The Philadelphia Eagles Should Trade Their First Round Pick for Brandin Cooks

Updated on March 7, 2017

This may not be a popular opinion, but I think the Philadelphia Eagles should trade whatever it takes to get WR Brandin Cooks from the New Orleans Saints.

I know what you're thinking. Giving up a first round draft pick is insane. Especially a pick as high as 14th overall. To that I say, have you been paying attention?

There are many reasons why the Eagles should be perfectly willing to give up the 14th pick in the upcoming NFL Draft for a player like Cooks. Let's start with the obvious fact that Cooks is exactly what the team needs.

WR Brandin Cooks is exactly what the Philadelphia Eagles need
WR Brandin Cooks is exactly what the Philadelphia Eagles need

Cooks has elite speed to get downfield, which is something the Eagles currently do not have among the receivers on their roster. But Cooks is more than just a one-trick pony. He is a legitimate No. 1 WR. After three seasons in the NFL, he has 215 receptions for 2,861 yards (13.3 ypc) with 20 TDs.

In 10 games as a rookie, Cooks had 53 receptions for 550 yards and 3 TDs. He improved to 84-1,138-9 in his second season and 78-1,173-8 last season. To put that in proper perspective, only Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham, Jr. had better stats than Cooks (162 receptions for 2,311 yards and 17 TDs) over the last two seasons. If you don't think those stats are worth the 14th pick in the NFL draft then you can just stop reading now. There is no rational argument I can make to convince you to listen to common sense.

Philadelphia Eagles GM(?) Howie Roseman
Philadelphia Eagles GM(?) Howie Roseman

The next thing to consider is who exactly will be making the Eagles pick at 14. That would be none other than Whatever his title is don't call him GM Howie Roseman. If you want to tell me that the Eagles hired Joe Douglas to run the draft, I will point out that Roseman has confirmed that he will have final say over every draft pick. They can use whatever buzz words they want, like collaborative process, but when the clock is ticking down during the draft, Roseman will be the one pulling the trigger. Are you comfortable with that? I'm not.

To review, here are a few of Roseman's greatest hits on first round picks. In 2014 Roseman picked DE Marcus Smith 26th overall, even though the rest of the NFL had a third round grade on him. In 2011, he drafted fireman Danny Watkins 23rd overall. And in 2010, Roseman traded up to 13th overall to take DE Brandon Graham, when perennial All-Pro safety Earl Thomas was still on the board. To be fair, Roseman got RT Lane Johnson 3th overall in 2013 and DT Fletcher Cox 12th overall in 2012. But I still don't trust him to find a great player in the draft.

Former Eagles (and Roseman) first round pick Danny Watkins is now literally a fireman
Former Eagles (and Roseman) first round pick Danny Watkins is now literally a fireman

You also have to consider that the Eagles have actually spent quite a few high draft picks on WRs in recent drafts. Nelson Agholor was a 1st round pick in 2015 (Chip Kelly's fault actually), Jordan Matthews was a 2nd round pick and Josh Huff was a 3rd round pick in 2014. Matthews is a decent No. 2 WR, but there are now rumors that the Eagles are shopping him around because they don't want to give him a big contract when his rookie deal expires after this coming season.

If you would rather take a younger receiver to grow with Carson Wentz, then Cooks is still the guy to target. In spite of being an established No. 1 WR in the NFL over the last three seasons, Cooks is only 23 years old. The top three WRs in the NFL Draft; Mike Williams, Corey Davis and John Ross are all 22 years old. And there is absolutely no guarantee that any of those WRs, or any other WR in this draft, will be any good, let alone great (See: Agholor, Nelson)

You want to draft a CB with that first pick and just sign a WR in free agency? Two problems there. There aren't any free agent receivers who are as good as Cooks and only three teams in the NFL have less money under the salary cap than the Eagles.

Should the Eagles trade their first round pick (#14) for Brandin Cooks?

See results

Let's start with the money first, because that's important. The latest figures I saw from the NFLPA have the Eagles with only $8.4 million available under the cap and some of that will be needed to sign their draft picks. Sure, they will make roster cuts to get rid of some big contracts, but then they will have to replace those players, which will still cost a few bucks. Even if the Eagles get rid of Connor Barwin, Ryan Mathews and say Mychal Kendricks, they will still only have around $20m to spend.

In case you're wondering, the Browns have the most cap space with $104 million, followed by the 49ers at $90m. If you think it's just the bad teams that have a lot of cap space, I have some bad news for you. The Patriots have $62m, the Broncos have $42m and the Packers have $40m. Thanks to horrible Chip Kelly signings and Roseman breaking the bank to keep Cox, Johnson and Vinnie Curry, the Eagles are in salary cap hell for at least another year or two.

NFL Cap Room, By Team

(In millions)
Cleveland Browns
San Francisco 49ers
Jacksonville Jaguars
Tamp Bay Buccaneers
New England Patriots
Tennessee Titans
Indianapolis Colts
Chicago Bears
Denver Broncos
Cincinnati Bengals
Oakland Raiders
Miami Dolphins
Washington Redskins
Carolina Panthers
Detroit Lions
New Orleans Saints
Seattle Seahawks
New York Jets
Houston Texans
Loas Angeles Rams
Pittsburgh Steelers
Arizona Cardinals
Buffalo Bills
Atlanta Falcons
Baltimore Ravens
New York Giants
Philadelphia Eagles
Los Angeles Chargers
Kansas City Chiefs
Dallas Cowboys

Now let's look at the best available free agent WRs. Alshon Jeffery is undoubtedly a stud. He's also one more failed drug test away from a one-year suspension. It's probably not a good idea for he and Lane Johnson to hang out, don't you think. Jeffery has also only played 16 games twice in his five-year career. He's also going to want to be paid among the top WRs in the NFL. DeSean Jackson would be a nice story, but he also wants big bucks and he's already 30. Why sign a WR who will be way past his prime by the time Wentz puts it all together and the Eagles are ready to make a run? Kenny Stills is intriguing, but he really isn't proven. Terrell Pryor is going to get paid top dollar after one good season at WR. The Eagles can't afford him. Period. Kenny Brit, Pierre Garcon, Tory Smith? They might upgrade the pitiful group of WRs who took the field last season for the Eagles, but they aren't difference-makers.

Brandin Cooks is a difference-maker.

Free Agent WR Alshon Jeffery is Probably out of the Eagles' price range
Free Agent WR Alshon Jeffery is Probably out of the Eagles' price range

The last argument I'm sure someone will have against trading for Cooks is that he'll cost more than a rookie WR. While that's true for the future, Cooks would only be a $2.67 million cap hit for 2017. Cooks has a fifth-year option in his rookie deal for $8.5 million, which would still be much cheaper than what Jeffery and Pryor will probably get. Most of those other free agent WRs will all get around that too. Sure, the Eagles would have to break the bank to keep Cooks beyond 2018, but isn't that what you want? Don't you want your players to be great, which means you have to pay them top dollar to keep them? Unless the past three years have been a mirage, the Eagles will have a 25 year-old WR who is coming off of four straight 1,000-yard seasons. Sign me up for that problem.

I know most people think giving up a first round pick for Brandin Cooks is too much, but personally, I think he's well worth the price. Maybe Roseman can work his magic and get Cooks for a 2nd rounder and other picks and/or players. After everything he did to get up to No. 2 last year to get Wentz, it would be foolish to doubt his ability to swing a trade for the Eagles.

Let me leave you with one final point that I'm sure will convince you to agree with me that Brandin Cooks is worth the No. 14 pick in the NFL Draft. Remember that the Eagles got that pick from the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for Sam Bradford. Now tell me there is a single person on the planet who wouldn't trade Sam Bradford for Brandin Cooks, straight up.

Yeah, that's what I thought.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: ""

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)