Carson Wentz secures the Philadelphia Eagles a 2022 first round pick

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

For many a fan of the Philadelphia Eagles, the Indianapolis Colts’ Week 15 bout against the New England Patriots was must-watch television.

No, not because it was the rare Saturday night NFL game, or because it presented an opportunity to watch Bill Belichick lose a game in primetime, but because, barring injury, Carson Wentz would surpass the roughly 877 offensive snaps needed to officially secure the Eagles their third first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Nervewracking? Maybe a tad, but it didn’t take long for the former Philadelphia quarterback to hit the snaps total and add some nice padding to it for good measure, as the Colts played 27 offensive snaps in the first half alone.

Considering how meh the rest of the game was to watch – minus a few standout performances by players like Jonathan Taylor and Darius Leonard – it’s almost like the real winner of the game was the Philadelphia Eagles, their fans, and the friends we made along with way.

The Philadelphia Eagles can’t waste their war chest of assets in 2022.

When the then-St. Louis Rams traded the second overall pick to Washington for three first-round picks and a second-round pick; it felt like an absolute robbery.

Sure, Washington got their guy in ex-Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III, which looked like the right call until injuries derailed his career a few years later, but to do so, then-general manager Bruce Allen had to surrender the sort of premium assets teams need to build a contender around a young franchise passer.

… except, that’s not really what happened.

No, in a series of moves I’m sure St. Louis wishes they could get back, the franchise turned those four picks into eight total and used them to select the following players: Michael Brockers, Janoris Jenkins, Isaiah Pead, Rokevious Watkins, Alec Ogletree, Stedman Bailey, Zac Stacy, and Greg Robinson. Of those eight players, only three are still in the NFL, none are currently members of the Los Angeles Rams, and one will probably be in jail for a very long time.

Why, you may ask, is this relevant to the Philadelphia Eagles? Well, because they’ll have the same number of first-round picks in 2022 as the Rams secured from Washington and should do everything in their power to avoid falling into the same trap.

So what should the Eagles do? I mean, in theory, the Rams didn’t draft poorly, as they picked an offensive lineman, a defensive lineman, and a linebacker who are (almost) all still in the league today with the three first-round picks they procured in the deal, and the next-highest player they picked, Jenkins, has started every game he’s appeared in for a really good Tennessee Titans squad.

Well, for one thing, the Eagles need to target the best players they can regardless of position of need. Brockers, Ogletree, and Robinson were all considered overdrafts even when they came off the board, and while that trio is still in the league, none are upper-level starters. While the Eagles have hit a few big home runs in the draft over the past few years, including Jordan Mailata and Quez Watkins, they’ve largely looked to the first round to fill positions of need, from DeVonta Smith to Jalen Reagor, Andre Dillard, Derek Barnett, and even Carson Wentz, who was arguably the most justified draft for need of all time.

Could all of those players, especially Wentz, have been the best player on the board when the Birds went on the clock? Sure, some, like Smith likely were, but for the most part, if you look back over the last few drafts, you’ll see numerous examples of the Eagles leaving better players on the board in favor of “scheme fits.”

In the NFL, where roughly 20 percent of the teams change their head coaches in any given year, the real scheme fit is having the best possible players on your roster. Outside of drafting another left tackle, which would be a poor allocation of resources with Mailata and Dillard already on the roster, there isn’t another position on the roster where the Eagles couldn’t use competition.

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So Carson Wentz, thank you for playing 75 percent of the Indianapolis Colts’ snaps. While your season has been rather up and down, especially in Week 15 where you threw for 57 yards, a TD, a pick, and a sack on 12 attempts, it sure must be nice to be teammates with Jonathan Taylor, as he just might run the Colts into the playoffs. And as for the Philadelphia Eagles? Well, they might just make it to the playoffs too, but the future is looking even brighter in 2022.