking at having Jones and Lamb right now instead of Slay and Jalen Reagor.
If you could pick between these for the Eagles, which option would you choose?— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) April 24, 2020
But maybe not. Maybe Jones truly didn’t want to sign with the Eagles for some reason, as has been purported. And maybe the Falcons wouldn’t have traded down to Philly’s spot even if Roseman presented a stronger offer.
Ultimately, what’s done is done. I’m honestly intrigued by Reagor’s upside. I think he has the potential to be the big play threat this Eagles offense has sorely lacked. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say the excitement is capped at a certain point after the reality sinks in that the Cowboys now have Lamb, Amari Cooper, and Michael Gallup in their starting lineup.
Hopefully Roseman’s patience proves to be prudent.
Should the Eagles have traded up to get CeeDee Lamb?
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