Eagles

Roob's 10 post-NFL draft observations

Roob's 10 post-NFL draft observations

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.

Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson troll Chip Kelly at autograph signing

Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson troll Chip Kelly at autograph signing

Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson teamed up for 13 touchdowns together during their career, and they teamed up once again to take a shot at their former coach.

On Saturday, Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson held an autograph signing at DTLR in Chester, and there was a very interesting sign posted outside the store.

No Chip Kelly allowed.

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This goes back to Vick and Jackson’s time together on the Eagles when Kelly was at the helm. The saga has been widely documented. In an interview earlier this year, Vick even told a story to Jackson about a time his relationship with his coach brought him to tears.

Jackson’s career has come full circle with his return to the Birds this offseason, but the scars, and the jabs, remain.

If you were wondering, Kelly was pretty busy on Saturday at UCLA’s spring game as he prepares to improve upon a 3-9 season in his first year in charge of the Bruins’ football team.

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Eagles NFL draft options at No. 25: Cody Ford

Eagles NFL draft options at No. 25: Cody Ford

The top interior offensive line prospect in this year’s draft, Cody Ford is an intriguing prospect who hasn’t played very much football, although he did block for two pretty good QBs at Oklahoma in Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield.

Ford is seen as a guard in the NFL, at least to start off, and that’s where he played early in his college career, but he is athletic enough that when injury forced him to move to right tackle this past fall, he earned third-team All-America honors.

Ford, who stands 6-foot-4, 330 pounds, started only 21 games in college, seven at guard. So he’s a raw prospect with a tremendous amount of upside. But with his natural power, athleticism and intelligence there’s no reason he can’t be a productive NFL starter immediately at guard.

Current roster at G: A ton of question marks. Brandon Brooks is one of the NFL’s best but is coming off Achilles surgery and nobody knows when he’ll be ready to play. Stefen Wisniewski, who started 27 games at guard for the Eagles the last three years, is gone. Isaac Seumalo has started 15 games in three years but remains something of a mystery. And there’s really nobody else, although Matt Pryor, a sixth-rounder last year, will get a look in camp.

How he would fit: If the Eagles drafted Ford, he’d be their starting left guard by the end of the day.

Eagles history at G in draft: The Eagles drafted guards in the first round in 1996 and 2004, and both became Pro Bowlers — Jermane Mayberry and Shawn Andrews. Andrews was a two-time first-team All-Pro but for a variety of reasons never really played after his 25th birthday. The only guard the Eagles have taken in the first round since Andrews was a 26-year-old ice hockey player who was more interested in being a fireman than playing football. Seumalo is the only center-guard they’ve taken in the first five rounds of the last seven drafts.

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Other options at 25