Eagles

Eagles

Four years ago, Eagles executive vice president and general manager Howie Roseman moved Heaven and Earth — and a truckload of draft capital — to make two trades that vaulted the team from the 13th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft to the second, moves that netted them Carson Wentz.

All things considered, that’s worked out pretty well: the franchise’s first-ever Super Bowl title, and three playoff appearances in four seasons since.

Right now, the franchise is at yet another crossroads. Wentz had established himself as one of the best signal-callers in the NFL. Not many QBs could’ve set a team record for passing yards in a season throwing to wide receivers who … let’s just say some of them were barely household names in their own household.

Alshon Jeffery is 30 years old, and may not be ready for the start of the 2020 season after December Lisfranc foot surgery. DeSean Jackson should be ready, but counting on him to play 16 games is a roll of the dice. And JJ Arcega-Whiteside and Greg Ward … let’s just say thinking they could play a significant role in the offense right now is a lot to ask.

Roseman fortified the defense this offseason, adding one of the best cornerbacks in the game, Darius Slay in a trade with the Lions, and signing free agent tackle Javon Hargave, formerly of the Steelers. This week, he must focus on helping the crown jewel of his franchise, the quarterback.

The 2020 NFL Draft has a ton of talent at wide receiver, arguably the Eagles’ biggest position of need. Currently, the Eagles pick 21st in Thursday’s first round. If they want to maximize the potential of the franchise quarterback they worked so hard to acquire, and then develop, Roseman needs to put his Trader Howie hat on again and work the phones.

Many draftniks believe there are three wideouts in the top tier: Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb, and Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs, both from Alabama. You’d be hard-pressed to find any mock draft where any of the three fall to the Eagles at pick 21. There are at least a half-dozen teams – from Jacksonville at pick No. 9 to, well, Jacksonville again at pick No. 20 – that could use a serious upgrade at wide receiver. Moving up in the first round is the best mousetrap to catch one of these Big Three.

Some will argue that you have a better chance at hitting the target with more shots at it. Using that same analogy, would you rather have a dunk, or five half-court shots? Sure, you may hit from that far off, but why would you pass up a chance at a gimme?

With all due respect to the man who brought this city its first Super Bowl parade (and also produced Carson Wentz), Roseman’s more recent draft resume hasn’t born very much fruit, beyond No. 11. Aside from running back Miles Sanders, who showed flashes of greatness as a rookie, the 2019 draft class did very little last season. In 2018, tight end Dallas Goedert was the only pick the team had in the first 124 selections. The 2017 draft was to running backs what this draft is to wide receivers. The Eagles waited until the 4th round to take one – Donnel Pumphrey from San Diego State — he didn’t play a single down for them.

How far the Eagles will need to climb remains to be seen, but here’s a transaction rooted in reality that could work for them:

Eagles get: 9th overall pick, 137th overall pick

Jaguars get: 21st overall pick, 103rd overall pick, Eagles’ 2021 2nd-round pick

If a trade like this were agreed upon, it would all but guarantee the Eagles the ability to select the top-flight wide receiver they sorely need. The team paid a high price for Carson Wentz four years ago. To do that, and not do your level best to surround Wentz with the talent to excel as he approaches his prime years seems foolish. Like buying a Ferrari and doing laps around the cul de sac.

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