Eagles

Peter King has Eagles pretty low in his NFL power rankings

Peter King has Eagles pretty low in his NFL power rankings

A few weeks ago when we took a poll of several NFL power rankings, opinions on the 2020 Eagles were really split. 

The highest place they occupied was 5th. 

NBC Sports’ Peter King has them with one of the lowest spots we’ve seen yet, at No. 15. 

Here’s what King wrote about the Eagles: 

What a hard-to-read team. So many “yeah, buts.” The biggest: Eagles were 5-7 last year and needed to win four in a row to ensure a playoff spot—and did . . . but the beat-up offense scored 10, 9 and 9 points against playoff teams in the last eight games. Everything was a struggle last year. But quarterback Carson Wentz had a mostly redemptive season, playing all 17 games after missing the ends of the previous two years with injuries.

Wisely, GM Howie Roseman decided to stock up to help the offense, drafting wideout Jalen Reagor, who needs to be impactful from day one, and quarterback Jalen Hurts, who needs to be impactful in season one. For five years, the Eagles kept hoping Nelson Agholor would be something more than a complementary piece, but he never was. He’s gone, and now Reagor needs to show up from day one.

I’m amazed at the anti-Hurts sentiment out there. Dinosaur thinking, I believe. Baltimore loved Jalen Hurts, for instance. Not saying the Ravens would have taken him, particularly with J.K. Dobbins left on the board, but Baltimore wouldn’t have been afraid to insert him in the offense six or eight plays a game to scare the crap out of the defense. Same with Doug Pederson, who can handle the mental state of Wentz and be sure he knows that all Hurts can do is make Wentz better. With some teams, the backup quarterback is a top-10-important player on the team. When the franchise quarterback has missed 13 games due to injury in the last three years, that makes the backup QB much more important. Oh, and a sentence for the defense: Darius Slay is a heck of a pickup for the secondary, particularly with the non-division slate of quarterbacks on the way—Niners, Steelers, Ravens, Seahawks, Packers, Saints, Cardinals. I say Week 16, Eagles at Cowboys, is the championship game of the NFC East.

This is pretty interesting, King has the Eagles and Cowboys fighting for the division title in Week 16 but the Cowboys are ninth in his power rankings, six spots higher than the Eagles. 

The Eagles are the 8th-ranked NFC team on King’s rankings. 

Here are the 14 spots before the Eagles: 

1. Chiefs 
2. Ravens 
3. Saints 
4. 49ers 
5. Buccaneers 
6. Seahawks 
7. Titans
8. Raiders 
9. Cowboys 
10. Steelers 
11. Vikings 
12. Packers
13. Bills 
14. Colts 

Some interesting placement in here. Obviously, King is buying the Tom Brady Bucs bit time. I’m not sold on that as much. As far as the Eagles, I think they’re a tad too low, but I understand why opinions are so split. 

As for the other two NFC East teams, King has the Giants at 30 and the Redskins at 31. 

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Madden 21 ratings: Jalen Reagor, 2020 rookies receive first-ever overall ratings

Madden 21 ratings: Jalen Reagor, 2020 rookies receive first-ever overall ratings

EA Sports released ratings for the 2020 rookie class's offensive skill players this week, and Eagles fans should be pretty happy with where their guys landed, with only a few gripes.

First-round pick Jalen Reagor is a 73 overall, coming in as the fifth-ranked wideout. He's one point behind Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson, who was selected one spot behind Reagor and who will likely be compared to Reagor for at least the length of their respective rookie contracts.

Second-round pick Jalen Hurts, the selection that had (and maybe still has?) Eagles fans scratching their heads, is a 68 overall. He's Madden's fifth-ranked quarterback in the 2020 class, just two points behind Chargers first round pick Justin Herbert and three points behind Packers first round pick Jordan Love.

Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs III and Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow both lead the way with 76 overall ratings.

Diving a bit deeper, I think Reagor's 79 catch rating is low, as is his 62 strength rating, and Hurts' 65 awareness is a bit rough. But otherwise, things feel about right.

Here's a breakdown of individual skill ratings for Reagor, Hurts, wide receiver John Hightower, and wide receiver Quez Watkins:

Jalen Reagor: 73

Speed: 93
Acceleration: 92
Strength: 62
Agility: 94
Awareness: 67
Catch: 79
Break Tackle: 75
Jump: 94

Jalen Hurts: 68

Speed: 86
Acceleration: 89
Strength: 72
Agility: 88
Awareness: 65
Throw Power: 84
Break Tackle: 75
Jump: 86

John Hightower: 68

Speed: 92
Acceleration: 89
Strength: 49
Agility: 85
Awareness: 65
Catch: 81
Break Tackle: 69
Jump: 90

Quez Watkins: 65

Speed: 94
Acceleration: 90
Strength: 41
Agility: 86
Awareness: 61
Catch: 80
Break Tackle: 74
Jump: 87

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NFL rumors: Everson Griffen seems interested in joining an NFC East contender

NFL rumors: Everson Griffen seems interested in joining an NFC East contender

Veteran pass rusher Everson Griffen had another solid year with the Vikings in 2019, making his fourth career Pro Bowl in his 10th season in Minnesota.

But heading into his second decade in the league, Griffen remains a free agent - and a possible Eagles target as Howie Roseman looks to bolster the pass rush.

And it's starting to sound like the interest goes both ways.

After a weekend of possible Jadeveon Clowney rumblings, Griffen took to Twitter on Sunday evening to tweet for the first time in two weeks. He responded to a tweet comparing himself to Clowney, and linking Griffen to... the Eagles.

Griffen's response was pretty telling:

Hmm.

A guy like Griffen, who's only tweeted 1,200 times in 10 years, chooses his tweets wisely, so this feels like a pretty clear message to GMs across the league, Roseman included.

The Eagles have been linked to Clowney, Griffen, and Yannick Ngakoue all offseason as they try to turn their defense into a unit that can straight up steal some games in 2020.

Jim Schwartz's defense tied for 13th in the league in sacks with 43 in 2019, a step up from 16th in 2018 but techincally a step down in volume from 44 in 2018.

Griffen rattled off 8.0 sacks in 2019, which would've been good for second on the Eagles, and has picked up at least 8.0 sacks in every season during which he's started at least 75% of his team's games.

Griffen, who turns 33 in December, is substantially older than Clowney and Ngakoue, but he's proven for years to be a reliable pass rusher who gets results. Plus, his age could bring the price down considerably, always a perk for Roseman.

It'll be interesting to see how things shake out, but it seems a partnership here would work.

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