Eagles torch Cowboys in Tony Romo’s return
Foster is considered a first-round talent, and the Eagles’ top draft choice comes at No. 14 overall. Mock drafts from five NFL.com analysts suggested a wide range of possible landing points for Foster, as high as No. 9 overall and as low as No. 27 overall. He is the third prospect on Alabama’s stellar defense to visit the Eagles. CB Marlon Humphrey was set to visit the club earlier this week, as was LB Ryan Anderson.
The Broncos hold the No. 20 overall pick, but it’s unlikely they’ll need their first-round choice to acquire Mixon. He was barred from the NFL Scouting Combine under an NFL conduct policy, and a 2014 incident in which he punched a female OU student has made him undraftable for some clubs, according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. As such, despite being considered one of the draft’s top rushing talents, his draft status remains a blurry picture.
The Eagles hold the Minnesota Vikings’ first-round selection, via the trade that brought quarterback Sam Bradford to Minnesota. The Vikings finished the season tied with the Colts for the No. 14 position in the draft order as both teams were 8-8 with identical strength-of-schedule ratings (.492), hence the need for the coin toss. As losers of the toss, the Colts will draft at No. 15.
While it might be unlikely that the two clubs target the same player, the Eagles and Colts do share a position need in the draft: running back. If both look to fill that need in the first round, the result of the toss could have all the more impact.
With nothing on the line, the Cowboys rested their star players. Ezekiel Elliott dressed but never left the bench (dashing Jerry Jones’ claim Zeke could go after the rookie rushing record). Linebacker Sean Lee also dressed but was tied to the bench. Dez Bryant and Jason Witten both started but didn’t make it to halftime before being yanked (Witten finishes the regular season 17-yards shy of the Cowboys’ all-time receiving record). Dallas’ offensive line started reserve left tackle Emmett Cleary and backup left guard Joe Looney. With a bye before hosting a playoff game, Dallas hopes to get healthy ahead of their Super Bowl run.
Rod Marinelli deserves the Assistant Coach of the Year Award. Even with a bevy of players injured or held out, his defensive line had its way with the Eagles’ offensive line.
The Philadelphia Eagles might have found an eventual replacement for diminutive RB Darren Sproles with another back in the same style: Donnel Pumphrey.
The Eagles took the former San Diego State star with the No. 132 overall pick of the fourth round Saturday in the 2017 NFL Draft. He was one of college football’s most prolific rushers over the last three years, and he did it on a 5-foot-8, 176-pound frame. Last year, he capped his career with 2,133 yards on 349 carries at SDSU, and broke the NCAA’s FBS record for career rushing yards with 6,405. He’s also the first FBS player to compile 5,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in a career, so while size is a concern, his production isn’t.
The defensive end was drafted with the 14th-overall selection out of Tennessee. NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal projects that Barnett will start on Philadelphia’s re-worked defensive line in Week 1.
With Fletcher Cox back at OTAs after a brief absence and Barnett locked and loaded for the next four years, the Eagles’ front seven can finally visualize its potential for the upcoming season. If the early reviews are any indication, Barnett should thrive under defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz’s guidance in 2017.
The Eagles crowd at the draft knew that Jones was an intriguing value pick. Expected to be a surefire first-rounder because of his competitiveness and ball skills, Jones tore his Achilles tendon at his pro day. The Eagles front office chose to take the long view, knowing that Jones will help them eventually even if he’s not a huge factor this season.
NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reports that Jones will start the season on the Non-Football Injury List and could be back on the field by October, if needed. Jones has been compared to his friend Marcus Peters in playing style. Former Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel also comes to mind as a ballhawking, undersized cornerback.