Why Eagles shouldn't flip 1st-round picks for a big-name QB originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
Eagles GM Howie Roseman and head coach Nick Sirianni on Wednesday sat before the media, both stating confidently that Jalen Hurts is their man. The second-year quarterback had earned the pair’s confidence, at least enough for them to state publicly that the starting job is his to open next season.
As any Eagles fan knows from recent history, votes of confidence and two bucks gets you a Wawa coffee.
But for now, this is what we have to go on. And despite the words of Sirianni and Roseman, the rumor mill will churn, at least until the NFL Draft three months from now, and maybe beyond that.
The Eagles have three first-round picks this April – 15th, 16th and 19th – opening up a host of possibilities, including trading some of all of them for an established quarterback, like Seattle’s Russell Wilson.
A trade like this is making a colossal assumption. A few, in fact.
First, you’re assuming, having watched the Eagles play 18 games this past season, that the only thing keeping this team from where it is now and a shot at the Super Bowl is a top-echelon quarterback. Did you watch the games? I mean, really watch them? Did you watch the defense? The high-priced defensive line that got more sacks than only one NFL team?
The Week 1 starting linebacker who was cut before Week 9? The other linebackers constantly four steps behind in pass coverage? The secondary fighting for its life?
Three first round draft picks would be far better spent to help a team with far more questions than answers, even excluding the quarterback spot.
Beyond the draft picks, the team will also need to add in free agency. You can forget about most of your shopping list if you trade for Wilson. He will cost $77 million over the next two seasons. Jalen Hurts will cost $3.5 million. Wouldn’t you rather have that money to patch as many of the roster holes as possible, rather than pushing in all your chips on one player?
Finally, you’re assuming that Wilson can come in a make the Eagles offense a super-charged passing attack. They do have DeVonta Smith, who had a solid, if not great, rookie season. They have Dallas Goedert, who is developing into one of the best young tight ends in the game.
Subscribe to the Eagle Eye podcast
What else? Miles Sanders doesn’t have the surest hands in the world. Jalen Reagor… well we know what Reagor is, and what he isn’t. Quez Watkins could be a home run threat. It’s difficult to see Wilson waving his magic wand over this group of skill position players and make them into a juggernaut.
My advice? Draft players with two of your three first-round picks in April, and trade down with the third, but only to add a 2023 first-rounder. Give Hurts one more year to grow. If Sirianni and company can’t coach him up, move on. But don’t give away a real chance to build the roster economically, to add a quarterback to a team that’s way more than a quarterback away.