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Eagles News: Analytics model is high on DeVonta Smith’s outlook

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 6/21/21.

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Which NFL rookie receivers will be most productive in 2021? My analytics-based top-seven rankings -
2) DeVonta Smith. Passes intended to travel 10-plus air yards were not a source of success for the 2020 Eagles. Per Next Gen Stats, Philadelphia carried a 9:12 touchdown-to-interception ratio on such targets to wide receivers last year, along with a 40.3 reception percentage on those passes (30th in the NFL). Smith’s consistent route running and ability to earn separation forecast to help change that this season. His 4.0 receiving yards per route run over the past two seasons topped the FBS charts. Computer vision shows that, last year, the Heisman Trophy winner had the highest percentage of receptions in which he had more than 3 feet of separation at the time of the catch despite a defender being within 3 feet of him on the path of the route. This carries over into yards after the catch; Smith increased his speed once he had the ball in his hands at the third-highest rate in the FBS in 2020. [BLG Note: Smith is No. 2 only behind Ja’Marr Chase despite being the third WR drafted.]

Eagles Question of the Day: What are some reasonable expectations for Nick Sirianni’s first year as head coach? - BGN
With that said, I hope to see a more balanced offense that utilizes the run game and can find success with explosive plays by the receivers. I want to see an offense that fans can be excited about with continual improvement, rather than collapsing halfway through the season. Sirianni has often talked about improving one percent every single day, and I’d like to see that prove true throughout the season and for the team to finish stronger than they start. Until we have a better idea of what the depth chart is going to look like, I’m going to save any sort of season-record predictions, but things have to be better than last year. What are some of your (reasonable) expectations for Nick Sirianni’s first year as head coach?

Falcons 2021 schedule predictions: The Eagles in week 1 - The Falcoholic
Falcons 30 - Eagles 21. The Eagles appear to be a team in the midst of a rebuild. They opted to not go after one of the top QBs in the draft and it now looks like Jalen Hurts is their starter, though veteran Joe Flacco could certainly push for the position in training camp. Philadelphia still has some good players on the roster and guys like Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox can still cause havoc on the defensive side of the ball. That said, Arthur Smith is going to want to start his career as a head coach with a big win. He’s going to pull out all the stops and Dean Pees is a veteran defensive coordinator who is going to mix up coverages to torment Hurts. I like Atlanta’s chances to start off with a win.

Introducing the 2021 Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders -
The results are in. Meet your 2021 Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders!

Three controversial Dallas Cowboys opinions a month away from training camp - Blogging The Boys
The Cowboys don’t need to trade anybody away before the season starts. Since the 2021 NFL Draft there have been no Cowboys players named as possible trade candidates more than Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith. While it is certainly fair to have every conversation that presents itself, last year really highlighted just how much of a roster can be tested due to injury. It is natural to want to trade someone like Vander Esch specifically given that he is in a contract year with the club. Many want to ensure that the team gets something for him which will not necessarily be the case if he leaves in free agency. Still, though, having someone like LVE as depth is a position that a lot of NFL teams would like to be in. The point isn’t to say that the Cowboys are loaded at linebacker, but they have far more depth than they did at last season’s end.

Eli Manning rejoins the Giants’ organization, team sets date to retire No. 10 - Big Blue View
The Giants’ press release states that Eli will be working with the Giants organization in a wide-ranging role that will see him involved in content creation, fan engagement, business development, and marketing. For his part, Eli is just happy to be back in the Giants’ facilities and around his former teammates.

Raiders player Carl Nassib comes out as gay, first active player in NFL history - Outsports
Las Vegas Raiders defensive lineman Carl Nassib became the first active NFL player in history to announce that he is gay. “What’s up people,” Nassib posted on Instagram. “I’m at my house in West Chester Pennsylvania. I just wanted to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now but finally feel comfortable getting it off my chest. I really have the best life, the best family, friends and job a guy can ask for. [...] NFL commissioner Roger Goodell pledged his support for Nassib, he told Outsports in a statement: “The NFL family is proud of Carl for courageously sharing his truth today,” “Representation matters. We share his hope that someday soon statements like his will no longer be newsworthy as we march toward full equality for the LGBTQ+ community. We wish Carl the best of luck this coming season.”

Monday Football Monday #42: Hard Knocks Candidate Rumors, potential uniform changes + teams under pressure - The SB Nation NFL Show
RJ Ochoa and Pete Sweeney discuss possible 2021 Hard Knocks candidates, rumors of team uniform changes and teams that are sort of under pressure going into the season.

The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani returns to SB Nation’s MMA Fighting - SB Nation
Ariel Helwani is coming home. The award-winning journalist is returning to SB Nation’s MMA Fighting, the premier destination for mixed martial arts and combat sports coverage, and will bring back one of the most popular and influential programs in MMA history: The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani. The franchise relaunches this summer as a twice-weekly podcast from SB Nation and the Vox Media Podcast Network and as a video series on MMA Fighting’s YouTube channel. Fans can expect Helwani’s signature in-depth interviews beginning on Monday, August 16: subscribe to the podcast and YouTube channel today.


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