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What should the Eagles do now that the Marcus Mariota dream is over?

It didn't happen. :( So now what?

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles weren't able to pull off a much anticipated trade to draft Marcus Mariota last night, deflating much of the fan base for the rest of the night and beyond. They eventually stood pat at 20 and selected USC WR Nelson Agholor. The BGN crew gives their reactions:

Patrick Wall

Employers of Philadelphia, you'll have to forgive your workforce if they're moving a little slowly today. It's been a long time since fans were united in their hopeful lust the way they'd been for Marcus Mariota. All the hysteria and hope and excitement came to a fever pitch last night before it was gone.

Momentum really felt like it had swung in the Eagles' favor in the hours leading up to the Draft. There was a general sense that, while Chip Kelly may well get fleeced in his pursuit of Mariota, he would at least get him. But for reasons we'll likely never know, the Eagles' offer wasn't good enough. Now, Mariota is now the quarterback of one of the most anonymous teams in American sports.

Nelson Agholor is a solid if not terribly exciting consolation prize who will help bolster the receiving corps for Sam Bradford (sorry everyone). While there are still two days and six rounds to go in this Draft, it's hard not to feel the emotional hangover of a faraway dream that fell apart before our eyes.

Brandon Gowton

It always seemed a little too good to be true, but it was just too hard to rule out completely. Now the Marcus Mariota dream is officially over for Eagles fans. Chip Kelly won’t be reunited with his star pupil and it’s understandably disappointing for a fan base that wanted to see Kelly get *HIS* guy.

Now it appears Sam Bradford, of all people, is Kelly’s guy moving forward. I hardly consider myself to be down on Bradford, but it’s surely not an ideal situation. Bradford’s injury history makes him really hard to count on. Even if he stays healthy and plays well for the Eagles this season, which would be a major accomplishment, the injury concerns will always be there. This is a guy the Eagles are not only paying $13 million this season but will have to give him a big contract after this year if they want to keep him.

The Eagles seemingly tried to get Mariota. It didn’t work out. It’s not all doom and gloom but there’s a major question mark at the most important position.

James Keane

There will always be disappointment when the potential for something incredible never comes to fruition. Despite what Chip Kelly told reporters after, I believe he did try to move up for Mariota with a significant offer. For those of us who enjoy seeing the establishment quiver, it's a shame Tennessee failed to accept. But we move on. With Sam Bradford as the quarterback and Kelly in charge, we still have enough intrigue to fill ten volumes for the Eagles Almanac.

Kelly's first draft as GM opened with a whimper rather than the roar we experienced during the first few hours of free agency, but it is comforting (to me) that he didn't make the critical, rookie mistake. Nelson Agholor is a really good wide receiver and satisfies Kelly's fetish for special teams. But he may have been available later. It's clear that a lesson learned from last year prevented the Eagles from getting cute and trading back. Agholor was a target and they got him.

Ultimately, Mariota will join Frank Gore this offseason as one of the most beloved Eagles of all time. Bradford, on the other hand, has some work to do.

Dave Mangels

Many of us thought the Eagles were going to do the thing, then they didn't do the thing. It was deflating and as solid and well liked of a pick as Nelson Agholor is, the draft felt disappointing at best, but more like a gut punch for many. The best chance to win a Super Bowl is to have a top quarterback, and the Eagles still don't have one. Maybe Mariota wouldn't have been it, but it would have been nice to see what he could do with Chip Kelly in the NFL. Instead we face the reality of Sam Bradford, Eagles starting quarterback. Bradford has been underwhelming when he's managed to stay healthy. With the best offensive talent and coaching he's ever had surrounding him, Bradford should be better than he has been, but is better enough?

Similar things were said this time last year about Mark Sanchez. Bradford's situation isn't too dissimilar. Both were top draft picks who went to teams with limited surrounding talent and poor offensive coaching. And while Sanchez statistically played better last year than he did with the Jets, he was still basically the same old weak armed Sanchez he was in New York, and it wasn't good enough. But Bradford is higher thought of than Sanchez, and is here to start, not be a backup. While there's reason to believe that Bradford can play well for the Eagles, at this point, at least for me, it requires faith more than reason.

Mark Saltveit

Chip Kelly baffled everyone by doing exactly what he said he was going to do – use his picks and draft for value and fit. That wasn’t fun or exciting, and he didn’t grab Bud Dupree or trade down for more picks (understandable after last year’s first round).

He did fill one of the team’s two big holes; the WR corps now is deep, cheap and interchangeable, perfect for moving all over the field and confusing defenses.

As for Mariota? Still a long run possibility. Tennessee overpaid (considering the trades they refused) for a QB who doesn’t fit their system, and has a million other holes. They’re not going to win, and Whisenhunt needs to win now or get fired. If he is, a trade might become possible. I just hope Mariota’s not injured behind that sucky offensive line.

Chip won’t leave Philly for Tennessee (unless of course he’s fired) but I worry that his successor at Oregon, Mark Helfrich might take that job. He coached Mariota the last two years, obviously connects well with him.

Matt Harkenreader

Would have it been awesome to see the Eagles move up and draft Mariota? You bet. Are they sunk now because Bradford is their quarterback? Hardly. I might be in the minority, but trading away the most talented players on defense and the ability to draft replacements in the near future for one player makes me a little uneasy. I understand that quarterback is the "premium position." But the Eagles do not run their offense like the Packers or Broncos. The world doesn't end if the quarterback suffers an injury and the backup comes in. I won't say that Kelly's system is quarterback-proof or that it will take care of itself, but it is certainly quarterback-friendly. The guy under center doesn't need to be Superman and do things like consistently drop touch passes into triple coverage or scramble for fourteen seconds while trying to find the open man; he just needs to be fairly accurate and make good decisions.

Of course, the question now is, can Bradford stay healthy AND be that guy? That's a good question, but I'm in the camp that thinks he deserves the benefit of the doubt. We'll certainly see come August regardless.

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