Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles: A Trade Waiting to Happen

Cory HolibaughCorrespondent IMarch 29, 2009

MOBILE, AL - JANUARY 24:  Clay Matthews #47 of the South Team lines up during the game against the North Team during the Under Armour Senior Bowl on January 24, 2009 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images for Under Armour)

All Cleveland Browns fans should be well aware that new Head Coach Eric Mangini and General Manager George Kokinis have started the rebuilding process. If they are rebuilding, do they really need a huge impact rookie like Brian Orakpo?

As it stands the Browns have five overall draft picks: No. 5, 36, 50, 104, and 177 overall. Having three picks in the top 100 (and one just outside) is good for a rebuilding team, but could they obtain more?

If you think about it, the Browns don't need a player like Orakpo. They need players that can be possible starters, or players that can be bred into starters by the time they are ready to win. Later-round picks could benefit them more than a player drafted fifth overall.

Also, late-round picks wouldn't break the bank, saving the Browns money that could come in handy later.

All Philadelphia Eagles fans should be well aware that Philly is contending. Donovan McNabb wants that championship ring and wants it as soon as possible.

With Jon Runyan's possible retirement and Tra Thomas signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Eagles have a pressing need at offensive tackle. Most of the better OT's will be gone in the top 15, and the others by the time the Eagles picks come around.

The Eagles have two first-round picks (21 and 28) but would like to move into the top 10. Could the Eagles trade both their first-round picks (21 and 28) for the Browns' first-rounder?

With two later first-round picks, what could the Browns expect to do? Who should they take?

Clay Matthews III: Some call him Clay Matthews Jr. but he is actually the third. His father, the real Clay Matthews Jr., was drafted by the Browns 12th overall in the 1978 NFL Draft. He was a linebacker for Cleveland, and was a four-time Pro Bowler for them as well.

His grandfather, Clay Matthews Sr., and uncle Bruce Matthews also played in the NFL. His family has been successful in football so he could, too. His father played for the Browns so it could be a reunion of some sort.

With the possible retirement of Willie McGinest, Matthews could be a perfect fit with Cleveland. He isn't Brian Orakpo, but the Browns only need players who will get better in years to come.

Matthews III would be a great selection at No. 21 for the Browns.

Knowshon Moreno: He and Chris "Beanie" Wells are unknowingly competing. Wells has been considered the No. 1 running back heading into the draft for some time but some see Knowshon climbing the board.

Wells' injuries are a turn-off, which could benefit Moreno in the draft. Still, neither of the running backs are projected to go until late into the draft.

Jamal Lewis is winding down and none of the other backs are starter material. Cleveland's got to realize that running back is bigger need then it may seem.

If the Browns could catch Knowshon at No. 28, it would fill a huge hole, especially since he could possibly be the best running in the entire draft. Knowshon would be an instant starter for Cleveland but wouldn't break the bank either.

So if you were Cleveland, would you want an expensive OLB in Brian Orakpo whose impact wouldn't do much to a rebuilding team, or a cheaper OLB with similar potential and possibly the draft's best RB?

It seems like a no-brainer for Cleveland, but what about the Eagles?

A luxury back to play behind Westbrook sounds good and they could catch tight end Brandon Pettigrew. Doesn't an elite OT sound better though? The huge holes that Thomas and Runyan left behind need to be filled, and quickly.

OT Jason Smith should be gone by the No. 5 pick but Eugene Monroe or Andre Smith could still be around. If one is gone, the other should still be there. An elite OT would help the Eagles so much.

The trade could be good on both sides, getting both teams what they need.

The Browns need young players to help fill holes and rebuild. With four picks in the first two rounds, many holes could be filled.

The Eagles get an elite OT to help solidify their O-line, not to mention once again that the shoes of Runyan and Thomas need to be filled if their offense wants to succeed.

The trade could happen now, or it could happen on draft day. It might not happen at all, but nonetheless this trade would benefit both teams greatly.

If not this trade, look for a trade similar to this to occur.


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