What They’re Saying About the Eagles

More on Sam Bradford's return.

Photo by Jeff Fusco.

Photo by Jeff Fusco.

Here’s what the media are saying about the Eagles this week.

ESPN’s Peter Keating thinks the Eagles and Rams’ trades for Carson Wentz and Jared Goff were a ‘sucker’s bet’.

Quarterbacks are so important in today’s NFL that landing a good one might seem worth any cost. But here’s the list of QBs acquired by teams trading into the top five picks of the NFL draft since 1980, according to ESPN Stats & Information: Jeff George, Kerry Collins, Ryan Leaf, Michael Vick, Mark Sanchez, Robert Griffin III — and now Goff and Wentz. Boost your confidence?

Truth is, winning organizations always give themselves the chance to find an Andy Dalton or a Russell Wilson later on. They take intelligent deep-draft gambles on interesting players, like Keenan Reynolds. And they maintain their ability to build depth. They accomplish all of this by hoarding picks and trading down.
Teams that trade up remind me of an old Saturday Night Live sketch in which a group of guys advertise “Bad Idea Jeans” by hanging around and showing incredibly poor judgment. One says, “Now that I have kids, I feel a lot better having a gun in the house.” Another chimes in, “I don’t know the guy, but I’ve got two kidneys and he needs one, so I figure …”

I haven’t seen Eagles GM Howie Roseman recently, but I think I know what he’s wearing.

Jason La Canfora of CBS.com looks into his ‘crystal ball’ and makes a Sam Bradford-related prediction.

Aw, poor Sam. My thoughts and prayers remain with him and agent Tom Condon during their time of introspection in the face of the indignities perpetrated by the Eagles, which inspired the lamest trade demand in the modern era of professional sports.

I only hope these guys found a yogi, a higher-being — maybe the Dali Lama had some free time? — to help guide them through the abyss they faced for these past few weeks and the horror they had to live through watching the Eagles draft Carson Wentz second overall. I bet the climate control in his mansion was a few degrees off and the finger sandwiches weren’t cut properly either that night….

My crystal ball says: Forget Wentz. Bradford loses his job to Chase Daniel — the new coach’s handpicked backup, by Thanksgiving. If that’s the case, again, godspeed out there on the open market next year.

Phil Sheridan thinks things should settle down now that Bradford’s back in the fold.

Make no mistake: Bradford’s two-week absence from voluntary workouts triggered an angry response from some fans and media. It provided fodder for talk radio and red meat on Twitter and Facebook.

What Bradford’s work stoppage did not do was cause any real disruption to the Eagles’ preparations for the 2016 season.

New coach Doug Pederson is trying to create a winning atmosphere, to be sure. And having everyone present for voluntary workouts is a part of that.

Bradford could have saved himself some grief by simply reporting to work the past couple of weeks. There are fans who could choose to make their disapproval known during the preseason or even the regular season. But if Bradford plays well, he can mute that disapproval.

No one will boo him if he throws a touchdown pass. No one will care about his brief holdout from voluntary workouts is he’s winning. That was always going to be the deal here, and it hasn’t changed. In that sense, Bradford’s holdout hasn’t changed anything.

In draft news, Bucky Brooks gives the Eagles a C+ score for their draft.

» Round 1: (No. 2 overall) Carson Wentz, QB.
» Round 3: (79) Isaac Seumalo, OG.
» Round 5: (153) Wendell Smallwood, RB; (164) Halapoulivaati Vaitai, OT.
» Round 6: (196) Blake Countess, CB.
» Round 7: (233) Jalen Mills, FS; (240) Alex McCalister, DE; (251) Joe Walker, ILB.

We won’t be able to fully assess the Eagles’ draft class until Carson Wentz hits the field, but the blockbuster trade to nab a potential franchise quarterback certainly robbed the team of some ammunition to upgrade the roster in other areas. Thus, we have to take a conservative approach when applying a grade to the Eagles’ draft class. I love Wentz’s potential in Doug Pederson’s offense. He is an athletic dropback passer with A-plus arm talent and exceptional movement skills. If the Eagles are able to stick to their guns and redshirt him for a year or two, he could emerge as the best quarterback in the draft down the road. Isaac Seumalo and Halapoulivaati Vaitai add depth to the offensive line. Each guy will have a chance to grow into a more prominent role down the road. Defensive backs Blake Countess and Jalen Mills are competitive prospects with the potential to crack the rotation as special teams standouts/sub-defenders as rookies. Ultimately, the grade on the Eagles’ draft class will come down to the performance of the quarterback when he eventually steps onto the field. GRADE: C+

Tommy Lawlor thinks that the Eagles focused specifically on the passing game with their 2016 draft class.

Think about the 2015 Eagles. They had 23 TD passes. Opponents had 36. The Eagles had a QB rating of 85.6. Opponents were up at 92.8. Whether we are talking about volume or efficiency, the Eagles did not throw the ball well enough, nor did they defend the pass well enough.

Wentz is obvious.

Think about Seumalo. The Eagles took him over Le’Raven Clark, a player some thought might be a 1st round pick. Clark is an outstanding athlete and good run blocker, but he is highly erratic as a pass blocker. Instead, the Eagles took a G/C who is a good pass blocker. The Eagles also passed on C/G Graham Glasgow. He is a better run blocker than Seumalo, but isn’t as good a pass protector.

The Eagles took RB Wendell Smallwood in the 5th round. They passed on bigger or more physical RBs like Jonathan Williams, Alex Collins, Kelvin Taylor and Darius Jackson. Smallwood caught 68 passes at WVa. He lined up in the slot or as an outside receiver at times. He also showed the ability to be a solid pass blocker. The other backs were good runners, but less proven in the passing game.

Big V was the next pick. He was an OT with good feet. The Eagles took him over Fahn Cooper, a RT from Ole Miss. They passed on Sebastian Tretola, an OG who is a mauling run blocker. Vadal Alexander could play RT or OG and was a terrific run blocker. The Eagles got Vaitai, with his outstanding feet and potential to become a starting LT.

The Eagles added a pair of versatile DBs in Blake Countess and Jalen Mills. Right now both are listed at Safety. The Eagles passed over Jeremy Cash, who was a terrific run defender and big SS. They ignored Tyvis Powell, who had cover skills and good size. The Eagles wanted Safeties with man cover skills.