After what many thought would be a week of arguing over who should be the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles, it has instead recently turned to this team should have picked a different player over their rookie offensive star, DeVonta Smith.
Fans over the past few days have been upset about the fact that this Eagles' team could've selected possibly rookie defensive player of the year, Micah Parsons. So, to be honest, this is something that I honestly did not think would ever be an argument, but since it is we will take a look at a few different outcomes.
Let's start by first saying, Parsons' is a great player. We are not arguing that fact at all and if he does win DROY, it would be well deserved. However, a lot of things have to be taken into context. For starters, Parsons was not really on this team's radar. As most fans know this team has put very little capital into the linebacker position. I am not going to sit here and write that he would've not made an impact on this team, but not as DeVonta Smith has on offense.
Second, part of the deal of the Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys switching in the draft was that this team was not going to Select Parsons. The Cowboys were absolutely desperate to turn around their historically bad defense and after the top corners went off the board, they were all in on the rookie. Now, the Eagles more than likely had Parsons on their draft board, but with someone like DeVonta Smith sitting there, they chose to go that route, and for good reason.
Ultimately the way the Eagles defense was designed, the argument could've been for this team to have shot higher on a cover corner than a linebacker. Last season, the Eagles' defense was middle of the pack, if not a little higher. Their offense however was ranked 30th overall last season and ranked 32nd in receiving. This year there offense is ranked 7th overall and 15th in receiving and it has a lot to do with DeVonta Smith.
As great of a player Parsons is, the Cowboys still have major defensive issues, especially in the run game. Of course, that might change when Demarcus Lawrence comes back, but still a major concern for that Dallas team. Lastly, I need this fanbase to have imagined this offense without Smith. Go ahead, picture it.
The major pass-catching target would've been only Dallas Goedert with a little of Quez Watkins sprinkled in.
Smith, who was considered undersized in the NFL, has gained the respect of every opposing defense. Each defense that this team faces game plans around Smith for coverage schemes. That is the impact that he has. A lot of the fall-off when you are stat hunting is due simply to the change of game-planning for this offense. Heading into Week 11, Smith was ranked 12th out of all receivers and had a multi-week span of being the highest-rated receiver.
To put this argument to bed (hopefully) both players are special, but each team needed the other in this draft. If the Eagles' went Parsons vs. Smith, this offense would've more than likely have been dead in the water and the Cowboys defense would've likely been in the same sinking boat.
Fun fact: The way this team worked around their draft picks, they not only got Smith, but another first-round pick.
Both teams got what they needed.