The 2016 NFL draft has been shaken up once again, with the Cleveland Browns trading the No. 2 overall pick to the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Eagles, who announced the deal on Twitter Wednesday, will send five picks to the Browns, including the No. 8 selection in this year's draft and a first-round pick in 2017, in exchange for the second selection this year and a fourth-round pick in 2017.
In addition to the two first-round picks, Cleveland will also receive a third- and fourth-round pick this year and a second-round selection in 2018.
Eagles general manager Howie Roseman told reporters the trade discussions have been ongoing for weeks.
Browns executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown gave his thoughts on the deal:
“We are excited about owning 12 picks heading into this year’s draft and acquiring the high future picks in 2017 and 2018. These picks will play a major role in building our team for long-term sustained success. We want to assemble a young nucleus of talented players and this trade positions us really well. There is a good depth of talent in the first round and we felt we could make a larger impact to our roster by adding more draft picks and that’s why we made the decision to trade down.”
Per SportsCenter, this will mark the first time the Eagles have had a top-two selection since they grabbed Donovan McNabb with the No. 2 pick in 1999. That worked out well for a long time in Philadelphia, though the organization didn't have to trade up to make it happen.
This marks the second time in less than one week that the draft has had a major trade. The Los Angeles Rams gave the Tennessee Titans a package of six picks to secure the No. 1 overall selection.
The 2016 draft begins on April 28, with the Rams believed to be eyeing a quarterback—either California's Jared Goff or North Dakota State's Carson Wentz. They are meeting with both players this week, per ESPN's Adam Schefter (via ESPN.com).
The Browns signed Robert Griffin III earlier in the offseason, though they could have been looking to take whichever quarterback the Rams didn't select to build for their future. Instead, like the Titans, this deal affords them the ability to fill many needs at other positions over the next three years.
In fact, per the NFL on ESPN, the Browns are tied with the San Francisco 49ers for most picks in this year's draft with 12.
Sticking with the 49ers for a moment, even though they seemed to be in the market for a quarterback, general manager Trent Baalke told Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee this scenario with Goff and Wentz is playing out how the team figured it would:
Baalke on draft board: "We've felt all along (since February) that the QBs were going to go 1-2. So this didn't take us by surprise."— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) April 20, 2016
Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap calculated the projected value of picks added for both teams in the deal, with the Browns coming out far ahead of the Eagles:
Based on our trade value matrix the #Browns will receive around $19.7M in player value while giving up just $9.3 million— Jason_OTC (@Jason_OTC) April 20, 2016
NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah projected in his seventh mock draft that the Rams would take Goff first and the Eagles would land Wentz.
ESPN's Andrew Brandt noted the Eagles have used a lot of their resources this offseason on quarterbacks:
Eagles just agreed to pay Bradford $22M minimum and to pay Daniel $12M minimum. Now using valuable resources to acquire their replacement.— Andrew Brandt (@AndrewBrandt) April 20, 2016
"Let me be clear, [Sam] Bradford is our starting quarterback," Roseman told reporters after the trade. "The Eagles will not trade Bradford."
However, per NFL Network's Jeff Darlington (via Sports Illustrated's Chris Burke), the Eagles could look to trade down if the quarterback they are looking at goes off the board with the first pick.
Schefter reported Bradford was not happy with the trade:
Philadelphia needs to find a long-term solution at quarterback because Bradford and Daniel are not viable options.
Even though Darlington believes the Eagles would trade back, a team doesn't give up a package of picks if it isn't locked on filling a position. Goff and Wentz may not be Andrew Luck-level prospects, but they have the potential to be quality starters.
The Eagles, who won 10 games in both 2013 and 2014, have to believe they are just a solid quarterback away from competing.
With just over one week until the draft, there has already been more drama at the top than there has been in years. Expect more of the same on April 28.