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July 02, 2020

Mailbag: How does a shortened (or maybe canceled?) preseason affect the Eagles?

In our Eagles chat on Tuesdaythere 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 Frank: Why did the NFL cancel the supplemental draft, and how does that decision affect the Eagles?

The supplemental draft has always been for players whose college eligibility situations changed after the deadline to declare for the NFL Draft, whether that be academic, or some other sort of off-field incident. It was reserved for players in extraordinary circumstances. In the last 10 years, only 8 players have been selected in the supplemental draft (and none by the Eagles).

In speaking with league sources, I was told that the NFL was never going to allow a flood of players to enter the supplemental draft in response to COVID-19 severely threatening the possibility of a college football season, as the NFL did not wish to fracture their relationship with the NCAA. As for the decision to just cancel it outright, as was announced on Wednesday, the guess here is that the NFL and NCAA did not want to create a situation in which college athletes were trying to purposely create eligibility issues so they could declare for the supplemental draft.

As for how the decision affects the Eagles, it's probably for the best. Because the Eagles made the playoffs last year, they would be low on the bidding order, so if some blue chip prospect entered the supplemental draft, they would have virtually no shot at drafting him.

Question from me, to myself: Hey Jimmy, it's Jimmy here. As long as you're answering questions about league news, how about the decision to cancel two preseason games?

Well, Jimmy, that's not official yet, I don't think, and they may actually cancel more than just those two preseason games. There's a decent chance the preseason won't be played at all.

In my view, the Eagles could actually benefit from that, as their first regular season game is against a team with a new coaching staff and a second-year quarterback Dwayne Haskins in Washington, and their third regular season game will be against a rookie quarterback in Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals. The Eagles are a veteran team that has a head coach, defensive coordinator, and quarterback all heading into their fifth year together with the team. Theoretically, they won't need the preseason as much as most teams around the league.

Question from Alcoholics Alshonymous: I’ve begun to believe there’s no such thing as a “Day 2 QB” in the NFL Draft. A guy is either a Day 1 starter or a developmental QB. I do, however, root for the Eagles, who just drafted a Day 2 QB. Do you see Jalen Hurts as closer to a Day 1 starter or a developmental QB? I feel I know the answer to that, and that makes me sad.

Out of curiosity, I looked to see how many Day 2 quarterbacks are projected starters this season, and it’s actually a pretty good list.

Player Round Overall 
Drew Brees, Saints 32 
Derek Carr, Raiders 36 
Drew Lock, Broncos 42 
 Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers62 
 Russell Wilson, Seahawks75 
 Nick Foles, Bears88 

Compare those guys with the NFL's projected starters who got picked first overall, and it’s debatable which group you’d choose:

No. 1 overall picks Day 2 guys 
 Matthew Stafford, Lions Drew Brees, Saints
 Cam Newton, Patriots Derek Carr, Raiders
 Jared Goff, Rams Drew Lock, Broncos
 Baker Mayfield, Browns Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers
Kyler Murray, Cardinals  Russell Wilson, Seahawks
 Joe Burrow, Bengals Nick Foles, Bears

The tale of the tape:

Quarterbacks Combined record SB appearances SB wins 
 No. 1 overall picks187-182-3 (0.507)  2
 Day 2 guys339-235-1 (0.590) 5

Of course, if you look at the list of 46 quarterbacks taken in either Round 2 or Round 3 of the NFL since Drew Brees has been in the league (2001-2020), there are way more misses than hits. But clearly, there's a far better hit rate with Day 2 guys than Day 3 guys (duh).

All quarterbacks entering the draft come in different shapes, sizes, skill sets, experience levels, and obviously, from different college schemes. They also enter the league on teams with varying quarterbacks situations, which factors in, so I wouldn't take a large group of quarterbacks drafted within Rounds 2 and 3 and label them all developmental guys. 

On the Eagles' roster, Jalen Hurts is a developmental quarterback, though obviously, he is one with intriguing upside because of his impressive athleticism. He's not starting for this team anytime soon, barring injuries. Had he landed with, say, Pittsburgh, is that a team that could fast-track him into a starting role in 2021 to take over long-term for Ben Roethlisberger? With his extensive experience at two major college programs, yes, I do believe that would be a reasonable hope for a franchise in their situation.

Question from Chance: CBS Sports' top 10 coaches list was laughable. Who are your top ten coaches?

So I covered the silliness of that list yesterday, but if I were to come up with my own list, it would probably look like this:

  1. Bill Belichick: I'd be curious where he'd be without all the cheating, but the NFL lets him get away with it, so...
  2. Andy Reid: Andy solidified his HOF status in February.
  3. John Harbaugh: The Ravens have become a well-oiled machine under Harbaugh, who like Reid, has also shown adaptability.
  4. Sean Payton: The Saints have a top 5 offense, without fail, every season.
  5. Doug Pederson: Four years, three playoff appearances, and one chip, despite dealing with extreme injury misfortune every single year.
  6. Mike Tomlin: He has literally never had a losing season, and the fact that the Steelers went 8-8 with those two horrendous backup quarterbacks last year is kind of remarkable.
  7. Kyle Shanahan: The new golden boy. His career record isn't good, but it's pretty clear that teams around the league are scrambling to steal his offensive ideas.
  8. Pete Carroll: His career record and perennial playoff appearances with Seattle get him on the list, but the feeling here is that he's wasting Russell Wilson's greatness by insisting on being a run-heavy offense.
  9. Sean McDermott: If a head coach built an offense the way McDermott has built Buffalo's defense, he'd be higher on this list. 
  10. Sean McVay: I strongly considered Mike Vrabel for this final spot, but McVay's career record is too good to leave him off completely. Looking forward, it does feel a lot like McVay's scheme is waning. The question will be whether he can adapt like Reid has in Kansas City.

Question from Tipsy: Piggybacking off of the sandwich question, what would be your signature drink at a bar?

Back in my 20's, I used to order my own signature drink. Jack and Red Bull! That used to earn double takes from many a bartender. That couldn't continue into my 30's though.

Nowadays I do enjoy a nice old fashioned, shown here:

I'll take that without the lemon peel, please, sir. Also, I prefer the one giant ice cube, but whatever. Actually, I wish I hadn't watched that, because now I want one and it's only 7 a.m.

Anyway, I tried to improve on the old fashioned in my head, but I really got nothing. Since it's breakfast time, I'm going to propose something that I'm sure will be criticized. Instead of a mimosa (champagne and orange juice), I would suggest champagne and a cherry Kool Aid Jammer. Don't knock it until you try it.

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