I already liked the Chiefs to be a drastically better team next year, and now I like them even more. The reported trade has KC giving up this years 2nd round pick and a conditional 2014 pick. No word on the conditions, but it’s likely going to be as high as another 2nd round pick.
Why I like the trade:
– Andy Reid is very good at identifying QBs he can win with. That’s not the same as identifying good QBs, but from Reid’s perspective, that really doesn’t matter. Smith is a perfect fit for the offense Reid claims to run (west-coast). I say “claims” because there were times with the Eagles when he clearly strayed from the short-passes concept, relying on deep throws and quick strikes.
– Kansas City already had a top 5 rushing offense. Now they add an accurate, low-risk QB, and the #1 overall pick (Joeckel has to be odds on favorite now).
– Alex Smith went 19-5-1 as a starter over the last two seasons, and this past year completed 70% of his passes.
I could go on for a thousand words, but I’ll just go on record now as having the Chiefs as my pick for a surprise team next year. With that roster (better than record suggests) and Reid/Smith, no reason the team can’t contend for the playoffs just one year after a 2-win season.
How does it effect the Eagles?
– Nick Foles’ value obviously drops. KC was, by far, the most likely destination for Foles. That is the clear negative for the Eagles. Additionally, KC will almost certainly take Joeckel (or whoever the top OT is at draft-time), meaning the Eagles will miss out. However, it’s doubtful the top OT in the draft was going to fall to #4 regardless, so I don’t feel so bad about that.
Also, I’ve been pretty clear that I think Foles has a legitimate chance to be a good starting QB, so keeping him isn’t exactly the worst thing IMO.
– One less team looking for a QB in the draft. As I explained in the Vick-Insurance post, it would make a lot of sense if the Eagles had their eye on a particular QB in this year’s class. Nassib would seem to be a good bet, but at this point we have no idea who the team really likes. The Smith trade makes it more likely that the subject QB will be available at the Eagles pick in round 2.
– Several outlets are now reporting that San Fran is an obvious candidate to move up in the draft. As I’ve demonstrated before, elite players come almost entirely from the 1st round of the draft, and within the first round, they are predominantly found in the top 15. The toughest aspect of being perennial contender (like San Fran hopes to be) is the inability to continue adding elite players in the draft (because to don’t get top 15 picks). With San Fran’s ammo, they can rectify that this year.
I mention that because the Eagles, at #4, would seem to be an obvious trade partner. At #4, the 49ers could get a top DT (Floyd or Star, depending on the heart condition). If the Eagles don’t see any prospects that absolutely love at #4, the team should absolutely trade down, and the top pick in the 2nd round would be a pretty attractive trade chip. In fact, this would allow them to take a QB prospect at the right spot in the draft (value-wise), while allowing them to use the other 2nd round pick on the best available defensive player.
Pure speculation at this point, but the Chiefs, Jaguars, and Raiders all seem unlikely to trade down, given their respective needs. That would leave the Eagles with the top “gettable” pick for any team looking to move up for a top prospect.
Judging by the current prospect evaluations (and what we learned from our previous draft analyses), that trade outlook might be the best possible scenario for the Eagles.
Turns out Andy Reid may not be quite finished helping the Eagles out…
Can you expand on your Eagles-49ers trade hypothetical a bit? I contemplated the same thing but did not see any possible offer that would make me give up the #4 pick to San Fran. Are you advocating for trading the #4 for the 1-31 and 2-1, or are you also including San Fran’s native 2nd rounder (2-29 because Browns and Saints don’t have one).
Well first, I want to be clear that the ONLY way I’d like a trade is if the Eagles didnt see any player that they felt was an elite prospect at #4. The odds of that are low, but it’s possible.
San Francisco would have to offer a lot to go up to #4, but say they offered #31, #34, and a 1st round pick next year as the foundation for the deal.
That’d be a good return (its close by the value chart as well) if the Eagles don’t love the selection at #4 (say if Joeckel and Floyd are gone). Plus, the Eagles would then have plenty of ammo to trade back into the first round for someone they like who isn’t worth the #4 pick.
Again, it’s not a likely scenario, but a lot depends on how the board looks on draft day.
The overall idea is that if the Eagles aren’t 100% sold on being able to get an elite player (among the best at his position) at #4, they should make every effort to trade back. San Fran now has the ammo to be a partner, and potentially the motivation as well. Obviously if another team is interested in #4 they’d have the upper hand, since the the Eagles wouldn’t need to move back as far.
The first next year would be a bit better than their second (which is essentially a third). Still not convinced we could field a better team using those three picks than the fourth, but we do have a new HC so maybe he will be more skilled/lucky at drafting near the end of the first round. It is more likely that at least one of the late 1sts pans out, but obviously there is more upside to the #4. It would be peculiar of Chip Kelly to start his career by using such a strong hedging move.