Lamar Jackson

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.

Eagles trade out of NFL draft 1st round in deal with Ravens

Eagles trade out of NFL draft 1st round in deal with Ravens

Eagles fans waited all night … so they can wait a little more.

The Birds held on to the No. 32 pick all night, but traded it to the Ravens when they finally got on the clock. The Ravens moved up to get quarterback Lamar Jackson from Louisville. 

The Eagles in return got picks 52 (second round), 125 (fourth) and a 2019 second-round pick. The Ravens got 32 and 132 (fourth).

Basically, the Eagles moved back 20 spots from 32, moved up seven spots in the fourth round, but the big pickup is that second-rounder in next year’s draft.

Last week, Eagles de facto GM Howie Roseman said the Eagles were “open for business” and the Ravens were buyers on Thursday night. 

“We felt like the value was right for us, where we are as a football team,” Roseman said after the round concluded (more from him here). “Where the value was in this draft. There were a bunch of players that we still like and are optimistic to get tomorrow.” 

This is the exact scenario the Eagles were hoping for — that a quarterback fell to the 32nd pick and a team would be willing to go up and get him. It happened when the Vikings moved up to get Teddy Bridgewater.

Coming into this draft, Jackson was on a list the Eagles compiled of players who could garner interest if they slipped to 32. They were concerned, however, that one of the teams just before them would also be willing to trade down. 

“There was a bunch of phone calls,” Roseman said. “It’s interesting, as you get closer to your pick and guys get excited about guys and you get some guys that bail out. They call and say, 'That was our guy, we’re out.’ And then you’ll have guys come in. We just try to keep track of that.”

Even as the Eagles were on the clock at 32, they were fielding offers from multiple teams. Roseman said it came down to value. And the value of a second-round pick, even though it won’t help them this year, was too much to turn down.  

Roseman hinted that his relationship with Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome helped pull off the trade. The two have had discussion about this type of hypothetical before, so when the situation arose, both sides were ready. 

Here are the Eagles’ six draft choices heading into Friday:

2 (52)
4 (125)
4 (130)
5 (169)
6 (206)
7 (250)

The Eagles came into the draft with just six picks, tied for the fewest amount in the league. They still have six. 

The second and third rounds of the draft kick off on Friday night at 7 p.m. and the Eagles will actually have a pick to make. The fourth through seventh rounds go on Saturday, starting at noon. The Eagles have five picks on Saturday.

Vegas odds support idea Eagles are in good spot at 32

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USA Today Images

Vegas odds support idea Eagles are in good spot at 32

A couple weeks ago, on a lengthy conference call with reporters around the country, NFL Network's Mike Mayock said he thought the Eagles were in a good position with the 32nd pick in the draft (see story)

Mayock said the Eagles can either pick the best player on the board or there might be a chance to trade down and pick up some much-needed draft choices if another team wants to sneak back into the first round and get a quarterback. 

The bonus for a team that wants to do that would be to guarantee they get their guy and to also get the fifth-year option on that QB's rookie contract. 

The latest odds from Vegas seem to support Mayock's assertion that the Eagles have "prime real estate." According to Bovada, the over/under for Lamar Jackson's draft position is set at 32½. 

Jackson, the quarterback from Louisville, could very well be the key for the Eagles in this spring's draft. If he hasn't been selected by the time the Eagles are on the clock at 32, there's a good chance some phone calls might be coming in. And the Eagles will very likely be willing to answer. 

The best example of something like this happening recently came in 2014, when the Vikings moved up to draft Teddy Bridgewater with the last pick in the first round. The Seahawks moved down to pick No. 40 and added a fourth-rounder. 

The Eagles have six draft picks this year but none in the second or third rounds. And the first of their two fourth-round picks is the 30th pick of that round. That's a long time for the Birds to wait between selections. 

At the combine last week, Howie Roseman said the Eagles wouldn't hesitate to draft a player they like with the 32nd pick — but if there are a few players with similar grades or guys who they deem aren't worthy of the pick, they'd then look to move down. 

Of course, in order to move down, the Eagles will need a partner. If Jackson is still on the board, it could help them find one.