Eagles

NFL mock draft 2019: Eagles-only seven-round edition

NFL mock draft 2019: Eagles-only seven-round edition

Now that the Eagles’ season is over, we’re in full draft mode. 

The full draft order isn’t out just yet, so we’ll have to wait to assign numbers to all of these picks, but we’re going to take a stab at an all-Eagles mock draft assuming the Birds will have nine picks including compensatory picks. 

Round 1: Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson 
Wilkins (6-4, 300) is one of three possible first-round defensive linemen from Clemson. He’s not a super dynamic pass-rusher, but has the ability to beat 1-on-1s and create some havoc and can also stuff the run. 

The one thing that stands out about Wilkins is his motor. We know Joe Douglas loves high-motor guys and Wilkins fits that bill. I like his effort. He would make a great complement to Fletcher Cox inside. 

In four years at Clemson, he piled up 16 sacks and 40 1/2 tackles for loss. He had a tackle for loss and a half a sack in the championship game a couple weeks ago. Sure, he had a lot of talent around him, but I’m not going to hold that against him. 

The Eagles are in a state of flux at interior lineman. Cox is the centerpiece of the defense, but the spot next to him was a mess during the 2018 season. Tim Jernigan is under contract, but with a $13 million cap hit, he’ll need to restructure or he won’t be back. Then Haloti Ngata is a free agent and Treyvon Hester might be nothing more than a deep rotational piece. Getting a guy like Wilkins could really be a game-changer next to a game-wrecker like Cox. 

Round 2 (from Ravens): Joe Jackson, DE, Miami 
Jackson (6-5, 258) piled up 22 1/2 sacks in three seasons at Miami, including a team-high 8 1/2 in 2018 as a junior. 

He has good size and seems to have the type of bend the Eagles really liked when they drafted Derek Barnett in the first round a couple years ago. Unlike Barnett, Jackson is probably a little raw but is more athletic. 

Take a look for yourself:

I know this has the Eagles going to the defensive line twice with their top two picks, which might seem strange given that this is a deep draft for defensive linemen. So you might think they can afford to get them later. The problem with that is we’ll probably see a run. I think Jackson would be a first-rounder in a draft that wasn’t so deep. Because of that, I like the value. 

The Eagles definitely need pass-rushers. Brandon Graham is set to be a free agent, Chris Long might retire, Michael Bennett is 33 and Barnett is coming off a season-ending shoulder injury. Time to shore up that position. 

Round 2: Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State  
Just a few years ago, Dillard (6-5, 306) wasn’t a very big high school prospect, but he has grown into a pretty good prospect at Washington State. He started the final 39 games of his college career at left tackle and was a two-time All-Pac 12 lineman. According to Pro Football Focus, he allowed just one sack as a redshirt senior. 

He’s long and seems to move well, staying with pass rushers in pass pro. Check out this game against Wyoming. He didn’t see a ton of prospect Carl Granderson, but when he did, he handled him well. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9OqnedMkk8

The Eagles are in need of offensive tackle help. Jason Peters is about to turn 37 and has struggled to stay healthy and Halapoulivaati Vaitai might not be the answer. And it’s too early to tell what they have in Jordan Mailata. I’d expect them to select a tackle at some point during this draft. 

Round 4: Riley Ridley, WR, Georgia 
There’s not a lot of straight-line speed in this class of receivers outside of the top couple rounds, but I like Ridley (6-2, 200). Maybe he should have stayed for his senior season, but he declared for the draft and now we’ll see where he goes. He’s notably the brother of Falcons’ receiver Calvin Ridley, who just had a great rookie season.

Here’s a closer look at some Ridley highlights:

Ridley’s numbers aren’t eye-popping, but I think that’s more of a product of Georgia’s offense than it is an indictment of Ridley. He caught 43 passes for 559 yards and nine touchdowns as a junior in 2018. 

Round 4 (comp): Mike Edwards, S, Kentucky 
I like both safeties from Kentucky (also Darius West), but Edwards’ versatility is what stands out. Edwards (6-0, 200) just finished his senior season. During his four years at Kentucky, he had 10 interceptions, 21 TFLs and 23 passes defensed. 

Edwards has some ball skills and some cover skills, something that’s important. I also think he could play some nickel in the NFL if the Eagles ever needed it. No, he’s not huge, but he's still a pretty good tackler. 

Even if the Eagles bring back Rodney McLeod at his high cap hit, Corey Graham is still likely to retire and Edwards could fill that third safety spot and could possibly be an eventual replacement as a starter. 

Round 5: Ryquell Armstead, RB, Temple 
The Eagles have brought in a local running back in each of the last three years. Who am I to tell them to stop it? This time, I have them taking Temple’s Armstead, who comes from Millville High School in South Jersey, where he was a track star in addition to being a standout football player. 

Armstead (5-11, 215) is definitely an NFL talent as folks around this area have seen for a while. During his senior season, he carried the ball 210 times for 1,098 yards and 13 touchdowns. He didn’t catch the ball a ton at Temple but has some ability there. 

The Eagles need help at the running back position. Jay Ajayi and Darren Sproles are free agents and Corey Clement is coming off a significant knee injury. Waiting until the fifth round might not be wise, but the Eagles haven’t drafted a RB in the first two rounds since 2009 when they took LeSean McCoy. Maybe it’s time, but if not, a guy like Armstead in a later round would work. 

Round 6: Brett Rypien, QB, Boise State 
No, the Eagles aren’t drafting Wentz’s replacement, but there’s something to the idea of drafting young quarterbacks to develop in the system, especially with Nick Foles on his way out of town and with just Nate Sudfeld left as a backup. 

Rypien (6-2, 202) is the nephew of former NFL QB Mark Rypien, just FYI. Rypien had a really solid four-year career at Boise State. In his senior season, he threw for over 3,700 yards and 30 touchdowns to just seven interceptions. It was his best collegiate season. 

Round 6 (comp): Andy Isabella, WR, Massachusetts  
At 5-10, 190, Isabella projects as a slot guy, but he’s certainly a fun guy to watch. In his senior season, he caught 102 passes (!) for 1,698 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also got a few carries during his time in college as well. 

He’s quick, shifty and a ton of fun to watch. He also has some kick/punt return experience. 

At this point in the sixth round, getting a productive and intriguing college player like Isabella would be worth it. 

Round 6 (comp): Byron Cowart, DE, Maryland 
He was once the top-ranked prospect in the nation in 2015, but his college career definitely didn’t go according to plan. He went to Auburn to JUCO to Maryland and didn’t have a stellar season with the Terps. He had 3 sacks, 5 TFLs and 2 INTs. 

But the talent is there and the Eagles always look for value late in the draft. This could be a prime example. 



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Navy pulls off iconic Philly Special at the Linc

Navy pulls off iconic Philly Special at the Linc

Let's just say, the Navy Midshipmen certainly know how to win over a crowd in Philadelphia.

On Saturday during the 120th Army-Navy game, a familiar play call was seen.

You might have seen it before. There's a statue immortalizing it in front of the Linc. It happened during Super Bowl LII. Anything come to mind?

That's right. The Philly Special.

What an awesome moment in the middle of one of the best days in sports. Check it out:


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A myth dispelled, thoughts on the Carson Sucks crowd and much more in Roob's 10 Random Eagles Observations!

A myth dispelled, thoughts on the Carson Sucks crowd and much more in Roob's 10 Random Eagles Observations!

Another myth dispelled, thoughts on the Carson Sucks crowd, an observation about Duce Staley and lots more in this weekend's edition of Roob's Random Eagles Observations! 

1. Dwayne Haskins may develop into a big-time NFL quarterback. He certainly has the arm. But right now he’s a 22-year-old rookie with 3 TDs and 7 INTs in seven career games and a miserable 61.2 passer rating — worst among current starter QBs. This is a quarterback the Eagles need to dominate. Pressure him. Mix coverages and blitzes. Confuse him. When you get your hands on a ball, make the interception. When you get your hands around him, bring him down. He can’t drive the offense 75 yards down the field in 10 plays, but he's got a legit arm so don’t allow big plays over the top. Don’t give the Redskins a reason to keep fighting like you did the last two weeks against bad teams. The Eagles are 4-1 against rookie quarterbacks under Jim Schwartz, allowing 12 points per game. More of that Sunday. This shouldn’t even be a game by 2:30 p.m. But I'm afraid it will be.

2. Here’s one for the Carson Sucks crowd: Despite missing eight games the last two years and with three games still to go, Wentz already has the 9th-most TD passes in NFL history by a QB in his first four seasons. Three more in the last three games move him up to 6th. He’s also thrown 35 interceptions. Of the 10 QBs currently ahead of him in TD passes over their first four seasons, only Russell Wilson has also thrown fewer than 44  interceptions in his first four years, and only Wilson and Dan Marino have a higher passer rating. Worst QB ever.

3. The Eagles have used 18 cornerbacks since 2016.  Eight of them are no longer in the NFL.

4. I’m always up for a good conspiracy theory. Did you know the first manned moon landing was actually fabricated and the astronauts were actually on a film set in Arizona made to look like the moon? For real! I saw it in Capricorn One! Some conspiracy theories are hilarious, like the one making the rounds this week. Did you know Jordan Howard isn’t really hurt, he’s sitting out to protest not having a long-term contract? I swear, I got that from at least a dozen people this past week. Yeah, that’s a great way to get a new contract! Pretend you’re hurt, lie about a neck injury, miss five games, watch your free agency value plummet and hope that the Eagles just happen to forget to inform other teams that you were healthy all along but just didn’t feel like playing. Makes perfect sense!  

5. MYTH: “Jim Schwartz NEVER ADJUSTS.”
REALITY: Since 2016, the Eagles have allowed the 11th-fewest first-half points in the NFL  [11.0 per game], but they’ve allowed the 4th-fewest second-half points [9.6], behind the Vikings, Patriots and Ravens. Among the top 20 defenses in the league over the last four years, only the Vikings [2.1-point differential] have a larger first-half / second-half point differential than the Eagles [1.4 points]. Overall, the Eagles have allowed the 7th-fewest points in the NFL over the last four years.

6. I count 21 Eagles players who’ve missed a total of 105 games so far this year, a figure that will go up considering how many won’t be playing the next three. Two things: 1) The Eagles have to take an honest look at every facet of their training, conditioning and rehab this offseason and figure out why half the team is always hurt. And 2) It really makes you appreciate guys like Malcolm Jenkins and Jason Kelce, the only Eagles to start and finish all 45 games since opening day 2017. Not far behind are Brandon Graham and Brandon Brooks (44), Fletcher Cox (43) and Zach Ertz (42). Those guys have been there for their team every step of the way — or almost every step — for three years now. They're all-time Eagles.

7. What the heck is going on with Genard Avery? The Eagles spent a 4th-round draft pick to acquire Avery from the Browns in October, and he’s played 20 snaps on defense in five games since. TWENTY SNAPS. He didn’t play a snap on defense in the Giants game. His snaps were supposed to go up as he got acclimated to the defense. Now he’s not even playing. He’s been here seven weeks now, and he can’t even get a single snap on defense? He’s playing a lot on special teams (19 snaps per game), but that’s an awfully expensive special teamer.

8. How bad are the Redskins? They've scored 79 points in six home games. They have eight offensive touchdowns at Fedex Field this year. And five of them were in their first two games. They've scored THREE offensive touchdowns in their last four home games. The Eagles are actually 3rd-BEST in the NFL in road scoring at 29.3 points per game. This REALLY needs to be a blowout.

9. Rasul Douglas is the Eagles’ best cornerback.

10. Think about Duce Staley’s body of work as Eagles running backs coach: 1) Got a 776-yard, 9-TD season out of Ryan Mathews in 2016. 2) Won a Super Bowl with LeGarrette Blount on his last legs and Jay Ajayi coming in halfway through the season. 3) Undrafted rookie Corey Clement, who had 10 catches all year, had a 100-yard receiving game and miracle TD in a Super Bowl. 4) Got over 500 yards and a 4.3 average from undrafted rookie Josh Adams in 2018. 5) Miles Sanders has already broken the franchise record for scrimmage yards by a rookie. 6) Jordan Howard was in the midst of a comeback year with a 4.4 average and 7 TDs before he got hurt. 7) Darren Sproles netted nearly 1,400 scrimmage yards in just 30 games, all after turning 33. 8) Boston Scott comes off the practice squad to pile up 128 scrimmage yards in a critical win over the Giants. 9) Eagles are the No. 12 rushing team in the NFL in four years under Staley even though nobody on the roster has rushed for more than 850 yards TOTAL during that span. 10) All 11 running backs who’ve gotten at least 30 carries under Staley have averaged at least 4.0 yards per carry under Duce. Nine of them have averaged at least 4.3 yards per carry. The Eagles haven’t had a back with 550 yards in consecutive years since Shady, yet the Eagles always seem to run the ball well. The guy’s really good.

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