When the Eagles traded down from 6 to 12, draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah’s initial reaction was different than most.
He interpreted it not as a sign that the Eagles don’t want to draft a quarterback but a sign that maybe they do.
Just not yet.
Jeremiah spent two years in the Eagles’ front office before joining NFL Network, so he has a unique perspective on everything Howie Roseman does. He knows how Howie thinks.
And speaking on the Takeoff with John Clark podcast, he explained his theory about the trade down.
“To me, if I’m not sold on Hurts, I get the strategy of, ‘OK, hey, let’s get some insurance here, we’re going to have potentially three 1’s next year, (so) we’ll give Jalen this year, see how it goes, and if for some reason it doesn’t go well, we’ve got all these resources to try and address the quarterback position,” Jeremiah said. “So that’s what this kind of looks like to me. Man, if you really, really thought, ‘OK, we’ve got something with Hurts,’ it would be hard for me to pass off the opportunity to get someone like (Kyle) Pitts or Ja’Marr Chase.”
Jeremiah raises an interesting point.
The Eagles as it stands now have their own 2022 1st-round pick, the Dolphins’ 1st-round pick from the trade down and potentially the Colts’ 1st-round pick, as long as Carson Wentz plays 75 percent of the Colts’ 2021 snaps.
Jeremiah believes Roseman could be stockpiling 1st-round picks for a possible trade to the upper reaches of next year’s draft for a run at one of the top quarterbacks in what’s projected to be a strong QB draft.
We’re still over a year away, but there’s a chance North Carolina’s Sam Howell, Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder, USC’s Kedon Slovis, Liberty’s Malik Willis and Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler will all be top-10 picks next year.
Of course, if Hurts doesn’t work out, there’s a chance the Eagles won’t need to move very far up to get a top quarterback. But that’s a concern for another day.
Jeremiah also said the notion of a Russell Wilson trade isn’t that outlandish. Remember, Jeremiah was in the Eagles’ war room during the 2012 draft during his stint as the Eagles’ West Region scout, so he knows exactly how Roseman and Jeff Lurie feel about the Seahawks’ veteran QB.
Could the Eagles really pony up the draft picks to acquire the future Hall of Famer?
“I wouldn’t rule it out,” Jeremiah said. “It looks like Russell to me - on the outside - looks like he’s looking for a new opportunity and when that comes, who knows, but the Eagles would seem to be a match.”
The Seahawks picked Wilson 75th overall in 2012. The Eagles took Nick Foles 13 picks later. They’re among only four 3rd-round quarterbacks to win a Super Bowl (along with Jeff Hostetler and Joe Montana).
“Obviously, every building is going to be interested in Russell, with his ability level,” Jeremiah said. “But I know we had a lot of love for him there in Philadelphia. To me, I think there is something to that. We really liked him, and we thought nobody else is going to take this guy in the 3rd round, we’re going to take him in the 3rd round, and it turns out he got picked right in front of us. I always tell people in the last couple years, that used to be one of the saddest stories in the draft, ‘Man, Russell, not getting him,’ and we get Foles and even though he went out and came back, Foles ends up being the Super Bowl MVP, so at least there’s a little happy ending there for the Eagles fans.”
Despite his hunch about the trade down and speculation about Wilson, Jeremiah does think Hurts, the Eagles’ 2nd-round pick a year ago, does have a chance to become a successful NFL starter based on what he saw last year.
“I think he has starter ability, said Jeremiah, a one-time starting quarterback at Appalachian State. “I’m curious to see how this new coaching staff and him come together to put this offense together.
"Provided they stay healthy, he’s going to have a better offensive line, hopefully, some of these young receivers can kind of blossom and take the next step. But I think he’s got some ability, I think he’s got a chance to be a quality starter. None of us know. We don’t know until he gets out there and gets a full season, but yeah, there were definitely some good things you pull from last year.”