Eagles Mailbag: Defensive line, Nelson Agholor, top CBs in draft

Eagles Mailbag: Defensive line, Nelson Agholor, top CBs in draft

Remember that month where no one wanted to talk about the Eagles

Yeah, that's long gone. The evidence is in the abundance of questions we received for the mailbag this week. We got so many we split them up into three different installments. 

Part 1 looked at Dalvin Cook, corners in the draft and backup quarterbacks.

Part 2 looked at possible surprises at 14, John Ross and the team's starting corners.

Today, there are plenty more great topics. Let's hop in: 

It's funny. That was the talk all last offseason, about how the defensive line was going to be the strength. Fletcher Cox told me that unit really needed to lead the way. But was it really a strength? At times, sure. Cox had a good season and so did Brandon Graham. At other times, though, the defensive line was a disappointment. 

Now, the team has lost two of its four starters on the defensive line. That's definitely a concern. Beau Allen is a decent player, but he just isn't as good as Bennie Logan. And while Connor Barwin didn't have an extremely productive season, Vinny Curry didn't do anything to instill confidence as a starter. 

So to answer the question, fans shouldn't feel very comfortable right now. While everyone has been looking at this draft as a chance to get receivers and corners, the Eagles really need help on the edge and at interior defensive line. 

(Although, I'm higher than most on the two undrafted DTs the Eagles got last year -- Destiny Vaeao and Aziz Shittu.) 

I'm honestly not sure what the Eagles are thinking when it comes to Mixon. We all know he's talented, but we also know why some teams are going to have him completely off their draft boards. 

Some teams have hard stances on this type of thing. Basically, hit a woman and you're not going to be a member of this team. It doesn't seem like the Eagles have any kind of set-in-stone rules. They choose to go case-by-case with players. 

And last offseason, they proved that they'll overlook some off-the-field concerns to find value in a player. In fact, last year they drafted Jalen Mills, who had allegedly struck a woman. But there was no video or evidence in that case. There is with Mixon. 

This question will likely come up if reporters get to speak to Jeff Lurie at the owners meetings later this month. 

I have a feeling Samuel is going to be gone by this point. I'm not sure if this Eagles staff would be able to get the most out of him. He could be a truly dynamic weapon if he goes to the right offense. 

Sidney Jones would have been first on this list but his Achilles injury was huge. For that reason, I'm taking him completely off this list. These are my rankings:

1. Marshon Lattimore
2. Tre'Davious White
3. Marlon Humphrey
4. Quincy Wilson
5. Fabian Moreau 

Nope. Thanks to the structure of Agholor's standard rookie deal, it would actually hurt his cap number to cut him. That means he'll be back in 2017. The good news is he won't have the same prominent role because of Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith. Maybe he can at least become a role player. The problem is that he doesn't contribute on special teams. 

I think the Eagles would be foolish to completely rule him out because they don't need a tight end. I know they have Zach Ertz and Brent Celek and Trey Burton, but only Ertz is in Philly long-term as of now. And are Celek and Burton real reasons to ignore a huge impact player. 

There's actually a chance the Eagles won't have a decision to make, that Howard will be gone by the time they're on the board at 14. But if he isn't, it's not crazy to think about it. 

Eagles Mailbag: Surprises at 14, starting CBs, John Ross

Eagles Mailbag: Surprises at 14, starting CBs, John Ross

We're still over a month from the NFL draft, but questions are coming in fast. 

We answered the first group of your questions -- including Dalvin Cook, drafting corners and backup quarterbacks -- here

But there are still plenty more to get through. Let's jump in: 

Yeah, there are a few: 

DE Derek Barnett: There are a few reasons we haven't heard too much about Barnett and the Eagles. For starters, he doesn't play corner or receiver. But it's also assumed the defensive end will already be off the board when the Eagles pick. There's a chance he isn't, though. If that happens, the Eagles could really use him. 

TE O.J. Howard: If the Eagles are serious about going best player available at 14, it could very well be Howard. No, they don't need another tight end, but Howard has the chance to be great. 

DE Taco Charlton: Fourteen is too high for him, folks say. But teams are always in desperate need of pass rushers, so I wouldn't be surprised to see him rise up draft boards. 

And there have been plenty of corners mocked to the Eagles, but here are two names I haven't seen too much: Quincy Wilson and Tre'Davious White. I don't think either guy is out of the question. 

I don't think there are any receivers possible that you haven't heard yet. The top three -- Mike Williams, Corey Davis and John Ross -- should all be in play. 

Yup. I think so. The deals to bring in Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith shouldn't prevent the Eagles from drafting wideouts. 

Ross can flat out play. He's more than just a fast 40 time. The concern with him is his injury history. Gotta be available to make an impact. The Eagles will have to really check into his medicals. 

Wait, there are positions outside of receiver and corner? I almost forgot. 

There are other needs. The Eagles really need pass-rush help and they can get a good player within the first three rounds. They should. 

Also, running back is a need. I'm not sure it will be Dalvin Cook at 14, but it would be an absolute shocker if they didn't draft one. 

And the Eagles have two good starting safeties in place, but it's a good year for safeties in addition to corners. They shouldn't shy away from taking one just because it's not an immediate need. 

People have seemingly forgotten about Ron Brooks. No, he wasn't great last year and he's been a career backup, but Jim Schwartz really likes him. Brooks has been healing from a significant leg injury, but if he's healthy, I think he sticks around. 

So my guess is Brooks and Jalen Mills on the outside. Then, on third downs (when the team is in nickel), Brooks will move inside and a rookie to be named later will come in to play outside. 

Yeah, it's possible, but I have a feeling he'll be gone. There are four running backs who could go in the first round this year, a real departure from the classic thinking about grabbing one later. (Though, I still kind of fall on that side of the line.)

I think a better bet in the second round is grabbing a corner, especially if the Eagles don't take one in the first round. Guys like Teez Tabor, Gareon Conley or Fabian Moreau could be there. 

No way. Rotating on the offensive line just isn't a good idea. It's way too important for those guys to get into a rhythm and learn how to play with the guys next to them. Pick the best five and go with it. 

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.