The Philadelphia Eagles head into the 2014 draft with the 22nd overall pick. While every player that is selected in the first round of the NFL draft is expected to make a difference for whichever team they end up with, it is never a bad idea to trade a pick in order to move down or up in the draft.
Sitting at the 22nd overall pick, the Eagles are likely to search for an athletic wide receiver with size, or a defensive back who can improve a secondary that ranked last in the league in passing defense.
However, if the Eagles were to decide that trading their 22nd pick was the best option, trading down would be the best way to go.
The Eagles made plenty of moves during free agency, which should allow them to head into the draft with flexibility. They re-signed Riley Cooper, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Kelce, and Jason Peters to new contracts and sought out free agent safety Malcolm Jenkins as well as versatile halfback Darren Sproles.
The Eagles are not in any sort of rebuilding mode and while young, fresh talent is always needed, it is not essential for this specific team. Philly fans are excited for what 2014 has in store because the Eagles are in position to win a Super Bowl.
If Nick Foles is able to replicate his MVP-caliber season from last year, and the defense can become more reliable against the pass, the Eagles do not present any glaring weaknesses.
Trading down in the draft could result in more draft picks for this season as well as next season. Whether they are 3rd or 6th round draft picks that the Eagles receive, they would be able to continue to add solid players at multiple positions.
Despite the departure of Pro Bowl wide receiver Desean Jackson, the Eagles are not in any need for a superstar-type player. The pieces are there for Chip Kelly, so obtaining role players to play on special teams and accumulating future draft picks is what the Eagles should aim for as they prepare for the draft.
Sustaining success in the NFL is never easy, which is why giving up their 22nd overall pick and trading down in the draft would be a wise decision. Additionally, after trading away a 5th round draft pick for Darren Sproles, the Eagles only have six draft picks.
The Eagles also have many valuable assets that teams would be interested in such as Bryce Brown, Vinny Curry, and Brandon Graham. If the possibility of trading those players for more draft picks arises, the Eagles should jump on the opportunity.
While adding a player like Marqise Lee or Deone Bucanon sounds more appealing than trading a first round draft pick in order to acquire multiple late-round draft picks, it is the smart move to trade down considering where the Eagles ended last season and where they are expected to be at the start of this season.
There was an extremely apparent chemistry between the offense last season, and free agency moves have been made in hopes of improving the defense. If the Eagles are able to add a plethora of young, role players, then trading down in this years draft is what the Eagles front office should do.