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. 

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Jets ask for permission to interview Eagles VP of player personnel Joe Douglas

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Philadelphia Eagles

Jets ask for permission to interview Eagles VP of player personnel Joe Douglas

It looks like familiarity with Jets head coach Adam Gase is a prerequisite for the GM job in New York.

For a while, we’ve heard reports that Eagles VP of player personnel Joe Douglas is a favorite to replace Mike Maccagnan, but now we know his competition.

Douglas and Gase worked together briefly in Chicago for a season. Gase and Kelly worked together in Chicago and Denver.

Kelly is the Bears’ assistant director of player personnel. He just finished his second season in that role with Chicago. Kelly and Douglas also worked together in 2015, when Douglas was the Bears’ director of college scouting and Kelly was the Bears’ director of pro scouting.

It has been previously reported that Douglas is Gase’s pick for the job, so we’ll see how much power the head coach wields in this process.

There has also been a thought that Douglas to the Jets is a done deal. While that might be unsubstantiated, if the Jets do want to hire Douglas, they wouldn’t have to interview any more candidates than these two because Kelly would fulfill the Rooney Rule requirement. The Rooney Rule requires teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching and GM jobs.

While losing Douglas would be a blow, the Eagles have likely been preparing for that possibility for a while.

"At some point, we are going to lose executives," Eagles owner Jeff Lurie said in March. "When you’re winning, you’re going to lose executives. I think we’re in a great position to be able to deal with that. We don’t want to put a cap on how many good executives we have in football operations. That would be a competitive mistake."

Douglas could theoretically wait for a more stable offer to appear, but there are just 32 of these jobs available. And if the Jets do give Douglas final say, it would probably be pretty hard for him to turn it down.

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Eagles backup quarterback spot appears to be Nate Sudfeld's to lose

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Eagles backup quarterback spot appears to be Nate Sudfeld's to lose

The Eagles aren’t saying it. Nate Sudfeld isn’t saying it. But Sudfeld is the Eagles’ backup quarterback.

Who an organization brings in this time of year to compete with its backup typically speaks volumes about how they feel about said backup. When executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman proclaimed in February the Eagles were looking at veteran signal callers, people thought Teddy Bridgewater, Ryan Fitzpatrick, maybe Tyrod Taylor.

The Eagles used a fifth-round draft pick on Clayton Thorson and signed free agent Cody Kessler a couple weeks ago.

Meanwhile, Sudfeld received a second-round tender from the club as a restricted free agent this offseason — the second-largest qualifying offer — signing for over $3 million in April.

“It was really exciting,” Sudfeld said after Tuesday’s practice. “That really kind of gave me a vote of confidence and just was really exciting because again I wanted to be here and I have another year to keep getting better and developing here.”

Sudfeld’s contract isn’t guaranteed or anything, so in theory, Kessler — a former third-round pick with 12 not-awful starts under his belt — could steal the job. Yet, even listening to the language Eagles coach Doug Pederson used, it’s clear what the expectation is.

“Nate has an opportunity to really compete and solidify the No. 2 spot,” Pederson said on Tuesday. “He gets an opportunity and it’s a great opportunity for him to do that.

“Depth brings a lot of competition. At that spot, there is no exemption. Looking forward to that.”

Some might think it a gamble for the Eagles to hitch their wagon to a backup who’s thrown just 25 passes in NFL regular season games. Then again, the club’s trust in Sudfeld has never waned, going back to his rookie year in 2017 when he served as Nick Foles’ backup throughout the playoffs and Super Bowl.

Clearly, the Eagles see something in the 25-year-old the rest of us simply haven’t yet had the chance to experience. They stashed him on the 53-man roster for the better part of two seasons. They’ve watched him grow as an athlete and quarterback.

“I feel like I’ve improved in a lot of ways since Washington,” Sudfeld said, referring to where he got his start as a sixth-round pick out of Indiana in 2016. “I think physically I’ve developed a lot. I think I was kind of a late bloomer, so I feel like I’ve gotten a lot stronger in the weight room, faster on the field. I just feel like physical development’s been huge. And then just being in the NFL a couple years, some great systems and great coaches, just understanding ball a lot more and seeing situations and being able to apply it.

“I think arm strength has improved, velocity, weight room just in general, core, everything. I just feel a lot better.”

That doesn’t mean the Eagles will simply give Sudfeld his spot. Kessler is an intriguing prospect — he was reasonably accurate and took care of the football (64.2 completion percentage and 5 interceptions in 17 career games) as a member of bad Browns and Jaguars squads. Thorson, too, while likely more of a project, could take a surprise leap at the next level.

Whether because he’s confident in his ability or simply understands the situation, Sudfeld doesn’t seem to be sweating the competition.

“Nothing’s ever going to be handed to you, and you don’t want it that way,” Sudfeld said. “There’s no sense of entitlement. Everything’s earned. I’m just trying to improve myself as much as possible, try to be the best version of myself, work on my craft. I know if I can keep improving and become a better player, it’ll all take care of itself.”

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