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All Philadelphia Sports :: What if the Eagles trade Lito Sheppard for the Patriots' 7th pick...
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Eagles News > Thursday, March-20-2008

What if the Eagles trade Lito Sheppard for the Patriots' 7th pick...

Lito Sheppard TradeI know that this scenario is a long-shot, but it's always fun to play a little "what if."

In my last poll question I asked the readers, in the event that Lito Sheppard is traded to the Patriots for the 7th pick in the draft, who should the Eagles draft?  The straight-up choices were Ryan Clady, Derrick Harvey, Phillip Merling, Keith Rivers, Kenny Phillips, Mike Jenkins, and Limas Sweed.  I also provided 3 more options if the Eagles were somehow able to parlay the 7th and 19th picks to trade up in order to get their hands on Jake Long, Vernon Gholston, or Darren McFadden, which got the majority of votes.  However, the outright winner was Limas Sweed at 23%, who was followed by trading the 7th and the 19th pick for Jake Long -- who I expect to be drafted by the Dolphins with the 1st pick; or the Rams with the 2nd pick because they clearly need to protect Marc Bulger's blind side in order to prevent further concussions to their franchise quarterback, and Orlando Pace is done.  After that, there was also strong support for Darren McFadden and Vernon Gholston.  Lets review the options.

By the way, since WR is clearly on the mind of Eagles fans for the 1st-round pick, the next poll asks you for your favorite wide receiver in the draft.

The Eagles are in a great position with 3 outstanding CBs and Joe Banner has made it clear that they will listen to offers, but will not deal Lito unless they get a lot of value.  Even though the Patriots went out and got 2 CBs to replace the loss of Asante Samuel, none of them are on the level of Lito Shepppard, and you would think the Patriots will want to trade their 7th pick for a proven CB rather than draft an unproven rookie CB.  Having two first-round picks would be tremendous news for the Eagles because they have the ability of parlaying those in order to get a superstar like Jake Long, Chris Long, Vernon Gholston, or Darren McFadden; or if they don't or can't trade up, they have the ability to address 2 needs in the first round.  I would say their top 4 needs are WR, OL, S, and DE.  They picked up Chris Clemons to help the pass rush, but you can never have too many pass rushers.  If the Eagles hold the 7th and 19th pick, if you can find a suitor to trade for Chris Long, Vernon Gholston, Jake Long, or Darren McFadden, you have to do it.  Let's review the Eagles' options, along with the clear favorite of Eagles fans: Limas Sweed

Continue reading the rest of the article.
JAKE LONG -- If the Eagles can trade the 7th and 19th picks for Jake Long, I would say that would be the BEST move.  Jake Long gave up like 1 sack ever in college and that was to Vernon Gholston.  The guy is a total freak of nature just like Vernon Gholston.  Having Jake Long on the Eagles would help prolong the career of McNabb and he would still be the Eagles' guy on the left side to protect Kevin Kolb when his time comes.  Joe Thomas was a Pro-Bowler as a rookie and Jake Long is a more impressive prospect than Joe Thomas.  I have him going #2 to the Rams, other mock drafts have him going 5 to the Chiefs or as high as 1 to the Dolphins.  In any event, if the Eagles trade the 7th pick to the Patriots for Lito Sheppard, they need to package that with the 19th pick to get Jake Long.  Unfortunately, if the Pats deal with #7 pick to the Eagles it will probably occur on draft day and I'm sure Jake Long is already off the board.  If Gholston or McFadden slip to the Patriots, there is no shot of them trading the pick.  In order for them to deal the pick for Lito, the top 5 talents (Long, Long, Dorsey, Gholston, and McFadden) will have to be off the board, which would force them to address their biggest need: CB.

CHRIS LONG & VERNON GHOLSTON -- If you could get either of these guys to pair up with Trent Cole, the Eagles would easily have one of the best pass rushes in the league along with the Giants.  I would opt for Jake Long over Chris Long and Vernon Gholston simply because OL is a much bigger need for the Eagles right now than DE.  I'm putting a lot of faith in Abiamiri being our guy at LDE and bringing Chris Clemons in on passing downs, so I'll pass on Chris Long and Gholston to take Jake Long to anchor the line for the next decade.

DARREN McFADDEN
-- There is a chance that McFadden could slip to the Eagles at 7.  In order for that to happen, the Dolphins or Falcons have to take Matt Ryan, which would propel McFadden down the board since the Rams, Chiefs, Raiders, and Jets will draft defense (Dorsey, Ellis, Gholston, Long) or Jake Long.  I don't see Ryan going to the Dolphins: I see Parcels going to Chris Long or Jake Long.  The Falcons paid $35 million for Turner, so it looks like they're not interested in McFadden.  In any event, I think there's a possibility teams 1-6 pass on McFadden and he falls into the Eagles lap at 7.  I wouldn't trade the 7th and 19th to trade up to get him, but if he's there are 7, the Eagles have to take him since the Longs and Gholston are off the board.  Imagine what McFadden and Westbrook would be able to do together.  It would not only prolong Westbrook's career since he'll have somebody to split carries with, but if you have both guys in the backfield, it would be a nightmare for defensive coordinators.  That's just too sweet to pass up.

LIMAS SWEED
--  Limas Sweed is arguably the most athletic and talented WR in the deep crop of WRs in this year's draft.  I think using the 7th pick on him may be a bit of a reach, but you also have to think the Bills at 12 will have their eyes on him as well.  I like Sweed more than Malcolm Kelly and although DeSean Jackson's speed is tempting, I don't see him having as big of a career in the NFL as Limas Sweed.  Jackson is way too undersized and speed will only get you so far.  Plus, the Eagles have speed with Kevin Curtis.  The Eagles need a big, physical receiver they can count on when they're in the red zone and Limas Sweed is the guy that fits the bill (you can also make a case for James Hardy). 

Like I said before, using the 7th pick on him may be a bit of reach.  Assuming the Eagles don't trade up, I think the Eagles should go for Ryan Clady.  Jon Runyan are retiring soon, so the line needs to be addressed.  Even though the Eagles have option at the OT (Justice, Herremans, or even moving Andrews), investing in another OT is never a bad move.  The Eagles are interested in Chris Williams, but Ryan Clady is a step ahead on Williams, so I think using the 7th pick on a top OL and the 19th on a WR is the way to go for the Eagles.  Sweed may be still be available at 19, but if he's not, the Eagles could opt for James Hardy or Malcolm Kelly.  I expect the Panthers, Bears, and Lions to take an OL in the first round, so with them picking before the Eagles, I think it's wise to address the OL first, and then focus on WR.


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