On Thursday night, Chip Kelly opened the Eagles 2015 Draft by retaining the 20th overall pick.
Sure, there was plenty of speculation that the Eagles were working hard to trade up. They wanted a bid for Marcus Mariota. It didn’t happen.
In hindsight, it’s probably a blessing in disguise. In holding the 20th pick, the Eagles kept defensive starters like Fletcher Cox and Mychal Kendricks while drafting for a position of need at wide receiver, and getting a solid pick in Nelson Agholor.
On Day 2, the Eagles can fill another team need in the secondary, and there is a way for them to turn that pick into a steal.
Kelly’s first attempt at a first-round pick was a year-one failure. Marcus Smith II barely saw the field in his rookie season. But with Kelly’s second pick last season, the Eagles traded up to snag Jordan Matthews, who looks to be the team’s future No. 1 receiver, if not this season, then in the very near future.
The Eagles could do the same thing this year in reverse.
With the wide receiver already selected, the Eagles do need to address the secondary with their first pick tonight.
Two interesting names still remain on the board: cornerback Jalen Collins and safety Landon Collins.
Both players come from SEC schools – Jalen from LSU and Landon from Alabama – and were first-round projections that have now slipped to Day 2. If the Eagles can pull off a similar trade, moving up from pick 52 to maybe the late 30s or early 40s, one of the two could be on the board.
There are two other attractive names for the Eagles sitting on the board as well. One of them will also require a trade up in the order.
Jake Fisher, an Oregon offensive lineman, slipped out of the first round and certainly would have the attention of Kelly given his alma mater.
If the Eagles are looking to address the safety position without trading up, there is certainly a chance that Penn State safety Adrian Amos could still be on the board when the Eagles pick at 52.
One way or the other, the Eagles should address a team need again with the second pick and the only exception will be an offensive lineman from Oregon. Anything else will be totally out of left field.
In the end, I think the Eagles trade up and get Landon Collins because he’s more of a natural safety, though Jalen Collins is certainly an appealing name as well. But the trade must also be made with consciousness. It essentially has to be a pick-for-pick swap or something minimal at best.
Whatever happens, we’ll find out soon enough as the Eagles continue to add newcomers to the roster on Day 2 in just a few more hours.
Kevin Durso is a contributing writer and editorial assistant for Eagledelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.