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Looking at the history of pick No. 12 and comparing it to No. 6

What does the past tell us about the Eagles’ new first-round selection?

Philadelphia Eagles v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

One of the biggest arguments against the Philadelphia Eagles’ trade down from No. 6 to No. 12 in the 2021 NFL Draft is that the team significantly decreased their chances of landing a much-needed impact player.

Is that truly the case? I thought it might be interesting to take a look at the history of these two picks since 2010.

No. 6

2020 — QB Justin Herbert
2019 — QB Daniel Jones
2018 — OG Quenton Nelson
2017 — S Jamal Adams
2016 — OT Ronnie Stanley
2015 — DT Leonard Williams
2014 — OT Jake Matthews
2013 — DE Barkevious Mingo
2012 — CB Morris Claiborne
2011 — WR Julio Jones
2010 — OT Russell Okung

893 games played, 786 starts

Approximate Value: 529

18 Pro Bowl selections (Julio 7, Nelson 3, Adams 3, Okung 2, Stanley 1, Williams 1, Matthews 1)

7 All-Pro selections (Nelson 3, Julio 2, Adams 1, Stanley 1)

1 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year (Herbert)

No. 12

2020 — WR Henry Ruggs
2019 — OLB Rashan Gary
2018 — DT Vita Vea
2017 — QB Deshaun Watson
2016 — DT Sheldon Rankins
2015 — DT Danny Shelton
2014 — CB Kyle Fuller
2013 — CB D.J. Hayden
2012 — DT Fletcher Cox
2011 — QB Christian Ponder
2010 — RB Ryan Mathews

736 games played, 574 starts

Approximate Value: 367

13 Pro Bowl selections (Cox 6, Watson 3, Fuller 2, Rankins 1, Mathews 1)

2 All-Pro selections (Cox 1, Fuller 1)

THOUGHTS

  • No one will be surprised to see that No. 6 has been more successful than No. 12. Has it been THAT much more fruitful, though? It’s not an insignificant difference, to be sure. But I don’t know that it’s massive.
  • On a related note, the draft pick value chart doesn’t illustrate a huge gap between No. 6 and No. 12. The difference is worth 400 points, which is the value of No. 50 near the middle of the second round. (With the Eagles acquiring the Dolphins’ 2022 first-round pick, they gained at least 590 points assuming the worst-case scenario in which Miami wins the Super Bowl. The Eagles also picked up 20 points by moving up 33 spots on Day 3 this year.)
  • From comparable positions within these two groups, the best QB, DT, and CB came at No. 12. The best WR came at No. 6.
  • Cox being taken at No. 12 provides some hope that Howie Roseman might be able to get this pick right. The Eagles were wise to trade up for him in 2012.
  • The biggest busts at each of these picks are still in the NFL. Mingo and Hayden have carved out careers as journeymen. So, the floor outcome for each spot could be worse.
  • Each of these picks has one QB selection (Herbert, Watson) that looks a whole lot better than the other (Jones, Ponder).
  • Defensive line and cornerback make up seven of the last 11 picks at No. 12. There’s a decent chance the Eagles go in that direction as well.