Eagles

Sherman's NFL mock draft 1.0: Eagles select speedy receiver

Sherman's NFL mock draft 1.0: Eagles select speedy receiver

As the 2017 NFL draft continues to draw closer and closer, Jared Sherman checks in with his initial first-round mock draft of the season.

For Paul Hudrick's first seven-round Eagles mock draft, click here.

1. Cleveland Browns - Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
The Browns won't get their franchise QB here, but get a potential superstar pass rusher in Garrett.

2. San Francisco 49ers - Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
With holes all over, the Niners need to find something to hang their hat on. Thomas, who can be unblockable at times, makes sense with their defense moving to the 4-3 under Robert Saleh.

3. Chicago Bears - Jamal Adams, S, LSU
The Bears upgraded their secondary by signing CBs Marcus Cooper and Prince Amukamara, but still, lack a difference-maker at safety. Adams is the best all-around S in the draft and brings Ed Reed-like leadership to the field.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars - Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
Once again, the Jags made a big splash in free agency on the defensive side of the ball, but still lack offensive firepower. Fournette could be this year's Ezekiel Elliott. He's big (6-0/240), fast and a handful to tackle.

5. Tennessee Titans - Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
Even with the signing of Jonathan Cyprien, the Titans can't pass on the immensely talented Hooker. Only a redshirt sophomore, Hooker is a raw and instinctual athlete who, in time, will be a star.

6. New York Jets - Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
The Jets try yet again to find a franchise QB. In a weak class, Trubisky stands out to me as the best prospect of the bunch. He's tough, accurate and mobile, but, like many young QBs, he'll need to process things a lot faster in the pros.

7. Los Angeles Chargers - Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
Not a pressing need for the Bolts, but Lattimore is an outstanding player with huge upside. My top CB in the draft, Lattimore's size (6-0/193) and speed (4.36 40) are incredible, and he has the agility to shadow receivers all over the field.

8. Carolina Panthers - Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
Jonathan Stewart has been a warrior for years, but it's time to get a more explosive RB behind Cam Newton. Cook has some fumbling problems but brings a dynamic element to a sometimes stodgy offense.

9. Cincinnati Bengals - Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
Never shy about taking on potentially volatile personalities, the Bengals grab my favorite defensive player and add him to a potentially dominant linebacker corps.

10. Buffalo Bills - Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
The Bills' offense is desperate for playmakers, and Williams' size (6-4/218) and ability to just go up and get the ball make him an ideal addition.

11. New Orleans Saints - O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
Drew Brees' career is winding down, but the Saints want to try to make one more run with him. Howard gives Brees another dangerous target who blocks well enough to help the run game, too.

12. Cleveland Browns (from. PHI) - Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
The Browns signed Kenny Britt this offseason, but have little else offensively. Davis brings more size and outstanding route running to an offense that needs it.

13. Arizona Cardinals - DeShaun Watson, QB, Clemson
I love what Watson did in college, but I'm not sold on his long-term NFL success. Still, he's a winner, was ultra-productive in college and he's very mobile. Carson Palmer's effectiveness is waning and Watson could see the field quickly.

14. Philadelphia Eagles (from MIN) - John Ross, WR, Washington
With the injury to Washington CB Sidney Jones, I don't think there's another CB worthy of a top-15 pick anymore. So the Eagles address their second biggest need -- wideout. The Birds signed WRs Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith this offseason, but both are essentially one-year rentals. Ross, who set the NFL combine record for the 40-yard dash (4.22), brings an element back to the Eagles they haven't had since DeSean Jackson -- deep speed. I know Smith was brought in for that as well, but Ross brings a more dangerous skill set to the table. Ross' agility and speed allow teams to move him all over the field. Throw it to him deep, hand the ball off or run a bubble screen for him (sure beats throwing one to Dorial Green-Beckham). Ross might not be a true No. 1, but his presence and versatility will be a tremendous boon to Carson Wentz's development.

15. Indianapolis Colts - Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
Andrew Luck can't keep taking a beating like he has over the years, so continuing to upgrade the offensive line is critical. Ramczyk was named an AP All-American in his first year playing D-I football after transferring from D-III Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

16. Baltimore Ravens - Haason Reddick, LB, Temple
Reddick had an incredible combine performance, putting up huge numbers in the 40 (4.56), vertical jump (36.5 inches), and broad jump (133 inches). He won't play DE in the NFL but could be Terrell Suggs' successor at OLB.

17. Washington Redskins - Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama
Allen, at one point, was in consideration for the No. 1 overall pick, but worries about his shoulder and a lackluster combine performance dropped his stock. In Washington, he'd play a 3-4 DE, where his strength and explosiveness would be a huge help to a weak defensive front.

18. Tennesse Titans - Forrest Lamp, OG, Western Kentucky
The interior of the Titans' OL needs a serious upgrade, and the versatile Lamp would be a great fit. A four-year starter at LT, Lamp will probably be shifted inside where his heavy hands and constantly moving feet make him very hard to beat.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - David Njoku, TE, Miami (FL)
A superb athlete, Njoku brings a new dimension to an offense lacking weapons outside of WR Mike Evans. Njoku can explode out of his breaks and uses his leaping ability and strength to beat tight coverage.

20. Denver Broncos - Garett Bolles, OT, Utah
A gifted athlete, Bolles can play either OT position. With Menelik Watson and Donald Stephenson tentatively penciled in as starters, the Broncos have to be looking to upgrade, and Bolles' skill set fits Denver's scheme perfectly.

21. Detroit Lions - Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan
Peppers offers the Lions versatility at two positions they need help with -- S and OLB. In a league that's quickly becoming a sub-package haven, having a player who can fill so many roles is invaluable.

22.  Miami Dolphins - Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State
When Byron Maxwell is starting for you at CB, you know you need to find a long-term replacement. Conley played in the shadow of Lattimore at Ohio State but has the size (6-0/195), speed (4.44), and toughness to be a No. 1 CB himself.

23. New York Giants - Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
Even with the re-signing of Jason Pierre-Paul the Giants will find it hard to pass on a raw talent like Charlton. His length (6--6/277) and athleticism make Charlton an intriguing prospect who can learn under Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon.

24. Oakland Raiders - Budda Baker, S, Washington
An absolutely ferocious player who will fit well into what they're building in Oakland. Small (5-10/195) but fast, Baker flies all over the field and is always around the ball.

25. Houston Texans - Takkarist McKinley, OLB, UCLA
The Texans could use another pass rushing threat, especially at OLB. McKinley had 10 sacks last season, using his combination of size (6-2/250) and relentless motor to be a difference-maker.

26. Seattle Seahawks - Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida
The Seahawks love big corners and Wilson (6-2/211) fits the mold. A tough competitor and not afraid to come up and pop a running back, Wilson could move to safety at some point.

27. Kansas City Chiefs - Tre'Davious White, CB, LSU
The Chiefs have little depth at CB, so White would be a solid addition. He could step in immediately, start in the slot and contribute on special teams.

28. Dallas Cowboys - Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
Barnett had an outstanding college career and should find a nice niche in the NFL as a pass-rush specialist. I'm not as high on him as some because he lacks the quickness to consistently get to the QB.

29. Green Bay Packers - Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
The Pack lost the underrated CB Micah Hyde in free agency and replaced him with Davon House. Humphrey needs some seasoning, but all the physical tools are there to be a long-time starter.

30. Pittsburgh Steelers - Charles Harris, OLB, Missouri
The Steelers are always looking for the next dominant outside pass rusher (James Harrison can't play forever, right?). Harris played DE in college but has the size (6-3/253) and quick twitch you like to see in a 3-4 OLB.

31. Atlanta Falcons - Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt
The Falcons don't have a ton of holes to fill, but a LB who can rush the passer like Cunningham is always welcome. Having him across from Vic Beasley would make opposing offenses nervous.

32. New Orleans Saints (from NE) - Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
The Saints again go offense and select a dangerous runner and receiver. McCaffrey might be the best pass-catching RB in the draft, and he would be a nice complement to Mark Ingram.

5 Minutes with Roob: Josh Andrews still waiting on his chance 4 years later

5 Minutes with Roob: Josh Andrews still waiting on his chance 4 years later

In today's "Five Minutes with Roob," Reuben Frank chats with Eagles guard/center Josh Andrews:

Roob: Let's clear the air first. You're definitely not related to Shawn Andrews?

Josh Andrews: No, I'm not. No relation to Shawn Andrews at all.

Roob: So that's one positive. Do you get that a lot?

Andrews: I've got it a few times now, but no relation.

Roob: Alright well that's good to know. Now, you've got a really interesting story. You've been here four years now. Talk about when you came here in '14, were there a lot of teams trying to sign you out of Oregon State? How did that whole thing go?

Andrews: Went undrafted, about three teams tried to grab me, but felt like the best fit was for the Eagles and I've been here ever since.

Roob: It's really crazy because obviously, they like you. Obviously, Chip (Kelly) liked you. Obviously, Doug (Pederson) likes you. But you haven't had a chance to play. How do you balance being here, preparing like you're gonna play every week and not having gotten that chance yet?

Andrews: Just gotta have that mindset to get ready every week. That's how I've been since I've been here. My time is coming, I just gotta wait and do what's best for this team right now and keep us winning.

Roob: Now there was a really interesting thing on Tuesday, Jim Schwartz, without prompting, I don't know if you heard about this, he mentioned you as far as talking about how guys on the offense help the defense prepare. And he mentioned that you'll go to him and say, 'Hey we're figuring this out in running scout team.' Because you run scout team center or guard, I guess mainly center I would think. That's kind of unusual for a defensive coordinator to mention a scout team offensive lineman. What do you bring to him? What do you see from the first defense that can maybe help?

Andrews: Just blocking schemes you know, the way that they're ran. Say if (Fletcher Cox) needs help with something I'll be like 'I think this is the best way to go.' And it's been working. They've been getting home a lot this season and it's really been paying off for our defense.

Roob: How hard is it to not play?

Andrews: Man, it's tough. It's really tough. But just gotta keep going. I love playing this sport and I will continue as long as I can. 

Roob: I remember there was one game, I think it was 2015, where somebody got hurt and you ran on the field and then they didn't leave the game. 

Andrews: Oh yeah, that was against the Cowboys in 2015. Lane (Johnson) got hurt, pretty sure it was Lane. And I was about to go in and then he came back on the field. I was like, 'Ah man, that was my shot.' But, I gotta keep positive. Gotta keep that positive mindset. That's how I've been ever since I've been here.

Roob: Now you've actually been here longer than most of the team. (Jason) Kelce's a guy who's been here your whole time. What have you learned from being around him, watching him play, watching him practice?

Andrews: He's such a smart guy man. On the field, the way he just commands attention, the way he commands the offensive line is just impressive to see. I try to mimic that every time I step on the field. I've learned so much from him over these past four years and he's just a great player to learn from and be under. 

Roob: Now preseason games I guess are like your Super Bowl now, right? Cause that's your chance to play. What do those games mean to you? You're not playing a lot. A few of them you're playing a lot. But what does it mean to get out there and have a chance to play?

Andrews: It's gold man. That's everything for me right now. When I get a chance to get on that field, I give it all I got. I've done that ever since I've been here. That's just, like you said, my Super Bowl. Every time I go on that field I give it all I got. 

Roob: What's (offensive line) coach (Jeff) Stoutland meant to you? You've been around him a while now. 

Andrews: Great mentor. Great teacher. He's just been wonderful. He's really hard on us and it's for a good reason, to get us better and get us playing at a high level. That's the way he commands the player and I like that. 

Roob: What's special about this team now? You've been on some good teams and some bad teams since you've been here but you guys are rolling, 8-1, seven-game winning streak going into Dallas Sunday night. What do you like about the kind of vibe in this locker room?

Andrews: The vibe is awesome. Everyone's on the same page. Everyone's with each other. It's been really different from the past three teams I've been on. I feel like we're gonna go far with the team we got right now. 

Roob: Alright last question. Chip Kelly, do you think he's going to take the Florida job?

Andrews: Sheesh, I don't know. We'll see. That's a good question.

Carson Wentz's durability is his biggest strength

ap-carson-wentz.jpg
USA Today Images

Carson Wentz's durability is his biggest strength

Forget for a moment all the record-setting touchdown passes, all the dazzling third-down conversions and the highlight-reel red-zone heroics.

One of Carson Wentz's greatest accomplishments these last two years has just been playing football every Sunday. Being out there for his team without fail every week.

That alone puts him in an elite group.

Look around the league. Tyrod Taylor just got benched in Buffalo with the Bills in the playoff hunt. Trevor Siemian was benched just before the Broncos came to Philly. The 49ers benched Brian Hoyer a few weeks before facing the Eagles

Last we checked, the Browns have already benched DeShone Kizer, Cody Kessler and Kevin Hogan this fall.

Heck, even one-time Super Bowl winner Joe Flacco was benched by Ravens head coach John Harbaugh during a loss to the Jaguars.

We've been through all of that. That quarterback carousel. It never leads anywhere.

Wentz on Sunday night will start his 26th consecutive game. Every game the Eagles have played since opening day last year. He's one of only 12 quarterbacks who's started all his team's games over the last two years.

Elite quarterback play is huge for any football team, but quarterback stability is just as important. And Wentz is finally giving this franchise something it's lacked for much of the last quarter century.

Think about it.

From 1991 through 2015, a 25-year span, the only years an Eagles quarterback started 16 games were Donovan McNabb in 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2008. And McNabb got benched in 2008.

From 2010 through 2015, the six years between McNabb and Wentz, the Eagles used seven different quarterbacks. Not only did the Eagles not win anything during that span, there didn't seem to be much of a future either. 

The Eagles were stuck trying to build a championship team without an elite quarterback. Which is almost impossible to do.

All of which led Howie Roseman to make the franchise-altering decision that the Eagles had to do anything possible, no matter how drastic, no matter how extreme, to get that guy and turn the franchise over to him.

That realization, that organizational decision and the series of trades that landed Wentz in Philadelphia guaranteed that the Eagles would have quarterback stability and a chance for sustained success for the foreseeable future.

Just by starting 25 games in a row, Wentz has done something no Eagles QB had done since McNabb started 31 straight from opening day 2003 through Week 15 of 2004. With the No. 1 seed locked up, he didn't play the last week of the season.

McNabb started 51 straight games from midway through 1999, when he replaced Doug Pederson, through Week 10 of 2002, when he broke his ankle against the Cards (but threw four touchdowns anyway).

And along with those two McNabb streaks and streaks by Ron Jaworski and Randall Cunningham, Wentz's run of 25 starts is already the Eagles' fifth-longest since Norm Van Brocklin started 36 straight from 1958 through 1960.

You've probably already picked up on the fact that the Eagles' greatest periods of success in the NFL's modern era — the 1960 championship and the 1980 and 2004 Super Bowl appearances — just happen to coincide with periods of tremendous quarterback stability.

And maybe very soon we can add another era to that list.

Just by being out there every Sunday, Wentz has separated himself from most quarterbacks in the NFL.

Of the 12 QBs who've started every game since opening day last year, only six have a career winning record. And of those six, only Wentz and Dak Prescott — both 24 — are under 28.

They'll meet for the third time Sunday night in Dallas, and whatever happens, both franchises are in good hands for the foreseeable future.

For the Eagles, these are heady days. Wentz is having an MVP season and Roseman and Joe Douglas have surrounded him with a deep and talented roster.

An entire generation of quarterbacks — Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers, Eli Manning, Drew Brees, Carson Palmer — will be retiring in the next few years. And most of the young QBs lining up to replace them are unproven. Even guys like Kirk Cousins, Matthew Stafford, Cam Newton and Russell Wilson will be in their mid-30s in five years.

How many NFL teams know who their quarterback will be in, let's say, 2023? The Texans with Deshaun Watson, the Rams with Jared Goff, Marcus Mariota in Tennessee and probably Jameis Winston in Tampa. And the Eagles and Cowboys. Anybody else?

Most NFL teams are in a constant search for that elite quarterback. Not around here. Not anymore.

The most important question facing almost every NFL team is one the Eagles won't have to even think about for a decade.