Eagles Trade Scenario Lands No. 12 Pick, Potential Lane Johnson Replacement

Howie Roseman, Philadelphia Eagles

Getty Images Eagles GM Howie Roseman could make a bold move to trade up during the NFL Draft.

Howie Roseman has developed a reputation as one of the most aggressive general managers in football, and the Philadelphia Eagles could look to bolster that characterization early in the 2024 NFL draft.

In recent seasons, Roseman and the Eagles have plucked All-Pro wide receiver A.J. Brown in a 2022 trade with the Tennessee Titans during draft weekend, one year removed from trading up to select wide receiver DeVonta Smith No. 10 overall, and, just last season Philadelphia acquired running back D’Andre Swift in a draft weekend deal with the Detroit Lions.

There has been rampant speculation in the days leading up to the 2024 draft getting underway that Roseman could be looking to trade up in the first round. That’s exactly what happens in Daniel Jeremiah’s final mock draft projection.

Jeremiah predicted the Eagles will move all the way up to No. 12 overall, from pick No. 22, in a deal with the Denver Broncos. To select an offensive tackle.

“It seems like everyone is assuming the Eagles will be aggressive to go get a cornerback,” Jeremiah wrote for NFL.com. “Which is a need, but they always are willing to invest in big humans in the first round. Fuaga is a perfect fit. He can start at right guard as a rookie and eventually replace Lane Johnson at right tackle whenever the veteran decides to walk away. Philadelphia hasn’t drafted a cornerback in Round 1 since 2002 (Lito Sheppard).”

It is noteworthy that Jeremiah was among the few analysts to predict the Houston Texans would trade back up to No. 3 overall to select Will Anderson Jr., after selecting C.J. Stroud No. 2 overall, and spent three seasons in the Eagles’ front office as an area scout.

Moving up to select Fuaga would be a bit of a surprise, given that the Eagles made a significant commitment to Jordan Mailata this offseason, and Johnson remains at the top of his game.

But, it would follow a track record that has seen Philadelphia draft Mailata with Jason Peters on the roster, tight end Dallas Goedert with Zach Ertz still playing at a high level, and Landon Dickerson with Jason Kelce still playing at an All-Pro level.

Whether Roseman trades up and selects a player such as Fuaga who might not play immediately, rather than addressing a glaring need at a position of weakness such as cornerback, remains to be seen, but bears watching.

Taliese Fuaga Scouting Report

Philosophically, the Eagles have a longstanding belief that the biggest key to sustained championship-level success is sustained dominance along the line of scrimmage.

Trading up for Fuaga would be a long-term investment in maintaining what has developed into the league’s most consistently dominant offensive line.

“Ultimately, Fuaga has the tape of a starting NFL offensive lineman,” Pro Football Focus writes. Whether that is at tackle or guard. He brings the powerful mentality needed to stand out in the trenches.

“He has the adequate length and foot speed, good offensive line IQ and elite strength to succeed at tackle and get a shot there as a first-round pick.”

Fuaga is widely viewed among the premier offensive lineman in a loaded tackle class. However, not everyone is convinced he’ll reach his lofty ceiling at offensive tackle.

“I see him as a very good starting guard,” an NFC scout told NFL Media. “I think you might need to help him against edge speed if he stays at tackle.”

Why the Eagles May Take an Offensive Tackle

There is no doubt Mailata is the Eagles’ long-term solution at left tackle, but, perhaps Johnson’s playing days could be winding down.

During the Eagles’ pre-draft press conference, Roseman indicated that planning ahead at tackle could be a priority during draft weekend.

“When you look at Lane Johnson, you’re talking about still one of the best players in the league,” Roseman told reporters. “One of the best people, one of the best players in the league. Incredibly fortunate to have him and the level that he plays at. And, really, I can’t speak for Coach, but I know just from speaking to him enough, the confidence going into a game with him being able to be our right tackle and one of the captains on this team.

“And so you don’t ever replace that, you don’t replace that in three years, you don’t replace that in five years. He’s a generational player and so just like we talked about with (Jason) Kelce, with [Fletcher Cox], you don’t ever replace those guys. Those guys are irreplaceable.

“But when you talk about position importance, the O-line across the board has always been a huge importance to us. And it hasn’t only been about the five guys. It’s been about having depth up front. … it’s an important position to us and so we’re looking at it just in terms of numbers about not only where we are now, but also going forward.”

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