PHILADELPHIA – Fans’ dreams of Kyle Pitts or receiver Ja’Marr Chase running out of the Lincoln Financial Field tunnel wearing a Philadelphia Eagles jersey likely went up in smoke Friday when the Eagles traded the No. 6 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, as well as the No. 5 pick in 2021 (No. 156) to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for the 12th pick, the 4th pick (No. 123) and the 1st pick in 2022.

The risk here is obvious: The Eagles miss a chance to take a blue player, and he could haunt them. This is a one-and-done year where a quarterback can be selected among one of the first four picks in the draft, which narrows the talent pool. This makes location #6 highly desirable. The dolphins thought so too.

Why waste an opportunity like this?

This gives the Eagles a chance.

The Eagles, who finished 4-11-1 last season and were in last place in the NFC East, are hoarding resources as they say goodbye to their aging 2017 Super Bowl team and enter a new era under coach Nick Sirianni. They will now have up to three first-round picks in the 2022 draft, depending on how many times quarterback Carson Wentz plays for the Indianapolis Colts this season. Philadelphia received a conditional second round pick from the Colts when they traded Wentz to Indianapolis. This pick becomes a first round pick if Wentz plays 75% of the offensive snaps or plays 70% of the snaps and Indianapolis makes the playoffs this season.

Barnwell (E+): Impact of major operations
Grades (E+): How is each team doing?
Wagoner: Nines for QB
McManus: Eagles have more options
Wolf: Dolphins bet everything on Tagovailoa
NFL Draft Order: Updating of the complete list

Now that the Eagles have so many quality options, they can go several ways.

If sophomore quarterback Jalen Hurts succeeds this season, the Eagles could use that asset to build a team around him. If he doesn’t live up to expectations, they can get those picks back in the 2022 draft to move up and select their future quarterback.

They should be able to get a good player with the 12th spot – there’s an idea that Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith, for example, could slide further than expected – and if there’s a player they like, they can always move up a few spots to get him. According to ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr, they could also be targeting the offensive line or one of the top cornerbacks at No. 1. 12.

With Deshaun Watson (Houston) and Russell Wilson (Seattle), there are also two key quarterbacks to contend with this offseason. The more capital a team has, the more likely they are to bring in the quarterback if he turns out to be the class they want. Same goes for next year, when the franchise’s quarterback is available and the Eagles want to pursue him.

Ultimately, the Eagles believe this trade at No. 12 in the 2021 draft puts them in a better position to build a team for the future.

Time will tell if they have done their calculations correctly.

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