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Eagles News: Philadelphia had two targets if Jalen Hurts wasn't on the board at No. 53

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 4/28/20.

College Football Playoff Semifinal at the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl - Clemson v Ohio State Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

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

Colts’ Flexibility With Eason, Who Eagles Would’ve Taken Besides Jalen Hurts, Draft Notes - MMQB
I’ve got a couple of fun notes on the Eagles’ vetting of Oklahoma QB Jalen Hurts, which provided the runway for his selection as the 53rd pick on Friday. One, VP of player personnel Andy Weidl actually got live exposure to Hurts in game action—he was on site for the Sooners’ 52–14 beatdown of West Virginia. Hurts threw for 316 yards and three touchdowns on 16-of-17 passing, and his only incompletion came on a drop by Drake Stoops (yup, Bob’s son); and he rushed for 75 yards and two more touchdowns on 10 carries. Two, pass-game coordinator Press Taylor was on site for Oklahoma’s pro day on March 12, which took place just before the scouting circuit was shut down, and gave Philly another data point to work off. Obviously, both of those guys had positive impressions. And again, I think the main argument here is how high Hurts was picked, given that the Eagles just gave their young franchise quarterback a top-of-the-market deal. Only time will tell us the rest of the story. And if you want something to track coming out of all this: Southern Illinois S/LB Jeremy Chinn (Panthers) and Ohio State RB J.K. Dobbins (Ravens) were two players I’d heard would’ve been under consideration, had Hurts not been the pick at 53. Gun to my head, I say Philly would’ve taken Chinn in that circumstance. [BLG Note: Interesting that the Eagles could’ve potentially taken a second-round running back for the second year in a row.]

Free agents the Eagles can sign now that it won’t impact their compensatory pick formula - BGN
CARLOS HYDE. If the Eagles are looking for a big, physical veteran running back to replace Jordan Howard, Hyde fits the bill. He’s actually coming off a career season where he logged 245 attempts for 1,070 yards (4.4 average) and six touchdowns with the Houston Texans. Hyde turns 30 in September.

From the Bleachers #22: Why, Howie?! - BGN Radio
Shamus Clancy details his thoughts on the Eagles draft haul with opinions on Reagor, theories on the Jalen Hurts selection, and his take on Howie’s 3 Things list! Sign up for Shamus’ newsletter right here: https://www.patreon.com/shamus_clancy. Powered by SB Nation and Bleeding Green Nation.

The Eagles’ remaining holes to fill, post-draft, and who can fill them - PhillyVoice
Running back: The Eagles have their explosive, three-down, young runner in Miles Sanders. Behind him they have the nimble Boston Scott, a couple undrafted inside runners in Elijah Holyfield and Michael Warren, and a tiny speed guy in UDFA Adrian Killins. Ideally, they could find a more proven between-the-tackles back to complement Sanders. Running backs who makes sense: Isaiah Crowell: Crowell once wiped his butt with a football and then threw it into the stands. So obviously, I’m in. But also, before he tore an ACL last training camp, he was a good inside runner in the NFL for years, and in his last NFL action in 2018, he ran for 4.8 yards per carry in a bad Jets offense. I’d take a low-cost flier on him all day.

Cleaning out the Eagles’ draft weekend notebook - PE.com
1. Do the Eagles think they have enough at running back with, as the top three at the moment, Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, and Elijah Holyfield? There is talent here, to be sure, but the lack of NFL experience is apparent with Sanders and Holyfield entering their second seasons and Scott his third. Do the Eagles think Holyfield can be the “power back” that they’ve had in recent seasons with LeGarrette Blount and Jordan Howard, to name two? Sanders and Scott are a dynamic and complementary tandem and maybe that’s enough, but it’s something to watch.

A Simple Test - Iggles Blitz
RB – Miles Sanders and Boston Scott give the team a good 1-2 punch. Unknowns Elijah Holyfield and Michael Warren are behind them. Losing Jordan Howard certainly hurts. The Eagles are not better here. I am curious to see if Holyfield can become a good role player. His development would help a lot. And the Eagles might not be done with moves. There are some good veteran RBs still on the market.

Draft Fallout: Fantasy Football Winners - Establish The Run
3. Miles Sanders, RB and Boston Scott, RB, Eagles. Doug Pederson ditched his strict RBBC tendencies down the stretch last season, largely due to Jordan Howard’s injury. Over the final six games (including playoffs), Sanders averaged 15.6 carries plus 5.3 targets while regularly playing more than 80% of the snaps. The Eagles proceeded to let Howard walk in free agency and selected no running backs in the draft. That leaves Sanders and Scott unthreatened heading into 2020, a great sign that Pederson was fine with a workhorse role for Sanders. Note that Scott saw a strong 5.6 targets per game over the last five as a Sproles-esque backfield option.

What Doug Pederson told Carson Wentz before the Jalen Hurts pick went down - NBCSP
“We just wanted him to understand that, you know, we value - we value the quarterback position extremely high here in Philadelphia. But at the same time, Carson understands, and I wanted him to know, that he’s our starter, he’s the face of the Philadelphia Eagles, he’s the franchise. He is the guy that’s going to take us back, hopefully, one day, back to the Super Bowl, and get back to that championship level. So I wanted him to understand that first. But we also understand, and wanted him to understand, that we’re going to continue to evaluate quarterbacks, and continue to draft quarterbacks every year. I’ve been a part of this as a player, in my days in Green Bay, and obviously as a coach, also.”

2020 NFL draft: Biggest post-draft questions for all 32 teams - ESPN
How will Carson Wentz react to the addition of Jalen Hurts? It’s unusual for a team to use a high pick on a quarterback when it has a franchise starter still in his prime. Wentz emerged from the shadow cast by Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles and now must share the locker room — and apparently some playing time — with the dynamic Hurts, while dealing with the media scrutiny that has already started. The 2020 season just got a whole lot more interesting in Philly.

Using the Consensus Big Board to rank the 2020 NFL Draft classes from 1 to 32 - The Athletic
Philadelphia gets knocked for selecting Jalen Hurts in the second round by analysts, but the board thinks that it’s appropriate value. Obviously the reality of the situation with the Eagles is different, but the Eagles did need a quarterback — just not to start. It’s difficult to find good backups, so the calculation the board makes is slightly favorable, even though Hurts was ranked 20 spots lower than where he went. It didn’t like the Jalen Reagor pick because he was valued a round later, but they more than made up for it by selecting Prince Tega Wanogho, adding more value with John Hightwoer, Jack Driscoll and K’Von Wallace.

You can win with Jalen Hurts if you put his talent to use - Sports Info Solutions
Hurts’ path to success as an NFL starter will depend on organizational fit and schematic flexibility from the coaching staff. In my estimation, this would be a team that: 1) is willing to leverage its quarterback in the run game, 2) is comfortable incorporating RPO concepts into their quick game, 3) carries several staple plays which target the intermediate areas of the field, 4) has a penchant for shot plays, particularly off play action. Coach Riley was willing and able to do all these things for Hurts and it worked well most of the time. NFL offenses are a far cry from the offenses seen in the Big 12, though, and it remains to be seen whether Hurts will land with the right team. If all the stars align, he could end up being a steal for a team, regardless of when he is drafted.

Philadelphia Eagles 2020 NFL Draft Class Recap - The Draft Network
X-Factor: Chemistry with QB Carson Wentz. This has layers. People were quick to gravitate to Foles after he commandeered a run to the team’s first Super Bowl. Wentz has had some durability concerns throughout the early portions of his career, which further exacerbated this issue. Having a fringe top-50 pick in Hurts may do the same with too much success, which could threaten chemistry and polarize the locker room. Furthermore, chemistry will also be a variable for how well this remade receiving corps is able to contribute; an added bonus is the addition of Marquise Goodwin, who comes to Philadelphia via trade on Day 3.

10 winners & 8 losers from the 2020 NFL Draft - DraftKings Nation
LOSERS — Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles selecting Jalen Hurts was one of the most shocking things that happened in the 2020 Draft. Having depth at quarterback is important for the team with the oft-injured Carson Wentz under center, but Philadelphia needed more offensive firepower. Hurts could’ve been taken later.

Recapping the Dallas Cowboys draft along with the rest of the NFC East - Blogging The Boys
The Eagles draft may have started off with the excitement of seeing CeeDee Lamb almost falling to them only to have him go four picks ahead to their division rival Dallas Cowboys. Once the shock of losing Lamb wore off, the Eagles took two Jalen’s back to back in speedy receiver Jalen Reagor and quarterback Jalen Hurts. While the Hurts pick was a head-scratcher to many at the time, his ability to come in and back up the oft-injured Carson Wentz must have been the motivation. The Eagles then went on to add more speed to this to when they added linebacker Davion Taylor, safety K’Von Wallace, receiver John Hightower and trading with the 49ers for Marquise Goodwin. They also added a starting guard and swing tackle to their offensive line to replenish depth there. Overall this seemed to be a bad draft by the Eagles, losing out on Lamb, taking a quarterback after paying their starter $100 million dollars, trading for a receiver that has injury issues, and trading a fourth-round pick to the Cowboys only for them to turn around and select their new starting center will haunt this team for years to come. Draft Evaluation - Bad.

Redskins exercise Jonathan Allen’s 5th year option - Hogs Haven
In a move expected by most people, the Washington Redskins have exercised the 5th year option for defensive lineman Johnathan Allen. He was not a top 10 pick so his value as a defensive end will be $9,046,000 for the 2021 season. Allen was the 17th overall pick in the 2017 draft. He signed a 4-year, $11.6 million contract, and now gets a big raise for his 5th year in the league.

Giants apply seldom-used UFA tender to try and reel in Markus Golden - Big Blue View
Markus Golden could end up being a member of the New York Giants in 2020 after all as the Giants have placed a seldom-used Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA) tender on the pass-rushing edge defender that would cost the Giants $4.125 million. The tender, per Field Yates, means that if Golden remains unsigned by another NFL team past July 22 that the Giants would have his exclusive rights. Meaning, of course, the Giants would be the only team Golden could play for in 2020. Playing on a one-year prove it contract for the Giants in 2019 after two seasons wrecked by a 2017 knee injury, Golden posted 10 sacks in 2019. He entered free agency looking for a lucrative multi-year deal, but that has yet to materialize.

Why Successful Run Plays Work - Football Outsiders
“Running backs don’t matter.” If you’ve read any analytics article about running in the NFL, odds are you’ve heard that phrase. But, if you watched the 2020 playoffs, then you saw firsthand how Derrick Henry against the Patriots and Raheem Mostert against the Packers proved that a quality run offense can win big games. So, what makes for a good run game? I explored this question in my submission for this year’s NFL Big Data Bowl student subcompetition. Instead of tackling the strategic question of whether it’s worth it to run at all, I decided to investigate what separates runs that work from those that don’t.To start, let’s look at two plays that were nearly identical from the runner’s perspective, but that had vastly different results. In both plays below, the runner received the ball 4 yards behind the line of scrimmage, approximately one second after the handoff, and was moving towards the left end. However, Bilal Powell gained 12 yards, while Wendell Smallwood lost 4.

4 trends that were in, 3 that were out during the 2020 NFL Draft - SB Nation
Out: The Eagles’ strategy. Here’s the deal. I understand the Eagles’ desire to have a backup quarterback who can play if Carson Wentz gets hurt. But, Wentz has missed eight games during the regular season in 64 total opportunities. It feels like an overreaction to draft a backup for a young quarterback like Wentz. If the Eagles hope to win another Super Bowl, it will be because Wentz is playing. What Nick Foles did in 2017 was remarkable and in my opinion, not something you can hope for again if Jalen Hurts had to play for Wentz. In the best-case scenario, after four years Hurts has started minimal games and Wentz has continued to improve and become elite. If the Eagles drafted Hurts with the idea that he’s a gadget player until needing to play QB, that seems short-sighted as well. You use a two-round pick on a gadget player? I don’t see it.

[BLG Note: Thank you for making BGN Radio one of the top football podcasts in the USA!]

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