The NFL Draft: A Welcome Distraction, and What to Make of the Eagles’ Draft

With a good portion of the sports world coming to a halt under the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been an empty spot in the lives of many sports fans that very few things can fill. This is especially the case when it comes to the City of Brotherly Love, one of the most devoted sports cities in the country. Spike’s Trophies knows this all too well, as before the pandemic, we had provided PA with sports awards of all varieties of passionate fans and recreational leagues.

When the NFL decided to host their draft virtually, however, it gave fans that taste of sports that many have been longing for. While many had questions about the logistics of how an online draft would play out, it turned out to be a successful and entertaining sports event when one hadn’t occurred in over a month.

What many fans have been missing is the distraction that watching their favorite team can be from some of the larger issues facing the real world. Countless have been stressed out over the lasting effects of COVID-19, and haven’t had that outlet to escape to. Needless to say, fans being able to absorb themselves in football for a weekend was a very welcome distraction indeed.

As far as the Eagles’ draft is concerned, there were a few takeaways, both positive and negative. Here is a closer look at how this year’s draft impacted the 2020 Philadelphia Eagles.

Prioritizing Speed

There was no hiding that the Eagles wanted to get faster on offense, and their draft strategy certainly reflected that. Their first-round pick, former TCU WR Jalen Reagor, is a speedy vertical threat who can play both the outside and the slot. Many project him to offer what DeSean Jackson was supposed to provide for this team last year. They continued to double down on this need on the third day of the draft, picking up Boise State WR John Hightower and Southern Mississippi WR Quez Watkins — who had this year’s second-fastest 40-yard dash time at 4.35 seconds. The team also traded for former 49ers WR Marquise Goodwin to cap it all off.

A Head-Scratching Pick

Despite the improvements at the wide receiver position, the highlight of the draft for the Eagles was more of a lowlight. They used a second-round pick on Oklahoma QB Jalen Hurts — despite having signed Carson Wentz to a four-year, $128 million contract just last year. It’s not conventional for a team with a set franchise QB to draft the position as early as the second round, especially with Wentz being only 27 years old, leading to questions of the team’s confidence in Wentz and his ability to stay healthy. Even claims of being able to use Hurts as a gadget-player have fans frustrated, making this a puzzling pick from all angles.

Remaining Questions

While plenty of needs were addressed draft weekend, there are still some questions to be answered. While new CB Darius Slay will be one starting corner, there isn’t much clarity as to who will start across from him. The linebacker position is still a weakness, and there isn’t a proven commodity behind second-year RB Miles Sanders. The team was also expected to add a pass rusher early on but passed on the opportunity, which opens the door for a possible signing of DE Jadeveon Clowney or trade for Jaguars DE Yannick Ngakoue.

No matter how you felt about the Eagles’ draft, it was nice to have some semblance of sports again. As we await a time where play can resume across other leagues, Spike’s Trophies hopes to be ready to provide trophies, plaques, and custom signs for Philadelphia again in the near future. Until then, we encourage you to practice social distancing and stay home whenever possible. For more information on how we are helping to flatten the curve, contact us today.