What They’re Saying About the Eagles

What are the Eagles' biggest needs heading into the draft?

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Sam Bradford. (Jeff Fusco)

The draft is only eight days away. Let’s take a trip around the world of internet NFL opinion to see what the national writers are saying about the Eagles.

It doesn’t make sense for the Eagles to trade up and draft a quarterback, David Carr said on NFL Network.

This doesn’t make any sense, unless you’re going to trade one of the quarterbacks that you have in your locker room, because Sam Bradford [and] Chase Daniel are clearly capable. Sam Bradford has experience, he was a first overall pick; Chase Daniel, you paid a lot of money for him to come in.

Sam Bradford’s an accurate quarterback, much like Goff. If Goff is your guy, Sam Bradford has the experience that Goff doesn’t have. He can go out there and run Doug Pederson’s new system. I think he’d do a great job.

And Chase Daniel is a guy that we don’t know a lot about. I think he could be a really good football player; every time he goes in, he plays really well whether he’s down in New Orleans or up in Kansas City. [He] does a very efficient job, can throw the football around. We don’t even know what we have in this guy, so why try and go up and add a third piece to this?

You got to get these guys reps. If you have 10 reps in a team period, what are you going to do? You going to give five to Sam, five to Chase and then the guy you just traded up to the number two spot, you going to give him two reps? A handoff and a hitch and say, ‘Thanks man, good work today’?

ESPN’s Field Yates took a look at six quarterbacks that are entering crucial 2016 seasons. Sam Bradford topped the list.

When news broke that Bradford had agreed to a two-year deal worth up to $40 million to remain in Philadelphia earlier this offseason, it seemed like the Eagles’ quarterback plan centered around the former No. 1 overall pick going forward. It still does, but just how long is the question.

Former Chief Chase Daniel inked a three-year deal with Philly (that can max out at around $36 million if Daniel wins a starting job) in free agency, and the Eagles have been active in courting the top prospects before this month’s draft, in which they own the No. 8 overall pick. A closer look at Bradford’s contract also reveals only $4 million of his $13 million base salary in 2017 is guaranteed. The potential of eating that money in a dead cap hit isn’t ideal for the Eagles, but it’s also not so steep that the team would hesitate to do so if Bradford doesn’t pin down the starting job through his play this season.

The 2016 season will represent his third offense in three seasons, meaning an adjustment period should be expected. Bradford has long been one of the most difficult players to evaluate in the NFL — he has some exceptional natural skills, but durability and playing in a merry-go-round of offenses have impacted his on-field performance.

Conor Orr of NFL.com writes more about Bradford in the context of the Eagles being aggressive for one of the top two quarterbacks in the draft.

After Bradford signed a two-year, $36 million deal on March 1, the Eagles signed former Chiefs backup Chase Daniel to a three-year, $21 million deal a week later. And now that the Eagles are potentially entrenched in conversations to snag one of the top picks in the draft for a quarterback, Bradford must feel a little unwanted, right?

It makes us wonder what kind of loyalty Bradford really might end up having if Philadelphia ends up wanting to make him a franchise quarterback. This is the second season in a row his name has been shuffled in trade speculation and it’s only his second season with the Eagles. It’s his second head coach and a second head of personnel with the team. Perhaps even worse, there’s a new backup who already knows the playbook front to back.

Bradford is saying all the right things because he can. Regardless of what happens, $22 million of his $36 million is guaranteed — and that is the one thing he knows for certain.

Marc Sessler speculates the Eagles would be a likely partner for the Browns if they decided to trade away the 2nd overall pick.

Cleveland still needs a franchise quarterback — that’s been the case since Bill Clinton roamed the White House — but the Browns don’t appear sold on settling for the signal-caller who falls to them.

NFL Media’s Jeff Darlington reported Tuesday that Cleveland’s front office is working the phones ahead of next Thursday’s first round, telling NFL HQ: “I spoke to at least one general manager in the top 10 who has received a call from Browns general manager Sashi Brown about trying to gauge interest on moving into that second-overall pick.”

Darlington said the Browns are “actively shopping” the selection, with the Eagles operating as a potential buyer. Both teams “will be very patient about this situation,” per Darlington, who doesn’t “get the sense that anything is imminent.”

Todd McShay broke down the five biggest needs for each NFL draft team. Here is what he had for the Eagles:
Top needs: CB, RB, OG, OT, 4-3 DE
The Eagles did a good job to move up in the first round while shipping Byron Maxwell’s hefty contract to Miami. But now picking No. 8 overall, I’m not sure there’s a CB who should be taken that high, assuming Jalen Ramsey is off the board. Vernon Hargreaves III is our next-best CB, and he’s our No. 22 player. Running back is a need after the Eagles off-loaded DeMarco Murray’s mega deal on Tennessee. Ezekiel Elliott would fill that hole nicely and take pressure off QB Sam Bradford in the process. Finally, with Jason Peters now 34, finding a developmental OT at some point in this draft is a

SI.com’s Chris Burke also examined each team’s needs in the draft.

Biggest need: Cornerback
Other needs: Offensive tackle, running back, wide receiver
Analysis: Addition by subtraction for the Eagles at cornerback with the trade of high-priced disappointment Byron Maxwell, but the front office is mid-makeover at cornerback. Free-agent addition Ron Brooks barely played last season and his former/current teammate Leodis McKelvin was a Buffalo cut. The other listed spots on offense could be good to excellent if everything goes well. Flip side: Philadelphia has to worry about Jason Peters’s health at left tackle, Ryan Mathews’s workload at RB and the development of all their young wide receivers.
Phil Sheridan of ESPN.com writes that Ronnie Stanley could very well be the safest pick for the Eagles.

New coach Doug Pederson learned his craft from Andy Reid, who considered the offensive and defensive lines the most important building blocks for putting a team together. Pederson said Monday that he is satisfied with the state of the Eagles’ offensive line now, but there’s no doubt the team will consider the top offensive lineman available in the draft.

The key to the whole situation is Jason Peters. The left tackle is 34 years old and coming off a season in which he was plagued by a back injury that caused nerve problems elsewhere in his body.

If Peters is healthy and back to his previous level, the Eagles have their tackles in place. If there are questions about Peters’ health or signs of an overall decline, the Eagles must think about a succession plan. That could mean drafting a left tackle or moving [LaneJohnson and drafting a right tackle. But it’s something the Eagles don’t want to wait too long to address.

Rotoworld’s Patrick Daugherty ranked the NFL’s GMs, putting Howie Roseman in the “new hires” section.

Living well is not the best revenge — it’s re-signing your enemy’s players. At least if you ask Howie Roseman. After winning round two of his power struggle with Chip Kelly, Roseman set about ensuring none of his players could follow him to San Francisco. Lane Johnson, Malcolm Jenkins, Zach Ertz and, most surprisingly, Sam Bradford have all been locked up.

It’s an admission that Kelly did at least a few things right during his three years in Philadelphia, and shrewd work by Roseman. He’s not letting personal animus cloud his personnel judgment. “Personnel judgment” is one area where Roseman has never thrived, so it’s also encouraging he appears set to hire a personnel chief of his own. Roseman is unlikely to ever be one of the league’s better general managers, but perhaps he’ll have a better sense of his own limitations during his second go-round on the job.