Bleeding Green Nation
It’s been a busy Friday full of draft day trades with still over a month until the 2021 NFL Draft. The Eagles traded the No. 6 overall pick to the Miami Dolphins for their No. 12 overall pick and a first-round pick in 2022 — a pick the Dolphins got just minutes earlier in a trade with the 49ers for the No. 3 overall pick. It turns out, that the No. 3 pick was something the Eagles were eyeing as well, if it got them QB Zach Wilson.
Wilson’s Pro Day was on Friday, and the Eagles sent both offensive coordinator Shane Steichen and quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson. There was definite interest by the team, as noted by Brandon Gowton earlier in the day.
“ESPN’s Chris Mortensen previously sorta suggested there’s some internal support for the Eagles to trade up and get Wilson. But that inclination doesn’t come from Jeffrey Lurie, who reportedly wants to give Hurts a chance as the 2021 starter.”
However, there’s very little chance that Wilson would’ve fallen to No. 6, so the Eagles would have had to be aggressive to consider taking the quarterback. The No. 3 overall pick went to the 49ers in exchange for their No. 12 pick, their 2021 third-round comp pick, and their first-round picks in 2022 and 2023. It would have been very surprising for the Eagles to give up that kind of draft capital. Instead, they traded back.
The Eagles’ reported interest in Wilson, though, hardly suggests the organization is all in on Jalen Hurts.
Bleeding Green Nation
Making sense of Philadelphia’s big surprise.
- Water gun to my head, I leaned towards wanting the Eagles to stay put. Their roster desperately needs an infusion of young, elite-level talent. A higher pick gave them a better chance to get one of those premium studs. Given Howie Roseman’s uninspiring draft record, it’s hard to feel confident in him when there’s more room for error in terms of a wider range of options like there is at No. 12.
Further, the Eagles haven’t always had the most success when moving down. It was fruitful to an extent in 2018 when Philly ended up getting Dallas Goedert and Avonte Maddox for the No. 32 overall pick that became Lamar Jackson for the Baltimore Ravens. 2014, though? That was the year the Eagles drafted a total bust in Marcus Smith. Prior to Roseman becoming general manager, the Eagles traded down in 2008 and took Trevor Laws. It was Kevin Kolb in 2007.
2. The Eagles currently possess two first-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft between their own and Miami’s. They’ll be able to get a third from the Indianapolis Colts if Carson Wentz either:
1) Plays 75% of Indy’s snaps.
2) Plays 70% of Indy’s snaps AND the Colts make the playoffs.
It’s not a lock that those conditions will be met. Wentz could get hurt. The Colts are incentivized to bench him if he’s mightily struggling like he was last year.
But there’s a pretty decent the Eagles will get that pick. So, let’s assume for now that they will.
3. [T]he Eagles don’t seem to view Hurts as a sure-fire long-term answer. Nor should they! The 22-year-old has much to prove. He has an opportunity to convince the team he’s the right guy to build around by going out and balling this year. It won’t be easy for him because the roster isn’t good and he won’t be benefiting from the Eagles adding a pass-catching weapon at No. 6.
If Hurts can thrive against the odds, though, then the Eagles will know he’s the chosen one. If not, they’ll have the assets to potentially pivot to a new starter; be that selecting a passer in the 2022 NFL Draft or acquiring a veteran.
5. Despite playing a key part in the Eagles’ downward trajectory since February 2018, Roseman was spared from any criticism in Jeffrey Lurie’s postseason press conference. The Eagles’ much-maligned general manager is in very good standing with the owner.
Today’s trade down only reinforces that perception. It was a move that appears to be made with a long-term focus in mind. It’s a decision that’s going to take some time to fully evaluate. Lurie is trusting Roseman to lead the Eagles through a rebuild and get back on track.
It’s not going to be fun if/when there’s a very covetable player (or two) and they end up going to Philly’s NFC East rivals instead! It was super annoying when the Cowboys prevented CeeDee Lamb from falling to the Eagles last year. Not looking forward to potentially having to go through something similar again.
7. Most Eagles fans would’ve been pretty pumped about the Eagles getting Chase at No. 6. And it was shaping up to be realistic, too! Four quarterbacks going in the top four and the Cincinnati Bengals taking Penei Sewell at No. 5 drops Chase to No. 6. Instead, the LSU star could be headed to Miami instead. Sigh.
Or maybe the more polarizing Pitts was your speed. At least we don’t have to have those debates anymore.
Regardless of your preference, the Eagles likely had a chance at taking the second non-quarterback in this year’s draft. No longer the case now.
Big Blue View
A pair of trades has already shaken up the 2021 draft
It always seemed fairly likely that two or three quarterbacks would be drafted in the top 10, and these moves make that even more likely. If it turns out that each of the first four teams select quarterbacks, that could give the Giants a legitimate chance at one of the real blue chip prospects in the draft. It would be stunning if Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell fell to eleventh overall, but the Giants could have their pick of the other offensive linemen. And with the Eagles dropping back below the Giants, it’s possible that we could see a player like Ja’Marr Chase or Kyle Pitts fall. On the defensive side of the ball, we could see Micah Parsons (who recently ran a 4.39 second 40 yard dash), Patrick Surtain II or Caleb Farley fall out of the top 10 as well.
Blogging the Boys
The Cowboys shored up a critical area, but how does this position group look now?
After the Chaz Green/Byron Bell debacle of 2017, the Cowboys have done a great job addressing the swing tackle position in each of the last four offseasons. First, it was the signing of Cameron Fleming in 2018, who they re-upped in 2019. This essentially cost the Cowboys $2.4 million (2018) and $2.97 million (2019) just to give them some insurance on the edge. It’s a good thing too because Fleming started three games at left tackle in each of those seasons. The team let him go in free agency as he signed a one-year deal with the New York Giants for $3.5 million where he ended up starting all 16 games at right tackle.
The Cowboys replaced one Cameron with another as they signed Cam Erving to a one year $2.5 million deal last offseason. In a year that saw six different players fill in at tackle (five of which missed time due to injury) for the Cowboys, Erving came in handy starting in five games before succumbing to injury himself. He was rewarded with a two-year, $10 million deal with the Carolina Panthers. Being the swing tackle in Dallas has it’s advantages.
This offseason, they again went after a veteran swing tackle by signing Ty Nsekhe to a one-year, $1.75 million deal. Nsekhe has proven himself to be a very reliable tackle for many years, and while he’s no spring chicken at 35, he immediately lands as the team’s top reserve tackle on the roster. And considering the cost, that’s a very nice signing by the front office.