Wake-Up Call: What the Eagles’ Draft History Tells Us

Ronnie Stanley. (USA Today Sports)

If the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior, it seems reasonable that we should look to the Eagles’ draft history for guidance. And given that Jeffrey Lurie appears intent on recreating an era gone by at One NovaCare Way, examining the old regime’s tendencies might be particularly helpful in this case.

Doug Pederson and Howie Roseman both grew their NFL chops while working under Andy Reid, who is a firm believer in building football teams from the inside-out. That philosophy showed up time and again in late April.

Let’s take a quick look back at the Eagles’ first-round selections with Reid at the helm: Read more »

Jordan Hicks Healthy And Ready To Lead

Jordan Hicks. (USA Today Sports)

Jordan Hicks. (USA Today Sports)

Jordan Hicks noted that there is a “different vibe” around NovaCare without the presence of DeMeco Ryans.

The veteran linebacker’s play may have fallen off due to age and injury last year but his status as the alpha male in that locker room was undeniable. He was the calming voice amid the chaos on the field, and the one that the young pups — like Hicks — took their cues from.

With Ryans gone, there is a void in the middle of the defense both physically and from a leadership perspective, one that the second-year ‘backer plans to occupy. His mentor has encouraged him to do so. Hicks texted Ryans as soon as he received word of Ryans’ release, and got the following message in return: Read more »

Wake-Up Call: On Steinberg, Lynch And the Eagles

Paxton Lynch. (USA Today Sports Images)

Paxton Lynch. (USA Today Sports Images)

Leigh Steinberg likened it to announcing the results of the Pennsylvania primary while the campaign was still ongoing.

The agent for Paxton Lynch has seen all the draft prognostications, and knows his client has been labeled as the third best quarterback prospect in the class behind Carson Wentz and Jared Goff.

“And I don’t see what it’s based on,” he said during a phone conversation with Birds 24/7, “because certainly it’s not based on team feedback.”

He’s biased, of course. Lynch is his guy, and the QB out of Memphis also just so happens to be the driving force behind Steinberg’s comeback following a bout with alcoholism that led to a serious fall from grace. Prior to that he was on top of his profession. Represented 60 first-round picks and the No. 1 overall selection eight times. The 67-year old Los Angeles native was the inspiration for Tom Cruise’s character in Jerry Maguire. His QB clientele included Steve Young, Troy Aikman, Warren Moon and Drew Bledsoe.

At present, Lynch is the cornerstone of his burgeoning operation.
Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Seven-Round Mock Draft

Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott. (USA Today Sports)

Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott. (USA Today Sports)

Here’s my stab at a seven-round mock draft for the Eagles:

First round (8 overall): Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida.

I was between Hargreaves and Ezekiel Elliott, and I’m not ruling Elliott out. It seems entirely possible to me that the standout Ohio State back will carry the best overall grade of the remaining prospects if he is still available at No. 8. The Eagles are desperate for a playmaker on offense and Elliott could certainly be that. BPA + instant impact = logical and desirable choice.

But in our view, Elliott’s grade will have to be a few notches higher than his competitors for the Eagles to pull the trigger. It’s hard to ignore the short shelf life frequently tied to the spot. And while Howie Roseman made some valid points when discussing the value of elite running backs, there’s no doubt that it’s easier to find production in unconventional places compared to other positions.

The Eagles have long put a higher value on spots like cornerback, defensive end, quarterback (obviously) and tackle. Hargreaves is arguably the best corner talent in the draft and is expected to go off the board right around the time the Eagles are picking.

Corner is still a position of need in our view. Could be that need and circumstance line up in this case. Read more »

Wisniewski Has Eyes On Starting Spot

USA TODAY Sports

USA TODAY Sports

New Eagles offensive lineman Stefen Wisniewski made it clear that the market for his services proved a bit disappointing this offseason.

Last year about 20 teams reached out to express interest, he said, and the Penn State product ended up leaving the Raiders and taking a one-year deal worth $2.5 million with the Jaguars. This year the number of teams originally in play was closer to 10. He chose not to re-up with the Jaguars because “they were kind of low-balling me to be honest” and ultimately chose the Eagles over his hometown Steelers, opting again to go with the one-year contract (terms have not yet been disclosed) in hopes of a better free-agent fate this time next year.

“It’s been tough,” he acknowledged. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Morning Notes

Jack Conklin. (USA Today Sports Images)

Jack Conklin. (USA Today Sports Images)

Have to start with ‘Nova, right? Congrats to Jay Wright and Villanova. One of the great finishes in NCAA history, and it delivers a local team a championship. Beautiful end to a tremendous run for a class team.

And what a shot.

*Lance Zierlein of NFL.com added fuel to the theory that the Eagles are hot after Carson Wentz during an interview with Harry Mayes and Rob Ellis on 97.5 The Fanatic Monday.

“Make no mistake about it, I still think the Eagles first and foremost are trying to find a way to get Carson Wentz. I know Doug Pederson loves him,” he said. Read more »

Eagles To Sign OL Stefen Wisniewski

Stefen Wisniewski. (USA Today Sports)

Stefen Wisniewski. (USA Today Sports)

The Eagles are expected to sign offensive lineman Stefen Wisniewski to a one-year deal, a source confirmed.

Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports was first with the report.

The 27-year-old Wisniewski (6-3, 295) started 77 games over five years for the Raiders and Jaguars — mostly at center. With Jason Kelce slotted into the starting center role for the Eagles, Wisniewski will likely compete for a starting guard spot and at the very least can provide depth at both the guard and center positions.
Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Cosell On QBs

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Photo courtesy of USA Today

If the Eagles don’t come away with one of the top quarterbacks in the first round they’ll go searching later in the draft for developmental prospects that, as Doug Pederson says, “would be good fits at the No. 3” behind Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel.

We called on Greg Cosell of NFL Films to get his take on some of the mid-to-late round QBs. Here’s what he had to say about Ohio State’s Cardale Jones, Stanford’s Kevin HoganDak Prescott of Mississippi State, Jeff Driskel of  Louisiana Tech and NC State’s Jacoby Brissett. (You can check out his thoughts on Christian Hackenberg here.)
Read more »

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