Eagles Mailbag: First-rounder, close to playoffs, Seumalo's future

Eagles Mailbag: First-rounder, close to playoffs, Seumalo's future

Other teams are still playing and there are still months before free agency and the draft, but the NFL never sleeps. 

You have questions, we make up answers. 

Here's a look back at the week's first mailbag. Let's hop into this week's second here: 

OK, I'll play. I guess I'll try to put myself in the shoes of the GM. It's my team and I need to make sure I hit on this first-round pick. The problem is, it's not that easy. If it were me, I wouldn't just simply go best player available, but I would go BPA at several positions. So if the best player on the board is a corner, receiver or defensive lineman, that's what I'd do. I know by not going BPA with all positions might lead to a reach, but it won't be a Marcus Smith-type reach. There will be a player at one of those positions worthy of the 14th or 15th pick. 

Who? Well, that's where it gets trickier. We're so early in the process, so things could change. But right now, most people think there are clearly three receivers at the top: Mike Williams, Corey Davis and John Ross. 

There are also a few first-round type cornerbacks right now. Marlon Humphrey and Teez Tabor are probably the top two at the position. From what I've seen, I really like Tabor, but either one would be worth that first-round pick. Keep in mind, this draft is considered to be pretty deep at corner, so it's possible the Eagles could get great value in the second round. 

Then at defensive end, there are a few options and the Eagles could certainly use help from an edge rusher. If they lose Bennie Logan, they'll need a replacement there too. 

And then don't forget about running back Dalvin Cook. 

But if you're asking me to pick one right now. I'm saying Tabor. He's a top corner who's really aggressive, which means I think Jim Schwartz will like him a lot. 

I think it's a little dangerous to play the game the Eagles did at the end of this year. You know, "We lost close games, so we were a few plays away from being a good team." Bad teams find ways to lose those types of games and the Eagles proved themselves to be a bad team in 2016. 

With that said, sure. Sometimes all it takes for a team to become a playoff team is a few additions. There's plenty of parity in the league and the Eagles have some decent core players. 

Really, it all hinges on Carson Wentz. He's the key. If he improves in Year 2 (with some weapons), the Eagles could have a better season. Some of that depends on the Eagles' finally getting him some weapons. Howie Roseman talked about not aiming to go 10-6 anymore, that they want to aim to be a top team in the NFC, but they could certainly win 10 games next year and sneak into the playoffs. 

Sure, that's a thought and Seumalo might eventually be a center in the NFL, but for now he's a guard. In fact, I think he has a real chance to be the starter at left guard next season. He got a chance to start there in the season finale and played well, looked natural. 

I know a lot of people are ready to move on from Jason Kelce and I understand the frustration. He's never going to be a center who can take on nose guards 1-on-1. He is, however, great at getting downfield and blocking and the Eagles just have to play to his strengths more. 

Having the same center next season might help Wentz too. 

I hear what you're saying, but I think it's too early to make that statement about Wentz. While Wentz had some down moments during his rookie season, it's hard to judge him on it because of the talent he had around him. 

We really didn't see him take many shots this season, so I don't have a large enough sample size to say his accuracy deep is a huge problem. 

The thing that should worry some fans is that many of his misses come high. It's something we've seen from him since the spring and it showed up a lot during his rookie season. For years, people made fun of Donovan McNabb for throwing so many balls into the dirt, but balls in the dirt don't get picked off. Balls that soar do. 

I suppose there's a possibility Schwartz could leave for a head coaching job, but I don't think it happens. And even if a team is interested in him, I get the feeling he wouldn't take just anything. He's been a head coach before and he likely wouldn't want to be put in a bad situation. 

Aside from that, nearly all of the head coaches hired last offseason were offensive coaches. There are some hotter names among the defensive coaches than Schwartz right now: Lions DC Teryl Austin, Dolphins DC Vance Joseph, Panthers DC Sean McDermott and Patriots DC Matt Patricia, among others. 

2017 NFL draft prospect watch: Eyeing corners, receivers to fill Eagles' biggest needs

2017 NFL draft prospect watch: Eyeing corners, receivers to fill Eagles' biggest needs

It's no secret the Eagles' biggest needs are at corner and receiver.

Luckily for the Birds, this year's class features some decent talent at both positions.

With that in mind, we take a look at six prospects that could help next season and beyond.

CB Teez Tabor, Florida, junior (6-0/201)
Tabor came into the season as one of, if not the best defensive back in college football, and he hasn't disappointed. Tabor showed off his excellent ball skills during his sophomore season with four interceptions. He has three this season and has the necessary size, speed and swagger to be an elite corner at the next level.

No. 23 Florida at No. 16 LSU, 1 p.m., SEC Network

CB Sidney Jones, Washington, junior (6-0/181)
Jones is the best player in arguably the best secondary in college football. Jones has good size, athleticism and instincts. Jones helped limit USC receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, considered by many to be the best receiver in college football, to three catches for 41 yards. He also has excellent ball skills, picking off eight passes in his career with the Huskies.

No. 6 Washington vs. Arizona State, 7:30 p.m., FOX

CB Chidobe Awuzie, Colorado, senior (6-0/205)
Awuzie doesn't have the pedigree of Tabor or Jones. He was just a two-star recruit coming out of high school, but has been a four-year starter. For all his experience, he's just 21. He seems like a fit for Jim Schwartz's defense. He's aggressive and plays with an edge. He's a playmaker, with 24 tackles for a loss, eight sacks and six forced fumbles from the corner position. He could be a mid-round steal.

No. 10 Colorado vs. No. 22 Washington State, 3:30 p.m., FOX

WR Corey Davis, Western Michigan, senior (6-3/213)
Davis is a stud. He's closing in on 300 catches, 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns in his college career. He's sort of getting lost in the shuffle while Clemson's Mike Williams and Washington's John Ross continue to rise. If Davis slips out of the first round, he'll be a steal. He's got size, hands, speed and is an excellent route runner. He's the whole package.

No. 21 Western Michigan vs. Buffalo, 3:30 p.m., ESPNU

WR Dede Westbrook, Oklahoma, senior (6-0/175)
Westbrook had four catches for 88 yards and two touchdowns in a win over Baylor. The scary thing is, that's an off game for Westbrook. After a slow start in his first three games, Westbrook has been on an absolute tear. Over his last seven games, the speedy Westbrook has averaged 7.3 catches, 157.1 yards and two touchdowns.

Oklahoma at West Virginia, 8 p.m., ABC

WR Amba Etta-Tawo, Syracuse, senior (6-2/202)
A graduate transfer student from Maryland, Etta-Tawo has had a monster season and is a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award, given to the nation's top receiver. After a pretty modest career at Maryland, Etta-Tawo has scorched defenses to the tune of 78 catches for 1,242 yards and eight touchdowns this season.

There's certainly concern that Etta-Tawo could be a one-year wonder, but he could be a late-round steal. He's not the fastest receiver but he's got long arms, strong hands and attacks the football at its highest point. The Eagles need all the depth and competition they can get in their receiving corps.

Syracuse vs. No. 17 Florida State, 3:30 p.m., ABC

2017 NFL draft prospect watch: Weapons for Eagles' Carson Wentz

2017 NFL draft prospect watch: Weapons for Eagles' Carson Wentz

With no need to look at quarterbacks in 2017, the Eagles will be focused on guys for their franchise signal caller to get the football to.

They'll also be looking at the one position on defense that appears to be a weakness: corner.

Here's a look at how some of the better receivers and corners in the 2017 draft class fared this past weekend:

Corey Davis, Western Michigan, senior, WR, (6-3/213)
Davis could be the Carson Wentz of the 2017 wide receiver class. He comes from a small school, but he's polished and could shoot up draft boards as evaluators delve deeper into the process. He's an excellent route runner with size and speed. He's also had success against better competition

Davis' domination of the Mid-American conference continued this weekend. The senior hauled in seven catches for 150 yards and three touchdowns in a win over North Carolina Central. He's had over 1,400 yards and snagged at least 12 touchdowns the last two seasons.

Travis Rudolph, Florida State, junior, WR, (6-1/192)
Rudolph is a long, explosive receiver with good ball skills. He could stand to get a little stronger but the playmaking ability is there. He had seven catches for 105 yards and two touchdowns in a win over Charleston Southern. He's coming off a strong sophomore campaign in which he had 916 yards and seven touchdowns.

Isaiah Ford, Virginia Tech, junior, WR, (6-2/190)
Like Rudolph, Ford has flashed some explosiveness but needs to add more bulk. Ford had a monster sophomore season (75 catches, 1,164 yards, 11 TDs). After a strong start against Liberty in Week 1, Ford was held in check by Cameron Sutton in Virginia Tech's loss to Tennessee. He was held to just five catches for 51 yards and was kept out of the end zone. 

Cameron Sutton, Tennessee, senior, CB, (5-11/186)
Speaking of Sutton, he was undressed on a play by Ford early in that game. Luckily for Sutton, the ball was underthrown and he was able to knock it away from Ford. Overall, Sutton did an excellent job on Ford. Sutton, who chose to come back for his senior season, also has three career touchdowns on punt returns. Sutton needs to get stronger but showed off his cover skills last season against Alabama stud receiver Calvin Ridley.

Teez Tabor, Florida, junior, CB, (6-0/201)
The defensive back, formerly known as Jalen, jumped all over a screen and intercepted it against Kentucky. He showed off his quickness and instincts. That's what makes him arguably the best defensive back in college football. Don't be surprised if Tabor is the first defensive back off the board come April.

Tre'Davious White, LSU, senior, CB, (6-0/197)
White had a ridiculous punt return in Saturday's win against Jacksonville state. OK, he won't be able to run backwards for 21 yards in the NFL, but the athleticism is impressive. White could have entered the draft last year and might have been selected in the first round. In a deeper defensive back pool in 2017, he'll likely be drafted on Day 2.