Eagles

2017 NFL Draft re-do asks: What if the Eagles picked Dalvin Cook?

2017 NFL Draft re-do asks: What if the Eagles picked Dalvin Cook?

The Eagles had a storybook 2017 season, so it feels odd to look back and wonder if they should've done anything differently. And yet here I am, doing just that.

Because while the 2017 NFL Draft - a particularly formative draft for the league - was a relative success for Howie Roseman & Co., it could've been even better.

The fine folks at NBC Sports Chicago decided to re-pick the 2017 draft's first round this week. (We can't imagine why.) And when you look at who the Eagles could've taken instead of Derek Barnett, it leaves you wondering... what if?

Here's what the Eagles did in their re-draft:

14. Philadelphia Eagles: RB Dalvin Cook

Cook was considered a fringe-first-rounder during the 2017 draft process but slid to the second round because of injury concerns. Fast forward three seasons, and Cook is one of the best all-around running backs in the league. He’d be the perfect fit for Doug Pederson and the Eagles offense.

Whew man, that would've been nice. I remember wanting the Eagles to pick Cook at the time: complementing your second-year franchise quarterback with a young stud runner? Absolutely perfect.

Things would look very different today if the Eagles had taken Cook, who's turned into a real beast of an offensive contributor. Outside of butterfly effect-style hypotheticals - does Carson Wentz stay healthy that year? - here's a look at three things it definitely would've changed.

1. Drafting Derek Barnett in 2017

This is obvious. Barnett has been a fine young defensive end, albeit one with holes in his game and one who is prone to disappear for stretches. Barnett was of course crucial in the Super Bowl run, recovering Brandon Graham's iconic strip sack of Tom Brady, but the Eagles would probably be better off in 2020 with Cook instead of Barnett.

2. The Jay Ajayi trade in 2017

I think the Eagles may have still kicked the tires on LeGarrette Blount in 2017 as a goal-line option, but they wouldn't have made a midseason trade for injury-prone Jay Ajayi if they already had a young RB in Cook on the roster. And suddenly, the Eagles don't have a fun-loving, bad-at-FIFA foreigner in their Super Bowl story.

3. Drafting Miles Sanders in 2019

Perhaps most consequential to the team's current makeup, Howie Roseman wouldn't be spending draft capital like a second-round pick on Miles Sanders with a star running back already on the team. Instead, maybe the Eagles double down on the wide receiver position and take Mecole Hardman (No. 56, three picks after Sanders and one before JJ Arcega-Whiteside) or D.K. Metcalf (No. 64, seven picks after Arcega-Whiteside).

Suddenly, this is an entirely different football team.

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Ever Wonder: Why can’t the Eagles wear kelly green?

Ever Wonder: Why can’t the Eagles wear kelly green?

In our latest installment of Ever Wonder, we’re taking a look at one of the most puzzling questions for all Eagles fans: 

Why can’t the Eagles wear kelly green? 

It’s not for lack of effort. While the Eagles haven’t worn kelly green as their primary uniform since they switched to midnight green in the mid-90s, owner Jeff Lurie has been on a mission to bring back kelly green jerseys as an alternate. It’s a mission many Eagles fans and even players support. 

So far, no luck. 

The basic reason is an NFL rule that allows just one helmet per player for safety and quality control reasons. It’s an antiquated rule but it’s the main holdup for the Eagles. 

The Eagles’ helmets are midnight green and Lurie doesn’t want midnight green helmets and kelly green jerseys. 

“To make it look really right, you should have matching helmets,” Lurie said once said. 

The Eagles even went as far as to propose a rule change during the 2017 offseason. But they withdrew the proposal before owners could vote on it because of advice from the NFL’s competition committee. It wasn’t going to pass. 

During those owners meetings, competition committee chairman Rich McKay told me he was hopeful that the rule would eventually get changed. 

A possible workaround would be for the Eagles to use decals on their existing helmets like some other teams, but Lurie doesn’t like that idea. For him, it’s kelly green helmet or bust. 

“We want a kelly green helmet to go with the kelly green jerseys,” he said. 

So, for now, the Eagles wait. 

And they’ll have to wait at least one more year. But there’s some hope for the 2021 season. 

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Is Dallas Goedert the Eagles’ most underrated player?

Is Dallas Goedert the Eagles’ most underrated player?

The folks over at ProFootballFocus recently put together a list of the most underrated player on each of the 32 NFL rosters and the choice for the Eagles wasn’t a very surprising one. 

For the Eagles, they listed tight end Dallas Goedert, the former second-round pick who will enter Year 3 of his career in 2020. 

Here’s what PFF said about Goedert: 

When you enter the NFL in the shadow of one of the league’s best tight ends, it’s easy to be somewhat overlooked. That is the case with Goedert, who was immediately thrust into a role as TE2 despite being taken in the second round out of South Dakota State. The Eagles have run a heavy dose of two tight end sets to get both him and Zach Ertz on the field, and it’s pretty clear from those snaps that Goedert is a top-end TE in the NFL.

“Since 2018, Goedert actually ranks fifth among qualifying tight ends in overall grade, ahead of Ertz. A big reason — outside of the obvious mismatch threats he poses as a receiver — is his elite play as a blocker for the position. Goedert’s 81.4 run-blocking grade sits sandwiched between Maxx Williams and George Kittle for second at the position over that same span. He is a complete tight end who would be a high-level primary option on most rosters in the NFL.

All of that is fair. And from a national perspective, I’m sure Goedert is very underrated. I don’t think he’s as underrated in Philadelphia, where Eagles fans get to watch him every weekend. 

In his first two seasons, Goedert has 91 catches for 941 yards and nine touchdowns. He made a big jump from Year 1 to Year 2 and he’s one of the better blocking tight ends in the league. So he’s a really well-rounded tight end. 

And his numbers aren’t that far off from what Zach Ertz did in his first two NFL seasons: 

Ertz: 94 catches, 1,171 yards, 7 touchdowns

Goedert: 91 catches, 941 yards, 9 touchdowns 

Heck, Goedert has been so good that he has some fans wondering if the Eagles should move on from Ertz at some point. 

So maybe from a national perspective, Goedert is underrated. But here in Philly, I don’t think he is. 

The two players I think are underrated locally are Isaac Seumalo and Derek Barnett. Neither guy is a star but both are better players than they get for. 

Seumalo has had two horrendous games in his career and it has really tainted the perception of his play. But aside from those games, he’s been a solid player. He’s still  just 26 and has become a pretty good starting left guard. 

And Barnett hasn’t lived up to his draft status as the 14th pick but he’s been better than you think when he’s on the field. The injuries are a concern, but since Barnett was drafted in 2017 he’s third on the team in sacks (14) behind Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox and second in QB hits (49) behind just Cox. And he is still just 23!

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