A lot of people still seem to wonder how the heck the Eagles can even consider a QB with pick 15 in a year when the team is under pressure to win big. The answer comes from one of my favorite movies, Spy Game. Early in the movie Robert Redford does something that seems to be overkill to his assistant. She asks why. His response is simple, but brilliant. ”When did Noah build the Ark? Before it rained…before it rained.”
The Eagles don’t need a QB. And that’s the key. The time to draft a QB isn’t when you need one. You take one a year or two early to get him ready. Tom Brady was ready to take over for Drew Bledsoe. Tony Romo was ready to take over for Drew Bledsoe. Poor Drew. Aaron Rodgers was ready to take over for Brett Favre. Steve Young was ready to take over for Joe Montana.
Ideally you take a guy late and develop him, but if you find an early QB you really like, you take him. This is a key point that I think too many people overlook – the Eagles may love Ryan Tannehill. May. If they do, then targeting him does make sense. If the team likes him, then take him if he falls, but look elsewhere if he’s gone.
I’ve mentioned the possibility of the Eagles moving up for him. If the team loves him, this would also be a value move. Make the trade if the price is right, but do not overpay. We have a QB already in place. This is the time when we can be selective shoppers.
The NFL is a QB league. Any time you can get a QB that you’re really high on, I think you have to investigate the move.
Is all the Tannehill talk a smokescreen? That is possible. The reason I think it is real is because Andy Reid has looked into QBs each of the last 7 or 8 drafts. He took Kolb and Kafka, but has done his research on a lot of guys. The team was prepared to take players who fell in a few different drafts.
And I do think that meeting with Tannehill is important for just that reason…what if he does fall? You must be prepared for that scenario. After all, when did Noah build the Ark?
Aren’t smokescreens obvious? Doesn’t that make them ineffective? A bit, yes. This is just like bluffing at poker. You must be able to sell the smokescreen. Take Brockers for instance. This could have been planned for a while. Send Washburn to his Pro Day. Then bring Brockers up here. Teams start to think…hmm, maybe Wash does like the kid. Things like that.
The other part of the equation is that you need to do enough to keep other teams simply confused. They don’t have to buy every thing you put out there, but you want them to be confused with what your true draft plans are. The Eagles were great at this under Heckert and it has continued under Roseman.
The best story is Chris Gocong. Back in 2006 Eric Mangini was ready to pick him in the 3rd round when the Eagles called up. The Jets figured they could drop back a few spots and still get Gocong, plus have the extra pick. Mangini was horrified when the Eagles took his guy…with his pick. The Eagles had been very secret about Gocong. It paid off with that move.
Should the Eagles trade back into the late 1st from the 2nd round to get an OT? No. There are players to target outside the 1st round. If the team really liked Reifff, Adams, or Martin…just take him at 15 and be done with it.
Should the Eagles take SS Mark Barron at pick 15? No. You don’t spend a pick that high on a Safety unless he is special. Barron is good, but not special. Worst case scenario, Ja-Jarrett stinks this year and Kurt Coleman is only so-so. Then we target the Honey Badger next April to be our SS. He’s not Eric Berry, but is pretty darn close.
Should the Eagles draft Zach Brown in the 2nd round? I wrote about him for ScoutsNotebook. The more I watch, the less I like. I’d rather avoid him at this point. His tackling just scares the crap out of me.
* * * * *
Read Dave’s column.
* Now think about that and the draft. Dave says we might re-sign Derek Landri or Trevor Laws and not even draft a DT. No Fletcher Cox?
* He projects Jamar Chaney to SAM. No Luke Kuechly?
* Says he would be surprised by trading up for a QB. No Ryan Tannehill?
* Spuds says a player to watch is TE Brett Brackett. No trading back for Coby Fleener?
None of this is definitive of course. Maybe the team wanted Dave to mention this stuff. Maybe he just threw the column together and that’s how it happened to come out.
The point is that at this time of the year you want the other 31 teams (and your fans) as confused as possible. You want teams/fans reading into every comment and looking for hidden meaning. Paralysis by analysis.
If you get out your secret decoder rings and re-read the column, you’ll find out who we’re going to really draft.