Welcome to the latest edition of the Bleeding Green Nation mailbag! Every so often I'll be taking some of your Philadelphia Eagles questions and answering them here in this post. As always, thanks to everyone who sent in a question. We already answered some of your questions during the BGN Facebook Live session I hosted. (Shameless plug: please like on the BGN Facebook page and the BGN Radio Facebook page.) Watch the Q&A below:
Now it's time for some of the questions I didn’t get a chance to answer (contact me: @BrandonGowton). Let's get started.
Thanks for bringing this question up, Tim. There’s been talk of this possibility ever since the Bears signed Marcus Cooper on Saturday. (I believe @igglesnut was the first person I saw to suggest it on Twitter yesterday.)
Along with Cooper, the Bears also signed Prince Amukamara in free agency. Those guys could be starting for Chicago. 2016 starter Tracy Porter is also returning. So where does Kyle Fuller fit in?
It seems like the Bears could be ready to give up on him after a disappointing, injury-riddled 2016 season where he never played. It doesn’t help Fuller that the regime who drafted him at No. 14 in 2014 isn’t around anymore, either.
If the Bears are ready to move on, the Eagles should absolutely look into buying low on Fuller. He had a promising season as a rookie with 50 tackles, four interceptions, 10 passes defensed, and three forced fumbles. He struggled early in his second year but he finished the 2015 season strong.
Since the Bears' Week 7 bye, Kyle Fuller has the 7th-highest coverage grade among CBs, and is allowing a 39.1 passer rating to opposing QBs.— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) December 14, 2015
It makes sense that the Eagles would have some interest in Fuller. He is one of six players the Eagles wanted in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. The other five included: Odell Beckham Jr., Mike Evans, C.J. Mosley, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, and Brandin Cooks.
In addition to Howie Roseman’s former interest in him, Fuller has some more ties to Philadelphia’s front office. Eagles director of pro scouting Dwayne Joseph was with Chicago when Fuller was drafted. Current Eagles vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas didn’t have a role in drafting Douglas but he spent the 2015 season with the Bears so he has some familiarity with the 25-year-old cornerback.
So what would the Eagles need to give up to acquire Fuller? Probably not much. One Bears reporter thinks a fifth-round pick could do the trick. Or perhaps a bust-for-bust swap in the form of trading Nelson Agholor (and a pick?) for Fuller, as Sam Lynch suggested. I’d personally love to trade Agholor because the Eagles can’t cut him (lose $2.3 million in cap space) but they can trade him to save like $17K. Agholor has been just so bad and at best he only fits in as the fourth or fifth receiver on Philadelphia’s depth chart now.
I really liked Fuller heading into the 2014 NFL Draft. He was my pick for the Eagles to take in the SB Nation NFL writers mock draft that year. I’m intrigued by his size and athleticism.
If Fuller is available for a fifth, that seems like an easy call to take a chance on. My first reaction to Fuller possibly being available was that I’d be willing to give up the Browns’ fourth-round pick that the Eagles own. So anything less is an obvious “yes” for me. Or maybe something like a Mychal Kendricks for Fuller trade is an option, as BGN Radio’s Turron Davenport suggested.
Trading for Fuller would be a creative way for the Eagles to address their cornerback problem. Right now the Eagles don’t have any proven starters and they don’t really have the money (only $3 million in cap space) to sign a corner right now. They just barely don’t have enough room to trade for Fuller, either, but that money could be easily freed up if/when the Eagles get rid of some combination of: Kendricks, Jason Kelce, Ryan Mathews, Ron Brooks.
Acquiring Fuller wouldn’t preclude the Eagles from being able to address cornerback in the draft. In fact, it’d be nice to have him as one of the team’s two starters with the other player being a rookie. As opposed to throwing two rookies into the fire right away.
This is a possibility to keep an eye on. Roseman loves to trade more than anything executive in the NFL. And given the way he tried to acquire Cooks this offseason, there has to be a chance he’s interested in getting Fuller.
@Siiiide asks: Why does Howie Roseman say "Drafting WRs is no quick fix" insinuating drafting DBs could be? Rookie DBs are eh usually.
Is that what he’s insinuating or are you putting words in his mouth? Generally speaking, it’s hard to count on rookies as a reliable quick fix at most positions. Cornerback definitely seems like one that takes time for players to develop. There are some exceptions to the rule, such as Marcus Peters. But it’s not like the Eagles are going to draft two immediate lock-down talents for 2017.
With that said, this year seems like a good draft class to bet on the young guys. And, quite frankly, even if it wasn’t, the Eagles wouldn’t have much of a choice anyway. Philadelphia doesn’t have any proven starting corners right now. They don’t have a lot cap space either. Maybe they’ll sign a veteran body or too (come on down, Kayvon Webster!) but more likely than not they’ll have to look into the draft.
Roseman’s point about receivers not being a quick fix was more about how the Eagles couldn’t just rely on the draft to fix the position. He was saying that Philadelphia needed to get some immediate help, and that’s exaclty what they did by signing Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith.
@Juslisun2DaMsg asks: Draft Needs: CB, OT, DE, WR, RB, OG, OLB. Of course you go best player available, but what player at 14?
Well I would have loved to say Sidney Jones but that’s not going to happen now. I don’t have a great sense what’s going to happen yet. We’re still more than a month away and my mind is likely to change a lot until draft night gets here. Wide receiver is still a big need given the fact Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith are essentially playing on one year deals while Jordan Matthews will be a free agent after this season. Corey Davis or maybe even John Ross could be in play. Cornerback is obviously still an option even though Jones won’t be the pick. Maybe Marlon Humphrey? The Eagles are bringing him in for a pre-draft visit. Maybe Marshon Lattimore falls within range to trade up for? You can’t rule out pass rusher, and offensive tackle is also an outside chance.
@Milford236Eagle asks: Favorite edge rushers in draft outside the 1st round? Definite need for Eagles that no one is talking about.
I’m intrigued by the Villanova kid: Tanoh Kpassagnon. Great size at 6-7, 289 pounds. There’s question about his fit in the NFL at that size. He might not be a perfect fit at 4-3 defensive end (as opposed to 3-4 defensive end), but the great Fran Duffy thinks it’s possible. He could be more of an inside rusher though.
Tim Williams is a guy our draft writer Ben Natan likes a lot. You can read more about him here.
More mid-to-late pass rusher options listed here.
@BEickhoff asks: With spring training here, which Eagle would make the best baseball player, which Phillie is best at football?
I think it was Zach Ertz who hit a home run at Phillies batting practice last year, so I’m tempted to say he’d be the best baseball player.
As for the Phillies ... I’m going to cheat and say future Phillies player Mike Trout would make the best Eagles player. He’s a crazy athlete and he’s already best buds with Ertz and Carson Wentz. New slot receiver.
Hey, by the way, if you like the Phillies, check out our friends over at: The Good Phight. Great people over there.