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Eagles News: Derek Barnett among 2019 breakout candidates

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 5/25/19.

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5 Eagles breakout candidates in 2019 - PhillyVoice
As we noted early in April, when the Eagles traded Michael Bennett this offseason, most observers rightfully pointed out that Bennett was the team’s most productive edge rusher in 2018, as he had nine sacks, 15 tackles for loss, and an impressive 30 hits on the quarterback. With Barnett coming back as the starter at RDE in 2019, many consider that to be a downgrade from Bennett. I couldn’t possibly disagree more. In Barnett’s first four games, when he was healthy, he was a very disruptive player. If you take Barnett’s pass rushing numbers during those first four games and extrapolate them over a 16-game season, they would have been better than Bennett’s. Add in that Barnett is also a better run defender (or at least less likely to freelance), and I’ll take him as my starter all day over Bennett. In that sense, to me, Barnett is more of a “continue to break out candidate” than he is a “breakout candidate.” Barnett missed the Eagles’ first OTA session, as he continues to rehab from surgery on his rotator cuff, but the normal time frame for recovery from that procedure should allow him to be ready to go for training camp. He is already a good player, and he’ll show that over the course of a full season.

Eagles Rookie Profile: Six things to know about DeAndre Thompkins - BGN
The Philadelphia Eagles signed Penn State wide receiver DeAndre Thompkins as an undrafted free agent following the 2019 NFL Draft. The odds are stacked against Thompkins making the final roster but he’s a player to watch this summer. After all, the Eagles reportedly gave him the third highest amount of guaranteed money out of all their UDFA signings. Philly also has an opening at punt returner that Thompkins could fill. In order to learn more about Thompkins, I reached out to SB Nation’s Penn State blog: Black Shoe Diaries. Nittany Lions writer Jared Slanina was kind enough to answer my questions.

The Kist & Solak Show #96: Top Eagles Under 25 - BGN Radio
Michael Kist and Benjamin Solak compiled a list of Eagles’ players that will be under 25 years old when the 2019 NFL regular season starts.. now they gotta rank ‘em! Who takes the top spot? Is it Dallas Goedert, Avonte Maddox, or Derek Barnett? Powered by SB Nation and Bleeding Green Nation.

Lawlor: Winning starts up front -
Jordan Mailata remains one of the most interesting Eagles. He is huge at 6-8 and 346 pounds. Mailata didn’t get to play during the 2018 season. The former rugby star is still adjusting to the game of football. He has been learning every day since he arrived in Philly. Mailata remains very much a project, but he is incredibly talented. Guys like that don’t always develop at a normal rate. I can’t wait to see him in action. Mailata got significantly better during the course of last summer. It will be interesting to see where he is this time around. The Eagles aren’t stopping there. They brought in several talented players as undrafted free agents. You can never have enough good linemen. Ryan Bates had a terrific career at Penn State. He has a good combination of size and athleticism. Bates could play guard or tackle in the NFL. I thought he would be a mid-round pick so it shocked me that he went undrafted.

The McNabb HOF Debate - Iggles Blitz
You can make a case that McNabb was on pace for a HOF career at that point. Unfortunately, there was a terrible second act. McNabb publicly feuded with the Shanahan’s in Washington. He was benched and then went to the Vikings. He struggled there as well. Kurt Warner played his way into the HOF by what he did in Arizona. He posted big numbers and led them to their first ever Super Bowl appearance. Warren Moon was a star for the Houston Oilers for a decade. He then spent time with the Seahawks and Vikings, adding 95 TDs and 15,000 yards to his totals. That helped him get to the HOF. McNabb was a major bust outside of Philly. He’s not solely to blame for that, but it kills any chance he’s got of getting to Canton.

Donovan McNabb isn’t a Hall of Famer - PFT
He’s 25th in career passing yards, with his career spent in a pass-happy era, playing most of his years for a pass-happy coach. Kerry Collins and Dave Krieg are higher on the yardage list than McNabb. Krieg also has more touchdown passes than McNabb, as does Drew Bledsoe, Tony Romo, and John Hadl. Although McNabb was a six-time Pro Bowler (which means he was among the top three quarterbacks in a 16-team conference for roughly half of his career), he was never an All-Pro and never a league MVP. With no Super Bowl victories and only one Super Bowl appearance, there’s just not enough there to put him in Canton.

Cre’Von LeBlanc made his own luck last season with the Eagles and has to do it again - Daily News
Now he has, and one of the top narratives of the spring and summer will be how Schwartz sorts out the secondary. Tuesday, in the only OTA practice reporters were allowed to observe this week, LeBlanc was in the slot with the first-team defense, but again, Darby and Mills aren’t on the field yet. Maddox also looked really good in the nickel last season, when he wasn’t playing safety or outside corner. “Wherever Coach needs me, that’s where I’ll be at,” LeBlanc said. “Until then, we’re going to just keep strapping it up, keep pushing each other and competing. We’re just going to go from there.”

Malik Jackson learning to play with Fletcher Cox, without Fletcher Cox - NBCSP
As the newcomer, Malik Jackson knows he has to learn how to play next to Fletcher Cox. He needs to learn the nuances of Cox’s game and how the All-Pro likes to rush the passer. That’s a little hard without Cox at practice. When Jackson took the field for his first session as an Eagle on Tuesday at OTAs, Cox wasn’t on the field as he recovers from an offseason foot surgery that’s expected to keep him sidelined until training camp. That’s Cox’s return goal, so Jackson and Cox won’t line up next to each other for over two months. So Jackson is trying to find other ways to get ready to play next to the Eagles’ best defensive player. Here’s what he told reporters on Tuesday.

Jets seek permission to interview Joe Douglas and Champ Kelly for general manager job - Gang Green Nation
That will be one key component to filling this job. It goes beyond simply securing an interview. The job will be less appealing to candidates if they are not allowed to pick the players. Even beyond nominal control of the 53 man roster, the Jets will also need to make clear the autonomy their general manager will have to shape his own vision. There will certainly be questions about the extent to which Adam Gase will influence personnel decisions behind the scenes.

Would You Rather: Dallas Cowboys Contract Decisions - The Draft Network
I expect a 4-year, $30M/year deal for Dak Prescott, signed sometime after this season -- another year of his play with Amari Cooper is crucial to understanding the value of both players. While the Cowboys don’t have much to gain by playing the franchise tag game with Prescott, they could (the non-exclusive tag is around $28M, and the exclusive tag is around $32M) without taking on significantly more cost in 2020.

Ask a former NFL player: Are teams really in ‘win now’ mode, or is it a myth? - SB Nation
With that being said, I do think teams as a whole, including the front office, understand the value of trying to win with a franchise quarterback under a rookie deal. Whether it’s the Seahawks, Eagles, or Rams, it’s clear this formula can get you into the big game and win. For the Chiefs, I do think there’s a sense of urgency within the organization to win now, but mostly because windows close quickly in the league, even without having to pay a top quarterback. It’s freaking hard to win and keep winning. One or two injuries can derail a season and so can free agency. Bad luck in games can happen and the ball doesn’t bounce in your direction. Winning is tough. So the short answer: Mostly, everyone is trying to win now for various reasons.


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