Remember the 2014 draft? That was a fun draft. The Texans needed a quarterback. However, there was this generational talent available to them in Jadeveon Clowney. So they took him instead of reaching for a quarterback who probably wasn’t worth the first pick. Smart right?
The Jaguars on the other hand, reached for a QB at pick number 3 who wasn’t even considered to be the best QB in the draft by most analysts, Blake Bortles. Draft twitter erupted. I was watching the draft with my best friend who happens to be a Jaguars fan, he looked so depressed. He kept checking twitter and everyone was just killing the Jags. Most of draft twitter, and many analysts had Bridgewater and even Manziel ahead of Bortles.
Not only that, the Jags passed on some unbelievable talent on both defense and offense. Khalil Mack. Sammy Watkins. Mike Evans. Odell Beckham. The list goes on and on. That was such a talented draft and the Jaguars had to go and screw it up and take a QB at number 3 who just simply wasn’t that good. What were the Jaguars thinking? Bortles had so many flaws and the other guys were just better players.
Guess what? The Jaguars made the right pick. Would the Texans trade Clowney for Bortles right now? Of course they would. The whole of twitter basically had Bridgewater rated higher than Bortles. He was more pro-ready, a better decision maker, more accurate. Bortles had upside though, huge upside. It’s why I had him ranked in my top 15 players, I just thought he could be great.
But I hear you say, why reach for a QB this year when we can just take one next year in the first who will be better? It’s not that simple. Have you seen the Eagles defense right now? With Bradford at quarterback, the Eagles will win a decent amount of games. I’d be stunned if they are picking inside the top 10 next year, so it won’t be easy for them to get one of the top 1 or 2 QBs next year either. Roseman and Pederson will know this too.
Looking back at last year, Winston and Mariota weren’t the consensus 1/2 best players on everyone’s draft board. I find it funny how because Winston and Mariota were so great last year, everyone now just assumes like it was obvious. Go and look at draft analysts draft boards from last year. Loads of them had Winston around 5 and Mariota just after or vice versa. I saw Leonard Williams, Kevin White, Amari Cooper and Dante Fowler constantly ranked above Winston and Mariota.
I remember draft twitter being worried about Winston’s decision making. Lots of people in the media where worried about Mariota’s offense at Oregon and how he would translate. But hey guess what, there is no perfect QB prospect. They all have flaws.
So should the Bucs have taken Leonard Williams last year at 1 because technically he may have been BPA? No. If you like the QB you take him, simple.
So where does this leave the Eagles? I haven’t mentioned Bradford yet and I like Bradford but he should not impact who you draft though. Nothing against Ben Natan of BGN because I like him a lot, but when I hear takes like this I just do not get it. At all.
Who cares if we draft a QB and he sits for 2 years if he turns out to be a true franchise quarterback?! Don’t forget, Roseman didn’t bring in Bradford at first. Pederson didn’t trade for him. He was signed because he makes you competitive for the next couple of the years. He does give you a chance to win. I honestly believe Bradford can be a very good QB but that still shouldn’t impact you in the draft. I also think, if they got Wentz, he would sit for one year and start next year.
Look at the staff Pederson has here with Reich and DeFilippo, you know that they are confident they can develop a guy who has talent. They are going to want a guy with huge upside because they will think that they can make him something special. Yes, loads of coaches lose their jobs because they believe this. But they will always want the guy with more talent because they believe in their coaching abilities. That’s just the way it is.
Which leads me on to the QB class this year. I think Goff is the best QB in the draft right now. However, I think Wentz has an extremely high ceiling. He could be really good. Is he perfect? No. Could he be a bust? Yes. But he has talent. Bridgewater was better than Bortles coming out of College but Bortles had more upside. So did Derek Carr. Both Carr and Bortles are better than Bridgewater at this point and I can’t see that changing. Wentz just reminds me of Bortles in a lot of ways.
Personally, I have Wentz as about the 8th best player or so in this years class. Some people really don’t rate him. I don’t pretend to be an expert though. Analysts that I trust a lot, such as Mike Mayock, Daniel Jeremiah and Greg Cosell have Wentz as there number one quarterback this year. Cosell compares Wentz to Luck here.
The Eagles may never pick this high again and they may not ever have a better chance of taking such a talented QB. I’m not going to be ecstatic if the Eagles trade up for Wentz and I’m not going to go crazy if they don’t. My opinion doesn’t matter really. I do think Wentz could be a perfect fit with that Pederson wants to do on offense.
If Pederson believes Wentz is ‘his guy’. Then go and get him. Trade away a 3rd round pick. Trade away next years 1st. If you think he’s that good and you believe in him, then do it. Do I think he’s worth it? I’m not sure. But I understand the reasoning. Obviously don’t trade away elite players like Fletcher Cox because giving away draft picks is totally different to giving away established players.
The same thing applies for Paxton Lynch. Maybe the whole Wentz thing is a smokescreen and the Eagles really want Lynch at 8. I prefer Wentz to Lynch but if Pederson believes Lynch can be a franchise QB and he can coach him in to something great. Then go for it. Shoot for the stars. You have to do what you have to do.