Eagles earn C+, Browns A- in trade for No. 2 overall pick

Steve Palazzolo recaps the potentially risky Eagles-Browns trade, and discusses which prospect Philly may select with the second pick of the 2016 draft.

| 5 months ago
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Eagles earn C+, Browns A- in trade for No. 2 overall pick


Quarterbacks lead teams to make bold moves, and the Philadelphia Eagles put themselves into position to land one of the top two quarterbacks on the board — Cal’s Jared Goff or North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz. With the Los Angeles Rams making headlines last week with the monster trade that netted the top pick in the draft, the Eagles made a strong move of their own, moving from No. 8 to No. 2 in exchange for a number of picks: The Eagles’ third- and fourth-round picks this year, and next year’s first-round and 2018’s second-round pick.

It’s still an unknown at the top, as the Rams could be eyeing either Goff or Wentz, so the most fascinating question in this trade is this: What do the Eagles know about the No. 1 pick?

Browns’ grade: A-

Just as the Titans earned an A+, this is a great move for the Browns as far as accumulating assets and setting themselves up to build their team. However, unlike the Titans, the Browns still have question marks at quarterback — RG III is now on the roster, but is that enough under center? There’s risk involved with moving off their perch at No. 2 overall.

The more I watch Goff and Wentz, the better I feel about Goff’s chances of succeeding in the NFL, and if the Rams do decide to take Wentz, this is where the Browns could “lose” in the trade. Goff is too good to pass up at the top of the draft, even with a plethora of assets thrown their way, and that could be a move Cleveland regrets down the road. While Wentz’s potential is tantalizing, there is more risk involved in hitching the team’s wagon to that potential at the top. If the Browns’ intel is telling them that the Rams are leaning toward Goff, then I love the move to trade down and stockpile picks for the future.

Eagles’ grade: C+

The same risk applies for the Eagles, but this is a fascinating move in that they may not even know which quarterback they’re going to get. If they’re perfectly comfortable with either Goff or Wentz, then it makes sense to get in position to grab their future QB, but it’s unlikely that they have identical grades on both signal-callers. If they also have intel on the Rams’ intentions, and they feel confident about the remaining quarterback that will be there at No. 2, then this trade makes sense in the grand scheme. But like all massive trades to get a QB, the risk is enormous, and ultimately the quarterback’s performance will dictate whether or not this grade will be an “A” or an “F” in the future.

The other element of risk is that, even if they do get their guy, the Eagles have to be prepared for their roster to regress before it gets better after giving up so many draft picks. It’s the same issue the Washington Redskins ran into when they traded up for Robert Griffin III in 2012, and it’s the same chance the Rams are taking in moving up to grab their future quarterback this offseason. Most rosters cannot handle a loss of top draft picks for multiple years, so the new Eagles QB should be looking to lead his strongest roster of surrounding talent four or five years down the road. And if that quarterback is Wentz, it just may be perfect timing — if he can live up to his immense potential.

| Senior Analyst

Steve is a senior analyst at Pro Football Focus. His work has been featured on ESPN Insider, NBC Sports, and 120 Sports.

  • themacabre

    Philly just surpassed Clev as the most inept football franchise…if they were willing to do this why sign Bradford and Daniels in free agency?

    • Luke pitney

      They can opt out of Bradford contract after this year so they can cut him with a pretty small draft hit and then Daniels is a great back-up

      • Mike

        You have no idea what you’re talking about, huh? They don’t have a “draft hit” but they will have $4+ million in dead cap if they cut Bradford after this year- that’s after paying him ‘Tom Brady money’ for a year. That’s all in addition to giving Chase crazy money as a backup. Eskimos have more money than the Eagles do- good thing they can rebound and fill all of their roster holes (at every single position) in the draft. Haha, oh wait….

        • codered5

          Yea it think the Eagles have something like 7 and 8 picks in the next two drafts so um oh wait… they will still be able to fill holes through the draft. The stats say they have a 50 percent chance of finding a long term quarterback solution with this pick. That’s certainly a gamble but without someone at that position there is a zero percent chance of sustainable success. Oh yeah let’s and not act like 4 mil of dead $ on 160 mil cap is going to have the eagles hamstrung for the foreseeable future.

    • Spaceman Spiff

      They most likely arent planning on starting their new QB in year one so someone needs to take the snaps. As a Giants fan I love that the eagles did this and look forward to watching this shtty roster the next 5 or so years.

    • Trevor Bergholz

      As a Cleveland fan, I still don’t think you can take the “Crap Crown” away from them yet. They have made these trades before, stockpiled high picks, and blew 95% of them. Different regime and approach, but still the same worry that they are going to overthink things and be in the same position.

  • Pssy.uneducated Trump supprter

    Goff and Wentz highly overrated.

    • KAO(FIRE HOWIE ASAP)

      Goff looks just as good as Rodgers did coming out. Even with the lack of experience with pro concepts.

      • Pssy.uneducated Trump supprter

        You’re delusional

  • Z Jeezuz

    If he hadn’t already done a pretty damn good job this offseason, I would legitimately think that the Eagles GM is a retarded person. First of all, Sam Bradford and Chase Daniels are both solid quarterbacks and will probably relegate Wentz or Goff to the 3rd string barring another trade (which is very likely). Second of all, the Eagles have some of the worst skill position talent in the NFL, and by trading all of those picks away, that talent isn’t likely to get any better in the near future.

  • Tristan Korff

    Am I the only one that thinks this is a genius eagles trade? Look, you need a qb no matter what. They have 3 potential starters on their roster now. Carson Wentz is going to them #2. He’s the project QB with higher potential, so Bradford will be able to buy him a year and then get cut with minimal damage. Chase Daniels is great competition and really flashed. The Eagles have some cap space and what better way to spend it than finding your future franchise qb by a baptism of fire? Training camp will be interesting for the Eagles.

    Lastly, they did a good job of not selling the farm in any one draft. They have the bulk of their draft picks spread out so that they will still be able to build over the next couple years.

    • Gary Miller

      Yes, you’re probably the only one. I understand it, but as an Eagles fan, I shudder to think about what will happen if this pick fails. I would have liked any of the top ten picks that would have ended up in their 8 slot.

      • codered5

        Can someone name the team that was sent into a five year tailspin after doing one of these qb draft trade ups? Sure not many qbs end up being franchise guys but that’s on that individual player and the teams tend to be fine regardless how the qb turns out. They end up being up and down year to year but that’s how it is if you don’t have a franchise qb no matter if you trade away picks or not.

    • KAO(FIRE HOWIE ASAP)

      No plenty of idiot Eagle fans are happy about it. Since Chip’s gone they basically love any move right now lol The Eagles draft average at best on a yearly basis with the current GM so losing any top draft picks hurt. Whichever QB they get is going to have to be at least as good as Matt Ryan to justify this trade in anyway and it not be an F. Also its pretty damn clear that you DONT ALWAYS need a QB playing well to succeed. There are examples yearly and last season Broncos won it all with putrid QB play.

    • theotherJimBrown

      Are you sure the Eagles covet one of the QB’s ??? Jalen Ramsey, Myles Jack, or DeForest Buckner can be 10+ year superstars. 2 of them will not make it past SD & Dal. None should make it to #8.

  • RVM3

    Remember the Eagles added picks in the Murray trade.

    • Matt

      no they didn’t, all they did was swap 4th rounders.

  • Strich Nein

    It wouldn’t shock me if eagles took Elliott or Ramsey instead. Why move up if you don’t know which qb going first.

    • Tim Edell

      You don’t read 2 1s a second a third and a fourth to draft Elliott who you could of possibly got at 8th!!

    • DaStrongSKRAWN

      You don’t trade up to #2 overall and don’t select a QB. Expect a team dedicated to 30M of cap to QBs lol

  • http://www.michaeltoebe.com Michael

    If you believe your guy is going to be a Pro Bowl QB and transform your team and future, then you take the risk and be aggressive.

    Yes, you better be right yet high-quality QBs aren’t plentiful. The Eagles clearly are in love and are in pursuit.

    No guarantee that keeping all their picks that they would have picked the right guys or been in position to get a potential star QB.

    I have no idea if Goff and Wentz are future Pro Bowl players and big winners. The Rams and Eagles think they are and are happy.

    The Titans and Browns are excited because they have extra picks to add skill and depth to build their teams.

  • Jack Burton

    Philly just got robbed.

    Couldn’t happened to a better fan base in sports.

  • Paradox

    Sorry Steve, have to call you out. You gave the Rams a B grade and the Eagles a C for very similar deals?

    You said this about the Rams trade. “Is this a good, necessary move for the Rams? Yes, it is. But they have
    to understand the inherent risk that comes with giving up so many assets
    for their franchise quarterback. The best NFL teams can often point to
    their last two to four drafts to show the source of their talent, so
    giving up a large number of picks immediately makes the Rams a prime
    candidate to have a more depleted roster three to four years down the
    road. As long as that’s understood, and patience is adhered to, this
    move is still a win for them, assuming they pick a good quarterback”. Replace “Rams” with “Eagles” in that text and the argument still holds, so why the lower grade?

    The Eagles obviously feel comfortable enough with either Goff or Wentz as their pick, so the move is “still a win for them, assuming they pick a good quarterback.”

    As for traded picks, this is how the trades look when adjusted to present value (1 round downgrade for 2017 picks and 2 round downgrade for 2018 picks). Seen this way:
    – Rams gave a 1st (#15), 3 2nds, a 3rd, and a 4th for #1 overall, a 4th, and a 6th.
    – Eagles gave a 1st (#8), 2nd, 3rd, and 2 4ths for #2 overall and a 5th.

    Is the difference between #15 and #8 2 second rounders? Absolutely not.
    Is the difference between Goff and Wentz 2 second rounders? I’d argue no.

    The Rams trade, I believe, leaves them at a far worse spot because they mostly paid up front while the Eagles spread out the cost across three seasons. Even a Bradford trade next season if they hit on Goff/Wentz should be factored in favor of Philadelphia.