Today the Los Angeles Rams acquired the number one overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft after completing a blockbuster trade with the Tennessee Titans. The Eagles were reported to have been in talks with the Titans about the possibility of trading up before withdrawing their offer several days ago. With the Rams now becoming the first team on the clock in the Draft, this is likely to be a spanner in the works for several teams holding a top-10 pick, but for the Eagles, this could have huge implications.
1: A forcing of the hand
Before today, it was a mere possibility that two of the top three Quarterback prospects would be off the board before the Eagles had the chance to submit their pick. Today, it became a near certainty. With the Rams looking to kick start a new era in Los Angeles and a new face to front the franchise while the Browns are still trying to find a sustainable option at Quarterback, the probability of at least two of the top three QB prospects being drafted before the Eagles are on the clock is very high.
This is either a saving grace, or a huge problem. It’s no lie that the Eagles have been putting a lot of time and resources into finding out as much about this year’s Quarterback prospects as possible. From private workouts to dinner dates, Pre-Draft visits to Pro Days, the Eagles have been heavily invested in the position. The question is, which two names will be off the board?
Many think that Jared Goff and Carson Wentz will be the two Quarterbacks drafted first in a couple of weeks and if that’s the case, the Eagles have a big decision to make. IF they were planning to take a Quarterback in the first round, is Paxton Lynch the guy they want to take? If not, what do you now have to give up for someone like Carson Wentz and is it truly worth it?
2: It may not be a bad thing
There are plenty of reasons why the Eagles are in the market for a Quarterback. From Sam Bradford’s contract structure to the scary salary cap situation looming at the end of next season. Pederson wants to groom a Quarterback into being “the guy” and IF Wentz and Goff are gone by the time the Eagles pick, Lynch becomes their next best option.
There will be an article focusing on this more heavily but Lynch has had more attention from the Eagles than any other Quarterback in his class. Attending a pro-day, inviting him for a Pre-Draft visit as well as hosting a private workout for the former Memphis star may actually benefit the Eagles.
If Lynch ends up playing in Philadelphia due to the Rams and Browns selecting the top two Quarterbacks, the Eagles won’t need to trade up to a higher pick. No picks lost, no players lost and they have a Quarterback who would likely thrive in a West-Coast Offense. If it’s a Quarterback that Roseman and company are set on, this could well be a sign from above that trading up to take one simply isn’t the best option.
3: It’s not all about the Quarterback
With the Titans now sliding down the first round draft order, Laremy Tunsil’s stock is most likely going to follow suit. Tunsil was regarded as a number one pick by analysts and fans alike as the Titans seek to protect their Franchise Quarterback, but the recent trade could see him land in San Diego or maybe even Jacksonville. The Jags, Cowboys and Chargers could have an opportunity to draft the “best player available” if the first two picks are signal callers.
If Tunsil is drafted between third and fifth overall, this will give the Eagles a shot at a player that may have previously been out of reach. Ronnie Stanley, Myles Jack, Joey Bosa and potentially even Jalen Ramsey could all become available if Tunsil is drafted outside of the top two picks. All three of these players would not only fill holes for the Eagles, but become instant starters who can create an impact the moment they step onto the Football field. Something that is not only craved by the Eagles in terms of building a foundation for Doug Pederson, but so important in regards to ending their first round inconsistencies.
4: A change in value
With the Rams now dictating the direction of the first round it begs the question, what value does the number two pick now hold? The Rams proved that teams seeking a Quarterback are willing to part with an awful lot to ensure that they can secure the future of their Franchise.
This will likely see the Browns increasing the stakes if a team tries to approach them with regards to acquiring the second overall pick. Nobody knows if this move will spark a sudden surge of teams trying to climb up the Draft order, but the Browns are suddenly placed in a position of great influence. If the Eagles were willing to sacrifice a certain package to move up to number one, the Browns may be expecting a very similar, if not slightly increased offer due to how the rest of the draft is going to be affected.
5: Down we go..
The move may even open an opportunity for the Eagles to trade down. As the projected draft order begins to shuffle and targets begin to move up and down draft boards, some teams may think it’s necessary to follow suit to ensure they don’t lose out on drafting the player they have spent countless hours evaluating before deciding he’s the guy.
This means an opportunity to fill more holes for the Eagles, perhaps a chance to create some leverage in the worrying 2017 salary cap scenario and of course a stage for Howie Roseman to make his own. There have been various scenarios in which the Eagles trade down suggested by writers that actually make a lot of sense. It’s highly dependent on if teams see a change in value of a top-10 pick now that the Rams have essentially secured their QB of choice with the first overall pick. If a team thinks they can get a shot at a game changer like Ezekiel Elliott due to a reshuffling of the order, the Eagles may end up on the receiving end of some very interesting phone calls.
Nothing is certain in the run up to the Draft, but today’s trade between the Titans and Rams could have reshaped the landscape of the first round and beyond.