The Eagles may have robbed the Browns of the second overall pick

Since making a blockbuster trade up to the second overall pick a few days ago, the Eagles have been subject to plenty of debate. Were they right to trade up? Did they give too much? Is Carson Wentz worth trading up for? All of these arguments will be set to rage on beyond the Draft, but one debate that we could well end today is that of if the Browns were the true winners of the trade.

The general reaction from both analysts and fans has been one of disagreement. The Eagles have plenty of holes to fill and if they plan on bringing a future franchise Quarterback now, the team’s cap situation and pending 2017 Free Agency scenario leave them in a pretty tough spot.

But what you have to weigh that against is how much do you trade up for a franchise Quarterback? Regardless of what myself, other writers or scouts may believe..the Eagles have obviously seen enough from both Wentz and Goff to regard them both as potential Franchise guys. If we view them as just that and remove any of the stats, the scout reports, the tape or even the hype..the trade takes a slightly different turn.

The Eagles traded away five picks in order to climb up the order and attain a Quarterback, but what value do those five picks hold? This chart developed by Jimmy Johnson to quantify the value of Draft picks in the 90’s during his tenure as Head Coach of the Cowboys sheds some light on how much the Eagles actually gave up.

(Full chart can be found on Ourlads here)

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So according to Johnson’s chart, the second overall pick is worth 2,600 points.

The Eagles traded away:
Pick 8  (1,400)
2018 second rounder (a guess of around Pick 55) (350)
Pick 77 (205)
Pick 100 (100)
2017 first rounder (a guess of around pick 10) (1,300)

If you add all the points up (including two pick estimations), the Eagles would have traded away the equivalent of 3,355 points..overvaluing by 755. Depending on the methods used to determine what future picks are worth, the number could fluctuate from 2696.5 points (96.5 overspending, a low third round pick equivalent) to a 5.285 point total (if the Eagles had the worst record in the league for two consecutive seasons).

But if we’re to base it off principal alone, how much is 755 points worth you ask? Between picks 22-23 in the first round. Is a late first rounder worth losing for a Quarterback who the team believe will one day lead the franchise?

Not only that but if we look back at the last four NFL Drafts and the players selected with these picks (included future estimated picks), the picture changes drastically.

Colin Cowherd touched on this in a little less depth on his show “The Herd” recently. You can listen to his take here.

 

To coincide with the points I made earlier, here are the players from the last four NFL Drafts selected with the same picks that the Eagles have traded way to move up for a Quarterback.

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Of the 20 players selected, it can be argued that only one has “elite” potential and that man is Offensive Rookie Of The Year Todd Gurley. A few players have perhaps exceeded their original expectations whilst others haven’t quite become the players many believed they could be. From injuries to suspensions, arrests to retirements..these picks have seen their fair share of hits and misses since 2012.

Out of 20 players:
1- has elite potential
3- exceeded expectations
8- met expectations/just above or below when you take injuries etc into account
5- Haven’t quite shone as hoped
3- have fallen far below expectations.

What are the chances of hitting a player who at least shows potential and becomes a solid NFL starter with these picks based off the last four Drafts?

60%.

The Eagles may have a lot of holes and sure, fortifying the line and backfield for Wentz has to be a priority moving forward..but it was clear in the structure of Sam Bradford’s contract that he wasn’t regarded as their bonafide long term starter..that’s a role he has a chance to earn in 2016.

When you take into account that the Eagles offloaded the contracts of Byron Maxwell & DeMarco Murray whilst also trading Kiko Alonso in order to get to a position to trade up for a top pick in the first place, it’s hard to really say that the Eagles have lost.

They may not be in the most appealing cap situation in the league and Free Agency next year will likely be a chaotic period, but the Eagles have traded away five picks that in the last four years have a 60% hit rate and the equivalent  value of a late first rounder in order to trade up for a guy who they believe one day will lead their franchise to success.

Could the Eagles address some major holes with those five picks? Absolutely. But can they find a player who can change a franchise with the eighth overall pick? The Eagles have placed a lot of focus into the Quarterback position this offseason. An established coaching tree primed to groom the next long-term QB in Philadelphia and countless workouts, pro-days and pre-draft visits imply the Eagles believe a player who can change their franchise is a signal caller..not a running back or a corner.

If Carson Wentz does turn out to be a top-10 Quarterback one day and a guy who the Eagles can really get behind for the long haul, then there’s no doubt who the winner of this trade really is. Regardless of what I or anyone else sees in Carson Wentz..if the Eagles see a franchise guy who will be around for years to come, this city may finally be able to get behind a Quarterback the way they got behind Donovan, knowing he’s “the guy”.

 

Photo credit: TIM SHARP/Associated Press

 

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