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Weapon X Mailbag: What happens if Carson Wentz isn’t traded before the draft?

Plus: Will we feel joy again?

Philadelphia Eagles v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

I’m writing this late Tuesday afternoon. I hope by the time I save this as a draft for BLG to edit, it’s already outdated and the drama can end (for a fleeting moment).

Time for the questions...

@thebriguy90: If Carson Wentz isn’t traded before the 2021 NFL Draft ... what is the most likely & ideal scenario for us. Draft based on Carson and trade Jalen Hurts? Or draft based on Hurts and keep trying to trade Carson?

I wouldn't think their draft preferences differ too much depending on the quarterback is here. Maybe if Carson Wentz was already gone, they’d consider taking a quarterback in the first round, but let’s put that aside for a moment. They need talent at wideout and have a real chance to address that early. Doing so helps both Wentz and Jalen Hurts.

Some prospects are considered more “plug-and-play” guys and others are “projects,” but they’re all ultimately young talent that’s desperately needed for the franchise. Again, that helps whoever the quarterback is.

If the draft comes and goes and Wentz is still on the roster, I’d imagine this is a battle that’s going to play out well into the summer. Terrible fans, but great for media members. As someone who’s the former and a fake version of the latter, I just want it over with, but in this scenario, we could be playing a waiting game akin to the old Brett Favre Retirement Watch they’d have on ESPN back when I was a kid.

Howie Roseman could be trying for a deal in August or even September like the caper that was the Sam Bradford trade back in 2016. The Vikings considered themselves contenders before Teddy Bridgewater suffered an ACL tear in practice, necessitating a huge move for whatever competent quarterback was on the market. Perhaps Eagles fans would have to wait that long for an injury to arise or for a franchise to sour on their current QB in camp or the preseason.

That sounds like death by a thousand cuts and I am dying to just rip this bandage off, but always expect the thing that will drive you most insane when it comes to this team.

@Mismatchsports: Which Eagle that’s currently on the roster that has underperformed do you most expect to develop into a good player?

The easiest move is to look at the 2020 draft class. Jalen Reagor would be the most likely candidate given his pedigree and clear talent on top of bouncing back from an injury-plagued rookie season. I have no hope for him to turn into a real top-tier receiver at this point, but he can still be a successful offensive player and, at minimum, should be able to thrive as the team’s primary punt returner in 2021. We need some special teams juice!

The other dude who popped into my mind is Davion Taylor. He was a Day 2 rookie linebacker who played in 12 games and played a total of 32 defensive snaps. Using a Day 2 pick on a linebacker who can’t be an immediate impact is a gross misallocation of resources, but there is literally nowhere to go for him but up.

He tested well at the combine last year, finishing in the 95th percentile in the 40-yard dash, 94th percentile in the broad jump, and in the 72nd percentile for the 3-cone drill (all numbers among linebackers in the MockDraftable database).

The Colts’ defense has had success as of late with a stable of young, talented linebackers. Could new defensive coordinator Steve Gannon recreate that in Philly? I’m not counting on Taylor to be a piece going forward in the slightest. Heck, I would take another linebacker on Day 2 with no regard for his future standing with the team, but he’s physically gifted and on a rookie contract. The hope would be that Gannon and new linebackers coach Nick Rallis could make him a serviceable depth player.

Is it a bad sign that one of my top-two choices is for a guy who was unplayable last year and my expectation is only for him to become a high-level backup?

@calicopat: Howie has been very good before. Howie has been very bad more recently. Do you hold out any hope that he knocks free agency out of the park (as he’s done before) or is his history of bad drafting too awful to overcome? Also, should we be more concerned with WFT than DAL?

Howie crushed free agent signings in 2016 and 2017, bringing in-prime guys to Philly on the way to an eventual Super Bowl run. Those new players paired with the list of talent that had been drafted in the previous years:

2010: Brandon Graham

2011: Jason Kelce

2012: Fletcher Cox, Mychal Kendricks, Vinny Curry, Nick Foles (upon his return)

2013: Lane Johnson, Zach Ertz

2014: uhhhh... Beau Allen?

2015: Nelson Agholor, Jordan Hicks

2016: Carson Wentz, Jalen Mills

The Eagles had a core of homegrown guys. They haven’t stocked the cupboard with as many accomplished youngsters since then. Miles Sanders is dynamic but regressed in the passing game. Dallas Goedert, Josh Sweat, and Jordan Mailata are gifted and have flashed, but haven’t had a chance to truly break out yet. The young receivers have been lackluster.

Now those previously drafted players are older and on bigger contracts, hamstringing Roseman’s ability to add key cogs in free agency and they haven’t been able to supplement the roster with young dudes on team-friendly deals. It’s a shit cycle! Until the current front office regime can get more capable youngsters, they’re stuck.

As for whether I’m more concerned about Washington or Dallas, I might lean WFT right now. They’re a quarterback away from real contention, which can be a meaningless statement the vast majority of offseasons, but in a year where we’re going to see unprecedented movement from the QB position, there may never be a better time to be “a quarterback away.”

They still have Daniel Snyder as owner though, so how really can I be worried about their long-term success?

The Eagles suck, but they’re in a division that’s filled with teams that suck just as much, if not more, than they do. That’s this week’s silver lining for you.

@arcampostrini: Which pick best fits the Eagles and why it is Kyle Pitts?

Just in terms of pass-catchers, I’m taking Ja’Marr Chase, DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle all above Kyle Pitts. I

@gobirdzzz: How many Super Bowls is Jalen Hurts going to win?

You’d have to think the Eagles are looking at a minimum of a five-peat at some point during his Eagles career, right?

I will say that a pairing of Hurts and Doug Pederson would’ve given this franchise its best chance at a title in the next half-decade...

@ThisIsJoeMac: Will we ever feel joy again?

Adam Schefter, I am begging you. Please do The Tweet.