The silver lining of a terrible Eagles season? A high draft pick next April. Those selections have been a rarity in Philadelphia. The Birds have had just three top-10 picks this century: Corey Simon (sixth in 2000), Lane Johnson (fourth in 2013) and Carson Wentz (second in 2016). All three became Pro Bowlers and played integral roles in runs to the Super Bowl.
For a franchise that stays relatively competitive, it's imperative for the Eagles to hit on a high pick when they get that opportunity. In a move that leaves my emotions in a pretzel, it's why I don't want to see the Eagles win another game this season.
This isn't some Sixers-level Process tanking. In the heat of the game, as was the case on Monday night, it's impossible for me to not get sucked in and boo and cheer every single down as if it's the last play in the Super Bowl. During the week though, I can rationalize things and realize that the best thing for the future health of the organization is to be picking in the top 10 or possibly even the top five come 2021.
Again, I don't want Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz shaving points, but in the back of my head, I know their fall disappointments can lead to hope in April. A Dream of Spring if we're putting it in Game of Thrones terms. My heart wants the Eagles to win more than everything, but my brain knows better.
What's the endgame of the Eagles winning the NFC East with just five or six wins and getting embarrassed in the first round of the playoffs? It bears little fruit going forward and, if anything, it leads the Eagles' power structure to think that this was a one-year blip and to rely on their laurels of making four-straight playoff appearances despite the team getting worse in each successive season.
The Eagles are old, bad and expensive. How can the roster become young, good and cheap? A top-10 pick and early picks on Day 2 and Day 3 of the draft. The 3-12-1 Lions picked third last year. That could be the Birds if they lose out! They may even get there without my wishful thinking with how difficult their schedule is. Imagine adding Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell, LSU wideout Ja'Marr Chase or Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons.
This is the difference between landing Khalil Mack and landing Marcus Smith. This is the difference between landing Patrick Peterson and landing Danny Watkins. A 15-plus pick jump in the draft is the Eagles' greatest chance for acquiring a franchise-changing building block to carry the organization into this next decade regardless of what general manager and head coach are calling the shots.
It's too late to save the 2020 Eagles. It's not too late to save the 2021 and 2022 and 2023 squads. Your December pain will result in joy next September.