I was on the Philadelphia Eagles Message Board during the draft and nearly everyone posting was really upset over how much the Eagles gave up in this trade up from #24 to #13 to select Michigan defensive end Brandon Graham. Admittedly I was surprised by the move, not only that the Eagles traded up to #13 but also the selection of Brandon Graham who from what I'd read leading up to the draft was projected to be a late 1st-round pick.
Now in the face of an unexpected move, your typical idiot fans will go all Chicken Little, pronounce a 4-12 record for the season and freak out and renounce their fandom forever. It's an empty threat of course and really not all that different from a 2-year-old not getting his way, throwing a temper tantrum, and screaming "I hate you!" at his parents and declaring his intention to "run away from home forever!"
Fortunately, I'm here to offer a more thoughtful reaction. I'll leave it to my girlfriend to deal with my temper tantrums. And I'll be damned if I'm going to continue hiding my flatulence after 5 months of dating! I know nobody likes the smell of horse manure! That's not the point! Ugh... women.
First, let me say that I understand the reason for the Eagles' moving up to #13 to take Graham. The New York Giants took a DE at #15 and the Titans took a DE at #16. The Eagles probably felt that the Giants and maybe the Tennessee Titans, too, were looking at taking DEs. Who knows if the Eagles hadn't moved up if Graham would still be on the board and the Giants and Titans still would have taken Jason Pierre-Paul and Derrick Morgan, respectively. But if Graham was the guy the Eagles truly coveted, you don't take that risk. That's how you miss out on guys you really like. That's how the Eagles missed out on Meriweather.
When you know the first couple DEs are about to come off the board and you really want one of the top 3 DEs, you need to make moves and take him. For all we know, the Giants are pissed because they wanted Graham and are cursing themselves for not moving up, as the Eagles did, to ensure they got him.
Some people say Graham wasn't worth moving up to #13 for. Maybe if you're just doing overall value rankings for the draft and not factoring in teams' needs and what positions they'd likely pick then that could be true; he may fall toward the end of the 1st round based on overall value rankings alone. But if taking him at #13 is what it takes to get the guy you really, truly want to get, then that's absolutely where he should be taken.
That's how a good football organization drafts. Otherwise that's how the guys you want end up slipping through your fingers and you start settling for 2nd, 3rd, or 4th favorites. That's how guys like Tony Hunt end up on your team. Granted the guy they wanted who missed on was Lorenzo Booker, but at the time there was no way of knowing he'd suck just as much as Hunt. I'm just using this as an example.
Now let me address the issue of what they gave up for the move. The Eagles gave up their #24 pick plus their two 3rd rounders (#70 and #87) to move up 11 spots to the #13 pick. Here's an important point if it's accurate: Word has it that the Eagles were trying to trade up with Miami but that Miami wanted the Eagles' #37 pick (from McNabb trade). The Eagles apparently refused to part ways with any of their 2nd round picks and so the trade never materialized.
Here are some important value comparisons...
Like I said, Miami wanted to trade back but the Eagles refused to give them what they wanted, a 2nd-round pick. So the San Diego Chargers moved in on the opportunity. The Miami Dolphins traded their #12 pick, a 4th-round pick (#110), and a 6th-round pick (#173) to San Diego for their #28 pick, a 2nd-round pick (#40), a 4th-round pick (#126), and linebacker Tim Dobbins (a 2006 5th-round pick). This was to move up 16 spots to select RB Ryan Mathews, who many thought would go sometime in the late 1st round or at the earliest to Houston at #20. The Chargers certainly gave up a lot in this trade.
Another example is the Dallas Cowboys. The New England Patriots, who ultimately ended up with our #24 pick, traded it along with a 4th-round pick (#119) to Dallas for their 1st-round pick (#27) and a 3rd-round pick (#90). This effectively moved the Cowboys up 3 spots in the first round, for which they gave up on 3rd-round pick. The Eagles gave up two 3rd round picks to move up 11 spots and to a much earlier pick in the 1st round. Granted the Eagles didn't get a late-round pick in return along with the #13 pick, but I can understand that considering how far up in the 1st round they jumped (and where they might've been subject to competition from other teams also seeking to trade for the pick).
I'm okay with the pick. Graham looks like a beast. And the Eagles still have both of their 2nd-round picks. It's unexpected, but I'm on board. Let's see what this kid can do.