Eagles

NFL Draft Rumors: Eagles dangling Andre Dillard, Rasul Douglas to trade up for WR?

NFL Draft Rumors: Eagles dangling Andre Dillard, Rasul Douglas to trade up for WR?

We're hours away from the start of the 2020 NFL Draft, and the Eagles rumor mill is heating up something serious.

The Eagles own the No. 21 pick, and most draft observers expect a run on the elite wide receivers in the draft to begin around the No. 11 pick. If the Eagles want one of CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy, or Henry Ruggs, they'll likely have to trade up.

Two names have suddenly cropped up in potential trade talks: second-year left tackle Andre Dillard, and cornerback Rasul Douglas.

The Dillard intrigue comes courtesy of New York Daily News Jets reporter Manish Mehta, who tweeted this out of the blue on Thursday afternoon:

Dillard's name was also tossed around in trade talks earlier this offseason, before the Eagles made the decision to mutually part ways with Jason Peters this offseason.

For what it's worth, NFL and Eagles insider Adam Caplan shared this tweet after Eagles fans started wondering if Dillard could be part of an Eagles package to move up to No. 11 and grab a wide receiver:

I don't doubt that Dillard is in the Eagles plans, right now. But plans can change. Dillard looked solid, if not spectacular, during his playing time last season, and we've heard rumblings here and there about organizational concerns surrounding the 24-year-old.

Still, trading Dillard one year after making him your first-round pick and right after letting your franchise left tackle hit the market seems a bit odd.

So what about that Rasul Douglas rumor, then?

ESPN's Jets reporter, Rich Cimini, floated an interesting nugget about a different way the Eagles could potentially move up to the No. 11 pick in a deal with New York:

Unconfirmed rumor about the Jets swapping picks with Philly (21) and acquiring CB Rasul Douglas + pick. Douglas is a borderline starter, but he was drafted by Joe Douglas.

Cimini noted that the Jets would likely only look to trade down if all four top-tier offensive tackles are off the board in the first 10 picks. 

From an Eagles standpoint, trading Rasul Douglas and the No. 21 pick for a potential franchise wide receiver is an absolute no-brainer, and frankly feels a little thin. Douglas, 24, has shown flashes of playmaking ability, but he's certainly not a guaranteed starter-level cornerback in the NFL. 

In any case, two separate trade rumors about the Eagles eyeing that No. 11 pick suggest there's something afoot. 

It certainly is interesting that the Eagles and Jets are at the center of spicy trade talks, considering the Super Bowl history Howie Roseman and Jets general manager Joe Douglas have from their time together in Philadelphia. It helps to have friends around the league.

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Eagles' new coach thinks team's WR corps is underrated, can be among NFL's best

Eagles' new coach thinks team's WR corps is underrated, can be among NFL's best

They're tired of being known as the worst group of wide receivers in the league.

And they may finally have a coach who can help them get rid of that tag.

"We have an expectation to be one of the top groups in the league," new Eagles receivers coach Aaron Moorehead said Thursday. "That's what we expect. This group is coming out with a little bit of a chip on its shoulder I think because of last year, and that's a good thing."

Eagles receivers last year combined for just 137 passes for 1,488 yards and nine touchdowns, the worst WR numbers in the league.

It was the fewest yards by an Eagles receiving corps since 2000, when Charles Johnson, Torrance Small and Friends had 1,481.

For the first time since 1966 no Eagles wide receiver even had 500 yards.

Out with Carson Walch, in with Moorehead, the Eagles' fifth receivers coach in five years under Doug Pederson.

It doesn't take much time with Moorehead – even on a Zoom call – to sense his confidence, passion, dedication and communication skills.

And he's already instilled a hunger in this wide receiving group to go from one of the worst in the league to one of the best.

"At the end of the day, a little added extra motivation (doesn't hurt)," he said. "In this day and age (with) social media, you can try to ignore it, but people hear what (critics) say, and I think guys understand that we do have something to prove, and that's OK. There's nothing wrong with that, and I enjoy a good challenge and I enjoy coaching a group that has something to prove."

DeSean Jackson is 33 and managed one healthy game last year. Alshon Jeffery struggled then got hurt and has been largely disappointing since he signed here. Second-round pick J.J. Arcega-Whiteside had a miserable rookie year. And rookie Jalen Reagor keeps hearing how the Eagles should have taken Justin Jefferson instead.

You can understand why this group feels disrespected.

"I think that's good," Moorehead said. "I've coached groups that people believed were the best [...] and I've coached groups that people disrespected and felt like they weren't very good, so it's not anything new to me. I think we have a really good group. I know we have a really good group. It's just up to us to stay healthy and prove it week in and week out."

The Eagles haven't had a wide receiver with back-to-back 100-yard games since Jordan Matthews in 2015.

They haven't had a 1,000-yard receiver since Jeremy Maclin in 2014.

On paper they should be better. How can they not be?

Their goal isn't just to be better. It’s to be among the best.

"So far they've taken the approach that [they're] ready to go out there and prove every day why we should be one of the top groups in the NFL," Moorehead said.

You have to love Moorehead's approach and his personality.

If his receivers can match his confidence and swagger, the Eagles just might finally have a receiving corps to get excited about.

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Eagle Eye podcast: Is Zach Ertz next in line for a contract extension?

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Eagle Eye podcast: Is Zach Ertz next in line for a contract extension?

On the latest Eagle Eye podcast, Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro take a look at Zach Ertz’s contract situation after George Kittle and Travis Kelce got huge extensions. 

The guys pick some things they would have watched in the preseason opener, talk about Doug Pederson’s structure for practice and give their first impressions on a couple of new Eagles coaches. 

Plus, remembering the great Howard Mudd, who died at 78 this week. 

  • (1:02) — What Travis Kelce and George Kittle's contract mean for Zach Ertz.
  • (16:45) — Things we would have watched tonight in preseason opener.
  • (23:08) — Doug Pederson details Eagles’ 2020 training camp structure
  • (28:45) — Aaron Moorehead and Matt Burke speak on their roles. 
  • (36:54) — Remembering Howard Mudd
     

Subscribe and rate the Eagle Eye podcast: 
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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