The Philadelphia Eagles are rumored to be making a play at the No. 2 draft pick and Carson Wentz, with reports that the team will attempt a trade with the Cleveland Browns.
The Eagles have been in search of a franchise quarterback for years now, with rumors that last season, coach Chip Kelly was willing to offer a king’s ransom to trade up to the No. 2 pick and take Marcus Mariota. That never came to pass, and the Eagles instead marched through the season with a shaky and injury-plagued Sam Bradford. This offseason they added Chase Daniel, although neither is seen as a surefire starter.
Lance Zierlein of NFL.com reported that rumors around the league indicate the Philadelphia Eagles may again try a trade to the top of the draft to grab Carson Wentz now that the Browns grabbed Robert Griffin III as the presumed starter.
“Don’t be surprised if a team like the Eagles makes a really strong move up the board to get (Carson) Wentz. I don’t think he’s worth it, but I think they do. Everyone thinks you have to move ahead of Cleveland, but (Browns Chief Strategy Officer Paul DePodesta) will want to get as many picks as possible out of this draft. It wouldn’t surprise me if a team moved directly to Cleveland’s spot for Wentz,” said an NFC executive.
The Philadelphia Eagles have already made it clear that they’re in search of a quarterback at some point in the 2016 NFL Draft. The team’s chairman and CEO, Jeffrey Lurie, has already said that they will take a signal caller at some point this May, although he didn’t say exactly when.
“We’re still looking for a third quarterback, somewhere in the draft, like we used to do,” said Lurie (via Jimmy Kempski of PhillyVoice). “We would always, each year, or every other year, try to draft a quarterback. At some point that’ll probably continue as long as there’s quality throughout the draft, and you can identify how you want to develop a quarterback over time. It’s not somebody who has to step in (immediately), then hopefully we can find somebody throughout the draft.”
Previous statements indicated that the Eagles may have been looking for a quarterback in the later rounds. New head coach Doug Pederson has said he would like to take a quarterback that the team could develop over time, which would appear to mean a later-round quarterback who would not be ready to be a starter immediately.
It’s unclear what it might cost for the Philadelphia Eagles to trade up to the No. 2 spot. The team has no second-round pick this year, although they do have nine other selections and would likely have to part with some high picks from 2017 as well.
Although Jared Goff gained most of the attention over the course of the college football season and going into the combine, North Dakota State’s Wentz has shot to the top of many draft boards. ESPN polled a number of scouts and league executives who said they feel Wentz is the much better prospect.
“[Wentz’s] biggest strengths are toughness, athleticism for his size and ability to stand in there and deliver the ball down the field with pressure,” said one offensive coordinator.
There is still a good chance that the Cleveland Browns may hold onto their pick and grab Carson Wentz, many league insiders believe. Although they reached terms with Robert Griffin III this week, he is not seen as the surefire starter, and the Browns have had an eye on finding their quarterback of the future for years now. They may not pass that chance up this May, no matter how much the Philadelphia Eagles or another team is rumored to be offering.
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