Elliott Believes Eagles Are Interested
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) — The rumors continue to swirl when it comes to what the Eagles will do with their first-round pick in this month's draft and Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott believes he's in play for Philadelphia if the Birds remain at No. 8 overall.
News broke yesterday that Philadelphia withdrew an offer to Tennessee for the No. 1 overall pick, a move obviously designed to go up and get one of the high-profile quarterbacks in the process -- either North Dakota State's Carson Wentz or Cal's Jared Goff.
The Los Angeles Rams were able to close things out with the Titans and if the Eagles still want the loser of the Wentz-Goff battle for the Rams' affections, they will now need to turn their attention toward Cleveland and the second selection.
The contingency plans for staying at eight, however, are also in the hopper and Elliott, who recently had a private workout for the team and fits a significant need, believes the Eagles are the team that has showed the most interest in him to this point per ESPN Dolphins reporter James Walker.
Elliott is by far the top running back prospect in the draft after putting up consecutive 1,800-yard seasons with the Buckeyes, and the Eagles will likely have the first shot at him among the teams expressing significant interest thanks to the trade that sent Byron Maxwell and Kiko Alonso to Miami, one of the other club's in the market for a RB1.
The Eagles are thin at running back after trading DeMarco Murray to Tennessee earlier in the offseason and currently have the oft-injured Ryan Mathews penciled in as tops on the depth chart with veterans Darren Sproles and Kenjon Barner as the backups. Developmental prospects Kevin Monangai and Ross Scheuerman are also on the offseason roster.
Mathews, though, has been on the trading block with DraftInsider.net's Tony Pauline reporting that Dallas is interested and Chip Kelly could want a reunion with him in San Francisco.
"I'm told if the Philadelphia Eagles select running back Ezekiel Elliott with the draft's eighth pick, the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers are two teams interested in Ryan Mathews, the Eagles' present starter, Pauline wrote before adding, "Insiders I spoke with think its unlikely Mathews is dealt to a divisional rival such as Dallas and question if they would trade him to a team now led by their former head coach."
While the need is obviously there for the Eagles many also question the value of investing the No. 8 overall pick in a RB.
Conventional wisdom says if you’re getting an Adrian Peterson- or Todd Gurley-level talent, it would be prudent to make the move. If not there are plenty of other contributors who can be garnered later in the draft who can hit the ground running in a committee-style setup.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973ESPN.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen