I have to say I am perplexed by both the Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia Eagles mortgaging the future to move up to the top of the NFL draft in order to take Jared Goff and Carson Wentz, respectively.
This will mark the third time in the past five years (and seventh time ever) quarterbacks will be taken with both the first and second picks, but this year feels so much different, at least than the past two times.
Going back to 2012, the quarterbacks taken were Andrew Luck, viewed by many as the greatest NFL prospect since John Elway, and Robert Griffin III, who was coming off a dominant season in which he won the Heisman Trophy. The hype and build up surrounding those two quarterbacks was both very legitimate and valid.
You can even say the same for last year’s NFL draft with Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota. Winston went undefeated, won the Heisman and the National Championship in his first year as the starter at Florida State, and then followed that up with another undefeated regular season in his second season before falling to Oregon in the College Football Playoff semifinal. If he didn’t have multiple off-field incidents, there wouldn’t have been any questions about Winston’s ability to play at the next level.
Mariota was a sensation at Oregon winning every major award in his final season in Eugene. He won the Heisman Trophy, the Walter Camp Award, the Maxwell Award, and the Davey O’Brien Award as the country’s top collegiate quarterback. The only thing he didn’t do was beat Ohio State in the title game.
Compared to hype surrounding Luck, RG III, Winston and Mariota, Carson Wentz and Jared Goff don’t even belong in the same stratosphere.
Wentz was hiding in the FCS at North Dakota State (although he won two FCS titles), and Goff never really experienced any team success at Cal, no matter how impressed scouts were with his skill set.
Still, I get the sense from the Rams that since they are moving to Los Angeles, the organization wanted a new face of the franchise. Jeff Fisher and Stan Kroenke can say whatever they want, but I truly believe the Rams moved up to the No. 1 spot because the team is relocating to L.A. They needed a reason for fans to come out to games and what better way than to draft a quarterback with the first pick?
As for the Eagles, I think this is a case of Philly’s front office trying to appear smarter than everyone else by drafting Carson Wentz, a virtual unknown with the second overall pick since not many people were aware of what he was doing at North Dakota State. If the Eagles hit big on Wentz, the front office will look like geniuses and Howie Roseman will have the ability to walk around saying, “I told you so.”
To me though, there are times when trading up to the No. 1 and No. 2 picks in the draft are worth it. This year is not one of those years. Time will obviously tell.
By trading up to the second pick, the Eagles created a ton of drama for themselves heading into training camp after they gave Sam Bradford a two-year, $36 million contract with $22 million in guarantees. Now, every day throughout the summer, the media will be comparing whether Bradford or Wentz performed better and debating who should start. Have fun with that Eagles fans!
One thing that is for certain though is Bradford is not apart of Philly’s future plans, and he shouldn’t be happy about it. I’d be much more concerned if he were happy.
From the Browns’ perspective, trading the No. 2 pick was the only move. After the Rams acquired the first pick in order to take a quarterback, all of a sudden the Browns had all the power to trade the pick, which is exactly what they did and the Eagles were foolish enough to take the bait.
Now Cleveland has stockpiled extra third and fourth round picks in this year’s draft, a first round pick in next year’s draft, and a second round pick in 2018 which will help plug the many holes on the Browns’ roster.
But if the Browns’ bad luck is truly real, Carson Wentz will prove to be one of the greatest quarterbacks who ever lived and Cleveland will look back at this trade as one of the biggest missed opportunities in NFL history.