Mystery Man

Posted: February 12th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 56 Comments »

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.

* * * * *

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.


  • Daniel Suraci

    As an Eagles fan, I have a hard time believing Lloyd could be worse at linebacker than Casey Matthews. /sarcasm…I think.

  • Anonymous

    Could the Birds go SAM in FA and still pick up Luke? Or are there better MKE’s available in FA?

    • Anonymous

      I just haven’t found a SAM in FA that I’m comfortable with. Still looking, though. Would kill to get Luke.

      • Anonymous

        Lower your standards.

        Seriously, SLBs are on the field for 50% of snaps at most, so it’s more a matter of not being a liability (Chaney, Fokou last year), than being a good LB. Jordan was passable, that’s your baseline.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=565087931 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee

          With that in mind, how much would you invest (dollar-wise) in FA?

          And what round would you pick one? Is the 3rd too early?

          • Anonymous

            3rd is fine. Odds that players at most positions are starters are less than 50/50 by the time Eagles pick, but the right SLB would have a higher probability of starting, so you’d end up with a better chance of a starter at a lower valued position – but one that this offseason has a high value to the Eagles (b/c outside of LB and maybe WR, doubtful anyone they draft, except maybe Barron, will start in 2012).

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=565087931 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee

            Thanks for the reply. I feel that would be fair value as well… Maybe we do pick Keenan Robinson or Josh Kaddu with a 3rd rounder… I hope so!

            I haven’t put much thought to the fact that it’s highly unlikely that any (except maybe LB or WR) of our picks will be instant starters. That just makes it all that much more important that our current players improve during the off-season!

  • Anonymous

    thoughts on LJ Fort from UNI?

    • Anonymous

      Haven’t had a chance to study him yet.

  • Anonymous

    Um, did the Eagles message board just go kaput?

    • Anonymous

      Just worked for me. Had some problems late in the week as well.

    • Anonymous

      Rumor is that Castillo is running the website while Spadaro takes over as DC.

  • http://twitter.com/GeogleFleep Geogle Fleep

    Maybe im crazy but i believe the eagles should not even have a FB so they can have an easier time of having a third TE. Stanley Havili would be a FB but also the 3rd/4th RB. The third TE would also be FB/3rdRB/WR. And if Chad Hall or a player similar to him(Chris Rainey Florida) is on the eagles roster then he could also contribute to being a WR/3rdRB/PR/KR. Basically this is backup players filling in more than one role. Obviously this is crazy but worth a thought. So right now everyone hopefully even eagles would agree on needing a 3rd TE but what type of player should he be? Should he be more blocking TE so my idea works or more of a receiving TE(so also a RZ threat). I really like Evan Rodriguez because he lines up everywhere, SlotWR/FB/3rdRB. So basically as this youtube vid (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7t_qeeHEJ3Y) comment says less athletic Hernandez. The eagles have a player right now who is 6 foot 6, Brackett who probably really cant block but he would be the player that could be force in RZ and a player to watch in camp. You know what why not only have 4 WRs and 4 TE. Eagles would win the super bowl then.

    • Anonymous

      Fair question, George. I’ll address this in a post.

      • http://twitter.com/GeogleFleep Geogle Fleep

        yay i contributed to the community
        ha ha thank you tommy

      • Anonymous

        clay harbor! he was supposed to be that guy..

  • Kammich

    I wonder if we’ll have any interest in bringing Joe Mays back. He is a UFA this off-season and I don’t expect him to garner huge offers, although I believe he has said that he hopes to be back in Denver.

    *shrug* I think I’m just preparing for us to whiff on the Lofton’s of the world and have to settle for something a tier or two lower.

    • Anonymous

      Pass on Joe. Still highly erratic with discipline. Teammates used to joke that when he was on the field the team played a “no gap” scheme. Joe just ran to the ball. Can’t have that.

      I have my doubts on whether the team will go for a Lofton type, but I do think they’ll make a run at a quality MLB.

  • Anonymous

    80 slots on the roster, and only the first 51 count against the cap.
    All I ask is that everyone brought to camp has a legitimate shot to win a job if they step up.
    Which raises the question why they keep bringing in camp bodies without a hope.

    Guys like Lloyd, if the knee checks out (and I got some serious questions about their medical staff after Jack I, Ingram, etc) is worth giving a shot, if he’s faster and quicker than last year he has the size to do some damage.

    I love Brackett, he’s got TE size, put hiim with Rubin for the offseason, then let Mudd scream at him during blocking drills (he was a college WR, the receiving part won’t be an issue) and maybe you get lucky.

    But why sign a 29 year old DE with no talent, or a marginal WR who lacks size, speed or any other redeeming quality? If you want a camp body to run routes for your QBs, go sign a long shot from a small college, maybe you win the Victor Cruz lottery ticket (he was raw, but at 6-0 200 lbs with a 4.48 and a solid pro day, he had NFL measurables).

    There are three kinds of long shots you want in camp
    1) guys who might contribute on STs, I mean become TOP ST guys (Anderson)
    2) guys who have NFL athleticism but went to small schools or got stuck behind a high draft pick (Cassell at USC)
    3) guys who showed starter quality athleticism, then got injured, so you gamble on a full recover.

    I have never understood bringing in marginally athletic for the NFL talent from big programs who are pretty much maxed out (Reynolds for example) who at best might become backups before you cut them for someone better. You can always find these types on the street as experienced veterans in late August, why train them? Let some other team waste the roster spot. Look for lottery tickets – Jason Peters is a good example of signing athletes, then figuring out what to do with them. Doesn’t mean they have to be uber athletes, Mikell was too short and too slow, but also very quick and agile, Amendola was small and slow but quick and agile, both were good fits for certain roles. Both contributed immediately on STs, so you had the luxury to find out if they could handle more.

    • Anonymous

      deleted by poster.

    • Anonymous

      You do need functional practice players. Reynolds can play C or G. He played LT at BYU. Guys like him have value during the week, even though they don’t have a legit shot at playing in the NFL.

    • Anonymous

      But Ingram and Jack I are the definition of #3. We just haven’t had any luck with that type of pick. I’d rather we stopped rolling the dice that we spend a pick and hope to get lucky.

  • Anonymous

    T-LAW:

    Speaking of MLBs, the Sporting News’ mock draft has the Eagles taking Luke Kuechly.

    TSN says, in describing LK, that he “draws comparisons to Brian Urlacher . . . .” Pretty heady stuff — unless the comparison is Urlacher plays MLB and so does LK.

    I think I asked you this question before — i.e., whether LK’s in the same class of athletes as Urlacher, Ray Lewis, and P-Willis — and you answered *no.*

    Memory aside, let me ask: Is Kuechly the athlete and player that Urlacher is? Or Lewis or Willis?

    Is TSN committing the cardinal sin (so well documented in your great Scouting article) of falling *in love* w/ LK?

    Hat tip to BLG here: http://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2012/2/12/2793294/sporting-news-mock-draft-has-guess-who-to-the-eagles

    • Kammich

      I don’t think even Tommy, the staunchest of Kuechly fans, would compare Luke to Patrick Willis. Willis was a dominant, tackling machine in the toughest conference in college football. His level of play at Ole Miss would’ve warranted a 1st-round pick by itself. Then he showed up at Mississippi’s Pro Day at 6’1, 245 and ran a 4.38 40(he posted a not-too-shabby 4.51 at the Combine, I think). Pat Willis is a once-in-a-lifetime Linebacker.

      Urlacher was kind of an anomaly as a freakish athlete who was being converted from S at a small school. He was fairly boom or bust. Clearly, Chicago got the boom.

      I don’t think Luke should be considered in either player’s class, but I do feel like he is what the Eagles need. Heady, instinctive player who doesn’t miss tackles and isn’t a liability on 3rd down. With the current state of our LBs, I’d gladly spend a top-15 pick on a player like that.

    • Anonymous

      Luke and Urlacher??? Absurd.

      Urlacher played a hybrid Safety position at New Mexico. He lined up 15 yards deep and then attacked whatever was in front of him. He was a special athlete that had the speed to make players all over the place.

      Luke is a pure LB. He’ll be an adequate athlete, but nothing special.

      • Anonymous

        T-Law:

        Totally agree. Not sure who at TSN wrote the analysis but . . .

        Is the 15th pick in the 1st round appropriate to spend on an player who’s only an adequate athlete?

        It seems over the post decade that the best MLBs have been very, very good athletes.

        The exception is Zach Thomas — but he was not a 1st rounder. Though he played like one

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anders-Jensen/748307140 Anders Jensen

          Im no scout, but does a MLB really need to be that athletic? For me MLB seems to be the least athletic position on the field outside of maybe run stopping NT and blocking FB/TE

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anders-Jensen/748307140 Anders Jensen

        As I wrote in that post aswell, Kuechly reminds me alot of London Fletcher, a little small, nothing flashy, just a very good MLB.

  • Anonymous

    Very interesting mock that I found from the links on your site: http://thesidelineview.com/nfl-mock-draft-2012

    Kendall Wright at 15,accordinhg to Tony Pauline there’s actually several teams that have Wright a head of Blackmon on their draft boards. Then Zach Brown and Vontaze Burcfit in the 2nd.

    • Kammich

      I read somewhere, I can’t really recall, that said there is a truly legitimate chance that if Griffin is off the board the Skins will go with Wright at #6. He does seem to fit the Shannahan mold, and they do need an offensive playmaker.

      I love the kid, personally. He’s actually exactly at #15 on my (very early, very rough) big board… wouldn’t be upset at all if we took him. I’d just prefer we spend our first 3 picks on defense, but we’ll see what develops.

      • Anonymous

        Right it’s still early for mocks, we really need to see what happens in free agency. There are so many possibilities with Jackson too, that complicates the situation too.

    • Anonymous

      We could go WR at 15. All depends on DeSean and FA.

      Burfict won’t be an Eagle. Not our type of player.

      • Anonymous

        T-Law means Burfict is a more exaggerated version of Terrell Owens — without the consistent performance on the field.

        Burfict has Ravens written all over him.

        • Kammich

          He does. And you know the scary part? He’d probably become an All-Pro in that environment. Whats the best way to get a freakish athlete with no discipline and a bad attitude under control?

          Room him with Ed Reed and Ray Lewis for a year. Problem solved, haha.

          • Anonymous

            Worked on Jimmy Smith, right?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=565087931 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee

    Tommy,

    If you could choose any FB in the league to play for us, who would it be? Which player fits what we do the best??

    • Anonymous

      hey t
      most draft mocks mention LK40 as being unable to shed blocks.that’s a no no in the wide right?
      should we draft Dont’a instead?

      • Anonymous

        No college LB is really good at shedding blocks. I’m waiting to see this mythical LB that throws OL around with regularity.

        Luke does fine. He uses his hands to battle blockers and will win his share of confrontations.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anders-Jensen/748307140 Anders Jensen

          I would also like to know where you can find a LB there would be able to shed a downfield block of the Jason Peters of the world

    • Anonymous

      Marcel Reece – Oakland. Can block, run, and catch. Gifted player. FA, but I don’t know that we’ll look to spend big dollars on FB.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=565087931 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee

        How much value do we put on the FB position now compared to when we made Weaver the highest paid FB in the league??

        Our offense haven’t changed much since then, so would it be unreasonable to think that we’d spend a fair amount on the position today?

        • Anonymous

          At that time we knew Westy was declining and we had yet to draft Shady. Weaver had value as an offensive weapon.

          Now we have an elite RB, good TE duo, and pair of big time WRs. Investing money in FB doesn’t make much sense. Where will the touches come from?

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=565087931 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee

            If we went out and got Reece he could get the touches that Ronnie Brown and Schmitt got… What is that, 10-15 snaps per game?

            It’s not like we should feed him the ball, but it would be nice to have someone in the backfield who can actually pass-block AND catch the ball…

            I realize it is far from a big need, but I just came to think of it because of this post.

            As I recall, you were interested in Felton last season (how good does it sound to say “last season”?). How high are you on him now?

          • Anonymous

            But that’s the thing, did they even get 10-15 snaps per game?

            The need for a “pass-catching blocker” seems a lot less important than just having a “blocker” since we have plenty of dudes on the roster already who DON’T get the opportunity to play AND can’t block.

            Does that make sense? It makes sense in my head anyway. LOL

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anders-Jensen/748307140 Anders Jensen

            They got a combined 20 snaps per game, so if we could get a FB there could play RB and catch the ball at the same time, there would be snaps for him

  • Anonymous

    FB is such a weird position on our team. Personally, I’d rather just stash a beast of a blocker on the roster and not worry about his receiving/running skills so at least we know we’ve got a blocking back.

    Schmitt showed to be a good safety valve, I guess, but finding a FB who can catch or run is sort of silly when we don’t even put our 2nd RB on the field to do those things.

  • http://twitter.com/makarov__ Jim Reynolds

    I’m not sure if Tommy mentioned this guy before, but speaking of fullback potential, check out this guy:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6ijUR5-EwE

    Antuanne Kerr is a 6’3″ 245 lb Tight End from South Carolina State. What I liked is how he blocks – completely removes defenders from the play. Could be interesting late round or UDFA.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/TCSKTVNPK76TQLNH6SESK3UQNI TheBballTruthhh

      That guy is ridiculous… it’s like watching Jason Peters’ little brother. I would definitely take him in the later rounds as a third TE.

  • Anonymous

    Jeff mclane is saying eagles are gonna franchise desean. See profootballtalk.com. I am fine with that if we upgrade the slot. Joe Adams with one of our seconds. Bring in Plax too. Id rather have him as our big receiver than Riley cooper. Trade Asante to the rams for their 3rd. Now we have two 3rds to address OLB and possible DE or G/OT depth.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Eric-Carranza/1482895201 Eric Carranza

      lesean mccoy confirmed it i think

    • Anonymous

      Just heard this as well. I’m on the record as saying I’m for whatever keeps DeSean on the team, so this is good news IMO.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anders-Jensen/748307140 Anders Jensen

      I think we can get a 2nd round pick for Samuel. Have you seen how poor CB is in the NFL? I mean Dimitri Patterson got a job even after his horrible season as an Eagle.

      • Anonymous

        I am sure the Lions would part with a 2nd and the rams a 3rd. The rams 3rd is basically a 2nd. I wouldnt mind a 1st, 2 2nds, 2 3rds and 2 4ths. Tagging Desean pretty much eliminates WR at 15. if they go MLB in FA, then we can all assume they trade back into the 20′s. I would take zack brown at that point. Put him at WLB with your FA MLB. Then take Keenan Robinson in with one of your 3rds. Use your 2 2nds on Joe Adams and Boykin. Your other 3rd on the best DE on the board. 2 4ths on OLine depth and a SS.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anders-Jensen/748307140 Anders Jensen

          True about the Rams 3rd round, at that point an early 3rd or a late 2nd is almost the same.

  • Anonymous

    How about trading AS22 to tampa for Legarrette Blount.Now on 3rd and 2 we might be able to RUN the ball instead of the inevitable PASS..which every team in the league KNOWS is coming!!

  • Anonymous

    How about Dan Connor as our FA MLB signing? Carolina can’t afford to pay him starter $ to backup Beason and it sounds like he played well this year after Beason’s injury. Besides that, he’s a PSU grad so i thought Tommy and the others would be picketing the FO to sign him.