Eagles trade up to No. 2 overall pick in 2016 NFL draft


It looks like they're going to get their guy.

The Eagles on Wednesday traded up for the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft in a deal with the Cleveland Browns.

The Eagles acquire the Browns' 1st-round pick (No. 2) in 2016 and a fourth-round pick in 2017 in exchange for a first- (No. 8), third- (No. 77) and fourth-round (No. 100) pick in 2016, a first-round pick in 2017 and a second-round pick in 2018.

The Eagles almost certainly will target one of the draft's top quarterbacks, North Dakota State's Carson Wentz and Cal's Jared Goff.

“You look at teams and it’s clear — you have quarterbacks or you don’t, and teams that don’t have quarterbacks are looking for them, and we don’t want to be in that position going forward," EVP of football operations Howie Roseman told CSN's Derrick Gunn on Wednesday. "I can’t tell you what the future holds, I can’t tell you where we’re going to be picking or who’s going to be there or what quarterbacks are going to come out or what teams are going to need them.

"So even though we understand that we made a commitment to Sam and Chase, we went into this offseason saying we wanted to improve the quarterback situation. We don’t want to be in a situation where we’re desperate, where we have to. We felt at this moment it hit the right note of not being desperate right now for the need and at the same time our evaluation of the players.”

That said, their starter remains Sam Bradford.

"Sam Bradford is our starting quarterback," Roseman said at a press conference shortly after the trade was announced.

Wentz possesses prototypical size (6-5/237) and arm strength. The biggest question mark will be how he adjusts to the NFL speed from the FCS level. He missed some time this season with a thumb injury but still led the Bison to the 1-AA National Championship in 2015. In seven games, he completed 63 percent of his passes, tossing 17 touchdowns to only four interceptions.

Goff was a three-year starter for Cal and put up prolific numbers. In 2015, Goff completed 66 percent of his passes and had 43 touchdowns to 13 interceptions. His hand size became a subject at the combine along with his slender frame.

The Eagles now have picks in the first (No. 2), third (No. 79), fifth (No. 153, 164), sixth (No. 188) and seventh (No. 233, 251) rounds. 

Less than a week ago, the Los Angeles Rams made a trade with the Tennessee Titans, moving up from No. 15 to No. 1. The Rams are expected to take either Wentz or Goff, but have not revealed their intentions.

The package isn't quite what the Redskins gave up for Robert Griffin III, but it's a haul. And as Roseman said in his press conference on Wednesday, the Eagles are far from a finished product.

At No. 8, the Eagles could have filled one of a number of holes. Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott has star potential. Vernon Hargreaves of Florida could turn out to be a shutdown corner. Notre Dame's Ronnie Stanley could have been a pillar for the Eagles' offensive line for years. The middle round picks could have been important pieces for the future as well.

On the other hand, just look at what the Eagles have had since Donovan McNabb was traded in 2010: Kevin Kolb, Michael Vick, Nick Foles, Sam Bradford. Zero playoff wins and the team is on its third head coach in that time span. A franchise quarterback is hard to find.

An interesting piece to this puzzle is Bradford. Roseman stated that Bradford will be the team's starting quarterback in 2016, which will allow for either Wentz or Goff to develop.

If Bradford has even a decent season, you'd have to imagine the Eagles would get some trade offers, which could allow them to replace some of the picks they just traded. Brian Hoyer is currently being courted by the Jets and the reigning Super Bowl champion Broncos. The Texans are paying a mostly unproven Brock Osweiler an awful lot of money. If you can throw a forward pass in the NFL, you have value.

The Eagles gave up a lot. But if they get their franchise quarterback, it'll be worth it.

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