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Author: Tyler Steege

FILM ROOM: Derek Barnett

FILM ROOM: Derek Barnett

I first want to start by saying this: I am in no way shape or form a scout. I don’t get paid to do any of this. I don’t expect you to hold my opinions on draft prospects to a higher standard than yours or anyone else’s. I’ll never comment or offer my opinion on anything I don’t feel I am educated about. I trust my eyes more than most, but I will never ever be the guy that thinks he is 100% right on a prospect because I’ve watched countless hours on them. The draft is a crapshoot and scouts who get paid a lot of money miss annually on prospects so I don’t expect to be right all the time. Honestly I, and everyone else are wrong more than we are right, which is fine! I simply love talking the draft, it’s one of my favorite times of the year.

The Eagles selected Derek Barnett, the defensive end from Tennessee in the first round of the 2017 NFL draft. My initial reaction was anger. To me, with guys like Rebuen Foster, OJ Howard, and Jonathan Allen on the board, Barnett was not the best player available. With how much Howie Roseman preaches that sentiment, I was bothered.

After a couple of hours, I realized a few things. One, like offensive lineman, you can never have enough pass rushers. Two, Derek Barnett is just 20 years old with a ton of upside. The tough thing about evaluating prospects is you want to see them dominate in college with production, but you also want to project how their style of play translates to the NFL. Some players have major success in college and it simply doesn’t translate to the NFL. See Tim Tebow. Derek Barnett had lots of success in college including breaking Reggie White’s sack record at Tennessee. Will Barnett’s success continue at the next level? You be the judge.

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Let’s take a look at some of Barnett’s success and struggles in college.

The first thing you notice when watching Derek Barnett is his timing of the snap. Barnett is almost always the first player to react to the ball being snapped. Here, he doesn’t get the sack, but it’s crazy Barnett was able to even get close with how fast the ball got out of the quarterback’s hands.

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Again, speed. Soon as the ball is snapped, Barnett fires away. This probably stood out to Jim Schwartz who preaches to his DEs to get off the line quickly.

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Speed kills.

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Something else I like about Barnett is he doesn’t just play with his head down. Here he sniffs out the WR screen and gets his hand on the pass. Love this awareness.

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Set the edge.. 

Something Derek Barnett will need to work on is his ability to set the edge. Too many times when watching Barnett you see him lose containment and allow the RB or QB to get outside of him for big runs.

Exhibit A.

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Exhibit B.

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Exhibit C.

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Let’s get back to the good.. 

Often times you see Barnett win with speed and blowing by. When he sees tackles thinking he’s going speed, he has a nice swim move to win inside. Love this play here.

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Hand usage. Good DEs use their hands. Barnett never stops using his hands. Love his bend here, too.

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Doesn’t get the sack here, but does draw a holding penalty. Again, you’re seeing the bend and hand usage.

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Probably my favorite play from Barnett. Absolutely kills the QB. My goodness.

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Derek Barnett is entering a situation similar to to Carson Wentz last year. When drafted, Wentz entered a QB room with Sam Bradford, Chase Daniel, and had a strong set of coaches to depend on. Barnett gets to learn from Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham and Chris Long, with no pressure to start day one. As far as scheme, Jim Schwartz’ wide-9 should benefit Barnett, as well. Barnett’s ability to win off the snap and use his speed, he should be a productive pass rusher on passing downs. If Barnett wants to become a full-time starter, he must improve in the run game.

 

 

 

FILM ROOM: Corey Davis, the best wide receiver in the draft

FILM ROOM: Corey Davis, the best wide receiver in the draft

I first want to start by saying this: I am in no way shape or form a scout. I don’t get paid to do any of this. I don’t expect you to hold my opinions on draft prospects to a higher standard than yours or anyone else’s. I’ll never comment or offer my opinion on anything I don’t feel I am educated about. I trust my eyes more than most, but I will never ever be the guy that thinks he is 100% right on a prospect because I’ve watched countless hours on them. The draft is a crapshoot and scouts who get paid a lot of money miss annually on prospects so I don’t expect to be right all the time. Honestly I, and everyone else are wrong more than we are right, which is fine! I simply love talking the draft, it’s one of my favorite times of the year.

I’ve covered Marlon Humphrey here and Christian McCaffrey here if you want to check out those film room pieces out.

The third prospect I’ll be reviewing is my favorite prospect in the draft. That is..

Dec 2, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Western Michigan Broncos wide receiver Corey Davis (84) rushes in the first half against the Ohio Bobcats at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Corey Davis – WR – Western Michigan: Corey Davis, to me is the best offensive player in this draft. He’s as skilled as it gets at the wide receiver position. He has good size at 6’2, 210 lbs. He didn’t run at the combine, or at a pro day due to an ankle injury, but he has very good speed. I’d guess he’d run somewhere around a 4.4-4.5 40 yard dash. It’s not just the physical things Davis has, though. Davis is incredibly fundamental as well. He uses his hands well when being pressed, he runs good routes. Some say Davis’ competition was a reason he dominated in college, but he looked like the best player on the field even when he played bigger schools.

Some view Mike Williams as the best wide receiver in the draft. Everyone views each prospect differently, but I don’t see how anyone can watch both Mike Williams and Corey Davis and not think Davis is the best receiver in the country. I’ll show you what I mean on what separates (no pun intended) Corey Davis from Mike Williams as wide receiver one.

Alright, the good stuff..

First play is from the slot, which is another thing I love about Davis’ game. He lines up all over, which indicates he knows the playbook in and out. Good luck to #2 here, he has no chance. Love the toe tap at the end as well.

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See this a lot from Davis.. Gets off press and literally says “get off me,” then turns around, shakes the defender and hits a quick extra gear. Phew.

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Little hitch here. Davis does a good job coming back to the ball and hits that B button and turns the play outside.

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Corey Davis making a defender his son here.

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Can you run fast, Corey? “Say no more, fam.” – Corey Davis, probably.

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Redzone? Davis creates separation, great catch, and gets feet down. It’s all so natural, man.

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Nice one handed catch here from Davis.

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Alright, 3rd and 23 here. Just throw a screen and Corey Davis will do the rest. THE STIFF ARM.

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Corey Davis’ stiff arm is something else. He uses it so well.

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This play sums up Corey Davis. He can score from anywhere on the field. Love the extra gear he has. Goodbye!

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Corey Davis is special. To me, he has potential to be a top 5 wide receiver in the NFL within 3 years. What separates him is he has size, speed and good hands. The one knock I have on Davis is he drops more passes than he should. He showcases natural hands, but at times can lose focus and drop a few, which can be frustrating. Overall, Davis is my top offensive player in the draft, and if he is available anywhere near where the Eagles pick, I’d expect Howie Roseman to be on the phones looking to trade up.

FILM ROOM: Why the Eagles should be interested in Christian McCaffrey

FILM ROOM: Why the Eagles should be interested in Christian McCaffrey

I first want to start by saying this: I am in no way shape or form a scout. I don’t get paid to do any of this. I don’t expect you to hold my opinions on draft prospects to a higher standard than yours or anyone else’s. I’ll never comment or offer my opinion on anything I don’t feel I am educated about. I trust my eyes more than most, but I will never ever be the guy that thinks he is 100% right on a prospect because I’ve watched countless hours on them. The draft is a crapshoot and scouts who get paid a lot of money miss annually on prospects so I don’t expect to be right all the time. Honestly I, and everyone else are wrong more than we are right, which is fine! I simply love talking the draft, it’s one of my favorite times of the year.

If you’ve been following along you’ll know that Marlon Humphrey was the first prospect I talked about who could interest the Eagles in round 1. You can check that out here.

The next prospect I think could interest the Eagles in the first round is..

Christian McCaffrey – RB – Stanford: If you were to draw up a prototypical running back that fits Doug Pederson’s offense, it’s hard to imagine anyone coming up with a better fit than Christian McCaffrey. Some say McCaffrey is undersized, I have a hard time accepting that narrative. Christian McCaffrey at the combine weighed in at 202 lbs at 5’11. Compare that to LeSean McCoy at the combine in 2009: 204 lbs at 5’10. Obviously everyone has different body types but on paper, that’s eerily similar in height and weight.

Christian McCaffrey does it all at the running back position. He is extremely good at running in between the tackles as well as bouncing runs outside. He’s one of the most gifted at his position when it comes to running precise routes and catching the football. It’s hard to find a weakness in McCaffrey’s game. He wasn’t asked to pass block at Stanford much because he was utilized in the passing game so often. McCaffrey was also utilized as a punt returner and he was very good as well.

Alright enough of me talking. Let’s get to the good stuff.

First play… I mentioned above how similar Christian McCaffrey was to LeSean McCoy when it comes to size. Check out this cutback by McCaffrey. If you’re an Eagles fan, this has to bring back memories of Shady.

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The next few plays are in a single game. A bowl game.

McCaffrey against a linebacker is absolutely unfair. Theo Roddick making Mychal Kendricks look lost on Thanksgiving, anyone? Just one example of how you could use McCaffrey to create mismatches.

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Patience. Jump cut. More patience. Stiff arm.

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Did I mention that McCaffrey can return punts, too? It’s pretty amazing how many guys he can make look dumb on a single play.

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Another one. *DJ Khaled voice* Hits hole, one on one against a safety, think you know how that goes.

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How about from wildcat? Again, McCaffrey shows off his patience running in between tackles.

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Overall McCaffrey is an incredible fit in Doug Pederson’s offense. I think the thing that stands out most is McCaffrey running from so many different sets. He’s comfortable running behind a fullback, he’s taken snaps directly in wildcat, and also has a  ton of work in shotgun. Doesn’t seem like a huge deal but anyone remember DeMarco Murray looking lost at times when taking snaps from shotgun in Chip Kelly’s system? Rhetorical question but my point is it can matter when evaluating a prospect. The ONE thing that I don’t love about McCaffrey’s game is he doesn’t fall forward. He isn’t a big back and often uses elusiveness to force missed tackles. If McCaffrey is there when the Eagles are on the clock, I’d assume Howie Roseman and Joe Douglas would think long and hard about taking him.

Film Room: Why the Eagles should be interested in Marlon Humphrey

Film Room: Why the Eagles should be interested in Marlon Humphrey

I first want to start by saying this: I am in no way shape or form a scout. I don’t get paid to do any of this. I don’t expect you to hold my opinions on draft prospects to a higher standard than yours or anyone else’s. I’ll never comment or offer my opinion on anything I don’t feel I am educated about. I trust my eyes more than most, but I will never ever be the guy that thinks he is 100% right on a prospect because I’ve watched countless hours on them. The draft is a crapshoot and scouts who get paid a lot of money miss annually on prospects so I don’t expect to be right all the time. Honestly I, and everyone else are wrong more than we are right, which is fine! I simply love talking the draft, it’s one of my favorite times of the year.

So without further ado, here is the first prospect I think the Eagles will be interested in if he is available when the Eagles are on the clock.

 

Oct 8, 2016; Fayetteville, AR, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks wide receiver Keon Hatcher (4) catches a pass for a touchdown as Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Marlon Humphrey (26) defends during the second quarter at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Marlon Humphrey – CB – Alabama: Yes, an Alabama cornerback. I’ve heard it. He was surrounded by a great pass rush, he can’t cover downfield, he has no ball skills. Thing is, I think one of those three things are true about Humphrey. The Alabama defense as a whole was stacked. The defensive line is filled with tons of talent, Rueben Foster is a near lock to go in round 1, but that does’t mean Marlon Humphrey is this average cornerback who was hidden by talent around him. He was rarely asked to cover very long because Alabama’s defense got to the QB very fast, but when he did I think he did it well. Humpohrey’s ball skills are not great, but I think they’re underrated. The narrative seems to be he looks lost when the ball is in the air, I disagree and I’ll show why.

Let’s talk about the fit.

Jim Schwartz preaches competition. He loves player’s on his defense who fight on every play. Marlon Humphrey is that guy. Whether it’s in coverage or helping out in the run game, Humphrey competes on every single play.

My favorite part of Marlon Humphrey’s game is his ability to come up and tackle in the run game. Whether it’s a wide receiver screen on his side, or a running back cuts outside towards him, Humphrey is always involved.

Now the fun part. Let’s look at a few plays that sum up Humphrey’s game.

Example 1..

What you don’t see on this play is Humphrey completely man handle his man and shed a block, then he fires into the running back like a missile. Love it.

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Wide receiver screens don’t work either. Love the fact Humphrey doesn’t think twice, he sees the play develop and reacts.

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This play doesn’t seem like much, but watch Humphrey press John Ross, one of the best wide receiver’s in the draft class. Humphrey plays mean and has confidence which the Eagles secondary desperately needs. John Ross’ stats vs Alabama? 5 catches for 28 yards and 0 touchdowns. Humphrey had a lot to do with that.

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Now let’s look at some coverage from Marlon Humphrey. His strengths are jamming receivers and jumping short routes. Here is Humphrey in zone coverage, looks like cover-2. He reads the QB’s eyes, steps toward the flat, then breaks back to pick off the corner route. Ball skills don’t look bad to me here.

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Next play. Let’s talk about recovery. Humphrey is typically really good at getting his hands on receivers and jamming at the line. It doesn’t always workout, though. Here, he gets beat at the line, catches up to the receiver, locates the ball and gets a nice pass deflection. Again, showing solid ball skills.

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Although Humphrey is aggressive, he shows something here. Top of the screen, Arkansas runs a “sluggo” on Humphrey, and he doesn’t even bite. Sticks on his man and knows a double move is coming.

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Obviously Marlon Humphrey isn’t a perfect prospect, he has stiff hips and isn’t great at locating the ball. Despite that, I think he can turn into a really good cornerback because of how quick his feet are and how good he is at using his arms and size is press. If Marlon Humophrey is there at pick 14, I expect the Eagles (with heavy influence from Jim Schwartz) to think long and hard about selecting him.

If you enjoyed the article, please share. As always, go Birds!

 

 

Why the Eagles should NOT sign Alshon Jeffery

Why the Eagles should NOT sign Alshon Jeffery

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 02: Alshon Jeffery #17 of the Chicago Bears participates in warm-ups before a game against the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field on October 2, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Nelson Agholor hasn’t performed like a first round wide receiver should. Jordan Matthews is a limited slot receiver. Dorial-Green-Beckham has little to no idea how to play the wide receiver position. A fragile Ryan Mathews is the “starting” running back in a backfield that features what seems to be a new running back every series.

Other than that, Carson Wentz had a lot of talent around him in 2016. No seriously, you could make an argument that the Eagles had the worst starting skill positions in the entire NFL in 2016. Their biggest need that stood out, offensively at least, is a true, number one, go to wide receiver.

Nearly every single pending free agent wide receiver has been linked to the Eagles. Most probably aren’t true, and agents across the league are aware it’s widely known the Eagles are in dire need of an upgrade, or two, at the receiver position, so they leak the Eagles having “interest” in their clients. You see it happen every offseason in every sport.

One name linked to the Eagles is Alshon Jeffery. If you’re reading this, you’re more than likely an Eagles fan, and you’ve probably read multiple reports stating the Eagles high interest in the pro bowl wide receiver.

Back during the season, the Eagles reportedly tried to trade for Alshon Jeffery near the trade deadline so they could work out a deal mid-season and not have to deal with a bidding war like they might end up doing this upcoming free agency period.

So the interest seems to be there. Jeffery, just 27, could be Carson Wentz’s go-to-guy, the next 3,4 even 5 years.

COULD be.

Jeffery could also fail a drug test and be suspended 10 games, or maybe Jeffery will continue to live on the injury report and miss what seems to be every other game during the season. Is Alshon Jeffery talented? Absolutely. Is he worth Julio Jones money? If you answered yes, you’re lying to yourself.

Yes, the Eagles have a need at wide receiver. Yes, there should be an emphasis on surrounding Carson Wentz with weapons. Yes, Alshon Jeffery would be fun to pair with Carson Wentz.

The other side of the argument?

Well, one, let’s factor in cap space. The Eagles currently have the 4th lowest cap space available in the entire NFL.

“What about freeing up space? They can cut some players to make room!”

Yes, the Eagles can make some room, but signing Jeffery to $15 million per season sort of hinders the Eagles from doing much else in 2017 and beyond.

Beyond? What’s that?

Looking ahead to the 2018 season, the Eagles are the ONLY team in the NFL that is projected to have NEGATIVE cap space. Yes, the cap will rise, yes, cuts and restructures can happen, but the fact is, the Eagles are currently projected to have $100 million less than the Detroit Lions in cap space in 2018. And that is before signing Alshon Jeffery, if they were to do so.

There are many WR options for the Eagles that require less money, and less investment. When you sign a big time free agent, pressure, scrutiny, and unnecessary drama is brought to a team. If Jeffery is signed and underperforms, then what? Eventually the Eagles won’t be able to continue giving large contracts to free agents that are on the trade block two years later for underperforming.

Last year, Howie Roseman worked his magic and landed Carson Wentz. Carson Wentz is now their franchise QB. But remember, franchise QB’s aren’t here for one year, they’re here for 10 plus years (ideally). Surrounding talent that Wentz can grow with doesn’t all need to happen in one year. Be patient and build this thing right.

Go Birds.

Despite being 4-4, The Eagles are in good shape because of Carson Wentz.

Despite being 4-4, The Eagles are in good shape because of Carson Wentz.

When Sam Bradford was traded to the Minnesota Vikings, Eagles fans were confused on what to expect in 2016. Carson Wentz, a rookie, from North Dakota State, was now the starting quarterback of a team that finished 7-9 last season.

The offensive line was a question mark. There’s no established threat at the wide receiver position. A rookie head coach with a rookie quarterback. Despite all the unknowns, Carson Wentz led the Eagles to a 3-0 start and had Eagles fans adjusting their expectations. A playoff berth was anticipated. The NFC East was the Eagles’ to lose. Things looked promising.

As we all know, things can change quickly in the NFL For two weeks, an average team can look like Super Bowl contenders. A very good team can go on a two game skid. After the 3-0 start, the Eagles have dropped four of their last five games. Three coming from NFC East rivals. Things don’t look so great now. Playoffs aren’t expected anymore. The NFC East is now the Cowboys’ to lose.

At the halfway point of the season, the Eagles stand at 4-4. Despite the average start, the Eagles are in good shape. Maybe not for the 2016 season, but for the next 13 years. Why?

Carson Wentz.

Look, I get it, after the hot start, it’s human for expectations to rise. And who knows, the Eagles may finish this season hot and reach the playoffs. But if they don’t, it’s okay. The toughest thing to find in the NFL is a franchise quarterback and by the looks of it, The Eagles found theirs.

Yes, it’s only been 8 games, but when you watch Carson Wentz, it’s tough to not be impressed. He showcases everything you want in a quarterback. Size, arm strength, pocket awareness, mobility, the ability to stay calm in chaotic situations, an arm sleeve full of swag, red hair. No seriously, he has it all. The statistics look meh, but the tape looks promising. By no means is Wentz a finished product. He’s still very much a rookie. There are times he has bad footwork, misses throws, takes bad sacks. That’s all part of the process.

I’d even make an argument that Carson Wentz’s current situation, dealing with a below average wide receiving unit, and a shaky offensive line, amongst other things, is good for his development. You see Dak Prescott in Dallas surrounded by the league’s best offensive line, an incredible run game, and a top-15 wide receiver and things look awesome right now. But eventually the quarterback is going to have to carry you. I’m not saying Dak Prescott can’t turn into that guy, but if I were to put money on he or Wentz having to carry an NFL team 5 years from now, I’d put it on Wentz.

Moving forward, Howie Roseman’s number one priority is surrounding Carson Wentz with weapons and protection. Bad NFL teams stay bad by reaching on quarterbacks in the draft. The Eagles don’t have to worry about that. Rather than reach in the draft for a quarterback, their main objective is to find offensive lineman, wide receivers, or anything that helps Wentz, and we all know it’s much easier to find positional players rather than a quarterback.

Enjoy the ride, Eagles fans. Carson Wentz is going to do a lot of good things followed up by a lot of bad things. It’s expected for a rookie quarterback. But the next time you’re upset over an interception, a missed throw, a bad sack, or a bad loss, remember the Eagles have their quarterback for the next 10+ years. Carson Wentz is the real deal.

We Are Still a Long Way Away From Knowing if Carson Wentz is a Franchise QB

We Are Still a Long Way Away From Knowing if Carson Wentz is a Franchise QB

 

This generation is the most impatient generation ever. Things happen so quickly.

Think about when you meet someone you like. You get their number. We are LONG PAST the time when we would wait to call.

Guys, be honest, you get a girl’s number nowadays, you are sending a text the day of. Will she go on a date with you, how interested is she? We want answers NOW.

The world of twitter isn’t helping. With instant updates, opinions, observations and “evaluations,” it’s easy to judge too quickly. We see it daily. An NFL player may have two Super Bowl wins and multiple pro bowl berths on his resume, but as soon as he has a bad outing, twitter reacts instantly saying he’s lost it.

People want to be the first to have an opinion on something or someone. Steph Curry for example, he’s been great the last two years in the NBA. He’s reached the NBA finals two consecutive years in a row, and broke the NBA 3-point record. Great stuff. In the midst of it, he was being mentioned in the same breath as Michael Jordan and LeBron James, two of the greatest players to ever touch a basketball. We live in a time of now, which causes an overreaction to just about everything.

Dak Prescott, a fourth round pick in this year’s draft, had his jersey inducted into the Hall of Fame after his stellar preseason. Okay, not really, but seriously, the hype around that man after 3 preseason games was unreal. He entered week one as the Cowboys starter due to Tony Romo being injured and Prescott looked like a rookie quarterback in his debut. Am I ready to write him off? Absolutely not.

When Carson Wentz laced up in an Eagles uniform for his first ever NFL game, I had no idea what to expect. Second overall pick coming out of North Dakota State facing live NFL competition? Overall, the results were positive. This past Sunday, Carson Wentz didn’t play like a rookie against the Cleveland Browns. Of course, he had his fair share of plays where his inexperience showed up, but overall, Wentz showed why the Eagles traded up and drafted him 2nd overall in the 2016 NFL draft. Poise, arm talent, he looked promising.

Of course, after the game, many Eagles fans were excited. Some a little more than others. And as much as Carson Wentz showed in his first game, there is still a very long way to go before we have any idea what type of NFL QB Wentz will be. Teams are going to adjust. It’s up to Wentz to adjust back. And back-and-fourth it goes. The good quarterbacks stay ahead of the curve, whether Wentz does is yet to be seen.

I get us all wanting to predict and compare performances of players and give out an opinion. But at the end of the day, these things take time. Carson Wentz could be the next great thing and bring championships to Philadelphia. There is also a real chance Wentz absolutely flops and is a below average quarterback in the NFL. Thing is we won’t know until at least 2018.

Carson Wentz will face the Chicago Bears in his second career start on Monday Night Football with the entire country watching. If he plays well again, expect a ton of hype. If he struggles, expect national media to question whether or not the Eagles made a mistake in trading up for him.

Literally as I am writing this piece, a twitter account tweets out a picture with Dak Prescott, Carson Wentz, Brock Osweiler and Jimmy Garoppolo asking twitter “Who the best QB is?” As if any of us have any idea how it’ll all pan out. We can all guess, but in reality we all have no fucking clue how it will work out.

This is what makes sports fun. We don’t know a thing.

Kendricks, Agholor and the overall feeling of the Eagles heading into 2016

Kendricks, Agholor and the overall feeling of the Eagles heading into 2016

There are a ton of things going on regarding the Eagles as we approach opening day on September 11th, where the Eagles take on the Browns at Lincoln Financial Field. Let’s jump straight to it.

MYCHAL KENDRICKS: While addressing the media, Doug Pederson mentioned Mychal Kendricks would be playing in the 4th and final preseason game. Pederson is a new coach, so I’d let this slide if he was consistent with playing other starters. Pederson mentioned Kendricks as the only starter that would play on Thursday against the Jets. Maybe he’s just trying to get Kendricks caught up since he’s had an injury holding him out. But why is Jordan Matthews, who’s yet to play in the preseason not suiting up against the Jets as well?

I’m not guaranteeing Mychal Kendricks won’t be on the roster when the season begins in less than two weeks, but with the Eagles signing Stephen Tulloch, who Jim Schwartz highly covets, it wouldn’t shock me at all to see Kendricks moved. Remember, Chip Kelly was the head of team personnel when Kendricks was given a 4-year $29 million extension, not Howie Roseman. Keep an eye on this situation.

NELSON AGHOLOR: Yes, I am the biggest Nelson Agholor advocate. I continue to give him the benefit of the doubt. A part of it is because he was taken 20th overall in the first round of the 2015 draft. The other reason(s) are what I have seen from him on tape. I’m not sure if Agholor is still hindered by the ankle injury that made him miss 3 games last season or what, but Agholor looks to have lost a step. Or two. He doesn’t look like the explosive player he was, coming out of USC.

Some bring up confidence with Agholor as the issue. And sure, that may play into his mental drops. And at times he does look like he’s rushing. Almost as if he’s still adjusting to NFL speed. But lack of confidence doesn’t make a player run slower. Agholor doesn’t look like the guy I was so very, very high on coming out of college last season. I still have hope he can turn it on, but man, am I losing patience. One thing that intrigues me is Pederson and the staff continuing to be so high on Agholor. Despite the struggles, he isn’t set to play against New York and looks to have the starting “X” position locked up. I’ll have a close eye on him opening day against Cleveland.

SAM BRADFORD: Yes, it’s just preseason, but Sam Bradford has looked good this preseason, especially week 3 against Indianapolis. Bradford has completed 80% of his throws. And when you watch the games, that completion percentage correlates with what you see. Bradford looks calm in the pocket, and seems to have a firm grasp of what Pederson wants to do on offense. The West Coast offense is much more complex than Chip Kelly’s. One of Bradford’s strengths is his mental approach to the game. Pederson’s offense allows Bradford to check to plays if a defense shows its cards. Excited about Sam Bradford in 2016, I expect a career year.

THE D LINE: Again, it’s just preseason, but there are things you can takeaway when watching these games. If a defensive coordinator is calling exotic blitzes while an offense has a vanilla gameplan, the defense’s success should be taken with a grain of salt. But when I see the Eagles defense generating a ton of pressure and breaking down a QB’s pocket with just a 4-man rush, I pay attention. The Eagles in every preseason game have looked like the more physical team in the trenches. Good defenses control the line of scrimmage and the Eagles D line looks like it is going to cause opposing offenses fits this season. Look out.

GENERAL FEELING: I like where the Eagles are heading into 2016. The achilles heel for the offense will be the health and play of the offensive line. So far, they’ve stayed healthy and have looked good in both the run-game and pass protection. With a clean pocket, Sam Bradford can be a really good quarterback in this league. I know people are hesitant, but get excited about this defense. They have top-8 potential. Jim Schwartz has never had a defensive front like this. I know people are down on the Eagles, but it wouldn’t shock me if they won 10 games and competed for the division. All goes back to the O line and if they can holdup. We will see.

Fly Eagles Fly.