The big news today is that the Philadelphia Eagles have traded up to the second overall pick in this years’ NFL Draft. The news itself isn’t shocking as many predicted this would be the outcome after such the birds spent such extensive periods of time evaluating the top Quarterback prospects in the Draft. What is shocking however, is what the Eagles gave the Browns in exchange for the pick.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) April 20, 2016
There are two things to note here. One, no players were involved in the trade which is a huge relief. The second thing is that the Eagles have traded away their first round pick in next year’s draft and 2018’s second round pick. Along with the two mid-rounders from this year that have also been traded away, that’s a lot to lay on the line for a Quarterback.
We now definitely know that the Eagles will be using that pick to take Quarterback. Roseman met with the press moments ago and confirmed that they will get the player the want at number two and surprise, it’s going to be a Quarterback.
But this is a lot more than just finding “a franchise guy” or building for the future. This is Roseman’s way of showing he can get the Eagles into a situation in which they’re drafting one of the top prospects without Chip Kelly.
The Eagles and Kelly had a bad breakup. The kind that would likely end up on Jerry Springer and contain a lot of violent outbursts. This is Roseman’s way of saying “we don’t need Chip, we can do it without him.”
Last year, the Eagles were on the verge of making another blockbuster trade in order to draft Marcus Mariota, the deal never went through but the stakes were said to be much higher.
The proposed offer would have been a much greater risk to take, but the prize was arguably a lot more appealing. Mariota played at a major College, succeeded and had had played under Chip Kelly previously. Not only did he know the system but showed in his final year that he’s the perfect man for the job. If the Rams draft Goff as widely speculated, the Eagles would be left with a Quarterback who is simply too mysterious to call the next big thing. (Full article on that here) I wrote this about Wentz yesterday:
Last season, NDSU had the best Defense in the league as well as the best rushing Offense. Of all of the team’s Offensive plays, they ran the ball 61% of the time. Their run game was so dominant that Wentz threw under 200 yards in four of the teams seven conference wins during his final season. Their Offensive line? They allowed just 8 sacks in the 7 games he played.
Wentz has always played indoors and been surrounded by talent. In Philadelphia he would be without a dominant running back, meaning he would be throwing a lot more than the 14 pass attempts a game he averaged at College.
If Wentz has a dominant line in front of him and a strong running game, he could absolutely be an elite talent in the NFL. But the Eagles won’t have a chance to significantly strengthen either position due to trading away their biggest opportunities to do so.
Accountability was named the theme in Philadelphia following Chip Kelly’s departure and whilst this will be noted as a “group decision”, it will be Howie Roseman who takes the fall if things backfire..and after the extended breakup of Chip and the Eagles, Lurie would almost certainly be much quicker to pull the trigger. This is the sort of move that you would expect Chip to make..but the reasoning behind the move is much cloudier.
Roseman is making a statement. That he knows what’s best for the franchise and can succeed without Chip or his dream Quarterback . If Chip Kelly had Mariota, it would be well and truly Chip’s team..this is likely going to be Howie’s team.
Roseman is officially ending the Chip Kelly era and starting one of his own. Often criticised for his inconsistent Draft picks, Roseman is essentially throwing all his chips on one number. No excuses, no Chip kelly, no power struggle, this is a man who has managed the cap and contracts all off-season being placed in the hot-seat, but there’s a huge issue.
The problem with that is the Eagles aren’t in a position where they have a solid foundation for Wentz to come in and succeed right away and with 35 contracts coming to an end next season, minimal cap space and a severe lack of draft picks..fortifying the pick is going to be an almighty task. This means that drafting a Quarterback is doing just that. They’re banking on his potential and ability to succeed as an individual regardless of the situation or help around them. This isn’t a “with a good line (insert name here) could be elite” or “if he has an elite receiver to throw to he could be elite”. This is saying
“He is our guy and we believe in him so much that we’re going to trade away any chance of bringing in assets to help him succeed because we fully believe he’s the future of the franchise”.
You simply do not trade up to the second overall pick for a third-string Quarterback if you see him as nothing more than a potentially good backup. The Eagles are drafting their future Quarterback and Roseman is risking his job to do so.
Regardless of which Quarterback the Eagles take, the risk is going to be the same. But it’s that kind of risk in which the payoff would result in nothing but praise. If the QB did turn out to be the next big thing then Roseman would be seen as the savior of the Franchise. If he doesn’t or if the Eagles simply can’t acquire the pieces needed for the QB to succeed, Roseman will likely be looking for a new role.
If Lurie is clamping down on accountability, Roseman’s ability to find headlines on a consistent basis this offseason is going to mean he’s standing on the edge of a knife. Stray back a little and the team could find themselves in turmoil. But if we’re all patient enough and can trust in Roseman one more time, he may be able to avenge his previous draft tendencies, find the next great Philadelphia Eagles signal caller and help push the Eagles down the right path at such velocity that success could be closer than we think.
The chips are on the table, the statement has been made. Roseman has worked his way up the Draft order and is going to land a project Quarterback. It’s make or break for the Executive Vice President of Football Operations.
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