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Eagles’ draft strategy? Lurie: “We believe in volume”

Super Bowl LII Opening Night at Xcel Energy Center

ST PAUL, MN - JANUARY 29: Jeffrey Lurie, owner of the Philadelphia Eagles, speaks to the media during Super Bowl Media Day at Xcel Energy Center on January 29, 2018 in St Paul, Minnesota. Super Bowl LII will be played between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles on February 4. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

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When the Eagles identified Carson Wentz as a future franchise quarterback, they did what they had to do to trade up and draft him. But aside from trading up for a franchise quarterback, the Eagles favor trading down.

That’s the word from Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, who says that the Eagles’ top strategy in the draft is to get as many picks as they can, by trading down, trading players for picks or accumulating compensatory draft picks by maintaining discipline in free agency.

We believe in volume,” Lurie said. “We’re not cocky enough to feel that you’re going to draft way better than anybody else, and it’s very important to create volume. This draft we’re going to have good volume, especially in the top of the draft, two [second-round picks] and two [fourth-round picks] to go with our [first-round pick], and next year we’re going to have quite a few draft choices.”

Lurie said that between the picks the Eagles already have in 2019 and the haul of compensatory picks they should get in 2020, a lot of talent will be arriving in Philadelphia.

“It’s very important, so when you look ahead over the next 13 months, we’re going to be adding about 20 draft choices,” Lurie said. “You’re going to have some undrafted players make the team, and so you can imagine there’s probably going to be about 20 to 25 players that are going to be about 22 years old, 23 years old on our roster, and we planned for that. To Howie’s credit in the front office, what they’ve done, I think they’ve always balanced this and sort of analyzed it, should you sign a player who is a potentially good starting player at age say 31 or 30 versus a low-level starting player who’s a lot younger. So, when I talk to Howie, it’s always about what is the next two years going to be in that comparison. Yeah, you get the 25- or 26-year-old in his second contract, but he’s a low-level starter. His team didn’t want him, and maybe he can be a low-level starter for us at best, or you can get a guy who can make an impact, several guys who can make an impact, and we’re banking on them for one to two years. So that’s resource allocation.”

Lurie, General Manager Howie Roseman and coach Doug Pederson have a smart, analytical approach to building the Eagles, and it’s easy to envision them remaining in the playoffs for years to come.