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Eagles News: Philadelphia has the top-ranked position group in the NFL

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 5/27/23.

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NFC Divisional Playoffs - New York Giants v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

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

2023 NFL season: Top five position groups in football -
Philadelphia Eagles: DEFENSIVE FRONT. 1) After racking up the third-most sacks (70) in a single season in NFL history, the Eagles went into the draft and promptly spent a pair of first-round picks on two more quarterback hunters from their favorite college football factory. Defensive tackle Jalen Carter (the No. 9 overall pick) and edge rusher Nolan Smith (No. 30), fresh off a second consecutive national championship with the Georgia Bulldogs, join a star-studded defensive front that overwhelms opponents with waves of pressure. Featuring a collection of pass-rushing specialists with size, speed, athleticism and explosiveness, Philadelphia creates mass destruction in the trenches. Four different players on the Eagles’ defensive front hit double-digit sacks last season: Haason Reddick (16), Brandon Graham (11), Javon Hargrave (11) and Josh Sweat (11). With Fletcher Cox (seven sacks) and Milton Williams (four) also providing pressure, Philly cycled through a series of game-wreckers, keeping everyone fresh and raring to wreak havoc. I haven’t even mentioned last year’s first-round pick, Jordan Davis. A gargantuan human being at 6-foot-6 and 336 pounds, the surprisingly athletic Georgia product flashed disruptive ability — especially against the run — before a midseason ankle injury. With difference-makers all across the front, the Eagles can confine quarterbacks to the pocket while generating the gut pressure to register sacks through simplistic rush schemes. And in a passing league, this dynamic unit is a big reason why Philadelphia has emerged as a perennial title contender. Now, the Eagles did lose Hargrave to San Francisco in free agency. For a normal unit, this would be a crippling blow. But Howie Roseman has built up such enviable depth in this area of the roster that Philly’s defensive front will continue to devastate opposing offenses in the coming season and beyond. Even without Hargrave, this remains the best position group in football.

Ranking Eagles position groups heading into OTAs - NBCSP
2. Edge. This season the Eagles bring back three edge rushers who had double digit sacks last season: Haason Redddick (16), Josh Sweat (11) and Brandon Graham (11). And they added a first-round pick to the mix when they drafted Nolan Smith at No. 30. That’s a really dangerous four-man rotation. And if the Eagles want to run five deep, they still have former first-round pick Derek Barnett on the roster. Barnett hasn’t lived up to his draft status but he’s at least an average edge rusher in the NFL and having him as the fifth option shows how deep this unit is. The starters will be Reddick and Sweat with a second wave of Graham and Smith. That’s dangerous. Will the Eagles have three edge rushers with 10+ again in 2023? It’s hard to imagine that happening; just like it’s hard to imagine them having 70 sacks as a defense. But sacks aren’t the ultimate indicator of success and this unit has the potential to be great this season.

Howie Roseman explains decision to trade up one spot for Jalen Carter - PFT
Roseman also was asked about whether, during the negotiations with the Bears, they tried to create the impression that some other team was prepared to leapfrog the Eagles or whether the Eagles were left to their own devices to make a guess as to what might happen, if the Eagles didn’t trade up. “I think you’re left your own devices in those situations, and you’re putting yourself out there when, I mean there are situations where you’re trading for nothing, right?” Roseman said. “I’m not saying it was in this situation necessarily, but you’re doing it and you have to be comfortable with the outcome either way. And so, you have to be comfortable with the outcome of, ‘Hey, I traded a fourth-round pick’ and understanding that could be a good player for your team a year from now, but at the same situation being OK with not getting the player and who is next. And so, you know, that’s not to say we wouldn’t have been OK staying at 10 and taking another player, we just felt for us and our team and where we were that Jalen Carter was the right selection for us.” Basically, the Eagles kicked in the fourth-round pick as insurance against not missing out on Carter. Which means they really liked him, and that they didn’t want to risk someone cutting the line via a trade with the Bears.

How will the Eagles handle the right guard position? - BGN
Before the 2023 NFL Draft, former Eagle and current NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger, one of the most respected eyes in the game, said this about the loss of Seumalo in regard to Eagles’ center Jason Kelce, right tackle Lane Johnson and where Cam Jurgens, whose natural position is at center, fits: “Lane wants to play next to a big guy like (former Eagle Brandon) Brooks and Seumalo. He doesn’t want to play next to (Cam) Jurgens, a 300-pound center. They’re not going to get any movement … Seumalo is much better than people gave him credit for. He didn’t make mental errors. He comes from a football family. He had less than five penalties last year. The Eagles couldn’t afford him. He played between 330-335 pounds, and you never had to worry about the guy. And he was large. Jurgens isn’t 310. He’s a pumped up 300. He’s purely a center. Lane and Kelce know that better than anyone.”

An early look at what positions are strong in the 2024 NFL Draft - PhillyVoice
If there were one position that I would handicap the Eagles being the most likely to address with an early pick in the 2024 draft, it would be offensive tackle. As you’re well aware if you follow the draft closely, the Eagles like to have succession plans in place a year early along the O-line. With Lane Johnson having gone on record as saying that he would like to play two more seasons, it would make sense for the Eagles to select his replacement for 2025 and beyond. For now it doesn’t seem like offensive tackle is projected to be a super deep group in 2024, though also not barren either.

Big Names - Iggles Blitz
That is a very different body than the one we saw when he played in the NFL. Fluker played for Jeff Stoutland at Alabama so that partially explains the Eagles interest. They didn’t sign him so maybe they have doubts about his return to the NFL or maybe they just left things open. Fluker might want to talk to other teams. We’ll see. At his best, Fluker was a very powerful OG who could pancake DTs. He had okay movement skills, but was too heavy. Now that he’s in good shape, he would be much better on the move. I think Fluker is an interesting project and could make some sense.

Which teams could be interested in DeAndre Hopkins? Our writers discuss - The Athletic
The Eagles don’t need DeAndre Hopkins, considering their combination of A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith is among the best in the NFL and both command a significant percentage of the target share. Add in the presence of tight end Dallas Goedert, and Hopkins could almost assuredly find a place where he’s higher on the priority list in the offense — and potentially a place that would pay him more. But if Hopkins wants to play with Hurts and desires a high-powered offense that has a legitimate chance of winning the Super Bowl, the Eagles would fit the profile. They also lack high-end depth at the position, with Quez Watkins and Olamide Zaccheaus as the Nos. 3 and 4 receivers. What happens if Brown goes down? What happens if Smith goes down? There’s an element of fantasy football to this conversation, although the Eagles have shown a willingness to take on high-profile veterans who could be chasing rings. Any serious interest would require an understanding of how Hopkins would fit with Brown and Smith, considering they’re building block players in Philadelphia. But when a team is as primed for the Lombardi Trophy as the Eagles, one should never say never about adding available talent.

Spadaro: 6 things we know about the Eagles -
4. The rookie class has a chance to contribute right away. We will see how it plays out, but the Eagles drafted some players who appear ready-made to contribute as rookies. Defensive tackle Jalen Carter and linebacker Nolan Smith were standouts on two National Championship teams. Safety Sydney Brown started for five seasons at Illinois. Steen started and played well at Alabama and there is an opening at right guard here. So, opportunities could be there. Bottom line: The Eagles did not anticipate that the 2022 Rookie Class would see such little action – that group of players, specifically defensive tackle Jordan Davis, Jurgens, and linebacker Nakobe Dean are ready to take the next step this season – but nobody really knows how it will come together. This is a super-strong roster, but depth is needed. The rookie class has to show what it can do through the summer.

NFL roster news: DeAndre Hopkins cut by Cardinals, Cowboys should pursue - Blogging The Boys
Hopkins has been one of the more productive receivers in the NFL for about a decade now, and has found himself a bit lost in the turmoil that has plagued the Cardinals organization as a whole over the last couple of years. With the right team, he can certainly contribute at a high level. Perhaps the Dallas Cowboys are that right team, no? Hopkins could return to the state of Texas, he had no issues connecting himself to the Cowboys while trying to get traded away from Arizona, and Dallas figures to be a contending team this season. Not to mention that the Cowboys visit the the Cardinals this coming season so Hopkins could get a chance at sticking it to a Cardinals organization he clearly began to not like at the very end. As noted, Hopkins has made it very clear that he wanted to move on from the Cardinals and recently listed some other quarterbacks who he would like to play for. Obviously Dak Prescott is not on this list, but as noted Hopkins has cheekily connected himself to America’s Team this offseason in hopes of leaving Arizona. Half of that problem is solved for now.

Did Giants have one of the NFL’s worst offseasons? ESPN writer thinks so - Big Blue View
In terms of the four-year, $160 million contract the Giants signed Jones to I would simply ask this — what else were they supposed to do? They weren’t in any position to draft one of the top quarterbacks — none of whom are guaranteed to be as good as Jones already is. There was no Justin Herbert, Joe Burrow or Trevor Lawrence among the QBs in the 2023 draft class. Jettisoning Jones for another middling veteran quarterback, or letting Tyrod Taylor be the starter in 2023, would have sent a horrible to the locker room and perhaps blown up much of the progress made in 2022. GM Joe Schoen and the Giants did what they had to do. They re-signed Jones. Yes, at a larger number than many saw coming, but also one that will soon be dwarfed by Herbert, Burrow and Lawrence. They also protected themselves by giving only two seasons of guaranteed money, a chance to get out of the deal sooner rather than later if what we saw of Jones in 2022 was the best he’s got rather than a hint of even better to come. My view of that is that the Giants did the best they could. I do understand the viewpoint that perhaps Okereke was an overpay given the rest of the linebacker market, but I think that in general what I wrote the other day about PFF’s low opinion of the Giants’ roster also applies here.

Commanders fans are positive about joint practice arrangement with Ravens and predicting success for Sam Howell - Hogs Haven
Ron Rivera has spent months signaling that Sam Howell is the team’s starting quarterback going into camp, and that the job is his to lose. While the Washington faithful believed coach Rivera when he said this, skeptical national observers clearly did not. Mock drafters had Washington grabbing a signal caller in the first round. Headlines throughout the early months of the year asked what the team was going to do at the game’s most important position, with Washington repeatedly touted as a potential destination for Lamar Jackson, Derek Carr and — at one point or another — every other quarterback that was available in trade or free agency.

The Washington Commanders might be forced to change their team name AGAIN - SB Nation
The process of rebranding the Washington Commanders took years. Now a huge snag could pressure the team to rebrand once again. This week the Commanders were denied their federal trademark application by the United States Patent and Trade Office (USPTO), which could force the team’s hand at either moving forward without trademark protection — which would be a death knell in terms of merchandising. The USPTO had concerns that granting the trademark would “likely cause confusion” with the “Commander’s Classic,” the yearly college game between Army and Air Force. This is due to both organizations sharing the name “Commanders,” and being involved in football. If this ruling stands it means the NFL’s Washington Commanders wouldn’t be able to defend its name when it comes to merchandise, potentially opening the door for knock offs to flood the market. These couldn’t use the team’s logo, which is protected — but the name and colors could be duplicated.


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