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2020 NFL draft: Why Eagles are more likely to trade than pick at No. 21


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2020 NFL draft: Why Eagles are more likely to trade than pick at No. 21


All we've done the last month or two is talk about what the Eagles will do at No. 21. But the odds are low that they'll actually be on the clock Thursday night when the 21st pick rolls around.

It's just not the Howie Roseman way.

Roseman, the Eagles' general manager since 2010 — with the exception of his year in exile in 2015 — has selected only twice in the first round with the pick originally assigned to the Eagles.

He's made eight first-round picks, and he's traded up four times and down twice, which means the Eagles under Roseman have used their original pick only 25 percent of the time.

The only players Roseman has taken in the first round without trading are a couple of offensive linemen — disastrous Danny Watkins at No. 23 in 2011 and three-time Pro Bowler Lane Johnson at No. 4 in 2013.

And with the Eagles' desperate need for a young, explosive playmaking receiver likely not lining up with the 21st pick this year, there's a good chance Roseman once again won't be sitting still.

Roseman doesn't wait for the draft to come to him. He's going to be aggressive and do everything he can to go get the player he wants. And if he can't, he's apt to trade down, add picks and start over.

Even going back before Roseman, the Eagles' only other first-round pick with an original pick the Eagles have made since 2003 was Brodrick Bunkley at No. 14 in 2006.

Roseman is just as active in the other rounds. For example, the Eagles traded up for Dallas Goedert in the second round in 2018, when they didn't have a first-round pick (because Roseman traded up in 2016 to get Carson Wentz).

In all, Roseman has made 14 draft-day trades in the eight drafts he's overseen so far.

Odds are that number goes up this week.

Here's a look at Roseman's eight first-round picks and how the Eagles got them:

2010: The Eagles started out with the 24th pick but traded it along with Nos. 70 and 87 in the third round to the Cowboys to move up 11 spots to No. 13, where they selected Brandon Graham. The Cowboys used No. 24 to draft Dez Bryant. That was one of five draft-day trades Roseman made in his first year as general manager.

2011: Roseman did make four trades in 2011 — and a 6th-round pick that was a throw-in from the Ravens in a trade of 3rd-round picks landed the Eagles Jason Kelce — but he stayed a No. 23 in the first round, where the Eagles selected Watkins.

2012: The Eagles traded their own 1st-round pick — No. 15 overall (who turned into Bruce Irvin) along with No. 114 in the 4th round and No. 172 in the 6th round (which had been acquired from the Colts for Winston Justice) — to the Seahawks to move up three spots and take Fletcher Cox, who has made five straight Pro Bowls. In all, Roseman made three draft-day trades in 2012.

2013: Roseman took Johnson at No. 4, and his only draft-day trade in 2013 was in the fourth round to acquire USC quarterback Matt Barkley.

2014: Some trades don't work out for either team. Roseman traded down in 2014, shipping No. 22 overall to the Browns (who took Johnny Manziel) for No. 26, where the Eagles took colossal bust Marcus Smith. The Eagles also got a 3rd-round pick, which they traded to the Texans for picks that became Jaylen Watkins and Taylor Hart.

2015: This was the Chip Kelly draft, and while some of the picks were obtained through earlier trades, Kelly didn't make any draft-day moves.

2016: Back in power, Roseman made a series of moves that got the Eagles from No. 13 to 8 to 2 so they could draft Wentz. I detailed that fateful day in this story.

2017: The Eagles didn't have a 1st-round pick, but Roseman somehow got one from the Vikings — along with a 4th-round pick — for Sam Bradford before the 2016 season. He used that pick, No. 14 overall, to take Derek Barnett. Roseman did make three trades later in the draft, including moves that brought the Eagles the picks that would land Rasul Douglas, Donnel Pumphrey and Nathan Gerry.

2018: Roseman traded with the Colts to move up three spots in the second round to take Goedert and also made a late deal with the Patriots to acquire a pick that turned into Jordan Mailata. One of the picks the Eagles sent the Colts (No. 52) was acquired from the Ravens along with a 4th-round pick that turned into Avonte Maddox. 

2019: Last year, Roseman moved up three spots in the first round — from 25 to 22 — to select Andre Dillard. The Eagles also sent the Ravens 4th- and 6th-round picks. The Eagles drafted Miles Sanders with a 2nd-round pick acquired in that 2018 draft-day with the Ravens. Roseman made two draft-day trades in all in 2019.


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It really should be 100% nailed on. I know it's not but it should be.

Can't wait for this weekend to come and go. I love the draft normally but this year I'm just concerned about the direction and what we might do. 

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It's pretty much well know Howie and the Eagles have a greater chance trading the pick based off the past 5 or 6 drafts. They just don't like sticking with their pick in round one. 

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