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Slade

December freeze 12-4-21 mock

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The season is looking like the evaluation and start of a rebuild we were told to expect. I'm still not sure about the teams current coaching staff, but I do believe the entire staff barring minor tweaks will be back. The big question still is yet unanswered and that is, is Jalen Hurts the future of the franchise? I still believe the answer is no, especially after watching the performance against the Giants. Having said that if Siriani is to be judged adequately I believe he needs guys to match his scheme concepts.

Cuts/Let walk:

1. Derek Barnett DE - He's never lived up to draft status and after nearly five years he's acquired more penalties then sacks. 

2. Jason Kelce OC - He's flirted with retirement and I think he actually does this time hang up the cleats. 1.6 million cap savings.

3. JJAW WR - Another bust who literally never showed when it mattered the most. 1.1 million cap savings.

4. Brandon Graham DE - *Post June 1st designation* At 34 years old and coming off a major injury Brandon's deal needs to come off the books now and focus on youth. 1.25 million cap savings.

5. Brandon Brooks OG - *Post June 1st designation* Elite player when healthy but he's only played in 2 games since 2019 and like with Graham the team needs to move on. 13.5 million cap savings.

Re-sign:

1. Dallas Goedert TE - Check!

2. Avonte Maddox CB - Check!

3. T.J. Edwards ILB - Check!

4. Jordan Howard RB - The offense looks best when it has a reliable N-S runner and someone that imposes their will. 1 year 3 million

5. Nate Herbig IOL - RFA tender

Free Agents 30 million available

1. Chris Godwin WR - No more investing early picks into the position its time to find a true WR1. Chris would be a perfect fit in any system anywhere he's that good, he's big, strong and physical something the team currently lacks. A true playmaker on the outside and in the red-zone he's the type of receiver to lead on in clutch situations that a young QB needs. With Chris in the offense Smith should be freed up to play all over the system and be afforded a defenses second best cover guy who he should destroy with ease. A local kid and graduate of the mighty Cavs nation of Middletown DE he will be welcomed back happily. 5 years 90 million.

2. Terrell Edmunds SS - Solid cover safety that is having a career year in his 4th season allowing one of the lowest passer rating among safeties. Terrell is a plug and play strong safety that brings superior coverage skills with excellent range and strong tackling ability. Stout against the run also he isn't afraid to take on his opponent head on and introduce them to the ground. 4 years 30 million.

Miami makes a blockbuster trade and Houston gets a haul which changes the entire makeup of the draft giving up a 2022 #22, #43 and 2023 two 1sts.

Trade! The Eagles trade Andre Dillard LT & Jalen Raegor WR to the Jets for Denzel Mims WR, #68 & #111 

1(#8) Kenny Pickett QB - It's clear that Howie isn't sold on Hurts and he's personally scouting QB's, I hate to admit it but inevitable. Kenny how shown tremendous growth in his accuracy and decision making since last year, he's a pocket passer with some mobility. He has a bit of a gunslinger mentality to him, willing to take some risks downfield trusting what he's seeing, his ability, and displaying a clutch trait. Able to make all the throws he will bring out the best in the talent around him, he stays in the pocket with poise he shows that he goes through his progressions making all his skills weapons a threat. He is someone that I believe will open up Siriani's playbook enabling not only a strong run game but a strong vertical game. 

Trade! Houston needs a QB and must get ahead of at least 5 teams (Pitt., NO., Atl., Car., Den.) and offer #22 , #34, & #121 for #9

Draft:

1.(#14) Tyler Linderbaum OC - One of the top centers in the entire nation its rare to be in position to replace one elite talent with another. Tyler is the highest rated interior to enter the draft since OG Nelson for Indy and with the Eagles philosophy of building from the lines out he just makes sense. The Eagles will be sporting a young QB regardless of that is and with Kelce moving and Dickerson owning it at LG why break that up? Plug Tyler in at center and the entire line is set for at least two  more seasons with Driscoll and Seumalo battling out at RG. On paper his addition puts the Eagles line in consideration of top 3 in the league consistently for years. 

1.(#22) David Ojabo DE - The birds miss out on Hutchinson but damn what a consolation prize! David is an elite talent in his own right wreaking havoc that shows up week in and out with 10+ sacks.  He's got the physical attributes that most teams covet a 6'5 250 lbs. . An athletic freak he is a monster coming off the edge, but he has the amazing ability to drop into coverage and be reliable doing it, something Gannon himself has said he needs in his edge players. He is also extremely good versus the run setting the edge reliably with a motor and pursuit second only to his teammate. 

2.(#34) Kaiir Elam CB - Top 15 talent IMO that happens to fall to here due to his team being so very very bad. Kaiir has all the tools looked for in a prototypical corner tall, length, speed, and oozing with instincts he will be a perfect long term replacement for Slay. With the skills to stay "sticky" on any type of receiver he mirrors his opponent shrinking the window for the quarterback to hit his target, he'll even bait him into a bad decision. 

2.(#41) Jaquan Brisker FS - The middle of defense has been an issue for years now with only band aids addressing it. Jaquan changes all of that, he is an elite talent fierce tackler a playmaker and a team captain. He has top notch coverage skills while showing a more than willingness to support the run game. His ability to play all aspects of an elite safety (single high, slot, in the box) he also can can come downhill fast and even bring the blitz. Total stud. 

Trade! Eagles package up #68, #105, #121 for #51

2.(#51) Jermaine Johnson DE - The defensive line for all the resources committed to it has been a total let down to say the least and needs a total rebuild. Jermaine like David is a different type of edge player someone who is very capable of not only setting the edge but also able to drop into coverage. He's a playmaker generating tons of pressure off the edge racking up sacks along the way. Also a very vocal team leader he's not afraid to challenge his peers even the veterans.

3.(#73) Chad Muma OLB - Gannon's scheme requires a playmaker with size coming from the strong side and has started multiple players their and none have done a thing. Chad is a hard hitting reliable tackler with good instincts he has the athletic tools take one blockers and shed them easily. A force coming downhill he will vastly improve the run defense on the second level and be nightmare for QB's.

4.(#111) Daniel Faalele OT - Dillard is not reliable as swing tackle and why in my off-season he was traded. Daniel is still raw but he's got experience playing at both tackle positions and is an absolute beast at 6'8 400 lbs. Already a mauler in the run game he creates massive lanes for the backs to exploit. His pass protection is a work in progress and can be beaten with by speedy rushers but his anchor is unmatched and good luck trying to power through him.  

5.(#136) Owen Pappoe ILB  - Linebacker still needs attention and vastly lacks quality depth as of now. Owen a former 5-star recruit is a solid addition to backup Edwards with the hope to possibly supplant him. A true three down linebacker he's a leader in the middle directing guys into the right spots showing a very high football IQ. Not great at anything but good at everything his addition show that position is valued a bit more.

5.(#137) Sam Williams DE - Yes a third edge rusher which is still a need with little depth. Sam is yet another super athletic freak at 6'5 265 lbs. who reported ran 4.4 40 with a 40-inch vertical, but he's also shown tremendous production exploding with a 10+ sack season. Like the other two draftees athletic prowess is great but production has been proven no more guys with potential I'm sick of those types. 

5.(#158) Ainias Smith WR  - Moving on from Reagor creates the need for someone with electrifying skills and who is also a good KR/PR. Ainias is yet another playmaker who can be used all over the scheme and will compete at the slot providing a different element to the offense.

6.(#188) Eric Gray RB - The new Sproles/Scott RB3 that has become important recently in this offense. Shifty and a homerun threat he's scary coming out of the backfield as a receiver.

7(#201) Chris Hinton DT - More needed depth addressed for the interior defensive line.

Depth Chart:

QB: Pickett, Hurts, Minshew

WR: Godwin, Smith, Watkins, Mims, Smith, Hightower

TE: Goedert, Jackson, Stoll

RB: Sanders, Howard, Gainwell, Gray

OT: Mailata, Johnson, Faalele

OG: Dickerson, Seumalo, Driscoll, 

OC: Linderbaum, Herbig

DE: Sweat, Ojabo, Johnson, Jackson, Williams

DT: Cox, Hargrave, Williams, Tuipulotu, Hinton

OLB: Taylor, Muma, Johnson, Bradley

ILB: Edwards, Pappoe

CB: Slay, Elam, Maddox, McPhearson, Gowan, Scott

FS: Brisker, Epps

SS: Edmunds, Wallace

Final Analysis:

Offense - I've come to the conclusion that if Siriani wants to run an offense that is able to do more vertically and bring out the best in his skill players he needs a QB that can make all the throws and goes through all his progressions. Nick will not be given another year to figure out losing with Hurts and I think everyone knows it in the building, he needs his guy. Drafting a QB with one of the teams 1sts won't be liked much but Hurts must have true competition next off-season and anything less is an insult to the fans. The running game comes back with most of the horses from this season minus Scott who is replaced by Gray. The addition of Godwin adds a big play potential with someone that can be used in any route, Mims brings even a more physical presence especially in the red-zone, the Smiths and Watkins should get a lot of free space to wreak havoc. Tight-ends remain the same. The o-line gets a new elite leader in the middle for a decade. 

Defense - This unit gets the greatest overhaul this off-season with greatest change coming the way overpaid and underperforming d-line. Committing three picks to just the edge position shows the absolute need there both with the starters and its depth. I chose to go with guys with real production who also passes the eye test, players with the athletic ability to bring waves of pressure consistently every down every game. The interior line has Williams moving back inside where I believe he belongs but largely stays the same. Linebackers get an upgrade at SLB and WLB to go along with Taylor who looks to be something solid in the making. 

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i question whether Kelce will ever retire lmao... he 'flirts' with it but it never feels like he's actually as close as the media makes it sound and the philly media has shown to be so incompetent the last couple yrs that i truly wonder lmao.

I'd also just keep Graham cause the DE position at the end of this looks very questionable tbh despite the fact i like the players you drafted.

I dont care much for Pickett... his advanced age and questionable hand size both scare me since it's completely expected he'd dominate players that are 2-3yrs younger than himself. He's older than Hurts is fwiw

otherwise, id be shocked if Elam made it to the 2nd round considering he's mostly considered the 2nd/3rd CB in the draft rn, but i do like all the picks in the first 2 rounds you made (minus Pickett) since i dont know much about the guys after that. That being said id prefer to address LB earlier and before we address DE twice for that matter, and i'd stay far away from Faalele if he really is 400lbs, given guys that size often bust cause they just cant move well enough for the NFL. Fun fact, according to my brief research it'd put him somewhere around 4th heaviest NFL player of all time.

overall i just dont see that DL producing much and the LBs would be as questionable as ever

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Thanks Slade. Some new names and new thinking.

I also think Kelce will be back but still wouldn't object to drafting Linderbaum. Think about this though - we could probably get Lindstrom in the 2nd round. 

I think BG will be back - too much of a dead money hit to move on. But you are right, we still need 2 defensive ends to replace Barnett and Kerrigan. 

I think we can get something for Brooks, granted it'll be a 3rd day pick but it's better than nothing. 

Have you been on vacation - Goedert, Maddox and Edwards have already been re-signed. 

I like the top of your draft but would argue about the 3rd day. With Clark and Toth and Driscoll we really don't need to add a guard or tackle this year. We have bigger needs at that pick. I'd rather another corner at this draft slot.

I'm with you on the RB in the 6th but we have out horse in Sanders, our short yardage guy in Howard and our changeup in Gainwell. Let's draft a Sanders lookalike and forego the specialty back here. 

Thanks again - I really enjoyed your thinking 

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Overall I really like it. Personally I think it's worth bringing Graham back as he's so darn good (still), but I understand that cutting him creates cap space and he's nearly 35 years old and coming off a major injury. Still, I think he's one of those guys you keep around. And looking at your final roster I think DL is the most glaring weakness. Keeping him solves that.

Also, I don't think Linderbaum is making to #14, unfortunately.

Love the Pickett pick as neither Hurts nor Minshew are the long-term solution at QB. 

Also love the Godwin signing -- if he truly hits the open market I do think we need to find a way to make that happen.

And hitting 2 DBs in the second-round is great -- our d-backfield needs a serious infusion of young talent.

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