Ten random Eagles thoughts that floated through my transom following the 83rd consecutive draft in which the Eagles didn't have the 38th pick overall.
1. I can’t sit here and honestly tell you Dallas Goedert will be a star or Avonte Maddox will be able to hold down the slot or Josh Sweat was truly a steal in the fourth round. Nobody can. And if they try, don’t listen. They’re lying. Nobody knows. What I can safely say is, the Eagles’ approach to the 2018 draft was spot-on. The Eagles built with an eye on 2019 because they believe they already have a Super Bowl roster in 2018. In 2019, with major impending cap issues, they’ll need a bunch of young kids contributing on rookie contracts because they won’t be able to afford much else without gutting the roster. As of now, thanks in part to their trade out of the first round, they have around 10 draft picks in 2019, including a 1, two 2’s, a 3 and probably two 4’s, depending on compensatory picks. That’s a haul. That’s the future. Those picks will be the lifeblood of the next generation of Eagles.
2. I think the Eagles really, really, really like Tre Sullivan, and I’d go as far as saying I’d be surprised if he doesn’t make the 53 as the third safety.
3. Will be interesting to see how Doug Pederson and offensive coordinator Mike Groh use newly re-signed Darren Sproles, who will be 35 before training camp starts. Sproles has never shown any signs of slowing down, but the list of running backs who’ve been productive at 35 is very short. Only four backs in NFL history have netted at least 200 rushing yards with a per-carry average of 4.1 or higher at 35 or older — only one in the last 40 years (Marcus Allen in 1995). But if anybody can still electrify fans and terrify defenses in his mid-30s, it’s Sproles. Not to mention he’s still a threat to go the distance every time he fields a punt return. Bringing him back is a tremendous move. Give him half a dozen touches a game, keep him fresh and healthy, and he can still be a difference maker.
4. Hey! It’s time for Nate Sudfeld trivia! Did you know Sudfeld's 82 percent completion percentage is the highest in NFL history by a quarterback with at least 20 career pass attempts? And his 22.0 career yards-per-carry average (1 for 22) is highest in NFL history by a player with at least 20 career pass attempts? Now you do!
5. The last player the Eagles drafted in the first round to rush for 750 yards in a season was Steve Van Buren.
And how about this: Eagles 1983 first-round pick Michael Haddix finished his nine-year career with 543 carries and a long gain of 21 yards. Sudfeld has played in one game and has one career carry and a long gain of 22 yards.
6. If I was a GM, I’m not sure I’d ever draft a running back in the first round. The combination of their short shelf life and the reality that you can find talented running backs late in the draft or after the draft just makes it a really bad gamble. Maybe you'll get Adrian Peterson. But it's 10 times more likely you'll get Beanie Wells.
7. The Eagles have never had two tight ends in the same season with 40 catches. I’d be surprised if they don’t this year.
8. Why draft a cornerback in the fourth round when you already have Sidney Jones, Jalen Mills, Rasul Douglas and Ronald Darby? I stopped asking questions like that in 2002, when the Eagles had Bobby Taylor and Troy Vincent in their prime and drafted Lito Sheppard and Sheldon Brown. Take the most talented players regardless of position and good things will happen over the long-term.
9. Top NFL third-down passer ratings in 2017:
123.7 … Carson Wentz
116.6 … Nick Foles
110.7 … Matt Stafford
107.6 … Jared Goff
101.0 … Josh McCown
Top two spots. Yeah.
10. And finally this, Courtesy of our We Can Make Stats Say Anything Department: The Eagles have to go 10-6 this year for Doug Pederson to have a better regular-season record after three seasons than Rich Kotite.