Eagles

Eagles Mailbag: Bennie Logan, top WRs in draft, Jeremy Maclin return?

Eagles Mailbag: Bennie Logan, top WRs in draft, Jeremy Maclin return?

There hasn't been much Eagles talk recently. The last few weeks have been pretty dead. 

That's about to change soon enough. Next week, the football world will take over Indianapolis for the combine and just after that, free agency will begin on March 9. After that, the draft isn't too far away. 

So let's jump into your mailbag questions: 

Yeah, I think there's a real chance Bennie Logan isn't an Eagle next year. Howie Roseman has been pretty consistent in saying he wants Logan to return, but it's fair to wonder about the price. Logan has now proven that he can play in a 4-3 or a 3-4 scheme, so there will be plenty of teams interested. 

If the Eagles lose Logan, their defense will take a big hit. There's not really a way around that. He's a good player and has been an important part of the line. But with a ton of money devoted to the defensive line over the next few years -- even assuming Connor Barwin isn't back -- will the Eagles pay another? I'm not so sure. 

And I agree that Logan was really good against the run last year. But I think his real value is in being great against the run while also being able to generate some pass rush. I think Beau Allen can be a decent run-stuffer, but he's clearly not the same player as Logan. 

I can't give a real answer here. Sorry. While I don't wholeheartedly agree with the best player available notion, the Eagles also can't prioritize one need over the other in this scenario. There will be either 13 or 14 picks before the Eagles are on the board. 

Really, it's going to depend on which players are left. Are Mike Williams and Corey Davis on the board? How about the top corners? There's a lot of them. If the player the Eagles really want at one of those positions is off the board, they could look elsewhere. And it's not automatic they'll take a receiver or a cornerback. What if they opt for an edge rusher? 

But getting back to corner vs. receiver, there are a couple thoughts: 

1. They'll pick a corner because receivers are far from a sure thing. Roseman made it a point to talk about how the 2014 draft changed expectations for rookie receivers. And the Eagles haven't had much luck recently drafting receivers in the first round. And Roseman has also said that while it might make sense to grab a first-round corner in the second round because of depth, there's often a run at positions where a draft is strong. It would be better to just get the best one. 

2. On the flip side of that, maybe they'll pick a receiver with the idea that at least one really good corner will be on the board in the second round. That would maximize value, especially if they get the receiver they want in the first round. 

That's a long way to say: I don't think it'll be about position as much as it will be about the specific player at 14 or 15. 

This is a tough one. I really think the margin separating these two is so close that the combine could flip them for me. But for now, I'm going with Mike Williams. 

Clemson listed him at 6-3, 225 and I think he's going to come close to that at the combine. And he might not have Corey Davis' speed or quick twitch, but he makes up for it. I really want to see how he performs at the combine; I expect it to confirm my belief that he's the top receiver in the draft. Davis will reportedly not run at the combine because of an ankle injury. 

It's possible a team like the Eagles could fall in love with Davis' deep threat ability. That's clearly what they value right now. But ultimately, I think Williams is the top guy. 

I don't think Ryan Mathews will be back next season. He's 29, coming off a serious neck injury and is way too expensive. The Eagles can save $4 million by cutting him. I expect that to happen and for the Eagles to try to find some younger, healthier talent. 

https://twitter.com/TheTomDevlin/status/834051091868291072

Jeremy Maclin, DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy! Let's get the band back together! 

I understand why the Maclin questions are rolling in. An ESPN column recently suggested that the Chiefs could cut the former Eagle. Maclin is familiar with the Eagles' offense and Doug Pederson, which means the move would make some sense. 

But from a football standpoint, Jackson would give the Eagles what they need more than Maclin. Over the last couple years, Maclin has really been utilized in the slot, which happens to be where the Eagles' only decent receiver plays. Sure, Pederson will move around his receivers, but there are probably better fits out there for the Eagles than Maclin. If he does become a free agent, though, it's at least worth inquiring. 

Ranking all of Howie Roseman’s Eagles 2nd-round picks

Ranking all of Howie Roseman’s Eagles 2nd-round picks

As we near the 2020 NFL draft, the Eagles are expected to have 10 selections and a real opportunity to pick up some important young players for the future of the franchise. 

During his time as GM (2010-14, 2016-present), Howie Roseman has had some hits and he’s had some misses. 

Over the next few weeks, we’re going to rank all of his draft picks (excluding the 2015 year when Chip Kelly was in charge) by round. 

We already looked at the first round.

Today, we’ll get to his 10 second-round picks: 

1. Zach Ertz (2013, No. 35) 

It’s hard to believe that Ertz is 29 already and just finished his seventh NFL season. While he’s playing in an era with some other really great tight ends, Ertz is having the type of season that will one day likely warrant a discussion about the Hall of Fame. He’s the only player in Eagles history with five straight seasons with 70+ catches and 800+ yards. And his 525 receptions are the most ever for a tight end through their first seven seasons. 

2. Miles Sanders (2019, No. 53) 

Maybe this is too early but I’m sold on Sanders. I think he’s going to be a star and I think the Eagles nailed this pick. Going by merit, he’s too high here but I’m projecting some. Sanders set an Eagles rookie record for scrimmage yards with 1,327. I expect him to continue to get better too. 

3. Mychal Kendricks (2012, No. 46) 

Kendricks played six seasons with the Eagles and even signed a pretty significant contract with the team. His last game as an Eagle was Super Bowl LII. While the Eagles moved on from him after the Super Bowl and while his play the last couple years wasn’t up to his previous level, Kendricks was a pretty darn good player for several years. In six years with the Eagles he had 3 Ints, 7 FFs and 14.0 sacks. 

4. Dallas Goedert (2018, No. 49) 

If Ertz wasn’t already an Eagle, I have no doubt Goedert would be a clear No. 1 tight end and his stats would be much better. Even with Ertz in front of him, Goedert has caught 91 passes for 941 yards and nine touchdowns in his first two seasons and he’s been a really good blocker. He has allowed the Eagles to utilize 12 personnel and make their offense more diversified. 

5. Jordan Matthews (2014, No. 42) 

He never had a 1,000-yard season but the Vanderbilt product in a three-season span (2014-16) caught 225 passes for 2,673 yards and 19 touchdowns. While he was never a great receiver, it’s hard to argue with those numbers. But his two stints with the Eagles since then haven’t been very productive. 

6. Vinny Curry (2012, No. 59) 

Curry has had a strange career in Philly. For the first few years of his career, he was a pass-rush specialists and was later a run-stuffing first- and second-down player. His best season came in 2014, when he piled up 9.0 sacks. In his second stint in 2019, he actually had 5.0 sacks but is set to be a free agent again. 

7. Nate Allen (2010, No. 37) 

Allen didn’t become the Eagles’ next great safety but he’s better than you remember. In five years with the Eagles he played 74 games (69 starts) and had 10 interceptions and four sacks. 

8. J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (2019, No. 57) 

We have just one year to work off of so maybe JJAW rises quickly. But early returns certainly aren’t good for the receiver out of Stanford. As a rookie, Arcega-Whiteside caught 10 passes for 169 yards and a touchdown. The Eagles could have used more production in 2019. 

9. Sidney Jones (2017, No. 43) 

Jones made some clutch plays late in the 2019 regular season but he clearly hasn’t lived up to his extremely high potential. The Eagles took a gamble when they drafted him coming off an Achilles tear and so far that hasn’t paid off. The Eagles would have loved if Jones could have taken over a starting gig but he’s struggled to stay healthy and when he’s been on the field he hasn’t been the great corner we saw at Washington. I have Jones lower than JJAW simply because he’s had more opportunities. 

10. Jaiquawn Jarrett (2011, No 54) 

Once billed as a hard-hitting safety in the mold of Brian Dawkins, the Temple draft pick lasted just over one season with the Eagles. He played a total of 13 games with the Eagles and started two games. He was released the September after his rookie season. 

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Where did the Eagles’ Super Bowl roster disappear to?

Where did the Eagles’ Super Bowl roster disappear to?

With Nigel Bradham now gone, there are only eight starters left on the Eagles’ roster from their Super Bowl triumph just 24 months ago.

And that number could continue to dwindle, depending on what the Eagles do with Alshon Jeffery, whether Jason Kelce returns for a 10th season and whether Malcolm Jenkins gets a new deal or plays under his current one.

The only other starters from the Super Bowl under contract for 2020 are Zach Ertz, Brandon Brooks and Lane Johnson on offense and Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham on defense.

There are three other guys under contract (or who the Eagles hold exclusive negotiating rights for) who played offense or defense in the Super Bowl: Corey Clement, Isaac Seumalo and Derrick Barnett.

And five others played only on special teams in Super Bowl LI vs. the Patriots: Nate Gerry, Jake Elliott, Rasul Douglas, Rick Lovato and Shelton Gibson.

Of the Eagles’ eight inactives on Super Bowl Sunday, only Sidney Jones remains under contract.

And of the eight players who finished the year on Injured Reserve, only Carson Wentz is still here.

In all, only 17 players remain under contract with the Eagles of the 61 who finished the 2017 season either on the active roster or Injured Reserve.

The Eagles do have exclusive negotiating rights with their own free agents until the legal tampering period begins on March 16.

But as far as players under contract? Some 72 percent of the Super Bowl roster is gone.  

Of those 44 players, 11 are currently free agents, 15 spent 2019 on other teams, 7 formally retired and another 8 haven’t announced their retirement but weren’t on a roster when 2019 ended, two are in the XFL and one is a restricted free agent. 

Interesting to note that the Patriots' figure is similar. They have seven starters remaining under contract -- which doesn't include Tom Brady -- and a total of 16 players left from their 2017 Super Bowl roster.

Here’s a quick look at the 61 Eagles who were with the team on Super Bowl Sunday and where they are now:

Under contract for 2020 [15]: Alshon Jeffery, Zach Ertz, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson, Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Malcolm Jenkins, Isaac Seumalo, Derrick Barnett, Nate Gerry, Jake Elliott, Rasul Douglas, Rick Lovato, Carson Wentz.

With other teams at end of 2019 [15]: Stefen Wisniewski [Chiefs], Nick Foles [Jaguars], Mychal Kendricks [Seahawks], Trey Burton [Bears], Mack Hollins [Dolphins], Patrick Robinson [Falcons], Beau Allen [Buccaneers], Jaylen Watkins [Chargers], Najee Goode [Jaguars], Kenjon Barner [Falcons], Marcus Johnson [Colts], Wendell Smallwood [Redskins], Stephen Means [Falcons], Jordan Hicks [Cards] and Joe Walker [Cards].

Unrestricted free agents [11]: Nelson Agholor, Halapouliivaati Vaitai, Vinny Curry, Tim Jernigan, Ronald Darby, Jalen Mills, Rodney McLeod, Kamu Grugier-Hill, Nigel Bradham, Nate Sudfeld, Jason Peters.

Retired [7]: Torrey Smith, Brent Celek, Corey Graham, Chris Long, Donnie Jones, Darren Sproles, Chris Maragos

Not with a team at end of 2019 [8]: Jay Ajayi, LeGarrette Blount, Chance Warmack, Dannel Ellerbe, Will Beatty, Destiny Vaeao, Caleb Sturgis

Playing in the XFL [2]: Donnel Pumphrey, Elijah Qualls

Restricted free agent [1]: Corey Clement.

Right of first refusal free agent [1]: Shelton Gibson

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