April 18, 2024   4 MIN READ

‘Never Sleep On Howie’

NFLN Draftnik: CB-Needy Birds Ripe To Move Up


The Eagles are slated to pick 22nd overall on Thursday night in the first round of the NFL Draft.

What are the odds they stay at 22?

One well-known draft analyst said he’s watching the Eagles closely for a trade up, especially if the cornerback-starved franchise wants to find its next young, talented, developmental prospect.

“I never sleep on Howie Roseman as a potential to go north or south,” said NFL Network’s chief draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah, a former West Coast scout for the Eagles. “I always keep an eye on them.

GETTY IMAGES: NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah, a former Eagles scout, figures on Howie Roseman to be aggressive in the draft.

“I think they have a pretty obvious need there at corner. You have somebody like Terrion Arnold or even [Quinyon] Mitchell … if either of those guys start to drift a little bit, I wouldn’t sleep at all on the Eagles being an aggressive team and going up there and trying to get one of those corners.”

Arnold starred at Alabama and Mitchell played at Toledo. Both are projected to go in the top 15-t0-20.

Roseman, the team’s personnel chief and longtime executive vice president of football operations, has made more draft trades than any other NFL general manager.

In his pre-draft press conference Tuesday, Roseman repeatedly joked about his affinity for making trades.

The Eagles traded up in last year’s NFL Draft to select defensive tackle Jalen Carter ninth overall and have also traded up in recent drafts to select first-round picks Jordan Davis (2022) and DeVonta Smith (2021). In 2022, Roseman also traded a first-round pick for Pro Bowl receiver A.J. Brown and last year executed a draft weekend trade for running back D’Andre Swift.

Roseman has never used a first-round pick on a cornerback and the team hasn’t drafted a cornerback in the first round since taking Lito Sheppard 26th overall in 2002 – almost 22 years ago.

O-line Fit

If not corner, the Eagles could also move up for an offensive linemen, per Jeremiah.

This draft is studded with offensive tackles and guard, with at least five or six expected to go in the first round, if not more.

The Eagles have mainstays at left and right tackle but have an opening at guard. Jeremiah said most of the first-round linemen who could still be around at 22nd overall are more suited to play tackle but singled out Alabama’s J.C. Latham as someone who could kick inside to guard.

If the Eagles wanted the most versatile linemen for guard-tackle flexibility, they would likely have to move up for Oregon State’s Taliesi Fuaga or Washington’s Troy Fautanu if the board falls the way Jeremiah expects.

“Those two guys, plug-and-play at guard and graduate to tackle whenever Lane [Johnson] walked away,” he said. “You’d have to move up a little bit to get that done.

“Howie’s been more than willing to do that over the years, too. He’ll move either way. I wouldn’t rule that out if one of those guys started to drift. That’s an easy plug-and-play guard for sure.”

Bet On Day 3 RB

Jeremiah didn’t mince words about his expectation of the Eagles finding a running back on the third and final day of the draft.

“I’ll put it this way, the Eagles will draft a running back on Day 3 or I’ll buy you lunch … ” Jeremiah said to a reporter who asked about potential Eagles prospects from Rounds 4-7.

“I think you’ll see the Eagles take a running back on day 3. The guy I like – I just did the other day – I was going through the non-Combine guys, Blake Watson from Memphis. I know when I worked there Howie was always big on explosives, like he wanted to see how many explosive runs guys had, catches.

“Like he wanted guys that could go the distance as running backs and have some juice. This is a guy who ran 4.4 flat, has a ton of production both rushing and catching the ball.”

– Geoff Mosher (@geoffmoshernfl) is co-host of the “Inside the Birds” podcast and staff writer for InsideTheBirds.com.

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