Phase 1 – Pre-Free Agency
- Connor Barwin (Cap Savings – $7,750,000)
Initially, I thought the Eagles might be able to trade Barwin, but it now seems that they will have to release him. Every team in the NFL knows he doesn’t fit in a 4-3 scheme. Releasing Barwin will only cost the Eagles $600,000 in dead money.
- Ryan Mathews (Cap Savings – $4,000,000)
Mathews has a lot of talent, but, unfortunately, he’s unreliable and inconsistent. It’s doubtful the Eagles will bring him back after his latest neck injury. Keeping him on the roster is a $5,000,000 cap hit. Releasing Mathews only costs the Eagles $1,000,000 in dead money.
- Leodis McKelvin (Cap Savings – $3,200,000)
McKelvin played hard; however, he was limited all season with a nagging hamstring injury. McKelvin has had injury issues the past few seasons. The Eagles should move on, given the cap savings.
- Matt Tobin (Cap Savings – $900,000)
- Dwayne Gratz (Cap Savings – $775,00)
- Taylor Hart (Cap Savings – $690,000)
- Josh Andrews (Cap Savings – $615,000)
- Bryce Treggs (Cap Savings – $540,000)
- Paul Turner (Cap Savings – $540,000)
- Byron Marshall (Cap Savings – $540,000)
- CJ Smith (Cap Savings – $540,000)
- Rick Lovato (Cap Savings – $540,000)
- Alex McCalister (Cap Savings – $429,316)
- Connor Wujciak (Cap Savings – $466,666)
Jason Kelce traded for a 5th round pick (Cap Savings – $3,800,000)
Kelce has had an up-and-down season this year; however, with a change in blocking scheme, he doesn’t really fit. The Eagles are running more power- and less zone-blocking than they did under Chip Kelly. Kelce has size limitations, which limits his effectiveness at times. The Eagles would be best served by moving on and taking advantage of a potentially strong market for Kelce.
Jason Peters (Cap Savings – $4,225,000)
Total Cap Savings – $29,330,982
Total Cap Space – $38,746,481
Trey Burton (2nd Round RFA Tender – $2,553,000)
Burton, a new favorite target for Carson Wentz, is also a key special-teams player. Burton is part of the team’s core, even though he doesn’t get a lot of publicity.
Phase 2 – Free-Agency Period
DeSean Jackson | WR | Washington | 5’10” | 175
2-year | 14M Contract | $5M Guaranteed
It’s been terrible to watch the Eagles receiving corps this year. The receivers can’t get open, and when they do, they don’t catch the ball. DeSean is getting older, but hasn’t lost his big play ability. He would open up the field for other Eagles receivers.
Chance Warmack | OG | Tennessee | 6’2” | 323
4-year | $10M Contract | $5M Guaranteed
While at Alabama, Warmack played for Jeff Stoutland–now the offensive line coach for the Eagles–and became a top-10 pick in the NFL draft. Warmack has good size and strength, and is a prototypical offensive guard. The Eagles had depth issues along the offensive line this season. Warmack could be an above-average starter at left guard and could build on his Alabama success.
Kayvon Webster | CB | Denver | 5’11” | 198
2-year | $6.5M Contract | $3M Guaranteed
The Eagles need to add depth at the cornerback position. Webster is a good depth player in addition to being a core special-teams player.
Total Cap Spending – $15,303,00
Total Remaining Cap Space – $23,443,481
Phase 3 – NFL Draft
Round 1 (MIN 14) – Marshon Lattimore | CB | Ohio State | 6’0” | 195
NFL Comp: Desmond Trufant
The Eagles haven’t selected a cornerback in the first round of the NFL draft since Lito Sheppard in 2002. Ever since the the departure of Sheppard and Brown, the Eagles have had issues with the corner position. Lattimore is an excellent corner prospect. Having only started one year for Ohio State, Lattimore is an extremely fluid athlete, with excellent ball skills. In his one year as a starter, Lattimore had four interceptions and nine passes defensed. Lattimore is the prototype for a starting cornerback in the NFL, with good size and length.
Round 2 – Alvin Kamara | RB | Tennessee | 5’10” | 215
NFL Comp: Brian Westbrook
Kamara was a jack of all trades for Tennessee this season, having a good season rushing, receiving, and returning punts. Kamara started the year behind Jalen Hurd on the depth chart; however, took over the running back role after Hurd left the program. Kamara is an excellent athlete with quick, sudden bursts. When out in space, Kamara is very difficult to bring down and is a big play waiting to happen. Kamara also has a very well rounded skill set, being above average in rushing, receiving, and pass protection. The only concern with Kamara, is if he can handle being an every-down running back in the NFL.
Round 3 – Taywan Taylor | WR | Western Kentucky | 6’0” | 195
NFL Comp: Mike Wallace
Taylor has put up astronomical numbers at Western Kentucky the past two seasons, with over 1,400 yards each year. NFL.com ranked Taylor as one of the 16 most freakish athletes in college football, posting eye-popping athletic measurements. According to NFL.com, Taylor runs a 4.33-second 40-yard dash, has a 39 ½ inch vertical leap, and a 137 inch broad jump; each of which would have made him one of the top performers at this year’s combine. Taylor shows good route-running ability and is a natural hands catcher. His numbers may be inflated a little due to the nature of the WKU offense, but he would be a good addition to a bad receiving corps.
Round 4 (CLE) – Corn Elder | CB | Miami | 5’10” | 175
NFL Comp: Cortland Finnegan
Elder is a quick-twitch, aggressive cornerback for Miami. Elder is versatile playing both in the slot and outside. Elder competes hard and challenges every ball in the air. Elder may have size limitations, but that doesn’t stop him from throwing his weight around. Elder had 12 passes defensed this season and one interception. Elder is also an effective special-teams player and could contribute in that role on day one.
Round 4 – Tanzel Smart | DT | Tulane | 6’0” | 300
NFL Comp: Sharrif Floyd
For a defensive tackle, Smart shows excellent pass rush ability with 5.5 sacks and 19 tackles for loss as a senior. Smart has active hands and is best classified as a disrupter. The Eagles are going to move on from Bennie Logan and they will need to replace him with someone who fits in Jim Schwartz’s system. Smart is a little undersized, but a great fit for the system the Eagles currently run.
Round 5 – Josh Malone | WR | Tennessee | 6’2” | 200
NFL Comp: Allen Hurns
Malone is a prospect with a good build, adequate long speed, and good hands. At this point, Malone is still becoming more polished as a route runner; however, route-running can be learned. The Eagles are going to have to keep adding wide receiver talent until they get the corps where it needs to be from a skill perspective. Malone is a little raw, but put up good numbers and could develop into a very good player.
Round 5 (Kelce) – Jalen Myrick | CB | Minnesota | 5’10” | 205
NFL Comp: Trumaine Brock
At this point in the draft, you’re looking for prospects with upside that can play special teams. Myrick was a special teams contributor for Minnesota and was an above-average kick returner. Myrick is a physical corner who’s a little undersized, but makes up for it with grit and determination
Round 6 – Jon Toth | C | Kentucky | 6’5” | 310
NFL Comp: Max Unger
Toth may not be the most athletic center, but he has a good frame and is an extremely hard worker. Toth has started for an impressive four years in the SEC. The Eagles desperately need depth along the offensive line, and Toth would add stability to the center position, especially if Stefen Wisniewski isn’t back next year.
Round 7 – Jahad Thomas | RB | Temple | 5’10” | 188
NFL Comp: Kenjon Barner
Thomas has all the makings of an effective third-down running back in the NFL, but the most impressive part of his game is pass protection. If you’d like an example of how good Thomas is in pass protection, just watch the tape from Temple’s bowl game against Wake Forest. Temple threw the ball on almost every play, and Thomas was a willing blocker for all of them. Thomas is a good receiver out of the backfield and an elusive runner. With Smallwood’s struggles in pass protection this year, Thomas would be a good addition to the running-back group.
UDFA – Brandon Bell | LB | Penn State | 6’1” | 233
UDFA – Trey Hendrickson | DE | Florida Atlantic | 6’4” | 270
53 Man Roster
Offense – 25
QB – Carson Wentz, Chase Daniel
RB – Alvin Kamara, Darren Sproles, Wendell Smallwood, Jahad Thomas
FB/TE – Trey Burton
WR – DeSean Jackson, Taywan Taylor, Jordan Matthews, Josh Malone, Nelson Agholor, Dorial Green-Beckham
TE – Zach Ertz, Brent Celek
LT – Jason Peters, Dillon Gordon
LG – Chance Warmack, Allen Barbre
C – Isaac Seumalo, Jon Toth
RG – Brandon Brooks, Darrell Greene
RT – Lane Johnson, Halapoulivaati Vaitai
Defense – 25
DE – Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry, Marcus Smith, Steven Means, Trey Hendrickson
DT – Fletcher Cox, Tanzel Smart, Beau Allen, Destiny Vaeao
SAM – Nigel Bradham, Brandon Bell
MIKE – Jordan Hicks, Joe Walker
WILL – Mychal Kendricks, Kamu Grugier-Hill
CB – Marshon Lattimore, Corn Elder, Jalen Mills, Ron Brooks, Kayvon Webster, Jalen Myrick
S – Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, Terrence Brooks, Chris Maragos
Specialists – 3
K – Caleb Sturgis
P – Donnie Jones
LS – Jon Dorenbos