Greg Lloyd is hiding in plain sight. He spent most of the year on the Practice Squad, but was added to the roster late in the year. He didn’t come close to sniffing the field, but his presence on the roster does have some meaning. What?
Lloyd was a run stuffing MLB at UConn. He tore up his knee in 2009 and that wasn’t healed by 2010. He struggled. Watching him vs Denard Robinson was about like me chasing Usain Bolt. Lloyd sat out part of the middle of the season to get healthy. He was in better shape by January and played in the Shrine Game. While not at 100 percent, he led the game in tackles and played the run well.
Lloyd was up and down in the 2011 preseason. Love his size, strength, and physicality, but I question whether he’s got the athletic ability needed to play in the NFL. The Eagles must have felt he was good enough. They spent a pick on him and then kept him around all year. So what is his part in the MLB puzzle of 2012?
You obviously can’t count on him for anything. He’s here as competition. And I’ve got no problem with that. Sort of.
As I’ve written, I expect the Eagles to add a MLB in free agency. I project Casey Matthews to be the backup. Lloyd is here to fight for a roster spot or PS spot. If the right guy is available late in the draft, I’d be open to bringing another player in. This is where the presence of Lloyd could be an issue. If the Eagles like him enough, it could keep them from adding another player. I’d be fine with that if I was completely comfortable with Lloyd.
I’m operating with a major blind spot here. I didn’t get to see Lloyd at practice all year. If he’s shown significant progress (in terms of getting his speed/quickness back), then the Eagles are right to have him as competition. If he’s still not moving as well as he should, the team is chasing an illusion. And this is an area where the Eagles have done that (Cornelius Ingram, Jack Ikegwuonu, Marlin Jackson). To be fair, we are talking about the #3 MLB spot. It isn’t as if we’re counting on him to fill a key role.
There are some late round MLBs who I find interesting. Caleb McSurdy (aside from having a cool name) is the I-AA version of Luke Kuechly. I’d have interest in him if he’s on the board in the 6th round. I don’t think Shawn Loiseau of Merrimack will fall that far, but if he does…I’d have interest. These guys are tackling machines that have some size (6’1, 240 range) and run okay. Those are the type of guys I want battling for roster or PS spots.
Lloyd would be a good backup MLB/role player if he could get back to his pre-ACL form. I just don’t know how close he is or if that ever will happen.
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Adam Caplan brought up an interesting name in his recent appearance on Eagles Live. He mentioned that the team could look into adding FB Jerome Felton. If you remember, Felton was cut last summer and the Eagles put a claim on him, but the Panthers also put in a claim and were higher. He was cut by them in late November and the Colts scooped him up. Now Felton will be a UFA.
Could the Eagles have interest? Possible. I’ve assumed that Owen Schmitt would be re-signed and then compete with Stanley Havili for the FB job. The difference in Schmitt and Felton is that Jerome is a better runner. Owen has 9 career carries for 27 yards. Felton is 42 for 136. He was a great power back at Furman and scored 69 TDs. He ran for 20 in one season. Neither guy is a significant player in any way, shape, or form, but both have some value.
Havili is a good runner/receiver. We just have to see if he can be a functional blocker. Shoulder issues really affected him as a Senior at USC and then last summer. He’d be ideal if he could block well enough.