12.31.20

final thoughts of the year on the eagles’ 2021 draft

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:38 pm by Administrator

here are my latest thoughts about the 2021 draft, and then i will likely take a break from thinking about the draft until march.

nothing i’ve seen has dissuaded me from my ardent belief that this is overall not a very good draft class. for a team that needs to rebuild through the draft (i.e. the eagles), this is a draft to trade out of as much as possible. it’s not just that the talent level after the first 5 picks is uninspiring; it’s also that there’s a much higher level of uncertainty affecting the player evaluation process, given the impacts that covid has had on opt-outs and the college football schedule.

in a sense, it’s unfortunate that the eagles have such a high pick in such a poor draft; but the eagles can leverage the situation to their benefit by trading down. i’ve basically pounded the table for a trade down in the 1st round this year, but i really can’t see howie roseman doing it. for years, he’s fallen in love with specific players (usually on the offensive side) and has proven more than capable of abandoning all discipline in his quest for those guys. as a result, we’ve made relatively few picks in the last few drafts while trading up for dubious players that have failed to make a difference.

in my opinion, roseman should sit out this draft entirely. we need a fresh pair of eyes on draft night this year, and his approach can only weigh us down in our quest for a turnaround. i like roseman, but he needs to get benched in april.

whether the eagles stick with wentz or hurts (or both), i know that their priority in round one will be to support their quarterback by getting a premiere receiver. i’ve already implied my feelings about this, but i’ll state it clearly now: it would absolutely be a mistake for the eagles to draft a wide receiver in the first round this year. adding another deep threat to this roster will not help either wentz or hurts with the timing and trust issues that have prevented them from being accurate in the passing game. if the eagles absolutely cannot be dissuaded from investing in a skill player in round one, then the logical choice in the top 10 picks is kyle pitts, the 6′6″ tight end/receiver hybrid who is probably the second best receiver in this class and the kind of safety blanket that wentz or hurts could throw to 10-15 times a game. pitts is not a twitchy guy that you’re going to rely on to make double moves for deep post receptions; the eagles’ offensive system can’t really utilize that sort of guy anyways. pitts is however notorious for grabbing anything in his vicinity and dominating his defender with superior straight-line speed, physicality, and an extraordinary wingspan. an eagles offense featuring pitts and goedert could be highly efficient and deadly, particularly with reagor occupying the deep safety and miles sanders doubling as a threat in the short-intermediate passing game. it’s a different kind of offensive scheme, but it’s the kind of scheme that we have to create for an o-line and qb rotation that simply aren’t equipped to throw deep with any consistent success.

picking kyle pitts at pick 6 or 7 is possibly our third best scenario at best, but it’s vastly preferable to taking devonta smith—which i’m convinced the eagles are going to do, to their severe detriment. it’s not that i dislike devonta smith. it’s that i know devonta smith will be completely wasted in this offense, much like nelson agholor, golden tate, jalen reagor, jj arcega-whiteside, mack hollins, and shelton gibson. philadelphia is where deep-threat wide receivers go to die. smith, like justin jefferson, will achieve his extraordinary potential with some other team. i would never wish a slow career death in philadelphia on any young man with as much talent and character as devonta smith.

the second best thing we can do with pick 6 or 7 this year is to trade down into the mid-1st (i.e. with san francisco or new england), pick up a 1st rounder next year, and draft jeremiah owusu-koramoah for jim schwartz’s defensive unit. the best thing we can do with our pick is to trade down into the mid-1st, pick up a 1st rounder next year, draft j-ok, and fire jim schwartz (in no particular order). here’s the problem with inserting owusu-koramoah into jim schwartz’s defense: jim schwartz would stall j-ok’s career, much like the way our offense consumes and spits out wide receiver talent. schwartz’s vanilla defense which generally utilizes inside linebackers as one-gap run defenders reflects his fundamental laziness about game-planning and also implies that he will plug and play a guy like j-ok without any heed for this guy’s considerable potential as a game-breaking defensive talent.

jeremiah owusu-koramoah’s best pro athlete comparable is vasyl lomachenko (”the matrix”), possibly the best pound for pound boxer in the world. the comparison is subtle but emphasizes the unique quality that j-ok brings to the game. like lomachenko, j-ok is extremely quick and efficient in his approach to the opponent; game tape shows no wasted movements at all. and like lomachenko’s approach to striking, j-ok knows what position and angle to take to make the highest impact play on the ball. as compact as his frame is, j-ok is a lightning striker, using flawless technique to deal impossibly hard hits on much bigger guys. it’s the same quality that makes him such an effective pass rusher; he hits holes in pass coverage better than a running back on the other side of the ball, closing distance with decisiveness and fluidity. and it’s the very same quality that makes him deadly in pass coverage as well. he knows exactly when to extend to disrupt the pass, and when he tackles he punches with power and precision to rip out the ball. it’s a thing of beauty.

isaiah simmons is making defensive coordinators worried about the tweener defender, but being a rover isn’t at all a discredit to j-ok. to understand this man’s impact on a pro defense, you have to stop thinking about where exactly he fits in a defensive scheme and start thinking about the kinds of plays j-ok will make if you get him close to the ball. the fact is that j-ok has the speed and vision to be a very good free safety in the NFL, but it would be a waste of his gift for smelling the play and disrupting in the box. if he has a DC who understands where to put him and when, j-ok is a guy who can get you 100 tackles with 3-4 sacks and 3-4 interceptions as well, all the while intimidating receivers and ball carriers and forcing all kinds of unpleasant adjustments on an offense. he may not look big and strong for a linebacker, but then again vasyl lomachenko doesn’t look big and strong for an elite pro boxer. both of these guys will run circles around you, and when you least expect it, they will fucking hit you in the face.

the eagles seem to enjoy ignoring the defense. they take great pride in running a vanilla 4-3 defense that routinely gives up big plays. every year the draft comes around, and they decide that they are too damn cool to draft a playmaker at the second level. it’s the definition of insanity; it’s flat-out stupid; and it’s galling. this year, the eagles will refuse to trade down, and they’ll draft devonta smith, holding to the utterly ridiculous belief that they are just one offensive weapon away from dominating the NFC East again. once again, the j-ok (sic) will be on them.

LOSE THE DAMN GAME THIS WEEKEND

12.30.20

more draft thoughts on the eagles

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:26 pm by Administrator

amidst many unpleasant things going on in my life, the eagles’ disastrous season has one major silver lining: we get to dream about the future. thinking about our draft is a daily exercise for me, for better or worse.

below, i provide my third 1st round mock draft and a summary of the best talent left over after the first 32 picks. it’s very clear that the best players available in the early 2nd round will be disproportionately at defensive back and offensive line positions. we should expect that all of the 1st and 2nd tier talent at wide receiver, defensive line, and linebacker will be long gone by the time we get to the eagles’ 2nd round pick, which is hopefully pick #38.

if the eagles cannot swing a trade of either hurts or wentz for an extra 1st round pick this year, then we are in a situation (in my opinion) in which we must exit the first two rounds of the draft with a linebacker and a cornerback. by my own value analysis, i’ve already determined that pick 6 doesn’t give the eagles optimal value at either position, even in the improbable event that micah parsons is available. like i’ve stated consistently in prior entries, the eagles have every reason to trade down in the 1st round for extra draft capital (and ideally an extra 1st round pick in 2022). my recommendation is no different if the eagles do pick up an extra 1st round pick this year on account of a quarterback trade.

in this mock, the eagles trade down from pick 6 to the Colts, who pass on a Wentz trade but determine that they absolutely cannot pass on a top-tier QB in the 2021 draft. it’s a reasonable scenario, given that they are unlikely to perform well in the upcoming playoffs with a rapidly fading philip rivers.

Mock Draft #3

1. Jacksonville: trevor lawrence (duh)
2. NY Jets: penei sewell
3. Miami: micah parsons
4. Atlanta: zach wilson
5. Carolina (trades up with Cincinnati): justin fields
6. Indy (trade up with Philly for two 1st rounders and a 2021 3rd): trey lance
7. Detroit: ja’marr chase
8. NY Giants: kwity paye
9. Cincinnati: kyle pitts
10. Denver: greg rousseau
11. Dallas: patrick surtain
12. LA Chargers: caleb farley
13. Minnesota: rashawn slater
14. San Francisco: jaylen waddle
15. New England: devonta smith
16. Las Vegas: boogie basham
17. Arizona: tyson campbell
18. Philadelphia: jeremiah owusu-koramoah
19. Washington: christian darrisaw
20. Chicago: samuel cosmi
21. Jacksonville: rashod bateman
22. Cleveland: zaven collins
23. Miami: azeez ojulari
24. Baltimore: rondale moore
25. Tennessee: jaycee horn
26. Tampa Bay: patrick jones
27. NY Jets: jevon holland
28. Buffalo: nick bolton
29. New Orleans: dylan moses
30. Pittsburgh: mac jones
31. Green Bay: chris olave
32. Kansas City: joseph ossai

after the first round, there will be at least six high-level offensive line talents, in jalen mayfield, liam eichenberg, wyatt davis, chris humphrey, alijah vera-tucker, and alex leatherwood. the eagles should at least consider the possibility of taking a guard at pick 38; but as we’ve already established, cornerback is the much higher priority in the first 2 rounds and is an absolutely necessity at pick 38 if we go with the linebacker/safety hybrid in j-ok in the first round.

the cornerback prospects that will likely fall into round 2 are fairly impressive, given the depth of this class. based on this mock, we’re likely to see derion kendrick, shaun wade, eric stokes, paulson adebo, and asante samuel jr. fall into the 2nd round. i like kendrick or stokes; they’re much different players, but either would be superior on the boundary to every DB we have on our roster with the exception of slay.

if we can swing a wentz or hurts deal to get an extra pick in round 1 (and i simply cannot see how we wouldn’t be able to get this done one way or the other), then the priority has to be cornerback. if we can get that pick somewhere between 15 (new england) and 20 (chicago), then the choice there has to be cornerback jaycee horn.

we can save safety and wide receiver for round 3.

GO EAGLES

12.29.20

looking ahead: the eagles have to be strategic

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:25 pm by Administrator

let’s start with the plan for sunday and then move to the off-season.

1. lose on sunday

i don’t care how they do it. the eagles need to make sure that they lose on sunday.

the most straightforward way to do this is to fire doug pederson this week (i’ll talk about that more in a moment), install an interim HC who understands our team’s priorities this sunday, play hurts for a half at most, and make sure that we get an extended look at our backups and rookies for at least two quarters. there’s no way any of our starting d-linemen (i.e. hargraves, cox, graham, sweat, and barnett) should see the field at all.

losing this weekend will guarantee the eagles the 6th pick in the 2021 draft, if not better.

2. fire doug pederson

wentz has been more of the problem than pederson throughout this season, but pederson has more than proven over the past three seasons that without reich and defillippo he’s always just one mental lapse away from completely throwing a game. the countless incorrect play-calling decisions combined with all the emerging concerns about the discipline and culture of the team truly do indict doug pederson as a leader of this franchise. all in all, he’s not the worst head coach out there, but neither is he the answer to the turnaround that this team so desperately needs. the same has to be said about jim schwartz, but it’s a foregone conclusion anyways that schwartz will be gone after pederson is removed.

jeffrey lurie only has one legitimate path forward, if he cares about winning. he has to fire doug pederson. it’s not an easy decision, but it’s the right one.

3. trade either wentz or hurts

now here’s a bold one and perhaps not one that roseman is likely considering. the fact is that we would ideally move one quarterback or the other in February. i’d prefer that we trade wentz, as i’ve maintained for more than a year and a half. but if we get strong offers for hurts, then i think we should be open to trading him for at least two 1st round picks.

if we move wentz, then we have in hurts a versatile and cheap quarterback that we can build around for years. but if we move hurts, then we can potentially revive wentz’s career with a new head coach, a brand-new offensive system, and multiple high draft picks that can elevate the team overall.

4. trade down from pick 6 to get a 2022 1st round pick

here’s where i make my draft analysis as succinctly as possible.

based on talent and comparables, there are only five players that are worthy of the eagles’ attention at pick 6. they are trevor lawrence (who will not be available), penei sewell (who will most likely not be available), kyle pitts, micah parsons, and ja’marr chase. in my opinion, if either trevor lawrence or penei sewell are somehow available at pick 6, it’s a no-brainer to take the guy. but if pitts, parsons, or chase are available at pick 6, i would still recommend a trade down in order to pick up a future 1st rounder. that is primarily because the 1st round difference-maker that the eagles most need this year is a cornerback.

it wouldn’t be easy to pass on pitts, parsons, or chase. but as good as pitts and chase are, the eagles need to revamp the defense right now, and there’s no question that the eagles cannot afford to pass up on 1st round opportunities this year to address the second and third levels of the defense. regardless of what the eagles choose to do with ertz, i still look at tight end as a relative position of strength; and while the eagles are not loaded with premiere WR talent, they’ve invested a lot in the position over the past two years and cannot afford to waste a top-10 pick on a skill position other than quarterback.

micah parsons is the real question, if he’s there for the taking at pick 6. i believe that parsons would radically change our defense; but at the same time i am not sure that his college highlight reel will translate to NFL game tape. this is an amazing athlete who rapidly diagnosed plays and ravaged backfields as an unblocked defender. how will he function going against pro offensive lines? how will he handle zone coverage responsibilities against NFL receivers? parsons can probably excel in a lot of defensive schemes, but i have to imagine he’s best as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme that deploys him extensively as a pass rusher on the line of scrimmage. even if jim schwartz is no longer the man in philadelphia, i can’t imagine that the fit for parsons is automatic. perhaps i’m overthinking this, but i actually think that a later pick like nick bolton or jeremiah owusu-koramoah might be as impactful for the eagles.

cornerback and linebacker are the two most critical needs for the eagles this off-season, and i believe that the former is more important to address early in the draft. in my opinion, neither caleb farley nor patrick surtain are elite enough to be considered at pick 6 this year, and i wouldn’t be surprised if one or both players fell past pick 15. it is very possible that jaycee horn, tyson campbell, or derion kendrick may be just as good if not better at the pro level, and these three guys almost certainly will not break the top 16 picks of the 2021 draft. for this reason, i think there’s plenty of value to be had in trading down from pick 6 to the late teens or early 20s in order to grab a 1st rounder in 2022 (a superior draft class overall). QB hungry teams like the 49ers, Pats, Bears, and Colts have to be considered legitimate trade partners for pick 6 and would likely throw in a 2nd or 3rd this year on top of two 1st round picks in order to get their man.

like i’ve maintained previously, i think that the eagles must double-dip at cornerback in the 1st and 2nd rounds, and a trade of either wentz or hurts should give us at least three picks in the top 60 in order to make that happen. a haul of jaycee horn, nick bolton, and eric stokes in the first two rounds would make me a very happy man.

5. hire greg roman

i know he’s taking a lot of flak for the baltimore offense this year, but frankly what he’s done with lamar jackson has been incredible. if hurts is the guy we choose to stick with, let’s get him a head coach who has a track record with dual threat quarterbacks.

GO EAGLES

12.25.20

2021 mock draft #2: eagles only

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:55 pm by Administrator

back in april, i predicted that we’d trade wentz after the 2020 season to the colts for three 1st rounders. there’s no way that’s happening now, thanks to carson’s stinker of a season. i still think that he’s going to the colts but for a cheaper price: a 2021 1st round pick and a 2022 3rd rounder.

this is not a no-brainer for reich and ballard, but it’s a strong deal. here’s my most objective assessment of what i believe wentz should represent to the colts: he’s a big-play quarterback who’s had one utterly excellent season that accurately demonstrated his potential and one disastrous season that was the result of bad coaching, offensive line injuries, and covid-related chaos. yes, his mechanics are an issue, and he’s not a very disciplined player in the pocket. these technical and mental issues have not prevented carson from being an above-average NFL quarterback for three of the past four seasons. with decent offensive weapons, offensive line continuity, and a system built around his strengths as a downfield passer, carson wentz’s floor is matt stafford—a guy who’s on pace for a 63% completion percentage with 28 TDs and 11 interceptions. carson’s upside is his own spectacular pro bowl season in 2017. for $25 million a year (after the eagles take care of his bonus dollars), carson wentz is worth the risk to a team that is one dynamic offensive player away from a super bowl run.

whichever team (jets or jags) that doesn’t get the #1 pick will be in the moderate bidding war for carson’s services, and that should be good enough to elevate the price from a 2nd rounder (starting ante) to a mid 1st round pick plus a future mid-round pick. for the colts, that is more than a good price. this year, to get a quarterback like zach wilson, the colts would likely have to give up not only this year’s 1st round pick but also a 2nd or 3rd this year plus next year’s 1st round pick. they can get carson wentz without having to give up next year’s 1st round pick. if they can get a potential pro bowl caliber quarterback who’s ready to win right now for a price cheaper than what they’d have to pay for an untested college prospect with lesser arm talent, then why in the world would they not do that deal?

at worst, giving up a 2021 1st round pick in the 20s plus a 3rd rounder in 2022 for carson wentz will saddle the colts for the next 2 seasons with an average quarterback who fails to be a difference maker for a team that continues to be outclassed by the chiefs, titans, and bills in the AFC. but odds are that carson proves to be much better than the 2020 version of himself, and when the playoffs roll around in 2022 and 2023, his big-play ability keeps defenses honest and allows the colts to get over the top for a championship run.

in my 2nd mock, an eagles-only mock, i project what roseman will do after a carson wentz deal with the colts that nets us a 2021 1st round pick (pick 23) and a zach ertz deal with the jets that nets us pick 66 early in the 3rd round.

    Roseman’s 2021 draft:

Pick 7: kwity paye. i’m convinced that at pick 7, the eagles will not only miss out on ja’marr chase but will also be convinced that defensive end is where they need to focus their attention with their first of two 1st round picks. roseman and dorsey will fall in love with the uber athletic kwity paye, whom they believe will maintain eagle dominance in the trenches after graham moves on in 2022.

Pick 23 (from Indy): rashod bateman. big, tall, and gushing with ball skills, rashod bateman will continue to summon comparisons to michael thomas after a solid combine, and roseman will be comfortable drafting his X receiver right here, especially after comparing bateman to reagor and agholor, lower upside receivers who were also drafted in the early 20s.

Pick 39: hamsah nasirildeen. a bit of an enigma, nasirildeen will still attract howie’s attention with his size/speed combination. with mcleod likely to miss some of the 2021 season, and with major question marks surrounding k’von wallace, jalen mills, and marcus epps after a year of mediocre play, safety will likely be howie’s 3rd priority, and he’ll also get a cheap veteran on the market to shore up this area of major weakness.

Pick 66 (from Jets for Ertz): tj carter. the eagles get lucky and find a potential starting outside corner in the early 3rd round. carter projects well with size, speed, and strong man coverage skills. he may not be on the eagles’ radar from the outset, but 3rd round is where they will hunt for a corner to start opposite of slay.

Pick 71: random linebacker. the eagles will take yet another combine sensation here that was on no one else’s list, once the top linebackers are off the board. it’s another shot in the dark at a position that they traditionally do not value. schwartz and roseman will somehow convince themselves that tj edwards and davion taylor offer enough promise that they can avoid investing draft capital at the 2nd level of the defense.

    my preferred draft approach:

Pick 7: trade down with steelers for pick 25, 89, and next year’s 1st round pick. like i’ve insisted previously, the 2021 draft is not a good class, and the top 10 picks in particular do not feature the talent that the eagles need. having an extra 1st round pick in 2022 should give us a chance to get one or even two excellent pass rushers high in the draft next year. the steelers will seize this opportunity to move up and grab zach wilson, as it is evident that they need their QB of the future right now. there’s almost no way that howie roseman will trade down or into a future draft for a variety of reasons that pain me to no end, but i won’t dwell on that right now.

Pick 23: jeremiah owusu-koromoah. we desperately need a legitimate playmaker at linebacker, and j-ok will solve our recurring and embarrassing issues with coverage of tight ends and running backs. he’s a decisive and instinctive defender similar in some ways to patrick queen, whom we should have drafted in the 1st round last year.

Pick 25 (from the steelers): jaycee horn. the idea of drafting a cornerback in the 1st round positively scares the eagles’ front office, but it is our second most pressing need after ILB in this draft and we must take a potential starter if we can find one in the first round. horn blew up in 2020. there is risk here, but late in the 1st round there is also plenty of value to be reaped as well.

Pick 39: eric stokes. if he’s still on the board, we have to take stokes here. yes, it means doubling down on cornerback, but it is such an important position and there is so much drop-off in talent after the early 2nd round that we have to take a potential DB starter here if we can.

Pick 66: richard lecounte. nothing wrong with waiting til the 3rd round to get a safety who probably would have gone in the 2nd round last year.

Pick 71: nico collins. the anti-roseman receiver, collins does not have elite speed or agility but features all the qualities i love in a receiver: physical, tough, and good with his hands. he profiles like michael pittman, whom i rated higher than aiyuk, reagor, and jefferson last year. this is the kind of guy that jalen hurts needs in philadelphia, a guy who will go up and get it on every play.

Pick 89 (from the Steelers): offensive guard. i don’t have a scouting report on the interior o-line in this draft, but with this extra pick late in the 3rd round i believe that we have to get o-line depth on the inside, especially after seeing how poorly nate herbig and matt pryor played this year. jordan mailata has to be considered our future at left tackle, and i would rate jack driscoll as a better player than andre dillard and thus worthy of being our primary backup for both tackle positions, which means that we have an uninspiring rotation of dillard, herbig, and opeta on the inside. none of them can be considered dependable starters in the event of injury to seumalo or brooks, which means we must go hunting on day two for depth on the interior line.

12.21.20

who is carson wentz and what are we to do with him?

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:45 pm by Administrator

jalen hurts’ breakout performances in his first two starts tell us not only what we need to know about him but also what we need to know about the rest of this organization. specifically, they tell us that doug pederson is not the problem. the wide receivers aren’t the problem. the offensive line, as patchwork as it is right now, isn’t the problem. howie roseman, who is credited with drafting guys like nelson agholor, rasul douglas, jalen reagor, dallas goedert, and jalen hurts—all of whom are playing just fine right now, whether or not they are playing for the eagles—isn’t the problem.

carson wentz is the problem. since his first game back from injury in the 2018 season, he has been the problem, and the only thing to be settled now is whether or not to rehabilitate his trade value by bringing him back in 2021. the answer to that question entirely hinges on what we can get for him in the upcoming offseason. here’s my break-point: a 2021 2nd round pick or a 2022 1st round pick. the latter is preferable to the former, given the dubious quality of the 2021 nfl draft.

i have personally disliked carson wentz and his approach to the game for three seasons now, but i’m not going to insist that he’s incapable of being a quality starting nfl quarterback someday. my thesis up to this point has been that carson hasn’t had a coaching staff willing and able to teach him the basics of the nfl game. i no longer believe this to be a tenable thesis, now that i’ve seen what both nick foles and jalen hurts have been able to accomplish in relief of wentz. in december 2018 and now in december 2020 as well, we’ve seen two quarterbacks generally believed to be less than elite immediately infuse life into a doug pederson offense previously grounded by carson wentz. i think that there are still a lot of problems with doug pederson’s coaching approach, but it’s evident now that this should be a manageable offense for an NFL quarterback. carson wentz doesn’t run that offense very well, either because he’s not coachable or because he lacks the basic know-how to execute the plays. either way, he and doug pederson do not work well together.

i think wentz could be a top-12 quarterback in this league with the right system and the right coach, but regardless he’s going to need to change his game considerably. i like his chances of a career rebound in either indianapolis or new england. if i were the GM of either team, i’d take a serious look at wentz, despite what he showed on the field this year. the interceptions were more of an anomaly than the fumbles, and the poor completion percentage and red-zone efficiency had a lot to do with how poorly the play-calling catered to carson’s strengths. i think that if you put wentz in a run-heavy up-tempo offense with a single dominant downfield receiver, he’s going to do just fine.

yes, the carson wentz contract was a mistake. it wasn’t a mistake because it overestimated carson’s market value. it was a mistake because it overestimated carson’s value to this team. the fact is that carson wentz hasn’t been a good QB for the eagles since 2017, and even his late 2019 “run” was a sham breakout against inferior competition. even still, carson should be worth something to another team that’s willing to deploy him properly, and he’s got potentially 8-10 years of quality play left in him if he can find the right organization. i don’t really care about his career trajectory or whether he ever realizes his potential, but i have to believe there’s someone out there who does. that arm, that courage, that big-play potential: it all has to be worth a single 2nd round pick, doesn’t it?

GO HURTS!

12.10.20

Advice for the Eagles, and Mock Draft #1

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:09 am by Administrator

fans have been up in the arms about the eagles. how could we be this bad? what should we do with carson wentz? do we fire doug pederson? how about howie roseman?

i don’t need to reiterate why this disastrous season shouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone. i’m just going to move on and talk about the 2021 draft.

i’m not about to bite the hand that feeds me. yes, howie roseman is probably going to blow the 2021 draft very hard, because his approach to player evaluation is not solid. on the other hand, i absolutely love what he did in the 2nd round last year (i’m on record with my opinion about jalen hurts), and i think that outside of a few very salient recent mistakes (i.e. the entire 2019 draft and the alshon jeffery contract) he has done everything that he can do to keep the eagles competitive. but i’ve got a warning for howard: the 2021 draft is a golden opportunity for the eagles—and we can’t afford to fuck it up by drafting another wide receiver at pick 5.

i need to restate what i’ve said previously about the 2021 draft with emphasis. this is not a good draft class for any team that isn’t looking for a quarterback or for an offensive tackle named penei sewell. the defensive line group is the worst that i’ve seen in more than five years. the offensive line group lacks potential stars outside of sewell and may not have any guaranteed NFL starters after slater and cosmi come off the board. i’m not even particularly impressed with the wide receiver group, after having been spoiled by two incredible classes of elite athletes in 2019 and 2020.

i’m of the extremely strong opinion that when you’re lucky enough to land a top-8 NFL draft pick, you must spend that pick on one of three positions: quarterback, defensive end, or offensive tackle. the eagles should not be in the market for a QB at pick 5, and there are absolutely no defensive ends or offensive tackles worth a look that early in the round. they need to trade down. we need to leverage pick 5 into multiple future picks that will allow us to rebuild on the trenches. this draft doesn’t have the elite pass rushers we’re looking for. no problem. sell pick 5 to get some extra high picks in 2022 and then use day 2 and 3 to pick up some defensive guys at the second and third levels.

so here’s my first 2021 mock. in this scenario, the eagles trade down twice, to pick up two 2022 first round picks from the bears and the colts.

1. Jets: trevor lawrence
2. Jags: justin fields
3. Bengals: penei sewell
4. Chargers: patrick surtain
5. Bears (trade up with the eagles for a 2022 1st round pick): trey lance
6. Cowboys: micah parsons
7. Football Team (trade up with the Panthers): kyle trask
8. Falcons: greg rousseau
9. Dolphins: ja’marr chase
10. Broncos: samuel cosmi
11. Panthers: caleb farley
12. Lions: jaylen waddle
13. Colts (trade up with the eagles for a 2022 1st round pick; eagles give up a 2022 3rd): zach wilson
14. 49ers: jay tufele
15. Cardinals: jaycee horn
16. Patriots: kyle pitts
17. Ravens: carlos basham
18. Raiders: jayson oweh
19. Giants: rashawn slater
20. Vikings: kwity paye
21. Buccaneers: patrick jones
22. Dolphins: devonta smith
23. Eagles (from Colts): jeremiah owusu-koramoah
24. Titans: marvin wilson
25. Jets: wyatt davis
26. Jags: christian darrisaw
27. Browns: hamsah nasirildeen
28. Bills: dylan moses
29. Green bay: rondale moore
30. Pittsburgh: liam eichenberg
31. New orleans: eric stokes
32. Kansas city: trey smith

12.04.20

next steps for the eagles

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:07 pm by Administrator

i’m not sure why doug pederson is being permitted to continue playing carson wentz this year when it is not in the team’s best interests to do so. i think that if pederson trots out wentz yet again in another losing effort, then he should be fired immediately, and the interim coach should be under orders to play hurts.

this isn’t to say that wentz has no future with us as a starting quarterback. this is to say that 2020 is a lost season, and we need the remainder of our games to assess jalen hurts’ potential. i’d like to see what doug pederson can accomplish with hurts, because it will help all of us to understand just how much of the eagles’ problems have to do with wentz. but if pederson simply won’t give us that opportunity, then he should go immediately, as he’s not only incompetent but also retarding the development of this team.

i think we could trade wentz after the season, but we would be trading him at the absolute nadir of his value—and being a value investor, i just hate doing that. regardless of how well hurts shows up this year, we need wentz to be our designated starter in 2021 under a new coaching regime, and he’ll need to prove himself next year in a new system. our plans beyond 2021 should depend on what we see of hurts this season and what we see from wentz next season.

i think we should not only keep wentz as the starting qb in 2021 but also bring back most of the current squad, with the exception of jason peters, jalen mills, and whoever else we need to cut or trade in order to get under the cap (i.e. alshon, desean, malik, and probably zach as well). regardless of what most beat writers might say, there is enough talent on this roster that it deserves a second chance under a better coaching staff. moreover, i would strongly suggest that we trade out of the 2021 draft as much as possible, for a variety of reasons.

firstly, the 2021 draft class just doesn’t look very talented from top to bottom. i count four elite talents: lawrence, fields, sewell, and possibly chase. outside of those four, i don’t see a very good draft class; in fact, it could be the cyclical bust year that we see in the NFL about every 5-6 seasons. while 2019 and 2020 were superior years at most every position, the 2021 class is remarkably weak on the defensive line (both interior and edge) and is almost as weak on the offensive line, apart from penei sewell. there are some safety prospects that look good, and perhaps the eagles could use a 2nd or a 3rd on an attractive prospect, but this truly looks like a good draft to trade out of, particularly in the 1st round.

secondly, the 2021 draft class doesn’t give us as much game tape to evaluate because of the opt-outs and cancelled games, making this draft a particularly speculative play. there are more than a few guys like greg rousseau who flashed in one season and are banking on that year of highlights to bump their stock. that’s too risky for me. it’s hard enough to evaluate a guy when he puts up three solid seasons against stiff competition; i’m definitely not going to spend a 1st round pick on a guy with only one season of strong play.

thirdly, for a legitimate rebuild (and yes i think the eagles will prove in 2021 that a rebuild is in order), we need to invest high picks in linemen. our o-line is already past its prime, and even if andre dillard shows us something he hasn’t shown us already, i am under no delusions that this line will remain elite in the 2-3 seasons that lie ahead. our d-line has no long-term solutions at defensive end, and i’ve counted this as our most important positional need for over a year now. as i implied in my brief and strongly negative assessment of the 2021 draft class, this isn’t the year to be hunting for linemen. i’d prefer to stock up on picks and go all-in in 2022, once we’ve reevaluated our team needs under an effective new head coach.

so to recap: play hurts the rest of this year, get a new head coach, trade out of the 2021 draft as much as possible, and give wentz another spin under center next season. it’s really hard to say what shape this team is in because of how poorly coached it has been, but hopefully a year from now we’ll know what we’ve got in these guys. in the best case scenario, we see brilliance from jalen hurts and lose out for a high draft position in 2021, which we leverage into multiple high picks in the 2022 draft. then next season we see wentz evolve into an above-average QB in a new system that brings out the best in fulgham, reagor, arcega-whiteside, and goedert.

what’s a man without his dream?

Go Eagles!