We got so many questions in this call for mailbags, that I actually split it into three parts. Thanks to everyone who submitted.
Yesterday, we talked about what Carson Wentz can learn from Nick Foles, what the secondary might look like next season and the importance of getting younger on the defensive line (see story).
Plenty more questions to get to today:
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Jordan Mailata was so exciting to watch in preseason. Any chance we will get to see a lot more of him this year?— Michelle Brennan (@mickib95) January 22, 2019
You're right. I was so impressed with how far he came in such a short time last offseason. But the only way we'll see him more next year is if he's a starter or someone gets hurt and he's the next backup. I don't think he'll be ready to be a starter at the beginning of the season. I know it's tough to see how far he came last year and not see him play in the regular season, because he certainly seems to have a bright future. But I think it's just too early. He's still learning how to play this game and is still a longer-term project.
But we'll see how he looks in the spring and in training camp. Remember, we haven't really seen him since his first training camp because most of the regular season practices are closed. And he hurt his back late in the season. But I guess there's a possibility he's just continued to improve a ton. As a rookie, he was active for just a handful of games and didn't play. I think he'll be higher on the depth chart in 2019, but I can't see him playing a ton.
Do the Eagles need to draft a Running Back ?— PHILLY VS EVERYBODY 🦅 (@TheEaglesReview) January 22, 2019
They need to get a running back and with this organization's hesitance to pay a lot for the position, yeah, they probably need to draft one. The last time the Eagles drafted a running back, they took Donnel Pumphrey in the fourth round. He has yet to play an NFL snap. But the Eagles haven't drafted a running back in the first two rounds since they took LeSean McCoy in the second round back in 2009. In the years since Shady was traded, the Eagles have had four different leading rushers: DeMarco Murray, Ryan Mathews, LeGarrette Blount and Josh Adams. They definitely need some stability.
Since Shady was traded, the Eagles have drafted just two running backs in six draft classes. The Eagles have drafted 42 players in the last six classes and two of them have been running backs. It's also important to note the Eagles got Corey Clement and Josh Adams after the draft was over.
But Pump and Wendell Smallwood were fourth and fifth-round round picks. I still don't think they'll take one in the first round, but with two second-rounders, maybe this is the year they prioritize taking one higher.
I love that people feel like this. Because Brandon Graham should mean a lot to this fanbase. He's the former first-round pick who was labeled a bust, remained the most positive human ever throughout the whole thing and eventually became a Super Bowl hero. It's really an incredible story. But I'm not sure about this. I think there's a chance the Eagles get a defensive end high in the draft and they bring back Michael Bennett, which makes it tough to re-sign Graham.
Now, if a market doesn't really materialize for Graham and the Eagles don't lowball him, I think there's a chance he'd take a small hometown discount to return. I agree that it would be a big loss if he's gone, but I have a feeling another team is going to offer him a contract that will be too much for the Eagles to match.
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