Potential Eagles 2021 Draft Gems, Episode 14: Dalton Holt

Player Preview:
Dalton Holt, Defensive back
College: Slippery Rock
6’0, 195-Pounds

Dalton Holt is a two-year starter at defensive back for The Rock. In those two years starting, he has become the emotional and physical leader for that secondary, as he helped them go undefeated in conference play back-to-back years. Racking up 40+ solo tackles years (40 in 2018 and 47 in 2019), while also having total tackles be in the 50+ range (59 in 2018 and 78 in 2019).

The Positives:
While looking at Holt’s game you notice positional flexibility, as he has been able to play free safety and shadow the faster receiver over the middle of the field, and he’s played the in the box safety similar to a Tyrann Mathieu of Kansas City. His ability to release and turn his hips is elite with swiftness and smoothness. This helps affect plays and break on the pass, either intercepting them or breaking them up. In his career, he has 16 pass deflections along with 5 interceptions. One of the other tools he has is tracking the quarterback’s eyes and then driving down making the play, which he’s done quite reliably.

Summary of why he would fit in Philadelphia:
This off-season with the lack of cap space, lots of players will be let go and I project Jalen Mills and Johnathan Ford, both safeties, will be heading elsewhere. This creates a spot for Holt to fill, as that leaves Philadelphia with only 3 safeties in Epps, Ford, and Wallace. Holt would provide great depth and can develop on special teams. He’s also from Pennsylvania, growing up across the state in Brownsville, Pennsylvania. I think as a UDFA (undrafted free agent), he would be an excellent pick-up.

Eagles can Pederson after abysmal 4-11-1 season and extremely soured relationship with Carson Wentz

Imagine there’s a crowd of people each pointing their finger in a different direction when asked of wrongdoing and whose to be responsible. The Eagles fired Doug Pederson following an awful season (4-11-1)and an extremely dramatic decline in the level of play from golden boy Carson Wentz which resulted in Carson’s benching after a week In doing so the relationship between both Wentz and Peterson continued to sour and (owner) Jeffrey Lurie has made it very keen that despite the drop-off, the team has, was and most likely will to continue to be on board the Carson Wentz train. Doug Pederson couldn’t fix Wentz and Wentz couldn’t fix Pederson, tomato, tomato. After all The Eagles have invested way too much in Carson Wentz to have it backfire. No of course we’re smart enough to know Carson Wentz may sometimes get a Raw deal. After all the organization has failed to load up on the right tools and talent for any quarterback to thrive. In came Jalen hurts with a great performance in his slime-green rookie debut upsetting the Saints. Despite a 1-3 record as a starter Jalen Hurts showed some upside but I think most know it wasn’t enough to put Wentz’s job in jeopardy. It came off as Wentz or Pederson and coming off of a 4-11-1 season it only added fuel to the fire en route to the firing of Doug Pederson as the Eagles now look for a head coach and a lot of other answers heading into next season.

Week 17 May Have Won Eagles Ja’Marr Chase

The Philadelphia Eagles had an underwhelming 2020 season once again. Coming into the year the Eagles were set to have a year long battle with the Cowboys for the division, with both the Giants and Washington Football Team set for what were perceived rebuilding years for both franchises. With holes in key positions on the Eagles defense, my pre-season prediction was the Cowboys winning the division winning around 11-12 games, with the Eagles earning a wild card spot winning around 9-10 games. But unfortunately neither team lived up to my pre-season predictions and now both teams have suffered losing seasons and now the Eagles have secured the 6th overall pick in the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft.

So many things went wrong this season for the Philadelphia Eagles, whether it was the struggles of Carson Wentz that led to him getting benched for the rookie Hurts, the constant shuffling of the offensive line due to constant injuries or the questionable coaching decision from head coach Doug Peterson, most notably the week 17 benching of rookie Jalen Hurts for journeyman QB Nate Sudfeld last week. That latest decision by Doug Peterson has sparked outrage around the league from not just fans, but from players, coaches and analysts around the football world. Many people have questioned Peterson’s football integrity for this move and bashing him for not playing to win, but in my opinion, Eagles fans need to be celebrating because Doug Peterson just gifted this franchise with something it’s been lacking for years now and that’s a franchise wide receiver in what could be Ja’Marr Chase.

With the Eagles loss last week they have now secured themselves the number 6 pick in the upcoming draft and are in prime position to land the stud from LSU. Despite the phenomenal year put in by Bama receiver Devonta Smith that secured him the Heisman Trophy, Ja’Marr Chase is still the number one receiver in this upcoming draft class by a good margin. Chase does so many things on the field that makes him such a great talent that will be a superstar at the next level. Chase has great body control on back shoulder throws and in tight windows to come down with catches, his release off of press is nothing short of elite due to the physicality he plays with, his size and quickness makes him tough to bring down in open space and he possesses very reliable hands to catch anything that’s thrown his way. Ja’Marr Chase’s 2019 season was nothing short of remarkable as he brought in 84 catches for 1,780 yards for 20 receiving TD’s and averaged 21 yards per catch that earned him top receiver in the nation honors that year on the way to LSU’s nation championship victory over Clemson that year.

Was Doug Peterson’s decision to bench Hurts last week a tank move? Absolutely. Peterson’s move could very have put him on the hot seat and at risk of losing his job and yes, he will continue to receive criticism over the next few weeks as the NFL season comes to an end but in a few months no one will care because they will have a chance to fill a glaring need on this roster by landing a generational talent at receiver in Ja’Marr Chase as he possesses all the abilities to make an instant impact day one and could absolutely become a top 3 receiver in the league. With Carson Wentz struggling heavily this past year and friction created between him and the organization after he was benched for rookie Jalen Hurts, the big question for the Eagles 2021 offseason will who will be there franchise QB moving forward but one thing is for sure, if they are able to land Ja’Marr Chase at 6, Wentz or Hurts and that Eagles organization will have themselves a franchise receiver to throw to for years to come.

EAGLES VS PACKERS GAME REVIEW“The Jalen Hurts experiment”

More times than not when a team loses consistently with no signs of improvement the first finger pointed is towards the quarterback.

Or in the case of the Philadelphia Eagles, it can be many fingers pointed in many different directions.

The Eagles rolled into Sunday or should I say limped sporting a 3-7 record,

Carson Wentz leading the league with interceptions at 15, sacked an abysmal 50 times so far this season, so what do you get when you combine awful o line protection, a lack of Wr star power, and poor play calling?

And on the other side of the field stood Aaron Rodgers who has been no Qb to mess with this season, leading the league in TD passes and a stellar QBR of 84.6.

It was a rather quiet 1st quarter with the Eagles mustering up just an FG for a 3-0 lead.

Two TD passes from Rodgers gave Green Bay a 14-3 lead at the half and just a lone TD pass stretched that lead to 20-3 at the end of the 3rd. That’s when the Eagles decided to put in Rookie draft pick Jalen hurts because at that point why not right? After all, despite sporting an awful 3-8 record this Eagles team can still make the playoffs. Only in the Nfc east is the impossible possible. A td pass and special teams play for the Eagles and just like that, it was a 23-16 game. A 77 yd run from Aaron Jones sealed the deal for Green Bay giving them a 30-16 win.

Philly announced this week they plan to start Jalen Hurts next week against New Orleans. Think of it this way Eagles fans whether your pro-Carson Wentz or Can’t stand the sight of him the team is 3-8 trending downwards fast despite still mathematically being in contention the way the Giants And Washington have been playing you shouldn’t have any reason to believe you have a playoff shot. So does Jalen’s hurts throw for 300 on Sunday and four TDS en route to an upset against a Taysom Hill lead Saints team, highly unlikely. But let Jalen hurts get his feet wet and experience life as an NFL quarterback, maybe address your problems at the end of the season because this one is long gone. It’s always sunny in Philadelphia but it seems like it’s been a little cloudy lately for the Eagles!


Potential Eagles 2021 Draft Gems, Episode 13: Isaiah Edwards

This season has been a rough one for the offensive line, as it has been snake-bitten by injuries since the preseason. The current Eagles team is on pace to become one of the worst offensive lines when it comes to sacks given up in NFL history. Currently, the Eagles have allowed 46 sacks in 12 games. It’s safe to say that it’s time to fix this for next year’s season.

Looking at the Missouri Valley Football Conference, where multiple talented teams are in, we look at Terre Haute, Indiana where Indiana State University is located. Here we will find the physical left guard in Isaiah Edwards, who is 6’8 and 355-pounds. You might recognize the name from the Netflix series Last Chance U in season 3, where Edwards was featured on the show. He helped Independence Community College rush for 169.9 yards per game and 28.9 points per game in 2017 before transferring to Indiana State.

When arriving at Indiana State, the Sycamore’s were coming off a winless season of 0-11, averaging only 107 rushing yards per game, and only 57 first downs on the ground, but the most important thing was only 14 points per game.

These numbers changed drastically with them improving to 248.9 rushing yards per game which was 14th in the FCS. They also got 129 first downs via running the football and averaged 31 points per game. They would go on to be 7-4 this year, and Edwards blocking the way was one of the key factors in their success. He would receive Honorable Mention All-MVFC and a spot on the MVFC All-Newcomer Team.

In 2019, Edwards would have an incredible game against Big 12 opponent Kansas, where he helped the Sycamore’s gain a total of 365 yards vs the Jayhawks in a close loss of 24-17. In the following week vs Dayton, they would put up a total of 427 total yards in another close loss of 42-35. He would, unfortunately, have his season cut short with an injury, but did receive a medical redshirt.

For this upcoming season, I expect Isaiah to have a great bounce-back season after his injury; blocking for lead back Titus McCoy as they hope for a good season in the MVFC with a playoff berth in the 2021 spring playoffs.

The Eagles should have a decent chance in selecting Edwards in the 6-7th round as a development piece to possibly replace Issac Seumalo. With the versatility of Edwards, he can play both tackle and guard making him every more valuable.

What is the future for Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz?

Since beating the Cowboys on November 1st, the Eagles have lost three straight games. They lost to the New York Giants 17-27, they lost to the Cleveland Browns 17-22, and most recently they fell to the Seattle Seahawks 17-23. This game looks closer than it actually was. In reality, the Eagles scored a garbage-time touchdown, and completed a two-point conversion.

This season has taken a complete nose dive for the Philadelphia Eagles. The team has been filled with injuries, have had terrible coaching, and always finds a way to ruin your Sunday. Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie didn’t attend the Eagles vs Browns game in Cleveland, reportedly out of frustration with his team.

It seems now that there will be no huge comeback at the end of the season to clinch the NFC East, especially with the Eagle’s next three games: at the Packers, home vs Saints, and at the Cardinals. These are all going to be very tough games, and I don’t think they will win any of these games.

I do not have any faith in Doug calling plays for this football team anymore, and he is constantly making poor decisions. I think we also need to blame GM Howie Roseman for the way things are. He has consistently, year after year, made poor drafting decisions. Most talked about is passing on DK Metcalf and drafting JJ Arcega-Whiteside instead.

I think after this season it is time to part ways with Howie and Doug. Doug has time and time again made terrible coaching decisions and it is clear he is incapable of calling plays. He needs to give up play-calling all together. It feels like forever ago when Doug said winning was the “new norm” around here.

For Carson Wentz, he has had a bad season. He has thrown the most interceptions in the NFL this season. He has missed lots of throws and has made many poor decisions with the football. He has not played well and does not deserve a pass, but I think we need to blame Howie and Doug more for the fall of the team. Carson has been sacked the most in the NFL, but to be fair, some of these sacks could have been avoided. The Eagles have the most drops in the NFL this season with 29, and the offensive line has been the farthest thing from stable. Even though Carson has had a negative season, I don’t think he is the main problem here. Like I said earlier, I think the Eagles need to part ways with Howie and Doug after this season. It is not the time to give up on Carson Wentz yet. I would like to see more of Jalen Hurts in the future since they drafted him. They need to give him a chance and see what he can do. I do not think Doug knows what to do with Hurts, it has been a disaster.

I feel like Carson has been put in a terrible position this year, and I think that it is also unfortunate for Jalen Hurts, as he is in a bad position and has been placed in the offense for only one or two plays at a time. The whole situation is a big mess, and I think it starts at the top with Doug and Howie. Granted, the majority of the players have underperformed this season as well.

I think it is time to focus on the future, and building a better football team for the next season and for years to come.

As always, Fly Eagles Fly, because part of being a fan is sticking with your team and supporting them through the good AND bad times.

A Darkening Future: The Tale of Carson Wentz

The Philadelphia Eagles currently have two quarterbacks in the NFL Hall of Fame, Norm Van Brocklin, and Sonny Jurgenson. The latter of the two played his last game for the Eagles in 1963. It’s fair to say that the Eagles haven’t found a great deal of success at the position. Of course, players such as Ron Jaworski, Randell Cunningham, and Donavan McNabb are the more recent examples of fruitful quarterbacks for the Eagles. 

Although, from the names I mentioned, none of them were the “future of football”. McNabb, having the best case to argue, didn’t even seem possible to overthrow Peyton Manning, and certainly not Tom Brady as the best player in the league. Yet, only a few distant years ago the Eagles, fans, and the league thought there might be one coming out of Philadelphia. 

Carson Wentz, the former second-round pick, former MVP contender, was thought at the start of the 2020 season to be fighting to reclaim his rank at the top of the NFL. Noone thought that within ten games he would be fighting to keep his job. Yet, that is where we currently stand, the future of Philadelphia football is at a critical standpoint as the team faces the Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football. 

Rumors from this past week have foreshadowed a potential change coming at the quarterback position, as Jalen Hurts, the team’s second-round pick, is waiting in the wings. Tonight could be the conclusion of an era that was believed to last decades. The stark reality of the Eagle’s current starting quarterback is in the most danger that it’s been since his arrival. 

Of course, the looming change doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone who has watched the Eagles play this season. The team’s putrid 3-6-1 record speaks volumes of the struggles that the team, and it’s quarterback, has faced this year. With errant passes, poor decision-making, and lack of consistency, Carson Wentz has become more of the problem than the solution. 

As mentioned, reports leading up to the game have drawn in the idea that Jalen Hurts will receive more playing time, potentially without Wentz on the field. When the Eagles drafted Hurts in last year’s draft, many assumed that this was merely an expensive insurance policy, few imagined he could be the future. When I state “many assumed” of course those set on the demise of Carson Wentz saw the draft pick as an easy decision to dump the former second overall pick. 

When it comes to replacing a quarterback, especially one that was deemed the future of the franchise last year, it isn’t easy. Considering that the Eagles tied themselves to Wentz by signing him to a 4 year, $128,000,000 contract, averaging $32,000,000 per year, they made it almost impossible to move on. But why would they? Wentz at the time was one of the best QB’s in the league, if anything the concerns of his health were the cause for concern. Never was his performance brought into question, when evaluating the contract when he initially signed.

 Wentz’s contract goes through the 2024 season, and it isn’t until next year, and the years after that his annual salary jumps even higher. 

The takeaway is, the Eagles crash if Wentz does. This isn’t an explanatory piece on how the Eagles can break or buffer the blow if the Eagles move on. Simply, I’m stating the implications of moving on. 

Further, bringing in Jalen Hurts draws into question of whether this decision would work for a team that doesn’t just have quarterback issues. If Doug Pederson truly believes that Hurts is the heir apparent, or at this point, the next best thing, to take over, the Eagles, is this the way to go at it?

Assuming in the next couple of games, Wentz is benched; throwing in a rookie quarterback to a dumpster fire, doesn’t scream great outcomes. Although, this is one of the reasons he was drafted for, right? Of course, the question that has yet to be fully examined is if Jalen Hurts is even good? When the Eagles drafted him, the conversation was more about the implication of the pick rather than the value of it. 

From evaluation, Hurts was deemed as second to third-round pick, so with that, this is the talent that the Eagles should expect. It doesn’t take a genius to review the history of second-round quarterbacks. They usually don’t work out. 

Mahomes, Jackson, Allen, Murray, the names have become synonymous with the future of the NFL, all of them were first-round draft picks. Again, this also isn’t an article breaking down if Hurts can succeed with the Eagles. But just showing the other aspects of a move as major as the one being considered, is needed to understand the full matter at hand. 

If the constant rain, and thunderstorms today is any sign for how the Eagles will fare tonight, it won’t be great. Yet, as the saying goes, “after every rain comes a rainbow”. The question is, will the sun have already set before the rainbow can reach across the sky? 

Potential Eagles 2021 Draft Gems, Episode 12: Cade Johnson

This season has been rough for the Eagles when you look at the receiving core. With the concern of the positional group for the last two seasons or so, Howie Roseman hasn’t found a solid option with consistency. This season, only one receiver as of week 10 has hit the 400+ yard mark, and that was Travis Fulgham.

This week, we look for a superstar wide receiver that can change this offense and provide that spark. Traveling to South Dakota State, you find the best receiver going into the 2020 FCS season in Cade Johnson, the 5’10 180-pound senior, who originally was looking to transfer this off-season, but has recently announced that he will declare for the 2021 NFL draft, who also received an invite to the annual Reese’s Senior Bowl. In 2019, Johnson had 72 receptions for 1,222 yards and 8 touchdowns.

In his career, he has accumulated a bunch of awards, such as Associated Press All-America First Team, Walter Camp FCS All-America Team, Walter Payton Award Finalist (award given to the best offensive player in the FCS), and finally All-Missouri Valley Football Conference First Team in 2018 & 2019.

The best part of his game is his release off the line of scrimmage which is something that current receivers struggle with. Cade is a pure deep threat and will help take the top off of the defense. Cade also has a great amount of agility with high acceleration making yards after catch huge. He can play the outside or the inside slot position with versatility. With all of these in mind, he can be used as a gadget player like a Tyreek Hill, Randell Cobb, etc with lining up in the background in motion on wheel routes creating even more separation. Cade has an elite ability to get defenders to bite on double moves leaving him open on big gains. Lastly, he had performed against a great secondary of Minnesota in the last season opener with decent success.

With a good Senior Bowl performance, this upcoming draft season Cade can improve his stock even more into a late day two selection. Currently, I think he has a great chance of being selected in the middle of the 4th in this year’s draft. I would highly suggest Howie select him for a much-needed spark to this team.

Can the Eagles remain in control of the NFC East?

The Eagles played the Cowboys on November 1st, and this was a very sloppy and hard to watch football game. The Eagles had lots of struggles throughout the game, but fortunately came out of it with a win. Carson Wentz did not have a good game, as he committed four turnovers. Two of them were interceptions, and the other two were fumbles. Despite their injuries, the Eagles should not have struggled against a Cowboys team which was both injured and pathetic.

After this game, the Eagles entered a bye week. There was some bye-week drama with Safety Marcus Epps testing positive for Covid-19, along with an Eagles coach. Because of this, the Eagles meetings needed to be all virtual. Doug Pederson said, “We had a really good session this morning virtually. We leaned on our experiences from the spring and the summer in training camp with the virtual stuff. We had a really good session with the players and their meetings.”

The Eagles are set to play the New York Giants at MetLife stadium at 1:00 pm ET on Sunday.

I believe the Eagles will win this Sunday if they can execute on offense. Carson Wentz has been generating a lot of turnovers by making mistakes, such as holding the ball too long and forcing plays. Per John Clark, Carson said he has looked at his turnovers, and a lot of them are his having to just throw the ball away, and maybe being too aggressive at times. “Just eat it. Learn to live to play another down. Sometimes it’s just trying to do much.”

After this week, the schedule is tough. After the Giants, the Eagles will play the Browns, Seahawks, Packers, Saints, and Cardinals. These are all going to be very difficult games, in a stretch where the Eagles need to win.

The Eagles sit at (3-4-1) and have a tough schedule ahead of them, however, before we focus on all the future games, they need to take care of business this week. I have confidence in this team and in Carson Wentz, and I think the Eagles will win again this Sunday.

Potential Eagles 2021 Draft Gems, Episode 11: Zach Davidson

In the last couple of weeks, trade rumors were floating around about the Pro Bowl tight end Zach Ertz. This was before he suffered the ankle injury that put him on IR. With that being said, could we possibly see the last of Ertz in an Eagles uniform?

Over the last few seasons, we have seen Ertz’s catches & yards dwindle from the incredible 2018 season. Perhaps it’s time to move on and run with Dallas Goedert who the Eagles selected in the 2018 NFL Draft. When looking for the next duo of receiving tight ends, we look at a division II prospect for the 2021 NFL draft.

The highly regarded Zach Davidson of Central Missouri, a specimen of an individual at 6’7 and 245-pounds. The redshirt senior is out of Webb City, Missouri, and has had a great career so far for the Mules. In the 2019 season, Zach had 40 receptions for 894 yards, 15 touchdowns, and 22.4 yards per catch. Another unique aspect that he brings is Zach is also a punter with 137 career attempts for 5,812 yards, 42.2 avg, 15 touchbacks, 48 inside the 20, and 29 50+ yard punts. To say he is a one of a kind prospect is an understatement.

What he does best is he has great route running with smooth breaks in his routes. His attention to detail is very superb, it’s hard not to get impressed by it. His yards after the catch is one of the things that would make him and Goedert a dynamic duo with both being excellent receiving tight ends. Wentz would have two safety values which would be a blessing for him, due to the injury bug always hitting the wide receiving core it seems for the Eagles. There is a lot of potential in Davidson, and I think Philadelphia can tab into it.

Zach has multiple awards as well, as in 2019 he was a unanimous division II All-American & All-MIAA First Team. He represented the Mules as one of the best players in all of division II last year as only a junior. In 2021, Davidson will hope to have continued success for his draft stock to continue to rise.

Zach Davidson might be one of the small school players on Howie’s draft board come the 2021 Draft. I would project him to be selected anywhere from as high as the middle of the 4th round to as late as the 6th round.