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Eagles News: Philadelphia finishes towards the bottom of the NFL in offensive weapons rankings

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 7/20/21.

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

NFL offensive weapons ranking for all 32 teams in 2021: Barnwell picks the best and worst arsenals - ESPN+
29. Philadelphia Eagles. The biggest drop-off on this year’s list belongs to the Eagles, who will be relying on back-to-back first-rounders at wide receiver to kick-start their offense. I’m wildly excited to watch DeVonta Smith after the 2020 Heisman Trophy winner looked like the best player on the field for most of the College Football Playoff, but if Smith isn’t an immediate superstar, this could threaten Detroit’s receiving corps. It’s way too early to give up on 2020 first-rounder Jalen Reagor, but the TCU product was anonymous as a rookie. Behind him is disappointing second-rounder J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and Travis Fulgham and Greg Ward, who the Eagles seemingly plan on moving on from every year, only for Ward to be their No. 1 wideout by mid-November. That can’t happen again. While there are big names elsewhere for the Eagles, we haven’t seen steady production out of either running back Miles Sanders or tight end Dallas Goedert. Sanders was efficient as a runner last season, but he struggled with fumbles and had no impact as a receiver. A slight uptick in Goedert’s numbers was offset by the fact that he missed the better part of five games with injuries before a Week 17 white flag inactive. Zach Ertz is nominally included here, but he’s unlikely to be on Philadelphia’s Week 1 roster. There are plenty of possibilities here if the young draftees take a step forward, but seeing should be believing in Philly. [BLG Note: You might be interested to see Carson Wentz’s Colts only one spot ahead of the Eagles. The Washington Football Team is 24th, the New York Giants are 16th, and the Dallas Cowboys are 2nd only behind the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.]

Ranking all 32 NFL receiving corps ahead of the 2021 season - PFF
30. Philadelphia Eagles. Eagles wide receivers have ranked last in receiving grade in each of the last two years, so there’s plenty of room to improve for this unit. They’ve now spent back-to-back first-round selections on receivers, putting the pressure on Jalen Reagor and DeVonta Smith. Reagor graded at 64.0 overall as a rookie in 2020, picking up 396 yards on 31 catches. It was a slow start, but he has the explosiveness to develop as an outside vertical threat. Smith is a better all-around receiver, and that was on display in one of the best seasons in college football history. He can separate to all levels of the field and is dangerous with the ball in his hands, so look for Smith to develop as the high-volume threat in this offense. One of the bright sides of last season’s struggles was the emergence of Travis Fulgham, who had bounced around with several teams before posting an impressive 71.2 overall grade and leading the Eagles with 539 receiving yards. Beyond that top three, Greg Ward may have a role in the possession game, as he’s averaged 8.3 yards per reception in his career. J.J. Arcega-Whiteside has disappointed as a former second-rounder with just 26 career targets. And 2020 fifth-rounder John Hightower adds another speed component.

Well, someone is betting big that the Eagles win the Super Bowl this year - BGN
The Eagles have a predominantly new, and young, coaching staff, a second-year quarterback with only four NFL starts, a slew of one- and two-year skill players, and more inexperienced guys than veterans, and yet someone is still putting money on the line that this year’s Philadelphia squad wins their second-ever Super Bowl.

Should the Eagles trade for Deshaun Watson? - BGN Radio
Brandon Lee Gowton and Jimmy Kempski discuss the report about players doubting Nick Sirianni, the Eagles’ rumored interest in Deshaun Watson, and a potential Fletcher Cox trade. Plus a look ahead to training camp!

More Questions Than Answers - Iggles Blitz
When you go 4-11-1, you at least hope to come away having a good feel with the young talent on your team. Who can play? Who can’t? We did see promising things from Jordan Mailata, Nate Herbig and Jack Driscoll on the OL. Josh Sweat played his best football. Alex Singleton had his breakthrough season. You hope for more from your young/new talent than that in such a bad season. I think the new staff will do a better job at developing young talent, but not all of the guys will work out. That’s just reality. JJAW’s struggles have a lot more to do with him than his surroundings. It will be interesting to see how different this group looks a year from now.

News and notes: Setting the tone for a new era -
There are a lot of unknowns about this football team for the season ahead as the Eagles ramp up for a new run at sustained success. Everyone agrees on that. Establishing a true foundation and an expectation of how things are going to be operated in the Nick Sirianni era is important. No longer is what the Eagles did in 2017 relevant to the 2021 team. It’s about now, and it’s about the future. We are all going to learn a lot about the new coaching staff and the new construction of the roster. It starts when the players step on the field on July 28 through every step they take in what is going to be a fascinating 2021 campaign.

Former Philadelphia Eagles star helps high schooler get suit - 6ABC
“I’ve worked with (Malcolm Jenkins) on multiple philanthropic things, so I was like let me call Malcolm Jenkins. Malcolm answered instantly and said, ‘Absolutely. I don’t want a dollar. I want to donate this suit. I want this kid to have a great shot at this program,’” recalled Michelle Miller, a board member with Focused Athletics. What would usually take weeks to get a custom suit, the former Eagles player did in three days with the help of his Old City store, Damari Savile. “Someone that used to be in my shoes as a high school senior is buying me a suit so that I can do well on my next presentation,” said Diawara.

Saquon Barkley still unsure of Week 1 status - Big Blue View
I guess that’s the theme of the summer, going to be when I’ll be back,” Barkley said. “But no, I don’t have that answer, to be honest. I’m not trying to lead it up to it or something like that or put something up. I don’t have the answer. It’s a fun process, but it’s a tough process at the same time. Just have to continue to listen to my body, listen to my trainers, listen to the coaches and take it day by day.” Barkley was moving well and ran some drills with the kids in attendance. Though earlier reports suggested that Barkley would be limited in training camp — which begins on July 27 — it now seems unlikely that he will appear at all.

The 5 O’Clock Club: Is Washington’s defense destined to regress to the mean in 2021? - Hogs Haven
“Washington profiles more like the San Francisco and Tampa Bay defenses. Washington had the fifth-youngest defense in the league last season, and the youth comes at the unit’s best positions. The defensive line was the youngest in the league (24.3) and the defensive backs were the fourth-youngest (24.9). We currently have Washington projected to have a top-10 defense again in 2021.”

The three players the Dallas Cowboys need to have big seasons in 2021 - Blogging The Boys
3. Tyler Biadasz. In year two it looks like there is nothing but opportunity for Tyler Biadasz as the center position is his for the taking. Biadsaz saw limited action last year do to the presence of Joe Looney and injuries that hampered his playing time, but he will look to make an early impact on this Cowboys offensive line in 2021.

The NFL Picked Up The Pace During The 2020 Season - Sharp Football Analysis
The Dallas Cowboys had the fastest average seconds per play and second-fastest seconds per play in neutral situations. This appears to be more of a Kellen Moore influence than a Mike McCarthy one. Dallas ranked second in average seconds per play overall and in neutral situations during the 2019 season with Moore as the offensive coordinator under Jason Garrett. Dallas was 21st in neutral situation pace in 2018. In McCarthy’s final three seasons with the Packers, Green Bay ranked 19th, 25th, and 20th in situation neutral pace. Dak Prescott played just five games but finished the year with the 11th-most no huddle dropbacks. Among quarterbacks with at least 25 no huddle attempts, Prescott had the fifth-highest positive play rate (percentage of plays with positive EPA). This should continue to be a weapon for the Cowboys in 2021.

2020 Passing Plus-Minus: The Search for Drew Brees’ Successor - Football Outsiders
The race to the very bottom in plus-minus was close. For the record, it is not a tie. Carson Wentz takes the crown over Drew Lock at -25.82 to -25.81, but it if you flip one pass for either player, you get a new champion. Wentz’s CPOE fell -6.0% from 2019; while he’s never been a plus-minus machine with a career total of -5.9 coming into 2020, last year was an entirely new level of terrible. Frank Reich has his work cut out for him restoring Wentz to adequate NFL starter levels.

Monday Football Monday #45: NFC East All-Star Team - The SB Nation NFL Show
Last week’s show ran through the best possible lineup for the NFC South, this week RJ Ochoa and Pete Sweeney are reunited and tackle the NFC East.

Making sense of the recent Covid-19 spike - Vox
1) Unvaccinated people are still very vulnerable to Covid-19. If you have not been vaccinated, you do not have protection against the coronavirus — and the increasingly prevalent delta variant appears more dangerous than previous iterations of the virus. Right now, it accounts for nearly half of new cases in the US, and it is expected to become the dominant strain.


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