Weekend Reading: Will Eagles Stay Put In Draft?
In a week dominated by narratives gleaned from the recent owners meetings in Boca Raton, Florida, the Eagles still managed to insinuate themselves in both trade rumors and roster moves alike. Here’s the latest from around the web on a possible move up in the draft, and other Eagles news.
NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks and Daniel Jeremiah think Philadelphia is one of the four best fits for Carson Wentz.
Jeremiah: I know people say, “Why would they go quarterback? They’ve got Sam Bradford back, they went out and signed Chase Daniel.” I don’t know that either one of those are going to be championship-caliber quarterbacks. If you’re Philadelphia, you feel like Carson Wentz can be that guy, plus you’re going to have the opportunity to rest and sit him, let him learn early on in his career, that can be an ideal fit for him to go there under Doug Pederson and learn and play in that system.
Brooks: Remember Doug Pederson served as that mentor for Donovan McNabb when Andy Reid first came over to Philly. He could follow that blueprint and allow Carson Wentz to sit behind Sam Bradford, slowly get his feet wet in the National Football League.
Jimmy Kempksi took a closer look at the Eagles’ recent history (15 years) of moving spots in the draft, up and down.
• Stayed put (9 times): Donovan McNabb, Corey Simon, Freddie Mitchell, Lito Sheppard, Mike Patterson, Brodrick Bunkley, Danny Watkins, Lane Johnson, and Nelson Agholor.
• Traded up (5 times): Jerome McDougle, Shawn Andrews, Jeremy Maclin, Brandon Graham, and Fletcher Cox.
• Traded back (3 times): Kevin Kolb, Trevor Laws, and Marcus Smith.
On the surface, the “trade up” group was by far the best. Cox is a dominant player, Graham has developed into a solid starter, Maclin is a middle-of-the-road “No. 1 receiver,” and Andrews was an absolute force at RG before his career unraveled. The only real bust there was McDougle.
The worst group, simply as listed above, is the “traded back” group, which is comprised of Kolb, Laws, and Smith. Of course, by trading back, the Eagles acquired more picks in those scenarios.
Brandon Lee Gowton of Bleeding Green Nation thinks the risky trade could pay off.
The Eagles already made two expensive investments in the quarterback position this offseason by handing out a lot of money to Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel. Despite this, however, neither player is guaranteed to be a long-term option for the Eagles at the most important position in the game. Trading up and drafting a rookie is risky, but the Eagles might have to be aggressive to get a guy if they really want him.
A big theme this offseason has been about the Eagles going back to the days of the Andy Reid era. One of the biggest reasons Reid was successful is because he drafted Donovan McNabb at No. 2 overall. The Eagles don’t have the same “luxury” of being so high in the NFL Draft order, but they might have enough ammo to trade up and get their next franchise signal caller.
“Unofficial” advisor to the Eagles Ron Jaworski said in a recent interview on the Mike Missanelli show that he would take Wentz or Jared Goff if either were available at No. 8 overall.
“Teams will start jockeying up if they really like (a quarterback). Don’t discount the Eagles moving into this mix either. I got a funny feeling quarterback is on their list. I’m not sure they can push up to get one of these two guys, but they’re going to get a quarterback somewhere in this draft to build for the future.”
“If one of those two guys is (available at pick number eight), I believe they would go in that direction. I think on their board there are going to be quarterbacks rated very high.”
Moving on from quarterback talk, Les Bowen takes a closer look at differences between Chip Kelly and Doug Pederson as pertains to their relationship with Howie Roseman.
Howie Roseman and Doug Pederson talk frequently about personnel, the Eagles coach said Wednesday, which right away would seem to be a move in the right direction, given what former coach Chip Kelly was implying at another table across the room at the NFC coaches breakfast, on the final day of the NFL meetings.
Kelly indicated he was never comfortable working with Roseman and took control of personnel only after Roseman fired personnel exec Tom Gamble, who now works with Kelly in San Francisco. At one point Wednesday, Kelly said he didn’t speak to Roseman after banishing him to the other side of the building, though Kelly later amended that to indicate they had some interaction. Mostly, Ed Marynowitz, the personnel exec Kelly promoted, served as an intermediary, Kelly said. Marynowitz was dismissed along with Kelly.
There is no such intrigue in the current setup, it would seem.
Joe Giglio of NJ.com takes a look at an unintended consequence of Chip’s tenure with the Eagles: its affect on Major League Baseball.
Earlier this month, Toronto Blue Jays star Jose Bautista made headlines (non-Goose Gossage division) when reports surfaced of his future contract demands. At the age of 35, a long-term deal for the slugging outfielder seems risky, until you consider Bautista’s training methods.
In a conversation with Peter Gammons, Bautista revealed that he studied [Chip] Kelly’s ideas to morph into the athlete he now is.
“When I missed time (at 31) with hip problems, I changed everything,” Bautista said. “I studied, I learned about my body, and how to keep it at peak performance levels, and how to maintain it. I study how Chip Kelly prepares his players. I do what he teaches. It has been suggested that when I told the Blue Jays what it would take for me to sign an extension and pass up free agency (next November), it was because I absolutely believe that I will perform at my expected level past the age of 40.”
While some may admire Kelly, others — like Daily News columnist Marcus Hayes — don’t hold him in such high regard.
As Eagles coach from 2013-15 Kelly routinely lied about injuries, lied about in-house meetings, lied about processes and practices.
It is part of who he is.
Even if Kelly had not admitted last year that he was involved in negotiations, your intuition would tell you that it would be implausible that Roseman could effectively negotiate contracts without input from Kelly; absurd that owner Jeffrey Lurie would allow that sort of dysfunction. It would be an impossible situation.
Intuition isn’t necessary.
Kelly’s own words in 2015 serve to undress this latest, ridiculous contention in 2016.
Maybe he should run for president.
In other news, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com posits that Eagles wide receiver Jordan Matthews will most likely have to adjust his role for the upcoming season.
In two seasons, Matthews has established himself as one of the best slot receivers in the league. But Pederson sees an expanded role for him — an outside wide receiver as well.
“I think he can play outside,” Pederson said Wednesday at the NFL owners meetings. “I’m going to look at him outside this spring as we go through the offseason. With his skill set, he can play both.”
Matthews played almost exclusively in the slot last season for Chip Kelly. In fact, 81 of his 85 catches came out of the slot, according to ESPN Stats & Information. But he has the right size — 6-foot-3 — to be effective in Pederson’s West Coast system. Coaches like bigger receivers in the West Coast because, in an offense predicated on quick, short passes, they can break tackles and make yards after the catch.