Eagles Trade Jordan Matthews

 

Written By: Conner Pack

Just one preseason game in, the Philadelphia Eagles have decided to make a major move by trading wide receiver Jordan Matthews and a 2018 third round pick to the Buffalo Bills for cornerback Ronald Darby. This is not a surprising trade if you ask me; the Eagles right now are very deep at the wide receiver position. In large part because of the free agent acquisitions of Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith, add-on top of that drafting wide receivers Mack Hollins and Shelton Gibson. Acquiring all these players in my opinion meant that Matthews place on the team could be in question.

With all that being said, adding another defensive back has been a major need for this Eagles team. The Past several seasons the Eagles secondary hasn’t been all that good. Adding a guy like Darby gives the Eagles some much-needed speed in the secondary. With questions surrounding second round pick Sydney Jones, as far whether or not he’ll play this year, Darby is the perfect guy to step in and take the job.

– Final Thoughts

Overall, I think this was a solid trade for the Eagles, giving up Mathews isn’t ideal but adding a solid defensive back gives the Eagles a much better chance of contending for the playoffs this season.

 

drabymatthewsImage
Left: Ronald Darby, Right: Jordan Matthews

Philadelphia Eagles Draft Review

Written By: Conner Pack

For NFL fans last weekend was a small slice of heaven, due to football taking center stage with the 2017 NFL Draft. It’s only been roughly two months since the Super Bowl but, were a people who love our football and relish in it any chance we get. We’re only about five more months away from the start of the regular season. Today, I’m going to talk about the Philadelphia Eagles and give my thoughts on what they did in the draft.

Coming into the draft the Eagles had several needs; cornerback, wide receiver, running back, and a speed edge rusher just to name a few. In the draft, the Eagles managed to draft guys at all four of these positions. Time will tell if these guys will pan out.

– First Round Pick 14

With their first round pick the Eagles drafted University of Tennessee defensive end Derek Barnett. Barnett, was an absolute monster throughout his college years. During his time at Tennessee, Barnett became the all time sack leader with 33, breaking former Eagle Reggie Whites record of 32. On top of the sacks Barnett was the heart and soul of that Tennessee defense. He will bring passion, intensity, and hard work to what is already a solid Eagles defensive line.

What I like about this pick;  After parting ways with long time Eagle Connor Barwin, the Eagles had to find someone bigger and faster to take his place; and Barnett fits that role. With a defensive line already loaded with talent (Fletcher Cox, Timmy Jernigan, Chris Long, and Brandon Graham) adding Barnett just gives them that X factor who can potentially propel them to the next level.

For years the Eagles have had an average pass rush. From time to time they’d have multiple sack games or major tackles for loss plays. But for the most part it’s been hit or miss. With Jim Schwartz entering his second seasons as defensive coordinator, he will have a lot of talent on the defensive line to work with.

Noteable College Stats:

197 Total Tackles, 33 Sacks, 52 Tackles for loss, 31 QBH, 13 Sacks junior year, 19 Tackles for loss junior year

– Second Round Pick 43

With the Eagles second pick in the draft, they selected University of Washington corner back Sidney Jones. Jones, was a projected first round pick coming into the draft but, he suffered a freak achilles injury on his pro day. After the injury occurred his stock began to fall. When the Eagles made this pick, I originally was a little uneasy. But from all the reports he seems to be making a full recover and, if comes back one hundred percent health the Eagles will have gotten a steal.

What I like about this pick; the days of Asante Samuel, Lito Sheppard, and Brain Dawkins have been long gone for some time now. For years, the Eagles secondary was among the league’s best. But as of late the secondary especially the cornerback position has been in shambles.  Adding a skilled explosive corner like Jones will pay dividends for the Eagles secondary.

Finally, last season rookie cornerback Jalen Mills showed he has a ton of potential. Teaming Jones and Mills up on the outside looks to be the move for years to come.

Notable College Stats:

9 Total interceptions, 146 Total tackles

– Third Round Pick 99

With the Eagles third pick in the draft, they selected West Virginia cornerback Rasul Douglas. Douglas, 6-2 weighing 209 pounds is a bigger corner compared to Sidney Jones. His senior season he had a break out season becasue of his ability to make intercetions. Douglas along with Tarvarus McFadden from Florida State led college football with 8 interceptions for the 2016 season.

What I like about this pick; the Eagles decided to go back to back corners with their second and third picks. Adding Douglas gives the Eagles more depth at the cornerback position. Also, he proved to be a ball hawk and the Eagles defense sure could use some guys who can make game changing plays in the secondary.

Notable College Stats:

9 Total interceptions, 78 Total tackles, 8 Interceptions senior year

– Fourth Round Pick 118

With the Eagles fourth pick in the draft, they selected North Carolina wide receiver Mack Hollins. Hollins, standing 6’4 is a tall receiver who will be a major asset for Carson Wentz and the Eagles offense. During his time at North Carolina he wasn’t a stand out receiver, where he made a name was in special teams. On special teams this guy can get down the field and is able make tackles.

What I like about this pick; it took the Eagles four rounds but they finally addressed the receiver problem that has been plaguing them. Hollins brings size and speed to this receiving corps. The Eagles struggled mightily in the red zone last year. Adding Hollins immediately gives you a big red zone target. Also, his ability to play special teams and make big time Tackles is huge.

Notable College Stats:

88 Total receptions, 21 Total touchdowns, 8 Touchdowns in both sophomore and junior season, Defense: 24 Total tackles, 18 solo tackles

-Fourth Round Pick 132

With the Eagles fifth pick in the draft, they selected San Diego State running back Donnel Pumphrey. Going with Pumphrey the Eagles have officially decided to go all in on the running back by committee system. Basically what that means is you have a collection of running backs and you use all of them. Right now the Eagles have Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles, Kenyon Barner, Wendell Smallwood, and now Donnell Pumphrey.

(More than likely Mathews will be released or traded before the season, Darren Sproles may have a limited role because of age, jury is still out on Barner and Smallwood, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Smallwood become a bigger part of the running game.)

What I like about this pick; With the Eagles using their running back by committee system, Pumphrey fits in perfectly. He’s 5’8 176 pounds, so he’s a lot like Darren Sproles. With Sproles up there in age Pumphrey will be a good replacement for him. Also Pumphrey finished his college career as the all time leading rusher in NCAA history. Finishing his career with 6,405 yards.

Notable College Stats:

6,405 Total yards, 6.0 average, 62 Rushing touchdowns, 5 Receiving touchdowns

– Fifth Round Pick 166

With the Eagles sixth pick in the draft, the selected West Virginia wide receiver Shelton Gibson. During his time at West Virginia, Gibson proved to be a deadly deep threat for defenses. His specialty is being a speedy stretch the field receiver. Some have compared him to former Eagles DeSean Jackson. His speed and ability to take the top off the defense will open up the field for Wentz and the Eagles offense.

What I like about this pick; again the Eagles addressed the wide receiver position. But, Gibson compared to Hollins brings more speed and athleticism. Both guys will be a major asset to Carson Wentz.

Notable College Stats:

1,898 Total receiving yards, 17 Total touchdowns, 22.6 Career average receiving yards per reception

– Fifth Round Pick 184

With the Eagles seventh pick in the draft, the selected Nebraska safety Nate Gerry. In college Gerry played safety but the Eagles plan to convert him into a linebacker. But during his time at Nebraska, Gerry was a solid tackler and ball hawk. Having three straight seasons with four plus interceptions.

What I like about this pick; I like that the Eagles continue adding guys who have shown they can make plays on the defensive side of the ball. My only worry is that he will be too small for the linebacker position. He needs to bulk up some in order to keep from getting hurt. But if he adds the muscle and doesn’t get hurt his ball skills will be great for the Eagles linebacking corps.

Notable College Stats:

13 Total interceptions, 273 Total tackles, 19 Total tackles for loss

– Sixth Round Pick 214

With the Eagles eighth and final pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, they selected University of Washington defensive tackle Elijah Qualls. Again addressing the defensive line which is good. You can never have too many defensive linemen. While at Washington, Qualls, is another big body for defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz to utilize.

What I like about this pick; adding another bid body to what’s already shaping out to be a top-notch defensive line is great. Qualls probably won’t start but he for sure will be in the rotation.

– Final Thoughts

Overall I like what the Eagles did in the draft. I really like that they added more depth to the defensive line as well as added some cornerbacks. I think the two wide outs drafted will be major play makers on both offense and special teams. The one area I wish the Eagles would have addressed is running back.

Yes, drafting Pumphrey is solid. But is he the future at running back? How long will the Eagles rely on running back by committee? Who knows, but come September we’ll find out.