The five most revealing strategies of the NFL 2020 draft


It will take years before we know which teams have won the 2020 NFL Draft, but we don’t have to wait that long to figure out which plans the franchises are using. Each draft provides an overview of team building plans across the league, as organizations acquire new identities and show the directions they are trying to follow. So let’s take a look at five teams whose 2020 draft revealed their thinking for this season and beyond.

1. The Eagles are not afraid to store quarters.

There’s a lot to unpack with Philly’s decision to draft Jalen Hurts in the second round. It seemed unthinkable that the Eagles would spend the 53rd pick on a QB less than a year after signing Carson Wentz for a guaranteed $ 108 million extension, but if a franchise were to make this type of investment at the position , it’s this one.

The Eagles’ front office is used to covering its bases at QB. Less than two months before the 2016 draft deal for Carson Wentz, executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman spent $ 34 million guaranteed for Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel. The blockage was finally resolved after Wentz won the starting point in training camp and Bradford was entrusted to the Vikings. The Eagles know that nothing else matters if you don’t have a quarterback, and because of that, they have never been afraid to pump resources into the job. Even so, this movement looks different.

The hoarding of quarterbacks makes sense when you don’t already have a quality starter. But after paying your $ 30 million a year, it becomes more difficult to understand. Roseman made clear this weekend that the addition of Hurts does not change the franchise’s commitment to Wentz. If so, however, the next question is, how will Philly get the second round value from a backup quarterback?

This calculation probably starts with Wentz’s injury history. It’s no secret that the Eagles starter struggled to stay on the pitch. He tore up his ACL in the middle of an MVP campaign in 2017, and followed up with a back injury that ended the season in 2018. If you include his concussion in last year’s playoff defeat against Seattle, Wentz has finished the last three games of the Eagles’ sidelines. After watching Nick Foles win a title, Roseman has first-hand knowledge of how a high-level save can save a season. If Wentz misses an extended time – this season or in the future – Hurts is more likely to keep the Eagles afloat than a forgettable option like Nate Sudfeld. It is possible that after examining their board of directors, the Philly front office has decided potential the impact of a reserve quarterback was more valuable than the feedback they would get with a linebacker, a complementary receiver or a secondary depth.

If Wentz Is staying healthy, Hurts also has a skill set that the Eagles can deploy in a variety of ways. As a dangerous runner and developing passer, Hurts could play in packages like the Ravens’ designed for Lamar Jackson’s rookie season. Baltimore’s offensive coordinator that year, Marty Mornhinweg, is now a senior assistant to the Eagles staff and should have some ready-made ideas. And he is not the only assistant to the Eagles who has unconventional notions of how to use modern QBs. Last summer, the Eagles’ offense coordinator Press Taylor told reporters that he thought the teams could eventually start using passes with two passers-by on the field at the same time. We’ll see how far Philly takes this idea, but given what they spent on writing Hurts, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Eagles develop a more advanced version of the package that New Orleans created with Taysom Hill .

Lots of Eagles fans are probably rolling their eyes right now, and I don’t hold it against them. Spend this type of capital project on a no. 2 quarterback when there are alignment holes elsewhere is difficult to justify. There are also more intangible factors to consider, like what writing a second-round QB tells the rest of the locker room – a locker room that Wentz would have been slow to win before it happened. But the plan is about opportunity cost, and it is fair to wonder what Philly really lost in writing an insurance policy – and a potential multi-purpose weapon – at the quarterback. The Eagles’ top priority before the draft was to find a large-caliber receiver, and they did so by hooking up Jalen Reagor, a rocket-powered TCU expander, with the 21st choice. Two rounds later, Roseman responded to his need for linebacker by grabbing Davion Taylor, an ultra athletic hopeful from Colorado. And Roseman later added more speed to his receiving body by trading in for former burner Niners Marquise Goodwin.

After watching the Eagles play smoothly throughout the 2019 season, it’s easy to sympathize with the fans who demanded more explosive playmakers on offense. But Philly’s current crop of pass-catchers now includes Reagor, Goodwin, DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery, Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert. There are legitimate experience and health questions about this group, but if the goal was to become more dynamic in 2020, the Eagles are on the right track. And Hurts’ scattered chunk set should only add to this equation. Many people around Philadelphia will see the Hurts’ choice as another example of over-thinking by a progressive front office, but given the overall strength of the Eagles roster, it is possible that Hurts will give this team more – in 2020 and beyond – that any other player could have here.


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