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Eagles News: NFL insider proposes a surprise first round pick for Philadelphia

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 4/9/20.

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NFL Draft 2020: Four surprising prospects who could be picked in Round 1 despite a lack of buzz - CBS Sports
Terrell Lewis, EDGE, Alabama. If you just look at the athleticism, speed, ridiculous body frame and most metrics, this kid is a bigger Von Miller. Wingspan off the charts. Essentially had Miller’s vertical and broad jump, only carrying 20 more pounds and two more inches. Injuries slowed him some at Alabama, but it wasn’t that long ago that Nick Saban flew to D.C. unannounced to try to prevent Lewis from taking a recruiting trip to ‘Ol Miss, as Lewis told me on my radio show last week. Saban used him all over the field, including dropping 3 yards downfield to cover receivers. His sack numbers aren’t huge, but he was around the football. Great energy. Engaging kid. The potential is scary. Even with all the time missed for injuries, he has rare physical ability. He would make a lot of sense for the Eagles –who he did get to meet with before all of that went away – late in the first round. And probably Seattle and Baltimore, too, among others. [BLG Note: It bears repeating that Howie Roseman has never not drafted a lineman or a quarterback in the first round. We previously profiled Lewis back in March.]

Adam Schefter weighs in on where things stand with the Eagles and Alshon Jeffery - BGN
“And while I do think they’re open to moving on from him, and I guess we all think that they’d like to find a trade partner, I also don’t rule out the idea that if nothing materializes [now], that they’ll just sit there and hold on to him as a commodity and if they can’t move him now, you know what, guess what, during training camp — if there’s training camp — some team may lose a wide receiver and may be hungrier for a wide receiver at that point in time. So, again, I don’t know that that has to happen now, though I’m sure they’d like to make it happen now in a perfect world.”

Actively Shopping Alshon - BGN Radio
immy Kempski and Brandon Lee Gowton — Eagles have been actively shopping Alshon Jeffery, Snake drafting the options at 21st overall, The Jim Schwartz influence, Pryor/Avery outlooks, Video gaming during the quarantine, #BGNEats. Powered by SBNation and Bleeding Green Nation.

Eagles new player (or current player with new role) series: Jatavis Brown edition - PhillyVoice
Conclusion: Brown signed a one-year deal worth $1,047,500, $550,000 of which is guaranteed. That’s fine. Yes, the 2019 tape is clearly bad, but I don’t think this is a bad signing, necessarily. Brown has good speed, which makes him a viable special teams contributor, with some upside in coverage in sub-packages because of his athleticism. It’ll be on the Eagles (and Brown) to unlock his potential. I will admit that before watching his tape, I had Brown currently as the No. 3 linebacker on the depth chart, but I have since bumped Duke Riley into that spot instead, ha.

The Right Receiver? - Iggles Blitz
We’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out which receiver the Eagles should take in the first round. It is possible the team has already made up its mind. Brandon Lee Gowton wrote a piece that shows a lot of rumors and nuggets point toward the Eagles going for Justin Jefferson with pick 21. Some like the thought of adding Jefferson there. Others don’t. We can debate plenty of things about Jefferson, but the bottom line is that he’s an outstanding receiver prospect and would give an instant boost to the Eagles passing attack.

Mel Kiper, Todd McShay draft dueling superteams of 2020 NFL draft prospects - ESPN
No. 23 pick, Kiper: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU. Kiper: I’ll take Burrow’s guy here. Thanks, Todd. Jefferson caught 111 of 134 targets from Burrow last season, and I’m going to stick him in the slot and keep the connection going. He could also play outside, but he’s best in the slot. And since you’ve used up your receiver spots, I can wait on my No. 3.

2020 NFL Draft: Ranking the Eagles’ needs with 2 weeks to go - NBCSP
1. Wide receiver. It’s no secret that the Eagles neglected the receiver position throughout free agency and have a pretty desperate need right now. Without adding someone, their top receivers are Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and Greg Ward. Not a lot to count on there. If the Eagles don’t use their No. 21 pick on a receiver, you can bet they’ll use one on a receiver shortly after. In the Eagles’ eyes, the cupboard might not be as bare as we think it is, but they need to upgrade. There are several names who might make some sense at 21 and beyond.

In this new world, the NFL Draft process raises questions -
4. What is the impact of the reduction of in-person visits for this draft? This is the question that every team has to answer. The Eagles, like every team, cut off its facility to in-person visits from prospective draft picks – Top 30 visits, they are called – and they’re able to have video conferencing interviews now. The idea at this time of the year is to collect every bit of information on potential draft picks – background checks, references from coaches and teammates, etc. – and that’s compromised given the current COVID-19 global pandemic. So, do they go with what they know? Do they shy away from later-round players who they just haven’t collected enough information on to feel comfortable? Do teams weigh the on-field evaluation from college more heavily not having the in-person visits available?

Comparing the Cowboys additions/losses to their NFC East rivals to see who comes out on top - Blogging The Boys
Last season’s NFC East champs have been very busy in free agency and of all the teams in the division they may have brought in the most impactful players this offseason. Adding Hargrave to the already stout defensive line led by Fletcher Cox gives the Eagles the best defensive line in the division, then you add Slay and McLeod on the back end of a secondary that couldn’t stop any receivers last season and you are looking at a defensive unit that can do some damage in the division. Especially against a Cowboys offensive line missing the now retired Travis Frederick at center. On the offensive side of the football, the Eagles have some work to do after losing their swing tackle Vaitai and not re-signing their starting left tackle Peters. This was already an offensive line that surrendered 37 sacks, good for 12th worst in the league. They did draft a tackle last season to replace Peters, but he still has a lot to learn and will have growing pains as a full-time starter. All that being said, the edge goes to the Eagles with that defensive line and their ability to create pressure and stop the run. The Cowboys will have to hope that who ever they decide will snap the ball to Prescott will be able to handle the team of Maliek Jackson, Hargrave, and Cox. Advantage - Philadelphia Eagles.

Should The Redskins & Giants Consider Drafting Tua Tagovailoa? - Over The Cap
Assuming for the sake of argument that the Bengals take Joe Burrow 1st overall, the consensus next best available quarterback, one that has been mentioned as such well before any 2019 action in football, was Tua Tagovailoa. Now, just like any other quarterback entering the NFL from college, there is no guarantee on how he’ll perform, and you should not be drafting a quarterback that high if he’s deemed to not meet that value. And with Tagovailoa in particular, there is the added risk factor of his serious hip injury from last season. Furthermore, it would be painful to pass up on a highly regarded prospect at another position–like Chase Young, who, in the Redskins’ case, could easily go to a division rival in the Giants should they take a quarterback at 2nd overall. However, if, after weighing all factors and coming to the determination that Tagovailoa has a very good chance to be a successful NFL quarterback, given the importance of the position it may behoove both the Redskins and Giants to at least consider indemnifying what they have now with Haskins and Jones with a prospect like Tagovailoa.

Futures: LSU S Grant Delpit - Football Outsiders
Safety Grant Delpit was the prized jewel in LSU’s fearsome 2018 defense. A rangy safety with centerfield and box versatility, Delpit was a one-man wrecking crew who roamed all over the back end in Dave Aranda’s defense. By year’s end, Delpit had been named a unanimous first-team All-American, making him one of just four defenders to be unanimously voted to the squad. All three of the other consensus first-team defenders — Clemson’s Christian Wilkins, Kentucky’s Josh Allen, and Alabama’s Quinnen Williams — were top-15 picks in the 2019 NFL draft. Delpit was ineligible for the 2019 draft as a true sophomore, but he was nearly universally expected to be the top safety in the 2020 class. Contrary to expectation, Delpit’s 2019 season was not exactly a tour de force. Delpit developed an inability to tackle and battled with injuries throughout the season, including a high-ankle sprain that hindered him for part of the season. Delpit was still largely excellent by college football standards, but the consistency with which he dominated in 2018 was not quite there in 2019. Rather than propel himself into the pantheon of elite safety prospects of the past decade, Delpit more or less tread water around the “very good” tier.

Thor’s EDGE Rankings - Rotoworld
Epenesa’s results at the NFL Combine lagged behind many of his peers in the edge-rusher class, with a 5.04 40-yard dash, 1.78 10-yard split and 7.34 3-cone. The showing was panned, and started Epenesa on a little slide in mock drafts. But Epenesa was the biggest EDGE to test, and his game is built on superhuman power, rather than receiver athleticism. Kent Lee Platte’s RAS system scored Epenesa 4.43 as an EDGE, but 9.08 as an iDL. You aren’t drafting Epenesa for twitch and bend. You’re drafting him for two-way power. And he’s a solid athlete for the type of player he is – he’s not a stiff plodder. Epenesa will allow his NFL team to do things along the front that they are currently not doing. That’s value added. I think it’s a disservice to call him “safe” rather than “versatile” and “unique.” Athletic limitations lower the ceiling somewhat, but don’t go overboard.

The most likely things to happen during the virtual 2020 NFL Draft, ranked - Fake Teams
Jerry Jones misses the Cowboys’ pick because he’s muted. Grinning ear-to-ear, Jerry is the happiest boy in the party as miraculously, Isaiah Simmons, the do-it-all linebacker/safety/corner, is still on the board at 17, ready for the Cowboys to pick. Jerry can’t get the pick in fast enough and as soon as he’s on the clock he wheezes “With the 17th pick, the Cowboys select Isaiah Simmons”. No one reacts. Jerry, perplexed, says the pick again. Still no reaction. Roger Goodell finally chimes in, “Jerry, are you muted?” Panic hits Jerry’s face as he desperately tries to figure out how to unmute himself before the time runs out. Red faced, Jerry looks offscreen and screams something into the room. Suddenly, a panicked Stephen Jones sprints into the room and clicks the microphone to unmute, just as Chris Grier, grinning ear-to-ear, says “With the 18th pick, the Dolphins select Isaiah Simmons” to which everyone in the chat applauds for being the steal of the draft.

The NFL’s Offseason of Zoom - The Ringer
A work stoppage over a new collective bargaining agreement canceled much of the 2011 offseason. Circumstances are wildly different today, but there are lessons to be learned about how the league will conduct its business.

Staff picks: 24 Philadelphia-area businesses we’re supporting right now - The Athletic
Woodrow’s — If you’re looking for quality sandwiches from the classics to the creative, you’ll be satisfied here. Woodrow’s Whiz Wit is a satisfying cheesesteak. I like The Honey if you’re looking for a chicken sandwich. You can get pickup and delivery.

Pa. Gov. Wolf punts on responding to Trump’s hope of the starting the NFL season on time - PennLive
Governor Tom Wolf joined a growing list of governors comment on whether or not the NFL can safely hold games in their states this year following the coronavirus outbreak. “I think it’s too early to call what happens in the fall. As for what happens in the winter sports season, unfortunately, every sport, professional and non-professional sport, amateur sports, have closed down, and I think Pennsylvania needs to follow suit on that,” Wolf said in his Wedensday afternoon press conference. “We need to stay safe again. Our first priority is to keep people safe.”

California won’t be lifting coronavirus stay-at-home rules anytime soon. Here’s why - LA Times
Smith on Tuesday told that county’s Board of Supervisors that he did not expect there would be “any sports games until at least Thanksgiving, and we’d be lucky to have them by Thanksgiving. This is not something that’s going to be easy to do.” In fact, it’s unlikely the new coronavirus will be completely eradicated, and the disease could become seasonal, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CBS this week.

NFL to host ‘Draft-A-Thon’ to benefit COVID-19 relief efforts -
The NFL announced that the 2020 NFL Draft will serve as a three-day virtual fundraiser benefiting six charities — selected by the NFL Foundation — that are battling the spread of COVID-19 and delivering relief to millions in need. The “Draft-A-Thon” will be featured across the live Draft coverage on ABC, ESPN, ESPN Deportes and NFL Network April 23-25 and pay tribute to healthcare workers and first responders in a variety of ways — including raising funds for the work being done to combat the impact of COVID-19. Funds will help support six national nonprofits and their respective COVID-19 relief efforts including ...

What will the ‘fully virtual’ 2020 NFL Draft look like? - SB Nation
The 2020 NFL Draft was set to be held in Las Vegas, but there’s been a change of plans. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the NFL is unable to hold the event in a public setting. The 2020 NFL Draft will still happen April 23-25 and be televised in primetime, though. It’s just going to look much different. Instead, the NFL is set to hold a “fully virtual” draft with every general manager and coach operating from their own home.


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