by Jack Kerwin | firstname.lastname@example.org
D-Day for the Eagles.
Time to make the move that could shape, or shake up, the franchise for years to come.
The soap opera surrounding Sam Bradford, his hurt feelings and his wanting out of Philly after being misled in reality or merely perception by Eagles de facto GM Howie Roseman aside, the team’s fortunes will be forever changed by whom they pick tonight with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft and how that pick’s career arc ultimately evolves.
For me, though, the fantasy is over. There will be no pre-pick epiphany at the NovaCare Center in South Philly, where the minds of Roseman, head coach Doug Pederson, owner Jeffrey Lurie and anyone else with a vested interest are hit by lightning strikes of common sense and actual talent evaluation, instantly recognizing in unison that the only quarterback available for selection who has the potential to be a “franchise” guy is Paxton Lynch, not Carson Wentz or Jared Goff.
Heck, even everyone’s favorite football sensei/QB guru/media mogul Jon Gruden has come to that conclusion, naming the Memphis standout, and just the Memphis standout, as having the tools to be a possible superstar in the future.
But, let’s digress …
At this point, with the hours bleeding down to the final minutes before the most over-hyped dog-and-pony show, human division, starts in Chicago, it’s a foregone conclusion that the Eagles love Wentz in a way Bradford can only dream a team would feel about him. Hell, screw Sammy Sleeves, in a way anyone dreams another would feel about them.
The 6-5, 237-pound project – and, keeping it real, Wentz still is one at this point – made the hearts and minds of the Birds’ braintrust, not to mention a media contingent and fan base beyond starved for a winner in town, turn to mush the moment he started showing a strong arm and even stronger mind at the Senior Bowl and Combine … long before his recently penned mini-bio of self-promoting blustery for Derek Jeter’s cater-to-players rag that highlighted his toughness moreso than his talent.
Yo, if we love anything more than talent in this town, it’s toughness … especially when the supposed owner of it has a knack, or skill, for bringing attention to it.
Anyway … Wentz is the Eagles’ guy, and if, for some reason the Los Angeles Rams throw a curveball at the masses and take him at No. 1, then Howie and Co. will be just fine with Goff.
Regardless, best-case scenario to me remains the same:
Bradford never takes another snap for the Eagles, his exile coming in record-setting expeditious fashion, and the Wentz/Goff experience begins in earnest. A little perfunctory grace period learning under Chase “Knows the Offense Like No One Else” Daniel, Bradford’s former caddy, is fine. Anything more than that would be a waste.
The whole idea of having Wentz/Goff sit an entire season while somehow developing through osmosis as Bradford took a beating as a lame-duck starter was, is and forever will be ridiculous. Maybe not as ridiculous with expecting Bradford to be on board with that, but …
There is no point – none AT ALL – in putting so much into a single entity, and then keeping it in cold storage. For anyone’s sake.
If you think Aaron Rodgers “grew” behind Brett Favre for three years or Philip Rivers “blossomed” as Drew Brees’ backup for two, you’re either a fool or an old-school player-personnel guy who fails to grasp that a player succeeding in spite of a dumb, outdated process is NOT a tip of the cap to that dumb, outdated process.
So, pull the trigger Birds … and put your guy in place.
The future is now.
Best-case scenario to me remains the same: Bradford never takes another snap for the Eagles, his exile coming in record-setting expeditious fashion, and the Wentz/Goff experience begins in earnest. A little perfunctory grace period learning under Chase “Knows the Offense Like No One Else” Daniel, Bradford’s former caddy, is fine. Anything more than that would be a waste.
WHO YA GOT?
A breakdown of the two QBs
expected to go 1-2 in
tonight's NFL Draft:
YEARS IN SCHOOL
CAREER PASSING YARDS
YARDS PER PASS ATTEMPT
CAREER RUSHING YARDS