Eagles Predicted to Steal ‘Blue-Chip Player’ in NFL Draft

Nick Sirianni

Getty Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni leaves the field in celebration after beating the NY Giants in the 2022 playoffs.

Cornerback was thought to be a position addressed in free agency after the Philadelphia Eagles resigned James Bradberry and extended Darius Slay. Yes, they are older players but the two savvy veterans can still lock it down on the outside. They are Pro Bowl-caliber starters.

However, the Eagles are going to have to invest in the future at some point. Why not now? ESPN’s Matt Miller sees them addressing the position early in this year’s draft by taking the best cornerback available at pick No. 10. The Eagles may be tempted to “trade back,” per Miller, and still get Oregon standout Christian Gonzalez in this scenario.

James Bradberry and Darius Slay are returning for at least one more year, but the Eagles’ salary cap dictates they’ll need to find cheap starters and this is a chance to get a blue-chip player at value. Gonzalez had four interceptions in 2022 and has 4.38 speed at 6-foot-2. Given the aggressiveness of general manager Howie Roseman, a trade-back in this scenario is very possible. Philadelphia is obsessed with adding future first-round picks and a team might want to come up to get Will Levis.

Further, Miller has the Eagles grabbing Alabama standout Brian Branch at pick No. 30. The 6-foot, 190-pounder is considered the best safety in this year’s draft class, arguably the only plug-and-play starter on the board. He would be the perfect replacement for outgoing starter C.J. Gardner-Johnson. Miller wrote: “Branch was a one-year starter at Bama and has experience playing slot cornerback, nickel safety, strong safety and single-high. He’s a true do-it-all prospect with fantastic instincts and quickness.”

Howie Roseman Keeping Everyone Guessing

No one knows what general manager Howie Roseman is going to do once that clock starts ticking on draft night. The Eagles own six total picks, including two first-round selections: No. 10 (Round 1), No. 30 (Round 1), plus No. 62 (Round 2), No. 94 (Round 3), No. 219 (Round 7), No. 248 (Round 7). Nothing is off the table when it comes to trading up or down, or exchanging future picks in a potential blockbuster deal.

“You know, I would say this: Nobody has any idea what we’re going to do. I know that,” Roseman told reporters on April 20. “And so, for me to think that there’s actually people in this league talking to people and saying, hey, I’m going to draft this guy at 10, but don’t tell anyone, this is a huge game of poker, and all you want to affect is the outcome of your desired results.”

Roseman added: “Am I going to give you guys any answers today? No, not even a little bit. But I think the reality of it is anyone who’s sitting there and saying, hey, I know exactly what’s going to happen at pick 11 or pick 12 or pick 6 or 20, it’s all a guess.”

Falcons Become Betting Favorites for Bijan Robinson

The Eagles are one of the teams in the mix to land Bijan Robinson. The Texas standout might be the best overall athlete in this year’s draft class, but running back is considered a luxury pick for most teams. The Atlanta Falcons are the betting favorites (+200) to take him at pick No. 8, followed by the Texans (+500) and Eagles (+750) and Commanders (+800). Philadephia hasn’t selected a running back in the first round since 1986.

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