Rams Trade Up To No. 1, Eagles Lose Out In Wentz Sweepstakes
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) — Call it one last punch to the gut from Chip Kelly to the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Los Angeles Rams, with the help of the second-round draft pick acquired in the Sam Bradford/Nick Foles trade last year, moved all the way up from 15th overall in this month's draft to No. 1 after working out a deal with the Tennessee Titans.
To get the top selection from a Titans team that didn't really want it, the Rams sent their first-round pick this year (No. 15 overall), their first-round pick next in 2017, both of their second-round picks this year (Nos. 43 and 45, including the one acquired in the Bradford deal), along with a '17 third-round pick next year. The Rams also get back a fourth-round selection (No. 113) and sixth-round pick (No. 177) on Day 3 this year.
With the top spot, the Rams are expected to select North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz, the 6-foot-4, strong-armed quarterback two different NFL sources have told 973espn.com that Eagles coach Doug Pederson wanted.
If the Eagles were trying to trade up as multiple media reports have suggested, the lack of a second-rounder this year likely doomed their chances because Titans GM Jon Robinson was looking for numbers to bolster a talent-deficient roster.
“It is not often that you have the number one overall pick and we hope to not be in this position again, but we tried to use that pick as currency to work the draft and maximize player acquisition,” Robinson explained after confirming the deal. “Being able to acquire six picks in the top 76 this year and additional picks next year, not only helps our depth but gives us ammunition to move in this year’s draft and next.
"I know we now have the number 15 pick, but I would say it doesn’t knock us out of any player except one. We now have the ammunition to work the draft and acquire players that are good for this football team. In terms of timing, it made sense for us to do this now as it gives us time to adjust and make sure we target more players.”
The Eagles, of course, have already traded up in this year’s draft, moving from No. 13 to No. 8 when they traded cornerback Byron Maxwell and linebacker Kiko Alonso to the Dolphins so they were starting at a significantly better spot than Los Angeles but didn't have the complementary assets to compete.
They do, however, have Sam Bradford for $22 million in 2016.
Ed Werder of ESPN, meanwhile, is reporting that the Eagles withdrew an offer to Tennessee for the pick earlier this week and Robinson did confirm he had more than one package on the table.
The rumors won't end here, though, because there are at least some who believe the Rams could turn their attention away from Wentz in the next two weeks in favor of the more pro-ready Jared Goff of Cal.
If that domino falls Cleveland at No. 2, which reportedly favors Goff, could look to move out, leaving the Eagles a back door to acquire the signal caller they really want.
Now try to breathe.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973ESPN.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen