Eagles

Eagles NFL draft options at No. 25: RB Josh Jacobs

Eagles NFL draft options at No. 25: RB Josh Jacobs

Considered by many to be the top running back in the 2019 class, there’s a good chance Alabama’s Josh Jacobs could be the only running back taken in the first round this year. 

Jacobs (5-10, 220) carried the ball 251 times in three years at Alabama for nearly 1,500 yards. He had a 5.9 yards-per-carry average and 16 touchdown runs. Eleven of those touchdown runs came in his junior season in 2018. 

Aside from his ability as a runner, Jacobs has also proven to be a quality receiver out of the backfield. He had 48 catches in three years for 571 yards and five touchdowns. 

Jacobs has the potential to become a true three-down back in the NFL and has what seems like a great combination of size, power, agility and athleticism. 

Current roster at RB: The Eagles traded for Jordan Howard, but Howard has just one more season under contract. From there, the Eagles also have Corey Clement, Wendell Smallwood, Josh Adams and Boston Scott. They could clearly use more help at the position. 

How he would fit: If the Eagles draft a running back in the first round, he’s going to play a ton in Year 1 and become the primary running back early. Shelf life for running backs is shorter than other positions, so the Eagles would need to get as much as they can out of him while they can. With his ability and potential as a three-down back, he’s good enough to make Doug Pederson rethink his committee approach. 

Eagles history at RB in draft: The Eagles haven’t used a first-round pick on a running back since 1986, when they took Keith Byars out of Ohio State. They haven’t taken one in the first two rounds since Shady McCoy in 2009.

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 2019 training camp battles: Are Eagles deep enough at DE?

usa-josh-sweat.jpg
USA Today Images

Eagles 2019 training camp battles: Are Eagles deep enough at DE?

As we near the start of the Eagles’ 2019 training camp, we’re taking a closer look at some key position battles to watch this summer. We already looked at cornerback, running back and linebacker.            

Up today: Defensive end 

Names to know 

Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Vinny Curry, Josh Sweat, Shareef Miller, Daeshon Hall, Joe Ostman 

What to watch 

While the Eagles have much more depth at defensive tackle heading into the 2019 season, there’s some reason to worry about their depth at defensive end. Last year, they began the season with the same starters but had Michael Bennett and Chris Long as rotational players. This year, they’re not that deep. 

The starters are the same this season: Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett. Even though he’s over 30 now, we all know what kind of player Graham has been and will be in 2019. He was hobbled by a lingering ankle injury early last season but was back to himself later. Barnett got off to a quick start in 2018, but then hurt his shoulder and eventually needed surgery. He wasn’t a full participant in OTAs this spring, but should be ready for the start of the season. Those two are set and should be pretty good. 

After the starters? That’s where some questions start to form. Curry is back on a much cheaper deal than the one he made it through just one year of in Tampa Bay. Curry is a solid player but he’s 31 now and since he had 9 sacks in 2014, he hasn’t gone over 3 1/2 in the four years since. In an injury-shortened season in Tampa Bay, he had 2 1/2 sacks in 2018. And now, he’s the Eagles’ top rotational end. 

But at least Curry has proven to be an adequate player in the NFL. Sweat, Miller, Hall and Ostman haven’t proven much in their short careers. Sweat certainly looks the part and will get a chance to be a part of the rotation, but last year’s fourth-rounder played just 68 snaps last season. Miller was the last pick of the fourth round this year, so it would be unfair to have immediately high expectations of him. Hall was a third-round pick in 2017, but didn’t last in Carolina and has struggled to find a home in the NFL. Ostman is a hard-worker whom the Eagles love, but is he really the answer? 

Perhaps the Eagles bring in a veteran — Connor Barwin would like to come back — to fill out the rotation, but if they don’t, we’ll need to watch Sweat, Miller, Hall and Ostman closely this summer. One or two of them will likely make the roster and then fight for playing time. Because Malik Jackson will probably stay on the field for third downs, the depth at defensive end isn’t as important, but the Eagles are one injury away from one of those guys playing a significant role in 2019. 

Prediction 

Graham and Barnett start and Curry is the first guy off the bench. Sweat will be the team’s fourth option, but will have to earn playing time. I don’t think Miller is ready to be a significant contributor as a rookie. Keep an eye on Hall, who is a dark horse candidate to make the team.

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

Eagle Eye podcast: Wentz out of the shadow; Peters back to dominating?

us_jp_cw.png
USA Today Images

Eagle Eye podcast: Wentz out of the shadow; Peters back to dominating?

On this edition of Eagle Eye, Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro are getting ready for training camp. 

The guys break down a few things Doug Pederson said before the team broke for summer, take a look at position battles and list former Eagles who squandered their talent. 

Also, wishing Chris Maragos the best as he retires. 

2:00 - Getting ready for training camp 
8:00 - Doug Pederson on Carson Wentz 
12:00 - Can Jason Peters be dominant again? 
19:00 - Position battle: CB 
24:00 - Position battle: RB
28:00 - Position battle: LB
32:00 - Position battle: DE
35:00 - Position battle: WR
40:00 - Eagles who squandered talent 
51:00 - Chris Maragos retires 

Subscribe and rate the Eagle Eye podcast: 
Apple Podcasts / Google Play / Stitcher / Spotify / Art19

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