A Wanted Man

Posted: March 30th, 2021 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 4 Comments »

More than a few people were ticked off when the Eagles traded back from the sixth pick in the upcoming draft. The 12th pick isn’t all that far away, but potentially special players like Kyle Pitts and Ja’Marr Chase will be gone by then. Moving back has its merits, but you are likely settling for a lesser talent.

Were the Eagles really giving up on Chase and Pitts?

Albert Breer of SI offered this nugget today.

And with the Eagles believing there is a pretty good chance the Bengals will take LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase at five (we mentioned in our mock this week that Joe Burrow has given Cincinnati’s brass a glowing recommendation), Philly felt comfortable with the difference in talent between six and 12—and also operated with the knowledge that it’d be hard to get a future first (this being Miami’s slotted No. 1 in 2022) in exchange for moving down closer to the draft, particularly if it looked like the top four picks would be QBs.


There is a lot of guesswork for me and you when it comes to the draft. NFL teams are a different story. They are doing research every single day, trying to figure out who will go where. They read the same articles that you and I do, looking for a nugget they didn’t know.

The difference is that they have a lot more information other than media reports. The scouting community won’t be mistaken for the CIA anytime soon. Those guys love to talk and swap tales. This helps give teams some idea of how other teams feel.

Teams also talk to agents. They probe for any info they can get that will help them to understand who likes certain prospects.

The teams work on mock drafts throughout March and April, looking at different scenarios. This can be tough when you pick in the 20’s or 30’s, but you have a good idea of what to expect when you’re at pick 6…or pick 12.

Breer says the Eagles think Ja’Marr Chase goes to Cincy with pick 5. That would have left them with Kyle Pitts. As special a prospect as Pitts is, you can argue that he’s a luxury because his primary position is TE. The Eagles already have a good TE in Dallas Goedert. It would be great to add Pitts, but with so many other roster holes, he would be a luxury.

If the Eagles truly thought Chase would be gone and Pitts wasn’t an ideal fit, trading back makes all the sense in the world.

What about trading up?

Ian Rappoport of the NFL Network reported last Friday that the Eagles tried to trade up to the #3 spot so they could draft BYU passer Zach Wilson. That got everyone’s attention, including the Eagles. Rappoport immediately put out this tweet and deleted the other one.


Trading up to #3 for Wilson didn’t make much sense. The Jets are expected to take him with the second overall pick. I’m sure the Eagles have interest in Wilson. He’s a very talented prospect. Trading up to #3 doesn’t make much sense, though.

Unless…maybe the Eagles were exploring moving up to take Chase. This team doesn’t need to be using key resources to move up, but it can’t hurt to ask, I guess.

The bottom line to all of this is that the Eagles didn’t move back to pick 12 on a whim. They didn’t make that move lightly. They obviously think there is a player they like who will fall to that spot. Maybe that is DeVonta Smith or Jaycee Horn or some OL/DL. Or as I wrote the other day, maybe this is the year to go for a LB.

The Eagles have a plan. We’ll have to wait and see if it works out.


Believe it or not, the draft is more than pick 12.

Matt Alkire wrote a piece on the value of late round picks and how they’ve helped the Eagles in rebuilding years in the past.

Always interesting to see how past moves helped build winning teams.


4 Comments on “A Wanted Man”

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