NFL mock draft 2019: Eagles-only seven-round version 4.0

NFL mock draft 2019: Eagles-only seven-round version 4.0

Draft season is about to kick it into high gear this week at the combine in Indianapolis. I’m flying there later today. 

So this is the first Eagles-only mock draft since the compensatory picks were announced and it’s the last before we see which players tear up the combine drills. 

Let’s go: 

Round 1 (25): Ed Oliver, DT, Houston 

I know, I know. “Oliver is going to be long gone by then.” And, I think you might be right. But in his mock draft, NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein — whom I really trust — had Oliver going at No. 28. It’s possible the NFL is hesitant to make him a top-10 pick. If Oliver is on the board when the Eagles pick, someone in an Eagles shirt should run a 4.4 getting this pick in. Zierlein has Oliver going so late because he “lacks prototype size,” so we’ll start there. Oliver is 6-foot-2, 290 pounds (that 290 might have been a stretch for part of his time at Houston), which is obviously not ideal for a DT in the NFL. It will probably be a big concern for some teams. 

If you can overlook his lack of weight, Oliver has elite athletic ability and I have a feeling he’s about to go to Indianapolis and crush the on-field drills. His speed, burst and footwork are great. 

Even if Oliver isn’t on the board at 25, if he’s there around 17, 18, the Eagles should seriously think about trading up to get him. 

Defensive tackle is an area of need for the Eagles this offseason. Tim Jernigan has a ridiculous $13 million cap hit, which isn’t going to work. And even if Jernigan is back, can the Eagles count on him? They desperately need to get better play out of the DT position next to Fletcher Cox and Oliver would immediately provide that. He also has the quickness to play on the edge. 

Round 2 (53): Darrell Henderson, RB, Memphis 

The last time the Eagles had the 53rd pick, they drafted LeSean McCoy, so maybe it’s time to find another feature back. And maybe Henderson is that guy. 

While I admittedly like David Montgomery more, I think Henderson is a really intriguing prospect. He’s definitely more explosive. Sure, the Eagles have been burned by small running backs before and Henderson is 5-9, 200, but he has the chance to become a true three-down back in the NFL. 

In his junior season at Memphis, he gained over 1,900 yards on the ground with 22 touchdowns and showed the ability to be a receiver out of the backfield in college too. That’s an important requirement for the Eagles at running back. 

The Eagles haven’t drafted a running back in the first two rounds since Shady back in 2009, but they definitely need to upgrade that position. They’ve had five different leading rushers in their last five seasons and they just need some stability. Henderson could offer them that. 

Round 2 (57): Oshane Ximines, DE, Old Dominion 

In a different year, a pass rusher like Ximines would definitely get into the first round, but like you’ve heard, this is a really deep class of defensive linemen. At the Senior Bowl, he measured in at 6-3, 241 pounds. That’s obviously a little on the light side for a 4-3 end, so he might be viewed as an outside backer in a 3-4. But if he can put on weight, he has the pass rush repertoire to become a good pro. If he gets drafted by the Eagles, he’ll need to beef up and then show he can stop the run. That’s important too.  

In his time at Old Dominion, he picked up 32 1/2 sacks, including 11 1/2 his senior season in 2018. He also had 18 tackles for loss in 2018. 

The Eagles need to get younger at defensive end. Brandon Graham might be leaving as a free agent, while Michael Bennett and Chris Long are well on the wrong side of 30. The Eagles have Derek Barnett and Josh Sweat, whom they’ve drafted over the last couple of years, but it’s time to do it again. 

Round 4 (127): Chuma Edoga, OT, USC

I’ve had the thought that the Eagles could target a tackle in the first two rounds, but if they don’t, Edoga (6-3, 300) might provide a nice option in the fourth round. 

He went to the Senior Bowl last month and had a really good showing. He was named the overall practice player of the week. The Eagles for many years have shown a strong interest in Senior Bowl week.

At USC, Edoga primarily played right tackle but was moved to left tackle for the Senior Bowl week. That was important, for him to show he can play on that side of the line. If the Eagles were to draft him, he might become a left tackle with Lane Johnson already established as a Pro Bowler at RT. 

The Eagles need to start thinking about replacing Jason Peters, even if it doesn’t happen this year. Drafting an OT in the fourth round might mean one more year of Peters and then letting that draft pick and Jordan Mailata battle it out to be his replacement. 

Round 4 (138): Diontae Johnson, WR, Toledo  

At 5-11, 180, Johnson isn’t a huge receiver but he has plenty of speed and separation ability to become a deep threat in the NFL. He averaged 16.6 yards per catch at Toledo and averaged 17.3 yards per catch in 2017 as a sophomore. That was his best college season. He had 74 catches for over 1,200 yards and 13 touchdowns. His production in 2018 dropped. He had just 49 catches for 761 yards and eight touchdowns. That drop in production could actually help NFL teams find value. 

Aside from his ability as a receiver, he also proved to be a really good kick returner and eventually a good punt returner in college. The Eagles could certainly use help there. 

Check out his six-catch, 119-yard, two-touchdown game against Miami from last season: 

Alshon Jeffery will be back in 2018, but then the Eagles face some questions at the receiver position. What will they do with Nelson Agholor? Will they bring back Golden Tate? Will they sign a different veteran? 

Round 5 (163): Evan Worthington, S, Colorado

The 6-2, 210 pound Worthington was once suspended for a year for violating team rules and actually rejoined the team with a different name when he came back (here’s more of his background)

In two years on the field, Worthington played in 21 games and had 10 passes defensed and four interceptions. He’s a little raw because of his lack of experience but is versatile and the Eagles love versatile defensive backs. 

The Eagles brought back Rodney McLeod at a discount, but they need to bring in another young safety and Worthington would make sense. 

Round 6 (197): Terrill Hanks, LB, New Mexico State 

At 6-2, 230, Hanks is small, but he could fit as a linebacker in today’s NFL. He was a productive player for four seasons, going over 100 total tackles in each of his last three college seasons. He also had eight picks in four years to go along with seven forced fumbles and three recoveries. 

Jordan Hicks is set to be a free agent and it’s unclear if the Eagles will bring him back. That means Nigel Bradham and Kamu Grugier-Hill might be the two starters in 2018 and a younger player — Nate Gerry or a draft pick — could be the third. 

Round 6 (208): Jonathan Ledbetter, DE, Georgia 

At 6-4, 277, he wasn’t a premier pass rusher in the SEC. Heck, he had just 4 1/2 sacks in his college career. But he was good against the run and could at least be a serviceable rotational player in the NFL. He had a couple alcohol-related arrests during his college career, but was named a captain for the 2018 season.

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Eagles fan Giovanni Hamilton is keeping everyone smiling with new video series

Eagles fan Giovanni Hamilton is keeping everyone smiling with new video series

If you’re avid on Eagles social media, chances are you’ve come across their biggest Eagles fan. That fan is none other than Giovanni Hamilton. 

Giovanni has been stealing hearts of Eagles fans for quite some time with his reaction videos to the team combined with an abundance of positivity, but he has definitely stepped up his game during the offseason. 

Recently, he started a video series breaking down some of his favorite fun facts that are located within the team media guide given out at the start of the season. He was gifted it and wanted to share his new knowledge with the rest of his followers. 

He has already covered some of his favorite players, but don’t fret. If you missed them, they’re below! 

The first video that kicked off his fun series was about his hero, Carson Wentz. There was too much information to pack into a quick post on Twitter, so he had to upload the whole thing to YouTube. What a way to start things off! 

Jalen Mills has always been a favorite for Giovanni. Ever notice how his hair was green in the past? He was inspired by Mills to dye it so he can match the Eagles’ safety. 

Earlier this week, he decided to focus on Zach Ertz in what was probably his most successful video yet. 

Success meaning the tight end himself saw and shared the video with his own message to Giovanni. 

Next, he completed a fun facts video on Jason Kelce. Not only did we learn Kelce’s love for another sport but his passion for Christmas music as well. 

Kelce, if you’re seeing this — make sure to let Giovanni know what your favorite Christmas song is … it’s safe to say we’re all curious about it now. 

Most recently, he went on to talk about the only Dallas that Philadelphia fans like — that’s right, Dallas, Goedert. 

“He just wants to help make this strange time we’re in better for people and hopes to put a smile on their face,” said Shannon, Giovanni’s mom.

The positivity of this series has been doing just that — adding smiles to every Eagles fan who has come across these wonderful videos. 

If you want to stay up to date with Giovanni’s series, you can follow him here

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2020 NFL mock draft: Eagles secure an elite receiver

Eagles plan at safety in 2020 is even cheaper than we first thought

Eagles plan at safety in 2020 is even cheaper than we first thought

We finally have the details on Rodney McLeod’s two-year contract with the Eagles and it’s much less lucrative than we were first led to believe. 

Initially reported as a $12 million deal, McLeod’s two-year deal is worth just $8.65 million, according to a league source. But it also includes $7.8 million in guaranteed money. So you can count on McLeod being with the Eagles through the 2021 season. 

Now that we have full contract details for McLeod, Jalen Mills and Will Parks, we can see that the Eagles are going to have the entire safety position for a very reasonable price in 2020. Will the experiment work? We’ll find out later this year. 

But it is a cost-effective plan. In 2020, all three combine for a cap hit of $7,134,375 million. To put that into perspective, had the Eagles picked up Malcolm Jenkins’ option (if he were willing to play on it), Jenkins would have counted as a $10.887 million cap hit by himself in 2020. 

(By the way, Jenkins this offseason got a four-year deal with the Saints that might turn into a two-year deal.)

According to Spotrac, the Eagles used over $17 million in cap space at safety in 2019, the second-highest total in the league. They will be much lower on that list in 2020. 

Let’s take a look at each individual Eagles deal: 

Rodney McLeod

The Eagles used one of their favorite tricks with the McLeod deal and it’s one they already used earlier this offseason when they signed Javon Hargrave.

Technically, McLeod’s deal is for five years, but the final three years will void automatically (and are included only) for salary cap purposes. The shortest version of this is that the Eagles can spread out the salary cap hit from his $3 million signing bonus over five years instead of two, saving cap space each season. 

McLeod has base salaries of $1.05 million and $3.75 million over the next two seasons. 

Here are McLeod’s cap hits over the next three seasons: 

2020: $1.65 million 
2021: $5.2 million 
2022: $1.8 million 

Remember, in 2022, he won’t be on the team anymore (at least not with this contract) so that money is just left over dead cap money (prorated salary bonus money) the team wanted to push off its books for the next two seasons. 

So in total, McLeod’s two-year deal is worth $8.65 million with $7.8 million guaranteed. But he also has the chance to earn up to $1.7 million in incentives. 

Jalen Mills 

Mills is back with the Eagles in a new hybrid safety/corner position on a one-year deal worth $4 million, but he has the potential to earn another $1 million in incentives. So this could end up being worth a total of $5 million. 

Mills has a base salary of $2 million and got a signing bonus of $2 million, so both count against the cap this year:

2020: $4 million 

His cap hit in 2020 is the highest of the three safeties, but McLeod has a higher one coming in 2021. 

Mills’ deal guaranteed just $2 million and he got that in the form of his signing bonus. His base salary this season isn’t guaranteed, so the Eagles could theoretically cut him to save $2 million but they didn’t sign him to cut him. 

Will Parks 

The newcomer of the group, Parks signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Eagles. He has a $1M fully guaranteed base salary, a $375K signing bonus and $125K in per-game roster bonuses. 

It’s a little tricker to figure out Parks’ salary cap figure for 2020 so stick with me here. For per-game roster bonus money, the cap figure is calculated based on the amount of games Parks played last season, which was 14. So the full $125K would could toward the cap if he played a full season in 2019 — but because he didn’t, we count just $109,375. This doesn’t mean Parks earns any less money; it’s just for cap purposes. 

So we add the base salary, signing bonus money and per-game roster bonus cap hit for a grand total of … 

2020: $1,484,375

It’s a very team-friendly deal for Parks, who is coming off his rookie contract and has some potential. We know McLeod will be with the Eagles in 2021 and it seems like Mills and Parks will get a chance to earn a contract to join him. 

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