What it will Cost for the Eagles to Acquire Mariota


If you are like me and addicted to sports talk radio in Philadelphia, you know how many horribly inept people are in our society shouting that the Eagles should trade up to the top pick in this upcoming draft to select Oregon’s Marcus Mariota.  Some water was thrown onto this fire after Oregon lost the National Championship, but there is still a disproportionate number of people thinking that the Eagles can just trade up to the top of the first round for Chip Kelly’s dream quarterback.

Therefore, let’s analyze the potential for trading up to pick Marcus Mariota.

Before we can get too deep into the actual trade possibilities, we have to first consider the fact that Mariota is going to slip in the draft.  After he lost to Ohio St., many analysts have come out and said that Mariota is not a top 5 player in this draft, and that he will be dissected and broken apart by scouts, resulting in a massive slide down the draft boards.

However, in the NFL, pretty much every team is starved for a franchise quarterback.  Teams will overlook other glaring holes on their roster to pick a quarterback.  That is why you normally see QB’s taken too early, not too late.  How else do you describe the Bills selecting E.J. Manuel?

Will Mariota’s game be dissected? Yes. Will analysts come out and say that he might just be a system quarterback? Most certainly. Will some team still select him at the top of the first round? Yes, because he has size, speed, intelligence, and stats.  With two QB-needy teams owning the first two picks in the draft, and there being two elite quarterback prospects in this class, I don’t see any real chance of Mariota sliding past Tennessee at 2nd overall.

This means that, for the Eagles to draft Mariota, they will need to trade up to the second overall pick, as according to Mel Kiper, Winston is projected to go first overall.  The question then becomes, how do we establish what the second overall pick is worth in this draft.

We do that by utilizing the history of the league.

The best comparison is the trade that Washington made to draft Robert Griffin III.  In that draft, Washington traded the 6th overall pick, the 38th overall pick, and 2 more future first round picks to the St. Louis Rams in order to move up to the second overall selection.

The NFL utilizes a Draft Pick Value Chart, which is standard for all general managers throughout the league.  This chart assigns numeric values to each draft pick, which helps GM’s decide what is the proper value for every pick in the draft.  For instance, the second overall pick in the draft has a value of 2,600 points.  Therefore, if someone wanted to trade for that pick, they would have to put together a package of picks that total close to 2,600 points.

The Washington professional football team traded the sixth overall pick, which costs 1,600 points, and the 38th overall pick, which costs 520 points.  Now, for some math.  That combination totals 2,120 points, which left Washington 480 points shy of 2,600.  This means that St. Louis assigned a value of 240 points per future first round pick.

Now that we have a standard point system for all of the key components of a possible Eagles’ trade, let’s look at what we would need to trade in order to acquire the second overall pick.

As I mentioned, the second overall pick is valued at 2,600 points.  The Eagles are selecting at 20 this year, which gives them a starting point total of 850.  If we were to consider that the Eagles would throw in their second and third round picks for this year, they would get an additional 380 and 170 points, respectively.

If we continue to use the RGIII trade as our point of reference, then the Eagles would also trade their next two first round draft choices, giving them another 480 points for this trade.

I know I just threw out a lot of numbers, so if anyone is still reading, let me summarize.  If the Eagles trade their first round pick, second round pick, and third round pick from this year along with their next two first rounders, they total 1,880 points.  This leaves them 720 short of the goal, which calls for the Eagles to trade 3 more first rounders.

Therefore, using the NFL Draft Value Chart, the Eagles would have to trade 6 first round picks, a second round pick, and a third round pick to trade up to the second overall selection in this year’s NFL Draft.

Simply put, this is not happening.

Draft a defensive stud, pick up a project quarterback in the second round or third round, (ie Hundley or Petty), and patch up the rest of the holes on this team.  The Eagles need 2 new corners, a safety, an inside linebacker, another pass rusher, offensive line depth, and wide receiver help to go along with the quarterback.  We can’t afford to lose all of those picks for Mariota.

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