Eagles

Brandon Brooks is the Eagles' biggest All-Pro snub

Brandon Brooks is the Eagles' biggest All-Pro snub

About a half hour after Eagles center Jason Kelce was named to his third consecutive All-Pro team, he called Brandon Brooks “the best offensive lineman in the NFL.”

But “the best offensive lineman in the NFL” didn’t join him on the All-Pro team. 

No other way to put this: Brooks is an egregious snub. 

There’s a reason the Eagles made the 30-year-old Brooks the highest-paid offensive guard in the league earlier this season. There’s a reason the folks at ProFootballFocus rave about him. There’s a reason Brooks gave up just one sack this season. 

The Associated Press All-Pro team is voted on by a panel of 50 media members around the country. They got this one wrong. 

Brooks didn’t even make the second team at right guard. 

Cowboys right guard Zack Martin was on the first team with 24 votes. Baltimore’s Marshal Yanda was a second-teamer with 16 votes. Brooks took just nine votes to come in third. 

No disrespect to Martin and Yanda, but Brooks deserved to make the team. When someone uses the word snub, which is often overused, I always say, “Well, who would you take off the list?” 

If I ask myself that question about this vote, it’s an easy answer: I’d take both of them off the list to put Brooks on it. Brooks had a dominating 2019 season. 

For all its flaws, ProFootballFocus is a valuable tool to evaluate offensive linemen. It provides numerical data for a position that otherwise wouldn’t have any. And PFF loves Brooks. 

This season, Brooks was PFF’s top guard with a career-high 92.9 rating. He gave up just 19 total pressures and just one sack. And he was tremendous in the run game and on screens. 

While Lane Johnson has a case to be called a snub this year too, Johnson played in just 12 of 16 games. He missed a quarter of the season. Brooks didn’t. 

Brooks missed time in three games this season. In the opener after coming back from an Achilles tear, he was on a pitch count. In the first game against Seattle, he played just 12 snaps before he was forced out of the game with a recurrence of his anxiety symptoms. And in the regular-season finale, he left after 39 snaps when he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury. 

Despite all that, Brooks still played 1,064 snaps out of 1,183 (90 percent) this season. He was the Eagles’ best and most consistent offensive lineman all season. 

And Brooks played just 58 fewer snaps than Martin and played 77 more than Yanda. 

It’s worth noting that both Martin and Yanda had previously been named first-team All-Pros before. It can take time to buck familiarity in voting, especially for positions like offensive guard. But Brooks should have done enough. 

This season, he came back from an Achilles tear in less than eight months and immediately played at an even higher level than when he left. Last month, he was named to his third consecutive Pro Bowl team. 

Brooks is facing another surgery and rehab this offseason, but after what he did last offseason, there’s no doubt he’ll be able to come back better than ever. 

Maybe that’ll finally be enough to get him on the All-Pro team. 

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NFL Draft Betting: Will LSU's Justin Jefferson go before No. 24?

NFL Draft Betting: Will LSU's Justin Jefferson go before No. 24?

With the 2020 NFL Draft just weeks away, now is the time to start scouting your first round bets - if you haven't already.

LSU wide receiver Justin Jefferson had a breakout 2019 season, teaming up with Joe Burrow for monster numbers - 111 catches, 1,540 yards, 18 TD - and a national championship.

But where will he fall in the 2020 NFL Draft?

With Jefferson's over/under set at 23.5, NBC Sports Philadelphia betting expert Brad Feinberg thinks you should take the under on Jefferson going before the 24th overall pick.

It's a combination of talent and circumstance, according to Feinberg. He expects this draft class's top three wideouts - Jerry Jeudy, Ceedee Lamb, and Henry Ruggs III - to be gone in the first 15 picks. 

After the big three are off the board, Jefferson is almost unanimously the top choice for teams in need of young, talented pass-catchers like the Raiders (No. 19), the Eagles (No. 21), and the Vikings (No. 22).

"I think 23.5 is a great bet for the under," Feinberg said, "because I fully expect one of those three teams to snag [Jefferson] up in those picks."

Earlier this week, NBC Sports Philadelphia's Michael Gatti looked at the betting lines surrounding the Eagles' No. 21 pick, and found Jefferson as the odds-on favorite at +170.

In what's expected to be one of the most loaded WR drafts in recent memory, four wideouts going in the top 23 isn't a reach. In fact, it's starting to feel like a safe bet.

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Why Adam Schefter won't guarantee Eagles draft WR in first round

Why Adam Schefter won't guarantee Eagles draft WR in first round

The Eagles need better wide receivers in 2020 if they want to return to the Super Bowl. 

With the 2020 NFL Draft loaded at that position, and the Eagles' inactivity at wide receiver in free agency, all signs point towards GM Howie Roseman targeting a star pass-catcher in the first round.

But what if... they don't?

During a Twitter AMA on Thursday, ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter didn't exactly sound convinced the Eagles are going to take a wide receiver in the first round, and floated a few other possibilities for their No. 21 pick: 

And here's the answer, transcribed:

Jack, that is the most logical thing, is to see Philadelphia go wide receiver in round one. But what if there's a good linebacker there? What if there's a good defensive player there? What if they decide to trade the pick for a defensive player? There's a lot of different things they can do.

I would never say the Eagles are guaranteed to get a wide receiver in round one. What I would say is, that they're guaranteed to get some wide receivers in this draft, one way or another. They just might not be in round one.

It's a quick hit from Schefty, but there's plenty to unpack.

"What if there's a good linebacker there?"

The Eagles need to start valuing the linebacker position, especially considering their current roster of LBs, and if a name like Patrick Queen is high on their draft board, maybe he's a surprise pick. Eagles fans might not like it.

"What if there's a good defensive player there?"

There are some very interesting defensive prospects who could last until No. 21. Edge rusher K'Lavon Chaisson and DT Javon Kinlaw are two notable talents who would probably pique Roseman's love for first-round defensive linemen.

"What if they decide to trade the pick for a defensive player?"

This feels like a pretty obvious allusion to the Eagles' rumored interest in trading for Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue. The price for Ngakoue begins with a first-rounder, and the No. 21 pick might start an interesting conversation.

Schefter ending by saying the Eagles will leave the draft with at least one wide receiver is certainly intriguing, and might spell a second-round pick going towards a wideout if Roseman is otherwise tempted at No. 21. Could Clemson's Tee Higgins fall into the second round? Will K.J. Hamler still be available at pick No. 53?

So many question marks - but in three weeks, we'll have answers. 

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