Re-Grading the 2016 Philadelphia Eagles Draft Class

Re-Grading the 2016 Philadelphia Eagles Draft Class


In 2016, the Philadelphia Eagles made a franchise-altering trade. At the time, they decided to trade five picks to the Cleveland Browns, including two first-rounders, to pick Carson Wentz at No. 2 overall.

Since then, the Eagles have won a Super Bowl, but it didn't come in the way that anyone could've expected. Sports Illustrated gave them a B, gave them a C+, and ESPN's Mel Kiper gave them a dismal C. While the ramifications of the Wentz trade are still playing out, we can look back at the Eagles' 2016 draft and evaluate how good it was.

Carson Wentz, QB, No. 2 Overall
Carson Wentz is the Eagles' franchise quarterback, and he has signed a massive contract extension through 2024. While Wentz isn't the best young quarterback in football, he's solidly in the top 10 and may have a better outlook than 2016 No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff. Wentz may have been injured for the playoff run, but his tenure includes a Super Bowl championship in a season that saw him lead Philly to an 11-2 record in 13 regular season starts. Considering the Eagles were reduced to Nick Foles, Sam Bradford, and Mark Sanchez as their franchise quarterback options before the 2016 draft, Wentz has been a terrific addition.

Isaac Seumalo, OL, No. 79 overall
Isaac Seumalo has started 31 games over four years, including all 16 games in 2019. He received a three-year extension before last season, and remains a solid starting left guard, having received an overall grade of 69.6 from Pro Football Focus. While players like Seumalo don't get much press, any NFL franchise would be happy with a third-round lineman becoming a quality starter.

Wendell Smallwood, RB, No. 153 overall
Wendell Smallwood was waived before the 2019 season and must be seen as an overall disappointment for the Eagles. The West Virginia grad was touted as a great fit for Doug Pederson's offense, but quickly fell out of favor and was a clear backup for his three years in Philadelphia.

Halapoulivaati Vaitai, OL, No. 164 overall
Halapoulivaati Vaitai was a huge part of the Super Bowl team, filling in at left tackle for the injured Jason Peters. Vaitai has been in and out of the Eagles' rotation, filling in as needed at guard and tackle. Big V was a healthy and effective offensive lineman for his entire time in Philly, and he was recently rewarded with a $50 million contract from the Detroit Lions.

Blake Countess, DB, No. 196 overall
Blake Countess was released before the 2016 season started and has not played a game for the Eagles in his career.

Jalen Mills, S, No. 233 overall
The Eagles hit a home run with Mills, who won a job out of training camp and was the starter for all of 2017. Mills played a huge role on the Super Bowl winning team and was particularly excellent in the 2017 playoffs. Although he's struggled with injuries since, Mills' contributions as a seventh-rounder were far above what you'd expect.

Alex McCalister, DE, No. 244 overall and Joe Walker, LB, No. 251 Overall.
Joe Walker started two games in 2017 and played rather well, but he was cut in 2017 and has bounced around the league since. Alex McCalister was waived in 2017 and currently plays in the CFL. Neither made an impact, but in the back half of Round 7, that's hardly a surprise.

Overall Grade: A

While the Eagles gave up a huge amount of draft capital for Wentz, it looks like the move was worth it, as they've won a Super Bowl and made the playoffs in 2019. In addition, the Eagles hit on two key offensive linemen and a seventh-round cornerback, which is quite rare. The only real miss was Smallwood, who was still a somewhat productive backup running back.

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Tristan Jung is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Tristan Jung also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username tristan1117. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.