The Eagles and Browns have agreed to a trade that will send the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s draft to Philadelphia, the Eagles announced today (via Twitter). Along with the No. 2 overall pick in 2016, the Eagles will get a 2017 fourth-round pick from the Browns.
In exchange, the Browns will receive the Eagles’ 2016 first-rounder (No. 8 overall), a third-round pick (No. 77), a fourth-round pick (No. 100), a 2017 first-round pick, and a 2018 second-round pick.
[RELATED: Rams acquire No. 1 pick from Titans]
The Eagles did a ton of homework in recent weeks on all of the top quarterback prospects in this year’s draft, with owner Jeffrey Lurie joining the team’s top football decision-makers during meetings and workouts. While some observers believed Philadelphia’s apparent interest in a QB was a smoke screen, it seems that interest was genuine.
With the Rams believed to be leaning toward taking California QB Jared Goff with the No. 1 overall pick, the Eagles are “all but assured” of drafting North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz, tweets Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Assuming Wentz is the pick, he’ll join Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel in a crowded Eagles’ quarterback picture. Bradford is on a short-term deal, which doesn’t include much guaranteed money beyond 2016, so the former No. 1 overall pick may not have much of a future in Philadelphia.
Although the Eagles didn’t have a second-round pick to trade this year as a result of 2015’s Bradford swap, the team was able to move up from No. 13 to No. 8 in a trade with the Dolphins involving Byron Maxwell and Kiko Alonso. That deal allowed Philadelphia to put an offer on the table for the Browns that gave Cleveland the opportunity to stay within the top 10 in 2016 while adding multiple mid-round selections in 2016 and early-round picks in 2017 and 2018.
Having moved from No. 2 to No. 8, the Browns could still take a quarterback in the first round if they really love a player like Paxton Lynch or even Connor Cook. But it appears the franchise decided that securing a boatload of additional picks was more important than using that No. 2 overall selection on Goff or Wentz. For now, that leaves Robert Griffin III and Josh McCown in the mix for the starting QB job in Cleveland, though the Browns figure to add a signal-caller at some point during the draft.
The deal is probably good news for other clubs drafting in the top six, with the possible exception of the Cowboys — the Chargers, Jaguars, and Ravens are now free to target the best non-quarterbacks in the draft, knowing that Goff and Wentz figure to come off the board within the top two picks. Reports had suggested that Dallas might be interested in one of those top two QBs, but it now appears that Jerry Jones‘ club should have its choice of top defensive prospects – including perhaps Jalen Ramsey – at No. 4.
With eight days remaining until the 2016 draft gets underway, the top two picks have now been dealt, and both teams trading out of those top spots are being run by new general managers. Time will tell whether Jon Robinson of the Titans and Sashi Brown of the Browns made the right calls, but they certainly weren’t reluctant to make major splashes within months of being hired.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.