In the first draft headed by both Howie Roseman and Joe Douglas, the Eagles picked up eight new players last week — five defensive, three offensive.
The team is well into its offseason schedule, but the first minicamp of any kind doesn't start until May 12, when the rookies get together at the NovaCare Complex for three days by themselves.
The first time vets and rookies will be together is on May 23, the start of the first round of OTAs. The only mandatory portion of the offseason comes on June 13-15.
So … we have some time. Let's answer your questions:
Why the heck would you draft a red shirt with a second round pick when other highly graded cbs were on the board?— Finnegan Playground (@70thBuist) May 4, 2017
Because Sidney Jones has the chance to be a true No. 1 cornerback.
Sure, there's plenty of risk involved. And if there are people who think that risk outweighs the reward, there's not really much to argue about. That's a fair thought. And maybe you'll end up being right.
For me, the potential reward is great enough. Before he went down, Jones was the top cornerback in the draft and had the potential to become a star in the NFL. There is not much fans can do other than trust the Eagles' medical staff, which believes Jones will make a full recovery.
And as far as taking a different corner, that's a valid question. Quincy Wilson, Teez Tabor and Chidobe Awuzie were still on the board. But none of those players has the same potential as Jones. He has a better chance of being truly great — Achilles injury and all — than those other players.
It really shouldn't be much of a surprise the Eagles made this pick. Everything they've talked about this offseason is about building through the draft for the future. So what if that future gets delayed a little bit? Howie Roseman said the team aims to be 13-3, not 10-6. The way teams get there is with great players. Jones has the potential to be one of them and without a second-round pick in 2018, they gambled.
And I'm down with the gamble.
What was Warrick Dunn's role in his first year and how does that compare to how you see Donnel fitting in?— Khiry Ward (@FlyKiri) May 4, 2017
Warrick Dunn is perhaps the best example of a Donnel Pumphrey-sized running back having a lengthy career in the NFL.
Pumphrey and Dunn both measured in at 5-foot-8, 176 pounds at their respective combines, Dunn in 1997 and Pumphrey this year.
The Bucs weren't scared by Dunn's size, drafting him 12th overall. And then they put him to work as a dual threat. Dunn was a Pro Bowler and the Offensive Rookie of the Year in 1997.
In '97, Dunn had 224 carries for 978 yards and four touchdowns. He also caught 39 passes for 462 yards and three more scores. He also returned some punts and kicks.
Pumphrey isn't going to have that same kind of season this year, but look for the Eagles to use him as a dual threat. I'd actually lean toward the team using him more like they have Darren Sproles over the last few years than Dunn early in his career.
But if you're looking for proof that a small running back can have a good career, Dunn's the right name.
Will Shelton Gibson become a starter this year as Carson Wentz's young deep threat?— Charlie Wigginton (@_SirCharles34) May 4, 2017
I don't think Gibson is going to be a starter, but that doesn't mean he won't have a chance to have a big role with the team.
The thing the Eagles desperately needed last year was a deep threat. The Eagles had just 20-plus-yard passing plays in 2016; three teams had fewer. And they had just six 40-yard plays; four teams had fewer. They were the only team in the league that didn't have a receiver average over 12.5 yards per reception (see story).
So they went out and brought in two receivers among the college football leaders in yards per reception in Gibson and Mack Hollins. That's not a coincidence.
Will Gibson earn more reps than Hollins or Torrey Smith? That remains to be seen. But he has a chance and Carson Wentz is the one who will benefit the most.