Thanks to everyone who sent in questions for today’s mailbag!
The Eagles haven’t used a pick inside the top 15 on a wide receiver since they selected Kenny Jackson with the No. 4 overall pick in the 1984 draft. So it isn’t often this franchise, or this front office specifically, invests big-time draft resources into the receiver position. That will likely change this year, but the question is just how far will the Eagles go to land an elite-level prospect.
Trading up for either Henry Ruggs or CeeDee Lamb will not be cheap, as both will likely go inside of the top 15, and neither will make it past the Denver Broncos at No. 15. According to the NFL Draft Value chart moving up from No. 21, the Eagles’ current pick, to No. 14 would cost 300 points. The Eagles’ second-round pick is worth 370 points and their third-round pick is worth only 88 points. So moving up to draft Ruggs or Lamb is almost certainly going to cost at least a second-round pick, and likely more.
If giving up No. 21 and No. 53 would guarantee me Lamb, I would do that deal. Lamb has dominant, No. 1 receiver written all over him. He has the size and the speed to do it all on the next level. If given the choice of having just Ruggs or both Justin Jefferson and KJ Hamler, however, I would take Jefferson and Hamler. Ruggs is special, but I like the idea of giving Carson Wentz two young receivers to work and grow with, especially when their games compliment each other perfectly.
The Eagles really want it to be TJ Edwards, the undrafted linebacker out of Wisconsin who played only 112 snaps last season. The coaching staff talks up Edwards every chance they get, especially since the season ended. The release of Nigel Bradham is a sign of just how much they believe in Edwards, and the talk of getting younger backs that up as well. The chances are very high that heading into training camp the starting middle linebacker job will be his to lose.
This is a great question. The three players that popped into my mind immediacy were Reggie White, Terrell Owens and Brian Dawkins. White would make sense considering the Eagles need for an elite pass rusher and he is perhaps the best to every do it in the NFL. Owens would address their need for a receiver. Dawkins helps their need at safety and their need for a leader after the release of Malcolm Jenkins. I’ll go with White, just to see how dominant a defensive line with White, Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox would b.
This offseason will tell us just how much faith the Eagles still have in Jones. He made it easier to spin the idea of bringing him back by making some big plays towards the end of last season. Even though he has been here for three seasons it is important to remember Jones has only played in 22 games with eight starts. Staying healthy has been an issue, but in terms of playing time, Jones is still very young. It is unlikely the Eagles will go into training camp with Jones penciled in as a starter. Considering they likely won’t get much back in a trade for Jones, keeping him on the roster and allowing him to at least compete in training camp might be the smart move. A recent report that the team is shopping Rasul Douglas, and there has been no word they are shopping Jones, could be a sign that is their plan.
Ideally the Eagles would be able to land a defensive end at No. 21 that will come in and make an immediate impact, which would save them the roughly $20 million per year it will cost to sign Yannick Ngakoue. The chances of that happening are very slim. Not because of Howie Roseman’s track record in the draft — it is slim because finding impact players in the draft is hard to do. Ngakoue is just 24-years old and already a proven, elite-level player. Those aren’t available very often, especially at defensive end. Paying a premium to land Ngakoue is a better move than betting on the small chances you find a similar player in the draft.