The secret strategy that helps Howie Roseman pull off draft-day trades originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
Expecting some more draft-day trades from Howie Roseman?
He's already made them.
They're just sitting on his desk waiting to spring to life.
Roseman, who’s been as active as any general manager in the NFL when it comes to draft-day maneuvering, shed some light into his process recently and said the first-round trades he’s become known for don’t just happen as the draft unfolds.
They’re all set up before the draft begins.
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And when it’s time to pounce, the Eagles are ready.
“In the first round we've always found that it's helpful to have those trades mapped out beforehand,” Roseman said. “The way that goes isn't like, ‘Hey, we're definitely doing this.’
"It's if we're moving up, hey, if there's a player that we want that falls to that spot, here's what we would do. Are we good on the trade compensation? So that you pick up the phone and I say ‘Hey, the guy's still there. You guys good?’ [They say] ‘Yeah’. Trade is done.
“So you're not sitting there and going, ‘We think it should be this and this and they think it should be this and this.’ It's too hectic to do that in the first round.”
The Carson Wentz maneuverings that brought the Eagles the second pick in 2016 all took place before the draft, but in 2012 the Eagles moved up to draft Fletcher Cox, in 2014 they traded down for Marcus Smith, in 2019 they moved up for Andre Dillard and then last year they moved down and then back up for DeVonta Smith.
Roseman has already pulled off one 1st-round blockbuster this year – the deal with the Saints – but it wouldn’t surprise anybody if there’s much more activity on Thursday.
And the leg work on those moves has already been done.
“When you get into the second round, third round and beyond, those things do happen on the clock because they're simpler,” he said. “But when it gets into the first round, all those conversations will be had before the fact. Even our trade last year we kind of set parameters of what that was, and so when we picked up the phone and called Dallas we kind of knew what the trade was going to be and what the price was going to be and that we had discussed that.
“I think that's the easier way to go in the first round so you're not in a situation where you’re kind of scrambling, because there's a lot to do when you're in the first round. You move up. You take a pick. Now you're on the clock. Now you kind of got to get situated. You got to call in the trade. You got to make sure your guy is there. So that's how we do it. My feeling is that's how a lot of teams do it just based on the conversations we've had throughout the years, and I think it makes it flow easier.”
With two 1st-round picks, Roseman has prepared trade frameworks to move up from No. 15 or down from No. 18 and who knows how many other scenarios.
If it can happen, he's ready.
As the first half of the first round unfolds Thursday evening, if a player the Eagles covet starts slipping and there’s a team picking before the Eagles that doesn't want him, it’ll just take a phone call to get a trade done.
The hay is already in the barn.
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“We have two picks, so I think you're planning every scenario about who you would move up for, who you would be really comfortable staying (for), how many players you would be comfortable staying (for), and what are the tiers that you would move back for and what you would take,” he said.
“Obviously, there's a price that doesn't make sense to move back either. We're not going to move back 10 picks for a 5th-round pick. So I think at the end of the day you kind of go through all those and you have a really good sense of what you want to do.”
And if all this planning leads to a trade before the draft even begins?
Just go ahead and make it. Like the Eagles and Saints did earlier this month.
“I think for us and New Orleans, that was one of the comforts of the trade,” Roseman said. “We both knew what we were comfortable for. It didn't really matter what the trade chart said. They were comfortable with the deal, and we were comfortable with the deal, and I think those are the best trades.”