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Are the Philadelphia Eagles Turning Over a New "Leaf" by Trading for No. 2 Pick?
The Philadelphia Eagles are either picking Donovan McNabb or Ryan Leaf in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Oh sure. That might be over-simplifying things, but the fact remains that the Eagles just mortgaged their future to trade up to the No. 2 spot in the draft. And there is no question that the Eagles traded up to take a "franchise" quarterback.
The Eagles obtained the No. 2 overall pick from the Cleveland Browns, along with the Browns' fourth round pick in 2017. In order to move up, they gave up their first round pick (No. 8), a third rounder (No. 77) and fourth rounder (No. 100) in 2016, a first round pick in 2017 and a second round pick in 2018. Not to mention that they traded Kiko Alonzo and Byron Maxwell to the Miami Dolphins to go from the 15th pick to the 8th pick, before this trade. If that seems like a lot, that's because it is.
It's even worse when you consider that the Eagles will most likely have a top 10 pick again in 2017, since they won't be getting many, if any, starters out of this draft. After the trade, the Eagles are left with seven draft picks this year. They have picks in the first (No. 2), third (No. 79), fifth (No. 153, 164), sixth (No. 188) and seventh (No. 233, 251) rounds.
The first pick will be that aforementioned, franchise QB. Of course, that QB won't play in 2016 (more on that later). The third rounder might have a chance to be a contributor, but how many fifth, sixth and seventh round draft picks ever become starters? The odds are that this entire draft is for the future. That means the present is going to be tough to watch.
At first I assumed that the Eagles would be contacting every team in the league, trying to trade QB Sam Bradford. Certainly a team like the Denver Broncos or NY Jets would trade a mid-round pick for an established starting QB, right? Unfortunately, it seems that if the Eagles trade Bradford, they will take an $11 million cap hit in dead money. For a team trying desperately to sign their best player, Fletcher Cox, to a contract extension, you can't take huge cap hits like that. That means that the Eagles are stuck with Bradford this season and we might not even see the rookie QB until 2017.
Chase Daniel? Sorry, only new head coach, Doug Pederson wants him.
You could argue that the Eagles are better due to addition by subtraction by getting rid of Alonso, Maxwell and DeMarco Murray, who was traded to Tennessee. But do the Eagles really have enough talent to replace those players? Maybe, but having a few extra draft picks sure would have helped rebuild a team that Chip Kelly decimated.
Do you like the Eagles trade for the No. 2 Pick in the NFL Draft?
Heck, I wanted the Eagles to trade back in the first round, to try to get back a 2nd round pick. If you remember, Kelly traded their second rounder for Bradford last year. Then the St. Louis Rams used that pick to trade up to the No. 1 pick in this draft.
Speaking of which, rumors seem to indicate that the Rams have decided to draft Cal QB Jared Goff. If that's true, that means that the Eagles will be taking North Dakota State QB Carson Wentz.
When asked at the news conference to announce the trade, (Insert Every Executive Title in the World BUT GM here) Howie Roseman answered with a resounding "yes", when asked if the Eagles traded up to draft a quarterback. He also indicated that he knew who the Rams were picking at No. 1. That all seems to point to Wentz as the Eagles choice.
Now I was only half kidding about the Eagles picking either the next Donovan McNabb or the next Ryan Leaf. Both McNabb (in 1999) and Leaf (in 1998) were the second pick of their respective drafts. McNabb has to be in the conversation for the greatest QB in Eagles franchise history. Meanwhile, Leaf has to be in the conversation for the biggest bust in NFL Draft history. The problem is, we have no way of knowing if Wentz will be more like McNabb or more like Leaf.
That is probably my biggest reservation about this trade for the Eagles. It's not like Wentz is an Andrew Luck-type player, who you just know is going to be a stud. Wentz started only 23 games at Division I-AA. Sure he won a couple of FCS Championships in college, but he was playing against inferior competition. In the NFL, every player he'll face is better than the best players he faced on the other team each week in college. Sure, Wentz looked good at the Senior Bowl and his measureables (6-5, 235 lbs.), arm strength and "football IQ" are what NFL teams look for in their franchise QBs. But this is a huge risk for the Eagles.
The Last Time the Eagles had the No. 2 Pick in the Draft
Of course, when your franchise has never won a Super Bowl, I guess you should take more risks. It's not like anything Jeffrey Lurie's Eagles have done over the last two decades has gotten the fans a parade down Broad Street, so why not throw caution to the wind and take a chance on the most important position on a football team.
Honestly, I started out hating this trade. I think they gave up too much and these types of trades hardly ever work out in the NFL. (RGIII, anybody?) But now I think I have come up with a reason why this just might work out for the Eagles.
It's not a good reason. Heck, it might not even make any sense or have any basis in logic. But at least there is a track record in the Eagles favor.
So what is it that might make this a good move for the Eagles?
Well, the team that traded away the No. 2 pick was the Cleveland Browns and everything that the Browns have done since they came back into the NFL has been wrong.
Am I reaching with that logic? Yes. Yes, I am. But as a long suffering Eagles fan, I'll take any glimmer of hope I can find. After all, if I don't cling to the theory that anything the Browns do is wrong, so this is a good move by the Eagles, then there really is no hope for the future of the Philadelphia Eagles.