Eagles general manager Howie Roseman didn’t hide this week at the NFL Combine that he wants to be aggressive in both free agency and the NFL Draft. He is looking for elite players that can help this team for years to come, not the stop-gap options he has signed the last two offseasons.
At his disposal to do so in the NFL Draft is 10 draft picks, double the amount he has had each of the last two drafts.
As a result, Roseman is primed for a move up the draft board.
“There were moments in the last two drafts, when there were guys within [trading up] reach, that we would want to move up for, and we just didn’t have the ammunition to do it,” Roseman said. “So if there is a guy that we thought was an incredibly highly valued, and we could go up and go get him, we couldn’t take that off the table.”
One team to keep an eye on as a possible trade up partner for the Eagles? The Cleveland Browns.
The Browns aren’t exactly in re-build mode like they have been seemingly each season for the last 10-plus years, but they do have a new head coach and a new general manager looking to put their own stamps on the team.
New general manager Andrew Berry this week seemed very open to trading back.
“We’re going to be flexible in that regard," Berry said. "Any strategic maneuver that allows us to reach our goals, acquire good players and the right people for our organization, we’re not going to be bound to be staying static, going down, going up. We’re going to do anything possible that allows us to improve the roster.’’
Berry and the Cleveland Browns make sense as a logical trade partner for the Eagles. To start, Berry and the Eagles have history, as Berry worked for the team last season before being hired away by the Browns. The strong relationship between Roseman and Berry should make it easier to get a deal done.
"So three main things from Howie,” Berry said this week when asked what he learned from Roseman. “No. 1, it's really being aggressive in every area of player acquisition, whether it's trade, the UFA market, obviously in the NFL draft.”
The 10th overall pick also seems like a sweet spot to ensure the Eagles get an elite-receiver prospect.
It is expected that the first three receivers off the board, in some order, will be Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy, Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb and Alabama’s Henry Ruggs. It would be shocking if any of them were still on the board after the 15th pick, and after running a 4.28 40-yard dash on Thursday night, Ruggs could make it near the top 10 with Jeudy and Lamb.
Although it is a talented draft class at receiver, the drop off between the top three and the rest of the class is somewhat significant. There is talent at the position after Lamb, Jeudy and Ruggs, but no slam-dunk options like those three are viewed as.
At No. 10 overall, the Eagles would almost guarantee themselves a chance at one of the three top receives, checking off a box on their biggest need of the offseason.
Getting up to No. 10 won’t be cheap, but it is doable for the Eagles.
Using the NFL Draft Pick Value Chart, the Browns’ first-round pick is worth 1,300 points. The Eagles’ pick, No. 21, is worth 800. A jump of 11 spots is going to take a pretty serious package, and it would likely require a future first to do it. The Eagles’ second-and-third round picks are worth a total of 535 points, which means a package of their first three picks would give them enough points to equal the 1,300 points the Browns’ pick is worth. Whether the Browns would move up for a package of a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, however, is debatable — and it is also unlikely the Eagles would want to give up two consecutive rounds of picks.
What Cleveland will be looking for to move back 11 spots isn’t clear yet, but as the Eagles look for potential options to move up for an elite receiver, the Browns should be considered on the short list of teams they could make a deal with.