Eagles now have No. 2 pick after blockbuster trade with Browns
It's official: The Eagles have agreed to a trade with the Browns to move up to the No. 2 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.
It's official: The Eagles have agreed to a trade with the Browns to move up to the No. 2 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. The expectation is that they'll take one of the top two quarterbacks, either Jared Goff or Carson Wentz.
The Eagles get: The No. 2 pick in 2016 and a 2017 fourth-round pick.
The Browns get: The No. 8 pick in 2016, the No. 77 pick (third round) in 2016, the No. 100 pick (fourth round) in 2016, a 2017 first-rounder and a 2018 second-rounder.
Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) April 20, 2016
The move had been rumored for days, and as recently as Tuesday night, FOXSports.com's Alex Marvez reported that any trade between the Eagles and Browns would likely include multiple first- and third-round picks.
So why did the Eagles give up so much to move up from No. 8 to No. 2?
First, you have to remember that last month Philadelphia sent Byron Maxwell, Kiko Alonso and the 13th overall pick to Miami for the Dolphins' No. 8 pick. And that set up Wednesday's final move up the draft board.
"By making the initial trade with Miami earlier this offseason and with this trade today with Cleveland, we feel that we have put ourselves in the best possible position to draft an impact player. We will now focus our energy on the next step."
The next step obviously includes taking either Goff or Wentz (right?)
That would make sense, given that they're considered the two best quarterbacks in the draft by a wide margin.
"Pretty even in my opinion," coach Doug Pederson told Philly.com. "From all the physical tools, both of them are extremely gifted there. Good arm strength, mobility. Obviously, Carson's a little bigger, maybe a little better athlete right now. But there's not much separating those two."
Of course, Pederson has to say that publicly, especially now. But earlier this month, Pederson was reportedly in love with Goff, who is also rumored to be the favorites of the Rams -- you know, that team that traded into the top overall pick just last week.
Here's what NFL.com's Lance Zierlein said during a radio appearance in early April: "Make no mistake about it, I still think the Eagles first and foremost are trying to find a way to get Carson Wentz," Zierlein told 97.5 the Fanatic. "I know Doug Pederson loves him. I know that from people behind the scenes, in the know. That's who he wants and that's who he likes. It's just going to be tough."
So could the Eagles draft a player other than a quarterback at No. 2? Uh, yeah.
.@JeffDarlington already mentioning Philadelphia could trade back down if it doesn't want the QB left at 2. This draft is crazytown.— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurke_SI) April 20, 2016
Translation: Eight days out from the draft and it sounds like little has been decided.
So what are the draft-value-chart implications?
* Former Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson's original draft chart: Browns get 1,999 points, Eagles get 2,002 points (but Browns also get future first- and second-round picks).
* Pro-Football-Reference.com's Chase Stuart's modified draft chart: Browns get 33.6 points, Eagles get 35.5 points (but again, plus future first- and second-round picks for the Browns).
On the surface, it seems like a good deal for both sides. But there's also no denying that the Eagles have plenty of needs beyond finding a quarterback, especially since they've dumped a ton of money into the position just this offseason.
Meanwhile, the Browns appear to be fully embracing the Reverse Costanza, and that's a great thing.
Two years ago, the organization spent $100,000 on a report that told them to draft Teddy Bridgewater. Owner Jimmy Haslam ignored the findings, may or may not have taken the advice of a hobo, and instead selected Johnny Manziel with the 22nd-overall pick. Bridgewater is now the Vikings' franchise quarterback, and Manziel is out of football altogether.
But all the losing -- the Browns are 19-45 since Haslam bought the team in 2012 -- made the owner re-evaluate his thoughts on analytics' role in football. He's hired former Major League Baseball executive and Harvard-trained Sabermetrics pioneer Paul DePodesta as the Browns' chief strategy officer. Joining DePodesta in the front office: fellow Harvard graduates Sashi Brown, Andrew Berry and Kevin Meers.
And it's been no secret that the Browns were willing to trade out of the No. 2 pick, because even more than a franchise quarterback, they need warm bodies to restock the roster. In fact, last month, an NFL executive told Zierlein that DePodesta, "will want to get as many picks as possible out of this draft."
CBS Sports NFL Insider La Canfora confirmed as much last week, writing, "While Joey Bosa and DeForest Buckner would be under consideration [by the Browns] for the selection [at No. 2], the opportunity to drop down, land more picks, and not have to pass on a passer appeals to the Browns as well. And for an alleged forward-thinking, analytics-driven front office that prizes the cheap commodity that draft picks are, trading down would make plenty of sense and would take them off the hook of picking at 2 and would give them something they could sell to the fans if their quarterback is indeed going to be gone."
La Canfora added, "Browns coaches, for their part, believe the gulf between Goff and Wentz is fairly wide, and thus taking Wentz at No. 2 is a tough sell."
The takeaway: The Rams are reportedly high on Goff and the Eagles are reportedly in love with Wentz. And the Browns now have a ton of picks. All that's left to do is for these teams to, you know, start winning football games.
So are the Browns sticking with Robert Griffin III? Coach Hue Jackson reportedly like the idea of helping revive RG3's career, but the Browns also hold the No. 32 pick, and they could address the position there.
Quarterback to watch for Cleveland: Paxton Lynch.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 20, 2016
The last time the Eagles drafted this high things worked out pretty well.
Meanwhile, let's check in on Sam Bradford...
On Tuesday, Bradford, who was traded to the Eagles last offseason, back when Chip Kelly was still the coach and de facto personnel guy, claimed that he's not worrying about the possibility of the Eagles adding another quarterback.
"I learned a long time ago to stay away from all that stuff," Bradford said. "It's not the first time I've gone through that situation like this. I'm not going to worry about anything I can't control. There's no reason into wasting any time or worry into that."
Good news, though!
Howie Roseman: Let me be clear, Sam Bradford is our starting quarterback. The #Eagles will not trade Bradford— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) April 20, 2016
Funny story: Bradford's heard this before, about a year ago, when Rams coach Jeff Fisher announced that Bradford was the starter. A few months later, he was traded to Philly.
Finally, never doubt Pete Prisco, people. The man can see into the future. Here's the headline from his April 19 mock draft: "Eagles trade up to No. 2 for QB Carson Wentz."
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