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Eagles News: Jalen Hurts facing make-or-break season

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 4/12/22.

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NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Philadelphia Eagles v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

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

Five most difficult 2022 NFL Draft prospects to evaluate; three quarterbacks in make-or-break year - NFL.com
The third-year pro has shown promise as the Eagles’ starting quarterback, having just led the team to a playoff appearance as a dual-threat playmaker. In 30 games (including 19 starts), Hurts has amassed 1,138 rushing yards with 13 touchdowns, while also tallying 4,205 passing yards and a 22:13 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Yet, the jury is still out on whether Hurts can be Philadelphia’s long-term answer at the position due to his accuracy issues and inefficiency as a thrower. Skeptics question if he can become a pinpoint passer capable of winning playoff games on the strength of his right arm. With the Eagles now holding a pair of first-round picks in the 2023 draft after this week’s trade with the Saints, Philly holds an insurance policy in case Hurts doesn’t answer the bell in 2022. To keep the Eagles from plucking a talented quarterback from the ‘23 class, Hurts must continue to evolve as a playmaker and passer while winning games in a competitive division. That is a tough task, but the bar has been raised for quarterbacks around the league, as teams are no longer willing to settle for average returns from the position.

Report: Teams have checked in on Jalen Reagor’s availability - BGN
Much attention has been dedicated to the Philadelphia Eagles’ wide receiver outlook. Especially as the team has tried to improve that position but hasn’t ultimately been able to do so ... outside of signing Zach Pascal to one-year, $1.5 million contract. With the primary focus on who the Eagles could add, lost in the conversation is who might be headed on their way out of Philly. Or, at the very least, who will be moving down on the depth chart. The likely answer, of course, is Jalen Reagor. DeVonta Smith and Quez Watkins currently project as the team’s top two receivers. Pascal is WR4 at worst right now and quite possibly WR3 if a game was played today. So, where does that leave the Eagles’ 2020 first-round pick? Many would probably agree that a change of scenery is what’s best for both the team and Reagor. Might such a move be coming?

Ranking the Eagles’ positional needs in the 2022 NFL Draft - PhillyVoice
Could the Eagles select a quarterback in the first round of 2022 draft? Sure, if there’s one they really love. However, it feels unlikely they really love guys like Malik Willis or Kenny Pickett, or, you know, they would have tried to use their picks to get them instead of trading one away. If a guy like Ole Miss’ Matt Corral or Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder are still there in the second round, I could see them as appealing developmental options for the Eagles, but it feels unlikely they’ll still be around. To note, I believe the Eagles have played their hand correctly this offseason at the quarterback position. Their actions show that they don’t believe Hurts is likely to become their long-term answer. They tried to upgrade on him with near-elite vets, and they have put themselves in a position to add an elite quarterback prospect in the 2023 draft. They are right not to settle for just a modest upgrade at quarterback that might make the team a little bit better in the short-term, but won’t make them Super Bowl contenders. If you’re going to find a quarterback, do it right. So for now, while quarterback may very well be the team’s biggest need overall, it’s a lesser need specifically in the 2022 draft.

Draft News and Noise - Iggles Blitz
The Eagles brought DE Kayvon Thibodeaux to Philly for a visit. Back in August he was expected to be the #1 overall pick. Thibodeaux didn’t have a dominant season and now teams think he could slide a bit. Thibodeaux will still likely go in the Top 10, but if he does slide, the Eagles should be interested. I wondered about him vs Jermaine Johnson. Who is the better prospect? Johnson is taller, longer, was more productive and was dominant at the Senior Bowl. Thibodeaux is two years younger and looks more explosive on tape. My guess is that he will go higher. This is another case where both prospects make sense for the Eagles.

10 revealing Eagles draft trends under Roseman - NBCSP
LOADING UP ON OFFENSE: In Roseman’s first three drafts, six of the seven players he selected in the first two rounds were on the defensive side of the ball. Since then, 12 of 15 have been on the offensive side of the ball, including all eight since 2018. It almost completely stopped taking offensive players after the Fireman Danny debacle. The Eagles haven’t drafted a defensive player in the first two rounds since Derek Barnett and Sidney Jones in 2017.

Eagles no stranger to mining talent in unconventional ways - PE.com
The list of Eagles through the years taking alternative routes to Philadelphia includes some names you recognize (Vince Papale, Sav Rocca, Matt Leo, Jordan Mailata) and some you may not recall making their way through (Jeremy Bloom, the former Olympic skier who was drafted by the Eagles in 2006; Josh Parry, the linebacker-turned-fullback; or Alejandro Villanueva, the Army Ranger who served three tours of duty). I’ve rummaged through the franchise’s all-time list of players three times to see if I’ve forgotten anyone signed in an out-of-the-box way and made it here. I’ve asked people who have been around the team for decades, so apologies if I’ve missed some names. Long gone are the days when players only take the big-college route to the league. If you have talent, they say, the NFL will find you. That was the case, apparently, with Maronic in 1944. It was certainly the case with Papale in 1976 when he attended an Eagles tryout camp and was so good that new Head Coach Dick Vermeil invited him for a longer look. And then another one. And more, this time in Training Camp.

NFL draft prospects who are perfect for today’s game, plus their pro comps: Why Kyle Hamilton, others fit modern schemes - ESPN+
Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama. Why he fits today’s NFL: With tremendous vertical speed and inside/outside flex ability, Williams has game-changing traits. He can be used as a three-level target in today’s NFL passing offenses. Williams caught 10 of his 15 touchdown passes on posts or vertical routes last season, with 49 receptions from wide alignments and 28 out of the slot. He’s a prime fit for the 3x1 sets we see on Sundays, with the ability to align as No. 2 or No. 3 in trips — where he can run away from man coverage on deep overs. He’s going to be a target on shot-play concepts since he can be schemed to attack third-level coverage voids. Williams has the instant juice to separate on slants, shallows and unders to flip the field. He tore his ACL in the national title game in January, but when healthy, he’s an explosive-play threat with the route-running ability to change games. Pro comp: Odell Beckham Jr., free agent.

Tyrann Mathieu is still on the radar for the Saints and Who Dat Nation - Canal Street Chronicles
Another week has gone by and Tyrann Mathieu aka “The Honey Badger” remains unsigned. The New Orleans Saints brought in the free agent safety last Tuesday for a visit and while recruitment efforts to bring him home is still going on by both current and former Saints players, there has been no movement from either side yet. Former Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis wrote a lengthy post addressed to Mathieu on his Instagram account, highly encouraging him to sign with the team. Lewis said that coming to play for the home team was “the best decision, I made in my life” and that “the fans are the best in the world”

Making the case: Should Giants make two top-10 picks, or trade down with one? - Big Blue View
There are competing theories as to how New York Giants general manager Joe Schoen should handle the fact that his team has picks at 5 and 7 in Round 1 of the 2022 NFL Draft. One theory goes that the Giants should make both of those picks. After all, they need impact talent and two picks in the top seven gives Schoen the opportunity two of the players he believes to be in the top seven of the draft class. The other theory goes that Schoen should make one of those picks and trade down with the other. That would give him the extra draft “at-bats” he has said he craves. It could also net the Giants an addition 2023 first-round pick, which would give them maneuverability in that draft. Thirdly, moving down in this draft would offer some salary cap relief. Those two theories split the Giants fan base. They also split draft analysts. Below, draft analysts and league insiders tell us which side of the argument they are on and make their cases.

3 names that don’t belong on Cowboys 30 visits list unless they plan on trading up - Blogging The Boys
Of all the names on the list, three of them don’t quite fit because they are projected to go way before the Cowboys are on the clock at pick 24 - OT Charles Cross, DT Jordan Davis, and WR Drake London. Are the Cowboys just preparing themselves for another draft gem to fall into their lap? We’ve seen some big surprises in the past and more surprises will certainly come in the future, but isn’t it being a little too optimistic to expect these guys to slide that far? So, why would the Cowboys use one of their 30 visit spots on a player if they weren’t being considered as a potential target? They wouldn’t. For one reason or another, the Cowboys have envisioned a scenario where selecting them is a legit possibility. To help wrap our minds around such a scenario, we are going to explore what it would take for these players to be in the mix for the Cowboys.

Where Are Elite Players Picked in the Draft and Who Picks Them? - Hogs Haven
There is a common belief amongst commenters on Hogs Haven that the elite talents in any given draft year come off the board in the first five to ten picks. This sometimes takes the form of pounding the table to trade up in the top 10 to select one of the elite prospects. It is certainly true that the probability of drafting a blue-chip player drops fairly steeply as the first round unfolds, but are we overstating that effect? What about the Deebo Samuels, Alvin Kamaras, Stefon Diggs, Richard Shermans and Tom Bradys of the league? It is possible to find elite talents after the top ten picks and even on day three of the draft, but how likely is it? To answer that question, let’s have a look at where the elite talents were taken in the draft from 2010 to 2019.

Monday Football Monday #83: Teams that shouldn’t exist - The SB Nation NFL Show
RJ Ochoa is joined by Brandon Lee Gowton to discuss various teams that have self dug holes this offseason and are in serious need to fill them.

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