And draft watch is here
Embrace the weirdness
Teams are realizing that roster construction was something done out of habit, not necessity. Last year the Cowboys opened the season with Dak Prescott as their only QB on the active roster, QB2 Cooper Rush started off on the Practice Squad. The Patriots initially had Mac Jones as their only QB on the 53 before signing Matt Corral, they also have only two TEs and two RBs on their 53. The Broncos and Colts have just four WRs, meanwhile the Bears and Commanders have seven. You can do what you want with your roster, you don’t have to do what everyone else does and has done.
Last season 5th WR Britain Covey played just 19 snaps, all in four blowout wins, and didn’t start the season on the 53. The bottom of the LB depth chart was Shaun Bradley who never saw the field on defense. Injuries will happen and roster spots will open up, so to start the season there’s little incentive to roster a practice squad caliber player who isn’t going to see the field on offense or defense to start the season. We’re entering a new normal.
Money for nothing
After the draft, at least one front office executive complained about the praise Roseman was getting.
Speaking on NFL Network, @PSchrags mentioned some executives around the league are getting annoyed with how much praise Howie Roseman is receiving.— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) April 29, 2023
I am convinced that Colts GM Chris Ballard, who used to be a media darling for reasons passing understanding before trading for and then trading away Carson Wentz, complained to Peter Schrager. So he’s got to be fuming that Roseman signed CB/KR Isaiah Rodgers, who Ballard cut almost immediately after the league suspended Rodgers for the season for gambling. Rodgers allegedly made over 100 bets, the one we know about he won $1,000 for betting the over on the Colts rushing yards. The horror. It was dumb, Rodgers should have known better, and a year suspension when the league takes sponsorships from books is ridiculous. When he was cut, the Colts issued the following statement:
“We have made the following roster moves as a consequence of the determination that these players violated the league’s gambling policy,” said Colts General Manager Chris Ballard. “The integrity of the game is of the utmost importance. As an organization we will continue to educate our players, coaches, and staff on the policies in place and the significant consequences that may occur with violations.”
We’re going to educate our players. But not the guy who needed the education. Because he is no longer one of our players. Okay then.
For the Eagles this costs literally nothing if it doesn’t work out. Rodgers doesn’t occupy a roster spot, nor does he count against the salary cap. Effectively what the Eagles have done is use a time machine to sign Rodgers when his suspension is over. In 2020 he was one of the best kick returners in the league, and in 2021 and 2022 while still returning kicks he was the Colts top backup outside CB. He may never play a down for the team. even in the preseason, but these are the kind of marginal moves that add up over time.
Six 54th men?
The Eagles will almost certainly not do this, but by putting Arryn Siposs on the practice squad, they have set themselves up to take advantage of NFL’s roster rules. Players can be called up for the practice squad three times. If we assume that punters the Eagles can sign off the street are no worse than Siposs, they could simply go the entire season churning through punters on the practice squad without any drop in performance expectation. It will take six punters to do this over the regular season (five getting three games, the sixth getting two games), but the limit does not apply in the postseason so they could bring any of them back.
The advantage here is that rather than use a 53 man roster spot on a punter, the team can carry an additional non-special teams player.
The disadvantage is… what exactly? The Eagles have a high powered offense and a coach who goes for it on 4th down. In both 2021 and 2022 the Eagles punted 55 times, a 3.2 per game average. Siposs and Brett Kern punted more than four times just four times last year including the playoffs, three of which were blowout wins. Only 41% of Siposs’s playing time has been actually punting, the majority of the time he’s on the field is to hold the snap, which any punter can do.
Why use a 53 man roster spot for a replacement level player who is going to see the field 2-4 times a game when the rules let you cycle through them for nothing? Do it and be legends.
College watch list for this season
- RT Amarius Mims, Georgia
- LB Smael Mondon, Georgia
- S Javon Bullard, Georgia
- CB Kamari Lassiter, Georgia
- WR/PR Ladd McConkey, Georgia
- DT Nazir Stackhouse, Georgia
- C Sedrick Van Pran, Georgia
- LB Jamon Dumas-Johnson, Georgia
QB Factory watch list for this season
Will the Eagles take another QB on Day 3 of the draft? Probably not. But maybe they do, and maybe it’ll be one of these. Some of these guys are seen as potential 1st through 3rd rounders, but the same thing was true of Tanner McKee a year ago.
- Riley Leonard, Duke
- Joe Milton, Tennessee
- Tyler Van Dyke, Miami
- KJ Jefferson, Arkansas
- Jordan Travis, Florida State
- Jayden Daniels, LSU
College Watch List For This Week
I am not watching every down of these games, or taking detailed notes. These are the games I’m starting the timeslot watching/flipping between, and the handful of prospects at positions that might interest the Eagles at some point. I’m not going to focus on guys expected to go in the top half of the draft at positions the Eagles aren’t going to trade up for. Nor do I care about a top prospect against some four win school with next to no NFL talent.
Friday Night: Miami (of OH) at Miami (of FL)
I’m not actually watching this game, I just want to point out that neither of these schools are in a town called Miami. This game is Oxford vs Coral Gables.
Saturday Early: Utah State at Iowa for the Sickos factor; Colorado at TCU for the car crash factor.
Iowa: S Cooper DeJean, P Tory Taylor (Iowa is going to punt a lot, again)
Utah State: Nobody
TCU: CB Josh Newton
Colorado: QB Shedeur Sanders
Saturday Late: Boise State at Washington
Washington: EDGEs Bralen Trice and Zion Tupuloa-Fetui, LT/LG Troy Fautanu, WRs Jalen McMillan and Rome Odunze
Saturday Night: North Carolina vs South Carolina
UNC QB Drake Maye has huge potential to be that guy in March we say “this guy was supposed to be a 1st rounder?” Or he could be a top 3 pick. We’ll start to find out against a potentially pretty good Gamecocks team.
UNC - LB Cedrick Gray
South Carolina - P/QB Kai Kroeger. Watch him look off the defender here. This was the best throw of the game.
He’s 6 for 6 with 3 TDs in his career! Beamerball.
Sunday Night - LSU at Florida State
FSU - EDGEs Jared Verse and Patrick Payton, WR Johnny Wilson, RB Trey Benson
LSU - DT Mekhi Wingo, WR Malik Nabers, QB Jayden Daniels, and then there’s S Major Burns. I just want to point out they have a DB with the unfortunate name of Major Burns. LSU also has DT Maason Smith, a potential 1st rounder, but he’s controversially suspended for participating at an autograph signing event just prior to NIL being legal. The NCAA!
Monday Night: Clemson at Duke
Clemson: LBs Jeremiah Trotter Jr. and Barrett Carter, S Andrew Mukuba, CB Nate Wiggins, RB Will Shipley
Duke: LT Graham Barton, QB Riley Leonard
Yes, you read that right. Joey Porter Jr. is a Steeler, make Jeremiah Trotter Jr. an Eagle.
This post first appeared on Bleeding Green Nation, A Philadelphia Eagles Commu, please read the originial post: here