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January 15, 2023

Mailbag: The Eagles' top five draft options at pick No. 10

Eagles NFL
110222HowieRoseman Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports

Eagles executive Vice President and general manger Howie Roseman

In our Eagles chat on Tuesday, 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. This is Part II of a two-part mailbag (Part I here).

Question from jurp: Who will the Eagles take at 10?

Whether he maneuvers up or down or trades the pick for a player, we all know that Howie Roseman is going to do something with the Saints' pick other than just sit there and take a player, right? So with that disclaimer out of the way — and another disclaimer that a lot can and will change between now and late April — if they do simply "stick and pick," here are the five names that make sense to me in January. To note, we did this a couple months ago when the Saints pick was sitting at fifth overall, and our list included names like Alabama DE Will Anderson and Georgia DT Jalen Carter. You can forget about those guys now. 

• Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson: Bresee had 51 tackles, 9 sacks, 15 tackles for loss, and 4 batted passes in 25 career games. While his production isn't otherworldly, it is easy to see his explosiveness on the field. He is an excellent run defender, and he has plenty of upside as a pass rusher. In the Eagles' defense, Bresee could play multiple spots along the defensive line, at 3-tech, 1-tech, or DE.

• Myles Murphy, DE, Clemson: At 6'5, 275, Murphy has prototype size, and some power to go along with it. He had 4 sacks as a freshman in 2020, and 8 sacks in 2021, and 6.5 sacks in 2022. Like Bresee above he is also a good run defender. Murphy has some inside-outside versatility, and would make sense as an eventual replacement for Brandon Graham.

Tyree Wilson, DE, Texas Tech: Like Murphy above, Wilson is another traits-based prospect with size (6'6, 275), athleticism, and inside-outside versatility. After collecting 38 tackles, 7 sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss in 2021, Wilson had 61 tackles, 7 sacks, 14 tackles for loss, and a forced fumble in 2022.

• Paris Johnson, OT, Ohio State: Johnson is athletic with great length (35.5" arms), and he excelled at LT for Ohio State in 2022 after playing RG in 2021. Should Isaac Seumalo land with another team next offseason, Johnson is a player who could play at RG in the short term, and eventually take over for Lane Johnson at RT (or for Mailata at LT, with Mailata flipping to the right side) whenever Johnson retires. Johnson said he wants to play maybe two more years after this current season.

One of the long, athletic corners: This draft is going to be loaded with long, athletic corners, so it might not be the best plan to take one with the tenth overall pick, as better values could maybe be had in later rounds. But if the Eagles wanted to secure a top corner prospect early with James Bradberry possibly getting paid by another team this offseason and Darius Slay aging, then Penn State's Joey Porter Jr. (6'2, 198) or Oregon's Christian Gonzalez (6'2, 201) are probably the top two candidates.

Question from Norm Snead: Who are the viable quarterbacks the Eagles could bring in next year other than Gardner Minshew? What is the most the Eagles should pay a backup QB?

I thought there was a decent chance that the Eagles would simply re-sign Minshew, but now knowing how much Jalen Hurts was hurting during the Eagles' win over the Giants Week 18 and playing Hurts anyway, it's very telling what they thought about Minshew and his chances of beating a Giants team that was clearly going to rest its starters. My read is that they'll just move on from Minshew, and he'll be a backup somewhere else in 2023.

Nick Sirianni loves him some Jacoby Brissett: 

Brissett went 4-7 on a bad Browns team in 2022 before giving way to Deshaun Watson, but he played reasonably well. He made $5 million with the Dolphins in 2021 and $4,650,000 with the Browns in 2022. Something in that range would be a reasonable price for the Eagles to pay him in 2023, if they have interest. It's worth noting that Roseman signed another Sirianni fave last offseason in WR Zach Pascal.

Question from MS: Hey Jimmy- not to get too ahead of ourselves but the Eagles could face some pretty good tight ends in the coming weeks (looking at you, George Kittle and Travis Kelce). It seems to me that they really were not challenged in this area in the regular season. Is this a possible Achilles heel? 

On the season, the Eagles fared pretty well against opposing tight ends. They allowed a cumulative 81 receptions for 801 yards and 3 TDs. The 801 yards were 18th most, and only four teams gave up fewer than 3 TDs.

However, I do think it's a valid concern, as Kyzir White had some struggles against tight ends to close the season. The Cowboys' duo of Dalton Schultz and Jake Ferguson made some plays against him, and Juwan Johnson (Saints) was open all day in the middle of the field.

I do think the return of Chauncey Gardner-Johnson will help stop some of the bleeding in the middle of the field in the Eagles' pass defense.

Question from T_Rizzle: Hey Jimmy, would you consider it a disadvantage that the team’s offensive and defensive coordinators will be interviewing for head coaching positions during a playoff run? Seems to me that it can’t be considered anything other than a distraction for them, and probably the team, and I never understood why the NFL doesn’t prohibit teams from contacting other teams’ coaching personnel until the season has concluded. Your thoughts?

I can understand why the league allows coordinators to interview for jobs during the playoffs. If that practice were to be prohibited, those coaches would be punished for doing too good of a job. I do also see your point about the interviews becoming distractions. I don't know that there's an easy solution.

It should be noted though that the interviews for Shane Steichen and Jonathan Gannon were conducted during the Eagles' bye week. They can now shift their focus to whoever the Eagles will match up against in the divisional round. 

The NFL's head coaching interview rules are summarized here. The Eagles might actually have an advantage if their divisional round opponent has assistants interviewing for jobs during a normal week of preparation.

Question from LostInChiTown: Lots of Twitter/fan talk about bringing in Frank Reich if Steichen leaves (or in general as an assistant). Is there ever concern about whether a mentor/previous HC can work under their protégé?

It's probably a case-by-case thing. Could I ever see Bill Belichick working under Josh McDaniels? God no.

Reich isn't your typical NFL egomaniac coach, so I could see that arrangement working. I do think it's noteworthy that Vic Fangio served as something of an unofficial consultant for the Eagles this season, though he was not an employee of the team and thus not in any way a subordinate of Jonathan Gannon, who is essentially running a version of Fangio's defense.

Question from DB: After a season like this, Jason Kelce is pretty much a lock for the HOF. What are the chances for Lane Johnson? 50/50?

Johnson has been one of the most criminally underappreciated players in the league over the last seven or eight years, though I do think that some are starting to wake up and realize how good he is, as evidenced by his first-team All-Pro nod this week. Ultimately, Johnson has three All-Pro nods (two first-team, one second-team), and four Pro Bowl appearances. That's not usually enough to get into the Hall of Fame. Of course, he was absurdly snubbed for years on those postseason awards, but I think it'll be easy for some of the less nuanced voters to dismiss him in favor of more traditionally decorated players.

Question from B_Nacht: Jimmy, can we talk about how much the Eagles have dominated the Giants over the past 20 years?

Yeah, I covered this in advance of the Eagles-Giants Week 18 matchup, but there was a time when the Giants held a 45-25-1 (0.641) advantage in this series over the Eagles, but over time the Eagles reversed that dominance, taking the series lead for the first time ever in 2019. It's now 92-88-2 all-time in favor of Philly. That four-game advantage is now the Eagles' biggest lead in the history of the rivalry. 

They also currently have a nine-game home winning streak over the Giants, and have won 24 of the last 30 matchups overall. The Giants last swept the Eagles in 2007. The Eagles have since swept the Giants eight times.

Question from Talk to me, Goose: Favorite type of running shoes? You look like a Saucony guy.

I'm sure Saucony is a fine brand, but no, that's wrong. My clothes, generally speaking, are very drab and boring. Like, the first thing that I'll wear after laundry day is a plain gray t-shirt with nothing on it. I save my flare for my feet. My current running shoe lineup:


I'll put my starting five up against anyone.

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