Breaking: Eagles Trade For Browns No. 2 2016 NFL Draft Pick… and More!
Do you ever recall an NFL offseason with this much pre-draft trade action? It started with the Rams trading up to the No. 1 pick, and now we have the Eagles trading for the second overall pick from the Browns. As with the Rams and Titans trade, the deal wasn't cheap for the Eagles. Here's the tweet with entire breakdown:
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) April 20, 2016
The Eagles are giving the Browns how much?! The Browns are smart?!
Whether we want to question the Eagles trade, whether they gave up too much to move six spots, if either rookie quarterback is worth it, etc., there are significant Fantasy Football implications with this deal.
The Eagles clearly want the opportunity at a franchise quarterback. Whether they truly love Carson Wentz and are convinced that the Rams are taking Jared Goff, or vice versa, the Eagles are coming out of the 2016 NFL Draft with their quarterback of the future. Meanwhile, the Browns, needing help at nearly every position, smartly hauled in numerous draft picks, including an extra third and fourth round pick this year, a first rounder in 2017 for their 2017 fourth rounder and a second round pick in 2018. Well done, Browns, well done.
Goff/Wentz/Sam Bradford - The Eagles are investing a ton into the quarterback position as it stands. Whether we believe the pre-draft smoke of the Los Angeles Rams loving Goff or not, the Eagles are set to take whoever is there with the second pick. You can read my full breakdown on both quarterbacks in my 2016 NFL Draft Prospects Rankings, but assuming that the selected quarterback starts day one and Bradford is on the way out looks to be wrong. While rookie quarterbacks taken this high rarely sit for a year nowadays, the Eagles conceivably can't afford to trade Bradford.
Philly trading Sam Bradford before June 2 would leave them with an $11M 2016 salary cap charge because of his signing bonus.
— Joel Corry (@corryjoel) April 20, 2016
If the Eagles draft Wentz, it would behoove them to let him develop a year anyway. His ceiling is higher than any quarterback in the NFL Draft, but he also needs plenty of work. The situation remains the same if they draft Goff, but that may be a tougher pill to swallow, especially for Eagles' fans, as Goff is nearly NFL ready and doesn't have as much room to grow with a year of development. Either way, while spending this much on the quarterback position and a rookie who sits the entire year may seem like a head-scratcher, the Eagles are obviously thinking long term here.
Ryan Mathews - His value gets a nice boost as of today. DeMarco Murray is already in Tennessee, and the Eagles are no longer in the Ezekiel Elliott conversation. Mathews is atop the depth chart with Darren Sproles and Kenjon Barner behind him, so the Eagles will add someone via the draft, but now we are looking at a likely timeshare option unless they shock us with a second round selection. Skill has never been a question for Mathews, it's always been his health. He's played 16 games once, missing three again last year, but still shows his potential with games like the one against the Jets in Week 3 (27 touches, 128 yards, one TD, 18.8 FP). Mathews as a lead running back with double-digit carries would bring RB2 value, especially in a Pederson offense. However, you had better draft solid depth or whoever the Eagles grab in the draft as insurance. Banking on Mathews to play 16 games would be a bigger mistake than Josh Gordon hanging out with Johnny Manziel.
Ezekiel Elliott - Elliott could slide all the way to the Dolphins and the 13th pick now. It's possible that the Giants surprise us or a team trades up, but the Dolphins have to be thrilled with this development, as they have a franchise running back waiting for them. It's clear that they aren't enamored with Jay Ajayi, despite my pleading for his opportunity, as they signed C.J. Anderson to an offer sheet and pursued other options as well. Again, you can read the entire Elliott breakdown in the 2016 NFL Draft preview, but going to the Dolphins could be even better for him than landing with the Eagles. Adam Gase has no problems using a workhorse running back unlike the previous Miami regime, and without a true Sproles-like option as the Eagles have, Elliott can stay in for all three downs and lock in 20-plus touches a game. Assuming Elliott is on the Dolphins (and they don't treat him like Lamar Miller), he'll be in the conversation for RB1 status.
Eagles WRs - Because Bradford isn't going anywhere, status quo here.
Robert Griffin III - Oh yea, about that guy. Don't completely bail on RG3 yet.
As with Mathews, his stock is up, and rightfully so. The smart move (again, can't believe the Browns are being this logical) is allowing RG3 the opportunity to be the starting quarterback, draft a rookie quarterback to develop and maybe make the move to the future if Griffin is hurt again or bombs. But the Browns can afford to be patient and see if RG3 has anything left to offer, as they aren't going to compete this year. Now, Griffin doesn't run anywhere near like he used to, but he's far from being Fantasy toast. He still managed 14-plus points in four 2014 games with only three truly poor performances thanks to an injury in one and his not starting the game against the Rams. The bigger question for Griffin is who does he throw to, especially with Gordon's NFL future on life support, but you have to think the Browns will address this in the draft. Don't forget, the Browns still have Gary Barnidge and Duke Johnson. Add in a quality rookie receiver, and Griffin will have decent weapons - nothing jaw-dropping, but serviceable. Griffin is certainly worth drafting in two-QB leagues, and while no one outside of deep leagues should consider drafting him, he makes for an intriguing matchup play and DFS option.
Paxton Lynch - He's the real winner in all of this. Previously assumed to sneak into the end of the first round, Lynch could end up going to the 49ers with the seventh overall pick! Talk about a win... for him. However, as with Wentz, Lynch could use a year of development but brings Fantasy upside thanks to his rushing ability (breakdown in the same article above for Lynch too). If the 49ers draft Lynch, he might actually start the 2016 season assuming that the 49ers then trade Colin Kaepernick. If so, Lynch would carry heavy risk but also be a worthwhile streaming option or DFS tourney option.
Man, is this not fun or what? The 2016 NFL Draft isn't even here yet, and we already have plenty of fun trades and Fantasy potential to discuss.
Photo Credit: fanspeak
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