April 22, 2020
With the start of NFL Draft less than 36 hours away, news and rumors surrounding the top players on most draft boards are going to be flying.
The latest, at least as it impacts the Eagles' first-round plans, has to do with Alabama WR Jerry Jeudy. Jeudy is in that top tier of wideouts, along with CeeDee Lamb and Henry Ruggs III, that is expected to be off the board well before the Eagles pick — even though some are still holding out hope that Ruggs is there for the Birds at 21.
Many didn't think Jeudy would be an option for the Eagles unless they traded up quite a bit, but now, on the eve of the draft, there's a chance he could fall to the Eagles — or at least to a range that makes a trade up slightly more palatable.
And if you're thinking all this sounds too good to be true, you're not entirely wrong. After all, there has to be a reason a guy like Jeudy would suddenly start to tumble down the boards on the eve of the NFL Draft.
On Tuesday, 97.5 The Fanatic's Natalie Egenolf reported that Jeudy had a previously undisclosed knee injury that was causing some lingering issues. A few hours later, NBC Sports Philadelphia's Derrick Gunn, who covers the team on a daily basis and is well connected at the NovaCare Complex, confirmed Nat's report that Jeudy's draft stock was slipping.
She’s telling the truth.... some teams have even taken him off their first round board because of it..— Derrick Gunn (@RealDGunnNBCS) April 21, 2020
On Wednesday morning, ESPN's Adam Schefter joined Marc Farzetta and the Fanatic morning show to discuss the latest on Jeudy. Here's what he had to say:
Schefter: I am aware of those kinds of issues, and there are various issues with various players. Look, ‘losing stock’ might be strong. Instead of 13, does he go 17? Maybe. But I think teams are going to like him or not like him, period. It’s a situation where I don’t think it’s going to have a dramatic effect on his stock. Now, all of a sudden, if we look up at the first round and he’s available at 27 or 28, then that might be a contributing factor, but he’s still a great receiver and I don’t see it having a dramatic effect on his draft stock at all.
Farzetta: What is the knee issue?
Schefter: We’ll just say for now it’s a lingering knee issue. [h/t crossingbroad.com]
That's ... vague.
UPDATE: Jeudy's agent, Chris Cabott, has weighed in on Twitter.
No issue here. The knee is fine. Jerry never missed a practice or a game in two years after the surgery. He never even needed treatment on the knee. Every team examined him at the Combine. No team saw anything that even required him to participate in the Combine recheck.— Chris Cabott (@chriscabott) April 22, 2020
A few hours later, Ian Rapoport shared a letter sent on behalf of Jeudy by his doctor after a pair of teams expressed concern over his knee during the NFL Draft Combine.
At the Combine, 2 teams expressed concern about the left knee of #Bama WR Jerry Jeudy. Dr. Lyle Cain wrote a letter to all 32 teams detailing a previous surgery & saying “Jeudy has not required any treatment” on it and Cain expects him to progress “without limitations.” Letter: pic.twitter.com/6WXsg8WDeC— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 22, 2020
So, while it seems like the concerns over Jeudy may be a bit unfounded or at least less worrisome than originally expected, it appears there was enough there for some teams to want more information.
The problem for the Eagles now becomes whether or not it's worth taking a risk on Jeudy. If he slips from, say, 13 to 17, that's not that big of a deal. But what if he's still there for the Eagles when they go on the clock with the 21st pick? That might seem like a good thing on the surface — Hey, the Eagles got a steal! — but it's actually quite the opposite, a sign that there might be real concerns with whatever that "lingering knee issue" actually is.
Should the Eagles pass up a guy like Justin Jefferson (if he's there) for a guy like Jeudy, who is a better talent but brings a questionable medical report to the table? Or do they play it safe and possibly miss out on the best WR talent in the draft?
It's decisions like this that make me glad I'm not Howie Roseman, because whatever choice he makes, it's going to anger a certain segment of the fanbase.
So, what will happen between now and when the Eagles go on the clock on Thursday night? Stay tuned below for all the latest news and rumors as they happen...
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