05.26.22

uvalde texas

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:13 am by Administrator

on one level, i am inured to this epidemic of mass shootings, and they no longer shock or surprise me. this is an american phenomenon, as intrinsic to our way of life as systematic racism, white nationalism, and police violence against blacks. we cannot escape this scourge, because it resides in the foundations of our being as a nation. we are infected with this violence. it will never leave us.

on another level, i can’t stop trying to solve this problem, as if it could be solved. to me, the issue goes well beyond the accessibility of guns. it has to do with the unique way in which our culture heightens the adolescent male obsession with gun violence, already deeply embedded in pop media and urban lore. i don’t personally believe that background checks, more attention to mental illness, and restricted sales of automatic weapons are going to mitigate this problem, because young men acculturated to our violent ways are always going to find a way to express their rage. to get to the root of the problem, we have to stop glorifying guns. and to do that, america has to stop being a precipitant of trauma and of violence, here at home on our own streets and abroad in the nations that we colonize. until that happens, the sporadic mass violence that we experience in our schools, subway trains, and public events will continue to be the price that we pay for being a police state and a warmongering global empire.

these children that died in uvalde were predominantly mexican americans, and that grieves me. it grieves me because i know that their parents wanted the best of american life for them, and instead what was inflicted on these kids was an extension of what america inevitably shows to all people of color and outsiders—racism, scorn, condescension, and ultimately violence. there’s nothing that white people in this country can do to make this right, other than to check themselves and the patently false narratives that they weave about the origins of this country. overwhelmingly the recent immigrants to this country have fled war zones and destitute poverty; they’re trying to escape violence. and overwhelmingly the mass shooters of this nation are people who have never lived outside this country and do not understand what it is to live in constant fear. they take lives because they don’t understand how precious safety is. they violate the sanctity of community because they understand no history but the history of bloodshed that has been preached to them by zealots and demagogues.

uvalde texas is yet another story about what it really means to be american. we are christian; we are exceptional; we are free to do what we choose; and yet we are nevertheless enraged with ourselves. after we have finished gunning down our virtual and imagined enemies across the globe, we find ourselves empty and bereft of any reason for living; so we turn our guns on one another. this is the authentic connection that our dislocated and alienated lives have been lacking all along: that point blank gunshot into the scared eyes of a child that says i’m alive and for this moment in time i am for real

05.11.22

thinking of DC: the commanders and the justices

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:58 pm by Administrator

while i’m predicting regression for the cowboys and the eagles, i’m predicting resurgence for the commanders, who are on no one’s radar right now. this is a team that’s recently made the news for cheating its fans, harassing its employees, and destroying the community of landover. as corrupt as that establishment has become, i don’t think there’s any denying that the team has a good chance to shock the football nation this year, win the nfc east, and upset a top seed in the playoffs. i have my reasons for believing that the commanders will actually be a good team this year.

first, this is a really good defensive unit that got slammed by injuries and covid-related issues last year. chase young was out for much of the latter half of the season. despite this, the team was only blown out 3 times all season (the bills, chiefs, and cowboys) and generally kept their opponents from scoring 20 or more on them. with a healthy chase young rejoining an ascendant defensive line and some good young players in the secondary, this defense has the chance to establish itself as a top-5 defense in this league.

where washington was consistently outclassed last year was on the offensive side of the ball, where they relied on taylor heinicke, an above-average backup quarterback who really has no right to be starting for an NFL team. heinicke hit the 300 yard mark just once all year and was constantly under pressure. i’m not a diehard fan of carson wentz, as this blog clearly evidences, but the marriage between wentz and the commanders actually looks like a good one. this year, wentz will be working with the deepest and most skilled wide receiver group that he’s ever had. terry mclaurin, dyami brown, curtis samuel, cam sims, and the newcomer jahan dotson are big-play threats with plenty of speed, and it shouldn’t be hard to scheme these guys open for the long ball—wentz’s specialty. the question is whether the run game and the offensive line will give wentz the time that he needs to get comfortable; i’m betting that the additions of trai turner and chris paul will be really significant for wentz and that o-line.

the most important factor to the team’s success this year is obviously carson wentz, and he’s entering a situation in which expectations of him are extraordinarily low. granted, the team didn’t draft a QB in the first round, but it’s obvious that this was more related to the quality of this QB class than to the extent of any GM’s faith in his abilities. i think we’ll see carson wentz’s best in a situation like this, because he’s got no one to let down now but himself. wentz’s achilles heel has always been his psychological makeup, and blocking out the noise is something he just cannot do. but this year, with a healthy off-season, a stronger cast of skill players, and absolutely nothing to lose, i think we might see carson wentz put together his best season of football. he will not win a super bowl; but i think he just might be able to fight his way out of hell to his first career playoff win. if it happens, i’ll be happy for him. i bear no grudge against this man, especially now that he’s left the eagles.

the supreme court however deserves nothing but my ill will nowadays. i don’t want to dwell on the fact that the supreme court now looks to me like a gang of sex offenders and chauvinists, or that they rely on sources of truth buried in antiquity or (even worse) in organized religion. their commitment to overturning the precedent of roe vs. wade is the most political and least popular shift in court opinion that i can recall, and it squarely delegitimizes the institution.

now, there is a silver lining to this development, and i think it’s a significant one. if in fact the court’s decision effectively creates disparities to access for abortion across this country, there will be an outcry against the court and what it stands for. i have to believe that this will mobilize the electorate against the establishment, in a manner that not even donald trump was able to accomplish. for a long, long time, i have waited for an impetus like this; i thought it would be trump’s election, and to some extent he did succeed in mobilizing a truly liberal movement in america. but this move by the court might very well be a spark on a much grander level: an era of anti-establishment liberalism that will culminate in a radically new regime of government.

until that happens though, fair-minded people of america are on the outside looking in, and it only makes sense to fan the flames and escalate the level of protest until the court—and the conservative bastion that it represents—is held accountable and ultimately dismantled from its present form. this kind of injustice cannot be allowed to stand. the age of privileged white male power must come to an end, both here and throughout the world, and the shift in power begins with landmark moments like this, when the people with power cross the line and insist on controlling how the disenfranchised and persecuted people of the world live their lives.

GO EAGLES

05.09.22

Eagles: Predictions about the 2022 Season

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:18 pm by Administrator

the eagles had an impactful draft, added talent on the lines, and brought in a legitimate #1 receiver. as dramatic as these additions might appear, these changes will not add to the win column this year. the reinforcements on the line are designed to keep the eagles relevant over the long term; but the improvements that the eagles need to make in order to break out aren’t the moves that improve our depth and maintain our areas of strength. the eagles need a shift in identity in order to become a team capable of winning the division and being a legitimate title contender, and the two things the eagles need in order to effect this shift are a potentially elite quarterback and a playmaking safety. i’ll credit our front office for trying to address both positions. we lost out on marcus williams and russell wilson. as a result, we’re settling for a rebuilding year.

this year, jalen hurts will undoubtedly face coverages similar to what tampa bay effectively used to dismantle him. opponents will stack the box while playing off coverage on the perimeter, baiting the eagles to throw on early downs against zone concepts designed to limit the long ball. this is hurts’ weakness, terribly exposed throughout the first half of that wild card game. what’s needed against that kind of a defense is ironically what tom brady deftly demonstrated against the eagles throughout the game: a quick-trigger precision passing game designed to exploit soft areas of a zone defense. on most every passing down, brady was intentional and decisive in his ball placement; he knew exactly where he wanted to send the ball based on his pre-snap reads. hurts on the other hand was constantly on the defensive, reacting to what developed (or didn’t) downfield.

throughout the season, jalen hurts had the athleticism and arm strength to occasionally do what russell wilson and patrick mahomes do routinely: see and deliver big plays outside of structure. but what we never saw consistently from hurts was his ability to really command an offense, to direct his blockers and receivers in order to manufacture the play he needed to make. elite quarterbacks like peyton manning didn’t win games simply by taking what was given to them; they knew how and when to force the issue and to take the game to the defense. i know that sounds vague, but to me it best describes the stylistic limitation that hurts faces in his fundamental approach to the game. he’s smart enough to recognize coverages, he’s knowledgeable enough to adjust his reads, and he’s strong enough to deliver the long ball. but in the end, he’s a reactive quarterback, and he’s not wired to pass with anticipation. he has to see his man open in order to commit to the throw—and in the NFL, what that translates to is indecision and lots of broken plays.

nick sirianni has an important choice to make this year. he can continue to disguise hurts’ weaknesses by running the ball at a high clip and bootlegging his quarterback on obvious passing downs. but ultimately this is only going to limit hurts’ development and constrain our offense. with aj brown in the fold, sirianni at some point this year must open up this offense and demand from hurts the faster processing and quicker delivery that go against jalen’s grain. do the former, and we’ll beat a few bad teams while folding to stiffer competition. do the latter, and we might start the year off with plenty of 3 and outs, before seeing what hurts is really made of. one thing is for certain: a vanilla RPO offense with last year’s version of jalen hurts will not be good enough to win a playoff game this year, especially with a defense as poorly coached as our own.

the eagles have a ceiling of 10 wins this year, especially on account of their relatively easy schedule, but they have a floor of 7 wins given how predictable i expect them to be on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. i expect them to end the year 8-9 and miss the playoffs this year. while that record might appear to put them on the brink of playoffs, i expect them to be on the outside of the hunt much earlier than week 18. the packers, bucs, commanders, and rams will win their respective divisions, while the cowboys, saints, and cardinals round out the wild card qualifiers. carson strong will come in in relief of hurts for at least a game or two, and he won’t show enough to pipp jalen, but he will show enough to raise questions about whether he should be the guy that the eagles try to develop in 2023. after a year of outlying good health in 2021, i expect a lot of key eagle players to miss significant time on the field in 2022: aj brown (who hasn’t had a healthy season in several years), fletcher cox, brandon graham, lane johnson, and miles sanders, among others. come december, the eagles will look beaten up, thinned out, and disorganized on the field, raising serious questions about whether gannon and sirianni have what it takes to put a good product on the field. my guess is that gannon gets the axe next year, while sirianni gets a shot with either carson strong or whoever the eagles are able to draft in 2023.

now, as dismal as this sounds, there’s theoretically another path forward. carson strong, the real wild card here, could have his opportunity early in the season and exceed even my own optimistic expectations. this is a guy, after all, that i once thought of as the best overall QB talent in the 2022 class. i’d love to see this guy get a shot and quickly prove himself on the field.

GO EAGLES

05.06.22

what comes next

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:33 pm by Administrator

it strikes me that as men age, they adopt one of two preoccupations: recapturing something of their youth, or escaping some inadequacy of their youth. the former seek to rediscover vitality in all of its diffuseness and spontaneity, while the latter seek solidity and sobriety. i haven’t met anyone who balances these energies; it is generally one tendency or the other that predominates. the idea of aging gracefully is a myth of course, because aging is a process of annihilation. but the process can be less troubling, especially if one is mindful of how he is choosing to transform himself, in this timeless, inevitable ritual of resistance.

i’ve come to understand myself as one defined by nostalgia. though my childhood was at times difficult and very intense, it was for me a less constrained existence. in contrast, i find my adult self less deft, less decisive, and less clear about many things. in theory, i could have easily have been one who disparaged the memory of childhood—my weakness, my dependencies, the fear that i lived with, the shadow of the future that was constantly my burden. but when i think of my younger self, i don’t think of what he couldn’t do, nor do i pity him for what was imposed on his life. i envy him, for his lack of age and for his ability to become anything. i find myself wishing that i could undo what age has done to me, so that i can experience what he once had: wonder at the falling of water and at the sound of a storm, hours of undisturbed reflections that went to interesting, unthreatening places. he had an imagination that i could only dream of now, despite the fact that i know so many more things. i envy the child that i was because his existence was full of firsts, while my existence is full of familiars. in this way, i know that in the time that is left to me, what i will desire more than anything else is to rediscover wonder, and to have a life that challenges me to learn and to learn deeply.

in concrete terms, i don’t know what this means. i suppose i could stop doing the kind of work i’m accustomed to, and i could throw myself into a new career trajectory of interest to me. but that seems arbitrary and beside the point. i don’t simply want a life full of new things; i want a life that feels new to me. in that respect, i’m looking for a state of mind that is driven by a completely different set of factors than what i’m accustomed to preoccupying myself with. in fact, i could still be doing the same work, with the same people, to the same ends, but if my state of mind in doing these things could be different—more open to possibility, more interested in what i don’t know, more optimistic about the future—then the work might become something entirely different to me. i worry actually that what i’ve started focusing on in recent years is really just a change in my circumstances, when what i need is a transformed perspective. one isn’t necessarily derived from the other.

when i look back at the moments in my life when i experienced a genuine shift in perspective, there were a couple of key ingredients that were necessary to enabling those pivotal moments. one ingredient is community. i never went through a transformation via solitude. i always had a group of people, highly invested in my life, who understood the change i was making and supported me through it. a second ingredient was immersion. i always gave myself over to the change. i have an interesting ability to utterly immerse myself in what i’m doing, and this ability is heightened in situations where i experience desperation, competition, or a combination of the two. and lastly, a key ingredient was the role of practice. in every situation of transformation, i effected the transformation not simply by changing my mind about something but more fundamentally by changing my daily life through disciplines and rituals.

in all the great transformations i have experienced—training myself as a runner, becoming an LGBTQ advocate, developing myself as a medical leader, leaving the church, and adopting mindfulness practices—i had a community that pushed me forward, i immersed myself in the change, and i adopted practices that changed my daily life. if i am to be transformed yet again, i will probably not be able to do it without these three elements in place. a life of wonder is no easy thing to be attained, and in some ways it seems harder to define than a passion for running, but one way or the other i will not find it unless i find it with others, in a manner that consumes my energy and my time, and in a way that changes my daily routine.

i miss the church because it was easy community, even if it was a community steeped in patriarchy and microaggressions of all kinds.

05.05.22

the other end

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:06 pm by Administrator

last week, i had this terrible dream. my dad was as he was in the months before his death of cancer. he was lying on a cot in my bedroom. i was sitting bedside him, and my hands were around his throat. i was trying to choke him to death. his eyes were bulging out of his head, and he had panic on his face. “save a place for me in hell,” i told him as i gritted my teeth with the exertion of suffocating him. “because i am soon to follow.”

somehow, i was unable to kill him. later, i was lying in my bed, looking over at him as he lay on his side, snoring, and i had mixed feelings. there was guilt, because one should not try to kill his own father. but there was also profound disappointment, because somehow i had been unable to kill him.

for the nineteen years that i waited for him to die, i made up all kinds of reasons for why i was distancing myself from him. he was cruel. he was abusive. he was unpleasant to be around. he was manipulative and mean-spirited. i wanted him to die, but i didn’t like how i wanted him to die. and moreover, i empathized with my dad, because he and i were alike in so many ways. wanting him to die was like wanting a part of myself to die. this idea was easy back when i was a christian, because the death wish is central to the christian experience. i had no concept of my own life while my father was alive; i was living, at least in part, for him. now that he is dead, my life is less meaningful, but it is more clearly my own.

a patient of mine abruptly curtailed his soliloquy of fifteen minutes to take stock of me. he asked me how old i was; and when i told him my age, he changed. “i like you doc,” he said, “but i need to find someone of my own age to talk to about these things. how it was in the 60s, and the 70s, and the 80s. how we thought we would end homelessness and war by the time we were older. now i look around and see how much worse things have gotten, and i need someone to talk to about bad it all is. do you get that, doc?”

“i do understand,” i told him.

i was trying to explain my unhappiness to my wife as we sat at the jade cafe of huntington gardens the other day. my unhappiness isn’t about what i’m doing or not doing with my time; it isn’t about the contrast between what i desire and what i have. my unhappiness is simply a commentary on how my life feels to me. it’s like sitting in a car and then suddenly feeling carsick. it’s difficult to describe what is wrong with the car or the way that it smells or the way that the sunlight is bringing out the chemical vapors of the upholstery. all i can say is that sitting in the car doesn’t feel right, regardless of where i need it to take me. once i step out of the car, i feel better, and the unhappiness gradually subsides. this, in essence, is how i go through life. i end up in a car, i feel carsick, and i get out of the car. but the only way through life is through automobiles, so inevitably i end up in a car again, over and over experiencing that claustrophobic and nauseating feeling.

when i was a child, thinking about the homeless, thinking about people dying without jesus, thinking about multiple sclerosis and blindness and everything else i heard about pain and suffering, i always wondered what would be my undoing. i never thought about what the world would be like without the ugliness; i just wanted to know how long i would live before it all caught up with me, until the cruelties of life came up out of the earth like tendrils of mud, taking hold of my ankles, pulling me down into that nightmare of running without movement, a slow suffocation.

i wonder sometimes what my father’s life would have been like without me.

on the other end of it, i am not sure if i’ve truly gotten through to the other side. it feels no different over here. i thought i would be weightless and liberated, but instead i feel quite heavy. perhaps the truth of it is that by blaming each other for all of our troubles, we pushed each other forward in a way, and now that you are gone, i’m realizing that taking a step is hardly natural. as it is, i’ve been doing a lot more standing around, with nowhere to go

05.01.22

Reflections on the market, and what investing has done to me

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:41 pm by Administrator

like a lot of people in america, i took personal control over my investment strategy about 5 years ago in the context of a secular bull market that could seemingly go nowhere but up. i cut out my financial planner and his commissions; i took my money out of actively managed funds; i went with low-cost passive index funds and determined my own allocation strategy (highly aggressive). i figured that as my portfolio grew, the rationale for an increasingly expensive middleman was less and less clear.

of course, this meant that i had to educate myself on allocation strategies and investment options, which meant that i had to identify my sources of truth. at first i went with investopedia, higher rated guys on motley fool, and random youtubers. i eventually identified three guys that for better or worse became foundational sources for me: raoul pal, peter schiff, and michael burry. late in 2019, i took their advice and liquidated almost everything i had in the market: about 50% of my family’s net worth at the time. between july 2019 and january 2020, i took everything i had in my 529s, 403s, and non-qualified accounts out of the market and left it on the sidelines in cash. i estimate that the s&p index averaged around 2950 over the interval during which i vacated the market. i put about half of that cash into a home purchase, and the rest of it i sat on—for a little over six months.

those were heady days in mid-march when the stock market crashed in the wake of covid’s early days. between mid march of 2020 and mid-july, i put half of my cash back into the market—20% of our net worth at the time—mostly into s&p index funds but about 20% of that chunk into precious metal stocks (iau predominantly). gold at the time was trading at $1390 an ounce. based on content i was following on kitco at the time, i decided to progressively sell off about half of what i had originally put in the market—about 20% when the s&P hit 2900 and another 30% when the s&p hit 3700. i have harry dent and his bombastically bad market forecasts in late 2020 to thank for that premature profit-taking. but i’ll credit kitco for inspiring me in late 2020 to begin taking crypto seriously. i began buying into GBTC when bitcoin was $10,000 a coin and continued acquiring bitcoin and ethereum on dips until i was dollar cost-averaged at a cost basis of $27,000 per bitcoin and $1800 per ether.

in the end, had i just left everything in my s&P index funds back in 2019, i would have been better off as recently as 3 months ago. but with the recent hits to the stock market and particularly to tech stocks, i estimate that my timing approach has put me at least 5-10% ahead of where i would have been with an entirely buy-and-hold strategy. and i’m fairly certain that this margin will only increase if the market continues to plunge in the months ahead.

there are for me three principles that i’ve learned over the past five years of managing my own money. first, it is a consuming effort. my old financial planner said that his main purpose is to free up the mental energy of his clients for things in life that ought to be much more important, and in retrospect, this absolutely makes sense. i have spent much more time and energy on my finances than perhaps i would have liked. on the one hand, this was an opportunity cost. on the other hand though, i’ve produced better results than i would have otherwise, and i’ve learned a lot about myself in the process.

second, one must always have a thesis about the markets, in both the short and long terms. a private investor like me doesn’t have the skill or bandwidth to day-trade based on technicals. the only way to come out ahead is to have a solid macro thesis and to stick with it. the thesis may be wrong, but there’s no way to learn and adjust unless one proceeds systematically. my thesis in 2019 was that the bond yield curve was signaling an impending recession in 2020. i was right about the 2020 economic crisis but for the wrong reasons. my key learning is that expecting a black swan event to create generational buying opportunities is generally bad for one’s mental health.

third, one has to be disciplined about allocations. i’ve followed some self-branded investment gurus who chase growth companies and allow their more successful investments to overtake their portfolio over time. those guys are now getting killed in this tech sell-off. a diversified portfolio isn’t simply a buy-and-hold strategy; it is an approach that requires constant attention to portfolio weightings and periodic reallocations to underperforming assets. that’s uncomfortable, but it’s the only way over the long term to benefit from a diversified portfolio.

i try not to pay attention to guys who chase the next 10 or 100 bagger. generally speaking, the guys who have 100x’d themselves in the past two years either got lucky with meme stocks or with dogecoin. sure, there will be more opportunities for explosive wealth like this in the years to come, but modeling one’s investment approach after the strategy deployed by these guys is incongruous with any kind of consistent macro outlook. i can’t stomach it. i may miss out on the next fashionable alt coin, but i’ll hopefully be in the right asset class when the parabolic move happens.

this is going to be an interesting year ahead. i won’t take credit for my macro thesis, which is heavily influenced by the ideas of lacy hunt, luke gromen, lyn alden schwartzer, and alfonso peccatiello, among others. the fed is going to break the markets by threatening to raise rates in the midst of spiking inflation, and in this context a number of subsequent developments are probable.

1. the US may not plummet into an outright recession, but growth will slow, and corporate earnings will reflect that in q2 and q3 of this year.

2. more fundamentally, fed rate hikes will not curb inflation. steven van metre articulates this most clearly: fed monetary policy cannot correct supply-demand imbalances caused by supply chain disruptions. the combination of slowing growth and persistent inflation this summer will kill the risk appetite of institutional investors, who will move out of stocks into safety plays.

3. the federal reserve bank will have to slow the pace of its projected rate hikes in response to tanking growth and rising unemployment. this expectation, combined with institutional flows into the safety of bonds, will send treasury yields on the long end of the curve into a free fall. i believe that TLT is the strongest play over the next 3-6 months, and i began buying in at $120. 20+ year treasuries will be my main focus over the next 6 weeks, and i believe that we’ll see at least a 20-30% increase in bond prices by the end of this calendar year.

4. when the next leg down in US equities begins, precious metals will of course sell off with the rest of the market, but that will set up an impressive leg up for the asset class that is simply the best inflation/crisis hedge. a race up to $2200 per oz and beyond is probably feasible by the fourth quarter. i believe that the spike in gold prices (and miners) will be furious and short-lived, as real rates will eventually tilt in a positive direction as fed rate hikes taper while bond prices soar. at some point late this year, there will be a strong sell signal for precious metal assets, and i think that even for die-hard gold bugs, that will be an important move to make before the next market regime begins.

5. the third spike will be in cryptocurrencies and crypto platforms. while cryptos have done poorly in this risk-off environment, a strong foundation is being laid for a decisive upswing in 2023. ultimately i think that the long-term success of bitcoin has much less to do with the strength of the dollar (which is almost assured) and much more to do with broadening investor appetite for the fast-expanding and novel asset class. nations are adopting bitcoin as national currency; institutions are developing crypto IRA funds; crypto platforms are getting cheaper and more efficient; and biden’s administration is developing policies to regulate (and tax) crypto transactions. all of these developments are beyond bullish for the crypto markets and portend a secular bull market for cryptos. i’m expecting a 10X move from next trough to subsequent peak, likely from $20,000 per coin to over $200,000 within the next 5 years, based on analysis offered by robert breedlove and others in the space. moving aggressively into crypto during its next sell-off is probably the most important move to consider in the next 12 months.

6. i agree with lacy hunt’s outlook on global deflation rapidly emerging after transient supply chain disruptions are resolved over the next six months. this is ultimately not bullish for global equities, commodities, or inflation hedges like gold, but it’s good for savers and fixed-income strategies. 60/40 is not looking good right now, but it will have its day again—relatively soon.

Draft Recap

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:41 pm by Administrator

the eagles were aggressive on day one, looked for value on day two, and were mostly irrelevant on day three. they paid out A LOT of money for multiple undrafted free agent o-linemen, defensive backs, and a quarterback, reflecting what was in my opinion a fairly desperate attempt to address lingering (and serious) roster holes, particularly in the secondary. the draft reflected the strengths and weakness of our GM: a guy who has a knack for the big deal and stakes his reputation on linemen, but also a guy who critically lacks confidence (and competence) in drafting receivers and defensive backs. after the dust settles on the excitement of this draft, the fact will remain that the eagles still look like they’re in the middle of the pack, with a very limited offense and a defense that might have improved its pass rush but will still be terribly porous in pass defense.

there are two things i most appreciate about this draft class: nakobe dean at pick 81, and carson strong (yes, carson strong) as a UDFA signing. i was similarly enthusiastic about jamie newman last year (who was cut early in the off-season) but i really think carson strong is a much higher level talent, and i think he’ll make final cuts. i’ll go out on a limb and say that it is distinctly possible that strong may eventually prove to be a better NFL quarterback than jalen hurts, but is that really saying very much?

overall, the quality of our draft was oddly similar to that of last year’s class. we got good value for the players we selected, but in the end the results reflected an approach to roster building that i disagree with. i believe that we should draft top talent to address areas of weakness; the eagles under howie roseman believe in using premium picks to add to positions of strength. as a result, we have a team that is optimally designed to play 1990s style football, in a league that has transformed its rules and its play style to focus on producing and defending the pass game.

building on my last entry, here’s how my ideal draft would have gone:

1.15: Trent McDuffie

1.18: Nakobe Dean, after a trade down with KC for a 3rd, 4th, and a future 4th

2nd: Jalen Pitre, after a trade up in the 2nd that gives up our pick 51 as well as the 3rd from KC

3rd: Jalen Tolbert, Kingsley Enagbare

4th: Darian Kinnard, Tariq Woolen

5th: Markquese Bell, Matt Araiza, Abram Smith

7th: Christopher Hinton