It is not out of the question, as Lou Diamond Phillips’ character “Henry Standing Bear” might say on Longmire…
~BROZ over at Drafttek seems to think we’re missing an angle on the Eagles’ 6th overall pick possibilities in the 2021 Draft:
“There is a huge debate amongst Eagle fans as to whom to spend their tasty Top-10 pick on this year. Should they grab Ja’Marr Chase or Devonta Smith? Should they take a QB such as Justin Fields, Trey Lance, or even the surging Mac Jones at six? Should they trade up for Zach Wilson, or hope they can trade back for picks? How about x-factor Kyle Pitts, who could be both a receiving tight end AND a featured X-receiver?
“Probably the least-talked-about prospect for Philly is ‘Bama WR Jaylen Waddle. Waddle doesn’t get the hype of Chase or Smith; however, in four games prior to breaking his ankle against Tennessee, Waddle was averaging 6.25 REC, 140 YDS, and 1 TD per game. Waddle has game-breaking speed, is a savvy route-runner, blocks, and is a game-changing kick/punt returner.
– Broz, Eagles Analyst”
So there’s that to stuff in your pipe for now… At 5-10 and 182, Waddle is not an imposing prospect physically, but according to ~BROZ, he may be the best overall talent at #6 overall.
By contrast, there are guys like center Jason Kelce who never sniffed the rare air of top-round picks, but went on to play pro-bowl quality careers anyway. Kelce announced this week he is coming back for at least one more season with the Eagles.
Kelce enters his 11th NFL season after the Eagles made him a sixth-round selection in the 2011 NFL Draft. He is coming off a Pro Bowl performance in 2020 – his fourth; he’s been named an All-Pro three times – and he has started every game for the last six seasons. Despite the team’s 4-11-1 record that included a torrent of injuries, particularly to the offensive line, Kelce thinks the Eagles have something strong going up front in the trenches. The fact that Jeff Stoutland returns as the offensive line coach with the new coaching staff in place helped Kelce make his decision, too.
“That’s big. Obviously, Stout and I have an unbelievable relationship,” Kelce said. “This will be our ninth season together. I’ve been with him longer than pretty much anybody at this point in the football world. He means so much more to me than just as a coach – as a mentor, as a friend, as a person to guide me – I can’t say enough about our relationship and how much he’s meant to me not just as a coach but as a person.
“And I think our offensive line, considering the circumstances, did pretty darn well last year. We had a lot of young guys get playing time and there was a lot of learning on the job experience, which is hard to replicate. A lot of young guys showed what they can do – Jordan Mailata had a tremendous year, Nate Herbig I thought played really, really well. Matt Pryor has been very consistent for us and was able to go in and get the job done. Jack Driscoll as a rookie … All of this happened as we lost three guys who we expected to be starters and then went down (with injuries) – we lost Brandon Brooks before the season and he’s been the best guard in the NFL the last few years, we lost Andre Dillard, we lost Lane Johnson, who was in and out of the lineup before going out for good halfway through the season with the ankle injury. I think the O line, quite honestly, is in a really, really good situation especially if everybody can come back healthy. We have a lot of depth, a lot of experience now with everybody having played for a full year. I consider it one of the strengths of this team, no doubt.”
Kelce begins work with his fourth coaching staff – Andy Reid drafted him and was replaced by Chip Kelly, then Doug Pederson and now Nick Sirianni – and he knows how it works: New people in charge mean new ideas. That’s exciting for Kelce.
“It’s great energy. You see it with these guys. They’re working hard, getting to know each other and us and their doors are open and that is what I like,” Kelce said. “I’m looking forward to getting to know the coaches more. I was extremely close with Doug and his staff, and it was tough to see him go. We’re starting new and I’m glad to be part of it.”