Movin' On Down: Birds Trade Out Of No. 6, Add 1st-Rounder
So the Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers turned the NFL world upside down Friday when they traded draft picks, with Miami trading out of No. 3 and into No. 12 and with the 49ers positioning themselves to take a quarterback third overall. And then the Eagles told everyone, "Holy my beer." The Eagles then proceeded to deal the sixth overall pick in the draft to Miami, which jumped back up to the top 10 while the Eagles slid down to 12. There's still plenty of who, what and why to figure out from the Eagles' side of this deal. Clearly, they've chosen to pass on an elite prospect to keep fortifying their arsenal of picks for both April's and next year's NFL Draft while not going full-on rebuild. They potentially have four first-round picks in the next two seasons, but these moves and this report that they were looking to move up to No. 3 for BYU quarterback Zach Wilson certainly cloud their future quarterback picture. Let's examine the trade based on what we know right now:
The Eagles have a tremendous opportunity to turn over their roster this year and next if they can hit on a decent number of draft picks – which is always the question for them. After the Miami trade, the Eagles pick 12th overall along with 37th (second round), 70th (third) and 84th (third). They also have a fourth (123), a fifth (150), three sixths (189, 224, 225), and two sevenths (234, 240). (Spoiler alert: they won't be picking 11 prospects.) In 2022, they will have three first-round picks if Carson Wentz meets the proper criteria, or two first-round picks (their and Miami's) and an extra second-round pick if the Wentz trade doesn't trigger into first. Assuming the Wentz deal triggers a first-rounder, the Eagles will have four first-round picks between this year and next. At some point, they'll add an additional draft pick – either this year or next – when they deal Zach Ertz.
So much for those weeks of trying to decide between Ja'Marr Chase and Kyle Pitts. The Eagles can kiss goodbye their chances of landing one of those potentially elite playmakers. The cost of trading down and stockpiling picks is reducing your chances of hitting a home run on an all-time elite. Even worse, the Eagles are picking next month behind the Cowboys and Giants, their NFC East rivals. Next year's top-three picks aren't guaranteed to be as promising as this year's sixth overall pick. Miami was a 10-win team this past season. The Colts have been no worse than 7-9 under Frank Reich. The Eagles' own pick could be the highest of the three, but it's not guaranteed to be top five or even top 10.
Eyes On Who?
Assuming the Eagles stick at 12 – never a safe assumption with this team – the door is open to any number of prospects. Some feel the Eagles have a specific player in mind, such as Jaylen Waddle, but there's no way Howie Roseman moves out of the top 10 with the utmost confidence that he will definitely get the player he seeks. Historically, when the Eagles draft in the top 15, they have eyes on offensive linemen or defensive linemen, positions they most value. They could really use a cornerback, but Alabama corner Patrick Surtain will probably be gone by 12. No guarantees that Waddle or De'Vonta Smith will be there, either. I would put Michigan pass rusher Kwity Paye, Northwestern offensive tackle Rashawn Slater, Virginia Tech offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw, or perhaps South Carolina corner Jaycee Horn in the cluster of prospects that the Eagles are probably comfortable with picking from at 12. In fact, our own Andrew DiCecco wrote about this last month.
More Than Meets The Eye
Maybe the Eagles have their eyes on a bigger prize and another trick up their sleeve. If he wasn't entangled in legal problems, the dots would be easier to connect to a trade for Deshaun Watson. Remember, NFL Network reported that the Eagles first had eyes on moving up to No. 3 for Zach Wilson, which the network later clarified to say the Eagles had once viewed Wilson as a "strong prospect," but decided to move back because they're "good with where they are." I suppose it's just coincidence, then, that they moved out of No. 6 about 10 minutes after the 49ers traded into No. 3. Anyone buying that? Between their first-round picks and Hurts, the Eagles sure have enough ammo to swing a deal for Watson if they're comfortable with the outcome of Watson's legal battles. They also have enough to consider a deal next offseason for Russell Wilson, if they're willing to surrender major draft capital for a quarterback who'll be north of 33. Stay tuned. Feels more like the Eagles are just getting started. – Geoff Mosher (@geoffmoshernfl) is co-host of the "Inside the Birds" podcast and staff writer for InsideTheBirds.com.
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