Roger Goodell isn’t announcing picks for another week and it’s already been one of the most hectic, unpredictable, insane draft periods we’ve ever seen. Not to be outdone by the LA Rams, the Philadelphia Eagles broke the still-recovering internet Wednesday when they traded up to snag Cleveland’s #2 overall pick.
The Eagles sent a first (#8 overall), third and fourth round pick from this year’s draft, as well as their 2017 first and 2018 second rounder to the Browns in exchange for the #2 and a fourth rounder in 2017.
That’s quite a haul for a rebuilding Browns team that has holes all over the roster. And, for the record, I kind of love what the Browns are doing here.
Teams get great through the draft. The Seahawks went from being forgotten in the hipster capital of the world to becoming everyone’s favorite bandwagon team because they had extremely successful drafts. The Packers front office have made careers out of expertly drafting and developing players. The Panthers were just in a Super Bowl because of how well they’ve drafted, with many of their stars still on rookie contracts.
The Browns have put themselves in a position to get a lot of talented rookies on cheap contracts who hopefully can form a young, core nucleus to build around in the future. This is what happened in Cincinnati and it’s what’s happening in Oakland.
The Eagles, on the other hand, I have no idea what they’re doing. But hey, if you love Carson Wentz or Jared Goff and you think he can be the guy, then who cares if you have two other starting quarterbacks getting paid a total of $55 million. You go and get him Howie Roseman! I respect your moxie.
Now, as there is in any trade, there are plenty of winners and losers from Wednesday’s festivities. In the Titans/Rams trade, Jeff Fisher’s tenure was the biggest winner along with the Titans return to relevance. Case Keenum took a pretty big loss, however.
While it’s too early to determine which team officially won this trade—though right now it’s looking heavily in Cleveland’s favor—it’s never too early to hand out wins and losses to those affected by the trade.
WINNER: Carson Wentz and Jared Goff
Let’s just start right at the top with the biggest winners of Wednesday. Neither promising young quarterback has to spend their career trapped in what can only be described as quarterback hell. While leading the Browns to the ever elusive playoffs is alluring to the young and the bold, is it truly worth throwing away your career over?
Plus, Goff now won’t have to constantly hear Hue Jackson’s hand size jokes and neither QB will have to put up with RGIII spewing inspirational quotes in every quarterback meeting like he’s some kind of a cat poster.
LOSER: Chase Daniel’s hopes and dreams
Poor, poor, poor Chase Daniel. After backing up Alex Smith in Kansas City, he finally gets his chance to battle for a starting spot with the Eagles, and against the human china cabinet that is Sam Bradford. You just couldn’t have picked a better quarterback to be a backup to. But now suddenly that dream is dead.
As soon as Wentz or Goff throws one completion in preseason, the angry Philly fans are going to begin roaring for their rookie quarterback to start. And if management doesn’t listen, it’s going to be raining boos and Philly cheesesteaks at Lincoln Financial Field.
WINNER: Sam Bradford
Yes, Sam Bradford is a winner here. I believe Roseman’s “Sam Bradford is the Eagles starting quarterback” about as much as I believed Les Snead when he said Case Keenum was their guy. Yeah, ok, keep telling yourself that.
Bradford is going to get traded. There’s just no way the Eagles move up to get a quarterback and keep three starters on roster. But to whom will he be traded? The Broncos, fresh off a Super Bowl with the best defense in the league, still need a quarterback. Imagine you’re Sam Bradford. You just saw what the Broncos did with the corpse of Peyton Manning and that dude from Twilight, imagine what John Elway could do with your artificial knees? Wonders, probably.
LOSER: Chip Kelly’s Ego
Talk about taking a hit. As the head coach of the 49ers, Chip has now missed out twice at moving up in the draft to snag a quarterback since, despite all the rumors coming out of Levi’s pockets, Colin Kaepernick is not the answer at the position. Any time a quarterback gets benched for Blaine Gabbert, it’s time to move on from that guy.
Let’s not forget that Chip used to be coach/GM/master of all that is Eagles last year and couldn’t make a trade like this. You don’t think he would have loved to move up in last years draft to get his prodigy Marcus Mariota? Of course he would! But alas, the blockbuster trade comes a year later. Sorry Chip.
WINNER: The San Diego Super Chargers
This draft has gone from great to super great for the Super Chargers. With the Rams and the Eagles presumably moving up in the draft to take Wentz and Goff, the Chargers are free to draft whomever tickles their fancy.
Want to bolster their injury riddled and all around not that good offensive line? Laremy Tunsil will help with that. How about replacing Pro Bowl and longtime veteran safety Eric Weddle? Jalen Ramsey, arguably the best player in this draft, will certainly fix that. Or want to address your linebacker position and add a versatile and athletic force in the middle of your defense? Miles Jack already looks good in baby blue. The draft is the Chargers oyster.
LOSER: Every mock draft from here on
Not only is every mock draft written prior to this trade useless, but at this rate every mock draft written in the future will quickly be useless. This is shaping up to be a highly entertaining draft, one that might involve plenty of moving and more than it’s share of surprising picks. If anyone can show me a mock that has accurately predicted the draft thus far, including trades, I’ll give that person a high-five. And my high-fives are worth it.
Also, 2016 NFL Draft, don’t let me down after I’ve talked you up. Don’t be that draft that gets us all excited too soon and then do absolutely nothing awesome. That’s not cool.