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Since the Eagles traded for him in 2009, Jason Peters has become their longest-tenured player, one of the greatest players in franchise history and a likely future Hall of Famer. It all started with a simple conversation back in 2004. Back then, Peters was an undrafted rookie out of Arkansas in the middle of making a position switch from tight end to offensive tackle. The Buffalo Bills had him on their practice squad early in that 2004 season, but Howie Roseman (then the Eagles’ director of football administration) saw something special in the relatively unknown player. “He came in to me and said, ‘Watch the tape of this guy,’” former Eagles president Joe Banner remembered. “‘He’s kind of playing tight end, tackle, back and forth and it looks to me like he could be a really good offensive lineman.’ He’s not even on the team at this point. I watched the tape and agreed with him.”
“This is what I meant — every training camp we have all of these ex-players come and shake our hands, wish us good luck. Then, they just go out and just talk hate. I feel there is a lot of envy, jealously, and I see a lot of fakery. It isn’t just me — a lot of other teammates see it too. You would think the best quarterback in franchise history would try to build up a young man that looks up to him instead of always criticizing him, critiquing him and wishing he would fail so he could be the missing link and feel better himself. That is what I don’t like. I’m not a guy that thinks I have it all figured out, I have many problems as well, but I get tired of all the fakery to be honest with you. [...] I don’t think he wants [Wentz] to out-succeed him. I felt like a lot of players, even when we were making our Super Bowl [run] didn’t want us to win. That is just how it is. That’s how the world works. People can put on a good show, a good face, but the eyes never lie. I see it, a lot of other teammates see it.”
There are no star players above by any stretch, but that’s six young corners, some of whom have untapped potential, who are locks to make the roster. There should be some corners lingering at the end of the first round, but if the Eagles were to take one, they would then have seven corners. 6 + 1 = 7. That’s a lot of corners. #Math. Which of the above corners currently on the roster would they then try to trade for 50 cents on the dollar?
But if you want to place a bet on a position the Eagles are most likely to address early, defensive tackle might be the way to go, for a few reasons. Malik Jackson, the Jacksonville free agent the Eagles signed this offseason, had an odd year in 2018, getting benched by the Jaguars. Interior pass rush pressure has become a sort of defensive holy grail the last few seasons. That spot opposite Fletcher Cox is very important, in terms of freeing Cox to wreak havoc. And this draft is very strong at defensive tackle. It might be easier to get a difference-maker defensive tackle at 25th overall, where the Eagles draft in the first round, than at any other position this year – assuming they stay at 25. Defensive tackle isn’t something fans usually talk a lot about going into the draft. But the Eagles have drafted 10 of them in the last 15 years, and four times they have used their top pick that way – in 2005 with Mike Patterson, 31st overall; the next year with Brodrick Bunkley, 14th overall; in 2008 with Trevor Laws, when the Eagles didn’t have a first-rounder, tabbing Laws 47th overall, in the second round; and in 2012, when they took Fletcher Cox 12th overall.
DI Jerry Tillery, Notre Dame: Tillery isn’t quite in the same boat as the rest of the guys on the list because he’s landing in the first round of most mocks. I included him though because we are still so much higher on him than that. Tillery is a top-10 player on our draft board, and I’ve gone on record saying I wouldn’t criticize the Bucs if they drafted him at No. 5 overall. I can’t for the life of me see the on-field reasons why DeForest Buckner was a top-10 lock back in 2016 and Tillery isn’t considered the same. Tillery had a higher pass-rushing grade (92.5 vs. 84.7) while Tillery tested out better in every single drill at the combine except for broad jump, where the difference was an inch (9-7 vs. 9-8). Someone’s going to get a steal in Tillery.
With your help, the 10th Annual Huddle Up with Eagles Autism Challenge was able to raise more than $140,000 for the Center of Autism Research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Mel Kiper Jr. predicts the Giants will select their quarterback of the future in this year’s NFL draft, mentioning Daniel Jones as a possibility.
The 2019 NFL Draft is right around the corner, which means rumors are starting to ramp up. To make better sense of them, we put together a BS detector for some of the hottest rumors floating around the league. Sometimes, there’s enough information to piece together what’s true, and what doesn’t pass the smell test, for teams picking early in the draft. Here’s how we’re judging the biggest rumors leading up to the NFL Draft.
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