NFL Insider Proposes Crazy Eagles Trade for Seahawks Guard

Ethan Pocic

Getty Seahawks guard Ethan Pocic has played both left and guard in Seattle.

The Eagles seem content to roll into training camp with a competition at right guard. Brandon Brooks is out for the year and not walking through that door.

Matt Pryor appears to be the front-runner to win the job after getting ringing endorsements from both his head coach and a former Pro Bowl left tackle. However, there are a bevy of veteran offensive linemen available in free agency or in a trade. One of the newest names plays for the Seattle Seahawks.

According to ESPN’s Field Yates, the Eagles should float around the idea of swapping Sidney Jones for Ethan Pocic. The long-time NFL Insider included the potential move as part of his “Imagining Five 2020 NFL Player Trades” rumor column.

The trade between the Eagles and Seahawks would be a player-for-player swap, exchanging two somewhat disappointing former second-round picks from the 2017 draft. Yates wrote the following about the trade scenario:

Matt Pryor, who started in place of Brooks because of an injury in last year’s playoffs, is the likely starter, but there is room to add some depth. Pocic has plenty of positional versatility (he has played both guard spots, center and right tackle) and was on track to a promising career as a rookie. Injuries derailed his 2019 season, and he has played in just 30 of 48 career games. But this would be a bet for Philly on the ability to develop him, the chance to pad depth at multiple spots and the reality that finding replacements in mid-June is not easy to accomplish.

It’s an interesting idea and one the Eagles should take a long look at … unless they feel that Jones is part of their long-term plans. The fourth-year man out of Washington has an opportunity to win the starting cornerback job in Philadelphia with a strong camp.

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Jones vs. Pocic, Swap of Former Second-Round Picks

Jones will be competing against Avonte Maddox, Nickell Robey-Coleman and Rasul Douglas for the chance to line up opposite shutdown corner Darius Slay. In fact, some early depth charts already have Jones penciled in at the position. But, multiple hamstring injuries and decreased expectations make him a risky bet to lock it down.

Meanwhile, Pocic is a versatile guard-tackle hybrid who could provide immediate depth and veteran leadership along the Eagles’ offensive line. The 24-year-old has struggled with his own injuries (back) and has missed 18 regular-season games over the past two seasons. When healthy, Pocic has flashed promise at both guard positions and started the final six games of the 2017 season at right guard. He allowed just two sacks that year and earned a spot on the Pro Football Writers Association (PFWA) All-Rookie Team.

Like Jones, the LSU product came out of the draft with considerable hype having been nominated for the coveted Rimington Award, an accolade bestowed on the best center in college football. Pocic didn’t win it but he did earn first-team All-SEC honors in 2016, no small feat in the NCAA’s best power conference. But, he has endured his fair share of struggles in his short time in Seattle, too. Pocic has logged just 1,026 snaps in his first three NFL seasons while posting a dismal 43.3 overall grade in 2019, per Pro Football Focus. And he ranked 78th out of 92 guards during his breakout “All-Rookie” season in 2017.

Then again, Jones hasn’t inspired much confidence in his first three NFL seasons. He’s only played in 22 out of a possible 48 regular-season games since being drafted 43rd overall in 2017. The 24-year-old has started eight contests for the Eagles, mainly at nickel cornerback, but missed the end of the past two seasons due to injury and logged just four total snaps (all on special teams) in last year’s playoff loss to Seattle.

The essence of a direct Jones for Pocic swap would be both teams banking on untapped potential and unrealized expectations. But, it swaps them at immediate positions of need for each Super Bowl contender. Here is what Yates wrote about the deal:

The Seahawks’ secondary isn’t as deep, which brings us back to the allure of Jones, a 2017 second-round pick who played his college ball locally at Washington. Jones has some traits Seattle typically covets. He’s six-feet tall with 31 and one-half inch arms and excellent speed. He has been inconsistent in Philadelphia, but it’s a calculated addition for Seattle in a player who might be able to provide a spark in the secondary.

Interesting. Personally, I think the Eagles let the young guys — Matt Pryor, Sua Opeta, Nate Herbig, Jack Driscoll — battle for the right guard spot instead of making a trade. Don’t count out Jordan Mailata either. The Eagles like to cross-train their players and the former Aussie rugby star could be another option at guard. Let the fun begin.

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