Why did the Eagles trade the 6th overall pick to the Dolphins?

NFL: JAN 03 Washington Football Team at Eagles
PHILADELPHIA, PA – JANUARY 03: Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Jalen Hurts (2) celebrates a touchdown in the first half during the game between the Washington Football Team and Philadelphia Eagles on January 03, 2021 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

In the space of just 30 minutes, the NFL Draft landscape turned on its head. The San Francisco 49ers shot up the Draft board to attain the third overall pick in a blockbuster with the trade with the Miami Dolphins. In the seconds that followed, Howie Roseman ordered himself and the Eagles a slice of the pie by orchestrating a trade with the pesky Phins.

The trade

The Eagles gain: RD1 P12, R4 P123, 2022 RD1
The Eagles give up: RD1 P6, RD5 P156

If we are to go off of the NFL Draft value chart alone, the sixth overall pick is worth 1600 points. The Eagles get back pick 12 (1200) pick 123 (49) and if we estimate a strong season for Miami next year, a first-rounder with a rough value of 800. Miami were the team trading up so obviously have to give up some leverage, but this trade does make logical sense from a value perspective.

Hitting reset

The Eagles still have eleven picks in this year’s NFL Draft and now have three first-rounders in next year’s Draft after the Carson Wentz trade. This is huge for a team looking to rebuild, especially considering they have no cap flexibility whatsoever over the next few years. It looks as though the light bulb has finally illuminated inside Roseman’s head and given him the realization that back-loading contracts and constantly handing out restructures is only delaying the inevitable.

The Eagles need to get younger, cheaper, and build around cornerstones who can be depended on for the next 5-7 years. They have very few of those pieces remaining from their last re-mold in 2016 and the ones that are left all have significant question marks or heavy cap burdens. This shows a bid to rejuvenate the franchise by giving them capital to replace those key positions with highly-touted rookie talent and plan for the long-term.

Eagles tried to trade up for a QB

According to Ian Rapoport, the Eagles actually wanted to trade up to the third overall pick with the intent of drafting BYU’s Zach Wilson. This comes as somewhat of a revelation after the signing of Joe Flacco and the real push to get behind Jalen Hurts and place him at the center of the franchise. A decision to move up to third overall would’ve likely caused an earthquake in the City of Brotherly Love, but after realizing they can’t get their guy, moving back may well have been the most sensible choice.

But what about Pitts & Chase?

The truth of the matter is that the Eagles aren’t in a position to be fussy. With the Niners moving up and a run on QB’s inside the top 5 now imminent, there is a strong chance that someone like Jaylen Waddle drops to the Eagles at 12, who may well be the most explosive wideout in the entire class. The idea of Kyle Pitts is a scintillating one, but the Eagles have an abundance of holes that need filling and accumulating more capital to do so makes sense for the bigger picture.

Not the sexy move

This isn’t the move that will give Eagles fans glistening memories, but it could be one that opens up some flexibility for the team moving forward. There are too many holes that need filling for this team to simply add another outside weapon and hope that it’ll be enough.

Maybe they add an o-lineman here knowing that they have a trio of first-rounders in next year’s class to make the sexy picks. Maybe they finally find a replacement for Brandon Graham and move on from Derek Barnett. What about finding that cornerback to hang their hat on? Any one of these picks will tick off a significant need while now ensuring that the team have enough capital to tick the rest off next year.

There is a wealth of potential now in the hands of Howie Roseman to alley-oop himself for the slam dunk next year. It might hurt in the short term, but it might just help them in the long-run.

(Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire