There's nothing like a headline-grabbing trade like the one announced on Thursday to get everyone talking about the NFL Draft. Los Angeles traded from 15 to No. 1 overall, setting off draft conversations everywhere.
What does it mean for the Eagles that the Rams traded the 15th overall pick in round one, a first-round pick next spring and a fistful of early draft picks in both 2016 and 2017 -- including the one the Rams acquired from the Eagles in the Sam Bradford trade last March -- to gain the top overall pick on April 28? It means something, even if it is not abundantly clear at this moment.
For starters, any thoughts the Eagles might have had -- and this is not confirming that they were seriously considering doing so -- about moving to the top spot in the draft? It isn't happening. Los Angles is making that pick, and the consensus is that the Rams will take one of two quarterbacks, North Dakota State's Carson Wentz or Cal's Jared Goff.
There is suspense within that decision, but the Rams seem certain to take one of the two. At No. 2 overall, Cleveland sits with new management, a new head coach and a fresh start after so many lousy seasons and awful draft decisions. Cleveland signed Robert Griffin III. The Browns are looking at this entire football picture from a fresh, new perspective. Do they think RGIII can lead the team for years to come? Or is the opportunity too great to pass up either Wentz or Goff at No. 2 overall?
Is Cleveland open to trading the second pick in the draft? And if so, what kind of price would make the Browns say "Yes" to a trade? Is a team like the Eagles, one that has dotted all of its "T's" and crossed all of its "I's" researching quarterbacks prior to the draft, interested in making the move from No. 8 to No. 2?
Questions, questions. It's important that the Eagles are asking every single question they can think of asking right now as they play out scenarios. Already, and we're still two weeks out, the NFL Draft's top 10 landscape has been altered by a pair of trades -- the Eagles moving from 13 to 8 in the trade with Miami that sent cornerback Byron Maxwell and linebacker Kiko Alonso to the Dolphins and now Los Angeles vaulting from 15 to No. 1 and Tennessee acquiring franchise-building draft assets.
The Eagles can go in any direction here, although based on the Titans-Rams trade and the one from years ago (2012) when Washington moved from No. 6 to No. 2 to select RGIII, the idea of moving from No. 8 to No. 2 sounds risky and prohibitive. But you sure do exhaust every bit of research and explore every possibility because, well, you just never know.
The Eagles could move up from 8, although not necessarily to No. 2, if they fall in love with a player who is still on the board at No. 3 or 4 or 6. The Eagles have nine total draft picks in 2016 and Howie Roseman's history suggests that he is open to making deals.
Of course, the Eagles could stay at No. 8 and see what happens. There are quality players deep in this draft, and there are maybe only seven to perhaps 10 who are more "special" than the rest. Perhaps the Eagles stay at No. 8 and see how is there and go with the "best player on the board."
And the Eagles can also back this thing up and acquire more assets themselves by trading out of the No. 8 spot and moving deeper into the first round. The phone calls are already ringing around the NFL and general managers are in a trading mood and, remember, we're still two weeks away from the first round.
There is going to be considerable fallout from Thursday's trade. Some of it will be residual, known only as we get closer to April 28 and the first round of the draft. This was a shockwave-kind of trade -- the first time since 2004 an NFL team has traded the No. 1 draft pick (Eli Manning was dealt from San Diego to New York). Last spring, no trade was made until the 15th overall pick in round one. We're already two trades down and two weeks to go before the draft officially begins!
The Eagles have assets, nine draft picks, and Roseman knows how to value them well. On a day when the 2016 NFL schedule is released, the draft is off and running and the topic of conversation everywhere.