The MACH 10 Eagles Draft Challenge has begun...and I'm shooting for the middle of the ladder guys...

The MACH 10 Eagles Draft Challenge has begun...and I'm shooting for the middle of the ladder guys...

Eagles

The MACH 10 Eagles Draft Challenge has begun...and I'm shooting for the middle of the ladder guys...

12th annual MACH 10 time…a contest co-created by GK Brizer and The Great JB99 back in 2007…it’s hard to win and it hurts so bad.

One week before the Draft…10 names of Eagles draftees… the classic format this year. You can drop your ballot in the Comments section below.

We are already harvesting early entries, the first submitted at 12:01 A.M. this past Thursday by the Drafttek Master himself, the bombastic ~BROZ. What I do is cut and paste the ballots into a Word Document with the earliest entries listed first. The earliest time-stamp ballot gets the nod in the event of a tie. That little rule also prevents me and others from flat-out copying another guy’s ballot. That’s the reason the time-stamp matters.

Past winners:

2007…M. “Fanny” Harris
2008…Leo Pizzini
2009…M. “Fanny” Harris
2010…G.K. Brizer
2011…The Great JB99
2012…~BROZ
2013…Don Pardo
2014…Kenny Kenemeka
2015…~BROZ
2016…AFRA
2017…Stine

I’d like to join that club of winners myself. Those are the guys with the Green Jackets. But my ballots in the past have been putrid. I figure since we have been obsessed with 1st Round picks all those years, I lost my focus on the mid-to-late round guys—you know, the middle of the ladder talent which makes it all possible for the top of the ladder guys to shine.

This year is different. I just KNOW Howie Roseman is going to trade back out of that #32 overall pick. So I’m banking my ballot this year on the second, third and fourth rounds (assuming Howie trades back into at least two of those later rounds). My thinking is I can hit on at least two guys in that general geographic area. And two hits could very likely be the magic number to get a Green Jacket this year.

Anything that hits in Rounds 5 through 7 is just icing on the cake.

With that thought in mind, here is my MACH 10 submission:

RB Ronald Jones (USC)
CB/DB/PR Jaire Alexander (Louisville)
DE Kemoko Turay (Rutgers)
OL Jamil Demby (Maine)
WR Courtland Sutton (SMU)
DB Jeremy Reaves (South Alabama)
OG Will Hernandez (UTEP)
TE Durham Smythe (Notre Dame)
DB Siran Neal (Jacksonville State)
LB Skai Moore (South Carolina)

Okay, not the sexiest big names on that ballot… but middle of the ladder guys who I’m betting Joe Douglas and his scouting staff have pegged as good fits into the Eagles’ overall team environment of contributing machine parts.

We’ll see soon enough whether this ballot is Green Jacket-worthy or just another annual serving of humble pie.

Meanwhile, we’ve got the 2018 schedule release…

Looking at it strictly from a HOME and AWAY perspective, you’ve got:

Home: New York Giants (3-13), Washington Redskins (7-9), Dallas Cowboys (9-7), Minnesota Vikings (13-3), Carolina Panthers (11-5), Atlanta Falcons (10-6), Houston Texans (4-12), Indianapolis Colts (4-12).

Away: New York Giants (3-13), Washington Redskins (7-9), Dallas Cowboys (9-7), Los Angeles Rams (11-5), New Orleans Saints (11-5), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-11), Tennessee Titans (9-7), Jacksonville Jaguars (10-6)…[at London, England].

Bye Week is week 9, which is symmetrically really nice.

The “experts” are telling me the  Eagles have the easiest schedule in the NFC East heading into 2018. They say Philadelphia’s combined opponents have a 126-130 record, which is tied for the 19th-hardest schedule in the NFL (14th easiest), per CBS Sports. While the Eagles are in the middle of the pack, that’s an easier road than their 2017 strength of schedule last February, as the combined record of Eagles opponents was 134-118-4 (based on 2016 records), tied for 10th-hardest schedule in the league.

But I say there’s no such thing as an easy opponent when you’re defending a championship title. As Billy Squier once sang out in Long Island, “Everybody Wants You.” The Eagles are going to have the fight of their lives this Fall and Winter. Teams will be studying film on them twice as diligently as before. The margin of error will be very slim. We ain’t sneaking up on anyone this year. If we end up at 8-8, remember these words, and remember where you heard them. If we go 12-4, forget what I said.

 

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