When the Rams made their huge leap up the draft order I wrote a piece in defence of it, and frankly it was easy to see their train of thought and reasoning. Now that the Eagles traded and made their own jump I’m tasked with explaining it once again, but this time I’m a little lost. Let’s start with the details of the trade. Philadelphia gave Cleveland the #8, #77 and #100 picks in this draft, their 2017 1st round pick and 2018 2nd round pick in return for the second overall selection this year and a 4th round pick next year. Arguably that is more than what the Rams gave up to get to #1, and just like with Los Angeles the assumption is that the Eagles have jumped up for a quarterback. Of course, that idea flies in the face of everything else they have done this offseason. On March 1st Sam Bradford was signed to a new 2 year, $36 million deal that included $26 million in guaranteed money. On March 9th they signed Chase Daniel to a 3 year, $21 million ($12 million guaranteed). That is $38 million already committed to the quarterback position, and now they have thrown 5 draft picks at another one? That seems like an organisation who are either very quick to identify mistakes and change course or one that has very little direction and consistency of thought. The draft process is very fluid of course. Did they know a trade up was possible when they signed Bradford & Daniel? Probably not, but, to most, those signings would preclude them from making a further addition to the quarterback position. So why have the Eagles made this trade? Well the official line from executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman is two fold. Firstly that the Eagles are rarely this high up the draft so if they are going to do it now is the time. The second argument is that they looked at the next few draft classes for quarterbacks and didn’t like what they saw. I hate both these arguments. If they don’t think they will be this high again then they must have some confidence in the quarterbacks already on the roster and the overall ability of the players and coaches they currently have, and just because you are close to the top doesn’t mean you are obligated to take a quarterback. Now maybe they see both Jared Goff and Carson Wentz as far superior to Bradford and Daniel, and that’s fair enough, but seeing them as better than prospects who are a year or two away? That’s craziness. Just two years ago Christian Hackenberg was seen as the #1 quarterback in this draft class and few were considering Carson Wentz as better than a 4th round pick. That turnaround is not something any teams scouts would have predicted. Who’s to say that Deshaun Watson or Brad Kaaya won’t be superstar prospects this time next year? Or that a similar small school player to Wentz won’t leap up the rankings by the time 2017 rolls around? So why did they really make the jump up? Well there has been a concerted effort from those at the top of the organisation to put the Chip Kelly era behind them as quickly as possible. DeMarco Murray, Kiko Alonso and Byron Maxwell have all been shipped out after just one year and I think this trade is another signal to the hard-to-please fan base that they are moving on whole sale from Kelly. Nothing gets fans excited like a highly drafted young quarterback, it provides hope for the future and after the debacle that was last year the Philly faithful could use a shot of adrenaline like this. The Eagles may have a lot of money already tied up in their signal callers, but what that will allow them to do is not pile pressure on Wentz or Goff immediately. Whichever rookie it is they pick they can sit him behind Bradford or Daniel to let him learn the ropes and acclimatise to life in the NFL, something that most rookie quarterbacks need but very few get. However, being allowed to sit and grow on the bench doesn’t guarantee success. As with the Rams this is a huge gamble for the Eagles franchise, especially for the man whose neck will probably be on the chopping block if this backfires – Howie Roseman. Roseman isn’t the General Manager, the Eagles have left that position vacant after splitting the powers between Roseman and Kelly last year, but there is little doubt that he had the driving impetus for this trade. With Kelly already gone and new head coach Doug Pederson having little to do with this move the only one with chips in the pot is Roseman. His 16 year career with the Eagles will be in jeopardy if this backfires, and I think it will. Both these quarterbacks are far from guaranteed stars but the move to get one of them – along with shedding other facets of Chip Kelly’s team – strikes me as an effort from Roseman to separate himself from the errors of the last few years and re-affirm his standing with the team. Owner Jeffrey Lurie has been extremely loyal to Roseman, but the Eagles haven’t won a playoff game since 2008, this trade may buy Roseman some time and if the quarterback they draft turns into Tom Brady then he will be hailed as a genius, but the most likely outcome of this is that in 3 years time the Eagles are still lingering around the middle of the league with an average quarterback and a new man at the helm in the front office.