Last week, the Philadelphia Eagles traded their #6 overall pick to the Miami Dolphins. In exchange, The Birds received the #12 overall pick and a first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Many fans were in disarray, taking to social media to express their concerns. But now that emotions have settled, trading down was a smart move for Philadelphia.
THE EAGLES WILL STILL DRAFT TOP TALENT
As the 2021 NFL Draft approaches, Philadelphia fans have had a severe case of tunnel vision for wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase and tight end Kyle Pitts. But whether Philadelphia likes it or not, these players will likely be gone by the time the Eagles make their selection at #12.
Though an unfortunate reality for fans hoping to draft Philadelphia’s saving grace, huge talent remains.
Wide receivers Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith are both worthy options. The two have played with quarterback Jalen Hurts at Alabama, and after losing DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery, Philadelphia needs help at this position.
The Eagles also need help at cornerback, making Caleb Farley, Patrick Surtain II, or Jaycee Horn desirable picks.
Let’s not forget, the Eagles will still pick before twenty other teams, giving Philadelphia an advantage. An advantage that also includes watching to see who the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants draft. To win is to learn from your opponents and do better.
A CLEAR LOOK AT THE EAGLES’ STARTING QUARTERBACK
Though Howie Roseman’s trade caused confusion, one thing it indicated was that Jalen Hurts will be Philadelphia’s starting quarterback.
Drafting at #6 would have allowed the Eagles to select from four quarterbacks ranked in the top-ten. By trading down, Roseman showed fans that the Eagles aren’t in the market for one, and why would we be? Philadelphia has no room in the salary cap, and last week they signed veteran Joe Flacco to a contract worth $3.5 million with $7.5 million in incentives.
Second-year quarterback Jalen Hurts has also shown he’s ready to lead his team. Hurts, who replaced franchise quarterback Carson Wentz in Week 13, is poised, quick, and produces rational throws. He’s also confident, and his mentality is what the Eagles need coming off a 4-11-1 season.
A LONG TERM REBUILD RATHER THAN SHORT TERM GAINS
One actuality is that Philadelphia doesn’t know how Hurts will do. There was no preseason in 2020, and fans only experienced four games with the novel quarterback.
The coaching staff leading Hurts are also new. But have no fear because trading down also accounted for this.
If Hurts plays well, the Eagles now have three [potential] first-round picks in 2022. This will allow the team to build around Hurts while adding younger players to the roster. The hope is to create a group that can essentially grow together for the foreseeable future.
Alternatively, if Hurts doesn’t play well, the Eagles still have three [potential] first-round picks in 2022… to find a new quarterback.
EAGLES LEAD WITH 11 TOTAL DRAFT PICKS
In the NFL, a lot can happen in a short amount of time. Look at what’s happened to the Eagles in the last month — Wentz was traded, Jackson and Jeffery were released, Mills signed to the Patriots, Kelce ended retirement rumors, contracts were restructured, and the team dipped into free agency.
With the NFL Draft still a month away, the Eagles’ #12 pick may not be permanent.
Philadelphia has a total of 11 draft picks — the most in the league. In fact, their first four picks are within the top-84 selections (one first-round, one second-round, and two third-round picks). It’s possible they use the #12 pick along with one of their third-round picks to trade back up.
In this scenario, not only could they trade up, but they still keep the 2022 first-round pick they acquired from their deal with the Dolphins.
Whether trading down was temporary or not, it was a smart move for the Philadelphia Eagles.