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April 26, 2018

Mailbag: What are the Eagles' final team needs rankings heading into the draft?

Eagles NFL
042618TreyBurton Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles will have to try to replace Trey Burton and Brent Celek.

In our special Eagles draft 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.

Question from RFE: What are your final team needs ranking heading into the draft?

• 1) Tight end: They are going to draft a tight end. It's not a matter of if. It's only a matter of when.

• 2 and 3) Safety and/or slot corner: They could use a third safety, and if that guy can also play slot corner, then that's a bonus. But they could use both.

4) Running back: They're kinda thin there as it is, and Jay Ajayi may not be with the team in 2019 and beyond. Oh, and this class is loaded with talent at running back.

5) Offensive tackle: This is certainly not an immediate need, but the Eagles would be wise to think of the future here.

I would also like to note here that the Eagles would probably like to find a returner, though they will look to land one who can also contribute in the regular offense or defense.

Question from Nancy: Is Big V a real possibility for a trade?

I never rule out anything. Well, other than trading Carson Wentz. But could Big V get traded? Sure, why not? There are no shortage of teams that severely need help along their offensive lines. If, say, the Eagles drafted an OT at 32, and some team offered a third round pick, for example. Would I do that? Yeah, probably. That's highly unlikely to happen, of course, but it's not out of the question.

Question from Lawrence: Will Nelly get the fifth year option?

I already have an article written that is titled, “Eagles exercise fifth year option on Nelson Agholor.” It’s locked and loaded for whenever they announce it. So, yes.

Question from Sporran: Who is your favorite player who will not be drafted in Round 1?

Justin Reid, S, Stanford.

Question from Norm Snead: It seems that CBs transition to safety in recent years more than they have in the past. Please explain.

I can’t say it better than Jim Schwartz did last September.

"I go back, I've been around a while, when safeties were named ‘Thumper’ – and I had a guy in Tennessee, first name was Tank, and I joked – Tank was a hell of a player, Tank Williams out of Stanford. But Tank was a 235-pound safety. We saw a lot of two-back sets. He was sort of an extra linebacker in there, even though he was fast. I don't need guys named ‘Hammer’ and ‘Tank’, I need guys named ‘Swifty’ and ‘Ball Hawk’ and ‘The Glove’. Those are nicknames we're looking for now."

What he means is that teams are looking for safeties these days who can cover. They’re more valuable than guys who play in the box and stop the run. As such, you see a lot more safeties these days who have corner in their background.

Question from jabostick: Any news on the health of Andrew Luck? The Colts seem like the best potential trade option, in my opinion, for Nick Foles.

I can’t pretend to know what’s going on with Andrew Luck, because I don’t cover the Colts, but he hasn’t thrown in ages. I think Indy is an interesting team to watch during the draft, in terms of whether or not they take a quarterback, and when.


2018 NFL DRAFT POSITION-BY-POSITION PREVIEWS
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end
Offensive tackle | Interior OL | Defensive end | Defensive tackle
Linebacker | Cornerback | Safety | Specialists


Question from DB: Is there any player that might be worth trading up for? What if Marcus Davenport falls to the mid-twenties?

I would be shocked if they traded up. I don’t think this is a very strong first round, honestly.

Question from Buck: Draft throwback question: When the Eagles traded up to No. 2, did they know they would get Carson (i.e. knew for certain the Rams were taking Goff), or was it legitimately, “We’ll take who the Rams don’t” as it was portrayed at the time.

They knew. Now, if Goff had gotten hit by a car or something, the Rams would have taken Wentz, so it wasn’t 100 percent, but failing that, they knew the pick was Goff.

Question from Cornelius: Do you expect to see any changes to the scouting department after the draft? The Eagles seem pretty set.

Yeah, maybe. The week of the Super Bowl, NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah called the Eagles’ scouting department the best in the NFL. I would bet that some teams will be looking to poach some of their talent, and that typically happens after the draft.

Question from Robb Gaylord: Do you like the current draft format or the one that used to be in place, where they would go all day on Saturday and Sunday? If I stay up for the draft, the Eagles might not pick until 11:00 p.m. As an East-coaster, I have to be up for work at 5:30.

11:00 p.m.? Are they trading up to pick 22? You’re going to be up until midnight, my friend. But to answer your question, I loved when they have the draft all day on Saturday and Sunday.

Question from Jamie: For all the Joe Douglas talk, Smallwood and Pumphrey are BUSTS. The Eagles relied on the “Jordan Howard fifth round” motto. If it wasn’t for Clement being an undrafted free agent, I question the RB evaluation.

To begin, Douglas was hired after the draft in which the Eagles selected Smallwood. In the last 24 months, Joe Douglas found the third leading rusher in the NFL over the last two years combined (Howard) in the 5th round, and a guy that went off for 100 receiving yards, plus a touchdown in the team’s first Super Bowl win ever (Clement), during the undrafted phase of the draft. And you’re complaining that he can’t evaluate running backs?

If Scarlett Johansson showed up at your door, I’m guessing you’d complain that she didn’t also bring you some cupcakes.


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