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Eagles News: Halapoulivaati Vaitai named Philadelphia’s most likely player to be traded

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 5/1/19.

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NFL: Carolina Panthers at Philadelphia Eagles Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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Barnwell: Every NFL team’s most likely candidate for post-draft trade or cut - ESPN
Halapoulivaati Vaitai, OT — There are several players we could pick here, including wideout Nelson Agholor and running backs Wendell Smallwood and Josh Adams, but the drafting of Andre Dillard pushes Vaitai onto the trading block. The 25-year-old swing tackle filled in capably on the left side when Jason Peters went down in 2017, and with just $2 million due to Vaitai in the final year of his rookie deal, he would have a meaningful market. The Eagles might prefer to cash in on a trade offer now, in lieu of waiting for a compensatory pick in 2021.

10 thoughts on the Eagles’ 2019 NFL Draft class - BGN
1. Weapons For Wentz II: The Wentzening. With all of the resources allocated towards adding juice to the offense, there’s very little excuse for under performing in 2019. They’ve added deep speed in DeSean Jackson, a contested catch dynamo in JJ Arcega-Whiteside, potentially a future starter at left tackle in Andre Dillard, and two running backs have been added to the stable. In a surprising move to some, the Eagles used their first three draft picks on offense. With a total four of five dedicated to that side of the ball. With the pieces already in place beforehand, it should be all systems go.

NFC East 2019 draft grades: Washington edition - PhillyVoice
GRADE: Washington fans were really beginning to turn on this front office (like, more so than usual), with pleadings to “Fire Bruce Allen” popping up everywhere on social media. So what does Allen do? He goes out and has himself a hell of a draft in which Washington (a) added a bunch of good players, and (b) created hope for the fanbase with the selection of a potential franchise quarterback (we’ll see). Washington fan base, your thoughts? Anyway, their draft was widely praised, and I agree with the sentiment that they did really well. A-.

Pro Moves - Iggles Blitz
By signing Tim Jernigan, you add excellent depth. He is a good starter so having him come off the bench gives you a deep DL. Even better, you can play Jernigan with either Cox or Jackson. You can mix and match the three of them based on the situation. Cox played too many snaps last year. He’s a stud and you want him on the field a lot, but you still are better off getting him some rest. Jernigan can start, come off the bench or just be situational. He can do whatever you need. Coaches, players and front office people have all talked about Jernigan’s personality and how his presence has value in the locker room and on the field. Once it became clear other teams weren’t going to throw big cash his way, I’m glad Jernigan re-signed. If he is healthy this year, maybe someone will give him a big deal next March.

Ranking the top-10 undrafted free agent signings - PFF
LB T.J. Edwards, Wisconsin – Philadelphia Eagles: Among off-ball linebackers in the 2019 class with 400-plus defensive snaps played this past season, Edwards ranked fifth in overall grade (90.8) and 12th in coverage grade (84.8). The flaws in his game stem from his burst to the ball and lackluster play recognition. His teammate Ryan Connelly, who went to the Giants in the fifth round of this year’s draft, blew Edwards out of the water in terms of instincts and play recognition – that likely steered many teams away. He’ll need to improve mentally to make up for an average change of direction and burst, but his size and experience should put him in a position to compete for a backup spot early.

One-On-One: Andrew Berry | April 30, 2019 -
Vice President of Football Operations Andrew Berry discusses his time with the Eagles so far, the 2019 NFL Draft and more.

NFC East draft grades: Redskins, Eagles shine; Giants confound -
BEST PICK: Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State. Philadelphia Eagles, Round 1, No. 22 overall. Howie Roseman probably shouldn’t expect a Christmas card from Brian Gaine -- not after the Philly GM ate his Houston counterpart’s first-round lunch. Heading into this draft, two things were abundantly clear about the Texans’ outlook: 1) They HAD to upgrade their sieve of an offensive line, and 2) they had eyes for Andre Dillard. As the starting left tackle over the past three seasons in Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense, Dillard certainly didn’t lack pass-blocking experience. And the 6-foot-5, 315-pounder proved to be far more athletic and nimble-footed than a 6-foot-5, 315-pounder should be. His dominance was clear to the naked eye (Brian Baldinger narrates a minute of O-line porn here) and the nerd mind (Dillard allowed one sack on 722 pass-blocking snaps last season, according to Pro Football Focus, making him the site’s highest-graded offensive lineman in pass pro). So, perfect blind-side protector for young franchise QB Deshaun Watson, right? And when Dillard surprisingly remained available into the 20s on draft night, it seemed as though the Texans might just get the plug-and-play LT they sorely needed with the 23rd overall pick. Then Roseman’s Eagles leapfrogged Houston -- vaulting from No. 25 to No. 22 by giving the Ravens a pair of Day 3 picks -- to pounce on Wazzu’s smooth-operating edge eraser. Left in a lurch, Gaine grasped for OT Tytus Howard, a much less proven prospect out of Alabama State. Meanwhile, the Eagles are now in an enviable position at left tackle. With nine-time Pro Bowler Jason Peters potentially heading toward his last NFL season at age 37, Philly suddenly has a highly regarded heir apparent in place. So, while Gaine’s Texans would’ve immediately slotted Dillard into the starting lineup out of necessity, Roseman’s Eagles can ease the newbie into the league with spot duty before having him fill a Jason Peters-sized hole in 2020. This will allow Philly O-line coach Jeff Stoutland to put a professional polish on some undeveloped power components in Dillard’s game. And this is the kind of aggressive, long-game move that you can make when your roster is as well-rounded as Roseman’s. The rich get richer, while Gaine feels the pain.

UDFA With Best Chance To Make All 32 Teams - The Draft Network
Philadelphia Eagles - Ryan Bates (Penn State OT) — Ryan Bates is an ideal option for offensive line depth, as he has experience starting at both tackle positions and the interior. Brought in due to local ties, his versatility could fill multiple roles within the Eagles depth chart.

2020 NFL Mock Draft: Justin Herbert, Jake Fromm and Tua Tagovailoa Top 10 in Way-Too-Early First Round - Sports Illustrated
26. Philadelphia Eagles: Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah. Utah is known for its big uglies and its defensive backs, and Johnson is the latter. He earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors with a four-pick 2018 and could emerge as the best defensive back in the western half of the United States if he takes the next step forward in ‘19—although Washington’s versatile DB Myles Bryant may have something to say about that.

A post-draft look at the Eagles’ projected depth chart and remaining questions - The Athletic
Safety: Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, Tre Sullivan, Andrew Sendejo, Deiondre’ Hall. Maddox’s versatility boosts the depth here. If McLeod is healthy, the Eagles should be fine and could consider releasing Sendejo before Week 1 in order to save a comp pick. Sullivan took a jump from his rookie season on the practice squad to 2018, when he proved worthy of a roster spot. Can he take a similar jump this year? Can Hall do anything?

Eagles fan wins a decade of season tickets after missing out in NFL’s lifetime contest -
It might not be tickets for life, but it’s not too bad: One lucky Eagles fan will have a spot at Lincoln Financial Field for the next decade, the team announced Tuesday. Matt MacMillan was a finalist to win two season tickets for the next 100 years as part of the NFL’s centennial-year celebration. He was flown out to Nashville and brought on stage at the NFL draft ahead of the first pick.

NFL Draft Takeaways: The Seahawks Play It Smart, and Bill Belichick Finds a New Trading BFF - The Ringer
The Eagles can reinvigorate their offense with the selection of elite athletes like lineman Andre Dillard, running back Miles Sanders, and wide receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside.

4 teams that did the best job of addressing their needs in the 2019 NFL Draft - SB Nation
The Eagles entered the draft with just a few holes and while they didn’t address linebacker (no one was available later in the first round), they did build around Carson Wentz. That’s not a bad thing. Left tackle Jason Peters is back for 2019 in what will most likely be his final NFL season. Lane Johnson is firmly at right tackle and won’t be moved to left. Enter Andre Dillard from Washington State. Dillard was the best pass-blocking tackle in the draft, with a need to improve in the run game. The Eagles are a perfect fit for Dillard because they have outstanding offensive line coaches who will get the most from him. Dillard, while getting stronger and learning the finer points of run blocking, can sit behind Peters until the veteran retires. The Eagles also drafted Stanford wide receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside, a big-bodied 50-50 ball catcher. Arcega-Whiteside is a former all-state high school basketball player and it’s clear watching him on the field. He’s excellent at boxing out corners and high-point catching balls, especially in the red zone. The reason I love this pick is what it can do for the offense. If teams want to double Zach Ertz, Arcega-Whiteside will be singled up. He will win those matchups with most corners in the NFL. If you want to see more of Arcega-Whiteside, here’s a decent highlight video.

Third Down and Air Yards - Football Outsiders
The fact that a first down is more likely when the ball is thrown to the sticks as opposed to 10 yards short is not exactly a revelation, but what may be surprising is how non-linear the relationship is. The likelihood of a third-down conversion only moves from about 10% to a little over 25% on throws between zero and 90% of the yards to gain, but it doubles if the throw is at or just beyond the sticks. More importantly, the likelihood of a turnover remains largely constant with increased throw depth. Outside of throws at or behind line of scrimmage, there is no discernible increase in turnover rate like one might expect. On throws to the sticks, the turnover rate is only 3%, compared to the 1% on throws at or behind the LOS. (This includes fumbles and not just interceptions.) Despite all of this, teams are still reluctant to air it out on third-and-long. From 2015 to 2018, the ball only traveled to at least the yard to gain on 36% of third-and-long throws. Those plays were converted into first downs 49% of the time, compared to only 13% of the time when the ball was thrown short, approximately four times as often.


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