Eagles

Predicting Eagles' 53-man roster after addition of Josh McCown

Predicting Eagles' 53-man roster after addition of Josh McCown

I was ready to drop my latest 53-man roster prediction and then the Eagles signed Josh McCown.

And I don’t think they lured a 40-year-old out of retirement to cut him, so I had to rework some stuff.

Anyway, here’s my latest 53-man roster projection after two preseason games.

QB (3): Carson Wentz, Josh McCown, Nate Sudfeld

The signing of McCown means the end for Cody Kessler in Philly. It’s a shame for him that he got a concussion so early in Thursday’s game. Perhaps if he played well this preseason, the Eagles don’t sign McCown. But now that they did, Kessler’s gone. And this also changed my view on Clayton Thorson. If I had to guess now, I think the Eagles take a chance and try to sneak the rookie fifth-rounder through to their practice squad. If he plays extremely well in the last two preseason games, maybe they have to keep him on the active roster and roll with four, but I’m not ready to burn that roster spot yet.

TE (3): Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, Josh Perkins

Richard Rodgers would be the third tight end, but he hasn’t been healthy. Rodgers has a foot injury and the Eagles called him day to day back on Aug. 3 and he hasn’t practiced since. We’re getting close to the season and Perkins is younger and having a good camp. I’m giving him the edge right now.

WR (5): Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, Nelson Agholor, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Mack Hollins

Fans might be over Hollins, but his ability as a special teamer keeps him around. The Eagles aren’t ready to give up on him. The biggest question for me was to keep five or six. I wanted six, but with injuries on defense, I’m giving that side of the ball an extra player. Sorry, Greg Ward and Marken Michel.

RB (4): Jordan Howard, Miles Sanders, Darren Sproles, Corey Clement

I guess there’s a possibility the Eagles could keep five, but it doesn’t seem worth it to me. That means Wendell Smallwood, Boston Scott and Josh Adams are cuts. Smallwood will latch on somewhere else and either Scott or Adams (maybe both) will be back on the practice squad. As long as Clement is healthy — and he appears to be — I’m going with four here.

OL (9): Jason Peters, Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson, Andre Dillard, Jordan Mailata, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Stefen Wisniewski

I was very close to leaving Wiz off the list and that could still happen. His inability to snap the football has effectively made him a backup at left guard only. So I’m not ready to lock in his spot. For now, I have Matt Pryor off the team after five penalties in two preseason games. I know the Eagles kept him on the roster all of last season, but I think they’d be able to sneak him to the practice squad in Year 2 to keep developing him. It’s sort of what they did with Dillon Gordon a few years ago.

DE (6): Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Vinny Curry, Josh Sweat, Daeshon Hall, Shareef Miller

Miller is a candidate for a *wink, wink* injury, but he’s looked good in the preseason. I’ll admit six DEs is probably one too many, but Hall deserves to make the team and Sweat has looked better in practice than he has in games.

DT (5): Fletcher Cox, Malik Jackson, Tim Jernigan, Treyvon Hester, Hassan Ridgeway

Ridgeway has a concussion, so we need to monitor that. But if he’s healthy, he should be on the team. Perhaps the Eagles keep just four defensive tackles, but for now, I’m not cutting at a position of depth. And Hester deserves to make the roster.

LB (5): Nigel Bradham, Kamu Grugier-Hill, Zach Brown, Nathan Gerry, L.J. Fort

T.J. Edwards might not make the initial 53, but he will land on the practice squad and should stay ready. I think if he doesn’t make the team, he’ll be one of the last cuts.

CB (6): Ronald Darby, Rasul Douglas, Avonte Maddox, Sidney Jones, Cre’Von LeBlanc, Orlando Scandrick

The Eagles might put LeBlanc on IR, but in order for him to return from IR this season, he needs to be on the initial 53-man roster. Maybe the Eagles play the game with Scandrick where they cut him and bring him back a week later to avoid guaranteeing his salary, but going into Week 1 with four healthy corners scares me too much.

I think Jalen Mills (foot) will start the season on PUP.

S (4): Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, Johnathan Cyprien, Andrew Sendejo

Blake Countess is gone and Tre Sullivan hasn’t done enough to make this roster. This is a very veteran group of safeties, but Sendejo has played well and Cyprien has done enough to make the team.

ST (3): Jake Elliott, Rick Lovato, Cameron Johnston

Go ahead and write these guys in permanent marker.

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NFL mock draft 2020 roundup 2.0: Some new names linked to Eagles

NFL mock draft 2020 roundup 2.0: Some new names linked to Eagles

As the football world takes over Mobile, Alabama, this week for Senior Bowl, we’re now in full mock draft season. 

We still have months before the 2020 draft but that hasn’t stopped the internet from doing what it does best: mock drafts! 

Here’s the latest roundup of possibilities for the Eagles with the 21st pick in April: 

NBC Sports Washington, Tyler Roman

Xavier McKinney, CB, Alabama

What they said: It’s no secret that the Eagles had one of the worst secondaries in the league this year, so it would make sense to rectify it this off-season. McKinney is a versatile chess piece for a team that really needs talent on the backend. McKinney can cover the slot and hold his own against the run, he’s the prototypical safety prospect for today’s NFL.

CBS Sports, Ryan Wilson

Xavier McKinney, CB, Alabama 

What they said: 32-year-old safety Malcolm Jenkins would like a new deal and Rodney McLoud could be headed for free agency. The Eagles would love to upgrade the cornerback position but three of the top CBs are already off the board. McKinney is a top-flight safety, and could possibly emerge as the top safety in the class by draft night.

My take on McKinney: The Eagles definitely need help at the cornerback position. Their two starters from 2019 (Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills) are both set to become free agents in March and it’s not exactly like the Eagles have a bunch of talent waiting in the wings. But they might need safeties too. Malcolm Jenkins said he won’t play on his current contract and Rodney McLeod is going to be a free agent. 

I listed McKinney as a cornerback because both Wilson and Roman did, but he’s really more of a versatile safety who can play everywhere. McKinney is an impressive athlete and the Eagles could plug and play him at a few different spots. In some ways, it’s hard not to see similarities to former Alabama DB Minkah Fitzpatrick because of the versatility. And we’ve seen how Jim Schwartz has been able to use Malcolm Jenkins over the last few years. I think this would be a solid pick. 

San Diego Union-Tribune, Eddie Brown

Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

What they said: The Eagles wide receiver corps is in shambles. The inconsistent Nelson Agholor faces free agency while DeSean Jackson isn’t getting any younger (or healthier). Higgins is a big-play machine with elite size (6-foot-4, 200 pounds) and speed. He has an “above the rim” mentality as a former basketball player and would be a steal this low in the first round. 

SB Nation, Dan Kadar

Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

What they said: Higgins may have only had three receptions in Monday night’s national title game, but he still profiles as a No. 1 receiver option in the NFL. As the season wore on, it was obvious that the Eagles need weapons on offense. A receiver like Higgins should be the first of a few added in this draft.

My take on Higgins: He’s been the most popular name mocked to the Eagles in the early mock draft season. It’s obvious the Eagles need receiver help and there are plenty in this draft, especially in the first round. We’ll probably see at least a half dozen receivers go in the first round and Higgins is likely going to be one of them. 

Higgins is big and fast. He really does have a good size/speed combo and there’s a lot to like about him. He’s coming off a great junior season when he had 59 catches for 1,167 yards (19.8) and 13 touchdowns. That’s great production, which used to really matter for the Eagles when Joe Douglas was here. But at his year-end press conference, Howie Roseman noted that production doesn’t always translate and there were successful rookie receivers who weren’t as productive in college. That doesn’t mean production at the college level is a bad thing, but it’s maybe not as important for the Eagles this time around. 

USA Today, Luke Easterling

Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU 

My take on Fulton: There were no explanations in this mock draft but we don’t need an explanation of why the Eagles need cornerbacks. They desperately need help at that position. And Fulton is a really good one. He has the potential to be a great man corner in the NFL and he’s coming from a school that has produced a ton of great DBs. He had just two interceptions in his time at LSU, which is noteworthy because he doesn’t appear to be a ballhawk. But he can cover. And the Eagles need guys who can cover. 

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Another candidate for Eagles' offensive coordinator job says nope

Another candidate for Eagles' offensive coordinator job says nope

USC offensive coordinator Graham Harrell, who the Eagles had targeted as a candidate for their offensive coordinator vacancy, is staying at USC, according to Bruce Feldman, who covers college football for The Athletic.

The 34-year-old Harrell emerged last week as a candidate, and with his connections to Mike Leach and his Air Raid Offense it made a lot of sense. Leach isn’t technically part of the Andy Reid coaching tree, but he is a student of Reid’s offense, and when he was between the Texas Tech and Washington State jobs he was a guest of Reid, Peterson and Marty Mornhinweg at training camp at Lehigh.

Harrell played for Leach at Texas Tech and coached under him at Washington State. This past year, in his first year as offensive coordinator at USC, the Trojans averaged 32.5 points per game, 35th-best in the FBS, and 454 yards per game, 20th- best.

The Eagles are in the market for an offensive coordinator after firing Mike Groh, who held the position the last two years. It’s been 11 days since the Eagles fired Groh.

Previously, the Eagles had reported interest in Ravens quarterbacks coach James Urban, who coached under Reid with the Eagles, but Ravens coach John Harbaugh told reporters on Saturday that Urban would be staying with the Ravens.

The Eagles reportedly are interested in Chiefs quarterbacks coach Mike Kafka, who Reid drafted in 2011. But there’s a chance Reid could block the Eagles from interviewing Kafka if they do formally request permission to interview him.

Does anybody want this job? Why are candidates turning down the Eagles’ advances? 

Head coach Doug Pederson calls the plays here, and working as an offensive coordinator under an offensive coach who calls the plays isn’t always the most desirable job.

Several other candidates who might have made sense have taken other jobs, like Pat Shurmur in Denver, Joe Brady in Carolina and Bill Lazor and John DiFilippo with the Bears

Jim Caldwell, the former Lions head coach who's now quarterbacks coach with the Dolphins, would make a lot of sense. Mike Shula, who was Shurmur's offensive coordinator the last two years with the Giants, is still available, as is former Redskins coach Jay Gruden. 

Internal candidates such as Duce Staley and Press Taylor are already in the building. 

Of the 10 teams in the market for offensive coordinators this offseason, only the Vikings, Jaguars and Eagles have yet to name one. The Jaguars were reportedly interviewing Gruden on Monday.

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