Eagles-Seahawks Preview: Revisiting Pivotal 2012 NFL Draft
The Eagles nearly had Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.
They wanted him, and were waiting to nab him with their third-round pick, the 88 selection overall back in 2012.
Eagles head coach Doug Pederson, then the team’s quarterbacks coach for Andy Reid, went to the University of Wisconsin to put Wilson through and workout.
“Really, it wasn't so much the workout and watching him throw and putting him through some of the throws we were doing at the time, but it's when I got him in the classroom; it’s when I had a chance to go to lunch with him and just talk with him as a person,” said Pederson. “That's where you really - for me anyway - where I knew this kid was going to be a special player in this league.
“He's a great, tremendous leader. He's not one of these players that, especially back then, where it's all about him or whatever. He's not a big ego guy, just really humble at the time. So I came back and obviously that was the report. Felt like if we had an opportunity that he was going to be the guy that we could possibly draft at that time.”
The Eagles may wish they had somehow tried to trade up in that draft, because the Seahawks grabbed him 13 spots ahead of the Eagles.
Three times Wilson has played the Eagles since then and he’s won each of those games. The Eagles have another chance to figure out how to beat Wilson when the Seahawks (8-2) play in Philly on Sunday (1 pm/FOX).
Wilson has won one Super Bowl and is in position to land his first MVP with the spectacular season he is having.
If you’re the Eagles, though, it is difficult to quibble with how that 2012 draft turned out. Instead, of having the opportunity to grab Wilson, they took Nick Foles with their 88 overall pick. Foles won the Eagles first Super Bowl in franchise history just two years ago and was named Super Bowl LII MVP.
In addition to Foles, the Eagles also landed three players prior to taking the quarterback that played pivotal roles in the team’s Super Bowl run - defensive lineman Fletcher Cox in the first round and linebacker Mychal Kendricks and defensive lineman Vinny Curry in the second round.
All of the players in that draft – except for Foles – will be on the field Sunday. Kendricks, though, is now playing for the Seahawks.
Wilson, though, is the lynchpin.
To prevent falling below .500, the Eagles (5-5) will have to devise a game plan to limit Wilson’s playmaking then go out and execute it.
With the Cowboys (6-4) traveling to New England to play the Patriots, the Eagles could be back in a tie for first place in the NFC East with a win and Dallas loss.
An Eagles loss would mean they would have to win out to get to 10-6 to have a realistic shot at the postseason, and maybe even then that would not be enough to get there.
“We were 4-6 at this time and we made a push and got ourselves into the postseason,” said Pederson. “We did need some help obviously at the end of the year, but we still made that run because we felt like we have to control what we can control.”
The Eagles can’t control injuries and right now they have four key ones on the offensive side, with right tackle Lane Johnson ruled out with a concussion, running back Jordan Howard questionable with a shoulder injury, and receivers Alshon Jeffery (ankle) and Nelson Agholor (knee) also questionable.
Those injuries, coupled with a red-hot Wilson, feel like it will be too much for the Eagles to overcome.
PREDICTION: Seahawks 27, Eagles 24