Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links …
That could make the trade market interesting. Teams in the teens might be reluctant to go back very far, if they see a cliff around No. 20. And it could lead to more activity around the bottom of the top 10, too. As we said in the MMQB column, the Patriots have explored going up (presumably for a QB) and the Eagles have too (my belief is it would be for a corner), but others in that range have looked at the idea of making a short move into the top 10 for an offensive lineman. So right there, you can see the scarcity of top-shelf corners (Patrick Surtain II, Jaycee Horn), and the drop off from the top two linemen (Penei Sewell, Rashawn Slater) to the second tier creating a little tension.
It’s been over a month since we’ve heard anything on the Zach Ertz trade front. Some have wondered if the Philadelphia Eagles might just keep their veteran tight end at this point. As it turns out, though, Ertz is still very much a goner. And he will no longer be a member of the Eagles by the conclusion of the 2021 NFL Draft. At least, that’s what Adam Caplan indicated in a recent podcast for Inside The Birds.
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BGN has a piece up on Todd McShay talking about a potential trade down. You can see above that King mentioned that as well. That makes you wonder if the Eagles are putting out real feelers to see about moving back. The price would have to be right, of course. It can’t hurt to ask and see what’s out there. Part of this may also have to do with how the board falls. If there is a surprise player or two that goes before 12, the Eagles might think they could move back a few spots and still get Smith or Horn. As we always say, the draft is a fluid situation. Plans can change in a heartbeat. The Eagles will have a few guys targeted, usually five. There might be one they really like. They have to balance getting that player vs any offer that might come their way.
After the Philadelphia Eagles’ trade back to No. 12, what are the chances a top-four pass-catcher is still available when they are on the clock? Well, they have a better chance than you might think! Sure, they can forget about Florida tight end Kyle Pitts and LSU wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase. But Alabama’s DeVonta Smith or Jaylen Waddle? There’s a 53% and 54% chance they are available at the No. 12 pick, respectively. And get this: There’s an 80% chance at least one of the top four pass-catchers lasts until No. 12. (Again, this is basically just pointing to Waddle or Smith.) That might be surprising, but if five quarterbacks, Pitts, Chase and Oregon tackle Penei Sewell all go in the top 10, then we’re already eight players down with a variety of options to go after that. Northwestern tackle Rashawn Slater, Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II, Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons and South Carolina cornerback Jaycee Horn are all legitimate possibilities to go off the board before No. 12. The Eagles likely need just two of the three picks between Nos. 9 and 11 to come from that group to have at least one of Waddle or Smith slide to them at No. 12.
Round 1, No. 12 overall – Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith . If the Eagles stay at No. 12, I think there are three realistic options to be excited about: Smith, Jaylen Waddle and Patrick Surtain. So if the Eagles’ drought of not drafting Alabama players remains intact Thursday night, something will have gone wrong. Surtain may be the best match of value and need, but I don’t think he’ll be there at No. 12 and any trade-up of significance would be shortsighted. I also think drafting Surtain would turn the Eagles’ attention to wide receiver in Round 2, but the likelihood of a worthwhile outside receiver making it to them at No. 37 is also low. In many ways, Smith is the most interesting evaluation in the draft. He’s an outlier on opposite tentpoles. No one has ever been as productive as he was in the SEC last season, when he caught 117 passes for 1,856 yards and 23 touchdowns. But there is also no real recent precedent for a wide receiver succeeding in the NFL with a 6-foot, 170-pound frame. If there were a defensive lineman worthy of the spot, I could be convinced to bypass Smith, but the strength of this draft does not quite fit the Eagles’ team-building philosophy. If all three of Smith, Waddle and Surtain are off the board, a trade-down would be prudent. But if Smith is there, the Eagles shouldn’t overthink things. Just take the guy.
It’s a very special edition of The Gastroenteritis Blues as, this week, Dan, Emily and Steve welcome Bleeding Green Nation’s Brandon Lee Gowton to the show. BLG — also a former Liberty Baller — shares his feelings on the Sixers’ recent swoon. The panel discusses its current level of concern for the Sixers’ pursuit of the 1 seed, what to make of the team’s recent rash of injuries, and predict the four games ahead this week.
During the course of Thursday’s NFL Draft, two players from the Philadelphia area may be selected in the first round, Archbishop Wood’s Kyle Pitts, definitely, and possibly Neumann-Goretti’s Christian Barmore. Three NFL head coaches, the Buffalo Bills’ Sean McDermott, New York Giants’ Joe Judge and Cleveland Browns’ Kevin Stefanski, the 2020 NFL Coach of the Year, will be determining the future of their franchises. They’re all from the area. Traditionally, when talk about Pennsylvania football was broached, it always involved the western side of the state. The Philadelphia area had always been considered “the basketball side,” producing all-time greats like Wilt Chamberlain and Kobe Bryant. Over the last decade, however, there has been a seismic shift in football in the Philadelphia area.
Every year, more teams seemingly want to trade down than trade up. This year, a major trade up could make it harder for others to do the same. Peter King’s Football Morning in America column raises the question of whether San Francisco’s major trade from No. 12 to No. 3 will have a chilling effect on other trades in the top 10. “The 49ers ruined the market by trading two ones to move nine spots,” an unnamed General Manager told King.
The Minnesota receiver has been through a lot in his 21 years. But his twin pillars of family and football have helped propel him to the precipice of achieving a lifelong dream: playing in the NFL.
Time in the National Football League can fly rather quickly, a lesson that we have all learned after watching many of our favorite players come and go. Over the course of the last few years we have had to watch a number of Cowboys greats move on for different reasons: DeMarcus Ware, Tony Romo, Jason Witten, Dez Bryant, Dan Bailey, Travis Frederick, Jason Witten (again). It is never an easy thing. Monday brought with it the news that America’s Team is seeing another all-time great hang ‘em up. ESPN’s Todd Archer was the first to report that linebacker Sean Lee is retiring after 11 seasons in the NFL.
If there were no medical questions about Caleb Farley, the former Virginia Tech star would be in the mix to be the first cornerback off the board Thursday night, potentially in the top 10. But Farley has been dealing with a back injury for more than two years, leading to two surgeries since he played his last game in 2019 and leaving his draft stock as one of the biggest question marks among teams as he heads to the green room in Cleveland for the 2021 NFL Draft.
Smith’s precision route running would fit well in an offensive scheme built around quick-strike West Coast principles, where Smith would be able to win quickly without having to rely on his average long speed in vertical routes. Likewise, his nuanced, intelligent route running would benefit an offense which uses route concepts to create separation and beat coverages with scheme rather than individual athleticism. Smith is capable of making explosive plays when put in position to do so, but his physical limitations could make him a more scheme-dependant player at the NFL level.
DeVonta Smith is the best, most complete wide receiver prospect the NFL has seen since A.J. Green or Larry Fitzgerald. Every conceivable metric shows him being a decade-plus franchise cornerstone at the position, and yet as we approach the draft it’s looking like he will be the third receiver off the board, fourth if you consider Kyle Pitts a receiver. Smith falling on draft day seems ridiculous, but it’s appearing more likely it’s going to happen. That says less about Smith as a player, and more about how the NFL is changing in front out of eyes. The most incredible thing about Devonta Smith is his route running. We’ve seen polished receivers enter the league before, but nobody with the crispness, and raw talent of Smith when it comes to the nuances of playing wide receiver. We’re talking about a player who has skills similar to those of Fitzgerald or Marvin Harrison entering the league. This issue is that this kind of player has been devalued in the modern NFL.
In today’s episode, Julio Jones and Jimmy Garoppolo are now on the block, Baker Mayfield predicts big things for OBJ in 2022, and one NFL player takes a massive risk on BitCoin.
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