Baltimore Ravens

Eagles will miss 33-51 this year, but might get there in 2019

Eagles will miss 33-51 this year, but might get there in 2019

The Eagles unsurprisingly traded away their No. 32 pick last night when the Ravens wanted to hop up and get Lamar Jackson. 

In it’s simplest terms, the Eagles traded No. 32 for two second-round picks — No. 52 this year and wherever the Ravens finish in 2019. That’s pretty solid value. 

Of course, moving down 20 picks this year isn’t completely insignificant. In doing so, the Eagles might miss out on some really great players, but Howie Roseman explained they think they can get the same quality player at 52 as they can at 32. If that’s the case, then this should have been the no-brainer. And after winning a Super Bowl, guess what? They get the benefit of the doubt. 

But that drop of 20 spots got me thinking. Just how valuable an area is this? — from 33 to 51, the picks the Eagles will have to watch tonight. Thanks to ProFootballReference, I looked back at the last 10 years. Because while the Eagles will miss out on picks 33-51 this year, there’s a good chance that Ravens pick will fall into this zone in 2019. Think about the Ravens: they won nine games last year but just drafted a quarterback, their GM is leaving and their head coach doesn’t have the job security he once had. That pick will probably be better than 52 in 2019. So if you’re an Eagles fan: root against the Ravens in 2018. 

In the last 10 years, 190 players have been drafted in slots 33-51. Of those 190 players, 27 have become Pro Bowlers — a rate of 14 percent. The most decorated player in this zone of the last 10 years is Rob Gronkowski, who went 42nd in 2010. He has been an All-Pro four times and has made five Pro Bowls. 

The list of 27 players includes guys like Landon Collins, Bobby Wagner, Connor Barwin and Derek Carr, in addition to Gronk. Here’s a complete look at all 190 players.

Sure, the potential to get an All-Pro or Pro Bowl-type player in the first round is probably greater, but this zone, aside from the Pro Bowlers, is full of quality starters in the NFL — guys who become starters for their teams for years and years. 

The Eagles have had an up-and-down history in this zone. They have drafted eight players in the 33-51 zone over the last 10 years: DeSean Jackson, Trevor Laws, Nate Allen, Mychal Kendricks, Zach Ertz, Jordan Matthews, Eric Rowe, Sidney Jones. Some home runs, but also some swings-and-misses. 

Meanwhile, the recent record at pick No. 32 hasn’t been great. 

Ultimately, the Eagles thought picking at 52 and possibly picking in the 33-51 range next year would give them a chance to get two good players. We won’t know how it all worked out for a few years, but the odds look pretty decent. Now, it's up to Roseman and Joe Douglas to pick the right guys. 

Trade shows 2018 NFL draft is all about the future for Eagles

Trade shows 2018 NFL draft is all about the future for Eagles

As was widely anticipated, the Eagles did not make a selection in Round 1 of the 2018 NFL draft.

What was perhaps unexpected, however, was the Eagles dealing the pick for future considerations — even if it was obviously the correct call.

“For us, we want to win this year, but we want to continue to win,” said Howie Roseman, Eagles executive vice president of football operations. “We want to win in 2018, and we want to win in 2019, 2020.

“There’s not many times when you get the opportunity to move back in a draft and pick up a second-round pick. For us, we thought it was the right value.”

The Eagles traded the No. 32 choice in the draft late Thursday evening, along with No. 125, for picks No. 52, 132 and an additional second-rounder in 2019 (see story). In summary, they moved out of the first round altogether, and back quite a bit, then up in the fourth round ever so slightly.

Most important of all, the Eagles didn’t gain so much as a single pick this year. Which, in retrospect, actually makes a lot of sense (see story).

The prevailing theory was the Eagles wanted or needed to add picks in ’18. That passed for consensus thinking, given the only selection the club was scheduled to make in the first three rounds was 32.

Except the Eagles don’t necessarily need a ton of help in ’18. After all, they did just win the Super Bowl.

“Our balance was the short term over the long term for the trade offers and we decided it’s just too hard to get a second-round pick,” Roseman said.

“When we look at the draft, the difference in value when you’re picking in the second round versus even picking in the third round, it’s just too good. It allows you a lot of flexibility.”

If you stop and think about it, dissect the depth chart, how many roster spots are truly open for the Eagles right now? Maybe 11 or 12? Depending on how you classify a starter, something like 20 or 21 of 22 are returning? And the team is still in possession of five picks in Rounds 4 through 7.

The 2018 draft was never going to be about 2018 at all. It’s about the future, in which case, adding a future pick was the correct call.

“We still have a chance to go back to the Super Bowl,” Roseman said. “We don’t want to be totally short term.

“A second-round pick is still a second-round pick. We just have to wait for it.”

Trading down and simultaneously obtaining an immediate impact player was a sweet goal. At the same time, it wasn’t realistic.

Draft night proved to be boring for the Eagles, which was to be expected to a degree coming off a world championship. However, the big trade didn’t prove to be immediately beneficial.

Disappointing as that might be, it certainly isn’t a problem. The Eagles have their eyes set beyond ’18 and are determined not to force anything in the present.

Eagles gain 'more resources' by trading out of NFL draft 1st round

Eagles gain 'more resources' by trading out of NFL draft 1st round

It’s not that the Eagles didn’t want to pick a player at No. 32. It’s just that they believed they could get equal value at No. 52. And add an additional second-round pick as well.

So to Howie Roseman, this trade was a no-brainer.

To the surprise of no one, the Super Bowl champion Eagles traded out of the first round late Thursday night.

They shipped No. 32 overall — the final pick in the first round — along with one of their fourth-round picks (No. 132) for the Ravens’ second-round pick this year (No. 52), a fourth-round pick this year (No. 125) and a second-round pick in next year’s draft (see story).

“We felt what we were going to get at 32 was going to be a strength tomorrow as well,” said Roseman, the Eagles' vice president of football operations.

“We felt where this draft was strong continues to be strong [Friday], which gives us the chance to get a good player.

“There’s not many times you get an opportunity to move back in the draft and get a second-round pick, so for us, we thought it was the right value.”

The deal left the Eagles without a first-round pick for the first time since 2009 and only the third time in the last 25 years.

“There were some guys we really liked on the board,” Roseman said. “But as the round goes and you start getting calls and guys come off the board, some teams bail out and some teams come back in.

“We did not come into tonight thinking we were going to trade out. We wouldn’t have traded out just to trade out, because we did think there was good value at 32.

“We felt this was a really good trade for both teams. For the way we’re trying to build, it was really important that we got more resources moving forward."

With salary cap trouble looming in 2019, it makes sense for the Eagles to start stocking up on future draft picks — which equals cheaper talent.

“We felt like the value was right for us and where we are as a football team, where the value was in this draft," Roseman said.

So the Eagles remain without a third-round pick in this year’s draft, but the bottom line is that they shipped a first-round pick and a fourth-round pick for two second-round picks and a fourth-round pick.

As of the end of activity Thursday, they have a second-round pick on Friday, two fourth-round picks (No. 125 and No. 130), a fifth-round pick (No. 169), a sixth-round pick (No. 206) and a seventh-round pick (No. 250).

There are some very significant Eagles-Ravens connections. Ravens head coach John Harbaugh was on Andy Reid’s coaching staff in 1999 when Eagles head coach Doug Pederson was the team’s opening day quarterback. 

And Eagles vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas worked under Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome in Baltimore for over a decade.

With the 32nd pick, the Ravens drafted Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner.

“We kind of had a thought [the Ravens were interested in making a deal] with all the conversations we’ve had,” Roseman said. “We knew they were interested in adding firepower. We knew if there were certain players on the board, the phone was going to ring.”

The Eagles have drafted some of the best players in franchise history in the second round — Brian Dawkins, Eric Allen, LeSean McCoy, Randall Cunningham and DeSean Jackson, to name a few (see gallery).

With No. 52, they could go after a running back, a linebacker or an interior lineman, although with Roseman and Douglas, anything is on the table.

“We’re excited about moving back and seeing if we can make some of that magic happen in Round 2,” Roseman said.