The Nate Menkin Era Begins

Posted: September 1st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 52 Comments »

The Eagles have had a busy day.  They claimed OL Nate Menkin, who was cut by the Texans.  Quick, simple description…Menkins is the David Sims of T/G’s.  For those who want more details, I took the time to watch him play.  He was a LT in the game I watched.  He is absolutely a Howard Mudd guy.  I’m sure the Texans wanted to keep him.  Menkin is quite good at times.  He has one big problem…he isn’t good in standard pass pro.  The Texans have their guys kick slide and take a vertical set.  Menkin doesn’t do that well.  He got beat off the edge a couple of times by speed rushers.

In the Mudd system, Menkin will have the chance to be more aggressive off the ball.  He can use his good lateral agility to get wide and take on rushers.  He can come off the ball and engage them.  Menkin uses his hands well and is an active blocker.  He’s going to do everything he can on a given play.  There is nothing passive about him.

The reason I know Mudd loves Menkin (sounds like a bad novel) is the way he run blocks.  Menkin fires off the ball.  Can be very good on the 2nd level.  Pulled on an outside run on 3rd / 2 and he dove to take out a DB.  When he gets up on LBs, will pop them with his hands and work to sustain blocks.  Menkin isn’t a gifted athlete, but he runs well and gets to the 2nd level quickly.  He is effective when he slows down and plays under control.  There are times when he’s going too hard.  Great effort when blocking at the LOS.  There was a play when he got on the DE and the guy got turned around on the play.  The ball was already downfield, but Menkin shoved the DE to the ground anyway.  He wanted to get his money’s worth on the block.

I think Menkin could play OG for us right away, if needed.  I’m not sure about OT.  Might need some time.  While he should be a good fit for Mudd’s system, some guys do take time to adjust.  Usually those guys are really good with vertical sets and changing is the hard part. Menkin isn’t natural with vertical sets so adjusting may be easier for him.

Menkin has good strength.  He’s not going to overwhelm anyone, but he’s functional at the least.  I didn’t get a good feel for his ability to anchor in pass pro.

Menkin is 6-4, 296.  Went to Mary Hardin-Baylor.  Until today, I wasn’t aware that Menkin shared space on the Earth with me, Nick Foles, Derek Landri, and Megan Fox.  Now he’s one of us.

So why cut Steve Vallos, Julian Vandervelde, and DJ Jones and claim Menkin?  Vallos came here as a C/G.  He wasn’t good enough to win a roster spot.  Good athlete, but sloppy blocker.  Vandy was a pure OG that they tried to turn into the backup C as well.  He really struggled at C and that affected his overall game.  Menkin is a T/G.  He can play those two spots.  As for Jones, I think Menkin is better blocking in space and that is important on the WR screens and the draw plays we run.  Menkin can help on those plays.  Also, Jones looked lost at RT the other night.  He was a pure backup LT.  I don’t know if Menkin can play RT, but he’s got the skill set for G or LT at the least.

* * * * *

In order to claim Menkin, the Eagles had to cut Trevard Lindley.  Keeping him was a luxury.  Didn’t need 6 CBs.  It was good to have 6 CBs worth keeping.

* * * * *

Ex-Eagles update.  Keenan Clayton was claimed by the Raiders.  Mike Kafka went unclaimed.  Vandervelde was claimed by the Bucs.  Chad Hall was given a chance at the practice squad, but passed.  He’s hoping to make someone’s roster.  Good luck to Chad.

* * * * *

The Eagles practice squad isn’t finalized.  Here’s what we know:

WR Marvin McNutt
TE Chase Ford
FB Emil Igwenagu
OC Chase Beeler

DT Frank Trotter
LB Ryan Rau

I will be very disappointed if the Eagles don’t add DE Monte Taylor.  He really impressed me.  I do wonder if anyone claimed him.  Would also like S Phillip Thomas to make it.

There was a report about the Eagles adding WR B.J. Cunningham (cut by Miami), but that may be bogus.  I was a big fan of his coming out of Michigan State.

* * * * *

The Eagles are very young.  Jimmy Bama put up a good post on the subject.  Proving that we have some weird mental connection, I wrote my SB Nation Philly column on the Eagles going with young guys instead of veterans in some key backup roles.

Is this smart for a Super Bowl contender?

* * * * *

Make sure to read FakeWIPCaller’s new column.  Great stuff as always.

_


  • ACViking

    Re: Safety Position / Practice Squad

    T-LAW:

    The Birds kept Colt Anderson on the active roster — giving them 5 safeties. The way Roseman talked about piecing together not just the 53-man roster, but also the PS, I’d be surprised to see Eagles add a SIXTH safety to the team. (Happy if P-Thomas, but surprised).

    When’s Colt Anderson expected to be playing again? I assume, if he’s not been PUP’d, that the Birds see Anderson returning before Week 6 . . . and at full speed. Otherwise, why keep him active?

    • iskar36

      Colt is listed as a safety, but I’m not sure the Eagles view him as a true backup safety. He is a great special teamer and that is what earns him a spot on the roster, but I don’t think he has ever shown anything in terms of being an NFL caliber safety.

    • TommyLawlor

      That would be overkill, but my thinking was that there was so much uncertainty with Jai-Jar, Sims, and Colt that keeping someone else might make sense. If the Eagles are really comfortable with Sims and Jai-Jar, then Thomas would be somewhat of a moot addition to the PS.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kanin-Faan/100000790557328 Kanin Faan

    [quote]I wrote my SB Nation Philly column on the Eagles going with young guys instead of veterans in some key backup roles.
    Is this smart for a Super Bowl contender?[/quote]

    Coach Reid has realised that we will never win with Vick as QB and is building a young team for next year.
    The organization has already given up on this season.

    ;)

    • TommyLawlor

      Trying out for FakeWIPCaller’s spot?

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kanin-Faan/100000790557328 Kanin Faan

        Guilty as charged. :)

  • TommyLawlor

    A reader named Ross found this item on Menkin and it very much matches what I said:

    2. I couldn’t stop watching Texans back-up left tackle Nathan Menkin (#77) during the game against the Vikings. Menkin is from Mary Hardin Baylor and will probably be cut and then signed to the practice squad, but this game has some outstanding potential. Not only is Menkin able to get to the 2nd level with great quickness, he also plays with a nasty streak and with some power. Keep an eye out for Menkin as he could be the next Mike Brisiel (from UFA to starter) for the Texans.

    http://blog.chron.com/fantasyfootball/2012/08/the-pressure-is-on-derek-newton-now-and-five-comments-to-consider/

    That was written by Lance Zierlein, a Houston radio guy and writer. His dad used to be the OL coach for the Steelers so he really knows his stuff.

  • RC5000

    Only thing with Taylor is DE is pretty much our deepest position. he does look good but they may go with positions of weakness.

    • ICDogg

      That’s what I was thinking. Taylor probably is hoping for a less crowded situation somewhere.

    • http://twitter.com/mattwilll Matt Williams

      My thought is that Taylor is added once a Tapp trade is consummated.

  • RC5000

    Still kind of weird how our backup OL are either new to the squad this year or are rookies and Reynolds is the longest tenured Eagle backup OL. I understand how it occurred and I don’t really object to their moves. I do think Reynolds does have experience in our system (but not game experience). Kelly is pretty smart also. Also is Bell better suited inside? I see a lack of finishing at OT. His effort level is bad.

    • TommyLawlor

      It is weird to look at the OL and how it’s built.

      I don’t see Bell as a OG. Smartest thing is to leave him at OT and let him work on things. Light might go on in a few weeks.

  • ACViking

    T-Law:

    Follow up on the comment you posted from reader “Ross” . . .

    Do you see Menkin as having any shot as a LT down the line (assuming he’s a very raw but highly talented guy)? He has some pretty good length. But — and I ask only ’cause it seems to drive GMs — what’s his arm length?

    Or do you project Menkin as a RT, with your young cousin Kelly at LT?

    Or is Menkins’ best shot to be a starter at OG?
    ____________________

    By the way, 6th Rd pick Washington seems to have been deemed a disappointment by the staff.

    • TommyLawlor

      Brandon suffered a concussion and missed substantial time. Eagles might be hoping no one signs him and they can add him back in January and work on him for 2013.

      Menkin is hard to evaluate without seeing him in the Mudd system. I think he’s more of a RT/OG. Not a great pass blocker.

      • phillychuck

        Washington has reportedly been signed by the Rams to the PS.

      • phillychuck

        Brackett signed by the Jags.

      • D3Keith

        As a matter of context, they pass like five times a season at UMHB. They are straight-up mashers … I-formation, wishbone, option. Good ol’ Texas smashmouth football.

  • PK_NZ

    Any updates on Cliff Harris? Wouldn’t he be someone we could stash into our PS and get him to bulk up for next year?

    • TommyLawlor

      For whatever reason, I don’t think the Eagles are very high on him. Clearly he’s talented so there must be some other issue.

      • ACViking

        Or the rest of the NFL . . . he’s not on anyone’s PS. Not yet, at least. And it’s been almost 2 weeks or so.

      • Anders

        Could he have been taken with a substance violation? I mean we only hear about em if a teams report it.

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  • ian_no_2

    The guy at eaglescap.com was adding his figures wrong yesterday, so I was under the impression that the team didn’t have cap room: they have plenty as PFT or someone reported a while back. $17.4M worth. I cited him and tend to trust whatever he comes up with. It’s not my money so I want them to spend as much as possible so that I get to root for the team in February, but they don’t make much on me.

  • A_T_G

    According to Sheil, DJ Jones is a Giant now.

    • phillychuck

      Really sorry to read that. Liked him as a project.

  • A_T_G

    So if you are Kafka (and reports are accurate), do you choose a more fluid situation where you might get your chance- KC or Cleveland, or a strong organization with only a shot at keeping the seat warm during an injury- GB or NE?

    I think I might hope to follow the Matt Cassel path.

    • TommyLawlor

      Go to GB. Good coach. Good GM. Good system. Good skill players. Cheap rent.

      • pjxii

        “Cheap rent.”
        That’s a good one! Also a very good point.

      • http://www.facebook.com/matthew.verhoog Matthew Verhoog

        The Milwaukee airport is nice too

    • ian_no_2

      KC has a good team which is weak at the QB position and Kafka’s arm strength compares more favorably to Cassel and Quinn. Cassel is the hero of all weak armed QBs that want to get rich. That’d be my first choice. KC also has the best BBQ if you are getting your exercise running from DEs. They should get Donovan McN but haven’t gone there.

      Green Bay has a wide open backup job which got Matt Flynn rich despite allegations by some that GB creates system QBs.

      • A_T_G

        I guess the difference is that in GB and NE he needs to look good when he gets a chance to get a big payday, in KC he actually needs to BE good. After being unable to win time against an NFCW failure, a rookie and two guys that spent time away from football, I’m not so sure he can.

  • phillychuck

    Don’t know what the point is of keeping McNutt on the PS. He was the third-best WR they cut. I don’t think he can play in the league–just not fast OR quick enough to get open.

    I also don’t really think Trotter has a chance to play for them, but that might just be how he looked in comparison to how good all the other guys were. I think I like Ogbu better.

    Taylor and Thomas were better players than either of the guys above, although at different positions which the Eagles may not view as a priority.

    Sorry to lose Chad Hall. Always liked him, in contrast with 97% of Eagles fans…

    • TommyLawlor

      I think we all loved Chad’s effort and that type stuff. Problem is that he has fringe talent. Can make it in the NFL, but needs the right QB and system. Vick/Eagles aren’t good fit. Needs to go somewhere that is good with short, quick throws.

      Trotter was a very good college player. Stood out to me when watching Dontari Poe. I just wondered about his size. Eagles may feel like he could be a player if he can bulk up to 285 and stay quick.

      McNutt is better than you’re giving him credit for.

      • austinfan

        Tony Brown, 6-2 280
        Jason Jones, 6-5 275
        both started at DT for what DL coach?

  • Arby1

    So my earlier question to Tommy: McNutt or BJ Cunningham? has been answered in much the same way as the Brown/Polk/Havili debate. Eagles said: We’ll take ‘em all!

    • TommyLawlor

      Love the Eagles adding BJ Cunningham to the P-squad. He is an ideal WCO receiver. Good size, but not huge. Tough, physical. Deceptive speed downfield.

    • A_T_G

      Like I always say, never turn down a quick BJ…

      • Cliff

        Yes!

      • TommyLawlor

        This sounds suspiciously like a non-football note. I’ll do some research.

  • T_S_O_P

    Tommy, do you have new writer over at Scoutsnotebook?

    • TommyLawlor

      There is a guy named Dave who I am letting do a weekly post/column. Seems to know his stuff so I’m giving him a chance. Has a good background.

      • T_S_O_P

        I enjoyed the article he seems a welcome addition.

        • D3FB

          agreed. it was a knowledgable post and well written.

  • T_S_O_P

    I notice Beeler has a beard, what about Menkins? They seem to help here.

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  • Eric Weaver

    Tommy,
    Are you going to go over some current waived guys that are potential eagles targets?

  • GermanEagle

    DJ jones failed the physical with the Giants. Well done!

    • A_T_G

      Wait, what!?

      Sure, he isn’t a Giant, and that’s good, but we missed a chance to stash a guy on IR? Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy.

      Unless… Maybe he is fine and tanked the physical because he wants to be an Eagle or nothing.

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

        Wait, Philly fans missed a chance to worry about the fact that a guy competing for a spot on the team wasn’t physically fit enough for last year’s Super Bowl champions?

        I don’t even know you anymore.

    • ICDogg

      Wonder if it’s a short-term issue or a bigger problem.

  • D3Keith

    Mary Hardin-Baylor represent, represent-sent.

    D-III meets the Eagles … it’s the stuff (my) dreams are made of.

    • D3FB

      Yea buddy!