The month leading up to the NFL Draft is known as silly season thanks to smoke screens and rumors swirling around potential draft picks and trades. If you were paying attention to the wonder world of Twitter this afternoon you got a slight taste of one of these “rumors” in regard to a potential deal between the Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles.
In a tweet that has since been deleted, the @CowboysNation Twitter account for InsideTheStar.com, a site covering the Dallas Cowboys, sent out a tweet that stirred up the NFL Draft community. Thanks to Denver Radio Host, Benjamin Allbright, a screenshot was taken of the tweet. According to the account, “Todd McShay believes the Eagles have a deal in place with the Browns to trade up to #2 overall for RB Zeke Elliott.”
— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) April 12, 2016
For those of you who do not know, the Philadelphia Eagles have been linked to the Ohio State standout since they made two moves this offseason. In the first of those trades, the Eagles sent LB Kiko Alonso and DB Byron Maxwell along with pick No. 13 in the first round to the Dolphins for pick No. 8. In the second of those trades, the Eagles sent major 2015 free agency acquisition, DeMarco Murray, to the Tennessee Titans in a deal where the two teams swapped fourth-round picks.
From the moment they moved Murray and traded into the Top 10, the Eagles have been linked to Elliott. In his three years at Ohio State, the man known as Zeke rushed the ball 592 times for 3,961 yards and 43 touchdowns—with that majority of those yards coming in back-to-back 1,800-yard seasons. On top of his rushing statistics, Elliott caught 58 passes for 449 yards and one touchdown and is revered as the most complete running back to come out since Adrian Peterson.
So what does all of this have to do with the Cleveland Browns, you ask? Well, taking a look at the “rumored” deal and historical deals that have occurred in the Top 10—it just does not make sense.
For starters, the Philadelphia Eagles do not own their second-round pick thanks to the Sam Bradford–Nick Foles trade. When you look at the Eagles’ draft picks for the 2016 NFL Draft, they just do not seem to have enough ammunition to tempt the Browns to move from No. 2 to No. 8. After the No. 8 overall pick in round one, their next picks are not until No. 77 (round three), No. 79 (round three) and No. 100 in round four.
Why is this important to understand? Well, let’s take a look at some recent trades involving picks in the Top 10.
2014: Cleveland Browns trade No. 4 to Buffalo Bills for No. 9 overall, a 2015 first-round pick (ended up being No. 19) and a 2015 fourth-round pick (ended up being No. 115 overall).
2013: Oakland Raiders trade No. 3 to Miami Dolphins for No. 12 overall and No. 42 overall (second round).
2013: Buffalo Bills trade No. 8 and No. 71 (third round) to St. Louis Rams for No. 16, No. 46 (second round), No. 78 (third round) and No. 222 (seventh round).
2012: St. Louis Rams traded No. 2 to Washington Redskins for No. 6, No. 39 (second round), a 2013 first-round pick (ended up being No. 22 overall) and a 2014 first-round pick (ended up being No. 2 overall).
2012: St. Louis Rams traded No. 6 to Dallas Cowboys for No. 14 and No. 45 (second round).
As you can see from the list of trades dating back to 2012, the majority of them—with the exception of the Browns/Bills deal in 2014—included a first and second-round pick in that year’s draft at a minimum. Ray Farmer and the Browns, of course, were the exception because they opted for the 2015 first-round pick which was used on Cameron Erving.
Looking at all of these trades, there are two simple reasons why this deal does not make sense.
The first of those, on the Browns side, is simply that the team should not be willing to move from No. 2 unless they are getting a second-round pick in any deal. According to the draft trade value chart (used by some), pick No. 2 is worth 2,600 and No. 8 is worth 1,400 points. That means the Eagles would have to come up with an equivalent value of the No. 12 overall pick in the first round to make it worth-while for the Browns. With no pick in the second-round, their picks in the third round (77 and 79) are worth only 205 and 195 points. Even if they included a future first-round pick, it still likely would not be enough.
On the Eagles side, they traded away two players in Alonso and Maxwell in order to go from 13 to 8. It would just not make sense for them to then move No. 8, a future first and potentially two other picks in this class in order to get Elliott—no matter how good they think he is going to be. New head coach Doug Pederson likely will not be too happy about giving up potentially four or more picks in his first two seasons for a position that some feels has been de-valued over the years.
While this rumor seemingly did not have legs earlier on Tuesday when it was tweeted and deleted, it just does not make sense when you break it down. Does this mean the Browns will not trade out of No. 2? Absolutely not, but it would likely take much more than the Eagles have to offer right now to get the deal done.