The glass half full? Are the Eagles personnel-wise just a botox shot away from NFC dominance?
This is a touchy subject. On the surface, we as fans should be proud our home team has made three consecutive playoff appearances. That’s impressive, something a lot of fan bases in a lot of city-states would love to be able to say.
But there is always the “D” word in our collective mindset— no, not “doubt” or “de-escalation”, but “Dynasty”… and we need a few great “drafts” in a row rather quickly to entertain the concept of building a dynasty team around what we think is the franchise quarterback we already have.
It’s difficult to project the half-life of a QB, but I give Carson Wentz about six to seven more years of a reasonably healthy NFL career.
If accurate, that would mean we have the NFL Drafts of 2020 and 2021 to add the key pieces to every aspect of the roster which needs to mature into a solid supporting cast for Wentz in his prime production years.
When I refer to “Dynasty”, by the way, I define it as three or more Super Bowl appearances in a five-year span. In today’s parity-obsessed NFL, in my opinion, that would qualify as a dynasty.
You like that? You want that? Well, it would have to start with some major hits in the 2020 Draft. And by “hit”, I mean the draftee emerges as a major contributor equal or close to Pro Bowl status by 2022.
It used to be you could draft a guy and groom him slowly into a starting position over three or more seasons. Not today. If you are drafted in the first three rounds, you are expected to produce now. The trend of the league is to get younger and faster.
There are exceptions to the trend if you want to buy certain proven free agents. But the Eagles are saddled with enough of the older slower guys at the moment.
This is where guys like Drafttek analyst ~BROZ come in. They see the bigger picture if you want to go from “winning” to “really winning big” in the remaining years of Carson Wentz’ career with the Eagles. You have got to hit on the upcoming draft.
Since the Eagles are in the 21 slot, here are the Top 20 prospects as rated by Drafttek:
[Alabama underclassmen WR Jerry Jeudy and OT Jedrick Wills join the draft, along with Donovan Peoples-Jones of Michigan. Alternately, Georgia S Richard LeCounte and Memphis WR Damonte Coxie return for their Senior seasons.]
|1||Chase Young||Ohio State||EDGE||+ 2|
|4||Justin Herbert||Oregon||QB||+ 1|
|6||Jeffrey Okudah||Ohio State||CB||+ 1|
|7||Isaiah Simmons||Clemson||OLB||+ 4|
|8||A.J. Epenesa||Iowa||DL5T||+ 1|
|9||Austin Jackson||USC||OT||+ 1|
|11||Kristian Fulton||LSU||CB||+ 1|
|12||CeeDee Lamb||Oklahoma||WRF||+ 1|
|13||Tristan Wirfs||Iowa||OT||+ 1|
|14||Yetur Gross-Matos||Penn State||EDGE||-6|
|15||Javon Kinlaw||South Carolina||DL3T||—|
|16||Grant Delpit||LSU||S||+ 6|
|17||Jedrick Wills||Alabama||OT||+ 5|
|18||Jonathan Taylor||Wisconsin||RBF||+ 1|
|19||Curtis Weaver||Boise State||EDGE||+ 1|
So with unique knowledge of the Eagles’ personnel situation, ~BROZ lines up with his first relevant mock draft of 2020:
Antoine Winfield Jr.
That’s a good start to thinking ahead, but it’s really just a reminder that the upcoming draft will be critical to fertilizing any realistic projection of the Wentz era of the Eagles into a dominant status. You want Wentz to go down in history as the “Ginger Jesus” with 5 NFC Championship appearances and 2 Super Bowl wins? It all starts here…
To his credit, GM Howie Roseman accepts the challenge:
“I stand here with a range of emotions. The first emotion is disappointment,” Roseman said on Wednesday, “disappointment that we’re not practicing this week for the Green Bay Packers, that we didn’t achieve our goals that we set out in Training Camp. And I think when you have a disappointing season, it’s not just on the players and the coaches, it’s also on the front office. That starts with me.”
“Going forward, we need to infuse youth into this team. We think we’re going to have 10 draft picks,” Roseman said. “We’re excited about that. When we look at what the young players did for this team, down the stretch, it’s a great tribute to them. It’s a great tribute to our coaching staff. It’s a great tribute to our developmental program that we take a lot of pride in.”
Roseman feels the pressure to produce both short-term and medium-term results from this upcoming draft. You can tell. He knows his own legacy is pretty much tied to the Wentz window.