With the Super Bowl matchup now set, it’s fun to see how each team got there and if other teams could follow suit. In the Eagles‘ case, both the Rams and Bengals show polar opposite paths for them that can be easily attained in this offseason.
Let’s take a look at their starters:
Stafford – trade
Akers – draft (2020), Michel – trade
Kupp – draft (2017), Jefferson – draft (2020), OBJ – FA
Higbee – draft (2016)
Whitworth – FA, Edwards – draft (2019), Allen – draft (2018), Corbett – trade, Havenstein – draft (2015)
Robinson – FA, Gaines – draft (2019), Donald – draft (2014)
Miller – trade, Floyd – FA, Rozeboom – signed from KC PS, Reeder – UDFA (2019)
Deayon – FA, Scott – draft (2019), Rapp – draft (2019), Ramsey – trade
The only starting players from the early rounds in a recent draft are Van Jefferson and Cam Akers (2020 – 2nd round).
There are only 16 players on the 53 man roster that were drafted within years 2019-2021. Of those 16, 8 were drafted in rounds 1-3 (zero in round 1).
Burrow – draft (2020)
Mixon – draft (2017)
Chase – draft (2021), Boyd -draft (2016), Higgins – draft (2020)
Uzomah – draft (2015), Sample – draft (2019)
Williams – draft (2019), Spain – FA, Hopkins UDFA (2014), Adeniji – draft (2020), Prince – waiver claim from Miami
Hubbard – draft (2018), Reader – FA, Hill – trade, Hendrickson – FA
Wilson – draft (2020), Pratt – draft (2019)
Awuzie – FA, Bell – FA, Bates III – draft (2018), Apple – FA, Hilton – FA
The starting players from early rounds in a recent draft are Burrow (2020 – 1st), Chase (2021 – 1st), Higgins (2020 – 2nd), Sample (2019 – 2nd), Wilson (2020 – 3rd), and Pratt (2019 – 3rd).
There are 19 players on the 53 man roster drafted from years 2019-2021. Of those 19, 8 were drafted in rounds 1-3 (Burrow and Chase being the only first rounders).
The tale of two extremes
As you can see, both the Rams and Bengals have the same amount of “early round” players from 2019-2021 on their Super Bowl rosters. However, six of the Bengals’ eight are considered starters, whereas only two for the Rams are starters.
There are 24 players originally drafted by the Bengals (special teams included) on the roster and 25 original Rams. The difference? The Bengals have 14 starters from their own picks while the Rams have ten starters from their own draft picks.
It may not seem like a huge difference, but two huge reasons the Rams are in the Super Bowl (Stafford & OBJ) were traded for while the Bengals’ reasons (Burrow & Chase) were drafted.
Yes, I know Cooper Kupp (drafted) had an all-time year. Robert Woods (free agent) was also having a great year before going down.
So, where do the Eagles go from here?
The Rams identified the players they wanted and traded assets to get those players of immediate help while replacing others in a short time frame.
The Bengals identified their own player (Burrow) and used their assets to build around him.
The Eagles have holes, many of them, but they are in a unique position where they can use both blueprints.
With three first round picks, they could seemingly use two of them to do a Stafford-esque deal while using the rest of the picks to build around that player. Maybe also using other picks to continue to trade for supporting players.
They could also trust in their young quarterback and use all of their picks plus FA to address their needs. (I know Hurts is not Burrow)
Both teams show that you can do one or the other and build a contender. The Eagles just need to pick one and stick to it.
Which blueprint do you want to see the Eagles use?
Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire