Eagles

Dave Zangaro’s one and only 2019 first-round NFL mock draft

Dave Zangaro’s one and only 2019 first-round NFL mock draft

Fact: The internet is now 50 percent mock drafts. 

OK, that’s not true. It just feels that way. 

For months, mock drafts have taken over NFL media. They’re all wrong. Some are more wrong than others. That’s the key, I suppose. Be less wrong than others? Really, the key is to just have some fun. And once you stop thinking that mock drafts are full of reputable information (they’re mostly not), they are fun. 

I do one first-round mock draft per year. It then gives you the right to mock me.

Have at it: 

1. Cardinals: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
There’s too much smoke here for there to not be fire. Here’s your new quarterback, Kliff Kinsbury. Maybe Murray doesn’t have ideal size, but he’s a heckuva athlete and will bring some much-needed excitement back to that franchise. 

2. 49ers: Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
The 49ers probably love that Murray is going to go first. I thought about Quinnen Williams here, but Bosa is too good, too much of a sure thing. Pairing him with Dee Ford for the next few years could be deadly. 

3. Jets: Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky 
I went back and forth on this one but landed on Allen. Williams would be a fine pick too. Instead, they take an edge rusher with a ton of potential. He might end up being a dominant player. 

4. Raiders: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama 
Speaking of dominant, Williams certainly fits that description. There’s a chance he could be the best player in this class, so the Raiders should be thrilled to sit at No. 4 and get him. 

5. Buccaneers: Montez Sweat, Edge, Mississippi State
I understand why so many have the Bucs taking a linebacker here, but pass rushing is so important and Sweat has had a tremendous pre-draft process, particularly at the combine. The Bucs try to get a difference-making pass rusher. 

6. Giants: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke 
I get that this is probably too early for Jones, but if the Giants like him, I can’t imagine they’ll wait and hope he gets to them at 17. Jones might need some extra time, but the Giants are still committed to playing Eli Manning in 2019. Jones can learn from him and then take over. This isn't the move I'd make, but Dave Gettleman is in charge for the Giants and he's a crazy person. 

7. Jaguars: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida 
The Jags paid Nick Foles a crazy amount of money, so they better protect their investment. They’ll do that by locking up the top offensive tackle in this pretty decent class. 

8. Lions: Brian Burns, Edge, Florida State 
Detroit is in desperate need of some pass rush and Burns is a freaky athletic specimen, who has been flying up draft boards. He’s also pretty good against the run, especially for his lanky build. Matt Patricia gets a good one here. 

9. Bills: Rashan Gary, DT, Michigan 
Longtime Bill Kyle Williams retired so they immediately find his replacement in Gary. At 277 pounds, Gary could play both inside and outside for the Bills. 

10. Broncos: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
There has been a lot of smoke here, between the Broncos and Lock for a while. If John Elway can sit back at 10 and get the quarterback he might covet most, that’s a good day. 

11. Bengals: Devin White, LB, LSU
A great athlete the Bengals can plug-and-play in their defense. He’s probably a top-10 talent, so the Bengals should feel confident they’re getting enough value. Linebacker is an obvious need, but this isn’t a reach. 

12. Packers: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama 
The Packers could very well go for a tight end here — both top ones are still on the board — but Williams might be the best player on the board and could take care of a long-term need for Green Bay. 

13. Dolphins: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State 
With all these quarterbacks, trade ups are always possible, but maybe the Dolphins can stay at 13 and still get their guy. I have Haskins as the fourth QB to go. I think he’s better than that, but I’m not picking this based on my own preference. This pick really depends on the Dolphins’ preference. They need to find their franchise quarterback. 

14. Falcons: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston 
Oliver is a top-10 type talent and a team like the Falcons could really benefit from QBs going in the top half of the first round. Oliver next to Grady Jarrett could be dangerous. 

15. Redskins: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Mississippi 
With plenty of other needs and with the top QBs off the board, Washington tries to make a splash with the bulked up receiver. If Washington does end up trading for Josh Rosen, here’s a target for him. 

16. Panthers: Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson 
The first of three Clemson defensive linemen to go in Round 1, Ferrell gives the Panthers some much-needed youth at edge rusher. Julius Peppers finally retired, so Ferrell can take his spot. 

17. Giants: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan 
White is probably the top linebacker in this class, but the other Devin is pretty damn close. He’s not very big, but Bush is an absolute difference-maker and the Giants just need to add some of those. 

18. Vikings: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa 
Sure, Kyle Rudolph is still around, but Hockenson can help the Vikings immediately. So what if they have to use some two-tight end sets. Definitely a talent over need scenario, but he’s a good one. 

19. Titans: Chris Lindstrom, OG, Boston College 
If Mike Vrabel needs some intel on BC players, he can ask his son. He won’t need to ask him how good Lindstrom is. He’s one of those players who isn’t getting talked about enough but could hear his name earlier than many expect. 

20. Steelers: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
There’s a case to be made that Fant is the top tight end in this class. While it’s not a desperate need for Pittsburgh, pairing him with Vance McDonald could be another great tight end combination. 

21. Seahawks: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
I think Williams is the top corner in this class and who am I to question LSU when it comes to defensive backs? Williams is a great cover guy but also a solid tackler. And he’s 6-2. Sounds like a Seahawks corner to me. 

22. Ravens: Garrett Bradbury, C, NC State 
Bradbury is a first-round pick to me. He has guard/center versatility and would be an immediate and long-term starter for the Ravens. He could start at either position for the Ravens in 2019. 

23. Texans: Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State 
The Texans have needed offensive tackle help for years, so maybe they’ll finally get some. Houston would probably be pretty happy if Dillard is available for them here. 

24. Raiders: Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama 
This is a move that would make Al Davis happy. Time to replace Marshawn Lynch and bring in a huge piece to that offense. With three first-round picks, they can afford to take a running back with one of them. 

25. Eagles: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
If Wilkins makes it to the Eagles, I’m sure they’d run this pick in. I think there’s a chance he’s there, but not a great chance. But he would be a perfect fit for them. He would be a rotational player behind Fletcher Cox and Malik Jackson to start, but would become a really solid long-term starter. The only thing to worry about is that he’s already 23, but he checks every other box. Productive and disruptive college player at a position of importance, and a solid locker room presence. Sign me up. 

26. Colts: Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame
If Wilkins is gone, the Colts will take the next best option, which is Tillery from Notre Dame. He’s another interior defensive lineman who can offer the Colts some interior pass rush. 

27. Raiders: Dalton Risner, OL, Kansas State
After taking Williams and Jacobs, the Raiders round out their first-round trio with a versatile offensive lineman from K-State. Risner could start immediately at guard, but could also fill in at guard and tackle. 

28. Chargers: Cody Ford, OL, Oklahoma
He might be a long-term fit at offensive guard, but for now, he can step in and play tackle immediately for the Chargers. 

29. Chiefs: DeAndre Baker, CB, Georgia 
Here comes an aggressive, ball-hawking corner for the Chiefs. Baker is the second CB off the board and will start immediately. 

30. Packers: Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi State
This is actually a good safety class, so this might be a little late for one to go. But if this happens, the Packers would have their pick. Nasir Adderly, Taylor Rapp and Chauncey Gardner-Johnson are also in play. 

31. Rams: Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
The Rams get their nose tackle in the form of the third Clemson defensive lineman off the board. Lawrence would come in and immediately replace Ndamukong Suh. 

32. Patriots: Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma
A foot injury ruined Brown’s buzz during the pre-draft process, but that won’t scare of the Patriots, who get a pure speed threat. This dude can flat-out fly. 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles

Eagles release veterans Orlando Scandrick and Akeem Spence

Eagles release veterans Orlando Scandrick and Akeem Spence

The Eagles on Monday released two more veteran defensive players who had been playing major roles. 

Last week, they cut linebacker Zach Brown the day after the loss to the Vikings. 

This week, the Eagles cut veteran CB Orlando Scandrick and veteran DT Akeem Spence the day after their 37-10 loss to the Cowboys. Both were added to the roster during September following injuries and both played a lot on Sunday night. 

The Eagles on Monday also brought back DT Anthony Rush from the Raiders’ practice squad. Rush was with the Eagles during training camp. They are also signing DT Albert Huggins from Houston's practice squad. 

While Scandrick, 32, certainly didn’t play well against the Cowboys, he did start and played 51 percent (36 snaps) of their defensive snaps. 

Spence, 27, played 47 snaps against the Cowboys on Sunday. 

And this comes a week after Brown was cut the day after he played 58 snaps against the Vikings. 

After two back-to-back blowout losses, the Eagles are not hesitating to send messages and get rid of dead weight. 

Still, it’s not a great sign that the Eagles have cut three veteran defensive players the day after blowout losses in consecutive weeks. It’s an even worse sign that they were all playing a significant roles. 

The Scandrick move is curious because it’s not like the Eagles are flush with cornerback talent. Now, their two corners with the most experience at the nickel corner spot are Avonte Maddox and Sidney Jones. 

Jones on Sunday was healthy but the Eagles played Craig James ahead of him, which was the plan, according to Doug Pederson. Jones, the former second-round pick, has struggled mightily this season. And Maddox is still in the concussion protocol from a friendly fire hit from Andrew Sendejo in the Green Bay game on Sept. 26. That injury is what led to the Eagles’ signing Scandrick in the first place. So the fact that they were willing to release Scandrick before Maddox is back is strange. 

Last year’s nickel cornerback, Cre’Von LeBlanc (foot), could be nearing a return from IR, but he still won’t be eligible to return until Week 9 against Chicago. That doesn’t help this week against Buffalo. 

The highlight of Scandrick’s short stint in Philadelphia was his performance against the Jets and Luke Falk back on Oct. 6. In his first game off his couch, Scandrick had two sacks, two forced fumbles and returned one of them 44 yards for a touchdown. Now, it seems like he’ll be a mere footnote from this season. 

The timing of the Spence move is interesting too. Hassan Ridgeway suffered what sounds like a serious ankle injury against the Cowboys and the Eagles are really light at defensive tackle, especially because Tim Jernigan (foot) is still out. Without Spence, they’re down to Fletcher Cox and Rush, whom the Eagles just signed on Monday.  

You can add Scandrick and Spence to the long list of veteran acquisitions who didn’t work out for Howie Roseman in the last couple of years. The Band-Aids aren’t working. 

 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles

Howard Eskin outing Alshon Jeffery led to bizarre press conference moment with Doug Pederson

Howard Eskin outing Alshon Jeffery led to bizarre press conference moment with Doug Pederson

Signs of dysfunction in the Philadelphia Eagles locker room began to show late last week when ESPN’s Josina Anderson quoted an anonymous Eagles player criticizing Carson Wentz and the Birds' offense.

Head coach Doug Pederson wasn’t thrilled about it when asked prior to the Dallas Cowboys game, then the team went out and played a total dud. 

A new page in the drama was written this morning when WIP’s Howard Eskin reported on the air that he knew the identity of the anonymous player — Alshon Jeffrey.

Not only did Eskin name Alshon, he also called him “foolish and stupid.” Eskin also criticized Anderson, “She’ll bait a guy and then the guy gets trapped into saying things and he says them.”

Here’s the full quote as transcribed by Crossing Broad:

Eskin: Yeah why not. Alshon Jeffery.

Cataldi: It is?

Eskin: Yes. The thing is, here’s why he’s foolish and stupid – He knows that she’s not out to have his back. The problem is, as a reporter, I’ve seen her do this. She’ll bait a guy and then the guy gets trapped into saying things and he says them. It’s just foolish and stupid. We all understand it’s not productive. But what benefit was there to say that? And the reality is, why would he worry about a defensive player (Jalen Ramsey) not being traded for? And when he talks about checking down, sometimes the back you check down to is blocked. Or he’s blocking and then can’t get off the block. That’s one of your checkdowns. So the whole thing was just stupid. But it’s not being productive for somebody like that.

This is interesting in part because Alshon denied being the source last week, Josina defended her source from Eskin — “He has zero knowledge of who I spoke to. #Zero” —  and also because Eskin appears on the Eagles radio broadcasts on game days, travels on the team plane, and even received his own Super Bowl ring. So the Inquirer’s Eagles beat writer Jeff McLane took all of that info to Pederson’s press conference on Monday, which led to a fascinating exchange.

“There was a report that Alshon Jeffrey was the anonymous player who was giving quotes to ESPN," McLane began. "Is that true? And also, the person who reported it doesn’t technically work for the Eagles but he’s on the sideline with the Eagles, he flies [on the Eagles plane], he wears a Super Bowl ring given to him by the Eagles. Are we to assume just because he reported it, that the Eagles want it out there?”

Pederson appeared somewhat dumbfounded but didn’t “want to go there.”

“That has nothing to do with the Buffalo Bills or the Dallas Cowboys," Pederson said.

So pretty much a non-answer. But the interesting exchanges didn’t stop there.

Once the press conference ended, Eskin had some choice words for McLane who reportedly took the high road and avoided a confrontation, according to people in the room.

So maybe Alshon was the anonymous player, maybe not. It'll be curious to see how Alshon responds to the latest reports here. He had some unusually high praise for Carson Wentz in the locker room following the game last night.

"I still believe in each and every one of the guys in here," Jeffery said. "Carson is our guy. Everybody on our team, we’re together. On offense, Carson, O-line, me, Nelson, receivers, the skill group, we all have to be held accountable. I mean, that was unacceptable. That was embarrassing today.”

All we know for sure is there is plenty of drama surrounding the Eagles these days. That never bodes well.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles