The Philadelphia Eagles are going to select a quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft tonight. It's certainly not the first time in franchise history they've done that. Back in 1999 the Eagles drafted Donovan McNabb at No. 2 overall. Speaking of McNabb, the team's former quarterback recently weighed in on Philadelphia's decision to trade up to get a new hopeful franchise passer. Spoiler alert: he's not a fan. Here's what McNabb had to say while appearing as a guest on NBC Sports Radio. As transcribed by Turron Davenport of The Eagles Wire:
"I don’t like it because I think the Eagles need much more help than just a quarterback. Every coach that comes into the NFL wants to be tagged to their quarterback, but they just signed Sam Bradford pretty much to be a guy to hold it down for a year or two. Doug Pederson may not have his job in three years."
"I don’t think these two quarterbacks are worthy of being the first or second picks. To me, they are mid to late round prospects. Unless you tell me that Jared Goff is the next Aaron Rodgers, not because he went to Cal but because he can sit behind Sam Bradford, maybe that can work out. If Carson Wentz is a Ben Roethlisberger coming from a 1-AA school then maybe that can work out."
"When I came, the Eagles weren’t good. They had the No.2 pick and didn’t give up picks to get me. Sam Bradford is getting paid a ridiculous amount of money for no reason. Chase Daniel was brought in to be the Doug Pederson that he was for me but he is going to be the backup and now he becomes the Koy Detmer. They are saying that this guy will be the starting quarterback for over a decade and lead you to the playoffs appearances and possibly a Super Bowl appearance. I can’t say that I can see that."
It's ironic because the Eagles haven't been a true consistent championship contender since having a franchise quarterback like McNabb. That's why the Birds were so desperate to move up. But, as some others are, McNabb is very skeptical of the talent the Eagles traded to get. And the key difference between the Eagles picking at No. 2 in 1999 and 2016, as McNabb points out, is that the Eagles gave up five picks in order to get in posiiton to draft one.
McNabb might be right about these guys not being good enough to lead the team to success. But the fact that they have other needs than quarterback should never mean they shouldn't have tried to address the most important position in the sport.
During the McNabb era, the Eagles saw firsthand how much having a franchise quarterback mattered. They were contenders nearly every season. Now they're trying to replicate that success by drafting a rookie this year.
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