Eagles

NFL mock draft 2019 roundup 9.0: Trading up or trading down?

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NFL mock draft 2019 roundup 9.0: Trading up or trading down?

We’re just about two weeks away from the 2019 NFL draft, which means we’re well into lying and smokescreen season. 

Don’t believe anything you hear from here on out. 

But that never stops mock draft season. Mock draft season has now overtaken spring. 

Let’s peruse some recent mocks and evaluate these possible moves from the Eagles’ perspective:

NFL.com, Charley Casserley

Trade up to 22: Greg Little, OT, Mississippi 

Here’s what they said: “The foundation of the Eagles' recent success has been the strength of their O-line, so adding a quality player here helps now and for the future.”

My take on the move: The former NFL GM doesn’t offer up the details of his proposed trade here, so it’s hard to really evaluate it without knowing what the Eagles gave up to move three spots higher. According to the draft value chart, this move is about 60 points. The Eagles’ first fourth-rounder is worth 45 points. Maybe that alone or maybe that and a sixth or future seventh does the trick. 

I think it’s very possible the Eagles move up in this draft. To me, there’s value in getting into the late teens/early 20s for a player who might drop. I’m not sure it’s going to be for Little. Casserley has him as the fifth offensive lineman off the board. I’m not sure he’s worth the trade up and I’m not sure the Eagles would be willing to give away something to take him. But I do understand Casserley’s thought process to some extent. The Texans are in need of OL help at 23, so if the Eagles really wanted to get Little in this scenario, they would need to trade up. I’m just not buying that they would want him that bad. 

CBS Sports, Ryan Wilson

Juan Thornhill, S, Virginia

Here’s what they said: “Thornhill had a quietly effective 2018 campaign and he used the combine as an exclamation point on the season. He ran a 4.42 40, had a 44-inch vertical, and that, coupled with his game film, could see him sneak into Round 1.”

My take on Thornhill: I really like the player and I think the Eagles will be in play for him in the second round. But the first round is a little too rich for my blood. I think there will be better value on the board at higher priority positions. Wilson has Thornhill as the first safety taken, so if the Eagles really think that highly of him, if they think they’re getting the best player at the position, maybe they take him. But is the drop-off from Thornhill to a safety in the second round that great? 

NFL.com, Charles Davis

Devin Bush, LB, Michigan

Here’s what they said: “LB Jordan Hicks ran the defense well in Philadelphia when he was healthy, but now with his move to Arizona, a new leader is tabbed by the Eagles. Bush can fly around the field to make plays.

My take on Bush: Again, I like the player. Not sure about the value. And in this case, I think Bush is a first round pick and if he’s there at 25, he has fallen further than I originally expected, but you know the deal with linebackers and the Eagles. They just don’t value the position the way some fans (and my coworker Barrett Brooks) value them. Would he be a good fit? Sure. But I still don’t see it happening. 

CBS Sports, Will Brinson

Jeffery Simmons, DL, Mississippi State

Here’s what they said: “Weird spot for the Eagles, who definitely don't NEED help on the defensive line. They're just in a good spot from a roster perspective right now, so why not grab a guy who is a top-10 talent, get a fifth year option on him and don't have to worry about rushing him back to the field. It's like the Sidney Jones plan but for the DL.”

My take on Simmons: This would be a tough sell to a fanbase that has already become prematurely impatient with Sidney Jones to just wait for Simmons to be ready. But there’s some sense to this. Simmons would go much higher if he wasn’t injured, so there’s value. And the Eagles don’t need a starter. But gambling with pick No. 43 is a lot different than gambling with pick No. 25 and the Eagles could use some help with depth at defensive tackle, where they lack depth, in 2019. 

San Diego Union-Tribune, Eddie Brown

Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson 

Here’s what they said: “The Eagles would pounce if Ferrell falls this far. Ferrell was the most productive player on the most talented defensive line in college football last season and would have likely been a first-rounder in the 2018 NFL Draft.” 

My take on Ferrell: Yeah, I think Ferrell will be long gone. He’s a target to trade up if he falls past 15. But if he’s there at 25, yeah, run the damn pick in. 

CBS Sports, R.J. White

Trade out of first round 

Here’s what they said: “Mock trade: Bengals get No. 25 for No. 42, 198, 2020 2nd. The Bengals aren't done on Thursday, packaging a 2020 second-round pick with No. 42 and one of their many sixth-rounders to go up and get (Daniel) Jones, a franchise quarterback with good accuracy who new coach Zac Taylor can develop from Day 1. With quarterbacks on both offense and defense in the fold, the Bengals spend their remaining Day 2 pick on Howard, an athletic tackle who has plenty of upside to develop into a starter.”

My take on the move: I think it’s more likely the Eagles trade up than down this year. But if there’s one reason a team would want to trade up aggressively, it would be for a quarterback. But why are the Bengals jumping in front these teams? The Colts pick at 26. In this mock, the Cardinals pick at 27 after another trade (but they could have had their pick of QBs earlier), the Chargers at 28, the Seahawks at 29, Packers at 30, Rams at 31, Patriots at 32. Not sure why the Bengals would make that aggressive of a move. And this means the Eagles first pick wouldn’t be until 42. There’s a big difference between 25 and 42, but that 2020 second-rounder is enticing. 

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Eagles might play a road game in Mexico City in 2020 NFL season

Eagles might play a road game in Mexico City in 2020 NFL season

The Arizona Cardinals announced Friday that one of their home games in 2020 will take place at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, which means the Eagles might play in Mexico City in 2020.

Fun! (Probably.)

Just two years after playing the Jaguars in London, the Eagles are one of six possible opponents for the Cardinals' game in Mexico. ESPN's Josh Weinfuss is reporting Friday that the Lions and Dolphins will not be the opponent:

This will mark the fifth straight season that the NFL has a game scheduled for Estadio Azteca, and the 13th time a game has been scheduled at Estadio Azteca all-time.

The Eagles actually have a super interesting, and kind of wacky, history with Mexico City games. 

They were scheduled to face the Detroit Lions in an exhibition on Aug. 11, 1968, which would've marked the first football game ever played in Mexico City, but the game was cancelled - without much explanation, according to the Associated Press. Half the stadium's tickets were going for about 40 cents at the time, according to the AP.

Ten years later, the Eagles actually ended up participating in the first NFL game held in Mexico City after all, a 14-7 exhibition loss to the Saints. According to Ron Jaworski, the locker rooms were tiny and the goal posts were crooked, which sounds fun.

All-time, the Eagles are 2-3 in international games, a record that probably doesn't mean much because they've played outside of the country once since 1993 - and that was a win.

Vamos Eagles.

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How Combine might have changed Eagles' WR plans

How Combine might have changed Eagles' WR plans

The 2020 wide receiver draft picture got a lot more interesting Thursday night.

Alabama’s Henry Ruggs did his thing and ran 4.28 when the receivers ran their 40's at the Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. He didn't break John Ross's record of 4.22, but he certainly did nothing to hurt his draft status. 

Neither did his college teammate, Jerry Jeudy, or Oklahoma's CeeDee Lamb. They remain the consensus top three receivers in the draft, and the Eagles, who have the 21st pick in the first round, would likely have to trade up to draft any of them.

But a few receivers helped themselves with their performances in Indy and a few may have hurt their stock as well, and it all could definitely affect the receiver-starved Eagles’ strategy in April.

HELPED THEMSELVES

JUSTIN JEFFERSON, LSU: Joe Burrow’s favorite target ran much faster than expected with a 4.43. We already know he’s productive - he caught a ridiculous 111 passes for 1,540 yards and 18 touchdowns - and he backed that up with a faster 40 time than Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy. How much that helps him remains to be seen, but he definitely helped himself.

CHASE CLAYPOOL, NOTRE DAME: There’s been talk about the 6-4, 240-pound Claypool moving to tight end, but then he went out and ran 4.42, which according to the Next Gen Stats twitter feed makes him the first receiver over 230 pounds to run sub-4.45 since Calvin Johnson in 2007. He also caught the ball well and performed well in the other drills. 

DENZEL MIMS, BAYLOR: Mims opened a lot of eyes with a 4.38 Thursday night to cap an overall excellent performance. Only Ruggs and Southern Mississippi’s Quez Watkins ran faster. Mims was generally considered a second-round talent before the Combine but running 4.38 at 6-3, 210 pounds could push him into the first round. 

HURT THEMSELVES

JALEN REAGOR, TEXAS CHRISTIAN: Reagor, whose father Montae played for the Eagles in 2007, said he planned to run faster than Ruggs: “That’s my plan. He runs after me. I’m going to set the bar for him.”  He also said he expected to run “high 4.2, low 4.3.”  Then he ran 4.47, a full fifth of a second slower than Ruggs. He followed that with a 4.50. How much that hurts him remains to be seen, but it wasn’t what anybody was expecting. 

TEE HIGGINS, CLEMSON: Higgins told reporters at the Combine that he was planning to prove a lot of people wrong with his 40:  “My goal is to hit a 4.4. A lot of guys think I’m gonna run a 4.5 or 4.6, but I’m excited to change people’s minds.” Then without explanation he didn’t run or participate in any drills Thursday night. Not good. 

LAVISKA SHENAULT JR., COLORADO: After a slower-than-expected 4.58 on his first try, Shenault skipped his second 40 and didn’t participate in the other drills, presumably because of the core muscle injury that cost him a couple games during the season. Shenault was considered a late first-round or early second-rounder. He’ll have a chance to bounce back at his pro day, but he didn’t help himself Thursday.

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