03.31.19

NFL Mock Draft #9: Four 1st Round Trades

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:26 pm by Administrator

we are less than a month away from the NFL draft, and this is a good time to take a step back and just remember a key lesson from the years gone by. warts and all, when push comes to shove, the quarterbacks go early. all this talk about daniel jones or even drew lock falling to the second round is totally bogus. NFL GM’s simply don’t have the patience to tank and wait on a better QB draft class. if they’re not developing a QB, then they don’t have a plan.

murray, haskins, lock, and jones will all go on day one this year, meaning that the first round is going to sweeten for the Eagles and for all the teams in the latter half of round one that aren’t hunting for a signal caller. I think grier could go as well, and I’m mocking him to the giants in this version.

the more i think about it, the more convinced i am that the Eagles will not be able to trade back for the price they’re looking for. there are too many teams looking to trade back for extra mid-round picks—the Seahawks, Texans, and Rams among others. the Eagles traded down 17 picks last year for draft capital, but they’re in a much different position this year and won’t be tempted to do the same thing. the fact is that the Eagles need impact talent right now, and with all the comp picks they’re likely to accrue in 2020, roseman’s mindset will be aggressive. he needs to find us a year one rotator at defensive tackle and an interior offensive lineman who can compete right away for the RG position (while brooks is out) and also be our long-term starter at either LG or C (depending on seumalo’s development). my guess is that roseman will give up a 2nd round pick to secure that pivotal 3rd defensive lineman in the mid-1st. undoubtedly he will also find a way to get us into the 3rd round, most likely by packaging both of our current 4th rounders for New England’s late 3rd. that 3rd rounder will most likely be used to get us either a safety or a running back; my preference (as reflected in this mock) is for the former, given that i don’t believe either avonte maddox or rasul douglas should realistically be considered our free safety of the future.

what may not seem obvious from my relentless insistence on an interior d-lineman in the 1st round is my belief that the single most important key to Philadelphia’s success in 2019 is our effectiveness in running the ball. if i were drafting solely for immediate needs, i would recommend sitting tight with 25, 53, and 57 and taking o-line guys with two of our first three picks. but the value simply isn’t there, and for the Eagles the opportunity cost presented by taking an interior o-lineman in the late 1st is considerable. in this mock, we’re going to go d-line in the 1st, best o-lineman available in the 2nd, and safety in the 3rd. i expect that we’ll hunt for o-line depth and a wide receiver on day 3.

Mock Draft #9: 3 Rounds

Round One

1. Cardinals: QB Kyler Murray (Rosen to the Patriots for pick 56)
2. 49ers: DE Nick Bosa
3. Jets: OLB Josh Allen
4. Raiders: QB Drew Lock
5. Broncos: QB Dwayne Haskins (picks 10 and 41 to the Bucs)
6. Giants: DE Quinnen Williams
7. Redskins: QB Daniel Jones (picks 15 and 46 to the Jags)
8. Lions: DE Montez Sweat
9. Bills: OT Jawaan Taylor
10. Buccaneers: OT Jonah Williams (from denver)
11. Bengals: DT Ed Oliver
12. Packers: TJ Hockenson
13. Dolphins: DE Rashan Gary (Miami commits to the tank)
14. Falcons: DT Clellin Ferrell
15. Jaguars: WR DK Metcalf (they trade down and still get their guy)
16. Panthers: OG Cody Ford
17. Eagles: DT Christian Wilkins (Giants get 25/57 for 17/108)
18. Vikings: OG Garrett Bradbury
19. Titans: DE Brian Burns
20. Steelers: LB Devin White (the ideal scenario here for Pittsburgh)
21. Pats: TE Noah Fant (Seattle gets 32/73 for the trade-down)
22. Ravens: WR N’Keal Harry
23. Texans: OT Andre Dillard
24. Raiders: CB Greedy Williams
25. Giants: QB Will Grier (from Eagles)
26. Colts: DT Dexter Lawrence
27. Raiders: LB Devin Bush
28. Chargers: DT Jerry Tillery
29. Chiefs: CB DeAndre Baker
30. Packers: WR Hakeem Butler
31. Rams: DT Dre’Mont Jones
32. Seahawks: WR AJ Brown (from Pats)

Round Two

33. Cardinals: WR Marquise Brown
34. Colts: S Deionte Thompson
35. Raiders: DE Zach Allen
36. 49ers: WR Kelvin Harmon
37. Giants: OT Dalton Risner
38. Jaguars: OT Greg Little
39. Buccaneers: RB Joshua Jacobs
40. Bills: OG Chris Lindstrom
41. Buccaneers: WR Parris Campbell (from Denver)
42. Bengals: LB Mack Wilson
43. Lions: CB Byron Murphy
44. Packers: OT Kaleb McGary
45. Falcons: DT Jeffery Simmons
46. Jaguars: TE Irv Smith, Jr. (from Washington)
47. Panthers: DE Jachai Polite
48. Dolphins: RB Miles Sanders
49. Browns: DE Jaylon Ferguson
50. Vikings: CB Rock Ya-Sin
51. Titans: WR JJ Arcega-Whiteside
52. Steelers: CB Amani Oruwariye
53. Eagles: G Erik McCoy
54. Texans: DE Charles Omenihu
55. Texans: OT Yodny Cajuste
56. Cardinals: TE Josh Oliver (from Pats)
57. Giants: S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson (from Philadelphia)
58. Cowboys: DE Oshane Ximines
59. Colts: DT Khalen Saunders
60. Chargers: LB Germaine Pratt
61. Chiefs: DE Joe Jackson
62. Saints: TE Jace Sternberger
63. Chiefs: LB Terrill Hanks
64. Patriots: WR Riley Ridley

Round Three

65. Cardinals: CB Trayvon Mullen
66. Steelers: WR Deebo Samuel
67. 49ers: S Nasir Adderley
68. Jets: S Johnathan Abram
69. Jaguars: DE Christian Miller
70. Buccaneers: C Elgton Jenkins
71. Giants: Forfeited
72. Broncos: LB D’Andre Walker
73. Bengals: OT David Edwards
74. Seahawks: S Taylor Rapp (from Pats)
75. Bills: CB Jamel Dean
76. Packers: RB David Montgomery
77. Redskins: OT Tytus Howard
78. Panthers: WR Terry McLaurin
79. Dolphins: OT Trey Pipkins
80. Falcons: RB Damien Harris
81. Browns: DE Chase Winovich
82. Vikings: LB Vosean Joseph
83. Titans: WR Emanuel Hall
84. Steelers: WR Miles Boykin
85. Seahawks: OG Michael Jordan
86. Ravens: RB Justice Hill
87. Texans: DT Renell Wren
88. Bears: RB Trayveon Williams
89. Lions: RB Mike Weber
90. Colts: DE Justin Hollins
91. Cowboys: CB Justin Layne
92. Chargers: DE Austin Bryant
93. Chiefs: OL Michael Deiter
94. Jets: S Darnell Savage
95. Rams: CB Julian Love
96. Giants: DE LJ Collier
97. Redskins: CB Lonnie Johnson
98. Eagles: S Juan Thornhill (two 4th rounders to the Pats)
99. Jaguars: CB Joejuan Williams
100. Rams: RB Devin Singletary
101. Panthers: WR Andy Isabella
102: Patriots: LB Tre Lamar
103: Ravens: DT Daylon Mack

03.29.19

Grading the Eagles’ Off-Season

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:07 pm by Administrator

i used to blog a lot about my feelings and preoccupations, but mindfulness has genuinely transformed me to the point that i no longer have intense feelings to explore. the Eagles are just about the only thing i enjoy blogging about nowadays, mostly because their recent transformation since the super bowl season is so fascinating to me, and also because i have no one to talk about that with.

Howie roseman has been highly active this off-season and has added some intriguing players to the roster. overall, Philadelphia fans have to be very pleased with the team, the way they finished the season, and the way our ownership and front office remain focused on improving and winning. and they are very pleased, based on what i’m seeing from them on social and news media. perhaps overly pleased?

i’m going to summarize what I’ve liked and not liked about this off-season, as well as what i’m hoping the team will accomplish over the next month up to and including the draft.

The good:

1. Ambition: all the front office’s hard work in renegotiating veteran contracts, collecting compensatory picks, and opening up cap space has been very impressive. it’s a well-managed team.
2. Value: for the most part, good players were retained or newly signed for excellent value. in particular, i like Brandon graham, Ronald darby, and Jordan howard for the price tags we paid, and there’s little risk for lots of potential reward in all three cases.
3. Culture: there’s a lot that’s been written about Roseman’s heavy bias toward aging former Eagles, but i do like rooting for a team that’s loyal to its guys. i also like stocking the depth chart with productive veterans like Andrew Sendejo.

The “not necessarily good”:

1. Questionable cuts: i personally didn’t feel we needed to play hardball with Michael Bennett, and i’m very disappointed that we moved on from Wisniewski on the o-line. for a win-now team, these were questionable moves, and they did not appear to be inevitable moves based on player preferences. i think Bennett was mismanaged, and i think Wisniewski was undervalued.
2. The conversation about Wentz: since our season ended, there have been questions raised about Carson Wentz’s personality, his ability to stay healthy, and his willingness to lead “the whole team”. in my opinion, this has all been too much drama surrounding a young and talented star who is without a doubt the franchise QB of the Eagles. healing from a vertebral fracture and a wounded ego, Wentz is a stand-up guy who needs to sense the full commitment of his team, not leadership pointers issued through press conferences by his head coach. if the Eagles have the cap space now, they do need to make an effort to extend Wentz as soon as possible—for the benefit of the quarterback, the locker room, and the financial future of the organization.

What do we need to get done now?

1. A Wentz extension: like i wrote above, we need to quash the drama, put Wentz in a position to succeed, and silence the questions around his future with the organization. trying to win now without committing to Wentz is being short-sighted and perhaps even mercenary. sure, the NFL is a business—until a franchise star actually decides that it’s personal.
2. Don’t draft a running back early: perhaps there will still be a lot of people campaigning for josh Jacobs at pick 25, but i’ve been consistently opposed to that approach. i’m leaning toward selecting a RB in the 4th round at this point, where i expect that there will be excellent talent and little opportunity cost for the organization.
3. Trade down from pick 25: my last several mocks have us trading down from 25, and in most scenarios it strikes me as an unequivocally correct move for the Eagles this year. if Wilkins or Ferrell are there at pick 25, we should take one or the other; but outside of those possibilities, trading down 7-15 picks makes a lot of sense in order to pick up a 3rd rounder. we have four distinct needs to address early in this draft—defensive end, defensive tackle, safety, and linebacker—and ideally we can hit all four key positions within the top 100 selections of an excellent defensive draft class. i don’t feel strongly enough about the safety or d-line prospects in the late 1st round to stay at 25; and in my ideal scenario (as per my last mock a week ago), we’d trade down for a 3rd and nab jeffery simmons with our top pick.

03.18.19

Mock NFL Draft #8

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:02 am by Administrator

after this mock, i’m taking a break til April!

over the past few days, the hype on the 2019 quarterbacks class has cooled so much that one has to consider the possibility that a GM conspiracy is behind it. there’s a distinct scenario emerging in which only two quarterbacks get drafted in the 1st round. a month ago, this would’ve been unheard of. i’m buying it though. the 2020 draft class is that good, and there are a few tanking teams that just have no good reason to waste a high 1st round pick on a quarterback that won’t be their long-term solution. i’m putting the Giants and Dolphins squarely in that camp. cincy and new england might be in the hunt, but i see them waiting on a qb til the middle rounds, if they choose to pull the trigger at all.

mock #8 gets an adjustment, as i just don’t think we’d trade down 21 spots with the Skins under virtually any condition except for a future 1st round pick. i do think that there’s a trade-down scenario with New England, for pick 74 in the 3rd round. ordinarily belichick is a trade-down kind of guy, but the pats have a dozen picks in this year’s draft, including 5 in the first 3 rounds (truly an embarrassment of riches for a super bowl winner with few glaring needs). a trade-up in the 1st at the price of one of their three 3rd rounders may very well be worth it, when quality over quantity is what the Pats need from this draft.

the Eagles come away with Jeffery Simmons, Oshane Ximines, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, and David Montgomery over the first 3 rounds.

Mock Draft #8: 3 Rounds

Round One

1. Cardinals: QB Kyler Murray (Rosen to the Patriots for pick 56)
2. 49ers: DE Nick Bosa
3. Jets: OLB Josh Allen
4. Raiders: DE Quinnen Williams
5. Buccaneers: OT Jawaan Taylor
6. Giants: DE Montez Sweat
7. Jaguars: WR DK Metcalf
8. Lions: DE Rashan Gary
9. Bills: OT Jonah Williams
10. Broncos: QB Dwayne Haskins
11. Bengals: LB Devin White
12. Packers: DE Clellin Ferrell
13. Dolphins: DT Ed Oliver
14. Falcons: DT Christian Wilkins
15. Redskins: DE Brian Burns
16. Panthers: CB Deandre Baker
17. Giants: WR Hakeem Butler (from Cleveland)
18. Vikings: OT Andre Dillard
19. Titans: DT Dre’Mont Jones
20. Steelers: CB Greedy Williams
21. Seahawks: OG Garrett Bradbury
22. Ravens: RB Josh Jacobs
23. Texans: OT Greg Little
24. Raiders: LB Devin Bush
25. Pats: TE TJ Hockenson (Eagles get 32 and 74)
26. Colts: WR Kelvin Harmon
27. Raiders: CB Rock Ya-Sin
28. Chargers: DT Dexter Lawrence
29. Chiefs: CB Byron Murphy
30. Packers: TE Noah Fant
31. Rams: DT Jerry Tillery
32. Eagles: DT Jeffery Simmons (from Pats)

Round Two

33. Cardinals: OG Chris Lindstrom
34. Colts: S Deionte Thompson
35. Raiders: WR Marquise Brown
36. 49ers: S Johnathan Abram
37. Giants: OT Dalton Risner
38. Jaguars: OT Yodny Cajuste
39. Buccaneers: LB Mack Wilson
40. Bills: DE Zach Allen
41. Broncos: WR Parris Campbell
42. Bengals: QB Drew Lock
43. Lions: WR AJ Brown
44. Packers: OT Kaleb McGary
45. Falcons: G/T Cody Ford
46. Redskins: QB Daniel Jones
47. Panthers: DE Jachai Polite
48. Dolphins: RB Miles Sanders
49. Browns: DE Jaylon Ferguson
50. Vikings: WR N’Keal Harry
51. Titans: S Nasir Adderley
52. Steelers: ILB Tre Lamar
53. Eagles: DE Oshane Ximines
54. Texans: DE Charles Omenihu
55. Texans: G/C Erik McCoy
56. Cardinals: WR Riley Ridley (from Pats)
57. Eagles: S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson
58. Cowboys: DE Christian Miller
59. Colts: DT Khalen Saunders
60. Chargers: LB Germaine Pratt
61. Chiefs: DE Joe Jackson
62. Saints: RB Damien Harris
63. Chiefs: LB Vosean Joseph
64. Patriots: WR JJ Arcega-Whiteside

Round Three

65. Cardinals: CB Trayvon Mullen
66. Steelers: WR Deebo Samuel
67. 49ers: WR Emanuel Hall
68. Jets: CB Amani Oruwariye
69. Jaguars: TE Irv Smith, Jr.
70. Buccaneers: WR Miles Boykin
71. Giants: Forfeited
72. Broncos: LB D’Andre Walker
73. Bengals: OT David Edwards
74. Eagles: RB David Montgomery (from Pats)
75. Bills: CB Jamel Dean
76. Packers: S Taylor Rapp
77. Redskins: OT Tytus Howard
78. Panthers: DE Justin Hollins
79. Dolphins: OT Trey Pipkins
80. Falcons: RB Justice Hill
81. Browns: C Elgton Jenkins
82. Vikings: DE Chase Winovich
83. Titans: OG Michael Jordan
84. Steelers: DE LJ Collier
85. Seahawks: S Amani Hooker
86. Ravens: WR Mecole Hardman
87. Texans: TE Jace Sternberger
88. Bears: RB Trayveon Williams
89. Lions: RB Mike Weber
90. Colts: DT Renell Wren
91. Cowboys: CB Justin Layne
92. Chargers: DE Austin Bryant
93. Chiefs: OL Michael Deiter
94. Jets: S Darnell Savage
95. Rams: CB Julian Love
96. Giants: S Juan Thornhill
97. Redskins: CB Lonnie Johnson
98. Pats: CB Joejuan Williams
99. Jaguars: RB Bennie Snell
100. Rams: RB Devin Singletary
101. Panthers: WR Andy Isabella
102: Patriots: RB Bryce Love
103: Ravens: LB Ben Burr-Kiven

03.16.19

Three Round Mock NFL Draft No. 7

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:08 pm by Administrator

after Ronald Darby re-signed yesterday for 1 year on $8.5 million, things are looking up for the Eagles! getting Desir or Darby was at the top of my wish list after Brandon Graham re-signed, and the 1 year deal is perfect for both Darby and the organization. one year of health and at least decent production will allow RD to hit free agency yesterday with a legitimate chance of a long-term deal at $12 mil per season. the one year stint gives the Eagles a significantly better shot at a playoff run and also gives them time to figure out their cornerback rotation behind Darby, which is far from obvious given their youth, middling talent, and inconsistent (though occasionally promising) play up to this point.

we’ll have about $40 million in salary coming off the books next year in 2020 when Peters, Agholor, Long, Darby, and McLeod move on, and that should be enough to cover much of the dead money and deferred salary on our recent extensions and new signings while also extending Carson Wentz. it means though that we really can’t afford to dole out any more long-term deals this off-season, even if we have enough cap room for a couple more short-term signings. this means that it’s very unlikely that we’ll find our long-term solution at running back through free agency. it’s looking more and more like we’ll be looking for a franchise RB in this draft.

that absolutely does not change my opinion that we should skip out on RB in the first 2 rounds; but it does make me feel more strongly that the Eagles would benefit from trading out of the 1st round in order to pick up a 3rd round pick. the mid-3rd round is shaping up to be an ideal spot to scoop up a premiere running back without sacrificing value, and there will certainly be takers given the premiere talent at WR and CB (two positions the Eagles will not prioritize) that should be there at pick 25. i’m starting to settle into the conviction now that the Eagles will take a safety (to succeed McLeod next year), defensive tackle (to rotate with Jackson and Cox), and defensive end (to replace the loss of Bennett and possibly Long) with their first 3 picks, while taking a RB in the 3rd or 4th round.

my 7th mock draft is revised based on my reconsideration of a trade-down with the Rams. i think the Rams will be more likely to trade down than trade up in the 1st, given their relatively well-rounded roster. the Redskins, by contrast, have a desperate need for immediate impact talent on both sides of the ball, and i can’t see them passing on an opportunity to take pick 25 at the price of picks 46 and 77. they need an edge rusher and a premiere offensive guard that badly.

Mock Draft #7: 3 Rounds

Round One

1. Cardinals: QB Kyler Murray (Rosen to the Giants for 3rd round pick)
2. 49ers: DE Nick Bosa
3. Jets: OLB Josh Allen
4. Raiders: DE Quinnen Williams
5. Dolphins: QB Dwayne Haskins (from Tampa)
6. Giants: DE Montez Sweat
7. Jaguars: WR DK Metcalf
8. Lions: DE Rashan Gary
9. Bills: OT Jonah Williams
10. Broncos: QB Drew Lock
11. Bengals: LB Devin White
12. Packers: TE TJ Hockenson
13. Buccaneers: OT Jawaan Taylor (Tampa gets Miami 2020 1st rounder)
14. Falcons: DT Ed Oliver
15. Redskins: DE Brian Burns
16. Panthers: CB Deandre Baker
17. Giants: WR Hakeem Butler (from Cleveland)
18. Vikings: OT Andre Dillard
19. Titans: DE Clellin Ferrell
20. Steelers: CB Greedy Williams
21. Seahawks: OG Garrett Bradbury
22. Ravens: RB Josh Jacobs
23. Texans: OT Greg Little
24. Raiders: DT Christian Wilkins
25. Redskins: OG Cody Ford (Eagles get 46 and 77)
26. Colts: WR Kelvin Harmon
27. Raiders: LB Devin Bush
28. Chargers: DT Dre’Mont Jones
29. Chiefs: CB Byron Murphy
30. Packers: WR AJ Brown
31. Rams: DT Dexter Lawrence
32. Pats: QB Daniel Jones

Round Two

33. Cardinals: OG Chris Lindstrom
34. Colts: DT Jeffery Simmons
35. Raiders: CB Rock Ya-Sin
36. 49ers: S Deionte Thompson
37. Giants: OT Dalton Risner
38. Jaguars: OT Yodny Cajuste
39. Buccaneers: LB Mack Wilson
40. Bills: DE Zach Allen
41. Broncos: WR Parris Campbell
42. Bengals: TE Noah Fant
43. Lions: S Johnathan Abram
44. Packers: DT Jerry Tillery
45. Falcons: DE Jaylon Ferguson
46. Eagles: S Nasir Adderley (from Skins; Gardner-Johnson if Nasir’s gone)
47. Panthers: OT Tytus Howard
48. Dolphins: DE Jachai Polite
49. Browns: OT Kaleb McGary
50. Vikings: WR Marquise Brown
51. Titans: WR N’Keal Harry
52. Steelers: ILB Tre Lamar
53. Eagles: DE Oshane Ximines
54. Texans: DE Charles Omenihu
55. Texans: G/C Erik McCoy
56. Pats: TE Irv Smith, Jr.
57. Eagles: DT Khalen Saunders
58. Cowboys: DE Christian Miller
59. Colts: CB/S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson
60. Chargers: LB Germaine Pratt
61. Chiefs: DT Gerald Willis
62. Saints: RB Damien Harris
63. Chiefs: LB Vosean Joseph
64. Patriots: DE Joe Jackson

Round Three

65. Cardinals: CB Trayvon Mullen
66. Steelers: WR Riley Ridley
67. 49ers: WR Deebo Samuel
68. Jets: CB Amani Oruwariye
69. Jaguars: OT Trey Pipkins
70. Buccaneers: WR JJ Arcega-Whiteside
71. Giants: Forfeited
72. Broncos: LB D’Andre Walker
73. Bengals: QB Will Grier
74. Patriots: OT David Edwards
75. Bills: CB Jamel Dean
76. Packers: DE Justin Hollins
77. Eagles: RB Justice Hill (from Redskins)
78. Panthers: S Taylor Rapp
79. Dolphins: S Juan Thornhill
80. Falcons: RB Bennie Snell
81. Browns: C Elgton Jenkins
82. Vikings: DE Chase Winovich
83. Titans: OG Michael Jordan
84. Steelers: WR Mecole Hardman
85. Seahawks: S Amani Hooker
86. Ravens: WR Emanuel Hall
87. Texans: TE Jace Sternberger
88. Bears: RB Miles Sanders
89. Lions: RB Mike Weber
90. Colts: DT Renell Wren
91. Cowboys: CB Justin Layne
92. Chargers: CB Julian Love
93. Chiefs: OL Michael Deiter
94. Jets: DE Austin Bryant
95. Rams: S Darnell Savage
96. Cardinals: DE LJ Collier (from the Giants for Rosen)
97. Redskins: CB Lonnie Johnson
98. Pats: LB Ben Burr-Kiven
99. Jaguars: TE Dax Raymond
100. Rams: RB Devin Singletary
101. Panthers: WR Andy Isabella
102: Patriots: CB Isaiah Johnson
103: Ravens: OT Isaiah Prince

03.15.19

Rumors about Darby, Wish List, and Mock Draft #6

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:10 pm by Administrator

a small bit of possibly misleading twitter news got gowton’s attention this morning: Darby re-signing with the Eagles for 1 year and $8.75 million. as I wrote a few days ago, a Darby re-signing would be a huge move for the franchise, and it basically tops my free agency wish list for the Eagles now that Graham is re-signed. getting D-Jax back and filling a hole on the d-line with Malik are two moves getting media attention (and enthusiasm), but bringing Darby back would be more impactful for the team than either of those moves. i know that there are few who would agree with me, given the prevailing perception that our cornerbacks are a young, strong group with potential. i remain skeptical that our defensive backs are capable of being a consistently above-average group.

I’m still not happy that we lost Wisniewski and Michael Bennett, both of whom had reasonable contracts and critical roles for this squad. as a result of those roster decisions, i think that the eagles have more needs to address in this year’s draft than we did previously. the loss of Bennett coupled with chris long’s internal debate about his career future mean that we have no choice but to devote one of our first picks to a defensive end. the loss of Wisniewski, the ongoing decline in Peters’ play, and Brandon Brooks’ injury mean that we are at risk of fielding our worst offensive line group in years. it may not be advisable for us to spend a pick in the top 2 rounds on the interior of our o-line, but there is vulnerability here.

our aging and relatively shallow o-line is even more of a concern when one considers how badly our offense functioned for much of the 2018 season. the stats and the game tape both make it pretty clear that our offense in 2018 was pass-heavy because we fell behind early in lots of games, were virtually ineffective on the ground when we did try to run, and were rarely in a position to run out the clock. our o-line was unexpectedly sloppy in run-blocking and even in pass pro, though we more or less maintained pocket pressure at the 2017 rate. carson was a more tentative version of himself in 2018 and didn’t handle pressure nearly as well, resulting in stable pass efficiency but significantly lower yards per completion and number of scoring drives executed.

I’ve been critical of our cornerbacks and our pass coverage scheme in general, but while our defensive deficiencies did cost us several games, our offensive ineptitude was certainly the bigger factor in our 2018 drop-off. infusing young, high-quality talent on the o-line and bringing on a dynamic running back are the two most critical things we could do to transform this team and prepare it for success in 2019. but i just don’t know if we can accomplish that through this year’s draft, and for that reason i haven’t projected a running back or an interior lineman to us in the majority of my 2-round mocks. the o-line class as a whole is very uninspiring, and there are only perhaps two prospects that look capable of an immediate impact (jonah williams and cody ford), both of whom will be long gone by pick 25. josh jacobs, for all the buzz, does not separate himself enough from the rest of this plus/minus crop of running backs to warrant a 1st round pick. I’m not happy to consign the eagles to drafting two d-linemen and a safety with their top 3 picks when our most pressing needs are elsewhere, but value and need simply don’t align nicely for the Eagles as they approach this 2019 draft class.

given this predicament, I’m going to recommend that we trade down from pick 25 to get a 3rd rounder. the opportunity cost of trading down in the 1st may be the difference between josh jacobs and justice hill, or between nasir adderley and chauncey gardner-johnson, or between jachai polite and a guy like austin bryant. it’s costly—but perhaps not so costly.

Mock Draft #6: 3 Rounds

Round One

1. Cardinals: QB Kyler Murray (Rosen to the Giants for 3rd round pick)
2. 49ers: DE Nick Bosa
3. Jets: OLB Josh Allen
4. Raiders: DE Quinnen Williams
5. Dolphins: QB Dwayne Haskins (from Tampa)
6. Giants: DE Montez Sweat
7. Jaguars: WR DK Metcalf
8. Lions: DE Rashan Gary
9. Bills: OT Jonah Williams
10. Broncos: QB Drew Lock
11. Bengals: LB Devin White
12. Packers: TE Noah Fant
13. Buccaneers: OT Jawaan Taylor (Tampa gets Miami 2020 1st rounder)
14. Falcons: DT Ed Oliver
15. Redskins: DE Brian Burns
16. Panthers: CB Deandre Baker
17. Giants: WR Hakeem Butler (from Cleveland)
18. Vikings: OT Andre Dillard
19. Titans: DE Clellin Ferrell
20. Steelers: CB Greedy Williams
21. Seahawks: OG Garrett Bradbury
22. Ravens: RB Josh Jacobs
23. Texans: OT Greg Little
24. Raiders: DT Christian Wilkins
25. Rams: DT Dexter Lawrence (Eagles get 31/100 for 25/139)
26. Colts: WR Kelvin Harmon
27. Raiders: LB Devin Bush
28. Chargers: DT Dre’Mont Jones
29. Chiefs: CB Byron Murphy
30. Packers: WR AJ Brown
31. Eagles: S Nasir Adderley (from Rams)
32. Pats: QB Daniel Jones

Round Two

33. Cardinals: OG Cody Ford
34. Colts: DE Jeffery Simmons
35. Raiders: CB Amani Oruwariye
36. 49ers: S Deionte Thompson
37. Giants: OT Dalton Risner
38. Jaguars: OG Chris Lindstrom
39. Buccaneers: LB Mack Wilson
40. Bills: DE Zach Allen
41. Broncos: WR Parris Campbell
42. Bengals: TE TJ Hockenson
43. Lions: S Johnathan Abram
44. Packers: DT Jerry Tillery
45. Falcons: DE Jaylon Ferguson
46. Redskins: CB Justin Layne
47. Panthers: OT Tytus Howard
48. Dolphins: DE Jachai Polite
49. Browns: OT Kaleb McGary
50. Vikings: WR Marquise Brown
51. Titans: WR N’Keal Harry
52. Steelers: ILB Tre Lamar
53. Eagles: DE Oshane Ximines
54. Texans: CB Rock Ya-Sin
55. Texans: G/C Erik McCoy
56. Patriots: TE Irv Smith, Jr.
57. Eagles: DT Khalen Saunders
58. Cowboys: DT Gerald Willis
59. Colts: CB/S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson
60. Chargers: LB Germaine Pratt
61. Chiefs: DE Joe Jackson
62. Saints: RB Damien Harris
63. Chiefs: LB Vosean Joseph
64. Patriots: OG Beau Benzschawel

Round Three

65. Cardinals: CB Trayvon Mullen
66. Steelers: WR Riley Ridley
67. 49ers: WR Deebo Samuel
68. Jets: OT Yodny Cajuste
69. Jaguars: OT Trey Pipkins
70. Buccaneers: WR JJ Arcega-Whiteside
71. Giants: Forfeited
72. Broncos: OT Isaiah Prince
73. Bengals: QB Will Grier
74. Patriots: DE Carl Granderson
75. Bills: CB Jamel Dean
76. Packers: DE Austin Bryant
77. Redskins: WR Mecole Hardman
78. Panthers: S Taylor Rapp
79. Dolphins: S Juan Thornhill
80. Falcons: RB Justice Hill
81. Browns: C Elgton Jenkins
82. Vikings: DE Chase Winovich
83. Titans: OT David Edwards
84. Steelers: WR David Sills
85. Seahawks: S Amani Hooker
86. Ravens: WR Emanuel Hall
87. Texans: TE Jace Sternberger
88. Bears: RB Miles Sanders
89. Lions: RB Mike Weber
90. Colts: DT Charles Omenihu
91. Cowboys: CB Julian Love
92. Chargers: OG Daryl Williams
93. Chiefs: OL Michael Deiter
94. Jets: RB David Montgomery
95. Rams: S Darnell Savage
96. Cardinals: DE Anthony Nelson (from the Giants for Rosen)
97. Redskins: CB Lonnie Johnson
98. Patriots: LB Khalil Hodge
99. Jaguars: TE Kaden Smith
100. Eagles: RB Devin Singletary (from Rams)
101. Panthers: WR Gary Jennings
102: Patriots: CB Isaiah Johnson
103: Ravens: DT Lorenzo Neal

03.13.19

NFL free agency is nuts!

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:52 pm by Administrator

this has been a dramatic legal tampering window in the NFL, and now that free agency is fully underway, i think i can say that this is the wildest off-season i’ve witnessed in recent history. antonio brown commanding his way to a trade and a huge new contract? le’veon bell finally cashing in after holding out for more than a year? the giants trading away odell beckham, a top-tier superstar in his prime, at the precipice of a franchise rebuild? the cleveland browns transforming their franchise in the space of a week and threatening to become the very best team in the league??? wild! and unprecedented.

the eagles have made their fair share of major moves as well. overall, i’m excited about our prospects and glad that we’re being aggressive; and i like bringing d-jax back both for his impact on the offense and for the personal side of things. that being said, i haven’t agreed with all of our moves. why take on a declining malik jackson for a hefty $10 mil a year when we’re well-positioned to draft a starting defensive tackle in a month? why release stefen wisniewski and his bargain $3 million contract when brandon brooks is rehabbing and we have an untested potential replacement at RG? why approach michael bennett for a discount when $7 million without future strings attached is an ideal contract for one of the best inside/outside pass rushers in the game? i wouldn’t say that we blew it on these three guys, but i don’t agree that these were the right moves for a team that’s trying to field the best possible lineup in 2019.

with the money that we’re about to commit to d-jax and malik jackson, i’m estimating we have $15 million for our draft and other signings, which means that we can bring on at most one more major contract. i imagine that roseman wants to put $5-6 million into a running back like tevin coleman or mark ingram before shifting his attention to stop-gap players—a veteran linebacker and a backup offensive lineman, for example. like i wrote previously, i would’ve wanted to swing the malik jackson money toward a veteran corner like desir or darby. we’re just going to have to hope that the cornerback crew we bring back looks like the occasional flashes of excellence we saw over the last 2-3 games of the season and not the ragtag, inexperienced, and frankly overmatched replacements that struggled for most of the year. most everyone in philadelphia believes that maddox, leblanc, douglas, mills, and jones are superstars in the making or at least bigger than the sum of their parts; i don’t buy it. that doesn’t mean that i want us to draft a corner in rounds 1 or 2; what good would yet another promising but unproven rookie defensive back do for us? but i do think we’ve consigned ourselves to another season of inconsistent and occasionally deflating results against the pass.

here’s my next top-57 mock. given the coaching staff’s obvious faith in matt pryor, i’m going to project that we wait on an o-lineman til round 4 and prioritize safety, defensive tackle, and defensive end with our 1st three picks.

Round One

1. Cardinals: QB Kyler Murray (Rosen to the Giants for a 3rd rd pick)
2. 49ers: DE Nick Bosa
3. Jets: OLB Josh Allen
4. Raiders: DE Quinnen Williams
5. Dolphins: QB Dwayne Haskins (trade with Bucs for 2019 3rd/2020 1st)
6. Giants: DE Montez Sweat (NYG needs to replace Vernon)
7. Jaguars: WR DK Metcalf (Foles needs weapons; bigger need than o-line)
8. Lions: DE Clellin Ferrell
9. Bills: OT Jonah Williams (Bills are set at WR now)
10. Broncos: QB Drew Lock
11. Bengals: LB Devin White
12. Packers: DE Rashan Gary (even with Za’Darius in the fold)
13. Bucs: OT Jawaan Taylor (from Miami)
14. Falcons: DT Ed Oliver
15. Redskins: DE Brian Burns
16. Panthers: CB Deandre Baker
17. Giants: WR Hakeem Butler (from Cleveland)
18. Vikings: OT Andre Dillard
19. Titans: CB Byron Murphy
20. Steelers: CB Greedy Williams
21. Seahawks: OG Garrett Bradbury
22. Ravens: WR N’Keal Harry (this is the earliest Jacobs could go)
23. Texans: OT Greg Little
24. Raiders: DT Christian Wilkins (scary defensive front)
25. Eagles: S Nasir Adderley (Eagles’ best choice here)
26. Colts: WR Kelvin Harmon (only one year committed to Funchess)
27. Raiders: LB Mack Wilson
28. Chargers: DT Dexter Lawrence
29. Chiefs: CB Amani Oruwariye
30. Packers: WR AJ Brown (post-Amos, safety not a priority now)
31. Rams: DT Dre’Mont Jones
32. Pats: QB Daniel Jones (Pats take him or someone trades up for him)

Round Two

33. Cardinals: OG Cody Ford
34. Colts: DE Jachai Polite
35. Raiders: CB Justin Layne
36. 49ers: S Deionte Thompson (a need even if they get earl thomas)
37. Giants: OT Dalton Risner (post-Zeitler, RT is the last weak link)
38. Jaguars: OG Chris Lindstrom
39. Buccaneers: RB Joshua Jacobs
40. Bills: DE Zach Allen
41. Broncos: WR Parris Campbell
42. Bengals: TE Noah Fant
43. Lions: S Johnathan Abram
44. Packers: TE TJ Hockenson (could take him in the 1st)
45. Falcons: DE Jaylon Ferguson
46. Redskins: LB Devin Bush
47. Panthers: OT Tytus Howard
48. Dolphins: DT Jerry Tillery
49. Browns: OT Kaleb McGary (scary team; they need G-Rob insurance)
50. Vikings: DT Jeffery Simmons (slips too far perhaps)
51. Titans: WR Marquise Brown
52. Steelers: ILB Tre Lamar
53. Eagles: DE Oshane Ximines (he’ll have time to develop w the Eagles)
54. Texans: CB Julian Love (post-Gipson signing)
55. Texans: G/C Erik McCoy
56. Patriots: TE Irv Smith, Jr.
57. Eagles: DT Khalen Saunders (DT still a priority post-malik jackson)

03.10.19

57-pick Mock Draft post-AB Trade

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:15 pm by Administrator

if it weren’t for all of antonio brown’s dead money on pittsburgh’s payroll, i’d say that the steelers made out OK in this deal. getting two mid-round draft picks and unloading a locker room problem aren’t bad compensation for a guy who would’ve cost you an arm and a leg plus your dignity as an organization. the one thing i’m glad about today is that it wasn’t the eagles that committed $18+ million per year to a soon-to-be 31 year-old wide receiver with a lot of mileage on a small frame.

i like antonio brown’s game, but much of his stellar production can be attributed to a top-notch offensive scheme and a top-5 quarterback who routinely found his man downfield even when (and particularly when) flushed out of the pocket. pittsburgh and big ben were a unique situation for AB, and he’s not going to have anything closely resembling that here in the final chapter of his career with the Raiders. the significant leap experienced by amari cooper after he joined the cowboys is just about the converse of the decline AB is about to experience as cooper’s replacement. for certain, the raiders with their 3 first-round picks look ready to take a step forward in 2019, but i actually think they’re poised to waste the last year or two of brown’s prime years while they break in a new signal-caller.

deferring on a trade with the steelers was a smart move by roseman, but he made up for that by utterly mishandling michael bennett this past week. approaching a relatively underpaid top-tier defensive end to demand a discount was a major misstep by the eagles front office; and once the relationship with bennett was sabotaged, the eagles had little choice but to accept a bad solution (a one-sided deal with the Pats) to a problem of their own creation. the $7 million in salary cap savings might seem significant until one considers the basic fact that we can’t possibly find a quality player at that cheap of a price for a position that remains such a priority for this defense.

up until yesterday, philly sports writers had me nearly convinced that the secondary is not really a problem for this eagles team. with their PFF numbers, their incessant praise of maddox and leblanc, and their stalwart defense of jim schwartz’s bend-over-backwards-but-just-barely-not-break soft zone concepts, i was almost ready to concede that the eagles do not need to invest heavily in a cornerback or safety upgrade this off-season. i awoke from this nonsensical stupor after a mind-clearing nap yesterday and realized the facts for what they are: bad play in the secondary cost us several games during the 2018 regular season, and we remain a below-average unit moving into 2019. yes, maddox and leblanc improved considerably in the second half of the season; and rasul douglas mostly played the part of a starting outside corner. but we were killed in the playoffs by the likes of allen robinson and michael thomas, and our distinct lack of talent, speed, and size in the secondary (outside of malcolm jenkins) was exposed. the single most important upgrade the eagles need to make this off-season isn’t at running back or wide receiver (despite what the local “pundits” are insisting). we absolutely need to shore up the secondary right now.

our offense didn’t struggle last year primarily for lack of speed and separation by our receivers. nick foles made that pretty damn obvious when he stepped in and basically converted our anemic passing game into a dynamic threat featuring alshon jeffery. i’m sure doug pederson and mike groh got in roseman’s ear about their wish for a speed receiver to “take the top off” opposing defenses, but that wasn’t really what stalled our offense again and again last year. the fact is that mike groh and carson wentz didn’t work well together and were rarely on the same page, and adding even the likes of antonio brown to that mess wouldn’t have made an appreciable difference. we’ve already got mack hollins and even jordan matthews if we’re looking for situational speed guys; what we really need is a new approach to managing carson wentz. i hope we figure that out this spring.

so with all that said, the eagles are best off if they stop harrassing their star players for discounts, stop pushing more dead money into the future, and start thinking strategically about the ample cap space they now have. by my estimates, they’ll have $25 million for the draft and free agency, and there’s no doubt in my mind that two of our priorities this off-season have to be 1) a veteran who’s ready to step in as our #1 cornerback and 2) a high draft pick at safety to ensure that we don’t fall off the cliff again in the event of an injury to mcleod or jenkins. at corner, i’d prefer pierre desir, ronald darby, jason mccourty, or jason verrett (in that order), and we should be willing to drop $9-11 million to make that happen. it’s true that maybe maddox, douglas, or sidney jones might be our future at corner, but if we’re committed to winning now, then two of those three would have to make the leap right now—and i think that’s too risky to bank on.

so, onto the mock. the eagles need to draft a safety, an interior d-lineman, a left tackle prospect, and a running back this year, and while a wide receiver or linebacker would be nice, those positions don’t make my top 4 priorities for the team. i wouldn’t be averse to bringing back jay ajayi for another shot; regardless, i don’t think we have to draft a running back in the first two rounds—and i’d prefer that we wait til the 4th, given what this class of running backs look like.

in the first round, i’ve bolded all picks that i am absolutely sure will go prior to pick 25. the eagles won’t have a shot at those prospects without trading up.

Round One

1. Cardinals: QB Kyler Murray (Rosen to the Giants for a 3rd rd pick)
2. 49ers: DE Nick Bosa
3. Jets: OLB Josh Allen
4. Raiders: DE Quinnen Williams
5. Dolphins: QB Dwayne Haskins (trade with Bucs for 2019 3rd/2020 1st)
6. Giants: DE Montez Sweat
7. Jaguars: WR DK Metcalf
8. Lions: DE Clellin Ferrell
9. Bills: OT Jonah Williams
10. Broncos: QB Drew Lock (no need to trade up given dwindling QB market)
11. Bengals: LB Devin White
12. Packers: DE Rashan Gary
13. Bucs: OT Jawaan Taylor (from Miami)
14. Falcons: DT Ed Oliver
15. Redskins: DE Brian Burns
16. Panthers: CB Deandre Baker
17. Browns: DE Zach Allen
18. Vikings: OT Andre Dillard
19. Titans: CB Byron Murphy
20. Steelers: CB Greedy Williams
21. Seahawks: OG Garrett Bradbury
22. Ravens: WR N’Keal Harry
23. Texans: OT Greg Little
24. Raiders: DT Christian Wilkins
25. Eagles: S Nasir Adderley
26. Colts: WR Kelvin Harmon
27. Raiders: LB Mack Wilson
28. Chargers: DT Dexter Lawrence
29. Chiefs: CB Julian Love
30. Packers: S Deionte Thompson
31. Rams: DT Dre’Mont Jones
32. Pats: QB Daniel Jones

Round Two

33. Cardinals: OG Cody Ford
34. Colts: DE Jachai Polite
35. Raiders: CB Amani Oruwariye
36. 49ers: WR AJ Brown
37. Giants: OG Chris Lindstrom
38. Jaguars: OT Dalton Risner
39. Buccaneers: RB Joshua Jacobs
40. Bills: WR Hakeem Butler
41. Broncos: WR Parris Campbell
42. Bengals: TE Noah Fant
43. Lions: S Johnathan Abram
44. Packers: TE TJ Hockenson
45. Falcons: DE Jaylon Ferguson
46. Redskins: LB Devin Bush
47. Panthers: OT Tytus Howard
48. Dolphins: DT Jerry Tillery
49. Browns: WR Deebo Samuels
50. Vikings: DT Gerald Willis
51. Titans: WR Marquise Brown
52. Steelers: ILB Tre Lamar
53. Texans: CB Rock Ya-Sin
54. Eagles: OT Kaleb McGary
55. Texans: G/C Erik McCoy
56. Patriots: TE Irv Smith, Jr.
57. Eagles: DT Khalen Saunders

i would absolutely love a draft haul of adderley, mcgary, and saunders from our first 2 rounds.

03.07.19

Eagles and Predictions on Free Agency and the Draft

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:39 pm by Administrator

as everyone knew he would be, howie roseman has been incredibly active (and more active than nearly any other GM in the league), not only handling some key personnel decisions with lightning speed (i.e. parting ways with Foles, re-signing Brandon Graham) but also aggressively renegotiating several contracts currently on the payroll to open up salary cap space. there’s always a downside to distributing “dead money” to future years, but the NFL is a win-now business, and Roseman has made it clear that the Eagles will focus on optimizing their roster for the 2019 season.

for me, this means several things. first, we’re not going to extend carson wentz this year. second, we are going to target key veterans in free agency who will improve our prospects on the offensive side. and third, we’re not going to use early draft picks to build depth where we don’t have an imminent need.

by the best recent estimates, the Eagles currently have about $13 million in cap space this morning (assuming BG’s extension will represent in the neighborhood of a $10 mil cap hit in 2019). as i predicted in my entry on February 2, nelson agholor would probably be roseman’s final cut candidate. over the past two weeks, jernigan has been released and the 2019 draft class of wide receivers has gotten major buzz at the Combine; i have to imagine that nelson and his agent are now ready to “go low” on a possible extension with the team. is he even worth $5 million a year to the team? i’m going to predict that we keep agholor at an immediate discount of more than $6 mil in cap space, to bring us to about $20 million in cap space for this off-season. i continue to doubt that we will touch jason peters’ 2019 compensation, and i don’t think we’re going to renegotiate anyone else on the roster, given the cap space we have to open up next year for wentz’s deal. that means $20 million is what we’re going to have for free agency and the draft.

with $15 million for free agency hunting (assuming we spend $5 mil on our 8 draft picks), we really can’t afford to take on a le’veon bell or antonio brown contract. let’s just stop the speculation on both guys; there’s no way either of them are going to be Eagles in 2019. we do need to improve our offense however, and ideally that’s where we put the majority of our free agency dollars over the next month. our pressing needs in no particular order are as follows:

1. a veteran receiver in his prime with high-end speed
2. a three-down running back with plus receiving skills
3. a better than average backup quarterback
4. an interior pass rushing d-lineman
5. linebacker depth
6. offensive tackle depth

by definition, we have to address #1 (WR) and #3 (backup QB) in free agency, and i imagine we can find a bargain veteran to address #5 (linebacker depth). i think we’re going to spend the majority of our free agency dollars on these three positions, with the biggest contract going to the wide receiver(s) we sign on. we can probably afford to spend up to $7-8 million on a veteran wide-out, which means that Golden Tate (the best receiver in that price range) should still be a consideration for roseman. i certainly like hicks and darby, but if i had to drop $8 mil on one player in order to win in 2019, i would pick tate over both of those guys.

that means that we’ll need to draft to address #2 (running back), #4 (interior d-line), and #6 (OT depth), and this is a good draft to this. i predicted previously that we would draft a d-lineman, running back, and wide receiver with our first 3 picks, and i still think that this is the way we’ll go. there will be some playable tackles available in the 4th round, and i don’t think the need or the draft talent is there to look for an OT prospect in the first 2 rounds. the big question right now is whether we prioritize a d-lineman over a running back at pick 25 in the 1st round. this could be the difference between taking josh jacobs in the 1st and isaiah buggs in the 2nd versus taking dexter lawrence in the 1st and a guy like david montgomery, justice hill, or devin singletary in the 2nd. it’s not a no-brainer—but i certainly prefer the value presented by the latter scenario, and i’d advocate for getting a potentially dominant d-line partner for fletcher cox in round one.

03.05.19

privilege, passion, and praxis in these confusing times

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:47 pm by Administrator

I’m still thinking very much about the odd dynamic I witnessed between BK and a black female participant who works as a racial equity consultant. how interesting and troubling at the same time… on the one hand, you have a positively inspirational woman challenging her audience to hold less tightly to assumptions and beliefs that cause them anguish about the world around them. on the other hand, you have a professional dedicating her life to addressing and reversing the fundamental reality of systematic injustice—a work she can only accomplish by conveying belief and persuading others to share that belief in a profound, heartfelt, and transformational way. the conversation between them was cordial but discordant at the same time, evidence of a mutual struggle to engage on common terms. i immediately understood the importance of this strained interaction, and for me it captures the very question I’m being compelled to wrestle with at this stage in my life.

if salvation resides in the emptying of identity, then how does an enlightened person recognize an injustice for what it is? does mindfulness necessarily undermine any sense of conviction, to a degree that renders its practitioner inert and incapable of meaningful social action?

while there are Western Buddhists and mindfulness practitioners that are people of color, the ones that i have personally experienced (i.e. Eckhart Tolle, Byron Katie) are White. in fact, most of the people that I’ve followed or read who speak to a specific idea of human liberation—freedom from suffering, present-focused awareness, and disengagement from social discourses that perpetuate human suffering on a grand scale—are White. i don’t think that this is accidental. in a sense, White people in Western society are best positioned to envision a next stage in human evolution in which race, gender, sexual orientation, and other differentiating identities may not be relevant, simply because they are less likely to be deeply rooted in or triggered by social developments related to these factors. it is to me an extension of privilege; it is the ability to define these elements as incidental or even distracting to a more fundamental process of self-discovery.

one might argue perhaps that BK and ET are not so much unconcerned with systematic injustice as they are primarily concerned with the objectivity and well-being of the individual. however, there is a tension between these orientations, and I’ve personally experienced it. when one engages with a process of inquiry that ultimately softens or invalidates ideas of group identification, one steps out of what might appear to be a socially generated cycle of suffering; but by virtue of this, one becomes incapable of identifying with a tribal identity, out of which a collective sense of ego arises. that collective ego is the essence of all social movements, whether for ends we might consider just (i.e. civil rights, women’s rights, gay rights) or concerning (i.e. war between nations, the subjugation of enemies, prejudice against other tribes). that collective ego is also the essence of the church; it is the personality, agenda, and intention of Christ, cascaded down the generations and infused into traditional practices in order to align and mobilize a covenant people.

mindfulness, when taken to its inevitable conclusion, absolutely undermines religion. it’s for this reason that Buddhist practitioners resist calling their approach to life a religion; in essence, it has no conceptual basis. Christianity, in contrast, calls for deep, pervasive, and relentless identification with something beyond self; it demands an identity in Christ that rests upon a personal experience of the divine and a self-subsuming commitment to the collective identity of the covenant people (the “body” of Christ). while mindfulness dispels the reality of the tribe, the Christian tradition fully embraces tribal identity as the foundation of salvation and redemption.

perhaps there are nuances to this contrast, or perhaps the contrast I’m speaking to is itself based on flawed assumptions. certainly people like Thomas Merton and Richard Rohr would argue against this presumed conflict between a philosophy of self-emptying and a religion of identification with the divine. interestingly, they are both White as well. i don’t say this to discredit their viewpoints; but perhaps social identity is more fixed and deterministic for some groups than it is for others. this certainly was the case with the first century church, which had to work through identity issues of crisis proportions in its struggle to reconcile the Jewish traditions with the increasingly Gentile membership of the church. Paul’s solution here wasn’t to discount ethnic or religious identity; rather, his solution was to prescribe roles and responsibilities based on these orientations and identities. his various metaphors (organs of the body, physical structures of a building) dignified differentiation and diversity of identity, and the thrust of his teaching—the central importance of reconciliation between people—further reinforced the validity and importance of working through identity in order to experience unity. his teachings imply the necessity of the former in achieving the latter; there is no path to unity except through identity.

it’s funny to put it this way, but it is odd for me to see White thinkers elaborate upon spiritual truths derived from traditions like Buddhism and Christianity that originated with oppressed people of color. perhaps there is an aspect of Christ that we as a species cannot understand unless we understand him as the son of a tribe that was enslaved, persecuted, and marginalized by a grand empire of Europeans. as one who is trying to be mindful of an all-inclusive truth that is true to the present-focused experience of the individual, i genuinely struggle to embrace the tribal foundations of Christian faith and every social justice movement that it has engendered. but i will acknowledge that the social movements for change are inevitable and necessary, even inasmuch as the responsibility of the individual in supporting these is inherently problematic to consider

03.03.19

Mock NFL Draft #3: Three Rounds and Value Analysis

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:22 am by Administrator

Here’s mock draft #3, adjusted for Combine results, rumors around the league, and a few pre-free agency signings.

in this draft, the Cards take Murray 1st and trade Rosen to the Giants for pick 37 and Odell Beckham, Jr. the Dolphins, Giants, Eagles, and Browns do some trades, but everyone else mostly sits tight. Mayock gives the Raiders a transformed defense plus a difference-maker at WR. the Pats and Colts win big with high-value picks. the Eagles grab a 3rd rounder for agholor, pull off a trade-up in the 2nd round, and land a great haul: dexter lawrence, josh jacobs, marquise brown, and joe jackson.

Round One

1. Cardinals: QB Kyler Murray (Rosen to the Giants for pick 37 and beckham jr)
2. 49ers: DE Nick Bosa
3. Jets: OLB Josh Allen
4. Raiders: DE Quinnen Williams
5. Buccaneers: OT Jawaan Taylor
6. Dolphins: QB Dwayne Haskins (trade with NYG for picks 13, 48, 2020 2nd rounder)
7. Jaguars: WR DK Metcalf (assuming Nick Foles signs on)
8. Lions: DE Montez Sweat (a 4.41 40 time? unreal)
9. Bills: OT Jonah Williams
10. Broncos: QB Drew Lock
11. Bengals: LB Devin White
12. Packers: DE Clellin Ferrell
13. Giants: DE Rashan Gary (from Miami)
14. Falcons: DT Ed Oliver
15. Redskins: QB Daniel Jones
16. Panthers: CB Deandre Baker
17. Browns: DE Jachai Polite
18. Vikings: OT Andre Dillard
19. Titans: CB Byron Murphy
20. Steelers: CB Greedy Williams
21. Seahawks: OG Garrett Bradbury
22. Ravens: WR N’Keal Harry
23. Texans: OT Greg Little
24. Raiders: DT Christian Wilkins
25. Eagles: DT Dexter Lawrence
26. Colts: S Nasir Adderley
27. Raiders: LB Mack Wilson
28. Chargers: DT Dre’Mont Jones
29. Chiefs: CB Julian Love
30. Packers: S Deionte Thompson
31. Rams: DT Jerry Tillery
32. Pats: DE/DT Zach Allen

Round Two

33. Cardinals: OG Cody Ford
34. Colts: DT Jeffery Simmons (Colts play the long game here)
35. Raiders: WR AJ Brown (Mayock maximizes value, waiting til round 2 for offense)
36. 49ers: CB Amani Oruwariye
37. Cardinals: OT Dalton Risner (from NYG; two o-linemen in early 2nd to protect Kyler)
38. Jaguars: OG Chris Lindstrom
39. Buccaneers: LB Devin Bush
40. Bills: WR Kelvin Harmon
41. Broncos: WR Parris Campbell (Drew Lock plus Parris gives Elway a new-look offense)
42. Bengals: TE Noah Fant
43. Lions: S Johnathan Abram
44. Packers: TE TJ Hockenson
45. Falcons: DE Jaylon Ferguson
46. Redskins: DE Brian Burns
47. Panthers: OT Tytus Howard
48. Giants: WR Hakeem Butler (from Miami; 4.48 40 time jets him up the chart)
49. Eagles: RB Joshua Jacobs (trade up with Browns for 2020 2nd round pick)
50. Vikings: DT Gerald Willis
51. Titans: OG Michael Jordan
52. Steelers: ILB Tre Lamar
53. Texans: CB Jamel Dean
54. Browns: CB Rock Ya-Sin (from Philadelphia)
55. Texans: TE Irv Smith Jr.
56. Patriots: TE Jace Sternberger (a TE early on for the Pats seems inevitable)
57. Eagles: WR Marquise Brown (slips to the Eagles thanks to the lisfranc inury)
58. Colts: WR Deebo Samuel (deebo plus TY gives luck elite weapons)
59. Cowboys: DT Isaiah Buggs (no choice but to address d-line with dallas’s first pick)
60. Chargers: LB Germaine Pratt
61. Chiefs: CB/S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson
62. Saints: RB Damien Harris (assuming Ingram leaves, to Colts?)
63. Chiefs: LB Vosean Joseph
64. Patriots: OG Beau Benzschawel

Round Three

65. Eagles: DE Joe Jackson (trade with Cardinals for 4th round pick plus Agholor)
66. Raiders: CB Trayvon Mullen
67. 49ers: WR Riley Ridley
68. Jets: OT Kaleb McGary
69. Jaguars: OT Yodny Cajuste
70. Buccaneers: DE Austin Bryant
71. Broncos: G/C Erik McCoy
72. Bengals: OT Trey Pipkins
73. Patriots: DE Carl Granderson (either Allen or Granderson will replace Flowers)
74. Bills: OT Isaiah Prince
75. Packers: S Juan Thornhill
76. Redskins: S Taylor Rapp
77. Panthers: DE Oshane Ximines
78. Dolphins: DT Khalen Saunders
79. Falcons: RB Justice Hill (assumes Dan Quinn is not committed to Ito Smith as “1B”)
80. Browns: WR Mecole Hardman
81. Vikings: C Elgton Jenkins
82. Titans: DE Chase Winovich
83. Steelers: WR David Sills
84. Seahawks: S Amani Hooker (versatile replacement for earl thomas)
85. Ravens: OG Daryl Williams
86. Texans: DT Lorenzo Neal
87. Bears: RB Benny Snell (assuming Jordan Howard is traded)
88. Lions: RB David Montgomery
89. Colts: DT Charles Omenihu (deep d-line class; Colts in great position to capitalize)
90. Cowboys: CB Joejuan Williams
91. Chargers: WR JJ Arcega-Whiteside
92. Chiefs: OL Michael Deiter
93. Jets: LB Terrill Hanks
94. Rams: S Darnell Savage
95. Browns: DE Anthony Nelson
96. Redskins: CB Lonnie Johnson
97. Patriots: LB Khalil Hodge
98. Jaguars: TE Caleb Wilson
99. Rams: DE Jalen Jelks
100. Panthers: TE Kaden Smith
101: Texans: CB Isaiah Johnson
102: Ravens: RB Devin Singletary

Key Takeaways from the Mock:

1. 1st Round Features D-Line (not surprisingly): 13 d-linemen go in the 1st
2. Edge is Deep: blue chippers like Jackson, Bryant, and Ximines available in the 3rd
3. 3rd Round Run on O-linemen: 7 come off the board between picks 68 and 92
4. Running Back is Devalued: first RB comes off the board in the mid-2nd
5. All or Nothing at QB: 4 QBs go in the early 1st; Grier isn’t drafted til the 4th
6. Value by Tier: D-line in the 1st; interior O-line and WR in the 2nd; RB and OT in the 3rd; no obvious break points for defensive back and linebacker this year

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