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Eagles News: Don’t discount Rashawn Slater or Alijah Vera-Tucker at No. 12

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 4/18/21.

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USC Spring Football Practice Begins Photo by Scott Varley/MediaNews Group/Torrance Daily Breeze via Getty Images

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

Mailbag: Should Eli Manning and Julian Edelman Be Hall of Famers? - Sports Illustrated
My belief is that part of the equation for the Eagles in moving out of the sixth pick was a belief in Philly that Ja’Marr Chase would likely be gone somewhere in the top five (and probably at No. 5, to the Bengals). So take that, and maybe you’d come to the conclusion that Jaylen Waddle or DeVonta Smith would be in play at No. 12. I understand the logic, and I’m not going to fight you on the possibility that might happen. But here’s what’s bugged me about that idea: GM Howie Roseman needs a strong couple of drafts the next couple of years, and if you look at his team-building philosophy, you’ll find a consistent, deep investment in the lines of scrimmage. Now, look at what the Eagles have up front. On offense, Jason Kelce is 33, Brandon Brooks is 31, Lane Johnson is 30 and Andre Dillard still needs to prove himself as the designated left tackle of the future. On defense, Brandon Graham is 33 and Fletcher Cox is 30. If Roseman is using this draft and the next (he’ll have four picks in the first two rounds and probably three first-rounders in 2022) to turn the page and get younger, his history tells me the lines of scrimmage will get a hard look somewhere on draft day. I think the dream for the Eagles would be to have Kyle Pitts slip to No. 12 (not happening). Absent that, I don’t think you should ignore the possibility of them drafting guys like Rashawn Slater and Alijah Vera-Tucker.

Above the Nest with Raichele #3: Dysfunction with the Birds and how Jalen Hurts spent his first $1M - BGN Radio
On episode three of Above the Nest with Raichele, Raichele Privette gets passionate when talking about The Athletic’s report on internal dysfunction within the organization and discusses what Jalen Hurts decided to do with his first million in the NFL.

A look at the Eagles’ initial win-loss over-unders, and other NFL odds - PhillyVoice
It feels unlikely that the Eagles will have the third-worst record in the NFL. Yes, they’ll very likely be bad, but as we noted last week, they also have the easiest schedule in the NFL, based on 2020 records. Their 2021 opponents had a combined record of 117-155 (0.430), with a combined point differential of -554. They only have three games against teams that had winning records in 2020, none of which are on the road. The Dolphins, meanwhile, feel a little overvalued at 9 wins. Tua Tagovailoa looked shaky as a rookie, and while the Dolphins have a decent enough roster otherwise and they managed to win 10 games a year ago, they did so mainly on the strength of a defensive scheme that confused opposing offenses. There’s perhaps some logic in the notion that the Dolphins’ defense won’t surprise offenses quite as effectively in 2021. The Colts’ win total over-under sits at 10 games, one fewer than they won a season ago, when they went 11-5. That feels about right.

NFC Roster Reset: Conference hierarchy heading into 2021 NFL Draft -
Nick Sirianni takes over a rebuilding Eagles team that waved farewell to Carson Wentz. Will tight end Zach Ertz be the next to go? Pray that Jalen Hurts can keep this cap-hugging club afloat. If not, we could be staring at long Sundays with Joe Flacco doing Joe Flacco things in Philly.

Are Eagles in play for late-rising WR in first round? - NBCSP
But here’s a super interesting nugget that basically no one has seen coming: “Kadarius Toney, I think that guy might go Top 15. I think he might even go before [Devonta] Smith. I mean, the stuff you’re hearing about him out of Florida, he’s so tough after the tackle, and you can use him in that Deebo Samuel way.” Well then! Top 15 is officially Eagles range, so we need to pay attention here. Toney has long been considered a late first round pick, because his college production isn’t crazy and his size (5-11, 194) is a little bit of a question mark. He caught 70 passes for 984 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2020, far and away his most productive season in college. If the Eagles don’t like the way the draft falls in the Top 10 and consider trading back again, would they think about dropping a few spots and picking a guy like Toney? Say, maybe down to 15 with the Patriots if Trey Lance is still on the board? Toney would be such a fascinating - and likely polarizing - pick: the upside is huge, but there are definite unknowns about his translation in the NFL

Eagles Extra Q&A: Trade back for more 2022 NFL Draft picks? Will new defense change approach at cornerback? -
I’ve said since the trade back last month that I believe the Eagles are expecting to take a defender at No. 12. While things could change if they trade up, or Jaylen Waddle or DeVonta Smith drop, I think right now, the expectation is that a top defensive prospect will fall to the Eagles. With the way the class is built, I’d say it’s fair to want to target a corner at 12 and a wide receiver at 37. The Eagles will have more appealing choices at wide receiver in the second round than cornerbacks. So, if the Eagles view their need at cornerback as dire as most of us do, they’ll prioritize that position if their board tells them to.

Who’ll be the first receiver taken? - PFT
Miami, as some believe it, would be inclined to take Waddle over Chase and Smith. Chase’s case could be impacted (even though it shouldn’t be) by the fact that he opted out of the 2020 season over COVID concerns. The question then becomes whether Chase would go before Smith, or Smith before Chase. There may not be much of a gap between the first and second receivers taken, either. The Lions at No. 7 could go wideout after seeing Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones leave in free agency, and the Panthers at No. 8 are down a starter after the defection of Curtis Samuel.

Why wide receivers are taking over the NFL draft - ESPN+
We’ll start with the most obvious one. Total dropbacks have increased in nine of the past 12 years, and total completion yardage has increased by 6% in the past three seasons alone. Any impact felt as more teams build analytics departments is going to trend toward more passing, as it is the more efficient and explosive way of moving the football and has been for a while. Eventually, pass rates could increase to the point of diminishing returns, but that hasn’t happened yet — last year’s leaguewide 45% success rate (calculated in this instance by the frequency of plays with an Expected Points Added figure, or EPA, of greater than zero) was easily the highest of the past decade.

Breaking News: Colts re-signing cornerback T.J. Carrie to 1-year, $2 million deal - Stampede Blue
The Colts are re-signing veteran cornerback T.J. Carrie to a 1-year deal, per Joel A. Erickson. Jason Spears of ForTheColture was the first to report the re-signing, and ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler later added that the deal was worth more than $2 million. [BLG Note: The Eagles reportedly had some interest in Carrie.]

Translating Joe Banner’s offseason wisdom to the WFT - Hogs Haven
Joe Banner is the former President of the Philadelphia Eagles and CEO of the Cleveland Browns. After leaving the Browns in 2013, he did a short stint consulting for the Falcons. Since then, he’s been a regular guest doing the former-GM circuit on radio and television shows, particularly in the lead up period to the draft. Recently, he went on the Ross Tucker Podcast, discussing some of the Dolphins’ offseason moves, including their draft trades (Banner loved the trade back from #3 to #12 with the 49ers, but did not like the subsequent trade up with the Eagles from #12 to #6).

Big Blue View mailbag: Jaylen Waddle, offensive line, more draft questions - Big Blue View
The loss of Saquon Barkley took away a big-play element the offense really needed. Darius Slayton is a home run threat, but defenses treated him like a No. 1 wide receiver and he isn’t, which means he was often at a disadvantage. Evan Engram had a bad season, even if he was voted into the Pro Bowl. As far as the criticism of the offensive line, it was absolutely deserved. That group absolutely has to be better. It’s why the Giants are pouring so many coaching resources into it, with new offensive line coach Rob Sale, along with assistant coaches Freddie Kitchens and Pat Flaherty all focused on it. It’s why the Giants will almost certainly add to the offensive line mix in the draft, whether they do it in the first round or somewhere in Rounds 2-4. That’s a young group that should improve, and the Giants are heavily focused on making sure it does improve.

Feed Zeke: Why 2021 has the potential to be a big year for Ezekiel Elliott - Blogging The Boys
Many signs point in the favor of Zeke returning to his old form. For starters, the offensive line was in shambles last year and in many instances it felt as if some of the young, replacement linemen were thrown to the wolves. That does not seem to be the case this year as all reports in regards to Tyron Smith and La’el Collins are of positive nature and it’s believed that they will be ready to go once the season kicks off. You may also look to the fact that all of these backup linemen who were given invaluable playing experience and are now more seasoned, and better equipped, to handle another potential opportunity if one were to arise again. The draft is another avenue where the Cowboys will surely look to add a player or two that may add quality depth, or even possibly an elite level prospect such as Rashawn Slater from Northwestern, who by many accounts is believed to be a plug-and-play type of prospect. Having continuity on the offensive line and the ability to keep your star players healthy can only improve the running game and give Zeke better opportunities to break off big plays.

T.J. McConnell is an extremely self-aware, trash-talking dork - SB Nation
[BLG Note: Anyone else miss having T.J. on the Sixers?]


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