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.