Value in Eagles’ Draft Lies in ‘Position’
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The ultimate goal for every team in the NFL should be the No. 32 overall pick in the NFL Draft.
That's because, barring any previous transactions, the last spot in the first round is your lot in life come April if you happen to be the last man standing in February.
As Super Bowl champions the Philadelphia Eagles take their first turn into the 2018 draft at 32 and the realization that the organization currently has no picks in Day 2 of the process due to prior deals that helped garner the Lombardi Trophy has most speculating that Howie Roseman will trade down to garner some extra draft capital.
Like most NFL decision-makers Roseman's pre-draft press conferences are always full of generalities with the subterfuge turned to its highest level a week before the draft.
However, Roseman did dive deeply into one advantage you do have picking at No. 32 as opposed to 33 [the first selection in the second round]: the fifth-year option.
"It's interesting when you look at the options, it's really position based," Roseman explained on Thursday when asked how desirable the option year makes the Eagles' pick to other teams by 973espn.com. "There are certain positions that that option is a great value and there are other positions where you look at it and you question would rather have a fourth year and do a long-term deal?"
The natural assumption there is that if someone wanted a quarterback, say Oklahoma State's Mason Rudolph, moving up to 32 to ensure it not only gets them the player, it also generates another cost-effective year at a position that is very expensive when it comes to those who excel.
"You have that option and sometimes it complicates that fifth year of the deal so when you are getting a position and you look at the numbers based on what the option year is projected to be, there are some incredible values by having the fifth year of the deal," Roseman said. "That's why you see teams who are jumping from the second- to the first-round because everyone is aware of those discussions. The same discussions are happening when you are talking about jumping into the top 10 versus No. 11 and the fifth-year option on that."
The Eagles plan remains a simple one -- if a player they value greatly is there at 32, you pull the trigger and if not you try to take advantage of a team looking to move up for someone in which an extra year of team control is valued.
So "position" is the key word here on two levels -- where the prospect plays and what the Eagles' spot in the draft order assures.
Roseman admitted the Eagles are always open for business so expect that for-sale sign to last deep into the night next Thursday.
"I think [the options are] why we see all these trades happen at the top of the draft but also when you are getting into that later range [of the first round] because teams want to jump in and make sure they have the guy locked under contract," Roseman said.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen