Draft Talk

Posted: November 19th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 52 Comments »

I’m not dead.  Just got caught up with a few things that kept me from writing/posting.  Rather than doing a game preview here, I’m going to put up some draft thoughts.  I’ll do a game preview for my PE.com column.

1st Round pick.  As of today, we’re picking 9th.  That’s the one upside to having a crappy team.  I don’t expect us to stay 9th, but I’ve been so wrong this year that you can take my predictions with a grain of salt.

Trying to guess what position we’ll target early is tricky.  We will have free agency and trades before the draft this year.  Ideally you fill needs with those moves so that you can draft who you want instead of what you need.

We all want help at LB.  If we have a pick in the Top 15, I’m not sure there is a LB that makes sense.  This is a good LB class, but guys in the Top 15 need to be great players.  I don’t really see great LBs.  That could change in the pre-draft process.  Last year Von Miller showed at the Senior Bowl that he could play 4-3 LB.  Patrick Willis had a great Senior Bowl and then ran well at the Combine, erasing any questions about how good he truly was.  We’ll see if anyone emerges in January and February.

Trying to pin-point what positions the Eagles would target with a Top 15 pick is tough right now because there are so many variables.  If we can’t work out an extension with DeSean Jackson, then WR becomes a real possibility.  If the season ends disastrously, maybe the Eagles have a shot at Justin Blackmon, the top WR in the draft.  Maybe they get Michael Floyd from Notre Dame.  Those guys are big, talented WRs who will go early.

QB is possible.  Andrew Luck will go #1.  After him, there are no certainties.  Matt Barkley should be the next QB to go, assuming he comes out.  I think he goes high.  I’m not sure about the guys after them.  Robert Griffin III could go early, but I’m still watching tape on him.  Guys like Ryan Tannehill, Brandon Weeden, and Landry Jones might get talked about as 1st rounders, but I’m not sold on that.  The Eagles don’t need a QB, but will be interested if the right guy falls to them.   Griffin is the guy to strongly consider.  Seems like the right kind of QB and he could be available.  His coach is Art Briles.  We drafted a Briles QB back in 2007…Kevin Kolb.  Griffin is much more physically gifted.

What about DL?  The Eagles have Trent Cole, Jason Babin, and Brandon Graham at DE.  I don’t think you spend a high pick there.  DT is another story.  The most interesting idea is Quinton Coples of UNC.  He is a DE this year, but played DT last season.  He’s 6’5, 290 and athletic.  He would be perfect for Jim Washburn’s system.  Coples lacks the explosion to be a star DE.  There is some interest in DT Devon Still from Penn State.  I’m still studying him.  Looks great at times, but I’m not sure he’s worth a high pick.

The key with the 1st round pick is finding a player you really like.  Get a player that can help your team long term.

What happens at LB?  That is the million dollar question.  I’m not going to run through all the scenarios.  We’ve got January and February for that.  I do think we’ll add at least one LB early in the draft.  Trying to figure out who we target is tricky because we don’t know who will be running the defense or if there will be a schematic change.  For now, I’ll just talk about some guys of interest.

Luke Kuechly – 6’3, 235 – Boston College – Plays MLB.  Tackling machine.  Solid size. Probably goes in the 25-40 range.

Zach Brown – 6’2, 230 – UNC – Athletic LB. Not a great run defender, but a playmaker with coverage skills.  Could be Top 20 pick.  Could be SAM or WLB in our current system.

Danny Trevathan – 6’1, 230 – Kentucky – Very good player. Lacks ideal size, but tackler and playmaker. Fights off blocks well. Could be 2nd rounder.

Sean Spence – 6’0, 225 – Miami – WLB prospect. Another tackling machine. Small, but physical. Better run defender than playmaker.

Vontaze Burfict – 6’3, 250 – Arizona State – Junior who can make highlight plays, but is wildly inconsistent.  Must be in the right situation to thrive.  Likely to be over-drafted due to his highlights.  Some coach will fall in love with his potential.

Manti Te’0 – 6’2, 250 – Notre Dame – Junior who isn’t a lock to come out.  If he does, could be Top 20 pick.  A bit of Kuechly and Burfict. Big guy who has some good highlights, but isn’t consistently an impact player.  Isn’t as productive as Kuehcly or as inconsistent as Burfict.  Could play MLB or SAM.  Has missed some tackles recently, which bugs me.

There are some other LBs who might be of interest.  The question with these guys is whether they would be an improvement on the current players.  Joke all you want about the guys we have, but they were stars in college.

LB Lavonte David – Nebraska

LB Audie Cole – NC State

MLB Jerry Franklin – Arkansas

LB Tank Carder – TCU

MLB J.K. Schaffer – Cincinnati

MLB Eltorro Freeman – Auburn

MLB Nigel Bradham – Florida State

LB James-Michael Johnson – Nevada

LB Bobby Wagner – Utah State

LB Dexter Hyman – Louisville


Here are some other players I like (no LBs or 1st round players).

WR Jarius Wright – Arkansas

S Omar Brown – Marshall

RB Doug Martin – Boise State

DE Cam Johnson – Virginia

QB Russell Wilson – Wisconsin

WR Dwight Jones – UNC

* * * * *

Fire off your draft related questions and/or share your thoughts.

52 Comments on “Draft Talk”

  1. 1 Kammich said at 5:18 PM on November 19th, 2011:

    I saw a mock draft on WalterFootball the other day that had us going Corner in round 1. The concept being that Asante will be given his walking papers, and that DRC isn’t likely to be extended beyond his contract year next year. After investing so much in the CB position this off-season, is there really any possibility that we completely blow the depth chart up and draft a CB in the top-10? I just don’t see it.

    Trevathan lit it up against UGA today. He was all over the field. What are the odds that he drops a few pounds, runs well in the off-season, and gets drafted as an SS? Are those type of “Thomas Davis ‘tweeners” a good fit in our current defensive scheme?

    If we DO end up with a top-10 pick–which I’m honestly, unbiasedly predicting that we will NOT–would an OT like Jonathan Martin be a possible target, giving us the flexibility to move Herremans back to LG in the event of being unable to retain Mathis?

    So, so many variables. I never thought I’d be discussing our draft plans, in depth, in November.

  2. 2 Anonymous said at 5:49 PM on November 19th, 2011:

    I don’t think we’d go OT early unless the player was someone that the coaches coveted. We’ve got Todd. Mudd was able to develop some mid-round players in Indy so I’d rather us go that route.

    I only see us taking a CB if the guy is too good to pass on. I get the feeling DRC will be retained. Asante should be gone. Then you’d have Nnamdi, DRC, and Curtis Marsh. All 3 guys are big CBs who can press and be physical. They can play any side. The DC would have freedom to do what he wanted. I think DRC is just out of position right now. Team still has high hopes for him.

  3. 3 Anonymous said at 8:31 PM on November 19th, 2011:

    “The DC…”

    Ah, the turmoil of a losing season.

  4. 4 R G said at 5:22 PM on November 19th, 2011:

    To me Justin Blackmon is the surest pick in the draft. He is a man among boys and college. He is also a hardworking high character guy.

    3 players I love:
    1. Mark Barron S Alabama
    2. Melvin Ingram DE South Carolina
    3. Chris Marve LB Vanderbilt

    I know you don’t think we need a safety but Barron is so good. He is always around the ball and an excellent tackler. Melvin Ingram just scores TDs. Marve is a bit of a sleeper. Not that big or fast but always making plays or around the ball. Thoughts?

  5. 5 Anonymous said at 5:50 PM on November 19th, 2011:

    I love Barron and Ingram.

    Marve is solid college player, but doesn’t impress me all that much as a pro prospect.

  6. 6 Anonymous said at 7:57 AM on November 20th, 2011:

    Tommy, being an South Carolina fan…I’ve watched Ingram all yr. He is a big time talent. He reminds me a lot of Kurt Coleman in the since that he is not the biggest or fastest player on the field, but damn is he always…always making plays. Plus he can play DT and DE or drop back in coverage

  7. 7 Sjampen said at 6:08 PM on November 19th, 2011:

    If we get a high(top 10) pick, i don’t really care about position, i just want an impact player. If we draft between10-20 the we can consider taking the biggest talent that fits our need.

    What do you think of Ted Thompsons BPA mentality, Tommy? Its working for them right now, but how much of that is A-Rod being a super freak.

  8. 8 Anonymous said at 6:46 PM on November 19th, 2011:

    Thompson is a really sharp guy. His philosophy is to collect as much talent as possible. He truly does draft BPA.

    As you say, it works because of Aaron Rodgers. He’s not a QB that locks onto 1 WR. He is very good at spreading the ball around.

    The coaching staff also is key. McCarthy uses a multiple offense that spreads the ball around. Dom Capers knows how to be very creative on defense. He’s able to mix and match scheme to skill.

    I love what Ted does, but he’s got the right situation to make that philosophy work. Ted couldn’t get away with that on some other teams.

  9. 9 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee said at 6:53 PM on November 19th, 2011:


    Great to read your “first” thoughts about Aprils draft! Assuming we get a top 10 pick, which is rare for us (hopefully in the future as well!), shouldn’t we pick our future QB if he is available? The best QBs are picked atop of the draft (of course there are ecxeptions)… I would love us to pick Griffin, and groom him behind Vivk for 3-4 years a la Rodgers. He seems like the type of QB that Reid loves, and furthermore he is a mature kid!

    IF we pick that high, he would be my guy… I think you have to pick a guy at a high rated position if you pick in the top 10 (QB, OT, DE, DT, WR, CB), and with that in mind my wishlist would be:

    1) RG3
    2) Kalil
    3) Blackmon
    4) Claiborne
    5) Coples

    I don’t believe there’s a DE worth taking this high! If all these guys are gone, I would try to trade down…

  10. 10 Anonymous said at 7:54 AM on November 20th, 2011:

    I too like RG III. He is super talented and actually enjoys studying the playbook.

  11. 11 Anonymous said at 7:24 PM on November 19th, 2011:

    I couldn’t see them taking a QB too early, maybe with one of the second round picks if there is a guy you really like.

  12. 12 Anonymous said at 7:29 PM on November 19th, 2011:

    Also a note on Kuechly, from the early mocks he is projected higher than the 2nd round. I know it’s really way too early to do projections but I think if the Eagles wanted one of the top junior LBs they would have to take one with their first pick.

  13. 13 Anonymous said at 7:54 PM on November 19th, 2011:

    Kuechly is a great college player, but not a great pro prospect. I don’t see him going in the Top 25. 2 down MLBs just aren’t valued like that anymore. If he has a sensational Combine, maybe he does go in there. I think he’s so-so athletically and that will push him to the late 1st or early 2nd.

  14. 14 Anthony Hart said at 8:21 PM on November 19th, 2011:

    If Howard Mudd goes back into retirement after this season, do think we might target a C in the first 3 rounds? I like Kelce in our current system, but in a system similar to our old one I don’t think he’d play very well.

  15. 15 Anonymous said at 10:19 PM on November 19th, 2011:

    I think we’ll keep the current OL system for a while. Plus, Mudd will likely stay another year or two. He’s training Eugene Chung to take over the job.

  16. 16 Anonymous said at 10:48 PM on November 19th, 2011:

    I hope the Eagles don’t go on another off season spending spree. Although individually, they are all talented/high character guys…it just does not mesh well together. An off season to build chemistry with the current guys (minus Asante I hope). Lets build this thing through the draft and hopefully someone will step up and lead this team.

  17. 17 ken jomo said at 10:56 PM on November 19th, 2011:


    If you project Coples to DT where does he rank with guys like Brandon Thompson and Devon Still? Thanks

  18. 18 Anonymous said at 1:13 AM on November 20th, 2011:

    Coples would be ideal for our system. He’d be #1 DT prospect for us.

    Thompson is overrated. Still would be a good fit for us.

  19. 19 Euler.is.a.pimp said at 11:17 PM on November 19th, 2011:

    It seems to me like OT might be a position to start thinking about for the future. Any targets there?

  20. 20 Anonymous said at 1:23 AM on November 20th, 2011:

    I think we’ll look for mid-round OTs. Iowa RT Markus Zusevics is interesting. Missouri RT Dan Hoch might fit us. Honestly, I’ve got a lot of work to do with OL study. Focused on defense for some odd reason.

  21. 21 Anonymous said at 11:29 PM on November 19th, 2011:

    Is there any chance of changin a bit of offense next offseason? Maybe more of saints style?? I still believe Big Red is goin to stay for at least next season. Though if theres a chance to get Cowher, is there a possiblity to change into a 3-4 ? Using Cole n Graham as OLB??

  22. 22 Anonymous said at 1:24 AM on November 20th, 2011:

    Cowher won’t be the Eagles coach. We have dynamic pieces on offense. If there is a coaching change, must find someone who can focus on them.

    Don’t expect a schematic change on offense.

  23. 23 Anonymous said at 12:02 PM on November 20th, 2011:

    I fully understand wanting to take advantage of the players that are currently on the team, and I am not really pulling for Cowher, but hypothetically, would looking only for coaches that would run the same scheme be a short sighted mindset? I mean, if there is a great coach that comes available that has a different scheme and the alternative is an OK coach who runs the same scheme, shouldn’t we go after the great coach?

    I should preface that comment with the fact that things are not going to be that black and white in practice, but my point remains the same. The Eagles should go after the best coach available based on their evaluation, not the best coach that has the most similar scheme.

  24. 24 Anonymous said at 1:13 PM on November 20th, 2011:

    The Eagles have very good talent in place. You must find a coach that fits the talent.

    If this was a rebuilding job, then you would be completely right that scheme would be a non-factor.

    I’m not saying the coach has to keep the same systems in place. Some change is fine, but you don’t want a major overhaul that would lead to needing many different players because the current group doesn’t fit.

  25. 25 Anonymous said at 7:52 AM on November 20th, 2011:

    IMHO, big red is around another year, at least. However, I see a new D coordinator coming in. Hell, Ray Charles can see we will have a new d coordinator next season.

    Tommy, any ideas on who may be available, not considering Spags as m not sure he will get fired…

  26. 26 Anonymous said at 8:48 AM on November 20th, 2011:

    Very interested in rg3. Very athletic seems to be high character. Downside, seems to be in shotgun a lot/spread sets. Will take a while to learn a pro style offense but he has a lot we can work with.

  27. 27 Morton said at 11:42 AM on November 20th, 2011:

    All I’m going to say about the draft is this: If either Robert Griffin III or Matt Barkley are available when the Eagles pick in the first round, it would be a colossal blunder if they did not select him.

    There is nothing more important than QB in the NFL. No defensive or offensive player you could pick in the first round could approximate the value a future franchise QB could bring to the team. For this value alone, it is worthwhile to gamble on one of the talented prospects available this year. Can you really count on Vick to be the future of the franchise past next season? If you don’t pick a QB this year, and Vick disappoints again, you will be set back for years. If you pick a Griffin or a Barkley and let him marinate next year, there will at least be hope for the future if Vick disappoints.

    I like guys like Morris Claiborne, Devon Still, Quinton Coples, Justin Blackmon, Matt Kalil, and Trent Richardson as first round picks, and all of these players will likely be solid contributors (or even stars) at their respective positions, but picking one of these non-QB players would be meaningless if your current QB does not represent the future of your franchise. I’m beginning to doubt that Vick is the future of this franchise, so therefore I can only endorse the selection of Griffin, Barkley, or even Tannehill with the first round pick this year, given the opportunity for the Eagles to do so.

  28. 28 Anonymous said at 12:52 PM on November 20th, 2011:

    No, this logic is flawed. Vick is the QB for the immediate future so long as Reid is here, regardless of if you like it. Lost some what in this disappointing season is that this is a talented roster, if you can add a few pieces here and there this team will be a contender next season. The mistake would be drafting a postion that is not of need, with the first round. I’m fine with grabbing a QB with one of 2nd round picks, because I get Vick is no spring chicken but still use the first round pick on a postion that will help immediatly. Because this team can win right away why not take a player that will help right away?

  29. 29 Anonymous said at 1:10 PM on November 20th, 2011:

    Think the Packers are happy they took Aaron Rodgers when Brett Favre was still a good QB?

  30. 30 Anonymous said at 1:50 PM on November 20th, 2011:

    Zing! If a QB we like is there and the value is right, I say pull the trigger. I am not enamored with the DE or CB in this draft within the first 15 picks. I think these positions will get overvalued and thus overdrafted in rd 1. But what do I know.

  31. 31 Anonymous said at 2:36 PM on November 20th, 2011:

    Think you can find an Aaron Rodgers in this draft? Sign me up if you can, but I’d rather take a postion that can help now.

  32. 32 Cliff Hall said at 5:45 PM on November 20th, 2011:

    But I’m not so sure even the Packers thought they were getting *this* Aaron Rodgers when they took him. Remember how far Rodgers slid in the first round that year? It’s not like everyone was throwing a fit to select him.


  33. 33 Anonymous said at 7:40 PM on November 20th, 2011:

    Great link. Just goes to show how fraught the whole process is. Not that it would slow Morton down a tick… ; )

  34. 34 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee said at 4:48 PM on November 20th, 2011:

    I almost completely agree! Tannehill would not thrill me though… I think RG3 is a match made in heaven for him and Reid (would you want that?)! I really hope we can grab him, but I can see Shanahan picking him before we get a chance…

  35. 35 Anonymous said at 5:26 PM on November 20th, 2011:

    “All I’m going to say about the draft is…”

    Somehow, I doubt it.

  36. 36 Christopher Eckman said at 1:53 PM on November 20th, 2011:

    If they keep stinking up the joint and get a high enough pick, I’d like them to draft Justin Blackmon. I agree with the guy earlier saying he is the ‘safest’ pick in the draft. Plus, did you hear DeSean told Irvin this morning he is looking for top 5 WR money? Love his game when his attitude is right but no way he’s worth that kind of money.

    Finally, when are you doing that post about Juan. I don’t know the Eagles can get out of the tailspin until they get a good DC. Barring Spags getting canned from St. Louis and coming back, I’d like them to try to pull Greg Mattison (DC, Michigan – formerly Ravens DC). He was a top pro DC who went to Michigan for his grandkids. If they make him a big offer maybe they’d have a shot.

  37. 37 aleandro green said at 5:10 PM on November 20th, 2011:

    i came in here to talk about Blackmon. I want to hear what Tommy thinks has to happen for us to even get sniff at him

  38. 38 Anonymous said at 2:16 PM on November 20th, 2011:


    With Luck, Barkley, and RGIII on the board this year, and Vick’s contract essentially being a two year deal (w/ relatively small cap hit in 2013, according to reports) . . .


    (I’ve pushing RGIII in several posts. Glad to see you’re intrigued.)

  39. 39 Anonymous said at 5:28 PM on November 20th, 2011:

    I definitely think we should trade up. I don’t want any player bad enough to still be available when we pick.

  40. 40 Anonymous said at 3:35 PM on November 20th, 2011:

    Hello again Tommy, seems that virginmedia customers have a problem with both this site and NFL gamepass. With the aid of a proxy, I’m back to do some reading… about the draft! Is that really how bad the season is? I have my head firmly buried in the sand.

  41. 41 Steve H said at 3:50 PM on November 20th, 2011:

    Aaron Rodgers really fell off today, only completed 66% of his passes. What a shlub.

  42. 42 Anonymous said at 7:25 PM on November 20th, 2011:

    I told you guys…flash in the pan.

  43. 43 Kammich said at 4:09 PM on November 20th, 2011:

    I refuse to talk about taking a QB with our 1st pick. Refuse. I don’t care if this looks like a top-heavy draft for talented QBs, and that we might have a shot at one of them.


    We’ve spent years building up one of the greatest talent bases of offensive skill position players in the league. We’ve hit on the draft picks of Jackson, Maclin, Avant, Celek, and Shady. If Vick continues to toil away into mediocrity, I don’t care. You either, A) bite the bullet and let Vick play out the unavoidable portion of this contract, B) ride the wave with Kafka–a guy who has been in the system and either WILL or WILL NOT have this team’s confidence by the start of the 2012 campaign–or C) you sign a free agent QB. Don’t know who the free agent QBs are poised to be, but a guy like Matt Hasselbeck was available this past off-season, and his type of caliber would suffice.

    But drafting a QB, starting all over, and pissing away the PRIME years of all of those offensive skill players in order to develop a hopeful “franchise QB?” I’m sorry, but, with all due respect… fuck that.

  44. 44 Mac said at 5:13 PM on November 20th, 2011:


    I don’t think anyone is talking about a complete rebuild with a rookie QB. They are talking about using a (once in ten years) high pick to draft a kid to groom behind Vick. Kafka then becomes our “solid backup QB” for the next 2 years.

    The idea behind that seems to be the hope that this will be our only high draft pick for the foreseeable future given how young and talented this team really is, and the idea that LB is our greatest need and may be able to be met with depth in this draft.

    When you draft in the top 15 you need to find a stud. If the best stud available is a QB, then I think you have to consider pulling the trigger.

  45. 45 Anonymous said at 5:32 PM on November 20th, 2011:

    If Andy Reid keeps his job, won’t that affect our drafting philosophy? Particularly, Andy Reid would probably be in “win now” mode to protect his job. Why would he pick a quarterback to develop behind Vick if he knows he may not be here to coach him? It would be in Reid’s best interest to draft players with the most chance of an immediate impact.

  46. 46 Cliff Hall said at 5:50 PM on November 20th, 2011:

    Would he be fighting for his job though? I think every coach is in a “win now” mode every year given the head coaching turnover we see every season.

    I think it’d be a real disservice to this franchise for ownership to put Reid on the hot seat. He knows this season was a total bust and he has a proven history of success in building the team. If ownership essentially forces his hand in to making moves he would otherwise not make, that wouldn’t help things at all. If I were him and they threatened my employment, I’d give them the old Parcells line about “if they want me to cook the dinner.” Reid knows how to right the ship this off-season. He doesn’t need any extra pressure to do so.

  47. 47 Anonymous said at 6:17 PM on November 20th, 2011:

    I completely disagree with you. If AR is back, he is absolutely on the hot seat. I think he should be gone after this season, regardless of what happens (a win streak at the end of the year doesn’t forgive being completely unprepared at the beginning of the year). That being said, if he does in fact come back, he absolutely needs to have a season where he gets this team into the playoffs. How could anyone justify him coming back with two years in a row not making the playoffs after 14 seasons of not winning a superbowl. With that in mind, and considering the recent questioning of his drafts, he needs to draft guys early who can come in and make an impact. A QB who you bench for the first several seasons wouldn’t do that. AR had the luxury to go after Kolb when he did because he wasn’t on the hot seat. He doesn’t have the same luxury now.

    What I don’t get is how can you argue not putting him on the hot seat next year? I love AR and I am upset that we are likely seeing an end to an era, but AR is not so good that he is beyond replacement.

  48. 48 Anonymous said at 5:33 PM on November 20th, 2011:

    Do the Eagles play today?

  49. 49 Sjampen said at 6:10 PM on November 20th, 2011:

    They are scheduled to play, but that doesn’t always mean they show up to play. The gatorade must be freakin’ awesome if they wanna fly to Seattle(Next game) to enjoy it while getting stomped.

  50. 50 Anonymous said at 6:56 PM on November 20th, 2011:

    I wasn’t sure if I was dreaming they were playing or not since mr. vince “dream team” young is starting. I think the stars have finally aligned.

  51. 51 Eric Weaver said at 11:15 PM on November 20th, 2011:

    As others have stated, I’ve been focusing on Blackmon for awhile now with the team sliding and the DeSean situation not being resolved.

    Imagine having him and Maclin together. As we’ve seen with other speed guys like Torrey Smith, you can find them elsewhere.

  52. 52 Eric Weaver said at 11:20 PM on November 20th, 2011:


    Would Chaney be best suited for Will? If so, do the Eagles need to look for new MLB and SLB?