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February 02, 2017

Eagles Mailbag: Could the Birds try to trade for Brandin Cooks?

Eagles NFL

Yesterday, during our weekly Eagles chat, there were a lot of questions that I couldn't get to in time, so let's do a chat overflow mailbag post.

Question from Tom: I read an article the other day suggesting the Eagles should trade for Brandin Cooks. Thoughts? Comments? Concerns?

Brandin Cooks was one of my favorite prospects in the 2014 NFL Draft, so much so that I had a 30-minute phone interview with him during the pre-draft process, during which he said he can "do it like DeSean Jackson and do it better." (This was a few days after the Eagles cut DeSean, for a time reference).

In his final season at Oregon State, Cooks had 128 catches for 1730 yards and 16 TDs. He led the nation in receiving yards and was second both in receptions and touchdowns. That impressive production has carried over into the NFL. Over the last two seasons, Cooks has 162 catches for 2311 yards and 17 TDs, albeit in a pass-happy offense.

Oh, and hey, he's only 23. He's still younger than a handful of players who will be drafted in April.

So why would the Saints want to trade him? Apparently because of reports that Cooks was unhappy with his role in the offense after a game against the Rams last season in which he wasn't targeted. Show me a receiver who isn't pissed that he didn't get any targets, and I'll show you Nelson Agholor a receiver you don't want.

Should the Eagles have interest in Cooks? Sure, why not? Unfortunately, the Saints would be utterly stupid to consider trading him for anything less than the Eagles' first-round pick, and probably more.

In other words, yes, Cooks is a very good ascending young player that any team should covet, but it's wholly unrealistic to think the Saints would just give him away for peanuts.

Question from Hinkie: Corey Davis declined to compete at the Senior Bowl and now is sitting out the Combine with a minor injury. Isn't that kind of concerning considering the small school thing? Just thinking of the Eagles at 14/15, they really need to hit on that pick so any questions on his ability to play at a higher level are kind of scary to me.

Well, to begin, he is having surgery (minor surgery) on his ankle, so I do wonder if that can really be classified as "a minor injury," as described by ESPN's Adam Schefter:

If Davis is having a splinter removed with tweezers, then I guess that could be viewed as "extremely minor." But I digress.

At the Senior Bowl, I asked Joe Douglas if it's a red flag when players skip the Senior Bowl.

"A lot of scouts will get down on guys that opt not to come," he said. "They think it's a competitive red flag. But at the end of the day, these guys have to make a business decision for themselves. Would I love to see them out here competing? Yes, I would. But I don't knock it. I don't knock guys for not coming down here."

So he doesn't knock it, but it seems he doesn't exactly love it. Davis may not compete at the Combine, but he's not going to avoid getting bombarded with questions as to why he missed both events.

As for the small school aspect, that's not a huge concern for me. If you look at Davis' game logs, he put up very impressive numbers against noteworthy competition. I think the concerns about Carson Wentz's small-school background at North Dakota State were far more valid than Davis' at Western Michigan.

Question from Josh: In your opinion, who is presently the top rated QB in the upcoming draft (not that the Eagles need one)?

Last offseason, I watched (and wrote my opinions on) like 15 different quarterbacks. This year I've watched barely any. In minimal viewing of guys like Mitch Trubisky, DeShone Kizer, Deshaun Watson, Patrick Mahomes, Brad Kaaya, And Nathan Peterman, my favorite quarterback of this class is Watson.

Others disagree. Some have him as the third-rated quarterback, or lower. Some see him falling out of the first round completely. Personally, I'm not so confident in my opinions of them that I'd put up much of a fight.

I will say that this is a good year not to need a quarterback in the draft, although I do wonder if a team like the Redskins (if they ditch Kirk Cousins) or the Giants (Eli understudy) could pull the trigger on a quarterback like Watson in the first round this year.

Question from RFandE: Who are some guys you really like as mid- to late-round picks?

For you, friend, I'll give you 25. In alphabetical order:

  1. Isaac Asiata, OG, Utah
  2. Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Colorado
  3. Adam Bisnowaty, OT, Pittsburgh
  4. Billy Brown, WR, Shepherd
  5. Jeremy Cutrer, CB, Middle Tennessee State
  6. Keionta Davis, DE, Chattanooga
  7. Hunter Dimick, DE, Utah
  8. Corn Elder, CB, Miami
  9. Wayne Gallman, RB, Clemson
  10. Daeshon Hall, DE, Texas A&M
  11. Sean Harlow, OG, Oregon State
  12. Damontae Kazee, CB, San Diego State
  13. Marlon Mack, RB, USF
  14. Erik Magnuson, OT/OG, Michigan
  15. Elijah McGuire, RB, Louisiana Lafayette
  16. Tyler Orlosky, C, West Virginia
  17. Donnel Pumphrey, RB, San Diego State
  18. Michael Roberts, TE, Toledo
  19. Nico Siragusa, OG, San Diego State
  20. Freddie Stevenson, FB, Florida State
  21. Ryan Switzer, WR, North Carolina
  22. Dalvin Tomlinson, DT, Alabama
  23. Chad Wheeler, OT, USC
  24. Marquez White, CB, Florida State
  25. Deatrich Wise, Jr., DE, Arkansas

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