PHILADELPHIA - The Carolina Panthers went all-in on quarterback Sam Darnold, trading a nice bit of draft capital to the New York Jets for the former first-round quarterback on Monday.
The Panthers were expected to take a hard look at the quarterback position with the No. 8 pick. They still might, but it’s unlikely now, not after sending a sixth-round pick in this year’s draft and a second and fourth in 2022 for Darnold.
It’s not too far off what the Eagles got for Carson Wentz, whose resume is better than Darnold’s is. Philadelphia GM Howie Roseman got a conditional second-round pick in 2022 and fourth-round selection (No. 84 overall) in this years’ draft.
The numbers comparison between the two QBs:
Darnold: 38 starts, 13-25 record, 59.8 completion percentage, 45 touchdowns, 39 interceptions, 78.6 QB rating, 98 sacks.
Wentz: 68 starts, 35-32-1 record, 62.7 completion percentage, 113 TDs, 50 interceptions, 89.2 QB rating, 179 sacks.
Carolina’s acquisition will likely impact the Eagles.
At the very least, it's one less position player the Eagles will have to choose from when their turn comes with the 12th overall pick.
There is another possibility.
Perhaps the Panthers try to recoup some of the picks they surrendered to Jets GM Joe Douglas to land Darnold.
If so, maybe Roseman tries to get back into the top 10 after moving down from No. 6 last week and acquiring a first-round pick in 2022 from the Dolphins and Miami’s fourth-round choice in the upcoming draft.
Carolina needs a tight end, so if Kyle Pitts is still on the board, he will be a Panther.
If Pitts is gone, maybe Roseman could part with one of his 11 picks – maybe the third-round selection he got from the Colts for Wentz and Zach Ertz would do the trick.
That’s provided the Eagles feel there is a player they really like that they don’t believe would be there four picks later.
Who that would be is anybody’s guess, but it probably wouldn’t be a quarterback.
It’s inconceivable to think that, now, five of the six quarterbacks drafted in the top five from 2015-2018 are now on to their second teams.
The five who washed out with their first teams are Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota, the not-so-great 1-2 punch from 2015, Jared Goff and Wentz from 2016, and Mitchell Trubisky, who went second overall in 2017. The only one still working in the town that drafted him is Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield, the first overall pick in 2018.
The jury is still out on Kyler Murray, the first overall pick in 2019, and, from last year, Joe Burrow (No. 1 overall) and Tua Tagovailoa (No. 5).
Murray looks like the real deal – of course, Eagles fans thought Wentz was, too – Burrow is coming off a knee injury that shortened his rookie year, and Tagovailoa better make 2021 count or he, too, could be on his second team by 2022.
So, recent history is something to think about with this year’s draft just a few weeks away and all the talk of maybe four of them getting selected in the top five.
The first three picks will be quarterbacks, with Trevor Lawrence to the Jaguars, Zach Wilson to the Jets, and fill-in-the-blank to the 49ers – either Mac Jones or Trey Lance probably. Then there’s Justin Fields.
Which one will fail the way five of the six did before them?
You know not all five are going to make it.
Look at 1999 when Tim Couch went first, Donovan McNabb second, and Akili Smith third. Injuries ruined Couch and Smith played all of 22 games in a woeful career. Only McNabb succeeded.
“The last five years you can take some lessons, but I don't know that you can really think of an analogy in NFL history really (where) you draft a quarterback, a second [overall pick], he's playing at an MVP level, his backup comes in and wins the World Championship,” said Roseman.
“That's a unique situation…I thought a lot about it. Obviously, didn't think we'd be in a position where Carson wouldn't be on this team in 2021. I think it makes sense for us to kind of go back and think about some of the things we did and go through that process again.
“I think there will be more time to do that, too, when we're not in the middle of a pandemic, and not trying to do whatever we can to get this ship back straight.”
Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s EagleMaven. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.