Eagles

Eagles Mailbag: Defensive line, Nelson Agholor, top CBs in draft

Eagles Mailbag: Defensive line, Nelson Agholor, top CBs in draft

Remember that month where no one wanted to talk about the Eagles

Yeah, that's long gone. The evidence is in the abundance of questions we received for the mailbag this week. We got so many we split them up into three different installments. 

Part 1 looked at Dalvin Cook, corners in the draft and backup quarterbacks.

Part 2 looked at possible surprises at 14, John Ross and the team's starting corners.

Today, there are plenty more great topics. Let's hop in: 

It's funny. That was the talk all last offseason, about how the defensive line was going to be the strength. Fletcher Cox told me that unit really needed to lead the way. But was it really a strength? At times, sure. Cox had a good season and so did Brandon Graham. At other times, though, the defensive line was a disappointment. 

Now, the team has lost two of its four starters on the defensive line. That's definitely a concern. Beau Allen is a decent player, but he just isn't as good as Bennie Logan. And while Connor Barwin didn't have an extremely productive season, Vinny Curry didn't do anything to instill confidence as a starter. 

So to answer the question, fans shouldn't feel very comfortable right now. While everyone has been looking at this draft as a chance to get receivers and corners, the Eagles really need help on the edge and at interior defensive line. 

(Although, I'm higher than most on the two undrafted DTs the Eagles got last year -- Destiny Vaeao and Aziz Shittu.) 

I'm honestly not sure what the Eagles are thinking when it comes to Mixon. We all know he's talented, but we also know why some teams are going to have him completely off their draft boards. 

Some teams have hard stances on this type of thing. Basically, hit a woman and you're not going to be a member of this team. It doesn't seem like the Eagles have any kind of set-in-stone rules. They choose to go case-by-case with players. 

And last offseason, they proved that they'll overlook some off-the-field concerns to find value in a player. In fact, last year they drafted Jalen Mills, who had allegedly struck a woman. But there was no video or evidence in that case. There is with Mixon. 

This question will likely come up if reporters get to speak to Jeff Lurie at the owners meetings later this month. 

I have a feeling Samuel is going to be gone by this point. I'm not sure if this Eagles staff would be able to get the most out of him. He could be a truly dynamic weapon if he goes to the right offense. 

Sidney Jones would have been first on this list but his Achilles injury was huge. For that reason, I'm taking him completely off this list. These are my rankings:

1. Marshon Lattimore
2. Tre'Davious White
3. Marlon Humphrey
4. Quincy Wilson
5. Fabian Moreau 

Nope. Thanks to the structure of Agholor's standard rookie deal, it would actually hurt his cap number to cut him. That means he'll be back in 2017. The good news is he won't have the same prominent role because of Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith. Maybe he can at least become a role player. The problem is that he doesn't contribute on special teams. 

I think the Eagles would be foolish to completely rule him out because they don't need a tight end. I know they have Zach Ertz and Brent Celek and Trey Burton, but only Ertz is in Philly long-term as of now. And are Celek and Burton real reasons to ignore a huge impact player. 

There's actually a chance the Eagles won't have a decision to make, that Howard will be gone by the time they're on the board at 14. But if he isn't, it's not crazy to think about it. 

Eagles QB Carson Wentz favorite to win NFL MVP

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Eagles QB Carson Wentz favorite to win NFL MVP

Carson Wentz is in his second NFL season, but he could already be on his way to his first MVP award. 

At least, he's now the favorite. 

The Eagles' starting quarterback is now the favorite to win this year's NFL MVP award, according to Bovada. Wentz is just ahead of Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith. 

Here's the top five: 

1. Carson Wentz: +175
2. Alex Smith: +200
3. Tom Brady: +400
4. DeShaun Watson: +1,000
5. Russell Wilson: +1,200

Basically, this means that a $100 futures bet would win $175. Since Wentz pays out the least, he's the favorite. 

It's no surprise Wentz and Smith are atop this list. They have both led their teams to 5-1 records (top in the NFL) through six games. 

Wentz has completed 60.9 percent of his passes for 1,584 yards, 13 touchdowns, three interceptions and a passer rating of 99.6. He's well on his way to becoming the first Eagles quarterback to throw for 4,000 yards in a season. 

The last (and only) Eagles player to win an MVP came during the 1960 championship season, when quarterback Norm Van Brocklin took the award. 

The last player to win the MVP award in his second NFL season was Kurt Warner in 1999. But Warner had a long road to get to the NFL and was 28 years old in 1999. Wentz is just 24. 

Vegas isn't alone with the Wentz hype. According to Dick's Sporting Goods, the Eagles quarterback has the best-selling jersey of all NFL players. In another few months, those people might have the jersey of an MVP winner. 

Rob's Rants: Hey Philly, don't take the bait and feed the trolls

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Rob's Rants: Hey Philly, don't take the bait and feed the trolls

This week’s Rob’s Rants has a sole focus — or should I say a troll focus. It’s more of a public service announcement, if you will. I am imploring all Philadelphia sports fans: Don’t take the bait!

Trolling was around long before the advent of social media. Contrarians have been going against the grain and saying things they don’t even believe to invoke a reaction since the beginning of time. Or as far back as Jaromir Jagr’s rookie season. Same thing. 

Just six weeks into the NFL season, we’ve already heard from some of the usual suspects, who will go nameless in this post. I refuse to give them the attention and ratings they are so desperately begging for. You know who they are, I know who they are, don’t give them the satisfaction. Don’t continue to line their pockets. Don’t let yourself walk into their trap. A reply on Twitter or some other social platform, a tune in, a reaction, is a win for them.

So brace yourself for the inevitable national talking head contrarian with the hot take of, “Carson Wentz looks like a deer in headlights.” Or, “besides the Panthers, who have the Eagles played? Or, “they haven’t even won a playoff game since 2008 and the fans have them in the Super Bowl.”

The trolling won’t be reserved exclusively for Eagles fans either. Prepare yourselves, Sixers fans. As we embark on the start of the NBA season, the anti-process truthers are just lying in wait with pithy Joel Embiid barbs about minute restrictions or injuries or tanking. It’s only a matter of time before we get something like, “see what another year of tanking gets you? Markelle Fultz isn’t even good enough start.” It’s coming.

There’s a fine line between trolling and having a strong, thought-provoking, independent point of view. The goal of any good columnist, radio host, television host or analyst is to make you think or react. Whether you agree or disagree. But there is a cottage industry now of blowhards who don’t have an original, creative or sincere thought of their own. They are either told by a producer or boss or decide on their own to go after a city, player, or team ... one typically with a fan base that will be reactive. You don’t see a lot of shade thrown at the Atlanta Hawks. You know why? No one cares. Not even their fans. Say something about Carson Wentz or snowballs at Santa and loyal Philadelphia fans will go bonkers. Mission accomplished for the troll.

So revel in the Eagles' early season success. Be excited for the infusion of youth for the Flyers. And what could be if Embiid, Ben Simmons, Fultz and Dario Saric can actually stay on the court.

Soak it in. We appear to be exiting out of the dark days. Just be prepared for it and don’t allow yourself to be lured into the troll trap.