What is the difference between 13 and 8? You do not need to be a mathematician to figure it out. The difference between 13 and 8 is 5, however, for the Philadelphia Eagles, it is much more than that.
On Wednesday, the Eagles officially announced a deal sending Byron Maxwell, Kiko Alonso and their first round pick(13) in 2016 to the Miami Dolphins for their first round pick(8) in 2016. The trade is a win-win for both teams. The Dolphins receive two players that were clearly unhappy with their situations last season and a change of scenery and scheme may allow them to become relevant players once again. The deal also compliments both teams from a draft perspective. The Dolphins will only move back five spots in this years draft, not a terrible price to pay for a team receiving two possible bounce back players and some extra salary cap.
This trade was essential for Philadelphia. There was no brotherly love for Maxwell and Alonso, who were objects of disdain brought in by an old regime. This disdain, combined with a big cap number for Maxwell, paved the way for their departure. As compensation for the trade, the Eagles, who are in the process of a hush-hush rebuild, swapped first round picks with Miami.
Philadelphia will select 8th while the Dolphins will now select 13th. This allows the Eagles more flexibility during the draft, allowing them to opportunity to trade back for more picks if not overwhelmed by a prospect at time of the selection.
So this brings us back to the original question. What is the difference between 13 and 8? We know the mathematical answer but let’s take a look at this question from a draft perspective.
2015 NFL Draft
#8: Atlanta Falcons select Vic Beasley OLB Clemson
#13 New Orleans Saints select Andrus Peat OT Stanford
It is hard to make any real judgment calls after only one full season however, both players have experienced growing pains this season. Peat struggled at times this season, starting only 8 games in his first season as a pro while Beasley accrued only 4 sacks in 16 games as a starter. Both teams will look for these players to improve in 2016.
2014 NFL Draft
#8 Cleveland Browns select Justin Gilbert CB Oklahoma State University
#13 St. Louis Rams select Aaron Donald DT University of Pittsburgh
Gilbert has been a huge disappointment for Cleveland. His poor performance on the field coupled with his off the field issues have him headed down the road towards first round bust status. Aaron Donald on the other hand has been a force. Donald has 20 sacks in his first two seasons(9.0 in 2014, 11.0 in 2015) to go along with 85 tackles and an All Pro selection. The sky is the limit for this kid.
2013 NFL Draft
#8 St. Louis Rams select Tavon Austin WR West Virginia University
#13 New York Jets select Sheldon Richardson DT University of Missouri
Tavon Austin finally became a regular starter for St. Louis in 2015 however, he has yet to prove his worth. Through three seasons, Austin has 123 receptions totaling 1,133 yards and 9 touchdowns. Richardson has been good but not great for the Jets. The defensive tackle has 16.5 sacks in three seasons in green but was limited last season due to injury.
2012 NFL Draft
#8 Miami Dolphins select Ryan Tannehill QB Texas A&M
#13 Arizona Cardinals select Michael Floyd WR Notre Dame
This is one of the few times that both selections have worked out for their team. Tannehill, although yet to reach an elite status, has been better than average for Miami even though many Dolphins fans would refute that claim. Floyd has been just as productive for Arizona, reeling in three consecutive 800+ yard seasons.
2011 NFL Draft
#8 Tennessee Titans select Jake Locker QB University of Washington
#13 Detroit Lions select Nick Fairley DT Auburn
It just goes to show you how much of a crap shoot the draft really is. Jake Locker, now displaced by Marcus Mariota, has seen action in 30 career games. In that time, he has thrown for a pedestrian 27 touchdowns and 22 interceptions. The Bengals would go on to draft Andy Dalton twenty-seven picks later. Nick Fairley, the highly touted defensive tackle out of Auburn, has been less than stellar as well. Fairley has compiled 14 career sacks in 61 games.
So what is the difference between 13 and 8 in the NFL? A good front office and a lot of luck. All of the players listed above were highly thought of entering draft day, however, a majority of them have been mediocre at best. In reality, efficient scouting and research leads to more educated guesses but there is no way to predict who will succeed at the next level. The Eagles made a good decision to open up more cap space and begin the process of starting over. However, contrary to what you read on social media, time will ultimately decide the winner of this deal.