Welp, at least we dodged another MACH 10 stalemate—turns out Palm Feathers (Sarasota, Florida) had an ace in the hole—an Eagles UDFA signing by the name of Temple safety Delvon Randall. So no matter how you slice the pie regarding Palmy’s time-stamp issues on his initial ballot which included first-round selection Andre Dillard, the man is the only guy to get two (2) picks in the 13th annual MACH 10 under the current rules of the game. That, my friends, is a winning entry in the 2019 version of The Price is Right—I mean, the MACH 10 Draft Challenge.
You may never see a UDFA “MACH 5” add-on to the MACH 10 Challenge again— but even if you don’t, it counted this year, and it helped in breaking a 6-way tie for the ultimate win by Palmy.
Some of you’se are uncomfortable with rule changes. That’s understandable. But the NFL constantly experiments with rule changes. Some of them stick, some of them don’t. So celebrate your 2019 MACH 10 winner. For this blessed year, Palmy won fair and square. Next year may be a different set of rules. Don’t kill the messenger.
Now on to da future—
Sullivan, who signed with the Eagles as an undrafted free agent the past offseason, spent all year on the practice squad before getting called up prior to Week 8. He allowed seven catches for 137 yards in coverage as opposing quarterbacks had a 118.8 passer rating targeting him.
Brown spent his rookie season on the Eagles practice squad, signing as an undrafted free agent in 2018. He signed a futures deal in January.
Signed as an undrafted free agent out of Western Michigan, the 6-0, 215-pound Brown led Western Michigan with 98 tackles, ranking fifth most in the MAC during regular season. Brown had 6.5 tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and one interception, while recording two quarterback hurries and three pass breakups.
One intriguing aspect of Brown’s game is that he can play linebacker and cornerback, providing the versatility that is required in Jim Schwartz’s defense. That helped Brown on special teams, where he played 133 snaps his senior year.
Johnson signed on to the Eagles practice squad in December after the team worked him out in September. An undrafted free agent out of Rutgers, Johnson last played with the Vikings in the 2018 preseason.
Easy come, easy go, I guess. Tough way to make a living when you’re on the fringe.
Meanwhile the Eagles have claimed safety Godwin Igwebuike off waivers from the San Francisco 49ers. Igwebuike (6-0, 212) played five games with the 49ers last season after being claimed off waivers from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in November. The Buccaneers first signed Igwebuike as an undrafted rookie out of Northwestern following the 2018 NFL Draft. He totaled two tackles in six games as a rookie.
At Northwestern, Igwebuike had 324 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss and seven interceptions in four seasons. He spent the first ten weeks of the season on the Buccaneers practice squad, then appeared in Tampa Bay’s Week 11 loss to the New York Giants before being waived.
The Eagles could use Igwebuike in a variety of roles, especially as a hybrid safety they could convert to linebacker. The Eagles have attempted this task before with Kamu Grugier-Hill and Nate Gerry, claiming Grugier-Hill (6-2, 230) off waivers from the New England Patriots one week before the 2016 season and drafting Gerry (6-2, 230) in the fifth-round of the 2017 draft.
If the Eagles decide to keep Igwebuike at safety, he’ll be in a competition with DeAndre Hall and Tre’ Sullivan for the No. 4 safety spot.
Sullivan is the front-runner for the job after having an outstanding playoffs, ranking as the highest-graded safety in the postseason by Pro Football Focus, ahead of Patrick Chung and Devin McCourty of the New England Patriots. Grading at 76.0, Sullivan had nine tackles in 86 defensive snaps and was targeted three times and had three pass breakups.
Opposing quarterbacks had a 39.6 passer rating when targeting Sullivan, who also had a dropped interception in the end zone in the Wild Card win over the Chicago Bears. One of the biggest improvements on the Eagles roster, the 24-year old Sullivan had 17 tackles and four stops in 223 snaps.
Sullivan allowed six catches for 39 yards (34 after the catch) on eight targets. Opposing quarterbacks had an 86.9 passer rating when targeting Sullivan, who saw his snaps increase with his improved play over the final month of the season.
Hall was traded to the Eagles for a seventh-round pick as a reinforcement on special teams, but had trouble seeing the field on defense. He played in 13 games and had just four tackles, taking just 40.42 percent of the special teams snaps and six defensive snaps.
The Eagles added depth at safety (and/or linebacker) with the addition of Igwebuike, who will have the entire offseason to impress the coaching staff. Igwebuike is also practice squad eligible after spending just one year in the league.