This generous handicapper shares his predictions for the 2015 NFL Draft, focusing on the prime candidates that will try and draft Oregon quarterback, Marcus Mariota.
Eagles Draft Position is Just First Obstacle
Those interested in placing NFL picks will know that we still have several months until the NFL Draft, so a lot can change between now and then, however as it stands now, the Eagles hold the 20th pick in the draft. Philadelphia's Futures odds are listed at 2500+ from Sportsbooks like William Hill. This may be a good slot to draft Mariota, however there are a lot of teams in the front of the draft that need quarterbacks, so someone like the Bucs at #1, or the Titans at #2 could easily reach for a talent such as the Heisman Trophy winner.
On top of all that, the Bucs (listed at +10000 NFL odds of winning Super Bowl 50) just made a move a few days ago that puts another big roadblock in front of the Eagles in their pursuit of the Oregon quarterback. Tampa just released Josh McCown, forgoing the final year on his deal. This is a big sign that the Bucs could be gearing up to take a quarterback with the first overall pick. While it would appear they would want to draft Mariota with the first overall pick, they could also be looking at Jameis Winston as well. It would seem strange that Winston is still in consideration for the number one pick after his offseason issues over the last few years, but he is a talent as well. The Eagles are sure cheering for the Bucs to take the in-state star, but that doesn’t mean Mariota will fall. The Titans could snag him at two, and there are rumors of other teams being interested in Mariota as well, including the Cleveland Browns.
All of this considered, there are multiple teams that could draft Mariota, so it seems that the only way the Eagles can get a chance at him is to move up. They likely won’t want to pay the price (or take the risk) it would take to trade into one of the top two slots. Remember the Robert Griffin III trade? That’s the last time it happened, and there is no doubt that the Rams won that trade. This probably still is very fresh in the minds of the Eagles, who don’t want to make the mistake of selling the far for a rookie quarterback who hasn’t played a down in the NFL.
It would be very interesting to see Mariota coached by former Ducks coach, Chip Kelly. However Eagles GM, Howie Roseman will have a big say in the matter, as will owner, Jeffrey Lurie.
What it Would Take
If all sides of the Eagles’ staff are on the same page and want to trade up for Mariota, they will likely have to trade inside the top five. Almost every mock draft I’ve looked at (and yes it is still very early for mock drafts) has Mariota going either one or two, with a couple have him going to the Jets at #6.
In the Griffin trade from the Rams (+4000 Futures Odds), the Redskins ( +10000 Futures Odds) had to give up three first round picks and a second round pick. That is an incredibly high price to pay for one player in the NFL, and although I doubt the Eagles would pay that price, it could take at least three or four very high draft picks, and probably at least another first round pick outside of the Eagles current slot of 20th. The Redskins overpaid by just traded up from #6 to #2, but it will still cost a lot if the Eagles decide they want to trade up.