Earlier today, The Miami Dolphins traded running back Jay Ajayi to the Philadelphia Eagles for a fourth round draft pick.
Ajayi gained a career-best 1,272 yards last season, ranking fourth in the NFL. Ajayi gained those 1,272 yards last season on 260 carries (a 4.9 average), scoring eight touchdowns. But he fought to regain that form this season, averaging 1.5 yards lower than last year per carry, and topping 100 yards in only two games. Some of the blame went to an offensive line that couldn’t open holes for Ajayi, a bruising runner and one of the best in the NFL at yards after contact.
On the surface, the trade appears to be a utter win for the Eagles.
According to the graph above from Datascopeanalytics, a fourth round draft pick is approximately 70% likely to be bust in the NFL. On the other hand, Jay Ajayi is a young, promising running back who amassed over 1,200 yards last season while rushing for over 200 yards in three games. In essence, the Eagles traded a likely bust for an elite player- top 10 at his respective position. It is obvious that the Eagles won this trade entirely. There are no statistics that would prove otherwise. The only knock on Ajayi is that he has a history of injured knees and disrupting the chemistry in the locker room. However, the Eagles have many veteran leaders in the locker room, so I do not think that it should be an issue.
Although it is clear that the Eagles won the trade, it does not necessarily make them a better football team at the moment. Since the Eagles have a 7-1 start to the season, they do not need a player that will help them in the coming years. This is because Legarrette Blount has done a fine job as the leading running back. The differing production production between Blount and Ajayi is minimal. Thus, the Eagles, instead, needed a player that could fill the void of Jason Peters or Jordan Hicks. I would have liked to see the Eagles trade for a premier left tackle, replacing Jason Peters. Since Peters is 35 years of age, a young left tackle would not only serve the Eagles in their current situation but also for years to come. In short, the Eagles made a great trade that will help them in the future, but it did not address the holes of their current team.