The Linc – Don’t be surprised if OT is the Eagles’ first-round pick

2023 NFL Draft - Rounds 2-3
Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 4/1/24.

Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links …

Ranking the Eagles’ positional needs in the 2024 NFL Draft – PhillyVoice
1) Offensive tackle […] Do the Eagles have more immediate needs at, say, corner or linebacker? They sure do! But unlike a number of other franchises around the league, they have figured out that great offensive line play can win championships and bad offensive line play gets people fired. If the Eagles draft an offensive tackle who can’t also play guard and Mailata and Johnson (a) continue to play at a high level and (b) stay healthy, then that young OT might have to sit a couple of years. While that might bother some fans, the silver lining would be that, you know, Mailata and Johnson stayed healthy and continued to play at a high level! Ultimately, the Eagles draft offensive linemen with premium picks because they hope that those guys can be mainstays on their line for the long haul. It’s just what they do, and there’s no reason to believe that will change given their desire to always field one of the best offensive lines in the NFL.

In Roob’s Observations: An under-rated position of need heading into the draft – NBCSP
1. With Jack Driscoll now in Miami, offensive tackle is suddenly quite an underrated need heading into the draft. The Eagles are set with Jordan Mailata and Lane Johnson as elite starters, but they’re very thin behind them. As it stands now, Fred Johnson is the top backup. He made the team last year after an outstanding training camp but only played two snaps on offense other than the second half of the season-ending loss to the Giants. Johnson isn’t a kid. He’ll be 27 in June and he’s bounced around the league – Steelers, Bengals, Bucs – before joining the Eagles’ practice squad in the middle of 2022. He’s started eight games – all with the Bengals from 2019 through 2021 – and has played both left tackle (414 career snaps) and right tackle (167 snaps) as well as some right guard (144 snaps), so he’s got some versatility. He might be OK? He sure looks the part at 6-7, 325 pounds, but he’s essentially an undrafted journeyman who hasn’t played extensively the last three years. Who else? Tyler Steen played exclusively guard as a rookie – 68 snaps at right guard, three at left guard – but played tackle in college, mainly right tackle at Vanderbilt and left tackle at Alabama. But he’s also very inexperienced and has yet to play in a regular-season game at tackle. Veteran Le’Raven Clark spent last year on the practice squad and is here on a futures deal. He’s started games at both tackle spots (and right guard) in his eight-year career – 445 snaps at left tackle, 415 at right tackle, 318 at right guard – but it’s hard to imagine a 31-year-old practice squadder serving as anything more than an emergency. Brett Toth is also here on a futures deal – he’s played 102 snaps at right tackle, 61 at left guard, 30 at center and 27 at right guard over the years but isn’t seen as a realistic option. So that’s it. Right now, it’s really Johnson and Steen, two guys who have promise but are essentially unproven. Will be interesting to see how Roseman addresses backup tackle in the draft and the rest of the offseason. Because he needs to.

NFL draft: A loaded class of offensive tackles could give the Eagles a Lane Johnson succession plan – Inquirer
Doing so, especially with an offensive tackle who has the versatility to spend a year or two at guard, would fit general manager Howie Roseman’s tendencies. The team has taken an offensive lineman in the first 75 picks of the draft in four of the last five years and has prioritized having successors in place for trench players like Jason Peters, Fletcher Cox, and Kelce in the past. With Lane Johnson turning 34 in May, the Eagles could target a possible heir to the right tackle spot and may even find a starting right guard for next season in the process. They’ll have plenty of options if they’re searching for Johnson’s successor. Here’s a breakdown of this year’s offensive tackle class.

2024 NFL draft: Prospects with first-round grades, plus comps – ESPN+
Olumuyiwa Fashanu, Penn State (No. 11). Comp: Terron Armstead. A long-armed, easy-moving left tackle, Fashanu is a massive man at 6-foot-6 and 312 pounds. The 20-year-old started 20 games over the past two seasons, allowing one sack while being flagged only four times. He’s powerful and agile, and he is still getting better with more reps. Fashanu has the tools to become a top-five NFL left tackle. [BLG Note: Four offensive tackles made the 18 prospects with a first-round grade in this article.]

Howie Roseman doesn’t care about your mock drafts – BGN
With baseball starting this weekend and Haason Reddick being traded, I am reminded of one of the best passages in one of my favorite books. In Ball Four, the book that is the diary of Jim Bouton’s 1969 season, Bouton writes about the experience of getting traded after he’s acquired by the Astros for cash and “the” Dooley Womack, a former teammate who features in an anecdote early in the book. Upon being dealt, Bouton wrote that after finding out where you are being traded to, the next thing you wanted to know was who you were traded for. “You like to hear a big name on the other end. It’s good for your morale.” The Dooley Womack was not. “I hope there was a lot of undisclosed cash involved. I hope a hundred thousand, at least. Maybe it’s me for a hundred thousand and Dooley Womack is just a throw in. I’d hate to think at this stage of my career I was being traded even up for Dooley Womack.” Haason Reddick was traded to the Jets. In the four o’clock hour Friday news dump. For a 2026 pick. While a lot of fans were watching the Phillies opening day. That’s a special level of disrespect.

Ten initial thoughts about the Jets trading for Haason Reddick – Gang Green Nation
2. I think it’s understandable to question the chain of events that brought Reddick to New York. In a vacuum, adding Reddick is tough to argue with. Despite what many Jets fans are saying, though, it’s tough for me to separate this move from the departure of Bryce Huff. The Jets probably wouldn’t be in the market for Reddick had they kept Huff. It’s reasonable to wonder whether the Eagles would be willing to trade Reddick if they did not add Huff. Which team will get the better of the deal? It’s tough to say. Reddick is the more complete player. He has the better resume. But Huff is four years younger and ascending right as Reddick is about to hit the magic 30 year old mark. It is also reasonable to think he has yet to scratch the surface of his talent. You can say Huff was already gone. Well that was only a few weeks ago. You can say he didn’t want to come back. Well that’s in part because the Jets coaching staff didn’t seem to feel he was a full-time player. Which team will get the better of this move? I think it’s tough to say. There’s enough evidence for either point that I will wait and see. The fact the Jets gave up a day two pick for Reddick when Huff could have been re-signed is a negative point, but not necessarily determinative. Either way, I see a clear connection between the two, and these players will likely be linked for the next few years.

Cowboys do the worst in the former first-round quarterback trade-a-thon – Blogging The Boys
SO, WHO GOT THE BEST DEAL? We can’t accurately answer this question without seeing how this all plays out. After evaluating some of these other factors, we can suggest which team got the better deal. The Steelers look like the biggest winners here as they not only got the best quarterback of the group, but one that also has a reasonable path to becoming the starter whereas these other teams already have starters in place. The Eagles also look smart in their deal because their former first-rounder will be a low-cost backup for at least the next two years. The Jaguars have a serviceable backup in Jones for another season, but that’s fine because it only cost them a sixth-rounder to acquire him. The Cowboys look like the biggest losers on this one. Fourth-round draft capital is rather steep for someone whose best case is likely a quality backup for the 2024 season. If the Cowboys have something up their sleeve and Lance turns into something much more, this story will have a different ending, but for now, the Cowboys come out on the short end of this assessment.

With ‘green light,’ Giants’ attention to QBs can’t be a smokescreen – Big Blue View
New York Giants co-owner John Mara has given GM Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll the “green light” to select a quarterback early in the 2024 NFL Draft if they are in love with one. The way the pre-draft process is playing out, there shouldn’t be any doubt that the Giants are considering doing exactly that. Whether they ultimately will or not remains to be seen. I think, though, that as we have watched Giants’ brass criss-cross the country to watch and meet with the top quarterbacks in the draft class, we should put away the notion that they are simply putting up a smokescreen to get a better non-QB pick at No. 6.

QBs who slipped in the draft, but succeeded afterward – Hogs Haven
It’s definitely the case that not all of the “successful” QBs above have been equally successful: Russell Wilson has won a Super Bowl (and been to a second). Nick Foles won a Super Bowl, but has been a back-up for much of his career. And, Gardner Minshew is a back-end starter or plus back-up depending on who you ask. That said, I think there are some interesting commonalities. Here are some themes I see: Undersized – It’s not a surprise that lack of prototypical size is one of the key reasons for QBs falling in the draft. It was explicitly noted for Dalton, Wilson, Carr, and Minshew. That said, if you come across an evaluation like Wilson’s in the future, don’t hesitate to burn a second rounder on him.

UFL team pulls off perfect trick play on fake punt for utterly ridiculous touchdown – SB Nation
The UFL is only two games into their inaugural season and already putting together some of the greatest football moments of all time. In the San Antonio Brahmas 27-12 upset over the DC Defenders, Brahmas head coach Wade Phillips (yes, you read that right) called up the greatest fake field goal known to man, because the person who scored was the CENTER. No, not the long snapper who was at the center of the line, but the center who snaps the ball on all the offensive plays during the Brahmas’ victory.

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Title: The Linc – Don’t be surprised if OT is the Eagles’ first-round pick
Author: Brandon Lee Gowton

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