The Philadelphia Eagles have six picks, players on the trading block with no immediate takers, and a fan base eager to see the Eagles deal somewhere to improve the poor showing of the pass defense in 2013. But are you ready to take a Gamble in this draft? No, I’m not discussing trading all picks for one player as has been done in the past. We know the workings of general manager Howie Roseman, who likes to deal but seems to have second thoughts about getting burned in the free agency sweepsteaks. We know the pattern of head coach Chip Kelly, who likes to identify players who have outstanding games against his team, and target them for the draft.
But the Vice President of Player Personnel, Tom Gamble, remains somewhat of a mystery. He’s had years of successful experience in the NFL with the fine art of player selection. So what strategy has he been a contributor before returning to the Philadelphia Eagles?
Before his hire with the Philadelphia Eagles, Gamble had an eight year stint with the San Francisco 49ers. During that time, the 49ers had only one year with fewer than seven picks. The 49ers had only six picks in 2008, and they selected terribly that year. In fact, they were expected to select a receiver who has been in the news recently, a wide receiver out of the University of California by the name of DeSean Jackson. Instead, the team selected defensive end Kentwan Balmer from the University of North Carolina.
The pattern of the 49ers drafts were fairly similar. Load up on draft picks, keep the first round pick, be prepared to jump back into the first round if a coveted player falls to the end of the round, and try to have four or more picks in the last two rounds. How might this affect the Eagles strategy? Let’s see how trading back could impact the Eagles draft this season: