We got a ton of questions in this week’s mailbag so we split them into three parts.
Let’s finish up on a Monday morning:
I don’t think this draft immediately changes anything for Roseman. That said, I’m not sure he was on the hot seat as much as everyone thought. You can argue that his job should have been in jeopardy this offseason but since he made it through the 2020 season and this offseason, I really think owner Jeff Lurie will let him oversee this entire rebuild. It wouldn’t make sense to change general managers in the middle.
There’s nothing — good or bad — that could have happened in this draft to really change Roseman’s status. If Lurie let him make these nine picks, then it’s hard to imagine anything prevents Roseman from making the 10 (or so) selections in next year’s draft. Remember, Roseman traded back from 6 to 12 to pick up a first-round pick. It would be shocking to me if he’s not the one to make that pick next year. Even if the Eagles have another awful season, this rebuild plan really hinges on these two drafts and the Eagles have even more stock in the 2022 class. So like it or not, I think Roseman gets to see this through.
Let’s look at Roseman’s OL-DL picks from 2016-19:
OG Isaac Seumalo: 3rd round, 2016
DE Alex McCalister: 7th round, 2016
DE Derek Barnett: 1st round, 2017
DT Elijah Qualls: 6th round, 2017
DE Josh Sweat: 4th round, 2018
OL Matt Pryor: 6th round, 2018
OT Jordan Mailata: 7th round, 2018
OT Andre Dillard: 1st round, 2019
DE Shareef Miller: 4th round, 2019
OT Jack Driscoll: 4th round, 2020
OT Prince Tega Wanogho: 6th round, 2020
DE Casey Toohill: 7th round, 2020
Yeah, I’d agree that’s a solid track record, although neither of his first-round picks have been home runs. Barnett has been a solid player and we’ll see about Dillard.
As far as this year’s picks, I think it all hinges on Landon Dickerson’s health. It was a major risk to take a player with that lengthy of an injury history. If that risk pays off, then it was a great pick and the Eagles might have found an All-Pro to plug in. If it fails, then the Eagles look foolish a few years after making a similar pick of Sidney Jones. Really, there’s intrigue with the Eagles’ second and third picks this year. With Dickerson, there’s the obvious injury concern. With Milton Williams, we’ll always remember the draft room scene with Tom Donahoe and we’ll be following the career of Alim McNeill, the other player the Eagles nearly took but instead traded down.
I got a couple questions like this and I get it. Even if Ertz has lost a step, he’s still a decent player and would make the Eagles better in 2021. Heck, having him as a sure-handed target for a young quarterback like Jalen Hurts would be great. From a football standpoint, this makes a ton of sense.
But it also has a Carson Wentz situation feel to it. You just wonder how the Eagles or Ertz come back from this. That’s why I still don’t think Ertz will be with the team in 2021. It’s easy to say emotion should be removed from the equation but Ertz has always been an emotional guy, so it’s hard to think he’d be able to simply put this behind him and suit up in 2021. Can’t get the toothpaste back in the tube.
OK, so let’s set up the board in your alternate universe:
1. Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence
2. Jets: Zach Wilson
3. 49ers: Trey Lance
4. Falcons: Kyle Pitts
5. Bengals: Ja’Marr Chase
6. Dolphins: Jaylen Waddle
7. Lions: Penei Sewell
8. Panthers: Jaycee Horn
9. Broncos: Patrick Surtain II
10. Cowboys: Micah Parsons
11. Giants: DeVonta Smith
This was the way things were shaping up for the Eagles, which is why they made the trade up. If the Cowboys wouldn’t have moved, then the Giants wouldn’t have either. In this case, the Eagles would probably try to trade down if they could because Justin Fields would still be on the board. The Bears traded up to 11 to take Fields but they were able to do that because the Giants lost out on Smith and were willing to trade down. So if the Bears called the Eagles about getting up to 12 for Fields, that would probably be the Eagles’ first option.
But if the trade-down wasn’t on the table, my next pick would be Rashawn Slater. It would have been a boring selection but Slater is one of the best linemen in this class and gives guard-tackle flexibility. The Eagles used their 37th pick on a lineman so it wouldn’t have been shocking to see them use 12 on one either.
Greetings to you in Germany. Yes, there’s a chance of this and we’ll find out on Wednesday night when the schedule is released.
The Falcons will be playing a non-division game in London in October and the Eagles are one of five possible opponents, along with the Lions, Patriots, Jets and Washington Football Team.
The biggest areas of strength on this roster are at interior defensive line and offensive line (assuming they’re healthy). That’s exactly the way the Eagles want to build this team so they’ll love to hear that.
On the OL, they are looking at a starting five of Jordan Mailata/Andre Dillard, Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson. And their top interior backup will be second-round pick Landon Dickerson whenever he’s healthy. That’s pretty good. Obviously, health is a concern here after the injuries in 2020 and the aging players. But if they’re healthy, that’s one of the better units in the league.
At defensive tackle, the Eagles have Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave as their starters and their backups are Hassan Ridgeway, third-round pick Milton Williams and 6th-round pick Marlon Tuipulotu. They even still have Raequan Williams and T.Y. McGill, who played last season.
The top area of weakness is still cornerback. They have Darius Slay and then a bunch of question marks. Avonte Maddox was CB2 last year but is a better fit as a nickel. Maybe rookie Zech McPhearson comes in as a starter but that’s a lot to ask of a fourth-round pick. Roseman might not be done filling out this position. We’ll see.
Could be, but I really don’t think that’s been decided yet. I really think the running back position is one where the training camp battle will go a long way in determining which players they keep.
As a reminder, here’s who the Eagles have at the position: Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, Kenny Gainwell, Jordan Howard, Kerryon Johnson, Adrian Killins Jr., Elijah Holyfield. If I had to guess right now, the four the Eagles keep would be Sanders, Scott, Gainwell and Johnson.
We’ve talked a lot about Howard’s decline in recent years, but we can’t ignore Johnson’s either, especially with his knee injuries. After averaging 5.4 yards per carry as a rookie, Johnson averaged 3.54 yards per carry in 2019-2020. Over the last two seasons, there have been 65 NFL players with at least 150 carries and Johnson’s 3.54 average ranks 60th.
So we’ve seen an obvious decline with him too. But Johnson is still just 23, so there’s some hope left.
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