Why the Philadelphia Eagles Should Trade Down in 2014 NFL Draft


Dec 15, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly looks on during the third quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Vikings defeated the Eagles 48-30. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2014 NFL draft in only two weeks, it is time for all 32 NFL teams to get their draft boards ready, ranking top prospects that fit each team’s needs. Despite the Philadelphia Eagles’s unexpected 10-6 record en route an NFC division championship in Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach Chip Kelly’s inaugural season, the Eagles still have many holes that need to be addressed via the NFL draft. In SB Nation’s latest mock draft that featured trades , the Philadelphia Eagles trade 22nd pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars in exchange for picks 39, 70 and 115.  With only six selections in this year’s draft, it may not be a bad idea to consider trading down their first round draft pick in exchange for multiple draft picks.

The Philadelphia Eagles could use additional talent and depth for a wide array of positions from the NFL draft. With the lack of talent/depth in the team’s offensive line, defensive line, kicker, cornerback, safety, outside linebacker, inside linebacker, and now the wide receiver position with the release of former Pro-Bowl wider receiver DeSean Jackson, the Philadelphia Eagles can benefit from draft picks in many different positions. Although most mock drafts currently have the Eagles selecting a safety in the first round, it is in the best interest of the Eagles to trade down for multiple second round draft picks. With Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Calvin Pryor, the top safeties in the 2014 NFL draft, likely off the draft board, the Eagles can draft a safety in a later round while drafting the best defensive player available. By trading down, the Eagles will be able to draft a few talented players to fill their depth and improve their talent in various positions.

Here are a few players to keep an eye on if the Eagles do decide to trade down to the second round of the NFL Draft:

1. Kyle Van Noy, OLB

Oct 25, 2013; Provo, UT, USA; Brigham Young Cougars linebacker Kyle Van Noy (3) prior to a game against the Boise State Broncos at Lavell Edwards Stadium. Brigham Young won 37-20. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Brigham Young Cougars linebacker Kyle Van Nov (3) is a quick, instinctive linebacker with good height (6’3″). Following his stellar play in 2013, featuring 13 sacks and 22 tackles for a loss, Van Nov was named All-Independent Defensive Player of the Year. In addition to his great reaction skills, Van Nov will also be able to function as a pass rusher, forcing 11 career fumbles. With his versatility and excellent play recognition, Van Nov should definitely be on the radar for the Philadelphia Eagles come the second round.

2. Jordan Matthews,WR

With the departure of Washington Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson, the Philadelphia Eagles could use an addition of this talented wide receiver from Vanderbilt. In 2013, Matthews had 112 receptions for 1,477 (13.19 YPC) for 7 touchdowns.

Here is what Nolan Nawrocki from NFL.com has to say about him:

"Big zone target. Good form as a route runner. Sinks his hips and pops out of breaks. Concentrates, tracks and adjusts. Soft hands and sticky fingers. Has leaping ability to compete in the air. Opens up his stride in the clear and shows nice long speed.”"

Although Marqise Lee or Deone Bucanon may sound like better picks, it is in the best interests for the Eagles to trade down for multiple draft picks, to add multiple players in this year’s deep draft.