This 2021 Draft will be the first one in which the EYE has no (zero) (Looo-hoo-szsser) Comments Section for the purpose of recording MACH-10 draft ballots.
So, in the spirit of flying by the seat of my pants, EYE designate the Comments forum of Bleeding Green Nation as the emergency polling station for the purpose of collecting MACH-10 ballots. Their Coral comments engine has improved to the point where it seems it could easily handle any overflow of our traditional bank of MACH-10 contestants. It also means I will personally harvest your ballot posted at BGN with daily monitoring on my part.
Of course you can always email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org with your mail-in ballot.
It’s still the most elusive of Eagles Fan contests— pick ten names of guys you think the Eagles will draft, timing your entry from one week or less before the draft, which this year happens on April 29.
Going over the past two decades of MACH-10 entries, it is remarkable how difficult this draft challenge is… Only 10% of all entrants hit on one (1) correct choice; 4% of all entrants get two (2) hits; only 2% of all entrants get three (3) hits or more.
Those are tough odds. And depending on which entrant has the earliest time-stamp on their ballot, the winner may in fact have only two (2) correct picks.
With all of that MACH-10 hype in mind, here is the latest wrinkle in the details of the 2021 challenge:
The Eagles were awarded two sixth-round compensatory draft picks by the NFL on Wednesday. Those two additional picks bring the Eagles’ total to 10 selections ahead of the new league year.
The Eagles were awarded the compensatory picks because of the departures of running back Jordan Howard and linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill in free agency last offseason. Howard and Grugier-Hill both signed with the Miami Dolphins in free agency last year.
The Eagles have the following 10 draft picks after the compensatory pick distribution:
First Round (1): 6th overall pick (Eagles)
Second Round (1): 38th overall pick (Eagles)
Third Round (2): 70th overall pick (Eagles), 84th overall (Colts, acquired in Wentz deal)
Fourth Round (0): N/A (traded to Cleveland Browns for DE Genard Avery)
Fifth Round (2): 151st overall pick (Eagles), 157th overall pick (Cowboys, acquired last year)
Sixth Round (3): 189th overall pick (Eagles), 223rd overall pick (compensatory), 224th overall pick (compensatory)
Seventh Round (1): 233rd overall pick (Eagles)
The 2021 NFL Draft is set to kick off 50 days from Wednesday. The Eagles’ first selection is No. 6 overall.
The NFL also announced on Wednesday that the salary cap for the 2021 season is set at $182.5 million. Teams are able to roll over leftover cap space from the 2020 season, but must be under the salary cap by 4 PM next Wednesday, March 17 when the new league year begins.
So plan your MACH-10 ballot submission accordingly. Remember also those comp picks can be traded if the team wishes to move up the board, so evaluate your strategy accordingly.
Meanwhile the Birds are doing the dirty work to get under the Cap.
The Eagles announced on Tuesday that they have released safety Blake Countess and defensive tackle Treyvon Hester. Both players were re-signed by the Eagles to futures deals shortly after the 2020 campaign came to a close.
Countess was originally drafted by the Eagles in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He signed with the Rams shortly after being released at the end of his rookie Training Camp. In three seasons with Los Angeles, Countess played in 37 games (4 starts) and amassed 39 tackles, two interceptions, and one sack on defense.
He spent the 2019 season with the Jets and returned to the Eagles’ practice squad late in the 2020 campaign. He made four tackles on defense in two late-season appearances and contributed 21 more snaps on special teams.
• The Eagles currently have the following players under contract at safety for the 2021 season: Grayland Arnold, Marcus Epps, Rodney McLeod, Elijah Riley, and K’Von Wallace. Rudy Ford and Jalen Mills are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents on March 17 when the new league year begins.
Hester was the author of the Wild Card game-winning field goal block in the 2018 season against the Chicago Bears. He finished the 2020 season on the practice squad after returning in November, but he didn’t suit up for the Eagles in a regular-season game this year.
• The Eagles currently have Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, Malik Jackson, and Raequan Williams under contract at defensive tackle for the 2021 season. T.Y. McGill and Hassan Ridgeway are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents on March 17.