Why the Eagles made the right move jumping to No. 2 in the NFL draft

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The Eagles gave up five draft picks including two first rounders, a second rounder and a third rounderto move up to the second overall spot in the 2016 NFL draft (and also for a fourth next year).

This might seem like a steep price to pay, but consider the context. The Eagles have two highly paid short term options at quarterback in Chase Daniel and Sam Bradford. Neither is likely to be around after two seasons.Neither of these players will win a Super Bowl in Philadelphia.

Could Carson Wentz or Jared Goff? History suggests that taking a quarterback early pays dividends quite frequently.

ProFootball Reference uses a next level stat called “career approximate value.” This measures, essentially, both quality and longevity of a quarterback’s play. The metric claims to help identify which quarterbacks have been more valuable than others.Lets look at the top QBs in the last 30 years, and where they were drafted.

The top quarterback of the last three decades (according to his CarAV) was Peyton Manning (177), taken first overall in 1998. Following him are sixth rounder Tom Brady (160) and a pair of second rounders in Drew Brees(147)and Brett Favre (156).

But as the list progresses, more and more top two quarterbacks appear near the top.

Of the top 40 quarterbacks drafted since 1985, 16 of them were taken as one of the first five picks in their respective drafts. And 26 of the 40 best were taken in the first round.

That means that 65 percent of the best quarterbacks, statistically speaking, since 1985 were first round picks, and 40 percent were taken in the top five. Thusleaving 35 percent to the other six rounds of the draft.

Finding a franchise quarterback is much more likely early in a first round than anywhere else in a draft.

Prior to last season, including Johnny Manziel who was taken 22nd overall, just nine QBs taken in the first round (of 95 that played for the original team that drafted them) to finish with two or less wins.

The Eagles are in a different situation than most teams that pick a quarterback in the top 2. They don’t need Wentz or Goff to step in and start right away. That seems to bode well for guys like Aaron Rodgers who get to learn, see the speed of the game and take the reigns when they are ready.

Whether or not the move to No. 2 overall works out is irrelevant at this point when assessing the trade that happened Wednesday. What is relevantis acknowledging that the Eagles were not content middling with interim-quarterbacks. They did what Chip Kelly flirted with — but shyed away from last season. They are looking to find “the guy.” And as history has shown, that guy is most often found atop a draft class.

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