Eagles Steal ‘Best Player I’ve Been Around’ From NFC East Rival

Fletcher Cox, Daniel Jones

Getty Philadelphia Eagles All-Pro Fletcher Cox takes down NY Giants QB Daniel Jones in 2020.

The draft-day rumors have been confirmed. Yes, the New York Giants were looking to select DeVonta Smith in the first round — until the Philadelphia Eagles stealthily leap-frogged them for the No. 10 pick.

New details on the worst kept secret in football were provided by Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer in his “Day 2 News and Rumors” column. In it, the plugged-in reporter discusses the Giants’ situation room in Round 1 and what prompted New York to trade down nine spots to No. 20. Better yet, Breer quotes rival NFC executives hyping up Smith and Alabama sources calling him the “best football player I’ve ever been around.” Interesting.

Speaking of the Giants, it doesn’t always work out this way, but Eagles GM Howie Roseman’s read was correct: New York would have taken DeVonta Smith with the 11th pick, I’m told. The truth on Smith is that, really, the weight issue was the only one teams had about the Heisman winner. He was completely clean otherwise.

“We asked all the SEC guys who the best player they played against was over the last couple months,” said one rival NFC exec. “All of them, every one, said DeVonta. And the Bama guys all said, ‘He’s the best football player I’ve ever been around.’

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Smith Threw Shade at Giants, Circa 2017

Here’s a fun nugget for Flashback Friday: Smith once took aim at the Giants on Twitter following a 23-0 shutout loss to the Arizona Cardinals in 2017. It was a tough game for New York who lost tight end Evan Engram in the first half to a rib injury. Eli Manning was atrocious in that one and threw two interceptions for a 29.5 QBR.

It’s unclear exactly what Smith was referencing in his tweet referencing “blame.” However, the old message was gaining traction on Friday and being re-purposed as a way to poke fun at Giants GM Dave Gettleman for whiffing on the Alabama receiver. The Giants drafted former Florida standout Kadarius Toney instead of Smith.

Joe Judge Reacts to Philly ‘Treachery’

The New York newspapers had a field day with the Eagles’ decision to jump over them and nab Smith. They laughingly connected it to the Week 17 game where Philly benched Jalen Hurts to increase their odds of losing to the Washington Football Team (mission accomplished!) and snake a higher draft pick.

Giants head coach Joe Judge addressed the situation on Thursday night by sweeping it under the rug.

“Look, trades happen a lot,” Judge told reporters, via New York Post. “Normally, it doesn’t happen within the division, but my enemy is my friend. They made a move that worked for them and it was a good business move. We’re pleased with the way it turned out. We added a good player and some assets for the future.”

General manager Dave Gettleman agreed, adding that “it’s a business deal” and life goes on.

“One hand washes the other,” Gettleman said. “Obviously, Dallas was happy with their return. So, they made the trade with Philly and we traded down. Not a big deal.”


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