April 15, 2015
If indeed the Eagles are planning to make a strong play for Marcus Mariota in the 2015 draft, their biggest competition may come in the form of a surprise team, the
San Diego Los Angeles Chargers. According to Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union Tribune, the Chargers should go all in on Mariota, and use Rivers as trade bait to make it happen.
There are numerous people in the organization dreading a move to L.A. as much as Rivers is. Everyone knows it is possible – some even believe likely – the team will move in 2016 or ’17.
So – and this is difficult to think, let alone write – they need to trade Rivers.
If Monday night’s dinner and Tuesday’s workout in Eugene, Ore., are everything the Chargers expect, and they see in former Oregon star Marcus Mariota a possible franchise quarterback, they should do what they can to trade up and draft him.
The Chargers should get the No.2 pick from the Tennessee Titans, select Mariota, then take a running back with the No.17 pick. Start over in a big way.
Yes, the Chargers in all likelihood would keep their first round pick should they deal Rivers to Tennessee. They may, according to some around the league, have to throw in a selection in a later round. But people are really just speculating, since there is no precedent for trading a quarterback of Rivers’ stature at this juncture in his career for a draft pick(s).
Also... Yes, I'm aware you all have Mariota fatigue by now. Only 15 days left. Hang in there.
#HotRumor alert... QB that Philly/Chip might be interested in is.... ...Garrett Grayson???— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) April 14, 2015
Grayson played at Colorado State and had an outstanding Senior season. He went to the Senior Bowl and was the best QB down there, although he wasn’t facing murderer’s row.
Grayson has NFL talent, but I’ve gone back and forth on whether I like him or not. I watch one game and don’t like him. Then I watch another and I feel differently.
He throws a good deep ball. He makes some good throws over the middle in traffic. He shows good accuracy and seems to be a smart decision-maker. He’s not reckless, but will take some chances. Grayson had a good workout at his Pro Day, but I didn’t see that athleticism on the field with any consistency.
I agree Grayson was the best QB at the Senior Bowl, but the only real competition he had there was Bryce Petty. Grayson was the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year in 2014, and his numbers were excellent. He was fifth in the nation with a QB rating of 166.2, as well as second in yards per pass attempt, at 9.5. Mariota was first in both categories, just FYI.
Tommy also listed his top five QBs. Worth a look.
According to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk, the NFL could release the schedule next Thursday:
Now hearing that the 2015 regular-season schedule is currently set to be released on Thursday, April 23, but the date could change.— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) April 13, 2015
It's kind of funny to me that the schedule release gets so much attention, seeing as every team's opponents are already known. But people love it. Here are the Eagles' 2015 opponents:
There is also added intrigue with the Eagles this year, and whether or not they will play the Patriots Week 1 in the Thursday night kickoff game. It would appear the only other team worthy of that kind of prime time exposure is the Steelers. I made the argument a couple months ago that the Eagles are bigger money makers, and therefore will be more appealing to the TV networks.
The Steelers have a rabid fan base that "travels well" with their "Terrible Towels," but their popularity doesn't translate to a national TV audience. In 2014, the highest rated Steelers game ranked 35th in terms of viewing audience. Here were their top five ratings grabbers, via TV by the numbers:
|32||CBS &NFLN Thursday Night Football (Steelers-Ravens), 9/11/14||20.8 million|
|33||CBS Sunday National (Mostly Colts-Steelers), 10/26/14||20.8 million|
|34||NBC Sunday Night Football (Bengals-Steelers), 12/28/14||20.7 million|
|38||NBC Sunday Night Football (Steelers-Panthers), 9/21/14||19.8 million|
|47||CBS Sunday Single (mostly Dolphins-Pats, Steelers-Falcons), 12/14/14||18.7 million|
The Eagles, by comparison, cracked the top 20 a whopping five times, including the #1 overall rated game of the season:
|1||FOX Thanksgiving Day (Eagles-Cowboys), 11/27/14||32.0 million|
|11||FOX Sunday National (mostly Eagles-Packers), 11/16/14||26.5 million|
|14||FOX Sunday National (mostly Eagles-Seahawks), 12/7/14||25.9 million|
|16||FOX Sunday National (mostly Eagles-49ers), 9/28/14||25.9 million|
|18||NBC Sunday Night Football (Cowboys-Eagles), 12/14/14||24.3 million|
While the argument can certainly be made that the opponents the Eagles faced above are higher profile teams than the ones the Steelers faced, the Eagles still produced far bigger numbers when they were in prime spots. The Steelers were unable to carry big numbers on their own. From the TV Network perspective, the Eagles feel like the safer choice if they want as many viewers as possible. Oh, and the Eagles also kinda had a crazy offseason, and they're about as entertaining a team to watch as there is in the NFL. So there's that, too.
Follow Jimmy on Twitter: @JimmyKempski