The NFL Draft has no guarantees, but for the Eagles there is one: they will make trades. They only have six selections: 10, 30, 62, 94, 219, 248. That’s a huge gap from 94 to 219. Even without considering Howie Roseman’s proclivity to make trades, that distribution of draft picks demands that moves will be made. What can we expect them to be?
The best draft value chart to use is by Rich Hill from our Patriots sister site.
The Jimmy Johnson chart 1) it is extremely outdated, created before unrestricted free agency existed 2) gives early picks too much weight, and 3) Jimmy Johnson didn’t come up with it, an associate of Jerry Jones named Mike McCoy (no, not the former Chargers head coach) did.
But theoretical value doesn’t matter in reality. Draft value charts are a helpful guideline, but they don’t take into account some major variables. A draft chart can’t take into consideration that talent distribution is different from draft to draft, or user preference difference between one pick worth X value or two picks worth 90% of the chart value of X. Would you rather have the 120th pick or 150 and 170? There’s no wrong answer.
If you just played in the Super Bowl and you have a top 10 pick, and at least three picks before you are expected to be a QB, you should probably sit still and take one of the best six or seven non-QB prospects in the draft. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth and all that.
But every draft has its own talent distribution, and for the Eagles having the 10th pick might put them right between the first and second tiers of prospects. For some, there aren’t 6 or 7 S tier non-QB players.
First let’s look at the easier, less exciting option of trading down.
Last 5 trades from a similar position that didn’t involve a QB:
- 2022: 11 for 16, 98 (late 3), 120 (mid 4)
- 2022: 12 and 46 for 32, 34, 66
- 2022: 13 for 15, 124 (mid 4), 162, 166 (mid 5s)
- 2021: 10 for 12, 84
- 2020: 13 and 245 for 14, 117 (early 4)
Draft chart value would be moving back within 5 or 6 spots and adding a late 3rd or early 4th round pick, but recent history indicates that the Eagles may be able to add an additional Day 3 pick on top of that. Trading back is never the most exciting option, but depending on how the draft shakes out it may be the most logical for the Eagles. It would help fill in the gap between 94 and 219, and give them an additional pick to work with for moves up later in the draft. A trade down would draw comparisons to the 2014 draft, but while the result of that draft was bad, the process to move back and add a pick when they didn’t like what was on the table was solid.
Last 3 trades (there haven’t been 5)
- 2021: 12, 123 (mid 4), 2022 1st for 6, 156 (early 5)
- 2016: 11, 106 (early 4) for 9
- 2014: 9, 145 (early 5) for 8
We can’t rule out a small trade up, Howie Roseman moved up two spots in both 2021 and 2020. If the Eagles are sold on Jalen Carter and he makes it past the Seahawks at 5 and Lions at 6, they may need to move up to 7 with the Raiders to leapfrog the Falcons and Bears to take him.
But we immediately run into a problem with this: the Eagles don’t have the 2023-only draft capital to do so. Let’s assume they are all in on Jalen Carter and feel that they have to get ahead of the Falcons and Bears to get him. They could dip into 2024, but teams have to pay an extra round premium for that, which would mean instead of giving up a 2023 4th they’d have to give up a 2024 3rd.
Or they could, and probably should, get creative. Would 10 and 30 for 7 and 38 work for Las Vegas? Not for nothing but moving down from 38 might actually be easier than moving down from 30. In the last two drafts there were six trades moving down from picks 33 to 39, there weren’t any moves out of 28-32 in the last three drafts.
This brings up another issue with draft charts, they don’t take into consideration that the difference between the 32nd and 33rd pick is an entire year of contract control. The “value” difference between 31 and 32 is the same as between 32 and 33. It’s very clearly not.
Last 5 trades
- 2022: 26, 101 for 35, 69, 163 (mid 5)
- 2022: 27 for 33, 106 (early 4), 180 (early 6)
- 2019: 26 for 46, 2020 2nd
- 2019: 30 for 37, 132 (late 4), 142 (early 5)
- 2019: 31 and 203 (late 6) for 45, 79
By draft chart value, trading back from 30 to the early 2nd round adds a 4th or late 3rd, in reality it gets a team a 4th and 5th or 6th.
Since the Eagles have neither a 4th nor a 5th, that would suit them well. As mentioned earlier there’s a problem here too: there’s no guarantee a team will even be willing to trade up to 30. When teams move up from the 2nd into the 1st, they usually do so into the mid 20s, 30 isn’t an attractive landing spot. Since 2011 a team has traded from the 2nd round to the 30s only 6 times, and as noted earlier no one has moved into one of the last five picks of the round since 2019.
Let’s look at the next 10 picks after 30 and see who might be interested:
31: Chiefs. Since 2011 the latest a team has moved up one spot in the 1st round was from 14 to 13, there is no reason to believe the Chiefs will want to move up from 31 to 30.
32: Steelers (via Bears), they also draft at 17, 49, 80, 120, and then not until 234. They have little reason to move up two spots and good incentive to move down at some point to fill in that 114 pick gap.
33: Texans, who have 12 picks, two of which are 2nd and 12th and four others are in the top 104.
34: Cardinals, their new GM Monti Ossfort spent 15 years in the Patriots organization where trading back and not up was an organizational philosophy. On the other hand he was the Titans Director of Player Personnel last year.
35: Colts, who have 9 picks but five of them are in the 5th or 7th rounds, to say nothing of Howie Roseman probably having Chris Ballard’s caller ID say “Dinner Time.”
36: Rams, who have two 3rds, three compensatory 5ths, three 6ths, and two 7ths, they can’t do the math to add up to good value.
37: Seahawks, who unless they trade down will have already made two picks at 5 and 20.
38: Raiders, see earlier about a pick swap at 10.
39: Panthers, who just moved up to #1.
40: Saints, who pick at 29, they’re not moving up.
It’s easy to see none of those teams wanting to move up to 30. Whatever happens at 30, be prepared to be whelmed to underwhelmed.
Could the Eagles move up from 30? Can’t rule it out.
Last 5 trades
- 2022: 29, 94 (late 3), 121 (mid 4) for 21
- 2020: 31, 117 (early 4), 176 (late 5) for 25
- 2019: 30, 114, 118 (mid 4s) for 21
- 2018: 27, 76, 186 (early 6) for 18, 248
- 2017: 31, 95, 249 for 26
The only way they can afford to move up from 30 without using future draft picks, which they should not do, is if they had already moved back from 10. But moving back from 10 and then up from 30 would be a really weird use of resources.
Last 5 trades
- 2020: 60, 129 (mid 4) for 71, 98
- 2020: 64 for 69, 148 (early 5)
- 2019: 64 for 77, 118 (mid 4)
- 2018: 64 for 67, 178 (early 6)
- 2017: 63 for 75, 149, 156 (early 5s)
In theory the Eagles should be able to add a useful day 3 pick, a 5th or early 6th. But in reality that may not be so easy to pull off. In the past two drafts teams have traded up into the back half of the 2nd round only four times. Is that an indication that teams may not be as willing to move up to this pick as they were in the past, or just a quirk?
The Eagles can’t afford to trade up in the 2nd or 3rd rounds without either using 2024 picks or picks they gained in trades down from 10 and or 30.
Last 5 trades
- 2021: 89 for 109 (early 4), 158 (early 5), 2022 4th
- 2019: 92 for 93, 217 (early 7)
- 2019: 93 for 102, 191, 193 (mid 6s)
- 2019: 96 for 112, 131 (late 4)
- 2018: 94 for 102, 180 (early 6)
Yes, you read that right, in 2019 a team traded the 92nd pick for 102, 191, 193, and 217 in back to back trades. Nice work.
Trading out of 94 simply to add picks would make sense. And they could potentially double dip, trading back into the early 4th and adding a 6th, and then moving back again in the 4th.
But once again there’s the issue of if teams want to trade to that spot. As the list above shows there haven’t been many trades around 96 since 2019. In the past three drafts a team has traded into the 90s just twice, one of those was for a QB (94 for 137 and a future 3rd in 2022) and in the other the team moving back gave up an additional pick (91 and 159 for 100, 139, 172 in 2021). Like trading back from 62, is this just a short term quirk or are teams now less inclined to move up to the back of a round?
The Eagles are in a weird spot. They’re one of only 7 teams with four top 100 picks. But after that they don’t make a pick until the 7th round. If they don’t make any trades they can take a very long lunch on the Sunday of the draft then head over and make their picks. Of course that isn’t going to happen.
After whatever they do with the 10th pick, the Eagles may need to be willing to take a little less than expected or traditional value to move down. Picks 30, 62, and 94 have good trade value in theory, but in reality teams have not been highly interested in moving up to those positions.
In 2024, they will likely have 12 picks: their 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th, NO 2nd, MIN 5th, TEN 6th, and four comp picks (estimated to be a 3rd, two 5ths, and a 6th). They should not trade any of those for picks this year. The volume of picks in next year’s draft should incentivize the Eagles to add volume in this year’s draft. In both 2018 and 2019 they drafted just five times and needed to follow those drafts with 10 picks in 2020 and nine picks in 2021. Last year they drafted just six players. If they exit this draft with five or six again, they’ll paint themselves into a corner for 2024 and need to load up on picks. If they end up with seven or eight this year, they’ll have less reason next year to walk out with a high volume of picks and can use some of those picks to move up in early rounds.
Work those phones Howie.