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Roob: Chances Eagles Trade For Fourth Overall ‘Slim To None’

Apr 14, 2012, 2:31 PM EDT

The anatomy of a pre-draft rumor and looking at the Eagles intentions in the 2012 draft.

CSN’s
Reuben Frank quickly debunked a rumor on Saturday morning that
suggested the Eagles could trade up from the 15th pick in this month’s
NFL Draft to number four overall.

The story originated from Mary
Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, who reported the Browns have
heard from a handful of clubs interested in moving up, the Birds being
one of them. Roob contacted a team source, who brushed the news off as
“just another draft rumor,” adding there’s little chance of a deal
coming to fruition.

Little chance? Slim to none? Sure, that’s a
denial, but it’s not exactly ironclad either — not like saying, “No,”
would’ve been. Is this just typical pre-draft half-truths, or could the
Eagles really be giving even the slightest consideration to making a
blockbuster move like this?

This is as good a time as any for our annual reminder that you can’t believe everything you hear this time of the year.

The
Eagles and Browns have close front office ties. Andy Reid’s mentor, Mike Holmgren, is the Browns team president, and general manager Tom
Heckert held the same position in Philly prior to Howie Roseman. Since
Holmgren and Heckert went to the Browns, there have been multiple trades
between the two clubs, including the deal that sent Sheldon Brown and
Chris Gocong to Cleveland, in addition to exchanging picks on draft day.

So
there’s no doubt the teams have spoken. Who can really say what kind of
scenarios they discuss, what details they feel comfortable enough to
share? A conversation about the fourth pick does not necessarily equate
to serious interest. Either way, Philadelphia is a logical choice to
toss into a good rumor.

And while the assumption at places like
BGN
and PFT is the Browns leaked this information, the Eagles no doubt
are all too happy to go along with the story, if for no other reason
than to leave it open as a possibility. Misdirection is the name of the
game in April, and even if there is actually zero chance they make such a
move — and considering the cost of jumping up 11 picks to fourth
overall, it’s about as unlikely a move as there could be — no sense
slamming the door shut if it keeps other war rooms guessing.

Still,
it’s interesting all the same. The Eagles visited Texas A&M
quarterback Ryan Tannehill a few weeks back, prompting some buzz they
are looking at quarterbacks in this draft. Mocks have Tannehill off the
board well before 15 though, so if he’s their man, they would almost
certainly need to move up.

Then again, visits are often just
another form of misdirection
, which is why we typically don’t spend a
whole lot of time talking about them here.

One thing is for sure
though, and that is intrigue is building over what the Eagles will do
once they’re on the clock on April 26. Chances are very high that won’t
be within the first hour of the draft.