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Eagles News: T.J. Edwards among top second-year breakout candidates

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 5/7/20.

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

Second-year breakout candidates for the 2020 NFL season - PFF
LB T.J. Edwards, Philadelphia Eagles. Arguably the least proven player on the list, T.J. Edwards nevertheless earned an 86.6 overall PFF grade as a rookie, which would rank him among the best linebackers in the game if he played than just 112 total snaps. Why this is interesting, though, is that he had back-to-back seasons with a grade above 90.0 in his final two seasons at Wisconsin before going undrafted due to mediocre measurables and athletic profile. His NFL preseason grade was also consistently good, meaning Edwards has been an exceptionally productive linebacker at every level we have seen. He also excelled in coverage — unusual for a player with athletic limitations. He has a real shot to start for the Eagles this season and could be one of the surprise breakout players in 2020.

Report: Eagles among teams interested in signing Jadeveon Clowney - BGN
At first glance, the Eagles do have money to spend on Clowney with $23,547,404 in cap space to work with. That’s actually good for seventh most in the league. But the Eagles won’t be looking to spend that entire amount given that they’re currently projected to be $50.7 million OVER the cap in 2021. The Eagles need to roll over some of their current cap space to help out with next year. Graphic via Over The Cap.

Good or Bad? - BGN Radio
Jimmy Kempski and Brandon Lee Gowton work position by position to determine the strengths and weakness of the Eagles roster! Powered by SB Nation and Bleeding Green Nation.

Where are the Eagles deep, and not so deep, after the 2020 NFL Draft: Offense edition - PhillyVoice
The “No. 1 receiver” right now is Jackson. Like, even if we’re wrong about Jeffery, and he returns to the team this season, he likely won’t be ready for Week 1, and even if he is, is he even good anymore? He certainly wasn’t in 2019. So we can all agree on the premise that Jackson is the No. 1 receiver, right? If so, that’s not great. As is, the Eagles are in a position in which they will have to count on some combination of the following: Jackson can stay healthy. Reagor is a playmaker from Day 1. Arcega-Whiteside takes a huge step forward in Year 2. Goodwin can stay healthy, and he proves he has something left in the tank. Ward can continue to progress. One of the late-round speed guys (Hightower/Watkins) unexpectedly produces Year 1. Someone from the rest of the names listed above emerges, Greg Ward-style. Those don’t exactly feel like great bets. None of them are sure things, or even close. The feeling here remains that the team should have done something in free agency to help fix the position.

Updated Best-Ball WR Tiers - Rotoworld
Jalen Reagor (WR56) — Labeled a boom-or-bust flier in his final year at TCU (43/611/5) while fighting through true freshman Max Duggan’s erratic arm talent. Reagor’s sterling marks as a 19-year-old sophomore (72/1,061/9) show quite the contrary. The landing spot (and first-round investment) highlights a direct path to leading his class in targets out the gates. DeSean Jackson (WR57) — Exploded for 8/154/2 in his lone game with Carson Wentz.

Re-visiting my way-too-early 2020 NFL Draft from last April - The Athletic
14. Jacksonville JaguarsJalen Reagor, WR, TCU. Reagor was on the trajectory to be an early first-round pick, but his 2019 season didn’t go as planned, mostly due to a freshman quarterback and an offense that didn’t allow him to flourish. Nonetheless, the Eagles were willing to bet on the talent, drafting him No. 21 overall a year after I mocked him No. 14 overall. Drafted: No. 21 overall to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Why the Eagles changed course from Justin Jefferson to Jalen Reagor - NBCSP
“And for me, I had Jefferson going at No. 20 in the mock draft that you’re mentioning, which is why it was easier putting Reagor to 21 with the Eagles. Had Justin Jefferson in my mock fallen there, and it turns out he was available there, they still went with (Reagor) … I was told that Justin Jefferson was their guy early in the process but then late I know they fell in love with the speed of Reagor and his ability to work short, middle, deep and that’s why I ended up placing Reagor there. I didn’t know for sure they’d take him, but I knew they liked him. I just didn’t know for sure he’d go at 21.”

Nick Saban thinks Jalen Hurts is the right fit in Philadelphia - PFT
Saban thinks Hurts can step in for Wentz, if necessary, and be successful, just as Nick Foles was previously. “I think there are a lot of quarterbacks that are having success in the NFL that are outside the old-fashioned prototype dropback passer that are having success,” Saban said. “Jalen has proven that he can win at the position. He won here, he won at Oklahoma. It’s a different style of play, maybe. I think Philly is really good at this. They threw some RPO type plays, moved the pocket a little bit when Foles had to play and had a lot of success doing that. I think Jalen can play that style really well.”

2020 Free Agency Cost-Benefit Analysis - Football Outsiders
The two least-bargain-like deals (I try not to say “worst” here, because you’re never going to get the best player available at a bargain) go to the two most expensive interior linemen — D.J. Reader to Cincinnati on a $53-million deal, and Javon Hargrave moving to Philadelphia for $25.5 million guaranteed. I’ll be honest: I’m not sure how much sense it makes to be paying nose tackles eight-digit salaries in the modern NFL, but Reader and Hargrave are two of the top ten at their position in the league. I’d judge the Eagles’ deal to be slightly worse, as I’m not sure interior line was really a need with Fletcher Cox already there, but Hargrave did have 28 pass pressures to Reader’s 14. I’m also sure that neither team was looking for a bargain when they went out to get Reader and Hargrave, and that they certainly accomplished.

Breaking Down Every AFC Division After the Draft and Free Agency - The Ringer
Hargrave was overshadowed and underutilized as a member of the Steelers’ loaded defensive front last season, but he’s a talented interior rusher who will be missed. A lot more casual fans will know his name after he spends a season as a starter in the Eagles’ attacking 4-3 scheme.

Why NFL trainers are concerned about the transition from virtual to reality - ESPN
Eagles safety Rodney McLeod, who turned his garage into a pseudo gym, spent his allotment on kettle bells, a weight vest, medicine balls and hurdles. One video McLeod posted showed him wearing that vest and holding those bells as he squatted onto a beer cooler. “It’s difficult,” McLeod said, “because you don’t have your gyms that you’ve had access to and what I’m accustomed to, getting with my trainer and being able to work out and work on the things I need to do to be a better player this year. But I’ve been around for a while, this isn’t my first rodeo working out.”

One-on-One: Quez Watkins | May 6, 2020 - PE.com
WR Quez Watkins discusses what it was like to be drafted and more.

Evaluating the drafts of the Redskins’ NFC East foes - Hogs Haven
The Eagles also had 10 picks in this year’s draft, and they used their most valuable one on a position of overwhelming need - wide receiver. For years, the Eagles have struggled to find receiving weapons for Carson Wentz beyond his top-tier tight end safety blankets. Last year, they spent a second round pick on the underwhelming JJ Arcega-Whiteside, who had far fewer receiving yards than all three Redskins’ rookie WRs in 2019. This year, after having Lamb ripped from their grasp by the Cowboys, they settled on Jalen Reagor, an athletically-gifted playmaker in the mold of the Panthers’ Curtis Samuel. Later in the draft, the Eagles added WRs John Hightower and Quez Watkins, both sensible selections given how painfully bare the Eagles’ WR cupboard was at the end of 2019.

Brett Favre allegedly received $1.1M in welfare funds from Mississippi - SB Nation
Brett Favre’s home state of Mississippi has gotten him into hot water. According to the Associated Press, Favre received $1.1 million from the Mississippi Department of Human Services. That money was intended to go to people who need welfare from the state. Specifically, Favre Enterprises received two payments: One payment was made in December 2017 for $500,000, while the other happened in June 2018 for the sum of $600,000. According to the audit, those payments would cover the period from July 2017 to July 2018 in which Favre would have spoken at three different events, appear on one radio show, and hold one keynote address. Favre did not attend.

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