Draft week Eagles mega-mailbag | PhillyVoice


In our Eagles chat on Tuesday, 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, as well as some commonly asked questions on Twitter and via email.

Question from JohnA: I’m concerned that Jordan Davis hasn’t shown enough (or maybe not given the opportunity to show enough at Georgia) to be taken at 15. If he is such a unicorn then why wasn’t he used, or show up more in the stats? One analyst said he is “strong, but not powerful…”

To begin, Davis was the Chuck Bednarik Award winner, which is given to the best defensive player in college football, as voted on by the members of the Maxwell Football Club. He also finished top 10 in Heisman voting. So it’s not like he wasn’t a star player in college. If you watch Georgia’s games from last year, he showed up!

As for the “strong but not powerful” comment, that’s coming from Greg Cosell, who I respect quite a bit.

I’ll respectfully disagree. When Davis is two-gapping and playing his assignments within Georgia’s scheme, he wasn’t trying to move opposing offensive linemen. He was standing them up, and typically pretty easily shedding their blocks. I think that’s what Greg is talking about when he says that Davis is strong and can own small areas of the field. However, when he wanted to move offensive linemen against their will, there are plenty of examples of him doing that as well, as shown here:

(embed)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4whk0ypKDko(/embed)

He’s plenty powerful.

Question from Bird Gang: Lowest pick you’d accept to trade Andre Dillard and/or Gardner Minshew?

I had previously been saying fourth round for both guys, but I think it’s reasonable not to settle for less than a three, at least for now. If you trade Minshew, who’s the backup? So another team better make it worth your while to part with him. 

And then with Dillard, the Eagles do hold a decent enough trade chip there. You want a guy who can start at LT? Give me a Day 2 pick, or good luck with whatever crappy starter you’re looking to replace.

Question from Sam Becker: Are Dillard and Minshew eligible for comp picks if they sign somewhere else next year and how do you value that when looking at compensation for them?

Yes, if Dillard and/or Minshew play out their contracts in Philly and leave for another team in free agency next offseason, they’ll count toward the comp pick formula. However, in order to get comp picks, you have to lose more players than you gain, and I just don’t see that as realistic for this team. They are probably more likely to gain more players than they lose, like they did this offseason.

I do think that the Eagles should be mindful that they are unlikely to get anything in return for either player, comp pick-wise, if they don’t trade them. If they haven’t been dealt by the trade deadline, the price will probably have to come down a shade if they want to recoup some value.

Question from Office Linebacker: I don’t get the Derek Stingley love. The guy seems to have a lot of question marks, particularly about his desire to play. Have they leaned nothing from Dillard?

People love him because he’s the best pure cover corner in the draft, which goes a long way in forgiving some of the imperfections. 

But, yes, his occasional disinterest would be more concerning for me than the injury history. In fairness, LSU was one of the best college football teams ever in 2019. They went 15-0 and only had like three close games all season against a stacked schedule. The next year, after they lost half their team to the draft, they went 5-5 in a season that COVID made far less fun. I can kind of get why Stingley wasn’t as into that season as the one prior. 

Keep in mind that this kid is still only 20 years old. He was a teenager for most of his college career. I think that sometimes we expect these kids to more mature than is reasonable. I think back to when I was a teenager, and… yikes.

So anyone interested in him will have to determine how much he loves football. And you’re right — if there are major concerns there, they need to do a better job identifying that than they did with Dillard.

Question from Hinkie: Do you think this QB draft is being undervalued? I’m no draft guru and it doesn’t feel like past years where there’s been studs at the top (remember Winston-Mariota hype) but I feel like there are some intriguing guys. I can absolutely see a world where Malik Wills, Matt Corral, Sam Howell, and Kenny Pickett are all very good starters. They all have concerns (who doesn’t?) but this seems kind of overblown in a QB starved league?

It’s a bad class, in my opinion. I think that Mac Jones, the fifth quarterback taken last year, would have graded out higher than all these guys this year. I’m certainly with you that it doesn’t mean that none of them will hit. 

The other aspect of this QB class that I don’t think is discussed as much is how thin it is. 10 quarterbacks got drafted last year, 13 got taken in 2020, and 11 went in 2019. I don’t think we’re hitting double digits this year.

Question from Justin: If the Eagles take a LB in rounds 2 or 3, who is your preference?

I would rank them like so: 

  1. Nakobe Dean, Georgia (if he falls into Round 2, which feels possible)
  2. Quay Walker, Georgia
  3. Christian Harris, Alabama
  4. Chad Muma, Wyoming
  5. Troy Andersen, Montana State
  6. Leo Chenal, Wisconsin

Question from Hmmm: How would you rank the three days of the draft in order of your preference?

(In Abe Simpson voice) Day 3 reminds me the most of what the draft used to be, when they televised it all day on Saturday (rounds 1-3) and Sunday (rounds 4-7).  I get that money always wins, but I kind of hate that they moved it to prime time. 

Question from RKotite: So every year you put out your big list of players to track in the draft and cross them out once they’re selected. Have you ever done an analysis to see how many/what percentage you got correct as far as the round you thought they’d go in?

Last year was a decent year. I had six guys on my list. Here’s where I had them:

  1. DeVonta Smith: “Stick and pick at 12.”
  2. Landon Dickerson: “Trade back in Round 2.”
  3. Milton Williams: “Round 3.”
  4. Kenny Gainwell: “Round 3.”
  5. Tarron Jackson: “Late Day 3.”
  6. Patrick Johnson: “Round 4.”

Question from Cautiously Optimistic: I am all for drafting Matt Araiza. If the Eagles’ offense is going to fail to convert easy 3rd downs, at least we get the benefit of watching a fun punter.

It’ll be a weird thing for any fan base that drafts Araiza, in that they’ll be mad that a punt is happening, but they’ll stick around to watch it instead of storming off for a bathroom break.

Question from MichaelP: I’ve heard you say on the podcast that the draft was deep, and it sounded like you were going to explain why, but then Brandon started talking about something else, and you never came back to it. I was interested in hearing the explanation on why.

The 2020 college football season was cut short due to COVID, so a lot of the players who would have normally come out after a full season opted to stay in school instead of declaring for the 2021 NFL Draft. The NCAA also granted an extra year of eligibility as a result of COVID. As such, the 2021 was particularly weak on Day 3 and during the undrafted free agency portion of the draft. 

A lot of the players who would have declared in 2021 have now declared in 2022, so Day 3 is going to be flooded with decent prospects. It’s a very good year to have a lot of mid-round picks, like the Eagles do. They have two picks in the third round, and three in the fifth round.

Question from Pete: I was curious if you have ever considered an article following your final mock draft detailing who was available and your thought process of selecting particular players over another. Basically a Jimmy Kempski’s big board.

I’ll have my only full first-round mock on Thursday that I sort of worked out before my final Eagles-only mock, which I published on Monday. It’ll show how I arrived at Jordan Davis at 15 and Treylon Burks at 18.

Question from Mark: Hi Jimmy, I read the chat from today and saw you profess that The Streak is still alive.  HOWEVER, this screen shot from PhillyVoice shows that April 11th has no entry. When I saw it a few weeks ago, I thought to myself, “And on the X hundredth and X-ty X-th day, Jimmy rested.” StreakGate? Please address in your mailbag. Your fans want to know.  🙂

For those of you who have no idea what Mark is talking about, I have published new content every day at PhillyVoice every single day for more than two and a half years. More specifically, the last day I did not publish something at PhillyVoice, it was August 28, 2019, the day after my dad died. In fact, today is the 973rd consecutive day I have published something here.

I applaud my readers for trying to keep me honest. I certainly would not respect another writer making such a claim if it were false. In this instance, Mark included a screenshot showing my author page and the article that he perceives is missing on April 11. 

042622MarkScreenshot

To begin, let me first say that I hope you found the lawnmower of your dreams, and that your diarrhea has subsided. 😜

As for April 11, I published the article that you see on the list above titled, “A look at some Eagles wide receiver trade options.” It was published at 5:30 a.m. on April 11, as shown in the revisions history on our publishing software:

042622ArticleRevisions

I have since corrected the date to show April 11, as noted by the August 26 notation in the editing log.

As you can see, I tweeted the article out at a minute after I published it on April 11, at 5:31 a.m.

If you look at the comment section of that article, you won’t find any comments from April 10. So then why does the article say April 10? Well, when I sit down to write and I click “new article” on our publishing software, whatever day that is, is what the date will say on the article, unless you manually change it. I wrote that article on April 10, and submitted it to our sports editors, Evan Macy and Shamus Clancy, so that they could embed links and such to other stories on our site.

I woke up early on April 11, published that bad boy with the wrong date, and went about enjoying my day. Shamus got around to adding links and such at 9:02 a.m. on April 11, when he asked me to “unlock” the article so that he could get in.

042622Shamus

As our regular commenters can attest, it’s certainly not the first time I’ve had the wrong date on an article. It’s pretty common, though someone will usually bring it to my attention at some point and I’ll fix it. This one merely fell through the cracks.

But certainly, as the above evidence definitively shows, I did indeed publish an article on April 11, and I look forward to celebrating my 1000th consecutive day with you all on May 24. In conclusion, for the haters:

JimmySuckIt

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