It will be a rainy Thursday night in Nashville, but bright holiday lights will shine. For the Eagles, it will be a question of just how proactive do they want to be when that Top 25 board is jumping with surprises?
Sifting through the dozens of MACH 10 entries received here, the most commonly anticipated 1st-round names for the Eagles are Oliver, Wilkins, Lindstrom, Savage, Ford, and “Hollywood” Brown.
What happens if all those guys are gone by the 15th overall pick? (The Eagles are scheduled to pick at #25 overall.) That possibility could douche a lot of MACH parades.
Or, if you were gambling that the Birds will trade up to get one of those guys, your MACH may be sweetly rewarded.
Just to give you some outside perspective on what could happen Thursday night, Sports Illustrated has collected these “reasonable rumors”:
With the Arizona Cardinals making the first pick of the 2019 NFL draft in Nashville, Most think that the decision will come down to Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray or Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa.
The Cincinnati Bengals are eyeing either Dwayne Haskins, Devin Bush or an offensive lineman in the first round. (Albert Breer, Sports Illustrated)
Ed Oliver, Christian Wilkins and Devin Bush have all emerged as potential targets for an Atlanta Falcons trade up in the draft. (Albert Breer, Sports Illustrated)
A tight end or tackle appears to be the consensus pick for the Green Bay Packers. The Packers could take Andre Dillard if he slips to No. 14. Both Iowa tight ends are also being considered. (Albert Breer, Sports Illustrated)
The Oakland Raiders are the latest team rumored to be interested in drafting Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins. The team moved Haskins up on their board this week and could be a consideration at No. 4. (Ian Rapoport, NFL.com)
The Atlanta Falcons as well as the Redskins are exploring options where they could make trades to get into the Top 10 of the draft. (Ian Rapoport, NFL.com) The Washington Redskins have “explored” a trade to move into the top five picks of Thursday’s draft. (Mike Garafolo, NFL Network)
The Cincinnati Bengals are not in the quarterback market in the first round. The Bengals have the 11th overall pick. (Peter Schrager, Fox Sports)
Teams view Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Nelson Agholorr as being available in a potential trade. Agholor is entering the final season of his rookie deal. (Ian Rapoport, NFL.com)
The Giants may target Duke QB Daniel Jones on Thursday, and could select him with the No. 6 pick. (Ralph Vacchiano, SNY)
You get the picture—things could get very fluid in Round 1.
No one pretends to know exactly what the Eagles will do Thursday night, but Jeff Kerr at 247Sports says he knows what they WON’T do:
1. Draft a cornerback — “We’ve used a lot of draft picks at that position and you have to give your young players a chance to grow,” said Eagles Executive Vice President of Football Operations Howie Roseman. “You really have to give everyone the chance to grow into their roles. We’re all looking forward to them taking their next steps, those young guys.”
2. Draft a linebacker — “The Eagles do not “need” a linebacker, nor will they be drafting one in the early rounds. The Eagles don’t value the linebacker position like fans would like, which is just not how they operate in Jim Schwartz’s defense.”
“You know there’s a lot of guys I think that can play four downs,” Eagles Executive Vice President of Player Personnel Joe Douglas said last week. “The linebacker position has probably evolved a lot over the last few years with the spread offenses. They’re being asked to be put in a lot of difficult situations and whatever they do they’re wrong in the RPO game. This is a group of highly skilled and talented guys.”
“So the Eagles may draft a linebacker, but not by definition. The Eagles could draft Juan Thornhill in the first round, who can line up in the box and play a form of linebacker as a fifth defensive back. The Eagles can certainly cross-train a player like Thornhill, but he won’t be the prototypical linebacker Eagles fans think.”
3. Stay at No. 25 — Based on Howie Roseman’s draft history in the first round, it’s highly unlikely the Eagles stay at their allotted selection. The Eagles have only stayed in their original first-round draft spot three times since Roseman took over in 2010 (he’s had eight drafts). Since reemerging to power, Roseman traded up in 2016, stayed put in 2017, and traded down in 2018.
“With the Eagles at No. 25 and near the back of the first round, don’t be shocked if they try to acquire more picks and trade down. Of course, it doesn’t cost much to move up a few spots if the Eagles find a player they like.”
Half the fun of watching Thursday night unfold will be how many of these rumors and predictions come true, and how they impact your MACH 10 Draft Challenge entry.