I know a few of you want to discuss the Asante deal. There is a long, quality discussion going on in the previous thread. For now, the focus is on the draft. So, here goes.
1st round – Pick 15
2nd round – Pick 46
2nd round – Pick 51 … from Arizona (Kevin Kolb deal)
3rd round – Pick 89
4th round – Pick 114
5th round – Pick 153
6th round – Pick 172
6th round – Pick 194 … from Denver (Joe Mays deal)
6th round – Pick 200 … from New England (Tracy White deal)
7th round – Pick 229 … from Atlanta (Asante Samuel deal)
The theme for the 2012 Eagles draft is … options. The Eagles have the resources to play this draft a number of ways. They can use the extra 2nd round pick to move up. They can trade back and acquire extra picks for this year or even 2013.
The Eagles don’t have major holes in the starting lineup. They can draft players with a long term vision or look for immediate upgrades. This is a situation where Howie Roseman and Andy Reid can play things how they want. Knowing Roseman, I’m sure trading up for a target is his preference. Howie loves making aggressive moves. If he and Andy covet a player enough, they’ll see about going up after him. With that in mind…
I will leave out the QBs. I’m sure the Eagles would love both guys, but getting them just isn’t realistic.
CB Morris Claiborne – LSU – Claiborne could play the slot for the first couple of years. He can be physical, but is also athletically gifted. He has great ball skills. Claiborne picked off 11 passes over the last 2 years. Claiborne averaged 25 yards per INT return. He also is a good KOR, having run one back for a score. He would impact the Nickel/Dime packages immediately and be a help on STs. Could go as early as #3.
DT Fletcher Cox – Mississippi State – If McNabb and TO were peanut butter and jelly, then Fletcher Cox and Jim Washburn are PBR and Funyuns, 2 great tastes that combine to deliver heavenly bliss. Cox is a natural pass rusher and gifted athlete. He was tailor made for the Washburn’s attacking style of DL play. This fact isn’t lost on Cox. When pressed about which team he would prefer to play for, he answered “the Eagles”. Cox would be an under tackle here, behind Cullen Jenkins in the base lineup. He could line up all over in sub-packages. Cox can play NT, UT, or even DE. Great fit.
QB Ryan Tannehill – Texas A&M – The Eagles might give up a mid-round pick to move up a few spots for him, but won’t break the bank. Tannehill would be a nice addition. He could sit and learn for a year or two. The other key to taking him would be to understand that the Eagles don’t always pick this high. When you’ve got a chance to get a QB at a reasonable price, you do it.
Of these targets, Cox makes the most sense in terms of fit, value, timing, and cost.
Pick 15 Targets
The Eagles believe in having 5 names targeted for each pick. These are players they expect to be available and have interest in.
LB Luke Kuechly
DT Michael Brockers
CB Stephon Gilmore
DE Melvin Ingram
CB Dre Kirkpatrick
LB Luke Kuechly – Boston College – I still believe that “Luke Kuechwalker” is very much in the mix. Mock drafts more and more have him going to CAR, KC, or SEA so it is possible he gets picked ahead of us. If he does reach 15, Kuechly will give us the ultimate litmus test. Will Andy Reid spend a 1st round pick on a LB? If Reid passes on Kuechly, that would tell us that the notion of Reid going for a LB in the 1st is borderline impossible. I don’t think you’ll find a higher rated, safer LB that Luke. As much as I like Kuechly, I don’t think you trade up for him. Take him if he makes it to 15, but I’m not spending multiple resources for a SAM LB. That just doesn’t seem wise.
Some people still wonder about the wisdom of taking him and playing him “out of position” at SAM. That is a move, but I must stress that the way we play SAM isn’t like most teams. He is more like an ILB in our scheme. The spot where the SAM lines up is where Luke lined up many times when BC faced a spread offense. Plus, Luke spent part of a year at OLB in college. This isn’t like converting Chris Gocong to SAM. Luke would have an adjustment to make, but it wouldn’t be completely foreign. I think he could handle SAM for us. Luke would be expected to win the job right away due to being picked so high.
DT Michael Brockers – LSU – I don’t fully understand the Eagles interest. Brockers isn’t a pass rusher. What do they see that I don’t? My guess is that they love his raw potential and think of him as a guy who could push the pocket. Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers get the ball out quickly. They do struggle when the pressure comes in the form of an OL being shoved straight back into them. Brockers is a man-child right now, but with time and the right coach, he could develop into a force. There are some plays where you see great potential in him.
CB Stephon Gilmore – South Carolina – Great size/speed combination. Might be able to play in the slot. Will he last to 15? Doesn’t seem likely at this point. If he does, I think the Eagles will take him because they think he can play inside, at least to start his career. Gilmore has the athleticism and toughness to play the slot. He has PR and a bit of KOR experience. Really good with the ball in his hands. Instinctive runner. Actually looks more natural to me as an offensive player than CB. Willing tackler, but at times will go too low and miss his targets.
DE Melvin Ingram – South Carolina – He is built kinda like Darryl Tapp, but is a much, much better athlete. Ingram is very versatile. South Carolina played him at LB, DE, DT, and even NT. He was a great STer for them, running in a fake punt for a long TD. I was told by one scout that was at a South Carolina practice that Ingram would actually field punts for fun. Finished the season with 10 sacks, 3 TDs, and 2 INTs. Also recovered an onside kick. This is not a typical DE.
CB Dre Kirkpatrick – Alabama – Total guess on my part. I don’t know if Kirkpatrick is an Eagles target. He mostly played off coverage at Alabama. Kirkpatrick did press at times and has the ability to be very physical with receivers. He is a solid hitter/tackler. Has the agility to play in the slot, although he didn’t do that at Bama. Some people wondered about him moving to FS, but I think he’s athletic enough for CB.
LB/DE Shea McClellin – Boise State – I wondered for a while if the Eagles might have interest in him as a 2nd round target. It now sounds like McClellin will go in the 1st round. The question with Shea is what the Eagles would do with him. He could play SAM and then be a situational pass rusher. He could be a full-time DE. His pass rush style would fit perfectly in the Wide-9. McClellin is fast. He is relentless. High character guy that came up big in the biggest games. Had a good Senior Bowl and Combine. Really fascinating player who would be an out of the box target at 15.
DE Chandler Jones – Syracuse – Somebody hit the switch on the Jones sign, huh? He wasn’t mentioned a week ago and is now all over the friggin place. I don’t know if the Eagles have any interest. He isn’t an ideal fit for the Wide-9. I do think he can play for us. Jones is a fast DE. He played some DT in Nickel sets so he could do that for us as well. He has excellent size at 6-5, 266. I love the fact he can be physical and shed blocks. Jones is big and can play up to that size. Might go before 15.
If the Eagles are on the clock and the key guys are gone, the team would be smart to move back. They could drop as far as 25 and target a good player, plus add a 2nd round pick to the mix. My two preferences at that area would be TE Coby Fleener and DE Vinny Curry.
The Eagles could try to get an extra 1st round pick in 2013. It is possible that the team will need to make a serious run at a top shelf QB. If so, having the extra 1st would be nice. I doubt the Eagles are seriously looking at this angle, but it is worth throwing out.
PROBABLE DEPTH CHART
WR – DeSean Jackson….Jason Avant
WR – Jeremy Maclin …. Riley Cooper ……. Chad Hall
TE – Brent Celek ………Clay Harbor
FB – Stanley Havili
RB – LeSean McCoy …. Dion Lewis
QB – Mike Vick………… Mike Kafka………. Trent Edwards
LT – Demetress Bell ……. King Dunlap
LG – Evan Mathis………… Julian Vandervelde
OC – Jason Kelce…….…. Mike Gibson …… Zane Taylor
RG – Danny Watkins …… Steve Vallos
RT – Todd Herremans.…. D.J. Jones
DE – Trent Cole ……….. Darryl Tapp
DT – Cullen Jenkins ……. Derek Landri
DT – Mike Patterson …. Antonio Dixon ….. Cedric Thornton
DE – Jason Babin ……. Phillip Hunt……… Brandon Graham
WB – Brian Rolle ….….. Keenan Clayton
MB – DeMeco Ryans …. Casey Matthews … Greg Lloyd
SB – Jamar Chaney ……. Moise Fokou ….. Akeem Jordan
SS – Jaiquawn Jarrett ……
FS – Nate Allen ………. Kurt Coleman …… Colt Anderson
CB – Nnamdi Asomugha ……………….. Trevard Lindley
CB – Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie ….. Curtis Marsh
NB – Joselio Hanson …. Brandon Hughes
P – Chas Henry
K – Alex Henery
LS – Jon Dorenbos
NEEDS (not in order)
QB – Vick is the starter. The Eagles hope Kafka is the backup. Trent Edwards is here to challenge for the #2 job, but if not to at least be #3. Eagles would like to add a young QB to the mix to fight for the #3 job. Team doesn’t necessarily need a QB, but wants one.
RB – Backup RB is a need. I’ve thought most of the offseason that the Eagles would add a veteran player. No such move has been made so I’m guessing that the Eagles are open to adding a rookie for that role if the right guy falls to them. Team could also look for a RB/WR tweener to replace Chad Hall. The Eagles want Stanley Havili to be the FB in 2012. He does need competition. This could be a late pick or UDFA.
WR – DJax and Mac are the long term receivers, but there is room for a speedy slot guy with RS ability. The Eagles have had visits and workouts with a variety of guys, but most were smaller, speedy slot/RS types. Jason Avant is terrific, but can be upgraded if the right player is available.
TE – Originally I thought the Eagles would go for a big receiver to add to the mix, but more and more it seems like the team is interested in adding another quality TE. They worked out Orson Charles. They recently met with Taylor Thompson, who could be a Top 100 pick. I’m sure they checked out Dwayne Allen closely at the Senior Bowl. This isn’t a case of anything being wrong with Brent Celek, but rather trying to add a piece. Howard Mudd’s blocking scheme works really well with 2-TE sets. That means you need 3 good TE’s on the roster. Celek and Clay Harbor give us 2.
OL – The signing of Demetress Bell means that all 5 starting spots are full. There is room for depth. King Dunlap is the #3 OT, but only on a 1-year deal. The Eagles need to add a developmental OT. D.J. Jones was signed back in February, but he is an unknown to us. Could develop into the #3 OT of the future or be cut before training camp even starts. Mudd has had some success with mid and late round guys so the Eagles don’t need to hand him an early player. The Eagles have checked out some OG’s, OC’s, and tweeners. They want to add at least one good backup OL, be it T, G, or C.
DL – The Eagles don’t technically need any help on the D-line. One area of concern is the backup under tackle (behind Cullen Jenkins). That role requires a pass rusher. Jenkins is the only natural DT pass rusher. Patt, Dixon, Landri are all better run defenders. If Jenkins stays healthy, no need here. Can’t count on that so adding an interior pass rusher becomes somewhat of a need. DE would be total value pick.
LB – Eagles need a SAM with enough talent and potential to challenge for a starting job right away. The player doesn’t have to win the job from day one, but you’d like someone that can seriously battle Jamar Chaney for the starting job. Brian Rolle had a good rookie year, but could use competition on the weakside. MLB is set with DeMeco Ryans as the starter. Casey Matthews and Greg Lloyd will battle for the backup spot.
S – Some feel that Safety is a need. I don’t. Eagles need better Safety play, but I think Nate Allen will be the answer at FS. Team would love Jaiquawn Jarrett to be the SS, but he must beat out Kurt Coleman, as well as any other competition. There has been talk of the Eagles signing Yeremiah Bell, but the team hasn’t made a move yet so they might have a couple of players targeted.
CB – Goodbye Asante. DRC and Nnamdi are now the starters. Curtis Marsh and Brandon Hughes are the top backups. That group is okay as is. It would be nice to have an insurance policy since DRC is a free agent at the end of the year. Eagles do need someone who can win the slot corner job from Joselio Hanson. This player could be taken in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th.
PROSPECT VISITS / SPECIAL INTEREST
VISITS TO PHILLY (most important)
* DT Michael Brockers – LSU
* DT Dontari Poe – Memphis
* CB Omar Bolden – Arizona State
* S Janzen Jackson – McNeese State
* CB Trumaine Johnson – Montana
* RB Robert Turbin – Utah State
* LB Bobby Wagner – Utah State
* WR Stephen Hill – Georgia Tech
* C/G Ben Jones – Georgia
* OT Jeff Allen – Illinois
* CB Janoris Jenkins – North Alabama
* WR Devon Wylie – Fresno State
* OL Lucas Nix – Pitt
* OG/OT Ryan Miller – Colorado
* OL Levy Adcock – Oklahoma State
* CB Ron Brooks – LSU
Special Interest/Private Workouts
* QB Ryan Tannehill – Texas A&M
* QB Kirk Cousins – Michigan State
* QB Ryan Lindley – San Diego State
* QB Russell Wilson – Wisconsin
* QB Nick Foles – Arizona
* RB Chris Rainey – Florida
* RB Bryce Brown – Kansas State
* WR Michael Floyd – Notre Dame
* WR Bert Reed – Florida State (showing interest)
* WR Cody Pearcy – Huntingdon College
* WR/RS Damaris Johnson – Tulsa
* WR T.Y. Hilton – FIU
* TE Orson Charles – Georgia
* TE Taylor Thompson – SMU
* OT Josh Oglesby – Wisconsin
* OT Mitchell Schwartz – Cal (showing interest)
* C Gino Gradkowski – Delaware
* DE Vinny Curry – Marshall (worked out by Jim Washburn)
* DT Fletcher Cox – Miss State (worked out by Jim Washburn)
* DT Myles Wade – Portland State (showing interest)
* LB Luke Kuechly – Boston College (Eagles LB coach Mike Caldwell ran the Pro Day workout)
* LB Bobby Wagner – Utah State (Eagles LB coach Mike Caldwell was at the Pro Day workout)
* LB Darius Fleming – Notre Dame (showing interest)
* ILB James-Michael Johnson – Nevada (Eagles LB coach Mike Caldwell ran the Pro Day workout)
* SS Jordan Bernstine – Iowa
* FS Phillip Thomas – Syracuse
EAGLES VALUE BOARD
Because the Eagles are so specific I’m trying to list players that I think have a likelihood to be on the Eagles draft list. I will be omitting good players. The value board is a combination of grade + need.
QB: Andrew Luck, RG3, Ryan Tannehill
RB: Trent Richardson
TE: Coby Fleener
WR: Justin Blackmon, Michael Floyd, Kendall Wright, Stephen Hill
OT: Matt Kalil, Riley Reiff
OG/C: David DeCastro, Amini Silatolu, Peter Konz
DE: Melvin Ingram, Whitney Mercilus, Chandler Jones, Shea McClellin* (possible LB also)
DT: Fletcher Cox, Michael Brockers, Dontari Poe
LB: Luke Kuechly
S: Mark Barron
CB: Morris Claiborne, Stephon Gilmore, Dre Kirkpatrick
QB: Brandon Weeden, Kirk Cousins
RB: David Wilson, Doug Martin, Lamar Miller
TE: David Allen
WR: Mohamed Sanu, Reuben Randle, Alshon Jeffrey, Brian Quick
OT: Jonathan Martin, Mike Adams, Bobby Massie, Jeff Allen, Mitchell Schwartz
OG/C: Kevin Zeitler
DE: Vinny Curry, Nick Perry, Andre Branch, Bruce Irvin
DT: Derek Wolfe, Kendall Reyes, Brandon Thompson
LB: Bobby Wagner, Lavonte David, Zach Brown, Mychal Kendricks
S: Antonio Allen, Harrison Smith
CB: Janoris Jenkins, Josh Robinson, Brandon Boykin, Jayron Hosley
QB: Russell Wilson
RB: Chris Polk, LaMichael James, Bernard Pierce, Isaiah Pead
TE: Michael Egnew, Orson Charles, Ladarius Green
WR: Marvin Jones, Chris Givens, Rishard Matthews, Joe Adams, Greg Childs, T.Y. Hilton, A.J. Jenkins
OT: Brandon Mosley, Nate Potter
OG/C: James Brown, Senio Kelemete, Ryan Miller… Ben Jones, David Molk
DE: Cam Johnson, Jake Bequette
DT: Jared Crick, Jaye Howard
LB: Sean Spence, Demario Davis, James-Michael Johnson
S: George Iloka,
CB: Jamell Fleming, Dwight Bentley, Casey Heyward, Trumaine Johnson
QB: Ryan Lindley
RB: Chris Rainey, Robert Turbin, Cyrus Gray, Ronnie Hillman
TE: James Hanna, Taylor Thompson, Derek Carrier
WR: Devon Wylie, Nick Toon, Juron Criner, Marvin McNutt
OT: Tom Compton
OG/C: Levy Adcock, Tony Bergstrom, Joe Looney, Adam Gettis, Lucas Nix,
DE: Tyrone Crawford, Kyle Wilber
DT: Trevor Guyton, Akiem Hicks
LB: Nigel Bradham, Keenan Robinson, Travis Lewis
S: Markelle Martin, Janzen Jackson, Duke Ihenacho
CB: DeQuan Menzie, Ron Brooks, Trevin Wade, Josh Norman
All-Tommy Team (my favorite non-1st rounders)
WR Keshawn Martin – Michigan State
WR B.J. Cunningham – Michigan State
TE Michael Egnew – Mizzou
FB Bradie Ewing – Wisconsin
RB Chris Polk – Washington
QB Kellen Moore – Boise State
OT Brandon Mosley – Auburn
OG Will Blackwell – LSU
OC David Molk – Michigan
OG Ryan Miller – Colorado
OT Jeff Allen – Illinois
DE Jake Bequette – Arkansas
DT Derek Wolfe – Cincinnati (I’m assuming he doesn’t shock and go in the 1st)
DT Jared Crick – Nebraska
DE Brandon Lindsey – Pitt
LB Sean Spence – Miami
LB J.K. Schaffer – Cincinnati
LB Danny Trevathan – Kentucky
S Antonio Allen – South Carolina
S Jerron McMillian – Maine
CB Josh Norman – Coastal Carolina
CB Dwight Bentley – Louisiana-Lafayette
Out of this list I want the Eagles to get 4 players…guys I covet (more or less)
WR Mohamed Sanu – Rutgers … physical receiver who can work the slot, help in the Red Zone
WR Rishard Matthews – Nevada … physical receiver with great RAC ability and a very good PR
WR T.Y. Hilton – FIU … speedy playmaker who could play in the slot and be a dynamic RS
WR Keshawn Martin – Michigan State … athletic playmaker who dould play in the slot and be a good RS
TE Coby Fleener – Stanford … Tall TE with good speed. Playmaker and RZ guy.
TE Michael Egnew – Missouri … TE with size, speed, and skills. Could be good value
RB Ronnie Hillman – SDSU … Small, but speedy RB who would make a good backup.
OT Nate Potter – Boise State … Has LT potential.
OT Brandon Mosley – Auburn … Former junior college LB/TE. Tough guy with athleticism.
DT Fletcher Cox – Miss State … Great pass rusher.
DT Derek Wolfe – Cincinnati … Very good pass rusher.
DT Jared Crick – Nebraska … Good pass rusher.
DE Vinny Curry – Marshall … Gifted pass rusher. Can play on the inside if needed.
LB Luke Kuechly – Boston College … Should solve the SAM problem.
LB Bobby Wagner – Utah State … Could be an excellent SAM target.
LB Demario Davis – Arkansas State … Talented enough to play SAM, but could also fit in at any spot.
S Antonio Allen – South Carolina … Excellent box Safety and run defender.
CB Brandon Boykin – Georgia … Slot corner with great RS ability.
CB DeQuan Menzie – Alabama … A bit slot, but very quick and very tough. Good slot guy.
CB Josh Norman – Coastal Carolina … Gifted cover guy. Can play CB, slot, maybe Safety.
Please Avoid These Players
QB Brandon Weeden – age
QB Brock Osweiler – overrated
WR Marvin McNutt – struggles vs top CBs
TE Orson Charles – Short, less athletic than thought
DT Devon Still – motor?
LB Nigel Bradham – not physical enough
CB Janoris Jenkins – too much weed, can’t control his seed
I like this draft class. It matches up pretty well with the areas where the Eagles are most likely to be looking for some help. I’ll be very happy if the Eagles can come away with a good pass rushing DT, SAM, WR/RS, and slot corner. Aside from that, it’s all gravy.
I’ll post a final Eagles mock later on.