Eagles Mailbag: Dalvin Cook, draft cornerbacks, backup QBs

Eagles Mailbag: Dalvin Cook, draft cornerbacks, backup QBs

The immediate flurry of free-agent moves has come and gone, but we still have plenty of time before the draft. 

It's clear that now the focus has shifted that way. 

We got plenty of repeat questions, so if your question didn't make the cut, that's probably why. We got enough questions to split these up, so look forward to a couple more in the next few days. 

Let's not waste any time. To your questions: 

I really like Dalvin Cook and I think he can be a good player in the league. But for me, it's still about value, and I think there might be better value on the board at 14. 

With that said, I'm not completely against the idea of Cook. I don't think it would be a bad pick. In fact, I think he would immediately make the Eagles much, much better. He would come in and be that three-down back teams always look for.

But here's the thing, what if DE Derek Barnett or CB Marshon Lattimore are there? What if the Eagles think more of wide receivers Mike Williams or Corey Davis? What if one of the cornerbacks who doesn't get talked about as much -- like Marlon Humphrey or Quincy Wilson or Tre'Davious White -- is sitting there? It's hard for the Eagles to screw this one up. 

I probably wouldn't draft Cook just because I'd prefer to grab an impact player then draft a running back later -- I like Jamaal Williams from BYU -- but drafting Cook wouldn't be terrible. 

I'm still convinced that the Eagles will cut Ryan Mathews at some point. But they can't do it until he is completely healthy, which might not be for a while. 

Eventually, they'll cut him and save $4 million in cap space. The problem is, by the time they get that relief, they won't really need it. 

As far as the others, Jason Kelce and Mychal Kendricks won't be cut, but I still wouldn't rule out trades. 

Yeah, I don't know. But I'll use this space to talk about Chase Daniel. It was an awful contract, an awful idea. No way around it. 

If the plan was to use him as a Doug Pederson-type quarterback to start until Wentz was ready, that would have made more sense. But the way it ended up working out was the Eagles paid him a ton of money to not play football in 2016. 

Here's the one thing I will say about Daniel: While he was wildly overpaid, it's hard to figure out how valuable he was to Carson Wentz during his rookie year. When Wentz would arrive at the facility at 5:30 a.m., he wasn't watching film with Pederson or John DeFillipo or Frank Reich. He was watching it with Daniel. So maybe he was valuable to Wentz last year. It just seems like in Year 2, that role was much less necessary. 

I think they should be. I know the Eagles are over Band-Aid cornerbacks and they shouldn't pay a ton of money for one. Still, there's some value in bringing it at least one veteran. The only real vet on the roster right now is Ron Brooks. 

Either way, though, I think the Eagles are going to take a couple corners in this draft. It's just too deep not to, especially considering the need at the position. 

Yeah, this is a complete guess. I'll say Stefen Wisniewski and Isaac Seumalo. For a long time, I thought the Eagles were going to hold on to Kelce, but with so much depth, a trade makes sense. It's a weak free-agent class at center, and the draft isn't great. They can get some kind of return for Kelce.

Don't sleep on Chance Warmack, either. He might be able to steal a starting gig (Ray Didinger is a big fan).  

Oreos. Not even close. If you're coming chocolate chip cookies, gotta go homemade. Oreos are the best dunking cookies too. Optimal dunkability.  

Forever linked to Reggie White, Derek Barnett wants to create own identity

Forever linked to Reggie White, Derek Barnett wants to create own identity

Derek Barnett was 4 years old when Reggie White played in his final NFL game.

Nonetheless, the two are inexorably linked. And probably always will be.

Barnett broke White's University of Tennessee career sack record this past winter, and on Thursday — 25 years after White played his final game in an Eagles uniform — Barnett joined the team White spent his first eight NFL seasons with.

Barnett said Friday he's actually been in contact with White's widow, Sara, who contacted him after he broke Reggie's Volunteers sack record in the Music City Bowl against Nebraska in Nashville this past Dec. 30.

"She gave me a phone call about a week after the bowl game after I broke the record," Barnett said. "She just congratulated me on everything I've accomplished.

"Even though I broke the record, I told her, 'Reggie's still Reggie. I don't think I'm better than Reggie.' I told her thank you a lot and I really appreciated it.

"It meant a lot. She went out of her way. She didn't have to call me, but I'm glad she did."

Barnett recorded 33 sacks in his college career. White had 32.

Now, let's be realistic. Barnett is not White. Nobody is. White recorded 124 sacks in 121 games as an Eagle — more than one per game.

Add in his six years with the Packers and final season with the Panthers, and White had 198 sacks in his career. That stood as the NFL record until Bruce Smith finished with 200. White still ranks second all-time.

White, inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006, his first year of eligibility, died the day after Christmas in 2004.

It was Sara White who spoke for White at his Hall of Fame induction in Canton, Ohio, and Barnett said he can't wait to meet her in person.

"She lives in Nashville, so when I get the chance, I will go over there and meet with them," Barnett said. "But Reggie White, in Knoxville, is a legend. He's all over the place in the state of Tennessee."

Since White left Philly for Green Bay, the Eagles have drafted exactly one defensive end who's ever had double-digit sacks in a season. That was Trent Cole, a fifth-round pick in 2005.

One guy in a quarter of a century.

Barnett said he actually watched old film of White while he was in college to try and learn from his arsenal of pass-rush moves.

"I watched tape of him at Tennessee because I was trying to put the hump move in my game," Barnett said. "As a pass rusher, I feel like everyone has their own moves and I think that move is for him, probably not for me."

None of this is really fair to Barnett, who found himself being compared to maybe the greatest defensive player in NFL history before his NFL career was 24 hours old.

In an open letter to NFL teams published in the Players' Tribune this week, Barnett said he's proud he broke White's record but ultimately wants to be known for more.

"You might know me as the kid who broke Reggie White's sack record at Tennessee, but that's not the only thing I'm going to be remembered for by the time I leave this game," he wrote.

"Achieving that sack record definitely meant a lot to me, but I would have traded it away in a heartbeat to have won a championship while I was in college."

NFL draft Day 2 updates: Another CB, and so is Dalvin Cook

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NFL draft Day 2 updates: Another CB, and so is Dalvin Cook

The Latest on the NFL draft (all times Eastern):

Latest picks from the NFL draft:

No. 33 Green Bay (from Cleveland)

Kevin King, CB, 6-3, 203, Washington

One of the tallest corners in the draft. Big question is top-end speed.

No. 34 Jacksonville (from Seattle through San Francisco)

Cam Robinson, OT, 6-6, 322, Alabama

The All-American has all the measurable. Needs more consistent footwork.

No. 35 Seattle (from Jacksonville)

Malik McDowell, DT, 6-6, 295, Michigan State

Inconsistent play and some injuries as a junior kept him out of the first round. Freaky athlete.

No. 36 Arizona (from Chicago)

Budda Baker, S, 5-10, 195, Washington

Baker goes to the team that has the player he is most often compared: Tyrann Mathieu.

No. 37 Buffalo (Los Angeles Rams)

Zay Jones, WR, 6-2, 201, East Carolina

Jones led the nation in catches with a record 158 last season. Yes, 158.

7:15 p.m.

The Green Bay Packers opened the second round of the NFL draft by selecting Washington cornerback Kevin King.

Green Bay traded out of the first round, so King, a 6-3 former safety, was its first addition in this draft. The Packers owned the 29th pick, which they sent to Cleveland on Thursday night.

Just before Friday's selection, Commissioner Roger Goodell and former Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski thanked Philadelphia and the fans. Folks in the theater even booed Goodell's tribute, but not when "Jaws" repeated it.

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6:45 p.m.

Cardinals first-round draft pick Haason Reddick arrived in Arizona Friday and gushed about his new NFL home.

He praised the welcoming fans and called the area "heaven on earth."

Apparently nobody warned him about practicing in 120-degree summer temperatures.

The versatile linebacker also said he's looking forward to learning behind veteran Karlos Dansby, who was signed to a one-year contract.

Reddick, the 13th pick overall, said he's already talked to Dansby and that he's "blessed and lucky" to be in a position to learn from him.

Round two of the draft begins at 7 p.m. with a pick by Green Bay.

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