Was the Eagles' move to the No. 8 overall pick in the upcoming draft a precursor to another jump up the board?
According the NFL Network's Lance Zierlein, that is the buzz around league circles.
"There's a belief that the Eagles are getting ready to make another run," Zierlein said on the Journey to the Draft podcast presented by AAA.
Who would be the Eagles' target?
Quarterback Carson Wentz.
Zierlein said that there's no way Wentz makes it to No. 8. The wild card team to watch early in the NFL Draft will be Cleveland. Browns chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta's baseball background could have Cleveland go in a much different direction than what most draft experts think, per Zierlein, and accumulate more picks instead of going for a quarterback at No. 2.
Why wouldn't the Browns just select Wentz at No. 2? Zierlein said that there are some big question marks - Wentz played only two years at an FCS school. However, Zierlein did note that "teams absolutely fell in love" with Wentz at the Combine.
Zierlein said that he believes Jared Goff is a better quarterback today, but will be interested to see who emerges as the better prospect in three years.
Another player who has been a popular mock draft choice for the Eagles is running back Ezekiel Elliott. Zierlein said that the Eagles won't have to debate taking him at No. 8 because he'll be gone by that point.
If the Eagles do stay at No. 8, Zierlein mocked an offensive tackle but not the one you might think. He chose Jack Conklin ahead of Ronnie Stanley. Zierlein has compared Conklin to former Eagle Jon Runyan.
"I think Conklin is a really good fit," Zierlein said. "Why not get a guy who is a little more of a road grader, a little bit more of an attitude-based guy."
Also on the Journey to the Draft podcast presented by AAA:
1:35 - Draft Buzz
29:40 - Pick 6 - Wild Cards for the Eagles
40:10 - Unofficial Visit - LB Tyler Matakevich
42:45 - Draft Mailbag
Episode 10 of the Eagles Live podcast featured plenty of insight from the NFL Annual Meeting in Boca Raton, Florida. In addition to updates from Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie, president Don Smolenski, Howie Roseman and head coach Doug Pederson, Dave Spadaro caught up with Eagles Hall of Fame cornerback Troy Vincent, who is now the executive vice president of football operations for the NFL.
Vincent was a teammate of Pederson's in 1999 and knew back then the former quarterback was head coach material.
"I always knew Doug would end up in this place (as a head coach)," Vincent said. "Doug is a listener which I think is very important. He understands the pulse of the players, understanding what you need to get done week in and week out from Monday to Friday.
"It takes a certain kind of coach to be successful both on and off the field in Philadelphia, understanding the dynamics and the demands. I think Doug is very aware of those expectations coming back to Philly."
Vincent also praised Pederson for the coaching staff that has been assembled in Philadelphia.
"I really like the staff. I like when a young coach comes in and puts talent around him on both the offensive and defensive sides of the football," Vincent said. "I think Doug has an opportunity (to succeed) because of the staff that he's put together."
Vincent vividly recalled Andy Reid's first team meeting back in 1999. There were three key tenets - Reid was willing to listen, to learn and adjust. Reid admitted that he didn't have all the answers and would need time to get the program on the right track. Vincent said it will also be key for Pederson to listen to the players because while things went awry, there were aspects of the previous regime that worked.
Also on Episode 10 of the Eagles Live podcast:
3:35 - Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie on the offseason
6:30 - The best of head coach Doug Pederson's roundtable session
11:05 - President Don Smolenski on improving the fan experience
When looking at articles about NFL prospects, many times they are accompanied by a spider chart that highlights the individual’s raw talent. These charts compare heights, weights, 40 times and more to let fans visualize a player’s skills.
The spider chart concept was created by programmer Marcus Armstrong of MockDraftable.com, who Fran Duffy caught up with on the latest Eagle Eye in the Sky podcast.
To create the final product, Armstrong utilizes data from the Combine. He, however, chooses to shy away from a player’s Pro Day numbers in most cases. Why?
“Pro Day data, I prefer to not use it,” Armstrong said. “If there’s a situation where a player didn’t participate in the Combine and then participated at their Pro Day, I’ll bring in those numbers. For a guy that was injured at the Combine and just wasn’t able to really attend, I’ll pull in those numbers. For guys that weren’t Combine invitees, I’ll pull in their Pro Day numbers.
“For the most part, I won’t use them largely because you get some really bad data from Pro Days. I don’t know how well people follow the Pro Day circuit, but back three weeks ago we had the Ohio State Pro Day. Guys were running 4.2s and it’s nonsense. They have these fast tracks that are like downhill with the wind. You can’t really use that data to compare unless you’re willing to adjust it.”
The two then jumped into results from this year’s NFL Combine and discussed who they though had a great performance. One of the names that really stuck out to Armstrong was that of cornerback Jalen Ramsey.
“I think Jalen Ramsey had a fantastic Combine,” Armstrong said. “His performance in the jumps specifically, especially at his size, phenomenal, phenomenal performance from him. I don’t know if you’ve spent any time looking at the athletics comparisons section on my site, but if you look there, you’ll see some great names popping up for Jalen Ramsey. We’ve got Aqib Talib, Antonio Cromartie, Charles Tillman. He just had a phenomenal Combine.”
Also On The Eagle Eye in the Sky podcast: