04.30.21

NFL Draft: on to Day 2

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:06 pm by Administrator

i have mixed feelings about Day 1, which was not an unqualified victory for the Eagles.

on the one hand, i’m relieved for howie roseman and the organization, because they got Heisman. he’s a selection that won’t distract the franchise, and he’s a talent that may elevate jalen hurts this season. devonta smith was a consensus wish for the fan base.

on the other hand, i hate the trade up and what we sacrificed for the move. as i mentioned in my pre-draft entry, a trade up for a receiver in this draft was the wrong move for the eagles. in my opinion, a mid-3rd round pick was too expensive not just to move up 2 picks from 12 but also to get devonta smith. devonta isn’t “my guy”. i’ll defer judgment to alex rollins, who put up an excellent youtube on smith’s game and his projections. we have mad respect for what devonta did at alabama; we have doubts about his position versatility and potential at the NFL level. in my opinion, a trade up at the cost of a day 2 pick would have been entirely justified to grab justin fields, a quarterback prospect with rare talent, strong upside, and coachable flaws. but taking devonta smith at pick 10 is betting that this undersized slot receiver will replicate what he did in alabama’s dominant offensive scheme. that’s a bad bet.

in the end, howie roseman did what he always does. he abandoned discipline, made a trade up, and sacrificed critical draft capital. had he not done the deal, we likely would have seen devonta smith go to the Giants—and then we would have been in the position to either draft justin fields (a steal by any stretch of the imagination) or do the monster deal with Chicago that i have been campaigning for.

moving into day 2, the top 5 guys on the board for the eagles are jeremiah owusu-koramoah, trevon moehrig, christian barmore, teven jenkins, and samuel cosmi. if the eagles miss out on j-ok, they should definitely trade down in the 2nd round to pick up an additional 3rd or 4th rounder, as the early (and baffling) run on defensive ends is pushing plenty of talented offensive tackles into day 2. i would advocate for a trade down anywhere between 10 and 20 spots, if that’s what it takes to get back the 3rd rounder we gave up. even late in this 2nd round, we should still have a shot at excellent offensive tackles (i.e. brady christensen or jalen mayfield), and it should absolutely be our goal to come away from round 2 with a startable offensive tackle.

round 3 is obviously where we’ll take our cornerback, and there’s little to nothing differentiating the guys that are still on the board right now. paulson adebo, kelvin joseph, tyson campbell, elijah molden, asante samuel, ambry thomas, ifeatu melifonwu, aaron robinson, and tay gowan all have their strengths and evident flaws, and more than half of these guys will be on the board at pick 70. my preference at this point is paulson adebo, whose ball skills and aggression set him apart from the rest, but i’ll concede that i’m no expert, and the defensive coach should have his pick.

if we’re lucky enough to recoup a 3rd round pick after howie’s splurge in the first, we should double down on the o-line or take a safety, given that there are no quality defensive ends left on the board. trevon moehrig (if he falls to 37) is certainly a consideration there, but i vastly prefer a trade down and an offensive tackle selection, given value and team need.

04.28.21

1 Day Until the Draft: How the Eagles Lose this Draft (and Win)

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:21 pm by Administrator

up until yesterday, i was feeling excited and optimistic about the nfl draft.

today, i woke up and remembered my past draft night experiences. 2014, when we took marcus smith in the 1st round, a pick that flipped me into an instant rage. 2019, when we took jj arcega-whiteside at pick 57, an inexcusably unjustified pick that proved to be a major setback for the franchise. yes, i’ve written recently that howie roseman cannot be dismissed based on the results of two very bad drafts, one of which may have been driven predominantly by chip kelly. nevertheless, the eagles have not had anything resembling an excellent draft in more than a decade, and today i’m feeling a certain dread about what will transpire over the next four days.

to be concise, here are the scenarios that i would consider a total loss for the eagles:

1. the eagles take an edge player other than jaelan phillips at pick 12.

i’m specifically talking here about kwity paye. in my very first mock draft for the eagles months ago, i had them taking kwity paye, but that’s the last time i’ve mocked him to the eagles. this is for two reasons in particular. firstly, kwity paye is not a proven edge rusher. he is a very athletic football player with the requisite measurements to function on the edge; but he is not an accomplished pass rusher, and his lack of significant college production is obvious evidence of this. secondly, paye’s tape does not show a player with an encouraging “time to sack” potential. kwity paye is a pass rusher who produced late in games as a result of methodically outworking his opponent over the course of four grueling quarters, and his sacks were frequently coverage sacks deep into plays. kwity paye doesn’t win outright with power; he wins with a plan. i like his motor and his intelligence, but i don’t believe his traits translate to pressures and sacks at the NFL level.

2. the eagles trade up from either pick 12 or 37 to get a receiver.

in my opinion, no sacrifice of draft capital is warranted for a trade up to get a receiver, and a trade up from either 12 or 37 for a receiver will be expensive. i’ll be happy if devonta smith or jaylen waddle fall to us at 12, but i’ll be very disappointed if we lose a 3rd round pick this year or next to get one of them. i’ll be even more disappointed if we lose the equivalent of a 3rd rounder to move up from pick 37 for terrace marshall, a guy with limited short area quickness who struggled with bad routes and concentration drops throughout his college career.

3. the eagles do not draft an offensive lineman in the top 3 rounds.

it would be very inadvisable for the eagles to pass on an o-lineman in the top rounds when we have such a stellar class at our disposal, particularly given the recent instability and shaky future projections of our current o-line starters.

4. the eagles draft a running back in the top 3 rounds.

no explanation needed here.

how do the eagles win this draft? there are all kinds of ways in which we can win this draft, and all howie roseman has to do is not lose it outright.

1. the eagles draft justin fields without losing any 2022 draft capital.

based on my belief that this is generally a weak draft class, leveraging any or all of our 2021 picks to move up and get justin fields—one of this draft’s top 2 quarterbacks and an instant starter in year one—would be a victory for the eagles. i haven’t talked about this scenario much, and i do believe that jalen hurts can make the most of his situation if we need him to. but justin fields is a rare quarterback talent, and getting him late in the top 10 even at the expense of both a 2nd and 3rd round pick this year would be a worthwhile price, strictly from a value perspective.

2. the eagles trade down, not up.

any trade down in the 1st or 2nd that nets us an additional day two pick or more draft capital in 2022 is a win in my opinion, regardless of whom we end up passing on. beggars can’t be choosers; the eagles need more picks, not fewer—unless we’re sacrificing picks to get our quarterback.

3. the eagles use at least 8 of their draft picks on players this year.

we’re not going to draft 11 guys this year, but let’s get at least 8 young guys with potential.

4. the eagles get devonta smith or jaylen waddle without trading up.

specifically for howie roseman, this is the clearest “win” scenario. a trade up is an opportunity cost for us and makes the eagles look silly for trading down from 6. but standing firm at 12 and grabbing one of these two receivers makes howie look like a star. it’s that simple.

04.25.21

Last Eagles Only Mock before Thursday Night

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:00 pm by Administrator

in my last entry, i gave my projected mock for the first 3 rounds. today, i’m going to put out my personal wish list for the first four rounds. it’s probably unrealistic, but nevertheless these are my high-conviction picks for the eagles, and i will offer my rationale for each one.

Round 1: trade back to pick 20 (Chicago) for a 2nd round pick (52) and draft jeremiah owusu-koramoah

i think there’s better than a 50% chance that either trey lance or mac jones falls to pick 12, mainly because i cannot see more than one of the top 10 teams being willing to trade down to the mid-1st if it means missing out on kyle pitts, patrick surtain, or rashawn slater—3 guys with very specific and avid suitors. even if jaylen waddle or devonta smith are still on the board, i want the eagles to make the trade down because i believe in the quality of the 2nd tier of wide receivers (as i’ll discuss shortly).

at pick 20, the eagles will possibly have their choice of five excellent defensive prospects (jeremiah owusu-koramoah, jaelan phillips, christian barmore, caleb farley, and greg newsome), and the receivers on the board (bateman and both moores) will be worthy of consideration. to me, there is no downside to trading down into the mid-1st unless one is absolutely committed to taking devonta smith or jaylen waddle—a commitment that i believe is unjustified given the depth of this receiver class.

i favor taking either j-ok or jaelan phillips at pick 20 for reasons i’ve written about for months. thor nystrom just published his linebacker rankings on april 8 and ended his analysis of j-ok succinctly: “this kid is going to be a star”. he has 33 inch arms and a 36.5 inch vertical jump. his 20 yard shuttle of 4.15 seconds was faster than that of every linebacker that came out in 2020. he covers like a cornerback, he hits like a 240 pound linebacker, and he’s positively fearsome as a blitzer. he doesn’t just check all the boxes; he does everything extraordinarily well. j-ok is not a “hybrid” player; he’s a positionless defensive weapon because he really can do it all. yes, i’m pounding the table for j-ok until it breaks, and i think we can get him with a trade down because he’s that underrated.

jaelan phillips is not a consolation prize if we miss out on j-ok; he’s the very close 1B option. i’m going to quote nystrom again, since he’s by far my favorite draft analyst out there: “jaelan phillips is the archetype of how an edge rusher should be molded.” with prototypical size, elite athleticism, burst off the line, effortless bend on the edge, a full arsenal of moves, powerful hands, and incredible instincts, phillips is an easy projection for the NFL and by far the best overall pass rusher in this class, easily outmatching the less explosive and more methodical kwity paye in every department. to me, the medical assessment is an all or nothing binary, not a nuanced factor that should knock him down 5-10 spots on draft boards. either he’s ready to go or he’s not. if he’s ready to go, he should be a top 10 pick in this draft.

Round 2: dillon radunz (and quinn meinerz?)

it is a wildly abnormal draft year when prospects like dillon radunz, liam eichenberg, alex leatherwood, and jalen mayfield fall to the 2nd round. while the 2021 draft class is not impressive overall, it has very notable depth at two positions: receiver and offensive tackle. the offensive tackles are in my mind the stronger position group, with multiple day 2 prospects that will soon be full-time starters in the NFL. the eagles have to take note of just how unusually strong this position group is and pull the trigger on one of these guys in the 2nd round.

i favor dillon radunz because he’s a plug and play pass protector from day one, but the eagles are fortunately in a position where they will not need their rookie tackle to rotate in right away. jalen mayfield may have the higher long-term upside and could easily be the pick at 2.5 as well. that being said, our left tackle spot is even now a question mark, and we may actually be better served trading mailata this year rather than committing big money to a guy that still has not proven himself to be elite. lane johnson cannot stay healthy and is clearly on the tail end of his career; i believe we will have to replace him on the right side within two seasons. thus, with both tackle positions possibly being in flux within a year, and with next year’s offensive tackle class looking decidedly inferior, i don’t think there’s any doubt that we must take a promising tackle this year.

if we get the bonus of a second 2nd round pick by virtue of a trade down in the 1st, i would recommend that we double down on o-line with an interior guy like creed humphrey or quinn meinerz.

Round 3: tylan wallace and paulson adebo

we wait until the 3rd to take our receiver and cornerback because we absolutely can.

i’ve been thinking about tylan wallace for four months now and i still can’t find a reason why he shouldn’t be a high 2nd round wide receiver in this draft. like greg newsome, no one thought tylan was fast until he proved to have sub-4.5 speed (and possibly sub-4.4 speed) at his pro day. but unlike greg newsome, who vaulted a full round thanks to his pro day, tylan wallace is still a victim of detractors who are nit-picking his agility test numbers to knock him down into the day 3 conversation. that’s totally ridiculous. tylan wallace is a complete receiver who transcends his peers with toughness, ball skills, and playmaking ability. his tape is second to none. tylan wallace doesn’t win the beauty competition, but the game isn’t a pageant. wallace wants to go out, grab the ball, and make you pay for sleeping on him. i’ve been high on him from the start, and i think that if the eagles take him in the early 3rd, he will absolutely show up and put his doubters to shame.

i don’t have the same level of conviction about paulson adebo, but i do believe that at 3.20 we will be able to take a cornerback that is just as good as anyone coming off the board after round 1. i think adebo will be available because of arbitrary concerns about his 2019 season; and other quality guys like kelvin joseph, benjamin st. juste, tay gowan, and rodarius williams will be hanging out in no-man’s land as well. here’s the thing to remember: we’re unlikely to need a man cover guy that we can put on an island. in gannon’s defense, a guy with length, vision, and ball skills will excel, and day 2 and 3 are chock full of outside cover men with potential. here’s where i pound the table one more time: we don’t need to take patrick surtain or jaycee horn in round one, and we shouldn’t.

Round 4: dayo odeyingbo

we of course have no right to expect that any of our day 3 picks should pan out on the field, but there are a few guys worth betting on in late in the draft, and more than a few of these are edge rushers that are either raw, undersized, oversized, or unknown. dayo is my favorite of these guys, but let’s not forget guys like cameron sample and jordan smith as well.

the fact is that the eagles do have to take a flier on a defensive end this year. they won’t have to play him in year one, but they may need him as early as 2022, when josh sweat leaves for a big contract and brandon graham possibly retires. we all want to avoid the shareef miller debacle, but then again it should have been clear that lack of play strength is a fatal flaw for a defensive end project.

the reason i’m moving away from taking a defensive end earlier (i.e. round 2) is that i think that the defensive end class is entirely a coin flip after jaelan phillips. kwity paye is a track star, a late bloomer (to his discredit), and a guy who wins late in the game with perseverance, not with power. azeez ojulari and joseph ossai are undersized for a 4-3 scheme. basham and odighizuwa are too big to play 5 technique effectively. jayson oweh is frankly a project. greg rousseau is possibly an interior tackle, but who knows right now? payton turner seems to have all the traits but on tape doesn’t appear to do any one thing especially well. my point is that unless we take phillips in the 1st, this is not the year to spend a day 1-2 pick on a d-lineman. but our need is strong enough that the 4th round seems about right, and i do like dayo’s potential.

04.24.21

Last NFL Mock before Thursday Night

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:56 pm by Administrator

here’s three rounds, with team by team notes afterwards:

Round One

1. Jax: Trevor Lawrence
2. NYJ: Zach Wilson
3. SF: Justin Fields
4. Den from Atl for 9/40/2022 1st round pick: Mac Jones
5. Cincinnati: Penei Sewell
6. Miami: Ja’Marr Chase
7. Detroit: Kyle Pitts
8. Carolina: Trey Lance
9. Atl from Denver: Patrick Surtain
10. Dallas: Jaycee Horn
11. NYG: Rashawn Slater
12. Phi: Devonta Smith
13. LAC: Teven Jenkins
14. Min: Christian Darrisaw
15. NE: Jaylen Waddle
16. Ari: Greg Newsome II
17. LV: Micah Parsons
18. Mia: Samuel Cosmi
19. WFT: Rashod Bateman
20. Chi: Alijah Vera-Tucker
21. Indy: Jaelan Phillips
22. Ten: Rondale Moore
23. NYJ: Travis Etienne
24. Pitt: Najee Harris
25. Jax: Christian Barmore
26. Cle: Kwity Paye
27. Bal: Terrace Marshall
28. NO: Caleb Farley
29. GB: Jalen Mayfield
30. Buf: Greg Rousseau
31. Bal from KC: Jayson Oweh
32. TB: Elijah Moore

Round Two

33. Jax: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
34. NYJ: Pat Freiermuth
35. Atl: Wyatt Davis
36. Mia: Trevon Moehrig
37. Phi: Landon Dickerson
38. Cin: Kadarius Toney
39. Carolina: Azeez Ojulari
40. Atl from Denver: Jevon Holland
41. Detroit: Eric Stokes
42. NYG: Zaven Collins
43. SF: Elijah Molden
44. Dallas: Alex Leatherwood
45. Jax: Dyami Brown
46. NE: Boogie Basham
47. LAC: Asante Samuel, Jr.
48. LV: Dillon Radunz
49. Ari: Nick Bolton
50. Mia: Javonte Williams
51. WFT: Liam Eichenberg
52. Chi: Kyle Trask
53. Ten: Ifeatu Melifonwu
54. Indy: Brady Christensen
55. Pitt: Quinn Meinerz
56. Seattle: Payton Turner
57. LAR: Creed Humphrey
58. KC from Bal: Joseph Ossai
59. Cle: Kelvin Joseph
60. NO: Joe Tryon
61. GB: Aaron Robinson
62. Buf: Trey Smith
63. KC: Jamin Davis
64. TB: Levi Onwuzurike

Round Three

65. Jax: Jamar Johnson
66. NYJ: Milton Williams
67. Hou: Alim McNeill
68. Atl: Kellen Mond
69. Cin: Ronnie Perkins
70. Phi: Tyson Campbell
71. Den: Daivyon Nixon
72. Det: Richie Grant
73. Car: Brevin Jordan
74. WFT: Davis Mills
75. Dal: Osa Odighizuwa
76. NYG: Josh Palmer
77. LAC: Tylan Wallace
78. Min: Paulson Adebo
79. Ari: Amon-Ra St. Brown
80. LV: Ar’Darius Washington
81. Mia: Tay Gowan
82. WFT: Jamie Newman
83. Chi: Baron Browning
84. Phi From Indy: Dayo Odeyingbo
85. Ten: Quincy Roche
86. NYJ: Jackson Carman
87. Pitt: Walker Little
88. Detroit from LAR: James Hudson
89. Cle: Cornell Powell
90. Min: Rashad Weaver
91. Cle: Victor Dimukeje
92. GB: Amari Rodgers
93. Buf: Tommy Tremble
94. Bal from KC: Spencer Brown
95. TB: Michael Carter
96. NE: Rodarius Williams
97. LAC: Benjamin St. Juste
98. NO: Chazz Surratt
99. Dal: Hamsah Nasirildeen
100. Ten: Jay Tufele
101. Det: Jabril Cox
102. SF: Andre Cisco
103. LAR: Shaun Wade
104. Bal: Kendrick Green
105. NO: D’Wayne Eskridge

Jacksonville Jaguars: Lawrence (QB), Barmore (DL), Owusu-Koramoah (LB), Brown (WR), Johnson (S)

the Jags come away from the first 3 rounds with defensive reinforcements but also a weapon for trevor lawrence. there are questions about whether dyami brown is fast enough and skilled enough to succeed as a downfield threat in the NFL; he will probably go in the late 2nd but could potentially slide to day 3 of the draft.

NY Jets: Wilson (QB), Etienne (RB), Freiermuth (TE), Williams (DT), Carman (OT)

the trench picks are what will make this a statement draft for jets fans, as they began the robert saleh era.

SF 49ers: Fields (QB), Molden (CB), Cisco (S)

it’s anyone’s guess what the niners will do at pick 3, but i do think they’ll focus on the secondary on day 2. while some teams may overlook Molden on account of his small size and slow 40 time, tape don’t lie, and the niners are likely to value his skill and superior instincts.

Atlanta Falcons: Surtain (CB), Davis (OG), Holland (S), Mond (QB)

the falcons should stay put and take a quarterback, but instead they’re going to follow the money and go all in on matt ryan’s twilight years. the kellen mond pick in the 3rd round is a hedged bet that will ultimately reassure no one about the direction of the franchise.

Cincinnati Bengals: Sewell (OT), Toney (WR), Perkins (DE)

the bengals are not in a position to pass on penei sewell, who will prove to be the most impactful non-quarterback draft pick in years.

Miami Dolphins: Chase (WR), Cosmi (OT), Moehrig (S), Williams (RB), Gowan (CB)

miami collects so many premium talents in this draft, but whether it all comes together or not will depend on tua’s development this season. i am predicting a season of shocking regression for the dolphins—which will be excellent news for the eagles, who hold their top draft pick next year.

Detroit Lions: Pitts (TE), Stokes (C), Grant (S), Hudson (OT), Cox (LB)

detroit may trade back a pick or two and still land pitts, which would be a coup. despite their endorsements of goff, detroit knows he is fatally flawed and will be happy to ride his incompetence to a top-5 pick next year, which is when they’ll pull the trigger on the likes of desmond ridder or sam howell.

Carolina Panthers: Lance (QB), Ojulari (DE), Jordan (TE)

like i’ve written before, i think carolina will find itself in the stupefying situation of entering the preseason with both lance and darnold. some might look at it as a good problem to have, but these guys may very well alternate starts over the course of a very rocky season. i see the undersized azeez ojulari falling to the 2nd round—a minor draft night surprise.

Denver Broncos: Jones (QB), Nixon (DT)

they’ve been low key, but denver is going to make the deal to move up and get their guy. i see the broncos being more likely to take mac jones than the 49ers. the broncos are the bottom 10 team most likely to break into the top 10 this season.

Dallas Cowboys: Horn (CB), Leatherwood (OT), Odighizuwa (DT), Nasirildeen (S)

the cowboys will almost certainly take an offensive tackle early in addition to addressing their multiple needs on the defensive side of the ball. it’s going to be a very talented team on paper, but as usual they will find a way to fall apart during the season due to too little chemistry, too much drama, and utterly mediocre play from dak prescott, a game manager whose ludicrous contract has sentenced the cowboys to four more seasons of mediocrity.

New York Giants: Slater (OT), Collins (LB), Palmer (WR)

this is a solid draft for the Giants, who will be back in the top 10 next year looking to draft a real quarterback.

Philadelphia Eagles: Smith (WR), Dickerson (IOL), Campbell (CB), Odeyingbo (DE)

if smith is off the board at pick 12, i advise the eagles to go with rashod bateman, who will be clearly superior to any other receiver still on the board, including terrace marshall. taking a corner in the 1st round is an opportunity cost, as i’ve previously written, and the 3rd round corners available at pick 70—including campbell, adebo, gowan, st. juste, and williams—are probably no less capable than jaycee horn at covering outside in jon gannon’s cover-2 zone. odeyingbo is exactly what we should be looking for in a 3rd round defensive end project: a raw guy with the right size and tools, whom we can groom for next year.

LA Chargers: Jenkins (OT), Samuel (CB), Wallace (WR)

teven jenkins has a huge variance in ADP, but i like him going at 13.

Minnesota Vikings: Darrisaw (OT), Adebo (CB), Weaver (DE)

i feel like darrisaw and adebo are almost painfully obvious picks for the vikings.

New England Patriots: Waddle (WR), Basham (DE), Williams (CB)

the question is whether the pats will reach for a quarterback in the first 3 rounds. it’s not their style to be aggressive, and as a result i see them completely missing out on the run of 2nd tier quarterbacks.

Arizona Cardinals: Newsome (CB), Bolton (LB), St. Brown (WR)

i like this draft for the cards. newsome is rocketing up draft boards because he’s legitimately athletic (who would have thunk it?), and Bolton and St. Brown are value picks at positions of need.

Las Vegas: Parsons (LB), Radunz (OT), Washington (S)

quietly one of the better drafts in the league.

Washington “Football Team”: Bateman (WR), Eichenberg (OT), Newman (QB)

if it goes down this way, WFT will come away with three steals. Bateman could be the second best receiver in this class, Eichenberg could be an effective blind side starter within a year, and Jamie Newman might just be good enough to start in the NFL.

Chicago Bears: Vera-Tucker (OG), Trask (QB), Browning (LB)

ryan pace is in a bad situation this year, and he’ll have almost no choice except to reach for Trask in round two. this bears draft reeks of desperation.

Indianapolis Colts: Phillips (DE), Christensen (OT)

just two picks in the first 3 rounds, and yet ballard still makes it a gem. phillips is this class’s only pro bowl pass rusher, and brady christensen will probably be a very good starter at tackle in his rookie year.

Tennessee Titans: Moore (WR), Melifonwu (CB), Roche (DE), Tufele (DT)

i think this would be a satisfactory draft for the titans, who fill their main needs at receiver, cornerback, and defensive end. personally, i like the idea of rondale moore playing next to aj brown in an offense featuring derrick henry. melifonwu and roche have the traits, and good coaching will take them the rest of the way.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Harris (RB), Meinerz (C), Little (OT)

i would not be surprised if these exact three guys go to the Steelers next Thursday and Friday.

Cleveland Browns: Paye (DE), Joseph (CB), Powell (WR), Dimukeje (DE)

i think the browns will double dip at defensive end almost by accident, as they’ll consider paye and dimukeje to be steals on draft night. i’m intrigued to see what cornell powell will show us in his rookie year, as he was both a late bloomer and a shockingly complete receiver in 2020.

Baltimore Ravens: Marshall (WR), Oweh (DE), Brown (OT), Green (IOL)

i strongly believe that this is the draft that the ravens want. but it’s a risky group of guys. to me, terrace marshall is a long-striding red-zone guy who will have to make significant adjustments to the NFL game; Oweh is all traits and not much to rely on right now; and while Spencer Brown and Kendrick Green look like potential NFL starters, there are good reasons they will fall to the late 3rd round.

New Orleans Saints: Farley (CB), Tryon (DE), Surratt (LB), Eskridge (WR)

this is an excellent draft for the saints, as the best players available meet their main positional needs.

Green Bay Packers: Mayfield (OT), Robinson (CB), Rodgers (WR)

mayfield may be a surprise pick at 29 but it’s probably the right one. i can definitely see the packers drafting a wide receiver named rodgers to placate their snarky quarterback.

Buffalo Bills: Rousseau (DE), Smith (OG), Tremble (TE)

instead of trading for ertz, the bills stay put and get tommy tremble in the 3rd. they’ll have the luxury of rotating in Rousseau sparingly during his rookie year while they mold him into a 280 pound interior pass-rushing beast.

Kansas City Chiefs: Davis (LB), Ossai (DE)

i like the Orlando Brown deal for the chiefs.

Los Angeles Rams: Humphrey (C), Wade (CB)

thanks to Snead’s aggressiveness (and Stafford’s competence), the Rams could have a clear path to the division championship this year. they get lucky when creed humphrey falls to them in round 2, as he’ll be the projected starter at center on day one.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Moore (WR), Onwuzurike (DT), Carter (RB)

it’s hard for the team drafting 32nd to have a plan, especially when they’re good at every position.

Seattle Seahawks: Turner (DE)

it’s hard for the team that doesn’t draft til the 2nd round to have a plan when they only have 3 picks and a team that looks like its winning days are long gone.

Houston Texans: McNeill (DT)

it’s even harder for a team that doesn’t draft til the 3rd round to have a plan when they don’t even know if their quarterback will play for them this year (or ever again).

04.21.21

Eagles: general thoughts about the organization and the draft

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:29 pm by Administrator

as down as all the eagles writers seem to be about howie roseman, jeff lurie, and the eagles in general, i really find this to be a very interesting and hopeful time for the organization. never mind the recent success eagle fans have enjoyed, including a super bowl victory three years ago, an unparalleled comeback story (nick foles), a double-doink playoff win in chicago, and an improbable playoff berth just one year ago. on top of all those things, we have what i believe to be a really intriguing quarterback in jalen hurts—a guy that we’ll be learning a lot about this upcoming season—and a brand-new coaching group that’s young, potentially innovative, and guaranteed to change the direction of the franchise. that’s a lot to be excited about. a year ago i predicted we would trade carson wentz and begin an exciting new era with jalen hurts, and for all the drama that has transpired since that time, i think we’re clearly on the right track.

with all that said, the eagles have two main objectives to accomplish during this off-season, including the draft:

1. commit to jalen hurts as our 2021 starter and give him the offensive weapons needed to succeed. there’s really no point in creating a competition in camp, because any game that joe flacco plays for us while hurts is healthy is truly a wasted opportunity for the organization. this year, we need to properly evaluate hurts and his potential future as our starting quarterback. this draft features a strong and deep wide receiver class, and by the end of day 2 we must come away with a player that figures to be a reliable #1 target for hurts this year.

2. take advantage of a 2021 draft class that’s deep at offensive line, in order to sustain our competitive advantage beyond jason kelce’s career. like i’ve suggested before, it’s a good enough o-line class that we may be best served taking both a center and a guard/tackle prospect in the early rounds.

it’s true that we have holes at linebacker, corner, and safety, and we are looking at a potential need for a starting defensive end as early as next season. but we have to remember that filling all the roster gaps so that we can compete for a divisional championship isn’t a realistic priority for this year. this is a multi-year rebuild that starts with squaring away our quarterback position. offense has to be the priority in year one. we’ll certainly draft defensive backs this year, but i think it’s the wrong move to spend pick 12 on a cornerback when receiver and o-line are where team needs and the draft’s value most clearly intersect.

next year’s defensive draft class looks considerably superior to this year’s, and for that reason i don’t feel we should lock in on finding our defensive end of the future this year. i’ve been testing out a lot of draft scenarios lately, and while i’ve been recently leaning toward a defensive end in the 2nd round, i’m beginning to believe that rousseau, turner, tryon, and perkins are not worth the 37th pick when superior o-line talents like alex leatherwood, dillon radunz, liam eichenberg, and brady christensen are on the board. if we do take a tackle/guard in round 2, i would look for us to double dip in round 4 for a guy with potential at center, like josh myers or kendrick green.

after wentz’s salary falls off our payroll next year, we’ll move into the next off-season in a fairly good salary cap situation (14th in the league). having a rookie quarterback is obviously a major reason for that, and on that account i can certainly see us drafting a first-round quarterback next year even if hurts proves to be better than average as a full-time signal caller. howell, rattler, and slovis look to be the top qb’s in next year’s class, and all three of them potentially have more long-term up-side than hurts. personally, i think hurts will go out and prove himself this year; but even still, i’m mindful that our best shot at post-season success is a great quarterback on a rookie deal. just as i supported our 2nd round pick of hurts last year, i’ll be keen on taking a quarterback next year if there’s any chance that we can get an elite guy. if hurts sustains success, then we can trade the quarterback we draft; but we could just as easily trade hurts after his third season and extend our championship window with the next man up.

if the eagles go in the direction that i’m hinting at here, then we’ll come out of the first 4 rounds of this draft with a premiere receiver, two offensive linemen, a 3rd round cornerback, and a 3rd or 4th round defensive end that could be a potential scheme fit, like dayo odeyingbo. after a losing season in a tough NFC East (7-10 by my projections), we’ll end up 8th or 9th in the draft order, high enough that we can package our first-round pick with the first or second rounder from the colts in order to move into the top 5 and snatch a quarterback. with the miami pick (probably a mid-rounder), we’ll look to take our defensive end of the future, which will give us the flexibility to move on from josh sweat (too expensive to retain) and possibly from derek barnett as well, if we can’t find middle ground with him on a long-term extension.

04.20.21

analysis paralysis

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:23 pm by Administrator

here’s the real trouble of our time: there can be no compromise when there’s no truth in the middle. we’re facing a variety of systemic issues now that are beyond our current means to handle appropriately, and the solutions require a new approach to government that can be neither democratic nor territorial.

thirty five years ago, when i was ten years old, i learned about the proliferation of nuclear weapons and about global warming and came to the conclusion that only an empowered U.N. could save our civilization. i wrote a treatise on world government and its priorities. when i shared my ideas in the church, i was told that what i was embracing was the prophesied anti-christ; and i was encouraged to abandon these globalist ideals.

i still believe that global government is the only compelling way to address systematic injustices propagated by colonialism and the current crisis of the environment that imminently threatens the survival of our species and many others. my point of reference will always be robert heinlein’s space cadet, a visionary science fiction novel in the 1950s that depicted a multi-national global government dedicated to a universal cause and willing to enforce that agenda through means of mass destruction if necessary. i’ll say too that joe haldeman’s forever war completed that framework for me by portraying a future society predominantly populated by genetically engineered and racially homogeneous gay and lesbian citizens who have eliminated structural power disparities rooted in race and gender. so much of our violence against ourselves is rooted in the basic evils of mankind: misogyny, racism, and greed. while it may not be possible to eliminate these completely, it is certainly possible to mitigate them to a great extent. all that it requires is that we relinquish these childish notions of nation-state and personal liberties, the latter of which only exist in a narrow conceptual form for the very few, at the expense of the many.

from my point of view, global socialist government, disruption of gendered and racialized identity at the societal level, and the genetic reengineering of the human species are the three pillars upon which the survival of our species are predicated. obviously these realities cannot emerge from incremental reform, because the hetero white hegemony will seek to preserve the power bestowed upon them within the colonial paradigm. the shift has to occur abruptly and by leaps of transformation, fueled by global crisis or by potential mass extinction events. covid was an interesting case study because it offered both insight and frustration in this regard. covid curtailed carbon emissions; covid disrupted normal social interaction as we knew it. but covid also revealed our addiction to a way of life based on the destruction of our environment and ourselves, a way of life that we are now resuming with the aggressive funding and support of the central banks.

i know that this vision seems extreme, and i’m asked how i can possibly engage in meaningful social activism when my vision is so divergent and remote. it’s true that i often experience paralysis of a kind, because i am not inclined to believe strongly that the united states for instance can find its way to a racially just and post-national position of leadership in the world. the pragmatist in me recognizes that my well-being as a citizen depends heavily on the sovereignty and global dominance of this political state, and so i pay my taxes and support our nation’s efforts to undermine our enemies in all parts of the world. but the human in me understands, clear as day, that nation states engaged in this global power grab for resources and capital are the problem; this competitive capitalistic system is designed to commodify human beings and ultimately consume them. among the culpable nation states, the united states is by far the most dangerous of them; and its ideological history with libertarianism and evangelical christianity only deepen its commitment to commodifying and corrupting the world, to the detriment of our indebted, oppressed, and increasingly unhealthy progeny.

there is no legitimate green movement in the united states, but there will come a time when true progressivism—the commitment to a sustainable and just world—emerges from our cluster of intersecting struggles with systematic racism, carbon emissions, and unrestrained and abusive capitalism. when that time comes, the green movement in the united states can only be understood as a revolutionary movement: a commitment to dismantling the nation state that is threatening the future of humanity. whether we entrust global rule to eunuchs, a pan-national representative body, or (my favorite) artificial intelligence, we will come to the point when we recognize that our old systems of rule simply serve to ensure that basic human ignorance and tribalism continue to inform our laws and culture. donald trump’s presidency is the clearest evidence of america’s regression in the post-modern era and a sign that this thing we called democracy was not progress but rather a more euphemistic and sophisticated form of global oppression

04.19.21

cane

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:16 pm by Administrator

well if it bothers you so much, why don’t you do something about it?

you keep looking at the past. why can’t you focus on making the most of today?

i got ahead by working hard. why can’t you?

you keep blaming other people for your struggle, but what’s your part in it?

of course you think it’s racism. i’m just trying to consider that there might be other possibilities?

today, i think of cane, by jean toomer. i read it in college when i didn’t know anything about anything. but i felt something when i read cane—a slow, inexorable, and utterly dispiriting sense of futility. it’s the kind of futility that generations upon generations of rising a little and falling down a lot instills in your blood and marks on your bones. it’s that awful torpor that weighs on every limb and stills the tongue. even before there was something to say, there was no reason to say it. hope dies in the human heart, rusted like a chain in the bowels of a ship that splintered apart and now finds its pieces at rest in the dark belly of a museum. it’s a museum about our history. it’s a museum that houses the relics of our cruelty, past and present.

i think of cane because i see this trial of derek chauvin come to a close and i can’t find the words. it’s a deadness, where once there was a sharpness of conviction or feeling. but we’ve seen too many of these trials come and go; we’ve seen nothing change on their account. you would think that pangs of conscience would crescendo over time, spilling over into national mourning, a veritable spring of an awakening. but in forty-five years, i have not seen it happen. i have only seen incidents become patterns and patterns become fixtures of identity. i grew up in a country that seemed young and vital and impressionable. but now i live in a land that is scorched with the torment of the living and the raging of the dead. there will be no justice today. there will only be a moment of catharsis, like therapeutic blood-letting from the leaching of our criminal justice system.

i understand maxine waters and the emotion she displays. i can’t hear her words, because the torpor has taken hold of my senses, but i can feel the emotion because it is real. what is left for the dying man who cannot be heard except a cry from the heart? i hear the cry of your heart america; it is a swan song to the country we imagined in our youth, it is a wailing from the depth of our soul because we have been painted and pillaged, every one of us, and now we are fit to be written off in the history books yet to be written as the ones who deserved to be judged and forgotten

04.18.21

Four-Round Mock NFL Draft

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:47 pm by Administrator

there’s only one trade featured in this mock, and it’s the obvious one: denver trading up with atlanta to get a quarterback. whether denver takes lance or jones, there will be five quarterbacks off the board by pick 8.

while the eagles don’t need all eleven of their picks in this draft, they cannot afford to relinquish any of their top 5 picks in a trade-up. i really don’t care if that’s what they feel they need to do to get devonta smith or jaylen waddle in the first round. if they can’t get either guy at pick 12, they shouldn’t settle for a cornerback; they should trade down and look for a pass rusher in the mid-late 1st round. moving up for a wide-out or settling for a cornerback is silly when one considers the quality of the mid-round options at both positions. i’ve already written at length about the round 3 cornerbacks, who are probably worth taking chances on.

in this mock, devonta smith falls to the eagles at pick 12. they take payton turner in the 2nd to address their imminent need at defensive end. they’ve already been linked to turner, whose impressive combine and RAS score basically ensure that he will not make it to pick 70. kelvin joseph, our 3rd round cornerback, projects to be an outside starter within a season, and kendrick green is the super-athletic interior lineman who will take over for jason kelce in 2022. divine deablo in the 5th feels like a philadelphia pick for a new era and a guy that we’ll primarily utilize as a linebacker.

importantly, in this mock the eagles do not even think about trading up from pick 37 to get back into the 1st round for terrace marshall, the size/speed marvel with brick hands and raw route-running skills who would simply confound our already ambiguous wide receiver rotation.

jacksonville comes out as the clear winner of this mock, getting some of my favorite players in this draft: lawrence at qb, barmore at defensive tackle, j-ok at linebacker/safety, dyami brown and tamorrion terry at receiver, and jamar johnson at safety. minnesota scoops jamie newman in the 4th before the pats can take him, another nice move by rick spielman.

Round One

1. Jax: Trevor Lawrence
2. NYJ: Zach Wilson
3. SF: Justin Fields
4. Den from Atl for 9/40/2022 1st round pick: Mac Jones
5. Cincinnati: Penei Sewell
6. Miami: Ja’Marr Chase
7. Detroit: Kyle Pitts
8. Carolina: Trey Lance
9. Atl from Denver: Patrick Surtain
10. Dallas: Jaycee Horn
11. NYG: Rashawn Slater
12. Phi: Devonta Smith ***
13. LAC: Teven Jenkins
14. Min: Christian Darrisaw
15. NE: Jaylen Waddle
16. Ari: Kwity Paye
17. LV: Micah Parsons
18. Mia: Samuel Cosmi
19. WFT: Rashod Bateman
20. Chi: Alijah Vera-Tucker
21. Indy: Jaelan Phillips
22. Ten: Azeez Ojulari
23. NYJ: Travis Etienne
24. Pitt: Najee Harris
25. Jax: Christian Barmore
26. Cle: Jayson Oweh
27. Bal: Elijah Moore
28. NO: Caleb Farley
29. GB: Rondale Moore
30. Buf: Greg Newsome II
31. KC: Jalen Mayfield
32. TB: Terrace Marshall

Round Two

33. Jax: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
34. NYJ: Pat Freiermuth
35. Atl: Greg Rousseau
36. Mia: Trevon Moehrig
37. Phi: Payton Turner ***
38. Cin: Kadarius Toney
39. Carolina: Wyatt Davis
40. Atl from Denver: Jevon Holland
41. Detroit: Eric Stokes
42. NYG: Zaven Collins
43. SF: Elijah Molden
44. Dallas: Alex Leatherwood
45. Jax: Dyami Brown
46. NE: Boogie Basham
47. LAC: Asante Samuel, Jr.
48. LV: Dillon Radunz
49. Ari: Nick Bolton
50. Mia: Javonte Williams
51. WFT: Liam Eichenberg
52. Chi: Kyle Trask
53. Ten: Ifeatu Melifonwu
54. Indy: Jackson Carman
55. Pitt: Landon Dickerson
56. Seattle: Ronnie Perkins
57. LAR: Levi Onwuzurike
58. Bal: Creed Humphrey
59. Cle: Trey Smith
60. NO: Marvin Wilson
61. GB: Aaron Robinson
62. Buf: Daivyon Nixon
63. KC: Jamin Davis
64. TB: Joseph Ossai

Round Three

65. Jax: Jamar Johnson
66. NYJ: Joe Tryon
67. Hou: Quinn Meinerz
68. Atl: Kellen Mond
69. Cin: Alim McNeill
70. Phi: Kelvin Joseph ***
71. Den: Richie Grant
72. Det: Andre Cisco
73. Car: Brevin Jordan
74. WFT: Davis Mills
75. Dal: Osa Odighizuwa
76. NYG: Josh Palmer
77. LAC: Tylan Wallace
78. Min: Michael Carter
79. Ari: Tyson Campbell
80. LV: Ar’Darius Washington
81. Mia: Tay Gowan
82. WFT: Jabril Cox
83. Chi: Baron Browning
84. Phi From Indy: Kendrick Green ***
85. Ten: Amon-Ra St. Brown
86. NYJ: Tommy Togiai
87. Pitt: Walker Little
88. Detroit from LAR: James Hudson
89. Cle: Nico Collins
90. Min: Rashad Weaver
91. Cle: Victor Dimukeje
92. GB: Tyler Shelvin
93. Buf: Amari Rodgers
94. KC: Dazz Newsome
95. TB: Kenneth Gainwell
96. NE: Rodarius Williams
97. LAC: Benjamin St. Juste
98. NO: Chazz Surratt
99. Dal: Hamsah Nasirildeen
100. Ten: Jay Tufele
101. Det: Dylan Moses
102. SF: Spencer Brown
103. LAR: Shaun Wade
104. Bal: Dayo Odeyingbo
105. NO: D’Wayne Eskridge

Round Four

106. Jax: Tamorrion Terry
107. NYJ: Trill Williams
108. Atl: Cameron McGrone
109: Hou: Paulson Adebo
110. Cle: Josh Myers
111. Cin: Quincy Roche
112. Det: Cameron Sample
113. Car: Thomas Graham
114. Den: Patrick Jones II
115. Dal: Khalil Herbert
116. NYG: Jamien Sherwood
117. SF: Cade Johnson
118. LAC: Tyreke Smith
119. Min: Jamie Newman
120. NE: Brady Christensen
121. LV: Ben Cleveland
122. NE: Tommy Tremble
123. Phi: Divine Deablo ***
124. Was: Keith Taylor
125. Min: Tre McKitty
126. Ten: Darius Stills
127. Indy: Ambry Thomas
128. Pitt: Christian Uphoff
129. Seattle: Tutu Atwell
130. Jax: Milton Williams
131. Bal: Chauncey Golston
132. Cle: Kary Vincent, Jr.
133. NO: Jordan Smith
134. Min: Patrick Johnson
135. GB: Aaron Banks
136. KC: Marlon Tuipolotu
137. TB: Abraham Lucas
138. Dal: Rachad Wildgoose
139. NE: Wyatt Hubert
140. Pitt: Jaelon Darden
141. LAR: Anthony Schwartz
142. GB: Hamilcar Rashed, Jr.
143. Min: Ihmir Smith-Marsette
144. KC: Trevon Grimes

04.14.21

how the baldrige criteria can help the eagles

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:50 pm by Administrator

doesn’t happen often, but today two of my interests collide, thanks to sheil kapadia.

first, i want to say that i lied on my last entry. i’ve got one more draft approach to advocate for, and i’m going to drop it right here and now. here’s the thing: i think it’s evident now that the eagles can go in any number of directions on april 29, and there probably is no clear best direction. my prediction is that the eagles will take devonta smith or jaylen waddle at pick 12 and then trade up from pick 37 to get back into the 1st and take their cornerback of choice (i.e. greg newsome).

1.12: jaelan phillips

in the end, there’s only one pass rusher in this class that clearly has pro bowl potential, and that’s jaelan phillips. he carries a worrisome concussion history, and he’s got a life outside of football. those are not reasons enough to let a defensive end of his caliber fall to the 20s, particularly in a year when there is no other sure thing on the edge. i like rousseau and perkins in round 2, but i’ll acknowledge that rousseau’s body type and play style make him a project at the NFL level while perkins’ lack of athleticism limits his ceiling. i need to say that i am not a fan of kwity paye for the eagles. he’s athletic, patient, smart, and resourceful, but he doesn’t bring what jaelan phillips does: the burst off the line and the hands technique to get to the quarterback quickly. i don’t think paye offers any potential as a double-digit sacks guy in the big leagues.

2.5: landon dickerson

in the first round, we get the best pass rusher in the class, and in the 2nd round we get this class’s best center. center is sometimes a position you can fill adequately in the late rounds, but for a team like the eagles that hinges on elite play at all positions on the line, dickerson has to be a strong consideration in round two. he brings average athleticism and a recent history of injury, but his skill, instincts, vision, intelligence, and leadership qualities do put him a leg up on all of his peers this year.

3.6: amon-ra st. brown

once upon a time, i had him as our main consideration in round two, but st. brown has since fallen behind guys like kadarius toney, elijah moore, and dyami brown because of his 40 time. despite his unimpressive straight-line speed, st. brown would be an immediate upgrade at our slot position, and as such he could have a bigger proportional impact on our offense than another mid-round guy on the outside. his 40 speed matters less to me than his hands and short area quickness, which are excellent.

3.20: tay gowan

i still really like tay gowan in the mid-3rd, but i also like a few other prospects here including benjamin st. juste, thomas graham, rodarius williams, and trill williams. the main point here is that the second-tier cornerbacks are a big crowd with fair potential, and if we choose to pass on a first round cornerback there will be plenty of legitimate options for us between rounds 3 and 5.

4.18: jamien sherwood

divine deablo and richard lecounte are also options here. whether he plays strong safety or hybrid linebacker, a guy like sherwood has a role on this defense that lacks cross-positional playmakers.

let’s talk a little more about sheil kapadia’s article, which i heard him discuss on a bleeding green podcast this morning.

the baldrige criteria of performance excellence have relevance for basically any team of people that have a mutual objective of some kind. baldrige has helped large multi-national companies sustain success, but it’s also helped small family businesses of less than 20 employees identify and build on their competitive advantages. people who love baldrige apply it to their own families and community groups as well. heck, i’ve used the baldrige criteria to change the way church leadership functions and learns.

in a nutshell, the baldrige criteria force leaders of organizations to think about identity, results, and the meaning of excellence. what becomes apparent to people who really invest themselves in the criteria is that none of these things can be assumed, and defining these three things accurately is hard work that can shift the direction of an organization. it’s not merely cognitive or strategic work either; aligning a team around these critical definitions requires deep cultural change and new ways of communicating and managing performance. a baldrige “journey” is a very uncomfortable journey, especially for senior leaders, but the payoff is transformation: from person-dependent, reactive team management to the process-driven and systematic delivery of results. baldrige organizations are continuously improving.

from one angle, the media reports on the dysfunctional culture of the eagles organization have to be taken with a lot of salt, because the team has produced results far better than the league average, in recent history and also over the past two decades. whether you’re looking at super bowl victories, divisional championships, or playoff appearances, the eagles have excelled over the past two decades and over the past five years in particular. i’m going to go out on a limb and say that for the team’s major customers—the fans and the league—these results are really all that matter. moreover, the team identity and culture that produced those achievements are justified by those results. let’s not pretend that the mission of the eagles organization is to be a transparent, collaborative, and fun place to work. the mission of the eagles is to deliver wins to the fan base and to sustain the brand and the value of the franchise in the process.

is there legitimate concern though that the eagles may be in the midst of a protracted decline? is this an organization in need of a turnaround? we just won a super bowl three years ago, and we won the division just a season ago, so i think that brandon gowton’s tears of misery are overdramatic and premature. but yes, the eagles are clearly in a rebuilding situation, and whether that requires an organizational turnaround beyond changes to the football roster is certainly beyond me (or anyone outside the organization) to properly assess. i do think that beyond a few disgruntled employees and some general discontent about personnel decisions, there are some objective signs that the eagles need to change their approach, and in baldrige terms i’d locate those problems in criteria 7.5 (financial results), criteria 7.3 (workforce results), and category 1 (leadership).

a year ago i projected that the eagles would go from being a division champ to being the very worst team in the NFC East, and i predicted a 6-10 season. that projection had everything to do with my assessment of our football roster, which i judged to be old, relatively untalented, and led by a mediocre quarterback and a hapless head coach. nothing i saw this past season revised my assessment of the roster. with that perspective in mind, the senior leadership of the eagles absolutely did what they needed to do this off-season: they traded our mediocre quarterback and they moved on from our hapless head coach. all due respect to geoff mosher, adam caplan, and every other eagles writer that still can’t believe that we moved on from a head coach that just won us the super bowl three years ago. guys, that’s what analytics are for! based on hard facts and data, who else can you blame for three straight seasons of ineptitude, sloppy execution, and extremely poor offensive play-calling? yes, carson wentz and doug pederson were part of a super bowl winning team in 2017. but that does not excuse them from accountability; and their limitations as leaders and as individual contributors were on display long before this debacle of a 4-11-1 season.

while lurie and roseman really can’t be faulted for trading wentz and firing pederson, they do have to bear responsibility for errors in financial management and personnel recruitment. the problem highlighted by category 7.5 (financial results) is that the eagles lack financial flexibility to improve the roster, and this is rooted in the decisions made by the front office to commit significant money to the wrong players. this problem is further compounded when key workforce results (7.3) demonstrate very poor performance from new hires (i.e. draft picks and free agent signings) due to their lack of alignment with the team’s vision and system. howie roseman’s repeated misses in the draft since 2017 aren’t merely due to his inability to properly assess the pro potential of college players; it’s a reflection of his poor integration with the coaching staff that develop and deploy these players. like i’ve written previously, i think that nelson agholor, rasul douglas, and lj fort were all fine pick-ups that are now producing more for other teams that understand how to use them. the chances are that jj arcega-whiteside and jalen reagor will be very good NFL players someday—after they leave the eagles.

all roads lead to category 1 (leadership). the eagles aren’t in bad shape right now because they mismanaged their relationship with doug pederson or because they didn’t listen enough to their scouts on draft night. they’re in bad shape right now because they’ve recently failed at managing vision and purpose. they tied up too much money in super bowl veterans when what they needed to do was free up money to modernize the roster. they drafted faster players when what they needed to do was to identify the best fits for their system. on a macro level, they needed to stop trying to sustain past success; they needed to focus on continually outperforming their competition.

baldrige isn’t about putting together a perfect team on paper. it’s all about results—and improving on them with every firing, hiring, draft pick, free agent signing, and contract extension that they make. if the eagles have an executive leader that is standing in the way of continuous improvement—whether because of philosophy, attitude, or personality—than the eagles have to figure that out and move on from that leader. personally, i believe that the performance of the organization proves that they’ve got the right people at the top. what they need to do now is to set a vision for the team’s rebuild and manage it properly. baldrige isn’t magic, but it can certainly help them right now

04.12.21

my last entry about the eagles, before the draft

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:37 pm by Administrator

i’ve given my analysis of what the eagles should do in the first three rounds, based on my projections and my sense of what the eagles are willing (and unwilling) to do about their various positional needs. to recap, here’s how i see it going down:

1.12: wide receiver (smith or waddle)
2.5: defensive end (rousseau or perkins)
3.6: cornerback (gowan, campbell, robinson, williams)
3.20: interior offensive line (meinerz, humphrey, green, or banks)
4.18: safety (deablo, sterns, hufanga)

that’s a good draft, and no one in philadelphia should be disappointed if this is how it goes down. but it’s not my favorite approach, particularly when it comes to round one. i’m going to go on record and say that the eagles can absolutely win this draft without any trade-ups just by analyzing positional value by tier and round. this is my favorite draft for the eagles:

1.12: jeremiah owusu-koramoah
2.5: defensive end (rousseau first, perkins if rousseau’s off the board)
3.6: josh palmer
3.20: cornerback (robinson, gowan, campbell, or williams, in that order)
4.18: richard lecounte

they are positional draft picks at 2.5 and at 3.20 (defensive end and cornerback, respectively), but at 1.12, 3.6, and 4.18 i named the specific guys that i want because i know for certain that they’ll be there. i’ve talked enough about jeremiah owusu-koramoah. it is not a stretch to take him at pick 12, and i wouldn’t even recommend a trade down that would risk losing him. take him at 12, play him wherever he’s needed, and do not take him off the field. j-ok can make a cover-2 work in philadelphia. without him, the eagles just cannot trust their coverage underneath.

josh palmer is the terry mclaurin of this draft class and a fit at whatever alignment the eagles put him in. he’s smart, reliable in his routes, and clutch with his hands. he doesn’t have a lot of production to his name, and he doesn’t have elite speed. the latter quality might scare away roseman, but it absolutely shouldn’t. i think sirianni will find a way to make both arcega-whiteside and fulgham productive on the outside while moving reagor around the formation, but even so i believe that palmer is ultimately the guy who could emerge from this group as our best all-around weapon.

i’ve had my eyes on richard lecounte for a long time. he’s exactly the kind of player that should play deep for the eagles. like palmer, lecounte doesn’t fit roseman’s lust for speed, but also like palmer, lecounte is instinctive, versatile, and physical. he’s falling below more athletic but less proven guys, and that’s good for the eagles if we’re smart enough to fetch him up in round 4.

i know that there’s a lot of buzz surrounding howie roseman after this expose in the Athletic. i’ve just got a few things to say about that, and i’ll sign off. number one, doug pederson was sloppy and ineffective as a head coach in philadelphia after the 2017 season. the eagles gave him every opportunity to shape up, and he failed. in my opinion, we fired him a year too late. so what if lurie and roseman sat him down for a weekly chat? they (and the fans) deserved to know what the hell was going on with a team that had no excuse to be so bad. number two, howie roseman isn’t transparent in his player evaluation approach. that’s pretty much true of most GMs out there. the fact is that he’s had one bad draft in the past 5 years (2019), but even then there’s some room left to salvage it. lastly, roseman isn’t a particularly personable person. who gives a rat’s ass? i certainly hope jeff lurie is not paying howie roseman to be a nice guy.

today is the fourth anniversary of my dad’s death. i have a football memory of my dad: watching the washington football team win the doug williams super bowl when i was eleven years old. my dad had no love for the sport and slept through the entire game. i woke him up at the end to tell him how it went down, and he congratulated me. i remember thinking that if only he understood how crazy and improbable that season had been, he might derive just a little joy from that unbelievable championship game. in the end, it only mattered to him because it mattered to me.

my dad wanted the best life for me. i’m thankful to him, for all the love and sacrifice

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