Today the Eagles announced that they had traded Offensive Lineman Dennis Kelly to the Titans in exchange for second year wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham. The trade appears to be very low risk, very high reward for the Eagles..but is there more to it than meets the eye? Here are five takeaways from the trade.
Building the foundations:
The Eagles receiving corps is very young to say the least. In fact, the average age is just 23.6 years old. The key here is development. Both Pederson and Roseman mentioned the youth of the position during their meetings with the media earlier today and rightly so.
With Greg Lewis coaching the unit and a system that thrives on quick, explosive passes, slants and fade routes..the Eagles are in a position to turn much of their young talent into franchise talent. Green-Beckham fits this mold perfectly, at just 23 years old and having been widely regarded as a top talent coming out of college..not to mention his impressive rookie year, the Eagles have a receiver who in an environment where competition is extremely heated, will either sink or swim.
If he sinks, the Eagles have only lost a backup lineman who played in 34% of snaps last year before the Eagles strengthened the line in the Offseason. If he swims (the more likely option), the Eagles will have an abundance of potential and variety in receiving styles to help provoke mismatches in Pederson’s rookie season.
It’s going to be a big year for the Eagles receivers who are all coming in with that gritty underdog mentality that so many fans resonate with and love their team for having..DGB will come into Philly with a chip on his shoulder and for Doug Pederson, that’s the best scenario possible for someone so young yet so explosive.
Not only that but if there are questions over his work ethic, he will now be learning under Jordan Matthews..the Eagles number one receiver who is renowned for his unrelenting attitude to improving. From daily offseason snapchats showing just how hard Matthews was working on his drops, to how he would run to the endzone after every catch in Training camp..if anybody can fire up Green-Beckham, it’s JMatt.
Out of the pan and into the fire?:
Green-Beckham is a phenomenal athlete without question. At 6’5, he has the ability to make those tough catches that are placed where only the receiver can get them..but he shares some common flaws with other Eagles receivers..his main problem being inconsistency. It pains me to say it but as electrifying as the 22-year old is, he had some easy drops during his rookie season and defined the word rollercoaster.
From two games with over 110 yards receiving to five games where he didn’t even catch a pass, his increase in snaps as the season went on was only followed by an increase in drops and inconsistencies. Sure, some of the throws were bad and the Titans were desperately in need of O-Line help (and still are, hence the trade)..but that doesn’t excuse the fact that the Eagles are bringing in a receiver who caught less than 50% of his targets last year. As exciting as it is to see another big receiver who can run fade routes in Gazelle like fashion, let’s not put all our Eggs in one basket.
The Pederson era in full effect:
From free agency acquisitions to a new draft direction, the Eagles have seem to favor the “low-risk, high reward” deals and players or more specifically, those with issues both on and off the field. DGB is no exception to this. After clearly falling from grace in Tennesee with reports suggesting he was showing up to camp unprepared and off-field incidents hampering his Coilegate career, the Eagles took a leap of faith on a player who clearly has all the tools where it matters. It will be interesting to see how he fares into the team and where he ends up on the roster, as it will with most rookies/UDFA’s. The Pederson era is well underway and a new direction has been cemented into the team.
Pressure on Huff:
Without even thinking about what DGB brings to the table, you have to look at the future of Josh Huff. After a tough spring and even tougher Training camp, Huff has been thrust into a high pressure scenario in which if he fails to perform or is outshone by the likes of T.J Graham or undrafted rookie Paul Turner, he could well lose his spot on the roster. Insert a second year receiver who caught four touchdowns and received for 549 yards last year and the stakes have risen even higher than ever. With the depth on the O-line being questionable at best, the Eagles wouldn’t have traded a versatile Lineman for a receiver who they don’t believe won’t make the final 53..so the question is, is Huff the man he’s going to replace?
A deep threat in the making?:
While he may of consistent, Green-Beckham flashed dominance at times. In fact, of his 32 receptions, 30 of them were for first downs. In his rookie season he averaged over 17 yards per carry which is a huge sigh of relief to the Eagles who have been struggling to find receivers able to get separation. With DGB, separation isn’t an issue. When you’re 6’5, can run like a running back and block like a Tight end…you can make the tough grabs in coverage, which in this system is pivotal.
Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports