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Eagles News: PFF says Philadelphia got two of the biggest steals in the 2019 NFL Draft

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 5/2/19.

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NFL Draft Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...

Steals of the 2019 NFL Draft - PFF
Pick 22 – T Andre Dillard, Philadelphia Eagles. Big Board Rank: 13th. Andre Dillard may not even see the field in 2019 if Jason Peters and Lane Johnson stay healthy. However, with the learning curve so steep along the offensive line, that might be a good thing. The reason I love the pick though is not solely because of how good Dillard is (he’s very good), but also because of the foresight. This is likely Peters’ last season and if they hit on Dillard, that saves them $15-plus million a year that they would have likely had to shell out in free agency if they wanted a competent starter. You can’t get that type of incremental positional value drafting a guard or safety. [...] Pick 57 – JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Philadelphia Eagles. Big Board Rank: 23rdArcega-Whiteside should take the Eagles’ red-zone offense to the next level. His body control and catch radius is a perfect pairing with Carson Wentz. The Stanford wideout led the nation in red zone receiving grade last year.

There’s an important date coming up on the NFL calendar next week - BGN
Next Wednesday — May 8 — is an important day on the 2019 NFL calendar, especially as the Philadelphia Eagles are concerned. After May 7, free agent signings no longer count towards or against a team’s compensatory pick formula. This is both good and bad news for the Eagles. The good news is they’re free to add some veteran additions to their roster (Ezekiel Ansah? Derrick Morgan? A linebacker and/or or saftey?) without cancelling out the comp picks they’re currently projected to receive. The bad news is the Eagles won’t be able to count on guys like Jay Ajayi and Stefen Wisniewski signing elsewhere to help Philly’s chances of landing extra picks.

NFL Draft Fallout: Top Fantasy Football Rookies for 2019 - DraftKings
The analytically minded Eagles understand the relative lack of value in running backs. They won the Super Bowl with a committee of LeGarrette Blount, Jay Ajayi and Corey Clement. They hadn’t drafted a running back in the first three rounds since LeSean McCoy in 2009. So Howie Roseman’s decision to use the No. 53 overall pick on Sanders shows how highly they think of the Penn State product. “Miles was a staff favorite. A personnel staff favorite. A front-office favorite,” said Roseman. From an athletic measureable perspective, Sanders was arguably the best prospect in this class. He met all six of the minimum thresholds for an elite fantasy running back, doesn’t have a lot of tread on his tires after playing behind Saquon Barkley in 2016-17 and ranked eighth in the country in yards after contact per attempt. While the Eagles only gave up a conditional sixth-round pick to acquire Jordan Howard, their draft capital investment in Sanders suggests he’ll be the lead dog in this committee. Expect Sanders’ market share to grow as he runs circles around Howard, Wendell Smallwood and Corey Clement.

Who Is This NFL Draft’s JuJu Smith-Schuster? - The Ringer
Arcega-Whiteside’s touchdown-snagging prowess in the red zone is perhaps the most NFL-ready skill of any pass catcher in the draft class. His mother was a legendary NCAA basketball player and both of his parents played professional hoops in Europe. JJ fouled out too often in high school to make it in basketball (seriously) but he stuck with football. After years of announcers reminding us that “Jimmy Graham played basketball!” we finally have Graham’s spiritual successor. Philly is an ideal spot for him to succeed. Quarterback Carson Wentz is an aggressive quarterback in the red zone. Tight end Zach Ertz will see a lot of double-teams after having the second-most targets among all players in 2018. Alshon Jeffery usually attracts the opposing team’s most physical defensive back near the end zone, so not only will Arcega-Whiteside see a lot of single coverage in the red zone, he will have favorable matchups against teams that lack cornerback depth. It wouldn’t be a surprise if he produces the most touchdowns of any receiver in this class.

NFC East 2019 draft grades: Cowboys edition - PhillyVoice
The Cowboys already signed Demarcus Lawrence to a five-year deal worth $105 million with $65 million guaranteed. That’s just the beginning. They are also going to have to sign Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Byron Jones, and Jaylon Smith over the next two years. Prescott is going to make close to $30 million, Zeke will be up over $15 million/year, while Jones and Smith will easily both fetch over $10 million/year. If Cooper were to sign a contract extension this offseason, what will that cost? The franchise tag for wide receivers in 2020 should be up over $17 million. You can bet that Cooper is in for a pay day at around $17 million per year, especially if the perception is that the Cowboys won the division in 2018 as a result of acquiring him, as many believe. Cooper’s early returns were great, but Dallas is far from done paying the bill on that trade.

Inside Andre Dillard’s transformation: PB&J and 2 a.m. protein shakes - ESPN
He packed on 20 to 30 pounds every year at Washington State, shooting from 240 to 310 pounds -- a remarkable 70-pound gain in all. He attributes the growth to a commitment to the weight room and to chowing down, even at odd hours. Dillard had heard that people gain a lot weight when they eat late at night. So he would set an alarm for 2 a.m. to ingest a protein shake before going back to sleep. Between classes he would fill his backpack with snacks. “Those peanut butter and jellies in the bag” was a go-to, and he’d pile in bananas and bars as well. His dedication paid off. He ballooned to 290 by his redshirt sophomore year and was up over 300 by his junior season.

How T.J. Edwards fits with the Philadelphia Eagles - Bucky’s 5th Quarter
I think Edwards has a realistic chance of making the roster. That could quickly change if the Eagles sign and/or trade for a veteran linebacker. For now, I see Edwards making the team as a depth player who contributes on special teams. Being active on game day will allow Edwards to potentially get playing time if someone ahead of him on the depth chart gets hurt. Edwards might have an opportunity to replace an ineffective starter/role player if he bides his time and makes the most of the chances he gets.

One-On-One: Alec Halaby -
Vice President of Football Operations and Strategy Alec Halaby discusses how the team uses analytics to evaluate players.

Re-ranking Eagles’ top needs after 2019 NFL draft - NBCSP
2. Linebacker. Aside from running back, there’s not a position fans worry about more than linebacker and I get it. The Eagles lost Jordan Hicks and now have Nigel Bradham, Kamu Grugier-Hill, Nate Gerry, Paul Worrilow, L.J. Fort and B.J. Bello. They also added Wisconsin linebacker T.J. Edwards after the draft. The only reason I have LB below OG is because of the importance of the position, but there’s an argument to be made that no need is greater than linebacker. If things stay the way they are, I’d assume Bradham and Grugier-Hill will be the starters and then the rest of the guys fight for the third job and backup roles. Not ideal, but the Eagles haven’t put a huge emphasis on the position in recent years and they use two linebackers the majority of the time.

NFL’s Wild, Wild West: The way undrafted free agents are signed is a chaotic, undignified mess - CBS Sports
I’m going to let you in on a dirty little secret. When it comes to signing undrafted free agents after the NFL draft, there really are no rules. It is, as some agents explained, “the Wild, Wild West,” devoid of any real regulation by the league office or elsewhere. It is an all-out free-for-all, with both teams and agents angling to complete these deals not only during the draft – technically they aren’t allowed to sign such players until after the draft – but, in many cases, actually agreeing to verbal terms before the draft even begins. Signing bonuses can range from $500 to $135,000 (essentially guaranteeing what a season of pay on the practice squad would be) in a manic craze as teams try to secure what they believe is the best undrafted talent. Meanwhile, players and agents try to find the best fit, somehow, despite at times having to juggle multiple calls from 10-20 teams – each with a dozen or so people making calls on players – all at the same time, and all demanding answers as soon as possible.

Will the Jaguars offense be any different? - Big Cat Country
The Jaguars didn’t hire Flip and pay Nick Foles to run the ball 40 times a game. While I have my opinion on Foles, he is a significant upgrade over Blake Bortles, which itself should open the offense up more. You can trust Foles, at least you’d assume so, more than you could the previous quarterback and you won’t be as hamstrung as you were previously which means you’re not almost forced to run the ball as much as you did. I still expect the Jaguars to focus on running the ball and hitting big plays off of play-action, but it’s not going to be as laborious or obvious as it has been in the past.

The A+ move each team made in the 2019 NFL Draft - SB Nation
Getting Carson Wentz a jump-ball target. Arguably no wide receiver in the draft is better at high-pointing contested catches than JJ Arcega-Whiteside. He gives the Eagles something Nelson Agholor and DeSean Jackson can’t do, and that Alshon Jeffery won’t be able to do for much longer.


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