Trading up for Wentz, Goff not Worth it for Eagles

Although the top pick in the draft has already been traded, the rumors concerning the Philadelphia Eagles' desire to move up for a quarterback haven't quieted down at all, with talk now shifting to a potential deal with the Cleveland Browns for the second pick

The Eagles would then select whichever of the top quarterback prospects are left over, Jared Goff or Carson Wentz. But to make such a move would come at a high price, with Cleveland likely looking at the king's ransom that the Titans got for the top pick as a blueprint for a deal of their own. 

Are either Wentz or Goff worth trading up for? History says no.

A true franchise-quarterback prospect is incredibly hard to find. Just finding a quality quarterback in the first round can be a chore. Look at the names of all of the quarterbacks taken in the first round over the last 10 years.

Alex Smith, Aaron Rodgers, Vince Young, Jay Cutler, Matt Leinart, JaMarcus Russell, Brady Quinn, Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco, Matt Stafford, Mark Sanchez, Josh Freeman, Sam Bradford, Tim Tebow, Cam Newton, Jake Locker, Blaine Gabbert, Christian Ponder, Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Brandon Weeden, Ryan Tannehill, E.J. Manuel, Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater, Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota.

All together, 28 quarterbacks have been drafted in the first round since 2005. Of those, only Rodgers, Ryan, Flacco, Newton and Luck have established themselves as quality quarterbacks in this league. The jury is still out the likes of Bortles, Tannehill, Bridgewater, Winston and Mariota, but of those 28, only five can truly considered to be successful answers at their position that have changed the fate of their respective franchises. 

Teams in this league are always desperate to find their franchise quarterback. And often times, desperation leads to bad teams making bad picks, or even bad trades to make bad picks. And bad picks, especially at the quarterback position, will set a team back for years.

In particular, let’s look at the Washington Redskins and Cleveland Browns. Here you have prime examples of two franchises under poor leadership that made some terrible decisions in the top of the draft at the quarterback position.

Of course with Washington, the Redskins infamously traded three first-round picks just a few years ago to move up and take Robert Griffin III. Griffin has had a very rocky career, complete with multiple injuries, questions about his leadership, and has been benched by two separate head coaches. And with no other significant draft assets since 2012, Washington has been left with no other means other than free agency to significantly build around Griffin and improve their team.

The Browns have taken three quarterbacks in the first round in the last 10 years. They traded back into the first round to get Brady Quinn in 2007. They reached on Brandon Weeden at the bottom of the first round in 2012, only to release him a year and a half later. They traded back into the first round two years ago to buy-in to all of the Johnny Manziel hype and after only two years, he was shown the door. 

And now the Browns, who still are without a long-term answer at quarterback, are seemingly more interested in trading away the opportunity to select one of the top quarterbacks in the draft, rather than taking one for themselves. For a team that has gone through so much turmoil at the position to be willing to pass on the opportunity to take one at the top of the draft can't speak well for the level of prospects that Wentz or Goff are. 

Quarterback is the hardest position to project success in the NFL. More often than not, a guy taken in the first round is a bust. A real "can’t miss" prospect like Andrew Luck happens maybe once in a generation. No quarterback in this draft is worth trading a king’s ransom.

And here in the cases of Goff and Wentz, you have a couple prospects who aren't considered anywhere near the level of prospect that Luck or even Griffin was. They're the top quarterbacks in a weaker class. 

And if any team is willing to sell the Eagles an opportunity to move into the top of the draft to select a quarterback, chances are that team feels that the available prospects are much more likely to be Robert Griffin than Andrew Luck.

The idea of drafting a franchise quarterback is obviously appealing, especially for a team like the Birds that have been in quarterback hell since trading Donovan McNabb in 2009. However, to part with a package similar to what the Rams just paid to move up would deprive the team of too many assets to gamble on what is a questionable quarterback prospect.

Denny Basens is a contributing writer to Eagledelphia. Follow him on Twitter @DennyBasens.

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