Eagles Mailbag: Eric Ebron, Trent Cole's Future, Drafting an Offensive Guard, and More

Liz Condo-USA TODAY Sports

Eagles Q&A.

Welcome to the BGN Mailbag. It's been awhile since I've done one of these, so I thought I'd get one going. Thanks to everyone on Twitter who sent in a question. I couldn't get to all of them, but here are the ones I did answer.

To the Q&A...

@sam_scott13 asks: if Eric Ebron fell to #22 would you take him over smaller wideouts?

I would be very surprised if Eric Ebron falls to the Eagles' first round draft pick at No. 22. That said, I don't think the Eagles could get to the podium fast enough if he's still there. The Eagles have a solid group of tight ends now as it stands with Brent Celek, Zach Ertz, and James Casey. Celek's blocking is valuable and he's still a viable receiving option. Ertz should become more of a threat in the passing game this season. Casey is probably the team's best special teams player and proved valuable as a blocker later on in the season.

But moving forward, adding a talent like Ebron would be too hard to pass up. Ertz and Ebron would be quite the duo at tight end for years to come. I don't know that I would necessarily take Ebron over a smaller wideout such as Brandin Cooks just because of the height factor. It comes down to weighing talent and positional value.

@Jorgen1225 asks: If the Eagles draft a pass rusher in first 3 rounds, what % of snaps do you think Trent Cole gets in 2014?

Trent Cole played 72.8% of the Eagles' defensive snaps in 2013. I'm guessing the Eagles would like to shave that number down at least a little. Any rookie pass rusher would obviously have to earn playing time over Cole but will at least have a place in the rotation. I don't think there's a dramatic difference unless the rookie really outplays Cole. I see 60-70% this season.

@gjc004 asks: Do we have up-and-coming guys on the depth chart who are more likely to start than drafted rookies at WR and LB?

Let's start with receiver. Arrelious Benn has every opportunity to earn the job if he can stay healthy and prove he belongs. Damaris Johnson put on an impressive training camp last year but couldn't get on the field in the regular season. I'm not sure Jeff Maehl is more than a solid depth wide receiver and a good special teams player. B.J. Cunningham is a favorite of mine but he's a long-shot at this point. Unless they don't take a wide receiver until really late in the draft, I think it's fair to say the rookie has the best chance to start. The x-factor here is Arrelious Benn.

As for linebacker, I see the Eagles looking to draft long-term replacements for both Trent Cole and DeMeco Ryans. Unless a rookie somehow clearly outperforms those guys in preseason, it's hard to see them getting the start over the veterans. A rookie linebacker (inside or out) will likely serve as a role player who provides immediate depth and potentially has a role as a future starter.

@PatrickVoltage asks: Will Graham or Curry be packaged for picks or player/player trade?

I would argue Curry has more value to the Eagles than he does in a trade unless it's no brainer kind of deal. Curry may not be the best scheme fit but he was a very productive pass rusher off the bench for the Eagles last season. It's a little more complicated with Brandon Graham. Unlike Curry, Graham is asked to drop back into coverage which takes away his strength of rushing the passer. It would seem like Graham is on the outs and Curry will stay. But what if the Eagles want to give Graham an increased role this year? I'm not sure how likely that is, but it's another option to consider.

@weirddotbeard asks: With the Mathis situation and Herremans getting older, would the Eagles go OG /OT in the 1st and would fans be mad about it?

First, I don't think the Evan Mathis situation will amount to anything. I don't see him being traded. With that settled, let's move on to Herremans. It's fair to say Herrdawg is in decline. He had a rough start to the season last year. He finished the year better than some would credit him, though. Perhaps this is just an excuse but Herremans was coming off a foot injury and transitioning to a "new" position last season. This year he has a full offseason of being healthy and won't have to make a transition. I see him being a solid starter still.

As far as drafting an OG/OT goes... sure, it's in play. Jason Peters, Mathis, and Herremans are all 31 or older. If the right player is there, get him. As always, it also depends on who else is still available. OL might not be the best value pick there. And yes, I do think fans would be pretty upset considering many of them seem to be set on a wide receiver or a defensive player.

@2Birdz1Nest5 asks: Who is the WR most likely to be available at 22 that the Eagles would be interested in?

Brandin Cooks is the first name that comes to mind. I'm not sure he'll be there at No. 22 though. Marqise Lee is the most obvious choice. Odell Beckham Jr. could be in the mix. I can easily see Kelvin Benjamin and Jarvis Landry making it to No. 22 but I'm not sure the Eagles would have strong interest.

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