Eagles

Eagles rookie TE Dallas Goedert makes most of extended playing time

Eagles rookie TE Dallas Goedert makes most of extended playing time

Dallas Goedert didn’t want to talk about the catches or the yards or even the touchdown.

He wanted to talk about the blocking.

Because everybody always knew he could catch the football. Nobody knew he could block.

Not like this.

Goedert, the Eagles’ rookie tight end, was 7 for 73 with his first career touchdown Sunday in the Eagles’ 20-16 win over the Colts at the Linc.

But he also blocked his butt off.

“I didn’t block a ton at South Dakota State, just because it wasn’t what they had me doing,” he said. “But I aways knew I could block so I wasn’t too worried about it. I think I proved a lot of people wrong today.”

Goedert became the first Eagles rookie tight end with 73 yards in a game since L.J. Smith in 2003 and the first with 73 yards and a TD since Keith Jackson in 1988.

After getting just 17 snaps against the Falcons and 17 against the Buccaneers, Goedert got 55 Sunday against the Colts.

“The biggest thing is I’m not going to be on the field if I can’t block, and I think I showed I can do that pretty well today,” Goedert said. “The catches will come.” 

Count Zach Ertz as someone who believes Goedert needs to play a lot.

“We need him to develop, that’s the bottom line,” Ertz said. “We need him to have a role. He’s a really good football player, and it helps us.”

There were two reasons Goedert played so much Sunday. The Colts play a lot of cover 2, which leaves the middle of the field open, and that’s where tight ends do most of their work.

But also he’s just a good young player and Pederson felt like he deserved more playing time. Especially with the Eagles down a ton of running backs and receivers.

“He's earned it,” Pederson said. “He's smart. He's talented. We see it in practice. It's just time to play and cut him loose a little bit and don't keep him back.

“It was part of the game plan again to do that with two tight ends, three tight ends, but at the same time, as he gets more and more comfortable with the offense and (we) find specific plays for him, he's just going to get better and better.”

Goedert had only one catch for four yards the first two weeks of the season, but on Sunday, he and Ertz became the first pair of Eagle tight ends in 53 years with 70 or more yards in the same game.

“I think with Dallas, he’s shown me, first of all, he’s a smart football player,” Carson Wentz said. “Throughout training camp and then being able to do the no-huddle stuff and getting him in different situations and getting him in different spots, making calls at the line, checks at the line.

“He’s very instinctive and a good football player, and he came up big with a couple of plays.”  

Ertz is still the No. 1 guy, and he’s off to another big start, with 21 catches for 215 yards in three games.

But if Goedert keeps playing like this, make no mistake about it, he will play.

A lot.

“I never know when my number’s going to be called, but I’m always going to be ready,” he said. “Today we used tight ends a lot. Depending on the week that might change, but it was fun to be out there.  

“Obviously I want to be on the field but my chance was going to come. Whether it was this week, next week or in a year.”

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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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