Mark Barron

Posted: April 7th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 58 Comments »

Recently the draft buzz on Alabama SS Mark Barron has been really building.  I don’t really get it.  He is the best Safety in a weak class, but there simply isn’t anything special about Mark.  I don’t think taking him in the 20-30 range is bad, but there is now talk that Barron could go to Seattle at 12 or Dallas at 14.  Some reports say that Dallas really loves him.

Barron would fill a major need for Dallas.  They signed Brodney Pool to handle the SS spot, but he’s far from a sure thing.  He started 18 games over the last 2 years for the Jets, but they let him go and went looking for an upgrade of their own.  Dallas hasn’t had a flat out good Safety in a while.

Part of that is because they haven’t invested much at Safety in a long time.  In the last 9 draft classes, the highest pick is 5th rounder Pat Watkins from 2006.  For those who want to know why the Eagles aren’t all over Barron, compare that to what the Eagles have added in recent years.  The team spent 2nd round picks on Nate Allen and Jaiquawn Jarrett.  They had tried mid-round picks on Macho Harris and Quintin Demps.  The team hit on a late round pick when they took Kurt Coleman.  Even his critics have to admit that Coleman is a good #3 Safety at the least.

Barron would be a more talented prospect than Nate Allen or Jarrett.  The difference would not be significant.  Go back and read the pre-draft reports.  There was talk of Allen sneaking into the late 1st round.  Greg Cosell called Jarrett his favorite Safety last year and said he was the most physical Safety in the draft.  Barron could become a star in the NFL or he could run into problems just like Allen and Jarrett.

I do hope Barron goes before the Eagles.  That will help drive another player down to pick 15.  I don’t fully buy the Seattle talk.  That reeks of a smokescreen, but never say never with Pete Carroll and defensive prospects.  Dallas makes a lot of sense and if that kept them from taking a DL, I’d be just fine with that.

I’ve mentioned this a few times recently, but one reason I have so little interest in Barron is that there is a player I’d love the Eagles to target next year if we do need a Safety.  LSU star Tyrann Mathieu, aka the Honey Badger, is a big time playmaker and I think he could be a star DB in the NFL.  He is the kind of Safety target that I would get genuinely excited about.  He is a special player.  Barron is good, but there’s nothing special about him.  Honey Badger is the college version of Ed Reed and at times seems like a human highlight reel.  Check out his 2011 stats:

2 INTs
6 FFs
2 Fumbles run back for TDs
2 Punts returned for TDs
9 Pass breakups

After 2 seasons at LSU he’s got 16 TFLs (6 sacks).  He can cover, play the run, and blitz.  Fun, fun kid to watch.

* * * * *

Derek Landri talked to the Bucs.  I don’t know what the heck to make of this.  Can I cheer for him as a Buc?  I understand Landri may not be able to return.  All I ask is that he go somewhere I can enjoy him.  Tampa?  Not really a team I’d want him on.  Go to the AFC.  Or re-sign and bring joy to my life.

Trevor Laws went and talked to the Rams.  He would be a good addition for them.  I don’t really care where he goes.  I wish him well.  Just didn’t work in Philly.

One of the 2 guys could still return.  Cost is the key.


  • http://www.facebook.com/vinicfc Vini Gonçalves

    Hey Tommy, how are you? The Seahawks signed LB Barrett Ruud today. Do you think they still can go for Kuechly at #12 or they are Ok at LB? I really hope LK falls to #15 and we get him!

    • http://twitter.com/benjabad Ben Hert

      I think to team to look at for LK now is the Chiefs at #11.

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

      After we got Ryans, I no longer want to spend our 1st round pick on Kuechly – unless they plan on making him the starting MLB in two years, and until that think that he can play in nickel alongside Ryans…

    • TommyLawlor

      I never bought them going for Kuechly at 12. One rumor now has them interested in trading back and taking Donta Hightower. That would be interesting.

      I will put up a post on how the picks ahead of us could fall so we can get an idea of what might happen.

  • http://twitter.com/theguyotc the guy

    Everyone is projecting Cox to the Eagles. Therefore, I think we all know there is absolutely no chance Fletcher Cox will be drafted by the Eagles. Maybe if he has major surgery, and the team that does draft him lets him go.

    BTW: Tommy when Derek Landri signs elsewhere: http://nooooooooooooooo.com/

    • T_S_O_P

      lol

    • TommyLawlor

      That is awesome.

  • basebal646

    Hey Tommy, the Bengals just released Chris Crocker, any chance we pick him up? He has some durability concerns, but started every game for the Bengals last year. He’s also a team captain. To me, he seems like the ideal player for us to bring in at S, especially since he is a leader on defense. He could come in and compete with Ja-Jar and Coleman right away and may even be the favorite to win the job. We could probably get him cheap too. It’s not like we are hard pressed at the safety position. The more I think about it the more signing him appeals to me. Hope to hear your opinion soon!

    Ps. Has Chaz Powell been able to help himself since the combine and pro day? Is there a chance he can sneak into the late rounds?

    Your loyal and devoted reader

    • TommyLawlor

      I’ve always kinda liked Chris Crocker, but teams have had doubts about him so I wonder if he misses assignments, takes dumb chances, or is hard to coach. He makes plays, but if you don’t watch all 16 games you don’t know where he screws up.

      I’d be fine with the Eagles bringing him in as competition. Would not count on him as the starter.

  • wee2424

    Dallas was rumored to have interest in LK a little bit back, so I would love it if they were to take Barron. Forget where I read they had interest in him, trying to remember.

    Im Not down with the Eagles getting him at 15, but comparing him to Allen and JarJar, I would have to say that he is more physical then Allen, and def. more talented then JarJar.

    • RC5000

      Dallas signed Connor, have Sean Lee. Kinda doubt LK. Cox, DeCastro, Barron maybe…other 3-4 DL.

  • nopain23

    Hey T

    how about a post on Lavonte David..a.k.a..the giant killer…lol..see what I did there

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

    The more I read and see about Flether Cox, I am actually willing to trade up to #10, to draft him ahead of Chiefs and Cowboys. Would that cost a 3rd?

    Bills could still get Reiff or Floyd at #15

    • wee2424

      I think it may cost a 2nd and possibly a later round pick.

    • TommyLawlor

      Complicated question. Trading up costs big if there are prospects that people want. Back in 2003 we moved from like 30 to 15 for just the cost of a late 2nd Rd’er. The Chargers wanted to move back.

      Other teams have paid a steep price just to move up a few picks. Really depends on who is on the board and how coveted they are. I’m still figuring out that type stuff with this class. I think…think being the key word…that teams will be willing to move back. That would lower the cost.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GWMNZ32U6YPGGA7N4JNWH4OSJE Mac

      I actually think the value of top picks has increased with the Rookie Salary cap.

      Teams are now actually willing/excited to get top tier prospects. Therefore there may be more competition for high picks.

      Just a theory…

  • JC2K

    I hope the Eagles are looking to match Landri’s deal with the Bucs like with Mathis and the Ravens. I think this is the 1st report of Landri working out for another team so it’s good for him that he’s getting his market value.

    • TommyLawlor

      Eagles have talked to him and I assume they’ve made an offer. We’ll see if anyone else makes a better offer.

      I hope not for my sake, but that’s selfish. I would love Derek to get decent money from someone. Just hate the thought of him going.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GWMNZ32U6YPGGA7N4JNWH4OSJE Mac

        Tampa seems like an odd match. Here’s why:

        They are in “rebuilding mode” and need a franchise QB… therefore they need to tank a season. What happens when Derek is on the field? Good things… they need more bad things to happen to turn around their franchise.

        Therefore: the Bucs should not acquire Derek Landri

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_O3GOBKYQEIUXG43AO5KQ4AM36Y DanM

          Ummm ya they have Josh Freeman who is one year off of a good year, last year he had receivers who couldn’t catch, the one running back safety valve that could catch went out for the year, a suspect offensive line and an offense that wasn’t built on his passing (until the fourth quarter.) They just spent huge to pick up Jackson and Nicks (and unfortunately for them Wright.) They are far from “rebuilding mode” and have picked up talent more than Derek Landri to make “good things” happen (no slight to Derek Landri but if all things are equal people would take Jackson or Nicks ahead of him.) So no they aren’t in rebuilding mode they are in spending mode.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GWMNZ32U6YPGGA7N4JNWH4OSJE Mac

            Haha

  • GermanEagle

    Is Mathieu in the same league like Eric Berry?

    • TommyLawlor

      Close. And for those who weren’t reading me regularly back then…that borders on heresy. Eric Berry is one of my all time favorite prospects. To say another Safety is in his class isn’t something I say lightly.

      HB isn’t as physical and is smaller, but he is a playmaking freak. Might be the most instinctive defensive player I’ve ever seen. His size will keep him out of the Top 10, but after that…who knows.

      • Mark823

        You seem to be ahead of the curve when it comes to draft prospects. Kuechly was your guy before all mocks had the Eagles taking him, he shot up the ESPN draft board as well. Similar story with Flecther Cox, you wanted him before all the mocks projected him to the Eagles. He’s another guy that shot up ESPN’s board. So if the trend continues HB will be probably shoot up to the top ten.

  • NoDecaf

    Tommy, you just may make this off season tolerable. Great insight per usual.

  • Gregory Post

    In regards to Tyrann Mathieu, has a safety (or DB for that matter) ever gone 1st overall in the draft? Could it happen with him?

    • TommyLawlor

      No chance. He’s undersized. I don’t think he’ll go in the Top 10. He doesn’t fit any one position. Ideally is a hybrid DB….part SS, part slot corner. No guarantee he’ll even go Top 20. Great college player, but finding a specific role in the NFL … he won’t be loved the same way by all coaches.

      • Mark823

        But don’t forget you orginally projected LK as a 2nd round pick and now he’s shot up the board.

        • RC5000

          Tommy had Kuechly as a 2nd round pick? I can’t believe that. Been in the top 10-15 since day 1 on the blogs I frequent. Don’t know anyone that had Kuechly in the 2nd round. His play is legendary and he’s been one of the top prospects since the season.

          • Mark823

            Back at the start of the draft process, Tommy was always a huge fan but questioned if teams valued MLBs high enough to take him early. That was also before Burfict fell miserably, and Tao from ND was still considering the draft. In fact, though I don’t agree, Philly.com still projects Kuechly to fall to the 20-30 range. But there was originally some question as to whether Kuechly may fall into the 2nd round.

      • GermanEagle

        Just watched his highlights and what’s really impressing is the fact that TM always seems to go for the ball at every tackle. A pure ballhawk, perfect for our D!

        • GermanEagle

          Watched the highlight reel again: fuck this years draft, I am in love with HB! :)

          • TommyLawlor

            We’ve got to wait 12 months for him. Can’t wait to watch him this upcoming season.

      • Kevin_aka_RC

        Given the lack of quality inside CBs in the NFL, and teams are desperate for playmakers, I can see him going 10-20. What’s most interesting to me is whether he stays inside at LSU. You want him closer to the LOS, but Claiborne is gone. Will be interesting.

    • http://twitter.com/zugogas Nathan bishop

      shawn springs is the highest db to go and he went 3 overall i think

    • http://twitter.com/benjabad Ben Hert

      Matt Barkley, I’d imagine, next year.

  • GermanEagle

    The more I think about the upcoming draft, the more I’d like to see the Eagles trading back.

    Getting another 1st round pick in 2013 would be awesome, especially since this would mean a legit shot at getting Tyrann Mathieu, who then will be our Ed Reed version for the next decade!

    • Mark823

      Agree completely, getting a 1st for next year makes a lot of sense. That also gives you a shot to grab a QB prospect if you want to draft Vick’s successor.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GWMNZ32U6YPGGA7N4JNWH4OSJE Mac

      +1

      I’m all for more ammo next year. Trade back and grab Fleener, nab some of the prime 2nd round DL/CB roll the dice on a SAM… done.

    • RC5000

      Yes let’s make all of our draft plans and future plans based on a little safety/nickel corner/I don’t know what he will be in the NFL.

      • GermanEagle

        What’s your problem?! We all know by now that you don’t like HB and that Barron is the next super star S that will get us to the Super Bowl…

        Happy Easter!

        • RC5000

          lol. I think it’s hilarious, don’t worry you can have your little honey badger. It’s so irrelevant to me right now I find it funny. Seriously we all have players we love. I loved Andrew Luck. Good Luck with honey badger. I love Kuechly and want to get Cox. Would really like Tannehill but I dont think that’s going to develop in our favor.

          Good Luck..

          • TommyLawlor

            I think we all love Kuechly and Cox. They would be great picks.

          • GermanEagle

            I think we all love you, Tommy.

          • D3Keith

            This conversation just got awkward.

  • Jose Antonio Contreras

    Hey Tommy,

    Sports Science just did this on Quinton Coples.

    http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=7779137&categoryid=2378529

    Do you see him having the same impact as JPP as a rookie?

    • TommyLawlor

      JPP was/is a gifted athlete.

      Coples is big and fast, but lacks ideal athleticism Interesting vid. Do love his size.

  • M0rton

    Three under-the-radar DT prospects who, based on combine performance AND college production, have potential to be great players in the NFL:

    1. Kendall Reyes

    2. Mike Martin

    3. Billy Winn

    I almost think that the team would be better off targeting one of these guys with a 2nd round pick than targeting one of the high profile DTs in the first round.

    Any one of those three oculd easily end up being the best DT of this draft class.

    • TommyLawlor

      Billy Winn? No way. He was fat at the Senior Bowl and struggled. Had a down Senior season overall.

      Martin is an overachiever. Doubt he gets better in the NFL.

      Reyes…easily could become a great player. He has big time potential, but only so-so game tape.

  • ACViking

    RE: Drafting DBs at the top of the draft

    It was asked (by Gregory Post) who the highest drafted DB was.

    The data’s really interesting and, to me at least, seems to reflect how the NFL’s rule changes in favor of the offense have influenced the draft.
    ____________________

    The short answer to GP’s question is: 1991 Eric Turner-S, UCLA — chosen #2 overall by the Browns.
    ____________________

    Looking back to the start of the common draft in 1967 through 1987 — 21 years — only 2 DBs were drafted among the Top 5. But they were truly great ones:

    HOF CB Mike Haynes #5 to New England in 1976
    S Kenny Easley #4 to Seattle in 1981.

    Easley, like his 1981 draft-year partner and cross-town college rival Ronnie Lott, was headed for a HOF career before being forced to retire with a rare kidney disease. In 7 years, Easley — from UCLA — was NFL D-Player of the Year once, 4 x 1st Team All Pro, 5 x Pro Bowler. In a sad coincidence, Eric Turner, #2 overall in 1991, also came from UCLA, was also an All Pro and Pro Bowl safety — and also, though due because of terminal cancer, had his career and his life cut short.
    ____________________

    But starting in 1988, with the effects of the looser passing-related rules having become apparent (I think), DBs assumed greater relative value on draft boards. And, unlike so many other positions, generally speaking, DBs drafted in the Top 5 have turned out to be very good players. The exceptions are glaring.

    Also odd is that the 5th pick in the 1st Rd seems to have become the landing spot for the first DB of that year’s draft (if one is taken that high).

    1988: Bennie Blades – S, #3 DET
    Rickey Dixon – CB, #5 CIN (disappointment)
    1989: Deion Sanders – CB, #5 ATL
    1991: Eric Turner – S, #2 Browns
    Bruce Pickens – CB, #3 ATL (D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R)
    1992: Terrell Buckley – CB, #5 GB
    1997: Shawn Springs – CB, #3 SEA
    Bryant Westbrook – CB, #5 DET (achilles tear in 2000 – never reached potential)
    1998: Charles Woodson – CB, #4 OAK
    2002: Quentin Jammer – CB, #5 SD
    2003: Terrence Newman – CB, #5 DAL
    2004: Sean Taylor – S, #5 WAS
    2010: Eric Berry – S, #5 KC
    2011: Patrick Peterson – CB, #5 AZ
    ____________________

    As an aside, I was surprised to see that from 1967 – 1980, only 2 LBs were drafted in the Top 5: Fred Carr – 1968 #5 by Green Bay, and Tom Cousineau – 1979 #1 by the Bills.

    But starting in 1981 — when the Giants drafted Lawrence Taylor #2 overall — through 1997, there was an impressive run of at least 1 LB being drafted in the Top 5 for 15 straight years and 17-out-of 18.

    But since then, from 1998 – 2011 covering the last 14 drafts, only 4 LBs have been taken in the Top 5, again I think reflecting the evolution of NFL passing offenses:

    2000: LaVarr Arrington – OLB, #2 WAS
    2006: AJ Hawk – ILB, #5 GB
    2009: Aaron Curry – OLB, #4 SEA
    2011: Von Miller – OLB, #2 DEN

    Looking at that group, with the way the NFL is now, I don’t think we’ll see LBs like Hawk, Curry, or Arrington in the Top 5 again for a long time. It’ll just be the Von Miller-types who project as dominant pass rushers.

    • TommyLawlor

      Great info, as always.

  • RC5000

    RE: Honey Badger is the college version of Ed Reed…

    Tough to listen to someone’s opinion on Barron (could be a star and is an upgrade but then qualified) who picks out a player in college who isn’t in the draft and compares them to Reed.

    Reed was an interceptor ballhawk…almost 6 ints a year for 10 years my friend. Mathieu 2 a year for 2, total of 4 ints to 57 for Reed. Nice try though.

    Forced fumbles are great for college…not sure that will keep up in Pros. Other stats are solid.

    Small player who still has to have a defined NFL position…he was a rover, corner, nickel corner.

    Had a suspension for a game in October for drugs. Not good.

    Barron the better prospect at this point and definitely an upgrade over Jarrett/Coleman. Whether they take him whole different story but clearly he would improve the secondary and our physicality. SS not really necessarily a playmaking position depending on the D. Alabama likely did not ask him to get in the backfield a lot they had Upshaw, Hightower to do that. SS usually don’t get a lot of ints in the NFL. He would be a run stopper and has the speed and ability to cover half the field. Would need to learn man to man on TE but might have ability to which would be extremely valuable in todays NFL with the spreads and 2 TE offenses and offenses like to try to keep defenses on the field sometimes.

    Would be a good form tackler, a must, great instincts, around the ball player, decent leader from what I have heard. Would be ideal to fill in the wide 9 because of his weight. 6-1, 213 ss who have potential to cover well for SS very difficult to find.

    Kuechly doesn’t put up the fancy big playmaking stats either. He and Barron are valuable for leadership, instincts, overall ability, coverage skills (Kuechly has to learn man to man also, lots of spread offenses and zone defenses in college so TEs don’t always get covered).

    • TommyLawlor

      Why does Mathieu have so few picks? He plays up at the LOS most of the time.

      The Ed Reed comparison is due to playmaking potential, not just INTs. Ed is a guy that makes things happen. So is Mathieu. Will he be anywhere near as good a pro as Reed? Doubtful. Reed is headed to Canton. That’s rare stuff. Mathieu is like him in the sense that he creates turnovers and is a playmaker on defense.

      As for Barron…you think he would be an upgrade. Not a fact. We see good players every year that don’t work. Barron is a complete unknown at the NFL level. Kurt Coleman has shown that he can be a solid starter. Can he do that for a full season? We don’t know. Can Jarrett do it at all? We don’t know. Can Barron do it at all? We don’t know.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/7SOXRIUF6NV3I5SCIBOFZFVGMI Nope

      I just went back and looked at Ed Reed’s college numbers. He started two years and had 19 interceptions. I don’t know what’s more unbelievable; those numbers or the fact that he wasn’t drafted until pick 24.

      Now possibly Sean Taylor, if he had stayed in school, might have gotten there. Other than that, none of the other top safety prospects have even come close to those numbers. Polamalu is probably headed to Canton as well, and he was nowhere near as dangerous in college as Reed.

  • ACViking

    DRAFT OPTIONS . . .

    The Eagles have three ways to go no that DeMR is on board:

    First, if the Eagles are going to expand the use of their 2-TE w/ 2-WR w/ 1-RB sets, then FLEENER must be the choice. Why? Because it would be very risky to design next season’s offense philosophy around an expanded use of the 2-TE set only to lose either TE in the 1st half of the opening game — forcing the Eagles to do who knows what. (T-LAW makes this point in his PE.Com post, too.) And I just can’t find a thing wrong with having Coby Fleener running down the seam, even with Harbor and Celek on the field too — because someone has to do the pass-blocking that McCoy has struggled with.

    Second, the Eagles can ID the D-Lineman they want, and move up to get him. Standard AR approach to getting the DE of his dreams — only to watch as the nightmare settles in during the next season.

    Third, the Eagles — seeing whomever they really wanted to draft gone — stockpile picks, preferrably 1st-rounders, so that next year they have the muscle to draft the 2nd-best QB coming out.

  • Cafone

    What does Laws have in common with Abiamiri, other than being a wasted draft pick?

    Yeah, let’s not make that mistake anymore. I’m looking at you future bust Michael Floyd.

    • wee2424

      What makes you say that about Floyd?

  • http://twitter.com/SportiVore SportiVore

    Do you think Mathieu, at his size, can be an NFL playmaker? I’m an LSU fan, but the fact that he’s probably 5’8, 170 is worrisome for his NFL transition. He doesn’t lack toughness though… he tackled Bama’s 260 pound TE man up last year. His teammate, Safety Eric Reid may be a better NFL prospect.

    And yes, please pass on Mark Barron, he’s nothing special.