Early Friday afternoon it was announced that the Miami Dolphins were trading the 3rd overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for the 12th overall pick, and 2021 third round pick and future first round picks. With this move it all but cleared the path for the Eagles to have the abilities to selected which ever pass catcher they were most interested in with the sixth overall pick. However in a shocking turn of event, the Dolphins were able to move back into the top ten following a trade with… the Philadelphia Eagles?
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) March 26, 2021
So with Philadelphia and Miami essentially swapping spots following the Dolphins initial trade with the 49ers. The Eagles themselves have netted extra draft capital and sit in a position to have three first round picks in 2022, should Carson Wentz and the Colts fulfill their half of the obligations. However, since the news of the trade broke, many fans have seemed to criticize the move, due to Howie Roseman’s recent drafting mishaps outside of the top 10. The dream of prospects like Kyle Pitts and Ja’Marr Chase now seem far-fetched and many are stuck wondering just exactly how does this trade help the Eagles heading into the 2021 league year? Today we discuss the both the long term and short term ramifications this deal will have on the Eagles both this season and for the foreseeable future.
1.) Roseman’s window for error just got much smaller.
- It’s not every year that you find the Eagles picking at or near the top of the NFL Draft. Of course many date back to 2016 when Philadelphia selected Carson Wentz, but as we know the Eagles began the draft process sitting at 12 before a multitude of moves were made to get them up to that point. Prior to that the last time the Eagles selected inside the top ten was in 2013 when they selected Lane Johnson with the fourth overall pick. Currently the roster is in desperate need of young playmakers across the board and at the top of the draft is usually where the best ones are available. Of course there are the many cases of teams thoroughly vetting prospects and coming away with high quality players outside the top ten; and throughout the entire draft honestly. The problem is, Howie Roseman has struggled to draft quality players over recent years, especially when the team isn’t picking generally high. With the rest of the division making strides to improve their respective rosters and the Eagles current cap situation; Philadelphia was already going to heavily rely on a prospect with limited experience. This just makes the margin of error that much smaller for Roseman and company.
2.) Punting on 2021?
- As mentioned the rest of the division already looks much improved from when we last saw them towards the end of the 2020 season. Washington and New York each added playmakers at the wide receiver position, while Dallas is eagerly awaiting the opportunity to see their fresdhly extended, franchise quarterback back under center. As for Philadelphia, while the team did resign a few of their own players and bring in a few new names, due to a questionable cap situation, the teams wasn’t very active during the first wave of free agency. Which as we mentioned put a massive amount of pressure on the top ten selection to produce immediately. However with the Eagles electing to move back in the draft as well a collect more draft capital will make it a little harder for Philadelphia to find a prospect ready to contribute today. Which raises the question, are the Eagles punting on 2021 already? Well, just think about this quote from owner Jeffrey Lurie when he spoke earlier in the off-season, to look for an answer.
“I would say the difference in vision is much more about where we’re at as a franchise,” Lurie said. “As I said, we’re at that point. It’s a transition point and we’ve got to get younger and we have to have a lot more volume of draft picks and we have to accumulate as much talent as we possibly can that is going to work in the long run with a focus on the mid-term and the long term and not on how to maximize 2021. And it’s almost not fair to Doug, because his vision has to be: What can I do to fix this right away and what coaches can I have that can help me get to a smoother 2021? My vision is much more: How can we get back to the success we’ve had and what we’re used to in the next two, three, four, five years?”
1.) The team building process.
- During the end of the season press conference Howie Roseman made a comment about how the team was in need of a complete overhaul, and how that has been the case for some time now.
“I think winning in ’17, we wanted to do whatever it took and whatever resources it took to win, especially when we kind of saw the opportunity,” he said. “Then ’18, felt like maybe it was an opportunity to run it back with the players that we had, and maybe even in ’19, just continue to keep it going. “I think winning in ’17, we wanted to do whatever it took and whatever resources it took to win, especially when we kind of saw the opportunity. Then ’18, felt like maybe it was an opportunity to run it back with the players that we had, and maybe even in ’19, just continue to keep it going.”
Well with this selection its highly likely the Eagles will be all in on the 2022 season. Conveniently this is also the final year of the extension Howie Roseman signed following the Super Bowl victory. Which makes it even more likely that Roseman will attempt to push his eggs into that one basket, in efforts to make one last final impression on Jeffrey Lurie. With a massive amount of cap space and up to three first round picks in next years draft, while the Eagles weren’t very active to start this off-season, its a chance that Roseman is prepping the teams for a huge 2022 off-season next year.
2.) Is Jalen Hurts the guy?
Moving down from six to 12 may have put a damper in the plans to get Jalen Hurts his preferred playmaker. What did does though is offer the Eagles the opportunity to see if he is actually worth investing in, in the future. You see immediately after the trade between Miami and Philadelphia had taken place, NFL Network’s Ian Rapport mentioned how initially the Eagles were interested in moving up to the third overall pick but would only do so if they knew Zach Wilson would be available. However, after the Dolphins couldn’t promise that, talks fell through and both teams turned their attention to a pick swap that allows Miami to get back into the top ten and Philadelphia to recoup extra draft compensation. With these reports its worth questioning just how committed is Philadelphia to Jalen Hurts? It was already rumored that the Eagles actually were on of the teams interested in a possible DeShaun Watson move, now this. While this move all but guarantees that Hurts will probably be the man under center for the Eagles in 2021, with a multitude of resources waiting in the wings, its possible the Eagles may wait a year before they get their man.
While the trade can be viewed as risky considering Roseman’s drafting history and the way the off-season has played out already. The future of the Eagles are in a much better position now then where it was when the day started. It remains to be seen if Philadelphia will be able to take advantage of their newly found draft capital but what is known is that at 12 the Eagles may still have an opportunity to come away with one of the top three receivers (maybe not Chase), a legitimate future CB1, or a difference making prospect on either side of the ball. This while putting his franchise in striking distance of a quarterback if necessary in 2022, without giving up massive compensation. Honestly, this could be considered a rare win for Howie Roseman and maybe be the step in the right direction the franchise needs following a disappointing 2020 season.
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