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April 16, 2021

Mailbag: A Day 3 Eagles draft sleeper at every position

In our Eagles chat on Wednesday, there were a lot of questions that we could not get to in time or other questions we did answer but could use more color. And so, let's do a mailbag post to answer some of the overflow, as well as some commonly asked questions on Twitter and via email.

Question from Hurts SZN: Are there any sleepers/hidden gems at the Eagles' positions of need that you are enamored with or feel like would be great fits with the Eagles? Would love to have some more prospects to research!

I'll list one guy expected to go Day 3 that I like, at every position:

QB Kellen Mond, Texas A&M: He can run, he has a good arm, and he was respected as the leader of his team in college. That's good enough for me as a guy worth developing in Round 3.

RB Kene Nwangwu, Iowa State: He's 6'1, 210, and he ran a 4.31 40 at his pro day. He only carried the ball 143 times at ISU, which means he's a raw prospect, but it also means he's got very little mileage on him. He also returns kicks.

WR Marquez Stevenson, Houston: Small, speedy slot guy with bigtime RAC ability, and return game upside.

TE Kenny Yeboah, Ole Miss: Graduate transfer from Temple who broke out in his final collegiate season at Ole Miss, catching 27 passes for 524 yards (19.4 YPC!), and six TDs in seven games. He played a more traditional tight end role in college. In the pros he'll be more of a "move TE," AKA an F, and could pair nicely with Dallas Goedert.

OL Sedarius Hutcherson, South Carolina: Ultra strong interior lineman who played a bunch of positions at South Carolina, including LG, RG, and LT.

DE Joshua Kaindoh, Florida State: Long, 6'6 athletic edge rusher who was a five-star prospect coming out of high school, but only had eight career sacks, due to scheme changes and injuries. The next Josh Sweat?

DT Kenny Randall, Charleston: He's smallish for a DT (6'2, 302), he's old (25), and he has some red flags (he got dismissed from the team a few years ago), but he was productive in 2019 (seven sacks, two FF), and he has some burst (1.65 in the first 10 of his 40). This is a terrible DT class, but I like him as a UDFA, and the Eagles would make sense for him, since he grew up at the Jersey shore.

LB Buddy Johnson, Texas A&M: A little undersized (6'0, 229), but his production was very good in 2020. He had 85 tackles, four sacks, two FF, three PBU, an INT in 10 games, and he is thought of as a high-character leader.

CB Marco Wilson, Florida: I had Wilson in my Eagles-only mock draft 1.0, and Florida fans went out of their way to tell me they want nothing to do with him, mainly because of this:

"Unsportsmanlike conduct, throwing the LSU player's shoe 20 yards down the field..." lol.

Anyway, there's that, and he gave up some big plays at Florida. But, he also played the "star" position in Florida's defense, which is a CB-S-LB hybrid role, and he ran a 4.34 at Florida's pro day. Jonathan Gannon seemingly did a nice job getting the most out of his defensive backs in Minnesota and Indy. This is the profile of a Day 3 guy worth coaching up.

S Trill Williams, Syracuse: Played outside corner, slot corner, and safety at Syracuse. Running a 4.57 40 means he'll be a safety in the pros, and he has the physicality play there. I like him as a third safety who can fill in at a number of spots, including covering bigger slot receivers. 

Question from fifiafon: Do you think the Eagles would have a better chance to draft well by going CB in the 1st round and WR in the 2nd round, or the other way around? I feel like it's easier to find a good WR in Round 2 than a good CB.

So this has been a common question of late, and while I believe that WR and a CB are clearly the Eagles' two biggest needs, I also don't think they have to land one of each with their first two picks.

If there's a WR and a CB on the board with the Eagles' pick at 12, and they have those two players rated very closely, then perhaps a tie-breaker is that the WR position is stronger on Days 2 and 3 than it is at CB, but if I have one rated higher than the other, I'm just taking the better prospect.

Question from Pete: Am I the only person who thinks the Eagles should make all 11 picks in the draft? My thought process is that we have been weak at drafting talent and Howie could use all of the ammo he can get, because, deep down inside I know he isn't going anywhere for at least 5 years. With 11 picks, Howie has to luck out and walk away with 3 decent players.

In previous years, the roster was strong enough and deep enough that there would be no way in hell that you could fit double-digit draft picks onto the roster. Now? If they show something in training camp, they can fit. So I'm with you, not only on the "more bites at the apple" point, but also because there's actually opportunity for a lot of rookies to make the team.

Question from Catheter Cowboy: Is Isaac Seumalo still considered a potential replacement for Jason Kelce?

I think he is the most likely next starting center for the Eagles, yes.

Question from CS: I think my takeaway from all of this front office dysfunction stuff is that an NFL team's office environment looks a heck of a lot more like any other office in the business world than most fans realize. This is a workplace with politics, egos, ambitions, and jilted feelings. I think we get wrapped up in the stuff that happens on the field and under the bright lights in prime time, but these are folks with a day job and working relationships that can be all over the map from amazing to downright awful. Do you get a better sense of that sort of world being somewhat more under the hood of the organization than the average fan watching a game on the weekend?

I mean, I better have more of a pulse of the work environment than the typical guy/gal flipping the game on at 1 p.m. on Sunday! It's part of my job. But I included this question because I think that your point is a good one. Before I got into this business, I had a variety of sales jobs in traditional office setups. Some companies had strong leadership at the top, which trickled down. Others, not so much! 

It was always really easy to diagnose the strengths and flaws of the folks in leadership positions, at least if you spent enough time around them. I'm sure many of you can relate. I think that's partly why you're seeing multiple reports this offseason of the Eagles' internal dysfunction, which have common themes in them (and also align in many ways with little snippets of info that I've heard along the way).

When business is good, it doesn't really matter if there's some underlying dysfunction. But when it's bad, employees' doubts about leadership become louder. In an everyday work environment, that displeasure is voiced to co-workers at the bar after work. In a professional sports organization, it gets voiced to public, with the media serving as the messenger. 

So there are definitely some similarities, but the dysfunction plays out in a far more public way with a professional sports organization than it does with some other business that the general public doesn't really care about.

Question from comandermolandr: Jimmy, If you could be in Lurie's draft cave and influence him on one draft prospect, either positively or negatively, who would it be and why?

Ha, well I like that you're now calling it "Lurie's draft cave" instead of Howie's. But for me, it probably would have been Justin Fields, who I think that in time, will be a good NFL quarterback (obligatory disclaimer that QB evaluation is very dependent on dissecting personality, etc., and I don't get to do that). 

But it's probably too late on that one. 

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