Why the Eagles Pre-Draft Trade is a Disaster and Where We Go From Here
The Eagles selling the farm to trade up for the number 2 pick sounds good in theory, but after just scratching the surface of this trade it stinks. Before we jump right into why this trade was a terrible idea for the Eagles, let’s take a closer look at the details of the trade:
The Eagles get: No. 2 pick in 2016 and a 2017 4th round pick.
The Browns get: The No. 8 pick in 2016, the No. 77 pick (3rd round) in 2016, the No. 100 pick (4th round) in 2016, a 2017 1st round pick and a 2018 2nd round pick.
That’s a lot. Just using this year’s draft as an example, based on the NFL Nation first round draft and latest 7 round mock draft from Fox Sports, here is the player breakdown to give you an idea of value:
Eagles get: Carson Wentz, Tyler Matakevich
Browns get: Ezekiel Elliott, Vernon Hargreaves, Sterling Shepard, Braxton Miller, Carl Nassib
So, Wentz for the draft’s number 1 RB, number 2 CB, number 4 and 7 WR, and number 9 DE. That’s not a problem if you need a quarterback and Wentz is a superstar… but are either of those statements true? I don’t think so…
Did the Eagles Desperately Need a QB?
I get the main knock on Sam Bradford… He’s constantly hurt. However, you did just sign arguably the top backup in the league and a guy that knows the system in Chase Daniel…. seemingly as an insurance plan to a legitimate starter with durability concerns.
Let’s talk about Bradford’s play. In 2013 he played 6 full games and had 14 touchdowns and just 4 interceptions, on a team with Jared Cook as the leading receiver. Still not convinced Bradford was a star that season? He was replaced by Kellen Clemens who through for 100 fewer YPG and had a 8/7 TD/INT ratio. Bradford was playing at a pro bowl level, with zero receivers, in the 2013 NFC West.
Fast-forward to last season… his first in the Chip Kelly system. A system built around speed, while also being complete devoid of it. Jordan Matthews, who didn’t fit the system at all and could catch a cold last season, was his leading receiver, and number 2 was Riley Cooper who caught 21 passes. After a rocky start, let’s keep in mind he missed the entire previous season, didn’t get a preseason, and this was a new system… Bradford got his legs under him after 7 weeks.
Don’t get me wrong, Bradford is a huge injury concern, but I would argue he is elite when healthy, how elite we don’t know as he’s never had weapons around him anywhere he’s been.
The Issue With Drafting Wentz…
Let’s begin to peel back the layers of issues with drafting Wentz… a player that I really, really like. A player that fits the system.
He’s played 1.5 seasons of FBS football. Wentz is completely untested as a player… His 42/14 TD/INT ratio is great, but it came against Montanta’s, Dakota’s, and something called Incarnate Word. A really key stat to remember with the whole Wentz/Goff comparison is completion percentage over 20 yards… Play far inferior competition, Wentz completed only 24.2 percent of his passes over 20 yards compared to Goff’s 45.6 percent in a power conference.
He can’t beat out Bradford. This is a major issue when you sell the farm for a player. Maybe not to an irrational fanbase that will call for him to start from day 1, but certainly within that locker room. You sold your next two drafts for a guy, he better be able to beat out the player in front of him, and I don’t think that will be the case for Wentz.
The Eagles have much bigger needs. We just broke down how, at the worst, Sam Bradford is a serviceable option at QB. You know who isn’t serviceable? Any of the Eagles receivers outside of Jordan Matthews. Maybe Nelson Agholor develops into a player this season, but even then, you have two options at WR and neither is jumping off the screen.
The offensive line is aging at key positions, and the defense is a mess. They allowed 270 passing YPG last season, and a 36/15 TD/INT ratio. They need help everywhere on defense… pass rushers, corners, linebackers… everywhere.
Bottom line, the Eagles should be in rebuild mode, which you can’t do when you trade away two drafts for one player, at a position that you just set yourself up at for the next two seasons.