Why the Eagles should have stayed at No. 6


I get it. I just don’t like it.

Whether this trade makes sense or not comes down to one thing: Whether you believe there’s more value in the 6th pick this year or No. 12 plus, say, next year’s No. 25.

And for a team in a rebuild that has very little young talent and needs to replenish the roster, the notion of moving down six spots to stockpile another 1st-round pick does make some sense.

It’s easy to understand Howie Roseman’s thinking.

The Eagles need players. Lots of players. And the statement they’re making with Friday’s trade is that having that No. 6 pick is a luxury they can’t afford.

If Carson Wentz triggers that 75 percent playing-time plateau, the Eagles will have FOUR 1st-round picks over the next two years: No. 12 this year plus their own, the Colts’ and the Dolphins’ next year.

Four 1’s in two years is a nice start on a rebuild.

And it’s easy to see Roseman, sitting there with 11 picks this year, taking No. 37 – the Eagles’ 2nd-round pick this year - and a later pick and turning them into a late 1st-round pick this year.

The Eagles have never had more than three 1st-round picks in a two-year period. They could conceivably have five in the next two years. That really gives you an opportunity to reshape your roster.

The message from the Eagles is clear: “We need volume.”

Good, young starting-caliber players on both sides of the ball. Receivers. Corners. Linemen. Pass rushers. Linebackers. Pretty much everything.

And you won’t get an argument from me. They do.

But it’s also possible to hang on to No. 6 and get one of the best players in the country and still build for the future.

If the Eagles didn’t make this trade, they’d still have eight picks in the first three rounds over the next two years: three 1’s, two 2’s and three 3’s (or two 1’s, three 2’s and three 3’s depending on Wentz).

Don’t tell me you can’t go a long way toward repairing a broken roster with that kind of draft pick motherlode.

What getting out of No. 6 does is reduce the Eagles’ chances of landing a generational talent.

Consider this: Since 1970, 40 Hall of Famers have been drafted in the first six picks but just 11 from picks 7 to 12.

Six Hall of Famers have been drafted at No. 6 and just one at No. 12 – Warren Sapp (who the Eagles actually could have had but traded the pick to Tampa to take Mike Mamula at No. 7).

There will be at least three and possibly four QBs taken before the Eagles are on the clock, so they’ll be able to snap up the 8th- or 9th-best non-QB in the country.

They should get someone really good.

But they just would have a better chance to land a truly elite player – a potential franchise changer - by staying at No. 6.

Opportunities to draft this high don’t come along often. The Eagles have had exactly two top-10 picks in the last 20 years.

The dream scenario is that the Eagles end up with a top talent like Jaylen Waddle, Patrick Surtain II or even Devonta Smith at 12 and have a bonus 1st-round pick next year. If they can get an elite player at 12 and another impact player next year with the extra pick, then this trade was a success.

Especially if they're convinced (and correct) that the value between the player they would have taken at 6 - whether that's Kyle Pitts, Ja'Marr Chase, Penei Sewell or someone else - isn't significantly better than what they wind up with at 12.

But at 6, you expect a generational talent. At 12, you’re hoping for one.

It’s hard to trust Roseman considering his recent draft record. I think that’s what makes this trade hard for a lot of fans to take. You figure he can’t screw up 6. But the farther down you drop, the less of a sure-thing you’re getting.

In a way, this is a great opportunity. But I can't help thinking staying at 6 would have been an even better one.

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