According to all the experts, Baylor OT Jason Smith is expected to be a top-four pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, as most mocks have him heading to either Detroit at No. 1, St. Louis at No. 2, or even to Seattle at No. 4, but that's as far as he is expected to fall.
So, why did the Eagles visit with this blue-chip prospect today when they pick in the 20s?
It's possible they are looking to take advantage of the bargain basement sale going on right now on the top end of this draft.
Don't misunderstand when I say "sale". The sale does not include a discount when it comes to contract talks. Jason Smith, if selected in the top five, will still demand a payday of somewhere around $60 million with several millions in guaranteed money.
The bargain basement sale really centers around draft picks. Using the NFL Draft trade value chart, the Rams first-round pick (No. 2 overall) is worth 2,600 points.
In previous years, if a team wanted to get up to No. 2 they would have to come reasonably close to matching the point total in the trade value chart. If that were the case, the Eagles could trade all 12 of their 2009 draft picks and still fall short by about 400 points
However, this year is different. With the top few teams desperate to trade down to accumulate some more draft picks, they will be willing to make a sacrifice in the trade chart.
The Eagles have some ammunition, too. Out of those 12 draft picks, two of them are in the first round. They and the Broncos are the only two teams with 2 picks in the first round.
If the Eagles want to make this happen, they will have their chance, and it might take a lot less than they think.
The will be looking to fill the shoes of three-time Pro Bowler Tra Thomas. I know they brought some bodies in, but does anyone really believe either Andrews is the answer at LT?
Should be an interesting draft.
Jason Smith does were No. 72, and he is already comfortable in a green jersey...I'm just sayin'.
EDIT: I guess this all becomes irrelevant now that the Eagles traded with the Bills to acqire LT Jason Peters. This changes the mock drafts...