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.