What They’re Saying About The Eagles
Here is what the national media are saying about the Eagles this week.
ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. redrafted the 2009 class, moving former Eagles running back and second-round pick LeSean McCoy all the way up to the Kansas City Chiefs at No. 3:
I’m breaking my rules on positional value in having McCoy so high, but whom would you put ahead of him here? He leads the draft class in rushing yards with 6,792, and he’s not exactly washed up, as he hasn’t missed a game in either of the past two seasons, and won’t even turn 27 until July. A 10,000-yard career wouldn’t be a surprise.
He also had former Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin going to the Houston Texans at 15:
Had he not missed the entire 2013 season with a knee injury, Maclin would probably be leading the 2009 draft class in receiving yards, or at least be pretty close. He drops a bit because 2014 was actually his first season with more than 1,000 yards receiving, and because it’s hard to assume he’ll have an uptick in production in Kansas City. But he’ll certainly be the No. 1 threat in that offense.
Mike Sando of ESPN.com ranked his top-ten worst-value free agent signings, placing two new Eagles on the list, including Byron Maxwell:
Maxwell signed a deal with $25 million fully guaranteed at signing even though he has played more than 13 games in a regular season just once since entering the league as a sixth-round pick in 2011. Teammate Richard Sherman has a higher annual average, but his deal carried $12.4 million fully guaranteed (Sherman had time remaining on his deal, whereas Maxwell benefited from a wild cornerback market). How will Maxwell fare in a defense without the cast of playmakers he lined up with in Seattle?
And running back DeMarco Murray:
In Dallas, Murray essentially had one highly productive season running behind arguably the NFL’s best offensive line. He missed 11 games over the previous three seasons. Murray gets a $5 million signing bonus and another $13 million in fully guaranteed salary stretching into the third year of the deal.
Sando also listed the best-value transactions of the offseason and surprisingly added new Eagles QB Sam Bradford:
This move was puzzling to some because [Nick] Foles lit up the stat sheet in 2013, but there were rumblings early last season suggesting the Eagles increasingly preferred Mark Sanchez. Once the Eagles determined Foles was not for them, it made sense to get value for him. Bradford carries a nearly $13 million salary, a negative in the equation, and he could be damaged goods. There’s also a chance Bradford could transform Chip Kelly’s offense. Philadelphia had cap room to burn in the short term. The Eagles now have in Bradford a player who excelled in a spread offense at Oklahoma before becoming the first pick in the 2010 draft.
Jenny Vrentas of MMQB.com held a Q&A with Foles, and he opened up about how he felt during the second half of last season:
It was emotional. When I got injured, we were winning some tough football games. We were atop the NFC East, and we were really fighting down to the wire and winning some late ones in the fourth quarter, and then I went down. You really want to be out there with your teammates helping them win, but you take on a different role. My job was, I want to be the best person that I can be, the best leader I can be from this position. That came from supporting Mark Sanchez any way I could, to being at all the meetings and practices, and doing whatever rehab I could. I would get there early in the morning, before everything, and train, and then work out during practice in the periods the offense wasn’t going. I wanted to get back, and I wanted to get healthy. My goal was to be back before the season ended last year, and to be able to play the last couple games of the season. But it didn’t turn out that way.
You think Sam Bradford is a good theoretical fit for Chip Kelly’s offense? Rivers would light up the NFL if he was placed in Kelly’s system. Despite his unconventional mechanics, Rivers has as quick a release as there is in the NFL and last year was the most accurate quarterback in the NFL with less than 2.5 seconds to work in the NFL (76.6 percent according to Pro Football Focus; he had the 15th-most drop backs in the league). Rivers is one of the most cerebral quarterbacks in the league, an excellent deep-ball passer and fully capable of working with less than the highest-end weapons. Yes it would be weird for someone from Decatur, Alabama to choose Philly after refusing to play in LA. No offense to cheesesteaks.
Brinson also released his first mock draft of 2015 and has the Eagles taking Alabama safety Landon Collins:
Chip Kelly’s reworking his defense this offseason but needs to improve at the safety position. Collins is easily the best guy on the board for them there.
Doug Farrar of SI.com thinks the Eagles could take a chance on Washington CB Marcus Peters with the 20th pick:
The Eagles put some water on their dumpster-fire situation at cornerback when they signed former Seahawks cornerback Byron Maxwell to a big deal, but odds are that the addition of Walter Thurmond won’t have the same impact given Thurmond’s injury history. Peters, who would probably be a top-15 pick if not for the issues that got him booted off the Washington squad in the middle of the 2014 season, is the best cornerback in this class, and he made enough amends with Huskies head coach Chris Peterson to be invited to work out at Washington’s pro day in April. The Eagles would do well to take a flier on Peters if he’s still there at this spot.
Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com believes the Eagles are one of five teams that could be in play for Marcus Mariota on draft night:
Picking 20th overall would require a significant move, but perhaps Bradford interests the Titans, or someone else. Kelly could always convert Bradford into another first-round pick that could then help sweeten the pot to go get Mariota. Despite his statements about not mortgaging the future to get Mariota, Kelly will do whatever he feels he has to do, whenever he wants to do it, and consequences and public opinion be damned. He believes strongly in Mariota and if there is a trade he believes makes sense I don’t see anything stopping him from doing it (certainly not his own home-spun rhetoric from a press conference).
Of course, having potentially all of this competition in the trade market won’t help, and his own high opinion of Kelly might work against him, but I don’t buy for a second he wouldn’t consider flipping Bradford, coming off successive ACL tears, in a deal to get Mariota. Hell, I’m kind of pumped for the prospects of a rare-three team deal in which Kelly ends up with yet another Duck.
Tucker Bagley is a Temple student and a Birds 24/7 intern.