Philadelphia Eagles Draft Moves Pressures NFL Teams To Follow Suit

Apr 30, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; A general view as the Tennessee Titans make their pick in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 30, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; A general view as the Tennessee Titans make their pick in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports /

The Philadelphia Eagles draft moves will now pressure NFL teams to follow suit

Stampede. Panic.

If you have ever played the game “Musical Chairs”, you know the challenge of getting seated when there are more bodies than chairs.  From the moment the music stops, you dash to the closest seat in hopes that you get there before another.  One or more persons lose, and leave the game.  When you have a handful of quarterback prospects, and a larger number of teams shopping for quarterbacks, the mechanics are similar.  Get your guy before any of the other guys do.

The team that fails to do so, loses.  In today’s NFL, that could mean a head coach or even a general manager loses their job.  It’s a business after all, a very competitive cutthroat business.

Before the NFL draft was cool to follow, there were those of us who did anyways, because we found it to be full of drama unto itself. You may recall the 2013 NFL draft, when the talent of the draft was offensive linemen. The first round began by the Kansas City Chiefs selecting offensive tackle Eric Fisher, followed by the Jacksonville Jaguars selecting offensive tackle Luke Joeckel. At four, the Philadelphia Eagles selected Lane Johnson. Four picks, three offensive tackles.

That’s how it goes in the NFL drafts.

By the time the smoke had cleared, five offensive tackles had come off the board in that 2013 first round. A position thought to be the strength of the draft in that year became a scarcity because there was a run on the position – a stampede.

Now, fast forward to the 2016 NFL draft. This year, there is plenty of discussions centered on the first two picks, and the fact that some combination of Carson Wentz and Jarod Goff will come off the 2016 NFL draft board at one and two. But what of the other 32 teams?  Well, here is where it begins to get very interesting.

There are any number of NFL teams who are projected to need a quarterback in this NFL draft:  Of the six projected to need a quarterback, two teams – the Saint Louis Rams and the Philadelphia Eagles – are in position to get their franchise quarterback.  But four remaining teams, the San Francisco 49ers, the Cleveland Browns, the Dallas Cowboys and the Houston Texans, are all in need of an offensive field general.

More from Eagles Draft

With the top two quarterback candidates off the board so quickly, the pressure is now on the remaining teams.  Why?   Well, the issue becomes availability.  Of the remaining teams, the Cowboys select 4th, the 49ers select 7th, the Browns select 8th, and the Texans select 22nd.  But the board now favors the Texans.  Why?  The third rated quarterback, Paxton Lynch, is projected to be a late first round selection.  With the Cowboys, 49ers, and Browns picking in the top ten in this draft, that positioning favors the Texans.  Each of the other teams, if they want to get value, would need to find a trade partner willing to move up to their spot while remaining just ahead of the Houston Texans first round pick.  That is easier said that done.   So if they pass on a quarterback, then the Texans likely select Lynch.

But when round two hits, the remaining teams (Cowboys, 49ers, and Browns) are competing for fewer quarterbacks. Meanwhile the teams are looking at Connor Cook, Christian Hackenberg, and Cardale Jones to start day two.  The Browns will set the pace, as they have the first pick in the second round, followed by the Cowboys at third in the round and the 49ers at sixth in the round.  If any of the three teams pass in this round, then they may find themselves competing with other teams who want to invest in a developmental quarterback.  A team line the Denver Broncos, or the New York Giants, or even the Washington Redskins may enter the quarterback market.

You cannot rule out the New York Jets, nor the Buffalo Bills past that first round either.

Next: 2016 Mock Draft 2.0

You can check out the mechanics of the trade in this well written piece by Ryan Quigley.  If you are truly passionate about the Eagles, you can even check out the reasons why chasing down a franchise quarterback is so very important in the first year of a new head coach.  But for the decision makes in the draft hall on that first night of the 2016 NFL draft, this is all common knowledge.  Teams know that they need to connect their head coach with the ideal quarterback to run the team’s offensive scheme as quickly as possible.   Once that connection begins, the team can build the roster around that quarterback.

And so, it becomes a game of cat and mouse.  If a team needs a prospect to fill a quarterback need, they will need to place themselves into position to select their player when they are at the podium.  That means some team will overdraft.  Of the current quarterback situation in the NFC East, right now the Philadelphia Eagles appear to be the most stable on a long term basis.  The team has Sam Bradford for two years, Chase Daniel for three years and a new rookie quarterback on the way.  Tony Romo of the Dallas cowboys is a banged-up 36 years of age, Eli Manning of the New York Giants is a year younger at 35 years of age, and while Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins is just 27, he is looking for a huge contract and he’s only had one solid year of production.   The Eagles are in an enviable situation at quarterback in comparison.

The beauty of this move is the assessment of Howie Roseman’s summary of the future years.  If a quarterback needy team does NOT select a quarterback this season, they are fighting for a thin class of NFL draft prospects in the future.  And so, sit back and watch the fun ladies and gentlemen.   Can you guess which team overdrafts, with a focus on getting a quarterback now?  Can you guess which team foregoes the NFL draft for a quarterback, with a hope to “catch him next draft?”  With this move, the Philadelphia Eagles are now sitting on their franchise quarterback for the foreseeable future.  And if the team is correct in projecting fewer and less quality at the position going forward, they have just placed their competition at a huge disadvantage.