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Goff vs. Wentz: How did we get here?


Sunday's matchup between the Rams and the Eagles is a lot more than just a battle between two of the NFC's hottest teams.

The contest will also bring together two of the league's breakout sophomore quarterbacks — the top two picks of the 2016 NFL Draft, Jared Goff and Carson Wentz.

And while the game is just three days away, it has taken a bit to get to this point. So before these two actually come together on Sunday, let's take a look back to remember just how they got here:

It all started back on April 14, 2016.

While the trade talks can be traced back to the NFL Combine, that's the day where the Rams surprised the NFL by acquiring the No. 1 overall pick from the Titans. The Rams had just moved their football operations to Southern California and were prepared to take a large risk — one that would hopefully deliver a franchise quarterback.

 "Our philosophy has always been to build through the draft," Rams general manager Les Snead said in a

statement at the time. "This trade is a reflection of that goal and [owner Stan] Kroenke's dedication to assembling a winning team on the field."

But the move did not come cheap. In exchange for the No. 1 spot, the Rams gave the Titans a first-round pick (2016), two second-round picks (2016), a third-round pick (2016), a first-round pick (2017), and another third-round pick (2017).

The blockbuster trade did, however, guarantee that the Rams would be able to select either Goff or Wentz — the draft's top prospects — as their new quarterback. 

But just a week later, another trade would shake up the draft order yet again.

On April 21, the Eagles acquired the Browns' No. 2 pick with a blockbuster trade of their own. In exchange for five picks, Philadelphia assured that it would also be able to draft a quarterback — namely, Goff or Wentz.  

"You have to be very comfortable with both of those quarterbacks and believe they have a shot to be great, Pro Bowl-caliber," Eagles executive vice president of football operations, Howie Roseman said, via "It's hard to be great if you don't take risks."

So how did the Rams choose Goff? 

Although L.A. never tipped its hand publicly, it was generally accepted the Rams were leaning towards the Cal product.

Goff threw for 4,719 yards, 43 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions, in his junior season with the Golden Bears — breaking records in his three years as a starter and displaying many of the qualities that NFL teams look for in a franchise quarterback.

An when the Rams did in fact select Goff as the top overall pick, it cleared the way for the Eagles to pick up


"We ID'ed Jared, and once we did we wanted to figure out a way to go get him," Snead said at the time.

"I'm ready to go," Goff said during the press conference following his selection. "I'm ready to make a difference."

Though it took a while, he and Wentz have begun to make a huge difference for their respective programs.

Goff has led the Rams to a 9-3 record and their first winning season since 2003. Wentz has asserted himself as a 2017 MVP candidate, leading his Eagles to one of the NFL's best records this season.

And while there have been eight sets of quarterbacks taken with the first two picks in an NFL Draft — as Goff and Wentz were in 2016 — Sunday will mark only the seventh time in history those two picks have started against each other.

As such, the contest will mark a new chapter in the lives of two quarterbacks who are forever linked by a shared history.

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