I don’t know about you but I think it’s interesting to hear about NFL trades and signings that almost happened. It can be fun (or sometimes terrifying) to think: “What if?”
The Jets, meanwhile, were positioning themselves to trade into the second round for [Mecole Hardman], according to sources. Gang Green, who didn’t have a second-round pick, specifically targeted and coveted the speedy 5-10, 187-pound wideout. They attempted to move up from No. 68 (in the third round) to the Eagles’ spot at No. 57. Any potential Jets-Eagles deal died when the Chiefs leaped over both to get Hardman. If the audio of [Tyreek Hill’s] fiancé telling him that their son was “terrified” of him didn’t come to light, it’s fair to conclude that the Jets would have made a trade with Philly to land Hardman.
So, in case that blurb wasn’t clear, the Eagles were impacted by the domino effect of the ongoing Tyreek Hill investigation. With Hill’s NFL future very much in doubt, the Chiefs were desperate to trade up to No. 56 to select his potential replacement in Hardman. And with the speedy Georgia wide receiver prospects off the board, the Jets were no longer interested in trading up to the Eagles’ pick at No. 57.
Some thoughts on this report:
- It’s not hard to believe the Eagles and Jets were having trade discussions. Adam Schefter previously said Philly discussed moving up to No. 3 with New York, although the talks were likely just due diligence. Still, it shows the two sides were having dialogue. We also know the Jets are rumored to be interested in hiring Joe Douglas since he has a great relationship with Adam Gase.
- Some wondered if the Eagles really wanted Hardman — whom they reportedly hosted on an official pre-draft visit — at No. 57. This report suggests they weren’t going to pick him if he made it there.
- It sounds like the Eagles preferred trading down to picking JJ Arcega-Whiteside. That’s not to suggest they aren’t happy with the JJAW pick ... but it doesn’t seem like it was their top preference in using the No. 57 pick. Maybe they thought they could get him 11 spots later?
- If Hardman was on the board and the Jets traded up to the Eagles’ pick, Philly potentially would’ve received picks No. 68 and No. 105. The two players selected at those spots? Florida pass rusher Jachai Polite and Florida safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson. Of course, the Eagles may not have wanted those specific guys, but that gives you an idea of who would’ve been available.
Ultimately, what’s done is done. Hardman is a Chief, JJAW is an Eagle, Polite is a Jet, and Gardner-Johnson is a Saint. Still, interesting to think about things could’ve easily been different.
Which option is better for the Eagles?
This poll is closed
Taking JJ Arcega-Whiteside at pick No. 57
Trading down from No. 57 to receive No. 68 and No. 105