NFL Insider Notes: Factors that fueled draft trade between Eagles-Saints, plus optimism about top QB prospects

The Eagles’ sweeping selection exchange with the Saints this week wasn’t really about the supposedly improved quarterback class next year. It was, at its core, about asset reallocation, balancing, and sustainable team building.

This is completely logical.

Philadelphia and New Orleans traded first-round picks for 2022, and along the way, the Eagles picked up an additional first-round pick in 2023 and a second in 2024. The Eagles have been praised largely because of the trade, and with good reason. I just wouldn’t focus too much on the relative strengths and weaknesses of any potential drafting group as part of post-trading accounts.

After speaking to multiple sources with knowledge of each team’s thinking, here’s what I’m going to assume. For the Eagles, this was about the relative advantages of having three swings in the first round of a given first round, rather than what can be gained by having a latitude to move up and down in the future for the draft boards that come with having several swings already first-round picks in the draw. . In terms of team building, if you can make it to all three first-round picks, you’re staring at three potential fifth-year picks with big pay jumps all coming in at once, versus spreading that out over several years.

“It’s really about trying to balance your list and being in the best position to implement a short- and long-term plan,” one source summed up. And I totally understand it.

Furthermore, consider the rare dynamics of this first run. Eight teams dominate half of the first round, with two selections each. When you look at the teams that are ahead of the Eagles, the Giants, the Jets, and the Texans dominate six of the top 13 picks on their own. Trying to make fun of this and tell which players will fall for you is difficult under normal circumstances and strange under these circumstances. Consider how this dynamic affects future trades, and the implications of what this means in terms of actual player selection. Could there be more certainty in 2023, with fewer teams having multiple selections?

“I think that was on Howie (Eagles GM Howie Roseman)’s mind when he did this,” an NFL GM told me. “I’ve never seen a draft like this before, with so many multiple-choice teams in the first round. Never. Never. Never. This is a new experience for all of us. This is unique.”

As for the Saints, I wouldn’t jump to the conclusion that this is about a quarterback for them, or that they have enough venture capital to leapfrog needy QB rivals like the Hawks or the Panthers. New Orleans can be tricky to read, but I’ve spoken to several game managers who think this trade is more about doing everything right now (like they replaced Marcus Davenport a few years ago) than about finding their QB for the future or beating someone up. What a punch for that.

Another GM said: “The Saints generally play their cards close to the jacket, but I don’t think that’s about moving up to grab the quarterback.” “They really like Jameis (Winston) and I think they look around the NFC and think they have a good shot like everyone else, especially if they get impactful players with these choices. The move they made when Sean (former coach Sean Payton) was there is more than Finding a midfielder for two or three years down the road.”

Two of the top 10 QBs?

Newsflash: NFL evaluators are considerably higher in this category of quarterbacks than the media, and the three teams I spoke with earlier this week all believe two passers-by would be in the top 10 picks. At least two.

It’s all been outrage to rip these kids off, but executives I’ve spoken to who aren’t in the market to craft a higher QB—and therefore have no lower gain or loss by lying about their true feelings for them—continue to assume the run on them will start early. Probably, with lions in second place, certainly by the time leopards (sixth in total) and hawks (eighth in total) are on the clock.

“You guys (in the media) are tougher on these kids than we are (in the Scout community),” said one high-ranking executive. “I don’t care what anyone whispers, (Kenny) Beckett and (owner) Willis are legitimate quarterback prospects. If it all comes together, Willis could be really special, and Beckett played like a first-round pick last year. If I do Making a mock draft now, two of them are in the top 10 and four of them are going on Thursday night. It’s not as bad as some imagine.”

follow the money

NFL fans have been duped into following salary cap numbers as if they were a true indication of intent to win the Super Bowl, as if it was an obvious measure of actual spending. it’s not like that.

Please, please, please, look at the actual salary numbers. This is where it is. And in light of the bills making another huge splash this week, securing top Stefon Diggs receiver for a massive extension with a $70 million guarantee, I’d like to urge you all to keep track of the projected money earmarked for the 2022 season as far greater the measure of an owner’s bid to win the Lombardy Cup than by how much – or how little The cover area any team has on paper at any given time (because it’s a soft and always replaceable cover, anyway).

According to Spotrac, as of Wednesday morning, 15 teams are expected to be above the $208 million salary cap in actual spending (roughly half the league), with some teams well above that number. Here are the top five NFL cash spends, currently, per Spotrac:

  1. Browns $252 Million
  2. Rams 242 million dollars
  3. Dolphin 234 million dollars
  4. Bills 232 million dollars
  5. Saints $232 Million

Keep in mind that each owner gets roughly $360 million a year just to broadcast the rights to their games nationwide. Don’t fall in love with okeydoke. Want to know if your team owner will make it happen or not? Follow the money and keep an eye on cash spending. Not everyone who spends a lot will win, but you better mold your ass if you think you will win anything important if you are third in spending.

More internal notes

  • There are certainly some strong divisions of opinion over Kayvon Thibodeaux, a possible Oregon edge. Is he really someone who regularly tops 10 bags? What is the ceiling height? Not exactly every team rubbed the right way through this process. There’s still enough talent to keep it in the top 10-12 picks, I guess, but opinions differ.
  • Despite the injury Achilles sustained on his pro day, David Ogabo, who could potentially beat Michigan, still likely hear his name in the first round from what he collected. A strong team at the back of that round will want to have the fifth year option on them, knowing that 2022 will likely be the year of rehab. There is a high chance of letting it fall on the second day.
  • It appears that the veteran impulse market – and there is no shortage of these markets – could be seriously affected by how deep this impulse group goes. Expect a flurry of post-enlistment engagements among veteran OLB/DEs in early May, among teams that didn’t get what they needed in the selection process.