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NFL Draft Rumors: Some teams believe Eagles are trying to trade up for Jaylen Waddle

Philly might favor the ‘other’ Alabama wide receiver.

Georgia vs Alabama Photo by UA Athletics/Collegiate Images/Getty Images

We’ve heard all kinds of conflicting rumors about what the Philadelphia Eagles are going to do in the 2021 NFL Draft. Such is par for the course for this time of year.

The latest entry in the rumor mill comes from ESPN. Dan Graziano and Jeremy Fowler are reporting that some teams believe the Eagles are looking to move into the top 10 for an Alabama wide receiver.

But, no, not DeVonta Smith.

Instead, Jaylen Waddle.

Bold emphasis below is mine:

There’s sizable buzz about Alabama’s Jaylen Waddle as a playmaker who could be the second wide receiver taken. “He’s the best player in the entire draft,” said an NFC personnel executive.

We’re hearing Waddle enters the draft believing his chances to go in the top 10 are strong, so any trade up might require receiver-needy teams in the teens to move accordingly. Receiver positioning is always tough to predict because there are so many good ones, and teams know they can score big on Day 2 playmakers. But enough teams see shades of Tyreek Hill that Waddle won’t fall far.

There are teams ahead of Philly in the draft order who believe the Eagles are trying to trade up from No. 12 to make sure they get the speedy Waddle. Part of the issue here is that the Eagles, following their trade down from No. 6 to No. 12, are now parked directly behind NFC East rivals Dallas and the Giants in the draft order, and obviously aren’t going to be able to trade with those teams. They believe (accurately) that the Giants would be a threat to take Waddle at No. 11 if he fell that far, so if they want him, they have to get up to No. 9 or higher. Detroit at No. 7 and Carolina at No. 8 are two teams that would be interested in trading down and could take the Eagles’ call.

For what it’s worth, this rumor jibes with some other things we’ve previously heard.

It matches up with The Athletic report that the Birds are “exploring a move into the top 10” and Tim McManus saying “it feels like there’s another shoe yet to drop” while discussing the Eagles potentially moving up from No. 12. This rumor also syncs with Albert Breer recently writing “more than a couple people I talked to connected the Eagles to Bama dynamo Jaylen Waddle.”

It’s not hard to believe the Eagles could be interested in Waddle. There are some who believe he’s WR1 in this year’s class. Some recent mocks have him going as high as No. 6 to the Miami Dolphins.

I find it hard to believe the Eagles are wont to make a big move up after trading down to No. 12. But a jump up to the No. 9 could be within reason. According to the draft pick value chart, all it should take is the Eagles surrendering one of their two third-round selections. Of course, that chart doesn’t necessarily dictate the actual price it could take.

The Denver Broncos could be a willing partner at No. 9, though. Trading for Teddy Bridgewater on Wednesday afternoon might be a sign they don’t expect a quarterback to be there for them.

So, what do you think? Is a trade up for Waddle worth it? I don’t love the risk, personally. Especially if it means taking him over Smith.

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