Let’s talk about some of the draft prospects that will be coming to the NovaCare complex. Tom Heckert admitted in the past that multiple visitors each year were brought in purely as smokescreens. The Eagles wanted teams to think they were interested in certain players and/or positions. Tom was masterful at this stuff. I’m still not sure that he wasn’t trained by the CIA, KGB, or MI-6.
DT Michael Brockers, LSU. Smokescreen. Has to be. This guy is the opposite of what Jim Washburn wants. Brockers was pulled off the field on passing downs by LSU because he’s not a good pass rusher. Brockers is big and strong and plays the run well, but he showed at the Combine that he’s not a special athlete. The only way this makes sense is if Washburn sees some majorly untapped athleticism.
To me, this is all about Fletcher Cox. If the Eagles call the Jags at pick 7 and say “We’re thinking about moving up for a DT”, they want word on the rumor mill to have Brockers as the target. Teams talk. NFL guys are more gossipy than sorority girls (but not nearly as cute in slinky dresses).
DB Janzen Jackson, McNeese State. Bit of a mystery here. Jackson is a FS. He has some CB skills, but only ran 4.64 at the Combine. I wonder if the Eagles are considering him as a slot guy. Jackson doesn’t have the speed for playing corner on the outside, but he could be a good slot corner. He is quick and athletic.
Bringing in Jackson as a Safety would make little sense to me. He’s more of a FS and we’ve already got Nate in place. Jackson is not a good tackler. Bringing him in to help the run defense would be like putting out a fire with
gas jet fuel. Jackson was kicked out of Tennessee and has some issues. The Eagles could be bringing him in to talk more about that stuff and get feel for just where he should be rated. The Eagles are very thorough and will talk to the troubled guys to find out what is going on. Andy Reid once met with Maurice Clarrett to hear his side of the story. Thankfully, Andy had no interest in drafting him. Jackson is a mid-round target, depending on his off-field issues. Getting kicked out of Tennessee isn’t easy for a star football player.
DB Trumaine Johnson, Montana. I’m also not 100 percent sure what to make of the Eagles interest in Johnson. He was a CB at Montana, but only ran 4.61 at the Combine. Johnson is 6-2, 204. He could be one of two things here. The Eagles could look at him as a SS type. Johnson has the size and tackling ability to make the conversion. He’s a tough guy.
Juan Castillo could also have interest in him for a hybrid role. Juan talked about using Nnamdi like Charles Woodson. Well, Nnamdi was a bit lost playing in traffic and isn’t a good tackler. Johnson could be someone for this role. When teams put both WRs on the side away from Johnson, he would close in tight to the formation on his side, like a blitzing Safety. Johnson would attack off the edge. Good blitzer. Only had 1.5 sacks in college, but he was disruptive. Good vs the run when attacking. Had 12.5 TFLs. Not afraid to slam into a RB or take on a pulling OL. Johnson is instinctive and shows good awareness. He anticipates plays. Great ball skills. Finished his career with 15 INTs. He lacks the ideal change of direction (COD) ability for playing inside, but makes up for that with his size and physicality.
I guess the Eagles could like him as a CB and think 4.6 is okay for a guy his size, but I’m not so sure. Most teams say 4.55 or less to play on the outside. Johnson wasn’t able to play in the Senior Bowl, where teams get to spend quality time with prospects. I’m sure part of the reason for this visit is to just figure out a couple of things with him and to see just how much the team likes him. Can he play Safety? Is he willing to do that? Johnson is a 2nd to 3rd round type of target.
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I’ve updated the Draft Info page to get the picks right and keep track of visitors/workouts.
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I posted a couple of draft thoughts over at ScoutsNotebook. I mentioned a couple of WRs that are lesser known. Both guys could potentially be Eagles targets.
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No news on the Demetrius Bell front. Be patient. He’s shopping himself, but not finding anyone who likes the asking price.
No news on the Asante Samuel front. I’m sure as soon as I start writing a column for PEcom about some generic subject, the Asante deal will go down. The Football Gods love to mess with me like that. Bunch of crazy kidders.