Saquon Barkley

Thoughts and Eagles questions from NFL Combine

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Thoughts and Eagles questions from NFL Combine

The 2018 NFL Combine has now come and gone. After spending last week in Indianapolis, here are some of my takeaways, Eagles-related and beyond.

Foles' future
MMQB's Peter King reports the Eagles have a “respectable” offer for Nick Foles on the table. How does King define respectable? Only he knows. The Eagles got a first- and fourth-rounder for Sam Bradford two years ago. But that was one week before the season and the Vikings were desperate after Teddy Bridgewater’s injury. A first-round pick and more is where the Birds will likely start with a Foles asking price. But the question is whether the Birds' brass would be willing to move Foles for, say, second and third-rounders since it doesn't have either in this year’s draft?

No more Nigel?
When asked about free agent Nigel Bradham, who played so well last season, Howie Roseman did not go out of his way to praise the linebacker. He can’t tip his hand publicly, but Roseman was willing to show others some verbal love. You can pay only so many people. But with Jordan Hicks' injury history, one would think Bradham would be a priority for Roseman and the Eagles. Maybe not.

It will be interesting to see if Mychal Kendricks can play at the same high level as last season if he is not moved this offseason.   

Beast of Burton
Trey Burton is going to get paid. And the odds are it won’t be here in Philly. Burton is highly regarded around the league and there are enough teams in need of tight end help that he will get an offer too rich for the Eagles' blood.

What to do at No. 32?
The Birds have an obvious need at linebacker and could use depth at offensive line. But when you don’t pick until last in the first round, the best course of action is to leave your options open to the best available player. So don’t be shocked if a very good player falls and the Eagles take him at a position that may not scream immediate need.         

Hear him roar
Not Eagles-related, but in no upset whatsoever, Penn State running back Saquon Barkley stole the show at the combine. He dominated the drills and at the podium. The kid is a flat-out beast. If this was 20 years ago, he would likely be a lock to go first overall to the Browns. And that scenario could be a boost to the Eagles. Running backs are viewed as disposable these days compared to quarterbacks but he will still go in the top five. Easily.

Shaq’s statement
Lastly, UCF linebacker Shaquem Griffin lost his hand when he was 4 due to a congenital disease. All he did was run the fastest 40-yard dash of any of the linebackers at the combine, posting a 4.38. He then put up 20 reps on the 225-pound bench press while using a prosthetic hand. He personifies over-achievement and his attitude and perseverance are what make sports great. He will make any team that gets him better.

Saquon Barkley going 1st could be great for Eagles

Saquon Barkley going 1st could be great for Eagles

There is growing buzz that Penn State running back Saquon Barkley could be drafted first overall by the Browns.

That could end up being great news for the Eagles ... because of who picks second.

Save for the short period of time Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw were effective, the Giants have been in need of a running back since Tiki Barber retired after the 2006 season.

With the second overall pick in a draft that includes a potentially generational running back in Barkley, the G-Men are finally in position to fix their broken ground game.

But with the Browns also owning the fourth pick, they could take Barkley at 1 and get their QB at 4.

If the Browns take Barkley, the Giants would obviously be tempted to take the best QB in the draft — whoever they deem that to be — second overall. Eli Manning is 37 years old and hasn't been in the top half among quarterbacks in at least three seasons.

If the Giants do take a QB second, they'd set themselves up better for the future, but in the present, it would be a boost for the Eagles. The Birds would get one more season against a Manning-led Giants team that didn't improve any other position with its high first-round pick. A Giants team that has a weak offensive line, a non-existent running game and a pass rush that had the third-fewest sacks in the NFL last season.

The Eagles would also get to avoid facing Barkley twice a year for potentially a decade. It's true that running backs have been devalued over the last decade, but the last two taken in the top five — Ezekiel Elliott and Leonard Fournette — immediately changed the fortunes of their teams. With a more complete offense, the Cowboys went from 4-12 to 13-3 in Zeke's first year. The Jaguars went from 3-13 to 10-6 in Fournette's rookie season.

Doug Pederson would still have a better, deeper roster than both the Cowboys and Giants, but facing Elliott and Barkley a combined four times per season would be tough.

So if Barkley indeed goes first, it would be the second time in three years the Browns helped the Eagles at the top of the draft.

Saquon Barkley joins Jay-Z's agency

Photo: Roc Nation Sports

Saquon Barkley joins Jay-Z's agency

Roc Nation Sports just landed another stud athlete.

Now former Penn State superstar RB Saquon Barkley has signed with Jay-Z's agency.

Barkley is perceived as a top-five pick in the 2018 NFL draft. The only Penn State player and the only Big Ten running back to ever win Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year twice, Barkley capped a magical 2017-18 season with 175 yards from scrimmage and two TDs in Penn State's 35-28 win over Washington in the Fiesta Bowl. 

Barkley rushed for 1,271 yards this season, averaging 5.9 per carry. He scored 21 total touchdowns and added 632 yards receiving. If that wasn't enough, he also returned two kicks for touchdowns.

Barkley is the most intriguing running back prospect to come out since Ezekiel Elliott in 2016. Zeke went fourth overall and Barkley has a chance to go even higher.