The 2018 NFL draft starts tonight and the reigning Super Bowl champs will not be picking until about 11:30 PM. With the last pick in the 1st round, the Eagles have been projected to go in a number of different directions. Here’s a look at some possibilities:
The most popular choice for many analysts and fans, trading back is very plausible due to the Eagles only having one selection in the first two days. If none of Joe Douglas or Howie Roseman’s top guys have fallen to them, this would be the obvious move. In a previous article here you can see what the value of the 32nd overall pick is. However, while most people are looking at a scenario in which they trade back, it is possible that the Eagles use a future pick in order to jump up a couple of spots in order to grab a guy like Leighton Vander Esch or Derrius Guice who have both come to Philadelphia for a pre-draft visit.
As seen above, the Eagles have hosted Leighton Vander Esch for one of their 30 pre-draft visits. It has been reported over the past couple of days that multiple teams have “medically flunked” and taken him off of their draft boards. If he falls into the mid-20s, Roseman will be calling around to try and move up a couple of spots. Another linebacker you could be seeing in a Midnight Green jersey next season is Malik Jefferson. The opposite of Vander Esch, Jefferson would be someone that likely be taken on Day two if the Eagles were to trade back.
While the Eagles have a plethora of running backs on the roster right now, Clement and Ajayi are the only two that are cemented in the 53-man roster. With Ajayi scheduled to hit the open market after this season, the Eagles are almost guaranteed to take a running back with one of their picks. Derrius Guice and Sony Michel will most likely be the 2nd and 3rd running backs taken off the board in this year’s draft and both have been connected to the Eagles. This also an overwhelmingly deep draft for the position so guys like Bo Scarbrough, Royce Freeman, and Josh Adams, among others who could be targeted in the later rounds.
Jason Peters is expected to retire after this season and “Big V” played great last year in his spot, but you can never have enough depth at offensive line. Outside of Quenton Nelson, this year’s class of offensive lineman severely lacks top-end talent. With that being said, there is an abundance of late first-round/second-round prospects that will be available for the Eagles to select from when it is their pick. If Roseman and Douglas were to select a lineman at 32, it is because they have that particular player, personally rated far above the rest of the field. In the scenario that the Eagles do trade back, I would fully expect them to select an offensive lineman with the second round pick that they have gained.
The Eagles are in a great position with no glaring needs. This will allow them to use the best player available tactic in this year’s draft with no hesitation. You can find many of our other articles for this year’s draft analysis here as well as the staff’s Mock Draft Central.