Oregon Ducks QB Marcus Mariota (8) is defended by FSU Seminoles CB P.J. Williams (26) and DE Chris Casher (21) on a 23-yard touchdown run. Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
MARCUS MARIOTA – Oregon
First Round, Pick TBD
Ι can’t say how the Eagles are going to pull this one off, but the way I see the dominos fall as we approach the draft, I think it’s easier that we think for Philadelphia to climb up the board and claim Mariota. Both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Tennesee Titans are open to trade down talks and the next two teams on the board, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Oakland Raiders could also benefit from more selections and some players the Eagles are willing to trade. With so many team entertaining the option to trade down, the price shouldn’t be that high for Philly.
The Birds have options to create and offer the right package to teams higher in the draft picking order. Many assets can be traded, including 2015 and 2016 draft picks, as well as players currently on the roster. Here are some of them:
Sam Bradford, Matt Barkley, Evan Mathis, Mychal Kendricks, Brandon Boykin, Vinny Curry, Earl Wolff, Zach Ertz and Lane Johnson. The latter two are not very likely but do not rule them out. Mathis and Johnson aside, none of them would create a huge hole of the roster if he left.
Package two, three or four of them with some picks and the Eagles can climb up the board.
As for Mariota, I don’t know if there is anything I can say that has not been already said. He knows Chip Kelly and his principles and he fits like a glove in Kelly’s offense. Even though other teams could be high on him, like Washington Redskins, the New York Jets, the Chicago Bears and the Cleveland Browns, I don’t think any of them would been willing to be the price for a quarterback who would probably need some time to learn their offense and adjust in the NFL level of play. With the Eagles, that wouldn’t be as big of an issue.
In the end, I think the Eagles will do what is required to grab the talented signal caller before any other team does so.
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