A couple weeks ago NFL draft analyst Lance Zierlein reported that one NFL executive thinks the Eagles will try to move up in the 2016 NFL Draft to pick Carson Wentz. Zierlein recently offered more insight on his report in an interview with the 97.5 The Fanatic (as transcribed by Tim McManus of Birds 24/7).
"Make no mistake about it, I still think the Eagles first and foremost are trying to find a way to get Carson Wentz. I know Doug Pederson loves him," he said. "I know that from people behind the scenes, in the know. That’s who he wants and that’s who he likes. It’s just going to be tough — to move up that far is going to be a challenge."
The Eagles were spotted having dinner with Wentz last week after going through a private workout with him. Key members of the Eagles at that dinner included head coach Jeffrey Lurie, Doug Pederson, Howie Roseman, and offensive coordinator Frank Reich. Here's a picture of Pederson and Lurie toasting with Wentz:
If Pederson truly loves Wentz, the Eagles are going to have to seriously consider doing what it takes to get him. A head coach needs to have their guy at quarterback. Pederson reportedly made a push to keep Sam Bradford around the Eagles obliged in that respect. Now we'll see if they'll let him get his rookie passer, assuming Wentz truly is the one he covets.
Of course, moving up for Wentz might not be easy. If the Cleveland Browns really like him and want to draft him at No. 2, the Birds will need to get to No. 1. That's a jump of seven spots. There's reportedly a "50-50 chance" the Tennessee Titans trade their first overall pick, which means the possibility is there, but it remains to be seen if the cost is prohibitive.
It's always possible these Eagles rumors aren't necessarily based in truth because that's just how this thing goes. The time leading up to the NFL Draft each year is always a time filled with misinformation. Maybe the Birds are merely trying to make it look like they want Wentz so it pressures another team to take him before their pick. But it's also possible Pederson really does love Wentz (or another quarterback) and there's truth to all these Eagles rumors.
The only thing we know for sure is that the Eagles will take a quarterback at some point in the 2016 NFL Draft. It's just a matter of who and when.