The Linc - 2014 NFL Draft Day Is Here!

Al Bello

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 5/8/2014.

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(Kinda thorough) first round mock draft - JimmyK, Philly.com
Personally, I'm as big a fan of Brandin Cooks as you'll find, but I'd be shocked if the Eagles didn't have Lee rated higher. Chip Kelly saw Lee's greatness in person, in the heat of battle. Brandin Cooks' greatness did not emerge until Chip had moved on to the pros. To take it one step further, if college players were allowed to leave school after their sophomore seasons and Lee came out last year, my guess is that he might have been in play for the Eagles when they were drafting 4th overall.

Eagles find edge rushers are scarce in draft - Jeff McLane, Inquirer
Trent Cole performed better than many had predicted switching from defensive end to outside linebacker in 2013, but he'll be 32 in October. Brandon Graham excelled at times after making the same transition, but he has lobbied for a trade and is in the last year of his contract. Connor Barwin is the prototype jack-of-all-trades 3-4 outside linebacker, but the Eagles don't have young, developmental talent in the pipeline that screams "future starter," unless you believe general manager Howie Roseman's recent praise of Travis Long. Even an optimist would admit that the Eagles need edge rushers. And yet, aside from Barwin and a few minor acquisitions, the team has done little to address a position of great importance after Chip Kelly spearheaded the move to a 3-4 last offseason.

Odell Beckham would look forward to replacing DeSean - CSN Philly
About four weeks had passed since the Eagles shocked the NFL landscape by dropping the axe on three-time Pro Bowl wideout DeSean Jackson when Odell Beckham Jr. dropped into the NovaCare Complex for an official visit. The fallout from Chip Kelly’s bold decision to cut his most productive receiver after a banner season was still fresh in Philly, and Beckham couldn’t help but connect dots between his visit with Eagles coaches and Jackson’s release.

Draft Debate: Chances Of a First-Round Trade - Birds 24/7
Next scenario? The trade-back. This one makes a lot of sense to me. I'll put it at 30 percent. Really, the reasons are ones I've already mentioned. If you can pick up extra ammo later in the draft by moving down (or even out) in the first round, I say do it. In my opinion, this roster still needs plenty of work. There are obvious question marks at wide receiver, outside linebacker and safety. But an upgrade at corner wouldn't hurt. And depth (on the offensive line, defensive line, inside linebackers) should be a priority also. I think the Eagles would definitely entertain the idea of moving back. The problem could be finding a partner who wants to move up. But it only takes one.

The Big Promise of Brandin Cooks - Grantland
The smallest man in this year’s NFL draft just might be the most talented

Johnny Manziel likes offense Chip Kelly brought to Eagles - NFL.com
Johnny Manziel has been known to praise Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson as something of a trailblazer for smaller, mobile quarterbacks in the NFL, and did so again Wednesday after the NFL Play 60 Youth Football Festival (due apologies, Doug Flutie.) But don't tell Manziel that the Seahawks offense is the only one that can accomodate one. The Philadelphia Eagles, he said, are another. "I don't think Russell Wilson or some of those guys in the league fit a cookie cutter mold. I think they actually do some things that are very traditional, but at the same time I feel like the NFL is changing a little bit. There are new things that are coming in. You look at what Chip Kelly's doing in Philly that hasn't really been done a ton in the past," Manziel said. "I think it's changing a little bit."

Why Tre Mason's skills may be best suited for NFL over trio of fellow RBs | Shutdown Corner - Yahoo Sports
The former Auburn standout may not be the first back drafted, but he could be a better than Ka'Deem Carey, Lache Seastrunk and Bishop Sankey.

How NFL teams ignore basic economics and draft players irrationally - Joseph Stromberg, Vox
But here's the thing: despite years of data, most NFL teams still have no idea how to work the draft most effectively. It's not their imperfect player evaluation, but something more basic — their refusal to follow the principle of risk diversification. That's the conclusion economists Cade Massey and Richard Thaler came to after analyzing fifteen years of draft data in a series of papers — and it's still true, despite recent changes to the wages rookies are paid.

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