Should Eagles be interested in a trade for Jalen Ramsey?

Should Eagles be interested in a trade for Jalen Ramsey?

Another good player might become available in a trade, so Howie Roseman and the Eagles’ front office should at least look at the possibility. 

Just like we talked about with Minkah Fitzpatrick last week, the Eagles are never shy about kicking tires when a quality player might be up for grabs. 

That should be no different with Pro Bowl cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who would absolutely help the Eagles. 

We’ve seen the Eagles’ struggles early this season to defend the pass. They’ve given up 680 passing yards in two games, the second-most they’ve ever given up in the first two games of a season. The Eagles have been rotating their outside corners with varied results. Ronald Darby, coming back from a torn ACL in 2018, has struggled early this season. 

Meanwhile, the 24-year-old Ramsey was the fifth-overall pick in 2016 and has been a Pro Bowler in each of the last two years and was an All-Pro in 2017. To put it simply, he’s good. And he’s much better than anyone the Eagles have right now. 

It’s also worth pointing out that the Jaguars lose plenty of leverage because this rocky relationship between Ramsey and the team is so public. That doesn’t help them get the best possible haul, but they should start by looking for a first-round pick. 

Unlike Fitzpatrick, whom the Eagles would have cost-controlled through 2022 with a fifth-year option, Ramsey is in the final year of his four-year rookie contract and is on a fifth-year option in 2020. So Ramsey, presumably, will be looking for a big-time contract soon. That’s not a deal-breaker, but it does make a trade a little more complicated. 

Ramsey certainly has a loud personality and isn’t afraid to speak his mind. That is always part of what the Eagles look at when they inquire about potentially adding a player. But the Eagles have faith in their locker room’s ability to absorb unique personalities. In that now-infamous interview with GQ last year, Ramsey gave his honest (and brutal) assessment of many QBs, but at least he spoke highly of Carson Wentz. 

Since entering the league in 2016, Ramsey has nine interceptions and 45 pass breakups. During that span, Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod are tied for the Eagles’ lead in INTs with six and Jalen Mills leads the Eagles in pass breakups with 30. So Ramsey would immediately help. 

It’s probably a long shot that the Eagles end up getting Ramsey, but based on Roseman’s history with trades, you certainly can’t rule them out. 

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NFL Draft 2020: Some WRs Eagles could target on Day 3

NFL Draft 2020: Some WRs Eagles could target on Day 3

The odds of finding a difference maker at wide receiver on Day 3 aren’t great. 

But it can happen.

And this draft is unique because it’s so deep up top. That’ll push guys who would normally be 1st- rounders into the 2nd round, which will push 2nd rounders until the 3rd and so on. 

So there is a chance of finding good value on Day 3, when the fourth through seventh rounds will be held.

The Eagles haven’t found many functional receivers after the third round, but Jason Avant was a fourth-rounder in 2006, Calvin Williams a 5th-rounder in 1990 and of course Harold Carmichael was a 7th-rounder in 1971 and goes into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this fall.

Brandon Marshall, Antonio Brown, Marques Colston, Pierre Garcon and Julian Edelman were all drafted in the fourth round or later.

And several Hall of Famer wideouts – Steve Largent, Charlie Joiner, Don Maynard and Kutztown’s Andre Reed – were taken in the fourth round or later.

So were Harold Jackson, Drew Hill and John Stallworth.

The Eagles currently have three picks in the fourth round – No. 127, 145 and 146 overall – along with one each in the fifth (168) and sixth (190) rounds.

The odds aren’t great. But the Eagles will have some intriguing options at wide receiver prospects when Day 3 of the draft rolls around.

Here are some of them:

Collin Johnson, Texas

Another prospect whose father was in the NFL. His dad, Johnnie, spent 10 years as a cornerback with the Rams and had 22 interceptions. Collin Johnson has crazy size at 6-6, 220, and good hands but has below-average speed. He may be strictly a jump-ball guy or short-yardage zone guy in the NFL.

Devin Duvernay, Texas

After three lackluster seasons, exploded for 106 catches, nearly 1,400 yards and 9 TDs as a senior. Only 5-11, 200 but terrific hands and speed and physical after the catch. Needs work on route running and his breaks and might take some time to develop but has the tools.

Isaiah Hodgins, Oregon State

Another son of an NFL player - fullback James Hodgins - the younger Hodgins entered the draft after a breakthrough junior year with 86-for-1,171 and 13 TDs. Has very good size at 6-4, 210 and is a technically sound and polished player, just doesn’t have the speed to match. Only six WRs ran slower than Hodgins’ 4.61 at the Combine.

John Hightower, Boise State

The All-American intermediate hurdler certainly has the wheels. Ran 4.43 at the Combine, so speed isn’t an issue. His size and strength are an issue. Hightower doesn’t project as a starting NFL receiver but could be an interesting guy as a returner, third or fourth receiver and gadget guy.

Bryan Edwards, South Carolina

Four-year starter whose production was unspectacular but steady - between 590 and 846 yards all four years. Looks the part at 6-3, 210 but prone to drops and a below average route runner. 

Antonio Gibson, Memphis

After playing two years of JUCO, had only one season as a full-time player at Memphis and caught just 38 passes, although he did average a legit 19.3 yards per catch and added 369 yards on 33 rushing attempts, highest in college football last year with a minimum of 30 carries. Had 12 TDs on just 71 touches. Intriguing long-range prospect who may have only begun scratching the surface of his ability.

Quartney Davis, Texas A&M

Sure-handed but inexperienced and unpolished prospect who turned pro after his junior year despite never having more than 616 yards in a season. Davis's position coach during his 2017 red-shirt freshman year at A&M was current Eagles receivers coach Aaron Moorehead.

Jauan Jennings, Tennessee

Big, strong slot receiver at 6-3, 215 who's able to use savvy and toughness to make some plays but is also one of the slowest receivers to test at the Combine. His 4.72 was second-slowest of the 45 WR prospects in Indy.

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2020 NFL Draft: Breaking down Eagles' roster by round

2020 NFL Draft: Breaking down Eagles' roster by round

The Eagles will enter this month’s draft with eight picks at their disposal. 

They have one pick in each of the following rounds: First, second, third, fifth and sixth. And they have three in the fourth. 

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the current Eagles’ roster and its composition in terms of round. For this exercise, I looked at all 57 players on the roster who are not on reserve/futures contracts. 

Here’s the complete breakdown: 

First round: 6 (10.5 percent) 

Eagles: Derek Barnett, Fletcher Cox, Andre Dillard, Brandon Graham, Lane Johnson, Carson Wentz

Other: n/a

Thoughts: Last year when we did this story, the Eagles had eight former first-round picks on their roster including two from other teams in Malcolm Jenkins and Chris Long. Well, Long retired last May and Jenkins left as a free agent this offseason. The only new addition is Dillard, who replaces Nelson Agholor on the Eagles’ list. 

It’s also worth noting that all six of these players are starters and three of the six have been Pro Bowl players. The best pick of the bunch is Cox, who was taken 12th overall back in 2012. He was just named to the all-decade team for the 2010s and is still in his prime. Johnson has become the best right tackle in football. And Wentz is their franchise QB. The biggest misses in the last decade (Marcus Smith and Danny Watkins) are no longer in the league. 

Second round: 8 (14.0 percent) 

Eagles: JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, DeSean Jackson, Sidney Jones, Miles Sanders

Other: Alshon Jeffery (Bears), Darius Slay (Lions) 

Thoughts: The Eagles have found success in the second round minus a few misses recently. And with Ertz, Goedert, Jackson and Sanders, the Eagles have built their offense on second-round picks. It’s too early to call Arcega-Whiteside a bust but it isn’t looking good. Jones hasn’t panned out according to plan either. 

The Eagles added Slay this offseason after they nearly drafted him back in 2013. Instead, the Eagles drafted Ertz and Slay went to the Lions with the next pick. Seven years later, they’re teammates. 

Third round: 6 (10.5 percent) 

Eagles: Rasul Douglas, Isaac Seumalo 

Other: Brandon Brooks (Texans), Daeshon Hall (Panthers), Javon Hargrave (Steelers), Duke Riley (Falcons) 

Thoughts: Similar to the Ertz-Slay situation in 2013, the Eagles were down to Seumalo and Hargrave in the third round of the 2016 draft. Fast forward four years and they’re teammates in Philadelphia. Could Hargrave follow Brooks in being a former third-round pick who didn’t reach his full potential until his second team? 

While Seumalo hasn’t been great, he’s at least grown into a solid starter. The same can’t be said for Douglas, who has been a spot starter for injured players. Not finding a true starting CB in 2017 when the Eagles drafted Jones and Douglas back-to-back has hurt the franchise. 

Fourth round: 4 (7.0 percent)  

Eagles: Avonte Maddox, Josh Sweat, Shareef Miller

Other: Hassan Ridgeway (Colts) 

Thoughts: The Eagles have three fourth-round picks, which is great, but two of them are comp picks late in the round. And it’s hard to hit consistently in the fourth round. In 2018, the Eagles got Maddox and Sweat, who have both turned into functional players. 

But in 2017, they took Mack Hollins and Donnel Pumphrey — both would be entering the final years of their rookie contracts if they lasted that long. 

Fifth round: 6 (10.5 percent) 

Eagles: Nathan Gerry, Shelton Gibson

Other: Genard Avery (Browns), Jatavis Brown (Chargers), Jake Elliott (Bengals), Malik Jackson (Broncos) 

Thoughts: Gerry has worked out nicely. He got off to a slow start in his career transitioning from safety but is expected to be a starter in 2020. Gibson almost doesn’t count because he’s in his second stint with the Eagles and is probably a longshot to make the 2020 roster. 

As for the “other” guys, Elliott and Jackson definitely figure into the team’s 2020 plans, while Avery and Brown are question marks. Avery came over for a fourth-round pick last year and barely played. Brown had a strong start to his career and the Eagles hope the free agent pickup can get back to playing like that. 

Sixth round: 8 (14.0 percent) 

Eagles: Jason Kelce, Matt Pryor

Other: Robert Davis (Redskins), Marcus Epps (Vikings), Rudy Ford (Cardinals), Will Parks (Broncos), Boston Scott (Saints), Nate Sudfeld (Redskins)  

Thoughts: Kelce is one of the best draft picks in Eagles history. Getting the best center in the NFL in the sixth-round was the saving grace of an otherwise horrendous 2011 draft class. They can’t be expected to duplicate that success. What you hope for in the sixth are competent backups like Matt Pryor — at least the Eagles hope he is. 

Among the others, Parks and Scott figure to have somewhat significant roles in 2020. The Eagles hope Sudfeld won’t have to.  

Seventh round: 2 (3.5 percent) 

Eagles: Jordan Mailata, Jalen Mills

Other: n/a

Thoughts: Since Howie Roseman got back into power in 2016, the Eagles have drafted just four seventh-round picks. The other two were Alex McCalister and Joe Walker in 2016 after they took Mills. Both Mills and Mailata could have significant roles this season and Walker’s time in Philly was short-lived but he played a little in 2017 and is still in the league. That’s a solid hit rate. 

The Eagles don’t have a seventh-rounder this year. If they don’t take one, it’ll be three years in five (under Roseman/Doug Pederson) that they don’t leave the draft with a seventh-round pick. 

Undrafted: 17 (29.8 percent) 

Eagles: T.J. Edwards, Bruce Hector, Nate Herbig, Cameron Johnston, Sua Opeta, Joe Ostman, Anthony Rush, Greg Ward

Other: Deontay Burnett (Titans), Elijah Holyfield (Panthers), Craig James (Vikings), Cre’Von LeBlanc (Bears), Rick Lovato (Bears), Rodney McLeod (Rams), Josh Perkins (Falcons), Nickell Robey-Coleman (Bills), Alex Singleton (Seahawks) 

Thoughts: Some pretty decent players in this list, topped by Rodney McLeod, who has been a starter in the league since 2013, his second NFL season. But there are plenty of contributors on this list from Edwards to Ward to Robey-Coleman, Cre’Von LeBlanc and both specialists. 

This percentage has grown from 26.8 to 29.8 in the last year. 

With the virtual setup of this year’s draft, it’ll be interesting to see how the undrafted free agent process unfolds. The Eagles have been pretty aggressive in trying to sign these guys in recent season because of their lack of draft picks. We’ll find out soon enough if they’ll be as aggressive this year. 

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