It wasn’t like 2016 when the Eagles booked dinner for a group of five at a restaurant in North Dakota.
It was then, March 30 to be exact, that owner Jeffrey Lurie, general manager Howie Roseman, head coach Doug Pederson and offensive coordinator Frank Reich bought Carson Wentz’s dinner. Less than a month later, on April 16, the Eagles traded up the second pick in the draft and took the quarterback from North Dakota State.
Fast forward six years, and it was Kenny Pickett dining on the Eagles tab.
The assumption is the reservation, however, was a table for only two.
Pickett held his pro day at his school’s campus, the University of Pittsburgh, on Monday, and Eagles quarterback coach Brian Johnson was in attendance. Unless other members of the front office or coaching staff flew off at some point, it was Johnson who drank and dined at the Pitt setter.
Earlier this year, during a Panthers home game against the University of North Carolina, a photo of Roseman holding binoculars to his face made the rounds on social media.
Pickett had a great showing on his pro day, according to NFL Network’s Aditi Kinkhabwala, who was in attendance. She reported that he showed his arm strength and precision in a 56-game scenario. Even his sadly small hands seemed to grow from when they were measured at 8½ inches during the NFL Scouting Combine earlier this month to 8 5/8 on Monday.
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Pickett may be climbing into the top 10 and there are teams that need QBs in that area, including the Panthers (No. 6), Falcons, Marcus Mariota (No. 8) and the Seahawks (#9). Perhaps Malik Willis will also continue his ascent on his pro day Tuesday at Liberty University.
If either quarterback is there at No. 15 when the Eagles are due to make their first selection on the opening night of the draft on April 28, that will bring an interesting decision.
Do they take any of them, especially Pickett, who they seem to have worked a lot on?
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Drafting a QB in the first round was a risky proposition.
ESPN’s Field Yates pointed out that between 2006 and 2016, 29 QBs were taken in the first round of the draft and none of them remain with the team that selected them.
Still, that won’t stop any team from trying.
And maybe the Eagles will give him another chance.
Somewhere along the way to this draft, they’ll likely take a quarterback, and that could very well be in the first round. They’ve taken a QB every two years on average since the 2010 draft and the last they took was Jalen Hurts in 2020.
The last they picked in the first round in that span was Carson Wentz six years ago.
Maybe the Eagles are just baiting another team behind them in the draft who might think they could take Pickett, a team like the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Life after Ben Roethlisberger must be addressed in the ‘Burgh. They signed Mitch Trubisky in free agency, but there’s a story with the former second overall pick in 2017 and it’s not a good story.
It makes sense to believe the Steelers want a QB, and Pickett has been playing in their backyard, so they might want to move up five spots from their current position at No. 20.
The QB decision is just another layer of intrigue when it comes to the Eagles and this draft.
Ed Kracz is SI.com’s Fan Nation Eagles Today editor and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles Where www.eaglestoday.com and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.What