I think NFL teams over-value draft choices. Most people on the outside think they over-value draft choices. But the fact is, they do -- they all do, pretty much. And they all live their lives with one hand on a draft value chart, which assigns point values to every slot in the draft. There is some ongoing discussion about some of the numbers on the chart, but there is no disputing that everyone has a chart.
And based upon the chart, the Eagles did get the equivalent value of a first-round draft choice in exchange for McNabb.
People say they tried to drive too hard a bargain, that they insulted teams in the NFL by their stance and et cetera. I will say this: if the Eagles infuriated other teams it was because they did not make a demand. They are like that. They sit back with their arms folded and make you show your cards, and then they thank you for the peek at what you're thinking. In that way -- and it has happened time after time -- they determine the market for a player, and then they go about their business.
I think that's probably what happened here. And for everyone who said they were crazy to ask for a first-rounder, I repeat: they got one. When you take the draft value of the 37th pick and add it to either a mid-third or mid-fourth round pick, you come up with the combined draft value of a first-rounder. They could take those two picks right now and, if they could find an amenable partner, trade them for a first-rounder between about the 25th pick and the 30th pick. Both sides would see that as equivalent value on the charts that they all use.
Frankly, it's more than I thought they would get. And if I still have a hard time understanding why they would embrace the circus that will be Eagles-Redskins games for the forseeable future -- assuming McNabb signs an extension with the Redskins -- I can't argue with the value.