The Philadelphia Eagles spent the most the part of the 2014 NFL Draft trying to maneuver up and down to garner proper value for their picks. Within the first three rounds, the team had completed three separate trades. Each was completed in a strategic fashion to follow their draft board, while attempting to not over reach for certain prospects. Though at some points, it was inevitable the team just wanted to ensure they obtained “their” guy.
After moving down once in the first round, from 22 to 26, it was blatantly obvious Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman wanted to do so again. As the seconds ticked down, the organization was frantically trying to slide out of the first round completely, but eventually accepted their fate. In the end, the Eagles were stuck with the pick, while making a major reach for a Louisville OLB/DE Marcus Smith.
While in the second round, the front office did a 180 on their approach. The Eagles saw “their” guy in Vanderbilt wide receiver Jordan Matthews begin to fall; Roseman and company instantly reacted. Moving up to find another prospect that can contribute right away proves the front office’s metal when it comes to the draft. Honestly, if the team were to switch their top two picks, their would be little complaints about their approach, as many believed Matthews would not be available after the first 32 picks. On the other hand, most analysts believed Smith would have been available much later then when selected.
Finally, after adding an extra third round pick with their initial trade with the Cleveland Browns, the Eagles had the luxury of replenishing some of their lost selections. The Houston Texans saw an opportunity to pounce on a natural nose tackle in Notre Dame’s Louis Nix III and were willing to give up a decent haul in order to do so. Adding the first pick in the fourth and fifth round gave Roseman the ability to fill out his roster, while not having to reach for players such as Florida cornerback Jaylen Watkins or Oregon defensive lineman Taylor Hart.
In all, with their seven total selections, the Philadelphia Eagles filled major needs at outside linebacker, defensive line, safety, cornerback and wide receiver. Each pick was dependent on the team’s prowess on the trade market. If this class lives up the initial expectations of draft analysts, Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly with have plenty of depth to work with in 2015.