03.27.21

3-Round Mock: Jalen Hurts is Reunited with Devonta Smith

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:34 pm by Administrator

in this mock, jalen hurts is reunited with devonta smith—in houston.

i’m going to take one big step out of the box and recognize all the signals for what they really mean. roseman wanted zach wilson but couldn’t trade up to get within reach. so he’s trading down and getting extra picks. is he really committed to a slow rebuild around jalen hurts? let’s be frank: that’s not roseman’s (and lurie’s) style. they’ve always got their foot on the gas pedal. they don’t want to concede the nfc east to anyone on any given year. personally, i think that the eagles should build around jalen hurts because he can be a great nfl quarterback. but i am not sure that the eagles front office wants to make that bet.

the price for deshaun watson is falling for two main reasons: teams looking for quarterbacks have made their moves, and the sexual misconduct allegations surrounding watson are raising concerns about a suspension. sure, there are teams out there that will continue to pitch for his services (carolina in particular), but the market is cooling and the opportunity for a new suitor is certainly there.

when it comes down to it, i don’t think eagles’ management is going to pass on this opportunity to get a leg up on the rest of the division by getting their elite franchise quarterback right now. the trade is there to be made: the 12th pick, a 2022 1st round pick (probably our own), andre dillard, derek barnett, and jalen hurts. houston has to consider this deal. while it’s lighter than the three 1st round picks they’ve asked for (and dillard+barnett+hurts does not equal a 1st round pick by any stretch of the imagination), the deal gives them something that no other team can give them. it gives them a character guy at quarterback who’s shown flashes of excellence and who won’t give the organization a hard time. it gives them a cheap, high-upside left tackle prospect that they scouted extensively in 2019. and it gives them a defensive end with a draft pedigree and good production and without an onerous contractual commitment. these three guys plug major holes for the texans, and the two 1st round picks are the cherry on top. with the 12th pick, they’ll get devonta smith and trot him out with brandin cooks to headline the receiver group for jalen hurts.

i’ve been playing around with a variety of mock scenarios in which the eagles do nothing and just stick with the picks they’ve got. i just don’t see it. i think it’s a waste of time to project what the eagles will do with pick 12 and their extra picks next year when it’s obvious that they want to be a win-now team. howie roseman knows that he’s no good at building through the draft. mark my words: we’re going all in on deshaun watson now.

in this latest 3-round mock (with comp picks added now), i have the eagles taking rondale moore with their 2nd round pick and jackson carman and jordan smith with their two 3rd round picks. the eagles need a dynamic slot receiver with major YAC potential, and a healthy rondale moore will give them the plus playmaker they need. an offense that has deshaun watson throwing to rondale moore, dallas goedert, and jalen reagor will put points on the board, regardless of what travis fulgham and jj arcega-whiteside are able to do under the new coaching regime. i think the eagles will address cornerback with another 1-year patch job and focus their 3rd round picks on the trenches. jackson carman will be the successor to lane johnson, and jordan smith will have a year behind josh sweat and brandon graham to bulk up another 5-10 pounds and add a pass rush move. he’s a more raw version of greg rousseau with equivalent (very high) upside.

in the 4th round (not shown), we’ll get a safety. i favor talanoa hufanga.

Houston trades Deshaun Watson to Philadelphia for Jalen Hurts, Derek Barnett, Andre Dillard, pick 12 this year, and a 2022 1st round pick

NY Jets trade Sam Darnold to Chicago for pick 52

Round One

1. Jax: Trevor Lawrence
2. NYJ: Zach Wilson
3. SF: Trey Lance
4. Carolina from Atl for 8/39/2022 1st/2022 3rd: Justin Fields
5. Cincinnati: Penei Sewell
6. Miami: Ja’Marr Chase
7. Detroit: Jaylen Waddle
8. Atl from Carolina: Greg Rousseau
9. Denver: Patrick Surtain
10. Dallas: Jaycee Horn
11. NYG: Kwity Paye
12. Houston from Phi: Devonta Smith
13. LAC: Rashawn Slater
14. Min: Christian Darrisaw
15. NE: Mac Jones
16. Ari: Kyle Pitts
17. LV: Caleb Farley
18. Mia: Micah Parsons
19. WFT: Terrace Marshall
20. LV from Chi: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
21. Indy: Jalen Mayfield
22. Ten: Azeez Ojulari
23. NYJ: Travis Etienne
24. Pitt: Alijah Vera-Tucker
25. Jax: Christian Barmore
26. Cle: Jaelan Phillips
27. Bal: Kadarius Toney
28. NO: Zaven Collins
29. GB: Asante Samuel Jr.
30. Buf: Elijah Moore
31. KC: Wyatt Davis
32. TB: Jayson Oweh

Round Two

33. Jax: Najee Harris
34. NYJ: Pat Freiermuth
35. Atl: Greg Newsome II
36. Mia: Javonte Williams
37. Phi: Rondale Moore ***
38. Cin: Rashod Bateman
39. Atl from Carolina: Levi Onwuzurike
40. Denver: Ronnie Perkins
41. Detroit: Eric Stokes
42. NYG: Ifeatu Melifonwu
43. SF: Tay Gowan
44. Dallas: Trevon Moehrig
45. Jax: Jabril Cox
46. NE: Boogie Basham
47. LAC: Paulson Adebo
48. LV: Jevon Holland
49. Ari: Nick Bolton
50. Mia: Tyson Campbell
51. WFT: Aaron Robinson
52. NYJ from Chi: Daviyon Nixon
53. Ten: Tylan Wallace
54. Indy: Joseph Ossai
55. Pitt: Creed Humphrey
56. Seattle: Teven Jenkins
57. LAR: Marvin Wilson
58. Bal: Samuel Cosmi
59. Cle: Trey Smith
60. NO: Brevin Jordan
61. GB: Alex Leatherwood
62. Buf: Baron Browning
63. KC: Amon-Ra St. Brown
64. TB: Dyami Brown

Round Three

65. Jax: Jamin Davis
66. NYJ: Paris Ford
67. Hou: Patrick Jones II
68. Atl: Andre Cisco
69. Cin: Alim McNeill
70. Phi: Jackson Carman ***
71. Den: Joe Tryon
72. Det: Hamsah Nasirildeen
73. Car: Elijah Molden
74. WFT: Dylan Moses
75. Dal: Jay Tufele
76. NYG: Cameron McGrone
77. LAC: Anthony Schwartz
78. Min: Kenneth Gainwell
79. Ari: Dillon Radunz
80. LV: Kelvin Joseph
81. Mia: Liam Eichenberg
82. WFT: Israel Mukuamu
83. LV from Chi: Deonte Brown
84. Phi From Indy: Jordan Smith ***
85. Ten: Richie Grant
86. NYJ: Tommy Togiai
87. Pitt: Kyle Trask
88. Detroit from LAR: Rasheed Walker
89. Cle: Caden Sterns
90. Min: Ar’Darius Washington
91. Cle: Chazz Surratt
92. GB: Tyler Shelvin
93. Buf: Dazz Newsome
94. KC: Rashad Weaver
95. TB: Chuba Hubbard
96. NE: Rodarius Williams
97. LAC: Kary Vincent, Jr.
98. NO: Osa Odhighizuwa
99. Dal: Brady Christensen
100. Ten: Aaron Banks
101. Det: Walker Little
102. SF: Quinn Meinerz
103. LAR: Amari Rodgers
104. Bal: Thomas Graham
105. NO: Dayo Odeyingbo

03.26.21

With the 12th pick of the draft, the philadelphia eagles select…

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:33 pm by Administrator

no one. they trade down again.

here’s my mock of the first 11 picks, so that we can talk about philadelphia’s options at pick 12.

1. Jax: Trevor Lawrence
2. NYJ: Zach Wilson
3. SF: Trey Lance
4. Atlanta: Justin Fields
5. Cincinnati: Penei Sewell
6. Miami: Ja’Marr Chase
7. Detroit: Jaylen Waddle
8. Carolina: Devonta Smith
9. Denver: Greg Rousseau
10. Dallas: Patrick Surtain
11. NYG: Kwity Paye

the first 3 picks are very straightforward, so there’s no need to second-guess any of those. one could argue perhaps that the 49ers might lean toward fields on draft night, but i really don’t think so. they squeezed the trigger this early in the process because they absolutely know who they want right now; and the only buzzworthy news in the last week was trey lance’s amazing pro day. he’s a shanahan quarterback. there’s no doubt in my mind that trey lance is going 3rd.

the 4th pick is theoretically a question mark, but with the last top quarterback on the board, the atlanta falcons will recognize that they cannot pass on this opportunity to get their next franchise quarterback. they will get monster offers, but they will pass. it would be unconscionable of them to trade down with carolina and settle for either a cornerback or a defensive end from this underwhelming draft class. if they pass on justin fields at pick 4, the ownership should outright fire the new GM and clean house. there is no logical option at pick 4 except justin fields.

penei sewell is a popular mock to cincy and for good reason; joe burrow needs to be kept upright and healthy if he’s going to make the bengals a winner. they will not overthink this and go with rashawn slater. they will do the right thing and take the physical anomaly that is penei sewell, the kind of left tackle prospect that shows up once every 25 years.

miami and detroit should both take wide receivers for their unimpressive offenses, and i think carolina will as well. even if carolina is able to give up this pick to houston for deshaun watson, pick eight will still be devonta smith because both teams are equally thin at wide receiver (and because devonta smith will be the last remotely impressive skill player left on the draft board).

i have two defensive ends (rousseau and paye) going in the next 3 picks along with patrick surtain. denver and new york have similar draft needs, though the NYG brass is overrating daniel jones relative to denver’s more realistic assessment of drew lock. both teams should consider mac jones, but i think they’ll both opt for edge players instead. almost for certain, only one cornerback will go in the top 11 picks, and it won’t be caleb farley after he passed on his pro day.

that means that philadelphia will have the following guys as realistic options at pick 12:

1. Cornerback: jaycee horn and caleb farley
2. Linebacker: micah parsons and jeremiah owusu-koramoah
3. Edge: jaelan phillips
4. Offensive lineman: rashawn slater
5. Receiver: kyle pitts

let’s forget about kyle pitts and micah parsons because i already roundly dismissed them two entries ago. like i wrote in my last entry, i have a feeling that the eagles will take horn, and i’m not vigorously opposed. cornerback is our most critical positional need to address in both free agency and the draft, but my question is just how impactful jaycee horn can be in a defense that has a fading pass rush and no quality linebackers to speak of. i’ve already made it abundantly clear that my two favorite picks for philadelphia in the first round are owusu-koramoah and phillips, whom i consider to be the two best defenders in this class. my sense is that both guys will go after pick 15, and one of these guys will be available at pick 20. for this reason, another trade down with a team like chicago (hungry for mac jones) would be a sensible consideration.

all that being said, rashawn slater is the single best player in this entire group of guys projected to be available at pick 12, and it would be tough to pass on him. the eagles will have to reckon with the facts: slater will be the best player available, but a defender must be our priority for this rebuild.

to recap, if the eagles take horn, i’ll be satisfied; if the eagles take j-ok or phillips, i’ll be enthused; and if the eagles trade down and get j-ok or phillips, picking up an extra 2nd rounder and future draft capital in the trade-down, i’ll be elated. but if the eagles take kyle pitts at pick 12, that’ll be a major thumbs down. don’t do it!

welcome to philadelphia, jaycee horn!

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:51 pm by Administrator

the eagles did the right thing (and the bold thing) by prioritizing long-term strategy and moving down to pick 12 to pick up a 1st round pick next year. it’s the move that only a secure GM can make. say what you will about howie roseman, but his job security is important to his ability to best position the eagles for an optimal rebuild.

i love this trade for a few reasons:

1. like i’ve written previously, the eagles should not be committed to taking chase or pitts at pick 6. this deal proves that they’re willing to pass on both players.

2. like i’ve blogged repeatedly, the 2021 draft is relatively weak from top to bottom, and trading into the 1st round of next year’s draft is a decisive and smart move that will yield us vastly greater value.

3. the trade down suggests that we are open to drafting a defensive player in round one this year, as the top 3 receivers are not a good bet to be on the board beyond the first 10 picks. at pick 12, the eagles will have terrific defensive options: a top-3 cornerback (jaycee horn in particular), a premiere defensive weapon (jeremiah owusu-koramoah), or the best pure pass rusher in this class (jaelan phillips).

i’m guessing that the eagles were so impressed by jaycee horn’s pro day that they are willing to take him, caleb farley, or patrick surtain—whichever of these cornerbacks happens to fall to 12. by my assessment, jaycee horn is nearly a lock to be available at pick 12, and i believe this is why the eagles did the deal.

personally, i’d like the eagles to consider yet another trade down—but not until draft night. if mac jones slides to pick 12 and the pats or bears are very hungry for his services, we should be able to get a 2021 2nd round pick and a 2nd rounder in 2022 in the trade package. drafting at either 15 or 20 should still give the eagles a very good shot at either j-ok or phillips, and the extra 2nd rounder this year would be a nice asset to flip or to use.

well played roseman.

eagles: put the kyle pitts talk to bed

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:23 pm by Administrator

a few months ago, in one of my first entries about the upcoming draft, i wrote that there are only three guys that the eagles should consider taking with the 6th pick if trevor lawrence is not on the board: micah parsons, ja’marr chase, and kyle pitts. but in that entry, i rationalized my way out of drafting any of those three players, for a variety of reasons. micah parsons might be a slightly undersized edge player with subpar zone coverage skills. ja’marr chase might not offer value at the 6th pick due to the depth of this receiver class.

kyle pitts, in my mind, is a straightforward prrojection at the NFL level. he’s not a blocking tight end, so there’s little sense in using him in-line. at 6′6″, he’s not a twitchy guy that you’re going to use behind the line of scrimmage or on fast-breaking routes, so you’re not going to default to flanking him or putting him in the slot. kyle pitts at the NFL level is going to be an X receiver that you’ll use almost strictly as a downfield threat. you’re going to count on him to beat press coverage, win the post route with his straight-line speed, and come down with the jump ball. defenses will have to hit him at the line of scrimmage and zone him downfield in order to contain the threat.

it’s the one-dimensionality of kyle pitts’ projection that gives me a lot of concern about picking him in the 1st round. make no mistake about it: he looks like a matchup problem because of his size/speed combination. but by the way, so does dallas goedert. how many tall and fast guys are we going to continue parachuting into the eagle offense before we realize that the eagles aren’t going to suddenly become an effective vertical team? i would love kyle pitts on a russell wilson-led offense that doesn’t already have dk metcalf. i think he’d bring something new for joe burrow to work with in an offense that needs a legitimate deep threat on every play. but in philadelphia, kyle pitts is an error of redundancy; he’s another mouth to feed downfield when our focus really needs to be on timing and efficiency. we’ve already got goedert, reagor, and hightower to blaze post patterns for days.

my thoughts on our receiver needs have evolved. initially i thought we needed a dominating X receiver, but more recently i’ve become convinced that philadelphia’s biggest need at receiver this year is an upgrade in the slot. we need a guy who can take the quick pass, win with lateral quicks, and move the chains with YAC. and let’s face it: an upgrade at slot receiver can’t even be counted as philadelphia’s #1 team need this year, given the gnawing lack of youth, talent, and skill at the second and third levels of our defense. i might even argue that our perpetually injured and underperforming offensive line should be a higher priority than our receiving group this year.

in most every mock i’ve participated in with real and bot users, i’ve found opportunities to trade down. my most frequent trade partners have been the broncos, the 49ers, the pats, and the bears, and in some mocks, i’ve traded down with two of these teams. we can’t underestimate the market for the 6th pick this year, as teams will be hungry to trade up not only for the quarterbacks that may fall but also for the non-quarterback playmakers that will be overrated by the hype machine, including kyle pitts. conservatively, the eagles should be able to take a 2nd round pick this year and at least a 2nd rounder next year in any trade with the niners and pats, and if we have the balls to trade down to 20 our haul could afford us a generational rebuild. roseman will be loathe to fall that far in round 1, but why shouldn’t he consider it? one of the top two defenders in this class—jeremiah owusu-koramoah and jaelan phillips—will be ripe for the picking at pick 20, and any eagle draft scenario that gets us one of these two guys is a success.

going back to kyle pitts, i don’t think he’s a darren waller or travis kelce. those guys are a rare breed; they win with mentality as much as with size and speed. you can’t simply assume that pitts can dominate the big leagues like he did against weak man coverage in the college game. i like the measurables (who doesn’t) but i’m a “wait and see” when it comes to his pro game.

don’t fall for the kyle pitts trap in this draft, eagles. get a solid in-line blocker in the 6th round this year.

03.21.21

Three Round Mock NFL Draft: Watson to Denver

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:19 pm by Administrator

in this mock draft version, the eagles do two things that make sense and fit roseman’s general approach to the draft.

first, they trade down from pick 6 but stay in the top 15 picks, by dealing the pick to new england. i am beginning to believe that the 49ers will sit tight and let someone else take justin fields—but the patriots, who are clearly all in on a fast rebuild, will do something very uncharacteristic and trade up to get their quarterback right now. cam newton may start a few games, but fields will get on the field in year one and likely be their man down the stretch.

second, the eagles trade their two 2nd round picks (the 2nd courtesy of new england) to get back into the first round with the saints’ pick to take a falling jaelan phillips. the eagles understand that the rebuild most focus on the trenches, and jaelan phillips—the #1 edge rusher in this class who will fall due to concerns about his commitment to football—will become the centerpiece of that rebuild.

in round three, the eagles will take another foundational lineman, the massive and fairly mobile jackson carman, and with their fourth pick in the top 3 rounds they will take tay gowan, the cornerback they have already met with and are enamored with on account of his wingspan, instincts, and ball skills.

the eagles will pass on a linebacker and a safety in the first 3 rounds of this draft. they’ll pass on safety because they’re betting on the development of k’von wallace and marcus epps; and they’ll pass on linebacker because they’re betting on genard avery and davion taylor.

Draft Day Trades:

Houston trades Deshaun Watson to Denver for 9, 40, 2022 1st rounder, Drew Lock, and KJ Hamler

NY Jets trade Sam Darnold to Chicago for pick 52

Carolina trades up with Atlanta for pick 4 to take Trey Lance

Philadelphia executes a trade down to pick 15 with New England to pick up 3 picks from New England; then they trade back into the 1st round with New Orleans to take Jaelan Phillips

Chicago trades up to pick 17 with Las Vegas to take Mac Jones ahead of Washington

Round One

1. Jax: Trevor Lawrence
2. NYJ: Zach Wilson
3. Miami: Penei Sewell
4. Carolina from Atl for 8/39/2022 1st: Trey Lance
5. Cincinnati: Rashawn Slater
6. NE from Phi for 15/46/120/2022 2nd rounder: Justin Fields
7. Detroit: Ja’Marr Chase
8. Atl from Carolina: Patrick Surtain
9. Houston from Denver: Greg Rousseau
10. Dallas: Caleb Farley
11. NYG: Kwity Paye
12. SF: Jaycee Horn
13. LAC: Christian Darrisaw
14. Min: Micah Parsons
15. Phi from NE: Jaylen Waddle ***
16. Ari: Kyle Pitts
17. Chi from LV for 20/83/2022 2nd round pick: Mac Jones
18. Mia: Devonta Smith
19. WFT: Terrace Marshall
20. LV from Chi: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
21. Indy: Jalen Mayfield
22. Ten: Azeez Ojulari
23. NYJ: Travis Etienne
24. Pitt: Najee Harris
25. Jax: Christian Barmore
26. Cle: Zaven Collins
27. Bal: Kadarius Toney
28. Phi from NO for 37/46/150: Jaelan Phillips ***
29. GB: Asante Samuel Jr.
30. Buf: Alijah Vera-Tucker
31. KC: Wyatt Davis
32. TB: Jayson Oweh

Round Two

33. Jax: Javonte Williams
34. NYJ: Pat Freiermuth
35. Atl: Joseph Ossai
36. Mia: Daivyon Nixon
37. NO from Phi: Eric Stokes
38. Cin: Rashod Bateman
39. Atl from Carolina: Levi Onwuzurike
40. Houston from Denver: Ifeatu Melifonwu
41. Detroit: Tyson Campbell
42. NYG: Greg Newsome II
43. SF: Joe Tryon
44. Dallas: Trevon Moehrig
45. Jax: Jabril Cox
46. NO from Phi from NE: Nick Bolton
47. LAC: Paulson Adebo
48. LV: Jevon Holland
49. Ari: Boogie Basham
50. Mia: Ronnie Perkins
51. WFT: Aaron Robinson
52. NYJ from Chi: Rondale Moore
53. Ten: Tylan Wallace
54. Indy: Amon-Ra St. Brown
55. Pitt: Creed Humphrey
56. NYJ from Seattle: Teven Jenkins
57. LAR: Marvin Wilson
58. Bal: Samuel Cosmi
59. Cle: Trey Smith
60. NO: Brevin Jordan
61. GB: Alex Leatherwood
62. Buf: Baron Browning
63. KC: Patrick Jones II
64. TB: Elijah Moore

Round Three

65. Jax: Jamin Davis
66. NYJ: Paris Ford
67. Hou: Dyami Brown
68. Atl: Andre Cisco
69. Cin: Alim McNeill
70. Phi: Jackson Carman ***
71. Den: Jordan Smith
72. Det: Hamsah Nasirildeen
73. Car: Elijah Molden
74. WFT: Dylan Moses
75. Dal: Jay Tufele
76. NYG: Cameron McGrone
77. LAC: Anthony Schwartz
78. Min: Kenneth Gainwell
79. Ari: Dillon Radunz
80. LV: Kelvin Joseph
81. Mia: Liam Eichenberg
82. WFT: Israel Mukuamu
83. LV from Chi: Deonte Brown
84. Phi From Indy: Tay Gowan ***
85. Ten: Richie Grant
86. NYJ: Tommy Togiai
87. Pitt: Kyle Trask
88. Detroit from LAR: Rasheed Walker
89. Cle: Caden Sterns
90. Min: Rodarius Williams
91. Cle: Quincy Roche
92. GB: Tyler Shelvin
93. Buf: Dazz Newsome
94. KC: Rashad Weaver
95. TB: Chris Rumph

03.20.21

Eagles: Positional analysis and FA/Draft Priorities

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:18 am by Administrator

i wrote up this analysis before the anthony harris signing, which is a solid one according to my assessment (as you’ll soon see).

before i offer my positional analysis, i’ll define a couple of my assumptions. first, free agent signings are generally the most important roster changes for a rebuild, whether they are premium players signed for long-term deals or mid-low tier players signed for short-term contracts. these are guys you sign to make an impact in year one, and you have to sign quality free agents or trade for established players when you lack talent at key positions.

outside of top-10 picks, drafted rookies shouldn’t be expected to be year one contributors, and most drafted players will not hit their stride until year three or four. draft picks are important for depth and for long-term cost-effectiveness, as they can yield cheap production at expensive positions. ideally you hit home runs with all your draft picks (like the saints in 2017), re-sign the best picks, and trade the rest of the guys for future draft capital; but the reality is that half of first rounders don’t develop into solid starters, and the majority of day two picks don’t get a second contract. ideally, each draft class will get you one foundational player (a guy who merits a sizable second contract) and then two or three functional starters who may or may not stick around for a hometown discount after the rookie deal.

in other words, building through the draft is awesome when it happens; but generally it happens through slow, arduous, and painstaking work over 2-3 seasons. if a team wants to turn it around fast, they have to have cap room, and they have to be aggressive in free agency (i.e. the new england patriots). it’s fairly obvious that the philadelphia eagles are not in that position, because we have too much money tied up in all the wrong places. we’re looking at a slow rebuild, primarily through the draft.

could the eagles be doing things differently? i’d argue that this mediocre eagles team struggling to find youth, direction, and identity really cannot afford players like lane johnson, brandon brooks, fletcher cox, and brandon graham right now. all four guys would ideally be getting traded right now, not extended/renegotiated to deepen the salary cap bondage we are in. there’s absolutely no way that a philadelphia team essentially out of the playoff picture before day one of the 2021 season should be paying out close to $20 million a year to their 30+ year old right tackle and their interior defensive lineman. if the eagles were serious about the rebuild, they’d ballast these guys and put money to work buying young skill players and defensive playmakers in their prime, while rebuilding on the offensive and defensive lines through the draft. but lurie and roseman are still playing favorites and rewarding old friends, instead of rolling up the sleeves and chopping up the chicken. the NFL is not kind to teams that take half-measures.

so we’re going to walk this delicate tightrope between the past and the future, trying to hold on to overpaid superstar linemen past their prime while also trying to get impossibly lucky in the draft. shut out of free agency for this year and next, the eagles have no convenient path to improving their roster and genuinely look unlikely to contend for the NFC East for several years.

that’s the bad news. the good news is that we can always dream of a draft as good as new orleans’ haul in 2017. if we were to be so lucky, everything could change in 2021. that’s highly unlikely with just four picks in the first three rounds and howie roseman at the helm.

so here’s the positional analysis—and what we would ideally prioritize in free agency and in the draft.

QB: Jalen Hurts… and nothing else. quarterback absolutely has to be a high priority for us in free agency, which means we have to be all in on marcus mariota if/when he is cut by the raiders.

OL: on paper, mailata/dillard, seumalo, kelce, brooks, and johnson look solid, but they are injury prone (brooks and johnson), past their prime (kelce), or possibly dubious (mailata and seumalo). we cannot afford a free agent and don’t necessarily need a starter. we have to draft a tackle this year.

TE: with only goedert headlining the tight end group (assuming an ertz trade), we would ideally address our paper-thin tight end group in free agency, but there’s little money to do this. it’s a lower priority signing.

WR: fulgham, reagor, and ward are not a group that anyone can bet on. this group absolutely needs to be bolstered right away with either a top-10 pick or a solid free agent signing (and ideally both). to be more specific, we would ideally sign a slot receiver and draft an x-receiver prospect, to hedge our bets in the most cost-effective way possible.

RB: sanders, killins, and boston scott(?). no immediate need here; it’s a position we should draft for in the late rounds.

D Line: it’s an overpaid and underproductive group at this stage in their careers, but we’re not going to need an impact free agent this year. we need to draft an edge player and an interior d-lineman as early as this year.

LB: a hopelessly outmatched group, this linebacking crew cannot execute jonathan gammon’s defense without at least one major free agent signing—which is impossible given our salary cap situation. jeremiah owusu-koramoah is the only draft pick likely to turn this group into a strength in the 2021 season, but in all likelihood the eagles will have to settle for a low-impact free agent signing and hope for extraordinary development from davion taylor in year two.

CB: our cornerback group is so thin and so bad that it has to be addressed through both free agency and the draft. a high-priced outside cornerback and a 1st round pick would both be needed to make this a functional coverage group even in jonathan gammon’s cover-2 zone scheme, so we are looking at a cornerback situation that is likely to severely disappoint expectations yet again in 2021.

S: given rodney mcleod’s injury and k’von wallace’s dicey prospects in year two, this is the position that most desperately requires a strong free agent signing this off-season. we also have to draft a free safety prospect in the top 3 rounds of this draft.

putting it together, i’d list out our free agency and draft needs as follows:

free agency priorities:

1. outside cornerback: the single highest priority for free agency and the position we have to devote the most money to if we are looking for team success in ‘21.

2. strong safety: the second most important priority for free agency.

3. slot receiver: an immediate upgrade over greg ward is needed in order to run an effective offense through jalen hurts.

4. outside linebacker: every linebacker position could use an immediate infusion of talent.

5. qb: we just need a guy.

6. tight end: let’s get a blocker.

draft priorities:

1. X-receiver: we can’t afford a dominant X receiver in free agency, and we obviously don’t have one on the roster, so this has to be a priority in the top 2 rounds of the draft.

2. defensive end: as badly as we need a future outside cornerback in this draft, and as poor as the talent is at the edge positions in this draft class, we are nevertheless almost forced to take a defensive end very high in this class, given our imminent need to rebuild the d-line this year and next. i think we may need to prioritize the edge in the 1st round, over wide receiver.

3. outside cornerback: this is a day two pick that hopefully can be a guy we develop in year one behind a free agent pick-up that we play opposite of darius slay.

4. free safety: this also has to be a day 2 pick, possibly with the 3rd round pick we got from indianapolis. the talent we’re looking for, ranging from richie grant to talanoa hufanga, will not make it to the 5th round of this draft.

5. offensive tackle: as per my analysis above, we are not far from experiencing a precipitous drop-off in the performance of our aging and overpaid offensive line. i’d prefer to trade down in the 1st round in order to pick up an extra day two pick that we could devote to a tackle like jackson carman or liam eichenberg.

6. slot cornerback: day 3 pick.

7. running back: day 3 pick.

8. punter: day 3 pick. really it’s a very sad thing to be losing cam johnston, but that’s what happens when you’re fucking broke.

with all that established, here’s what my ideal off-season looks like:

march: we trade zach ertz for a 3rd round pick and then clear enough cap room (courtesy of fletcher cox) to sign marcus mariota, gareon conley, and malik hooker to cheap one-year deals. lj fort for some reason decides to give us another try.

april: we trade down from pick 6 with SF (who take trey lance) for their 2nd round pick, and then we trade down again with chicago (who take mac jones) for their 2nd round pick. at pick 20, we take defensive end jaelan phillips (the highest upside defender in this class other than jeremiah owusu-koramoah), and with our six day two picks we take a receiver (terrace marshall), an outside corner (ifeatu melifonwu), a tackle (jackson carman), a slot corner (elijah molden), a slot receiver (elijah moore, my favorite receiver in this class), and a safety (richie grant).

03.19.21

the anti asian hate

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:29 pm by Administrator

i try not to follow the news so much, because it incites my rage. i do my best to control my feelings. i have learned one lesson in my life: that no matter how much malice there may be in the world, my greatest enemy is my own ego. it is my own predisposition for hatred and violence that has caused me the most suffering. i am the cause of my own suffering. no one else.

naming an oppressor is sometimes the beginning of an identity, and so i hesitate to do it. but after my brother-in-law was attacked two days ago in downtown fullerton by two white men wearing masks and taunting him with racist epithets, i am more tempted than ever to name it. it’s racist white people. it’s racist black people. they’re coming for us, like i always knew that they would, and they want blood, just as i do. they have assaulted me twice in my life: a black kid on a sidewalk, a skanger in downtown edinburgh. both times they struck me in the face and walked away like it was nothing. they left a lasting impression.

they come after us when we least expect it. they push us to the ground on our morning walks. they drag us to the ground and kick us in a laundromat. they sucker punch us; they yell at us; they carve scars into our faces; they spray us with febreze on the subway. the white and black people of this country hate each other and have so little in common, but their contempt for us—the guests in their country—unites them. and under the banner of a president who could not disguise his disdain for people of color and immigrants, they have come alive, a whole tribe of ruthless and racist people, whose rage cannot be contained. they will kill or be killed. they are americans.

i keep a 10 inch hunting blade under the seat of my car. i think to myself, fool me once, shame on you. i’ve been fooled a few times now, by your flag, by your national anthem that i will not stand for anymore. you told me that i was one of you, but it takes one fist in the face, one angry word, to remind me who you are. i’d like to think that the next time you come for me—and i surely know that you will—i will bury this knife in your neck, so that you’ll know that just when you thought i couldn’t see it, you ran into a man who isn’t a fool anymore. you want my blood? i want yours.

but here’s the thing. i know that when you come after me again, i will do what i always have done. rooted to the ground, stunned at your sudden violence, an observer in my own body, i will offer you my face, and you will pummel it yet again. i will fall to the ground in shock, unbelieving when i have no right to be dismayed. i should have seen it coming, long before you crossed the street in your hoodie and your mask, long before i sat here typing this entry with your face in mind, long before a friend of mine was kicked and beaten in his own neighborhood. shame on me. i will let you do this again, because when it comes down to it, though i know the truth, i will continue to pretend that we can be compatriots, civil if not friendly. break me again. remind me of this falsehood. make a murderer of me. tell me that i hold to a lie, so that i can reckon with my true enemy. you see, you are not my true enemy. i—the believer, the one who will not defend himself—am the enemy

03.15.21

more thoughts on eagles and wide receivers

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:05 pm by Administrator

i’ve written before that for the past several years at least, philadelphia is where receivers go to have their careers ruined. it’s partly the quarterback, the coaching, and the scheme. it’s not a great recipe for wide receiver success when your quarterback is highly inaccurate, your wide receivers coaches are consistently mediocre (and thus fired on an annual basis), and the scheme force feeds the tight end while giving the receivers an unusually heavy dose of vertical routes. alshon jeffery, golden tate, and nelson agholor were all better receivers than what philadelphia showcased of them, and jalen reagor is probably a better receiver than what he was allowed to demonstrate in his rookie year.

because of how poorly we have coached the wide receivers and made use of their talents, it’s really unclear how much need we have at the position. even the most basic question—”do we have the receivers we need to run our offensive scheme?”—is impossible to answer right now, thanks to the recent incompetence of doug pederson and his entire offensive coaching staff outside of jeff stoutland and possibly duce staley. this is the question however that has to be answered and definitively so before we craft the strategy to our 2021 draft. the risk we run by throwing yet another 1st round talent into the mix is that we collect a lot of guys with similar strengths without any reasonable plan to properly utilize any single player. last year, we had no game plan for jalen reagor; we stumbled upon a travis fulgham breakout but then sabotaged his development in the second half of the season; and for the second year in a row, we could not decide if and when to put jj arcega-whiteside on the field. these are genuinely inexcusable mistakes, and they cannot be fixed by drafting yet another speed receiver with high upside.

from what i’ve seen of jalen hurts and the highlights of the eagles offense after he took the helm, i have a few observations:

1. we don’t need another downfield burner on this offense. as it stands, a jalen hurts offense can’t even support jalen reagor’s full potential right now. that’s not a knock on jalen hurts; like i’ve written previously, i love the guy. but how many 4.3 speed guys can you load onto the line of scrimmage for more than marginal returns?

2. the key to a productive jalen hurts offense is quick, decisive passing with YAC potential. bubble screens and shallow crossers are critical to keeping hurts efficient and upright. mix in designed runs and scrambles. keep the defense on its back foot. stop going for home runs on every drive.

3. short area quickness and dependable hands are what the eagles really need in a year one difference maker. it was not a coincidence that greg ward was the best overall receiver in the eagles’ offense last year. if we could upgrade the slot, we could see even bigger returns. personally, i really like the undersized but very polished slot receiver elijah moore, who proved that he could absorb volume and threaten defenses in the short, middle, and deep game. a guy like elijah moore would jump-start jalen hurts’ career development in year two, and he will probably be available in the 3rd round.

4. even if the eagles do not draft a receiver in the top rounds of this draft, they have enough to work on with the guys that they have. travis fulgham has the makings of a possession receiver and a situational deep threat, and he’s worth figuring into the game plan this year. jalen reagor is a dynamic weapon, and we need to move him around the formation. quez watkins and john hightower didn’t get a chance to prove their worth last year, and they need snaps. dallas goedert has big play potential and isn’t getting enough targets. do we really need another receiver to split the target share, especially when our defense so desperately lacks youth and talent at virtually every level?

03.14.21

Comments on CBS Mock

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:42 pm by Administrator

i watched prisco and wilson discuss pete prisco’s 1st round mock draft. i appreciated the in-depth discussion and debate on the players, their potential, and team fits.

what i liked in particular:

1. carolina trading up in the 1st for a quarterback.
2. jaylen waddle going ahead of devonta smith, despite devonta’s breakout year.
3. rondale moore going in the teens. he’s a game-breaker and worth the risk.

what i disagree with:

1. only one trade in the top 10 picks? i’m predicting at least two.
2. trey lance falling to the 49ers at pick 12? too convenient and almost inconceivable after lance’s pro day.
3. mac jones falling all the way to the steelers? pffft. no way.
4. aaron banks in the first round? i like the originality, but i can’t see why banks would go ahead of vera-tucker and wyatt davis with what they’ve accomplished.
5. jeremiah owusu-koramoah sliding to the 2nd round? i’ve had one mock where he fell to the eagles at pick 37 and that was wishful thinking. the talent in this class really tapers off very fast after pick 20, and i really don’t see teams throwing darts at prospects like jayson oweh or joseph ossai before scooping up a supremely versatile, talented, athletic, and productive defender like j-ok.

takeaways:

this is the first mock i’ve studied in which three receivers go in the top 10 picks. i think that this is thoroughly unlikely if four quarterbacks go in the top 10. in all likelihood, at least one offensive tackle (penei sewell) and two cornerbacks (surtain and farley) will go in the top 10 based on BPA and team needs, so with four quarterbacks and two receivers also going in the top 10 we have accounted for 9 of the top 10 picks. kyle pitts, rashawn slater, kwity paye, and greg rousseau are all getting top-10 buzz, so i’m betting against both devonta smith and jaylen waddle going in the top 10. if waddle is the one who falls, i can see him slipping to new england (15) or washington (19).

unless either washington or chicago trade for deshaun watson or russell wilson, both teams will be strongly in the hunt for a quarterback in this draft. i don’t think there’s any doubt that one of them will trade up in the teens to secure mac jones. he will not make it past pick 19.

the best player who’s getting almost no first-round votes anymore is patrick jones, the edge rusher out of pittsburgh. if both he and ronnie perkins slip into round 2, can a team like the eagles afford to pass on an edge player in the early 2nd?

03.13.21

addendum

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:41 am by Administrator

after trey lance’s pro day today, there’s no doubt in my mind that the eagles will have solid opportunities to trade down.

top 6 picks:

1. Jacksonville: Trevor Lawrence
2. NYJ (or trade partner): Zach Wilson
3. Miami: Ja’Marr Chase or Penei Sewell
4. Atlanta: Justin Fields (or they’re crazy)
5. Cincinnati: Penei Sewell or Rashawn Slater
6. Carolina, Denver, San Francisco, New England, Washington, Chicago, or Pittsburgh: Trey “Unprecedented” Lance

let’s get a 1st, 2nd, a 3rd, and a 2022 1st round pick for this guy.

Jalen Hurts is the man, don’t ever doubt it.

GO EAGLES

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