Shady 2.0 to Eagles?
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Former Eagles scout Daniel Jeremiah, one of the faces for the NFL Network's draft coverage now that Mike Mayock is the general manager in Oakland, participated in a pre-scouting combine conference call on Monday.
While Jeremiah may not be directly dialed into the pulse of the NovaCare Complex any longer, he remains close with many in the Eagles' personnel department and does have a decent feel for the organization.
When asked if running back could be in the mix for Philadelphia at No. 25 overall, Jeremiah mentioned that it's unlikely that the Eagles will be looking at the position in the first round, although part of that is due to circumstance.
"I mean, look, to me there's not a Saquon Barkley, who was just so rare, not a Leonard Fournette in terms of some of those guys that have been picked way high," Jeremiah said. "I love [Alabama running back Josh] Jacobs. To me he's the one guy I would feel great about turning in the card in the first round."
The Eagles will likely not be in position to take Jacobs and from there it would be a reach to select any other prospect at the position.
"After that, though, there's a lot of depth once you get in that second-, third-round range, and when you look for some fits for Philadelphia, they've always placed a premium on being able to create explosive plays," Jeremiah surmised.
Some bargains who could be had later according to Jeremiah includes Memphis' Darrell Henderson and Florida Atlantic's Devin Singletary, and the latter conjures up LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia's all-time leading rusher, for Jeremiah.
"Devin Singletary to me is -- I have him as the second-best back, and actually for comparison, I wrote down he's got a little Shady McCoy to him," Jeremiah said. "So he can make you miss. He does a great job in tight quarters. He could be in a hallway and you can't get a finger on him. Just real loose, nice little nifty jump cut that he uses. I don't know that he really has that big time, big time top speed, but we saw some of those same comments made about LeSean when he was coming into the draft, and we know how that worked out."
Howie Roseman didn't rule out a RB when he talked about the draft after the playoffs ended in January but did call the defensive line talent historic, perhaps foreshadowing the intended direction early..
"We have to look at [running back], among other positions, and figure out where we are going forward,” Roseman said. “We want to strengthen the roster, make sure we're improving the roster. ... It's clearly a very good defensive line group. Probably a historical defensive line group, and that's both at end and tackle."
Since Doug Pederson returned to Philadelphia before the 2016 season the Eagles have gone with a committee approach and a different lead back to start each season, first Ryan Mathews and then LeGarrette Blount and Jay Ajayi. There will almost assuredly be a fourth when the 2019 season kicks off and it's time for the Eagles to find a more well-rounded back to carry the load, whether that comes in free agency or the draft.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen