The Endangered Eagles


HEATHER KHALIFA / The Philadelphia Inquirer


There's a lot of talk on social media today about Jalen Hurts and the Eagles. The reports are that team owner Jeffrey Lurie has come out and instructed his front office to build around Jalen. He doesn't want any competition, or even perceived competition brought in against Jalen. Whether or not Jalen is the right guy at QB is to be determined, but from an ownership perspective this is the right thing to do. Make sure your second year QB knows he has the full confidence of the organization behind him and try to go out and get him the pieces that will help him be successful. There is only one issue here, Howie Roseman will be acquiring said pieces.


There's rumors out there that the Eagles are actively shopping Brandon Brooks. Nothing says building around your young QB like looking to trade one of the better guards in football. Now I understand the Eagles are embracing a bit of a rebuild here, and to pull off a rebuild, draft capital and cap flexibility are essential. This is where Howie's shortcomings come into play. He's disastrous at scouting talent. Here are the Eagles draft classes since 2016 courtesy of Shane Haff at the paintedlines.com:


The 2016 Draft


1×2 QB Carson Wentz

3×79 OG Isaac Seumalo

5×153 RB Wendell Smallwood

5×164 OT Halapoulavaati Vaitai

6×196 CB Blake Countess

7×233 CB/S Jalen Mills

7×240 DE Alex McCalister

7×251 ILB Joe Walker


Vaitai and Smallwood were big parts of the 2017 SB run, but neither are on the team anymore. In fact the only players still on the team from this class are Seumalo and Mills (pending free agent). Carson was a no-brainer at #2 in that draft. I don't need to rehash the whole Wentz debacle. You can read our take on the Wentz trade here if you'd like.


The 2017 Draft


1×14 DE Derek Barnett

2×43 Sidney Jones

3×99 CB Rasul Douglas

4×118 WR Mack Hollins

4×132 RB Donnel Pumphrey

5×166 WR Shelton Gibson

5×184 S/LB Nathan Gerry

6×214 DT Elijah Qualls


Derek Barnett is a solid player, but he has had injury issues in recent years. Jones is in Jacksonville now. Rasul Douglas is in Carolina, and the rest of the class is relatively unnoteworthy.


The 2018 Draft Class


2×49 TE Dallas Goedert

4×125 CB Avonte Maddox

4×130 DE Josh Sweat

6×206 OT Matt Pryor

7×233 OT Jordan Mailata


Dallas Goedert is a solid TE when healthy, Maddox has 2 career INTs, both coming in his rookie season, and Josh Sweat has 10 sacks in three seasons. Sweat showed some promise as he received more playing time last season, so he may have the opportunity to have a breakout year in 2021.


The 2019 Draft


1×22 OT Andre Dillard

2×53 RB Miles Sanders

2×57 WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside

4×138 DE Shareef Miller

5×167 QB Clayton Thorson


Andre Dillard has only started 4 games and missed all of 2020 with a bicep injury, the jury is still out here. Miles Sanders is solid, but was underutilized by Doug Pederson. J.J. is one of the bigger draft busts in recent history. How Howie drafted him over a guy like D.K. Metcalf is mind boggling to me. That in and of itself is a fireable offense in my opinion. There isn't much to say about the last two.


The 2020 Draft


1x21 WR Jalen Reagor

2x53 QB Jalen Hurts

3x103 OLB Davion Taylor

4x127 S K'Von Wallace

4x145 OT Jack Driscoll

I'd put the rest of the draft but there's no one worth putting


The jury is still out on Reagor and Hurts, but Reagor did not get off to a great start. Especially when you consider he was taken a couple picks before Justin Jefferson. Reagor has the potential to be another J.J. over D.K. situation if he doesn't show some promise in 2021.


The only player to make a pro bowl from Howie's draft selections since 2013 has been Carson Wentz. As you can see Howie and drafting go together worse than oil and water. Even more terrifying is the capital he has this season to do damage with.


2021 Draft Picks


No. 6, 1st round

No. 37, 2nd round

No. 70, 3rd round

No. 85, 3rd round (from Indianapolis)

No. 134, 5th round

No. 140, 5th round (from Dallas)

No. 165, 6th round

No. 198, 7th round


8 more players that will never amount to much in this league. This draft is deep, and with multiple QBs expected to go in the top 5 Howie will have his pick from the position players, of which there is many good options. If he fans on the 6th pick, then it's time to pack the bags. Howie's record in free agency has been 50/50, which is about par for the league. This won't be much of a factor this year as the Eagle's are in cap hell thanks to nearly $39M in dead money for Wentz and Desean Jackson. The team currently sits at $34M in the red. Zach Ertz is expected to be traded or cut which frees up anywhere between $5-$7.25M. Fletcher Cox is a restructuring candidate. Even with both of these there is still a ways to go to get under the cap. The team should look at trading a guy like Javon Hargraves to free up some more space. His signing last year was puzzling to me as the Dline was never a weak point in previous seasons for the Eagles. At a $15M cap hit for several seasons he made no sense for this team. Just another head scratcher from Howie. Adding pieces via free agency is going to be extremely difficult this season, if it's even possible at any point. Luckily next season they are looking at nearly $71M in cap space as of now.


The offensive line should be priority #1 in this years draft. A major downfall for this team last year was injuries and decline in production up front. If the team wants to get an honest evaluation of Jalen Hurts this season, then he needs to have a chance to show what he can do. Miles Sanders should be a solid option at RB and the TE group will be handed to Goedert. They will need to add some weapons on the outside, and I would advise against allowing Howie to have any say in the receiver selection process. The defensive line is still solid, but talent needs to be added at LB and in the secondary. Straying away from adding to the Oline, LBs, and secondary in the draft will be a major mistake.


Firing Doug Pederson was a step in the right direction for this franchise. This offseason will be a success just from that alone. I argue that Wentz was never the issue in Philly and shouldn't have been traded, but I see why they felt it had to be done. New HC Nick Sirianni has his hands full in year one. Luckily for him he just has to look better than Chip Kelly and Doug Pederson, which shouldn't be too hard to do. This division should be less of a dumpster fire this season, so a sub .500 record shouldn't be good enough for playoff contention in 2021. Also may the injury gods look down a bit more fondly upon the Eagles in 2021. Hard to do much when half the roster is consistently on IR. This offseason and upcoming season are critical ones for the future of this franchise. Personally I don't care which way this team goes, sink or swim. The reaction of the Philly faithful are going to be priceless to watch either way, I would prefer to see the batteries come out again if I were to choose.