Now that the dust has settled and Carson Wentz along with seven other NFL draft picks are officially Eagles, naturally it's time to... assign a frivolous letter grade!
It's a tradition unlike any other in sports. The grades always arrive in the days and hours or even the moments immediately following each pick in the draft, always with the caveat that, yes, we should wait three-to-five years because it's impossible to evaluate whether a bunch of 20-something-year-old kids will succeed in pro football, and no, we probably don't know anything about most of them that we haven't read in scouting reports anyway. Hell, the front offices that were working on this all year long don't even get the draft right half the time, but I'm supposed to praise or rip the job Howie Roseman did over the weekend? Seems legit.
And this year's Eagles grades are a particularly futile endeavor given the nature of the club's class, leaving us with more or less with one of two takes.
1. The Eagles' draft will only be as good as Wentz.
You mean to tell me the franchise quarterback the Eagles dealt three year's worth of picks to acquire will make or break this draft? Way to go out on a limb there.
2. Outside of Wentz, the Eagles' draft was an underwhelming one.
Underwhelmed by the Eagles' draft? Well, that tends to happen when a team only makes two selections in the first four rounds. The feeling was inevitable, so thanks for the analysis.
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Many of these same people who are underwhelmed by the Eagles' draft or saying it hinges on Wentz and are grading them accordingly seem to be missing the point as well. Since the amount of help that was brought in for this year's team was somewhere between little and none, this affects the score negatively?
Is the draft not primarily about the future? I mean, even a lot of first-round picks who have a chance to contribute right away will not. That doesn't mean they're destined to bust, it just takes some players a year or two to or sometimes longer to develop into solid NFL players.
Grading the Eagles purely or even mostly based on how their class impacts 2016, when the Eagles themselves acknowledge the Wentz trade was not for 2016, is to ignore both the organization's plan and the very purpose of the draft, which is to build for the future.
There isn't even much of a consensus over how the Eagles' class of '16 should be graded. I've seen anything from a B to a D, which is basically anything in between awesome and failure. Basically, the only aspect people agree on is this wasn't a great draft, but it probably wasn't the worst, either. Real insightful.
The truth is there really is no way to grade the Eagles' draft the day after, this year maybe more than others, because obviously so much hinges on Wentz. It's difficult to even evaluate the package of picks they traded to move up when Roseman no doubt hopes to flip a rebuilt Bradford next year for more than the Eagles initially paid. Until it's all said and done, maybe they didn't give up that much to land their quarterback of the future after all.
In fact, if it's a draft grade you want, try this on for size. I'm going to go ahead and give the Eagles' 2016 draft an A+. This is based on a projected Bradford swap that nets a pair of second-round picks and the pair of Lombardi Trophies Wentz is going to bring back to Philly while he leads the franchise for the next decade.
Hey, it almost certainly won't come true, but if I'm going to attempt to predict the future, I might as well actually try looking ahead.