Some QB Talk

Posted: January 24th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 122 Comments »

Okay, I finally got Wednesday’s notes from the Senior Bowl posted.  Took me long enough, huh?  I’m having separation anxiety.  I haven’t seen Jimmy Bama or Les Bowen in almost 24 hours and that is more than a human soul should have to endure.

North – Wed. notes

South – Wed. notes

* * * * *

One rumor I heard from a very reliable person is that a group of Eagles scouts charted every throw by Tyler Wilson on Tuesday.  I seem to recall the Eagles doing this with someone from last year’s Senior Bowl, but haven’t had time to dig through any old notes.

It is possible the Eagles did this with one QB for each practice since there are 3 QBs on each team and 3 days of real practice (Mon-Wed.).  Or it is possible that the Eagles really have interest in Wilson and are trying to figure out how much they should like him.

I mentioned this on Twitter earlier and it led to a discussion of his value.  I don’t think Wilson is worth pick #4.  I just don’t see that.

There are some good football people (mixture of writers, draftniks, and former NFL people) who think that it is possible Wilson goes 1st overall to KC.  There are some serious Twitter discussions going on right now between smart people as to whether this kind of thinking is actually hoping or just the price you pay for a good QB.

I don’t know the answer to that.  You do have to overdraft QBs.  I would not dispute that.  I do think teams “talk themselves” into some moves they shouldn’t.  Blaine Gabbert?

My belief is that you spend a Top 10 pick on a player you completely believe in.  You don’t hope the player can be good.  You expect the player to be good and hope he can be great.  If a team sees Geno Smith or Tyler Wilson as someone they expect to be a good starting QB, then draft the guy early.  This is all about percentages.  We know that lots of players can succeed given the right circumstances.  What is the likelihood this guy succeeds?  Are you willing to bet your job on it?

Right now, I would not be willing to be on Tyler Wilson.  Therefore, he’s not worth #4 to me.  Others are going to feel differently.  I’ve still got a lot of tape study to do on him and Geno Smith.  Do understand that I like both players.  Question is just how much.  You sink or swim with your QB.

You also have to consider that the #4 pick could land an impact player that might elevate some other part of the team and greatly help the QB, even if indirectly.  Random example…would you be better with combination of Star Lotulelei and Nick Foles or Antonio Dixon and Tyler Wilson?

I’m not saying those are defined choices.  Just trying to point out to think big picture and not over-focus on just the QB.

* * * * *

Speaking of the Eagles scouts…it is impressive to watch the Personnel Dept in action down in Mobile.  They are there for business.  It drives me nuts to see guys from teams talking on cellphones or chatting up buddies.  Eagles scouts are watching the practices.  They socialize before and after, but practice time is work time.

I’ve been in Mobile for 2 years.  Howie Roseman has been the head honcho both times and I was impressed by the way he and the scouts did things.  Maybe it was this way under Tom Heckert.  I’m not real sure.

When I did meet Howie on Monday, he was the only GM watching the OL drills up close.  He had his notebook with him.  You see some higher-ups walking around telling stories about the time they did such and such.  Howie is focused.  There were times when he spoke to other personnel guys or coaches.  You can see he’s got his friends around the league.  The point is that some people view the Senior Bowl as almost a vacation.  Catch up with the old buddies.  Shoot the breeze.  The Eagles save that stuff for when there is down time (mostly between practices or the evenings).  I do very much appreciate the tone he sets for the scouts under him.

The Giants are another team I think does a good job.  Very professional.

* * * * *

One of my complaints with the Eagles last year was that there might be too much youth in the Personnel Dept.  They had more veteran guys out there this time.  Greg Gabriel was there in the Phil Savage role as the consultant.  There was one older guy that I thought was Rick Mueller, but the picture didn’t match the hairstyle I saw in Mobile.  Might be him, but I’m not sure.  I didn’t see Tom Donahoe down there, but he is helping with scouting.  Jake Hallum is another older gentleman who’s helping, but I didn’t see him in Mobile.  Easily could have missed him.

The Eagles did have a large contingent of scouts and “coaches” down there.  I say coaches that way since I didn’t recognize all the faces and didn’t know exactly who was who.

_


  • SleepingDuck

    Tommy,

    I’m interested in scouting and learning how to scout. I’m wondering if you can give me some pointers as to what to watch for when it comes to the various positions.

  • Anders

    Great to hear the scouts doing their jobs.

    Also I want us to draft both Thomas and Cyprien. I doubt we can get both, but both really intrigues me.

    • Zach

      Positions?

      • Anders

        both are safeties. They are mentioned in Tommy’s practice notes. Both are from small schools, but both have impressive tape and have had a great senior bowl weekend

        • Zach

          I will check them out. Thanks

  • PK_NZ

    Off topic: Spags is on the streets, any chance of him becoming the DC. Is he actually any good or did he just ride the Giants superior D-Line to fame?

    • http://twitter.com/alex_karklins Alex Karklins

      Ugh. No thanks. Spags went from defensive genius to failed head coach to DC for a historically bad defense in a very short period of time. I think he needs to rebuild his rep as a defensive line coach somewhere before even being considered as a DC.

    • ACViking

      Damn good LB coach.

      I’m w/ A-Karlins . . . Spags’ luster has faded for now.

    • Steven Dileo

      Giants winning a super bowl last year kind of negated his major selling point.

    • TommyLawlor

      Spags is a good coach. He’s not the great coach some thought, but is better than the Saints showed in 2012. He must have pass rushers. Saints didn’t have them. I said he made a mistake when he went there. Bad fit.

      I do think he would be a good fit here…unless Kelly is set on the 3-4. No idea if the Eagles have any interest.

      • Anders

        It would be very un-Kelly like to be 100% set on a defensive type outside like aggressiveness (just like speed is his must have on offense).
        I wouldnt mind Spags as our coach, we got pass rushers and if there is something Spags is, then its aggressive in his play calling.

    • 47_Ronin

      I agree with Tommy, Spags is a good coach. You can find any number of coaches who don’t catch fire when they get a HC job, but are good coordinators. And Spags didn’t just ride the Giants DL, he used several creative blitzes and disguises against the Pats
      http://www.nfl.com/superbowl/story?id=09000d5d8067edb1

      I wonder, if the rumors are correct, where Ed Donatell ranks on the Eagles coaching list. I say b/c NFL rules allow teams to block other teams from poaching assistant coaches (unless candidacy is for HC). Is he in the top or someone who the 49ers would make available? Roseman has familiarity with Spags so if he is liked by the FO I’m sure they would contact him.

      • RC5000

        Donatell’s contract might be up.

  • ACViking

    Re: Tyler Wilson

    For what it’s worth (and probably not too much) . . . after the 2012 draft, Mel “Who the Hell is Mel” Kiper posted his Top 25 going into the 2013 season.

    No QBs on the list besides USC’s Barkely.
    ______________

    Question: Is Tyler Wilson coming out of no where? I know that before Petrino imploded, Arkansas was considered a pre-season No. 1 favorite of some — in good measure because of Wilson.

    Thoughts?

    • http://www.facebook.com/jamie.parker.1044 Jamie Parker

      I think Petrino actually exploded.

    • TommyLawlor

      Tyler has been on the NFL’s radar for a year. Some thought he might come out last January. ARK went 11-2, with the only losses to Bama and LSU. They had an explosive offense and Wilson put up big numbers. He is legit. Only question is whether he’s Top 10, Top 20, Top 30 or what. Wouldn’t last far into the 2nd round if he did make it that far.

      • Steven Dileo

        Obviously you want stud QBs when you draft them with a top 5 pick, but franchises like Kansas City and Buffalo would love to have a QB like Romo or a Dalton that could solidify that position. Does Tyler Wilson fit that mold?

        • livingonapear

          But when you’re reaching, you can easily end up with a Couch or McNown.

      • RC5000

        That was my question, is he top 10 or one of those potentially available in 2nd round at our pick? For me this is easily going to be the most confusing Eagles draft in a long, long time. I watched Tyler a few times last year and kept saying this is a guy I need to keep an eye on. He is poised, has a really good arm, reads quickly, is in a Pro offense, made few mistakes. Then this year it changed but it was a messy situation.
        I know we have needs and I lean to building roster and Foles but if Wilson is there in 2nd, it’s going to be hard to pass.
        I was looking at his weigh-in numbers and noticed 8 5/8 inch hand size per scott wright’s site. What say you about that?

      • RC5000

        Wonder what Buffalo will do…do they fall for Geno if he falls to our pick, do they like Wilson (or someone else at 8), do they hope/look for Nassib in 2nd? Is Nassib a high second rounder (ish) yet or is it possible he goes later?
        This would answer one of my many fantasy drafts, Eagles trade down , pick up an extra pick, draft Fisher and then get Wilson in 2nd and still have picks to get secondary help.
        Other question is how many trades for extra picks can we expect?

  • austinfan

    Lurie has always paid top dollar to maintain a top scouting group. I think Howie’s biggest strength is as an administrator, not a football guy – you can hire lot’s of “football guys,” but someone has to ensure they work as a group, monitor, identify and ditch the under performers, and set the tone for the organization. People have this fantasy that a GM watches every play of every player, does his magical meditation, and comes up with the perfect draft. It’s more like filtering a bunch of different opinions, using your knowledge of your own personnel to recognize their biases and adjust for them, and gleaning the pearls of wisdom from the muck of cliches. Watching film is just a check on the information you’re getting from your scouts.

    As far as QBs, I have yet to see anyone in this draft who is as good as Foles showed against NFL competition under trying circumstances (44 attempts per game behind a substandard OL against NFL defenses). Geno is the only 1st rd pick, and his stats are grossly padded by great performances against inferior talent, and average performances against good defenses. The rest, well, look at their college careers. Barkley underperformed with top talent, Wilson certainly didn’t lead at Arkansas, and so on. And their tools are erratic, no one stepped up and seized the opportunity. Teams overreach for QBs, but other than RGIII, and Luck to some extent (Foles actually had better numbers), who last year performed as good as Wilson or even Foles? And this year’s group doesn’t approach the last two years, full of exceptional athletes. Manuel is the only top athlete, and he has far more questions than Locker (a gross reach based on his athleticism).

    I’d sit back, see who drops (always one or two QBs that the groupthink misses out on) and snatch him at the value point. Eagles do need to develop young QBs the next couple years, irregardless of the read option, just because Edwards is the only alternative right now, and neither Smith or Flynn are worth a trade for a rebuilding franchise.

    • PK_NZ

      I really hope our new coaching staff will understand we are a rebuilding franchise, rather than trade draft picks for veterans and hope we make the playoffs…

    • Steven Dileo

      Looked it up. Johnny Hekker, the punter for the Rams leads all rookies in QBR.

    • aub32

      How can you not look at Foles’ numbers and not say they are inflated. He was going against terrible secondaries, more often than not. Also, him throwing the ball 35-45 times games boosted his numbers, when most of his completions were short passes that the skill players made something happen. He would have had much more turnovers had he been asked to throw down field, like Luck, or had he not gotten Lucky (see what I did there) with so many DBs dropping his would be interceptions. The fact is he did not win, which is the most important stat. Luck had just as many excuses as Foles (terrible defense, backup linemen, rookie skill players) yet he got his team to the post season. I get so tired of fans trying to hype Foles because he put up some yards.

      • livingonapear

        Andrew Luck is supposed to be a once in a generation talent, like the guy he’s replacing. Foles has looked like a very good rookie QB. Take that for what it’s worth, but I personally think he’s earned a shot in training camp, and I think he’s reason enough to wait for rounds 2 or 3 to see if a QB drops.

        • easydoesit

          Oh, stop it. Foles is NOT that great. Stop being homers…I remember everyone saying WHO? when the kid got drafted and he really did not show much this season. People expected him to come in and “take the team to the next level” and he hasn’t shown much of the potential to be able to do so. Nothing more than a Kevin Kolb clone.

          • D3FB

            People saying “who?” clearly don’t follow the draft or college football.

          • RC5000

            Yeah, that was a sweeping generalization. I had known who Foles was for years. You can’t compare him to great ones and you can’t compare him to the rookies either or Kolb who got knocked out of the lineup and who has been derailed by injuries.

          • D3FB

            Exactly I’m pulling hair out over people who are quick to dismiss Foles for his flaws yet all the QBs they seem to think would be upgrades (Manuel, Nassib, Wilson, etc) all have at least as many holes in their games, yet do not have the inherent advantage of 7 starts against NFL defenses under their belts.

          • Ark87

            He said he earned a shot in training camp not earned a spot in the HoF. Kevin Kolb clone? Seriously?

          • livingonapear

            Whoah, dude, easy does it. I said he earned a shot in training camp. Never said he was going to take us to the next level. As far as potential goes, you can look at any rookie QB and see what you want to see. I see progress over 6 games, you see a scrub. I’m very interested to know what Chip Kelly sees, and I guess that’s really all that matters in the end.

        • aub32

          I agree he deserves a shot, but my comment was in response to another fan once again trying to make it seem like Foles deserves to mentioned in the same category as Luck, let alone the other first year starters in this league.

          I think saying Foles looked like a very good rookie QB is also a big stretch. If he was very good, what does that make RG3, Luck or Wilson? What about Tannehill who looked much better than Foles and won more games with less at his disposal? How would you rank Flacco, Ryan, or Big Ben’s rookie seasons, if you’re calling what Foles did “very good”?

          Foles was only okay in my opinion. He showed some good things, but has a long way to go. That’s not a bad thing. He wasn’t picked to come in and start his second year. There were obvious holes in his game, which contributed to him being a third round pick,

          I just get tired of the hyperbole surrounding Foles. The truth is he was better than expected, and many fans got caught up hoping we found the next Brady. However, if you take a realistic look at him. He didn’t do anything spectacular, and he is currently lacking the ability to make every throw, which is pretty bad for a pocket passer.

          • livingonapear

            I think that both Luck and RG3 looked dominant. You can certainly argue that “very good” is an inflated term, but the others that you mentioned such as Big Ben and Ryan all had phenomenal first years.

            As far as Tannenhill goes, I’m not sure that he had it all that much worse than Foles. I honestly don’t know how good these Eagles were/could have been. All the talent that we’re supposed to have, didn’t show up. Was that Foles fault? I mean of course the Eagles look better on paper, but by the end of the season, I didn’t see any of that talent outside of McCoy who was injured for a good portion of Foles’ time. Bryce Brown looked great for a whole two games, but fumbled too much.

          • austinfan

            Tannehill “looked much better than Foles.”
            By what standard?
            3294 58.3% 6.8 YPA 12-13 76.1

            He had Bush, Hartline, Bess and Fasano

            He had a better OL (not great, but better)

            Miami averaged 18 ppg, 310 ypg
            They went 7-9 with the 7th ranked defense, which allowed 19.8 ppg.
            Tannehill had 33 or so pass attempts a game compared to Foles’ 44 attempts.

            Case closed.

      • austinfan

        Here are Foles #s for the 5 starts after the 1st Redskin game, where he was basically thrown to the wolves:

        118 187 1276 63% 6.8 5-2

        A great performance, no.

        A solid performance by a rookie QB with one of the worst offensive lines in the league, DeSean and McCoy MIA, and his RB trying to set a record for fumbles, yes.

        Go look at the QBs drafted in the first 40 picks the last five years and tell me how many looked better, and how many looked worse, in their rookie and even their second seasons. Brady Quinn, anyone?

        Now tell me the odds that any QB in this draft is going to play better in 2013 than Foles. Including Geno. Fact is, half the 1st rd picks are going to end up flops because teams are going to reach for guys who should go in the 2nd or 3rd round based on value.

        • aub32

          Once again you can’t just look at the numbers. Arizona did that and ended up paying a ridiculous amount for Kolb. I am not saying Foles is a bust or will never be any good. I am not even saying he shouldn’t have a shot to win the job in TC if he shows up having fixed some of his issues.

          I am saying fans are being ridiculous to mention him with Luck or say he’s the next big thing just because he didn’t implode on the field. I am also saying that he isn’t even the best QB currently on this team. Lastly, if Foles were to reenter this draft, knowing what we know now, I am not sure he would even be one of the first 3 or 4 QBs taken. Therefore, to say he is guaranteed to be the best option going forward is laughable. I am not saying that you have made that claim, but others have.

          • austinfan

            Of course he’s not Luck, but his circumstances were similar to Luck and he performed at a pretty similar level, not his fault his defense was giving up 30 points a game.

            If Foles were to enter this draft, with that rookie film, he’d easily be one of the top 3-4 QBs in this group, he’s done it against NFL defenses without an OL (that’s where his Arizona experience helped, he was used to running for his life). College QBs like Geo racked up incredible stats against bad defenses, but you have to look at how they perform at the few defenses that can bring pressure and cover their receivers – because they’ll see that every week in the NFL.

            This is why drafting college QBs is such a crap shoot – they rarely are challenged in college, unless they play in the SEC (and not behind the Bama OL!). One reason so many NFL QBs come out of second tier college programs is it’s easier to evaluate a college QB who doesn’t have great talent surrounding him to hide his flaws. See Leinhart.

            And Kolb is actually a pretty good QB when he can stay upright, look at the drastic falloff in Zona this year – they were a playoff team with him, one of the worst teams in the league without him.

          • aub32

            Luck did not have a defense to rely on as well. Philadelphia had the 15th ranked defense. While the Colts had the 26th ranked defense. I swear the excuses for Foles never stop.

            Foles looked okay going up against some of the worst defenses in the NFL. I agree that the prospects coming out of this year’s draft are virtually unknowns. This is precisely why QBs like Geno Smith and Tyler Wilson would go above Foles. Their upside is unknown. Foles dealt with circumstances that weren’t ideal and failed to rise to the challenge. He only won one game against the worst secondary in the league. Also, when given the opportunity to win another game late, he came up short. Tannehill, Luck, and RG3 were all on teams that did not have ideal conditions for rookie QBs. They proved beyond a doubt that they should be the QB going forward. Teams would search for that guy in the draft with that kind of upside. In that regard Foles is just as unknown, with out some of the measurables they possess.

          • austinfan

            The Eagle defense collapsed after the bye, 30 ppg is pretty horrible. Colts defense gave up 24 ppg. And Luck was the starter from mini-camp on, not thrown in as a starter. He had a better OL than Foles (see FO, both adjusted line yards and sacks per attempt for the season, by the times Foles was starting, the Eagle line was decimated), better skill players (Wayne, Hilton, Avery, Allen and Fleener – DeSean, McCoy were MIA, Celek was injured some games).

            What were the great defenses that Luck beat?

            Chi, Mia, NE.
            He played Houston twice at the end of the year, during their defensive collapse, and struggled.

            He also played a bunch of bottom ten defenses:
            Tenn (2), Jax (2), Buf, Det, KC

            Despite that, Colts only scored 24 or more points 5 of 16 games. In fact, Colts with Luck at QB averaged about a point per game more than the Eagles with Foles at QB.

            Not saying Foles is as good as Luck, just saying he performed nearly as well under similar circumstances. Luck won because his defense played better and his TEs caught balls in the end zone. He had a couple good drives to finish games, and showed flashes of greatness – but if Luck struggled under those circumstances, how can you expect Foles to look brilliant?

          • Ark87

            Besides making the usual rookie mistakes, throwing across the body, easing up on ball velocity at times (things you can get away with in college a lot of the times) the issue that glares is the deep ball accuracy, particularly the bomb.

            My other major concern is no fault Nick’s but it must be said. Inconsistent coaching can really have a negative effect on a QB. I believe the loss of the HC, OC, and QBC will stunt Nicks growth by a lot.

            The good news is he’s a big, durable (or tough atleast), smart, and mature. He has a lot of things going for him. I think we stick with him, and hope for a better QB class in 2014 if it doesn’t work out. Of course I wouldn’t mind getting rid of Vick and Edwards in favor of grabbing a developmental in the draft and grabbing Alex Smith as competition for Foles (Smith has proven to be effective in a run first offense).

          • D3FB

            We get it you like Vick. I disagree strongly. Assuming Vick gets cut, who do you want?

          • aub32

            It depends who falls to the third round. I would really like to move back in the first, grab Eric Fisher, and pick up and extra second or third. I would hope they grab a safety in the second and a OLB or NT with extra pick we get from trading down.

            As you can see I am more concerned with patching up holes other than QB considering this year’s crop of QBs. From what I’ve seen and read the QBs are pretty much all equal outside of Smith and WIlson. I wouldn’t want to see the #4 go for either, and I don’t think they will be around later the way teams reach for QBs. Manuel intrigues me, but I can’t say I know much about him so I won’t advocate for him.

            I know it’s a lengthy answer, but perhaps now you see why I am pro Vick. I think he’s the best option for 2013 that allows us to get the most out of this year’s draft. Next year will yield a much better crop of QBs, and I would rather be patient.

            Who would you suggest if Vick were to get cut?

          • holeplug

            Use free agency to patch roster holes. The draft should be about finding value/talent in taking the best players on your board. Otherwise you end up reaching for players to fill holes and select Danny Watkins and Jaiquawn Jarrett to fill a need on your roster.

          • aub32

            I am suggesting we build through the draft and not reach for a QB. The draft is where need meets value. If our 2nd pick comes up and the highest rated player is a RB, we are not going to take him. There has to be some consideration toward need when drafting players. I said Fisher in the first because I see him as someone that can be a good to great starter for the next decade barring injury. I suggested a safety in the 2nd because there are players worthy of that pick, and we need one. Now if Jarvis Jones or Star fall to the bottom of the first round and we can move up to get them, you will hear no complaints from me. However, there aren’t many blue chippers in this draft, and I would be lying if I said I knew exactly which safety, NT, OLB would be available at that time.

          • D3FB

            Haha I think every GM would agree with you that knowing how the rest of the draft will play out would be nice when drafting high. I agree with you as far as your approach to the draft, although I’m not sure we will be able to move back, but that remains to be seen, too early to try and read the tea leaves as far as who wants to move up.

            I also agree that the team maximizes its resources by not drafting a QB high. I think our major disagreement is I believe that Foles showed some nice things in regards to some of his throws especially underneath, his composure, his ability to handle a situation that was certainly awkward as far as taking over for a player so well liked as Vick, his ability to move around in the pocket was a huge plus for me, I think he excels at that. That being said, he did struggle quite a bit, he certainly needs to improve his deep ball accuracy and stop locking onto receivers. Personally I think he projects out as a middle of the pack QB, a guy who can in the short term win a few games for your team. I think his absolute ceiling would be Rothelisberger, and that would be the absolute perfect storm of progression from him in regards to mastery of the playbook and improving his deep ball, and has a .0005% chance of happening.

          • aub32

            I think we see pretty much eye to eye then. I agree with most of what you say about Foles, and don’t believe he will never be a starting QB in the NFL. I just saw some things that I don’t think can easily be fixed over the course of one offseason as many fans would suggest. I am also a huge DJax fan, and I believe his talents would be wasted with Foles.

            I have not gone into a season believing we did not have a shot in over a decade, with the exception of 2010, but then Vick took over in game one to dispel that feeling. Call me spoiled, but I don’t want to spend a season hoping to just barely make the playoffs and get knocked out early. That’s why I would prefer to keep Vick at the right price and upgrade the team around him.

        • Mac

          There’s actually a really good website that breaks down Fole’s numbers… Eagles Rewind

          http://eaglesrewind.com/2013/01/15/more-on-foles/

          http://eaglesrewind.com/2013/01/14/guess-who/

    • http://twitter.com/MFlicker Mike Flick

      Geno is the only QB who will be a 1st round pick? You willing to bet on that?

      • D3FB

        He’s the only one who from a talent perspective deserves to be. Due to overdrafting QBs he most likely won’t be the only one taken, and even then I’m not a Geno fan, I think he would have have graded out between Tannehill and Weeden in last years draft.

        • austinfan

          Pretty much, except Tannehill should have gone where Weeden went, and Weeden should have been a mid-2nd rd pick.

          Teams panic drafting QBs, which is why there are so many bad 1st rd picks yet guys like Rodgers, Brees, Dalton, Kaepernick and Dalton are available late 1st to 2nd rd.

          Looking at this year’s group, I don’t see a great divide after Smith, who I rate as a later first rd pick, the guys who fall to the 3rd or 4th rd may end up better than the few who get reached for in the 1st rd.

        • http://twitter.com/MFlicker Mike Flick

          At this point in the draft last year no one knew of Tannehil or Weeden. They were both thought of later round picks. Russel Wilson was thought of a late round pick.

          But those guys were all drafted in the 1st, (except Russell who should have been)

          I would be surprised if there weren’t 4 QBs taken in the 1st this year. Especially considering the success they have had over the past couple years.

          • D3FB

            Please define no one.

    • Ark87

      Very nice post. Howie has a plenty to prove as a GM, but he has some proven strengths that should not be overlooked.

      Totally agree with the QB assessment. We need to grab a developemental, if Foles flames out in horrible fashion, then we should have a nice draft pick next year, maybe some QB will reveal itself for the 2014 draft. Personally, I’m rooting for Foles, good kid, and we have a lot of needs that we could channel the massive resources it would require to get a franchise QB into.

    • ian_no_2

      Belichick has three rings and Jerry Reese two primarily because of their player evaluation. GM is a personnel position, not an administrative position.

      • laeagle

        So they did this without any help from their scouting departments? They just went into their genius caves and came out with a list of draft picks?

        The point austinfan is making, I believe, is that good GMs are not the ones sitting their and making unilateral decisions about who is good and who isn’t. They’re good because they have good scouts working for them, and they run good scouting departments. And because they have good relationships with the rest of the team (coaches) and involve them in the decision making. That’s not to say they don’t have input in the players themselves, but if they can’t delegate to scouts and help work with the scouts to parse through what the scouts are reporting, they won’t get very far.

        Plus, Lurie mentioned that based on reviewing results over the past few years, Howie’s calls with regard to personnel were consistently more accurate than those of other “voices” within the organization. Take that with a grain of salt, of course, but it’s worth considering.

        The notion that someone like Howie can’t succeed as an NFL GM because of his background is as ludicrous as saying that no one can be a successful coach in the NFL without having played in it. I don’t know what people exactly mean by a “football guy”, but in my book, working at a high level in a major NFL operation for a number of years tends to make you more of a football guy than someone sitting around posting on message boards.

        • ian_no_2

          OK, you know I didn’t say anything about Howie or that they should scour the message boards for a replacement. But since you brought it up, I said on record here that they should have picked Bobby Wagner instead of Kendricks, that Russell Wilson would be a good starting QB, that I wanted TY Hilton in the 3rd round, that they should have drafted Vontaze Burfict in the late rounds, they should draft Earl Thomas instead of Graham, was against Watkins, said immediately that Jarrett was a terrible pick and preferred S Quenton Carter in the 3rd round, just off the top of my head, without team scouting reports. When they lose 12 games I can turn off the TV and not take responsibility.

          • laeagle

            And I’m sure those are the only calls you made, and that there were absolutely not ever any players you wished we picked up, or were glad that we did, that didn’t work out. It’s fun to cherry pick.

          • ian_no_2

            can’t think of too many since you bring it up. It averages out – everyone makes bad picks. If you don’t make enough good picks you lose 12 games in your third year.

          • laeagle

            So then our record was directly and 100% attributable to Howie, is what you’re saying? I don’t think that’s even remotely fair or accurate. Not by a long shot.

          • ian_no_2

            Reid had final say. Roseman, I notice, does triumphant interviews when they win in pre-season, but when they lose 12 games move on, nothing to see here.

          • laeagle

            Sorry man. I can’t agree that it’s a problem when Howie smiles when signing big name free agents. If they don’t work out, that’s a damn shame, but you show me one person who thought that signing Nnamdi out of the blue wasn’t a great GM move. Same with Cullen Jenkins. Hindsight is 20/20.

            I’m just tired of the endless waves of negativity from Philly fans. It’s exhausting. The Reid era is over. Try and lighten the F up. Life is a lot easier if you stop crapping all over everything. Maybe Howie isn’t going to work out. He’s given enough reason to have hope that he will, so why would you not look at the good things he’s done, and only dwell on the negative?

            Regardless of what fans think or want, Howie’s the GM until he’s not. Whining about it and acting like everything he does is tainted and evil achieves nothing and goes nowhere. Open a window or something, please. The stench of negative rot must be overpowering.

          • ian_no_2

            My own opinion is that when discussing football on boards, you should respond to what people actually say and not put words in their mouth, which indicates that you can’t rebut what they actually say. It also more polite.

          • laeagle

            No, I’m pretty sure I have a pretty accurate measure of what you were saying, and responded appropriately. But thank you for the advice.

          • aub32

            To be fair, we have no idea how well Kendricks would have performed in that defense. Wagner had some major help and better coaching. The Eagles admitted to liking Wilson and probably would have taken him in the third. Howie probably just misjudged by a few picks. I get TY Hilton, but we didn’t need a WR their as much as a QB to groom, and I am not complaining with picking up Boykin (whom many had a 2nd round grade) in the 4th. Also, Kelly was a good pick up in the 5th, not to mention he came in handy. You can’t blame them for not taking Burfict. There’s no telling how he would have responded with all the dysfunction going on in the locker room. Also, I wasn’t thrilled about the Watkins or Jarrett picks, but they were need picks in an offseason in which we didn’t even know if free agency would take place. Lastly, Graham may still pan out to be the better long run pick. It’s easy to look back now, but given the circumstances at the time I can see why these picks were made.

    • ceteris_paribus1776

      I’m genuinely courious about two things from this post. How do you know what Lurie pays scouts, and how do you know it’s “top dollar” compared to the rest of the league? Furthermore, what criteria are you using to arrive at the conclusion that this is a top scouting department? This team has failed to secure a sufficient amount to impact players through the draft to keep them in serious contention over the past 6 or 7 years.

      Also, Roseman, from everything you read, is doing and has done quite a lot of film study and evaluation for a GM. I’d say he’s trying his best to be “a football guy” as best he can without any playing experience. I think he realizes that just being good on the phone and at the negotiation table doesn’t cut it in the NFL. This notion that he will be fine without much NFL experience on the personnel side he is himself rebutting through his own actions. My main question isn’t can he be good on the personnel side, but can he be good given that everything he’s learned he’s been taught in house. I’d like to know how his perspective is any different from others in the organization given that he had zero football knowledge upon his hiring.

      • austinfan

        Eagles have had one the largest staffs in the league, and have had a lot of “senior” guys, that’s expensive. And some of the personnel guys have commented on his willingness to give them resources.

        My point is the “football guy” stuff is grossly overrated, Ron Wolf started as an intern out of college with Al Davis, Howie started in a similar role. What the heck is “football knowledge” – playing HS or college football? How many pro players turn out to be good scouts or GMs (Matt Millen?). How did Chip learn to coach at NH? Howie was here through Modrak, Heckert, Licht, Grigson – they didn’t bring different perspectives? In the end, either you can do it or you can’t – lot’s of experienced football guys who such at it.

        Scouting isn’t rocket science, some is instinct, some is just a lot of work – but also a lot of research – self scouting is probably a key skill that most scouts lack – that is, going back and figuring out why you were wrong, identifying your biases, and the mistakes that others make. There’s a lot of psychological literature on “framing” and other biases that lead to mistaken judgment, more experience can be counter productive if you don’t account for these issues. Plus, there’s a “herding” problem among football guys, “this is what always worked for us”, that takes pride in ignoring statistical analysis. Gil Brandt had a great career ignoring the conventional wisdom.

        The best evidence for Howie is Lurie, Lurie has no emotional attachment to Howie (probably didn’t even know who he was until about 5 years ago). Lurie by his account did a thorough review of the last three years and found that Howie had better judgment than anyone else in the war room.

        It’s not like Howie’s alone out there, Eagles also have Rick Mueller, who did an underrated job in NO as VP of personnel (compare his drafts to the ones after he was fired). Louis Riddick, director of pro personnel, is a former player with 7 years of experience with the Redskins, does that count as a “football guy.” Oh yeah, they hired Tom Donohue, director of football operations” (GM) for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1991-1999, to be the senior football advisor (that’s what I mean by spending, Lurie is paying just to add a “football guy” to give Howie advice).

        • ceteris_paribus1776

          Football knowledge is knowing how to watch coaches film and spot who’s supposed to be doing what based on the alignments, seeing the play unfold and spot who did and did not fulfill their assignments Further, you should be able to spot the technical shortcomings and strengths of players and who they fit within the framework of what your team does. How much face time did Roseman get with those guys as a contract specialist and being on the administrative side in the film room as a 20 something year old kid? I’d venture a bet that Howie’s transition to becoming more of an expert on watching and evaluating the football side of the operation took place withing the past 4 years when he became the vice president of player personnel, all under Heckert and Reid’s vision.

          I’m sorry, but if scouting were so easy there wouldn’t be such a large number of players who don’t pan out. It may not be the hardest thing in the world, but the percentage of players who don’t turn out is far too high to assume that if scouts only looked inward they would find better answers. It’s much more difficult to take a raw scouting report and translate that into what works within the framework of a particular teams’ schemes and needs. Sure, anyone can watch film and see if a guy has good technique, is athletic, and produces on the field. Clearly that doesn’t always translate to equivalent production in the NFL.

          I think teams pay far more attention to statistical analysis than you think. I happen to know an analyst who worked for the Eagles, and I took part in a pretty cool Q&A session with Seahawks GM John Schneider two years ago. As a PhD in economics, I’m keenly interested in what sort of statistical analysis NFL teams utilize. Most teams have an entire department and staff solely dedicated to watching, charting and analyzing play-by-play data.

          Anyway, I’m getting sidetracked. My point is that at some point all GM’s have to become more knowledgeable about the football side of the operation. Howie has been doing that for the past 4 or 5 years as far as I can tell. The question isn’t whether or not you need football knowledge (I think it’s pretty clear you do), but how much and does Howie have enough? I don’t think anyone knows the answer to that but we will soon find out…

  • Steven Dileo

    How does Rob Ryan keep getting hired? I don’t get it. No one signed Marcus because his father was Michael Jordan.

  • Steven Dileo

    Anyone know of any interviews or books by recently retired NFL scouts who give inside information about players they studied and stuff that has happened on draft night?

  • shah8

    I remember being impressed by Tyler Wilson in his relief of Ryan Mallet. Wilson was clearly better than Mallet (who definitely was being carried by superior WR talent). I have not seen anything of him recently. However, from my vague recollection and reading other people’s analysis, I doubt Wilson is much of a material prospect, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he wound up in the second round. Not saying he’s a lock or even likely to go, but what I am saying is that he’s pretty dang pedestrian as far as prospects went. NFL grade arm? Yeah, sorta, strong enough for basic stuff, but the ball doesn’t leap out of the hand. Bit of a gamer too. However, he doesn’t really show up on college football shows with wow moments, and there aren’t many big victories. I.E., if he was any good, I’d have heard of him and make more of an attempt to see something, given that I don’t watch much college football. I only caught that one game because I expected to see Mallet. I think this is pretty much the standard silly story about the guy who’s not going to be the number one pick competing for it. Like Gabbert, Clausen, etc.

    • shah8

      I had more hopes for EJ Manuel, but it doesn’t look like he’s showing anything more than what he always had.

  • Eric Weaver

    I agree with you tommy on the star and Foles versus Dixon and Wilson.

    I was talking to my chiefs friend that is sort of set on geno and I said if Reid isn’t entirely sold on him then getting someone like Alex smith and joeckel instead of just geno, then that’s the better option.

  • ian_no_2

    There’s four solid QBs in this draft. I am in the pro-Barkley column and think he is one of the guys you would consider at 4. Geno S I wouldn’t take at 4 or trade up the 2nd rounder for. It’s possible that Ryan Nassib will be as good as Geno, and he could be on the board in the 2nd round, in which case he could very well be a good fit for Kelly. Wilson I think has a chance to play at an Andy Dalton level, maybe worth the 2nd round pick if the other three aren’t on the board.

    If they switch to a 3-4, it’s a deep draft for nose tackles around the time of the 2nd round pick. There may be someone good on the board in the 3rd round but that’d be another good use for the 2nd rounder. Or they can pick Spags and not have to worry about NT (ok by me).

    • ian_no_2

      oh just read your Mobile critique of Nassib, Tommy.. well, I’ll have to think that over then..

  • http://twitter.com/PhiIs_Goodman Phils Goodman

    I don’t understand how Geno Smith isn’t the consensus #1 QB prospect in the draft. Geno is a great pocket passer with nice mobility. Spread offenses are now the norm outside of the SEC and Geno made dozens of NFL throws week after week.

    • RC5000

      Some questions about his reading ability and processing. His mobllity is okay but not special. He struggled at times especially against good defenses, looked awful against Syracuse in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl though the conditions were bad. His decision making under pressure is a minor question. I say minor because he’s good when there isn’t pressure.
      He looked great early in year, struggled, bounced back some. I think most think he’s the top QB however Tyler Wilson is also talented pocket passer in a Pro style offense and it’s not like Geno is Kaepernick/RG3 or Newton running the ball.

      • http://twitter.com/PhiIs_Goodman Phils Goodman

        He passed for over 400 yards against an all-time great LSU defense and secondary. I never said he had “special” mobility, but he has plus mobility for a pocket passer. It seems like some people want to discount his mobility entirely. He’s not a statue.

        Every QB in this draft has had their share of struggles, but Geno shows the most consistent NFL talents.

        youtube.com/watch?v=qvrXu9Fsvpk

        • RC5000

          didn’t say you did. His mobility and running may be similar to Ponder. Their running numbers in college were similar. Speed is somewhat similar though we’ll get a better idea with Geno’s workouts. His estimates are in Ponder’s range.
          I do think he is #1 qb and so do others although it’s close. You seemed to think he wasn’t concensus, I was offering the possible reasons because you were confused. As you said all the QBs had some struggles.

  • A_T_G

    I am really hoping we don’t use the first rounder on a QB. None of these guys are in the same class as last year’s talent. Getting the best player in a weak class doesn’t mean much; we still have to face the superior talent from past years.

    I think taking a QB at 4 would be the ultimate expression of drafting for need, and we have seen where that gets you.

    • holeplug

      If their scouts think a franchise QB is there at #4 then they should draft him.

  • http://twitter.com/MFlicker Mike Flick

    The more I look at it, the more I want to get one of the top OTs.

    If we can get Joeckel or Fisher, have a healthy Peters, Herremans and Kelce. This could be a really good offensive line.

    We could address the QB position in the 2nd round or more back into the late 1st. But a good tackle can make a world of difference.

    • ian_no_2

      I’d rather have Chance Warmack than Fisher, even tho Warmack isn’t a tackle, with Herremans staying at OT. If Peters doesn’t come back to health, they still need an interior lineman.

      • Mac

        I’d have to trade back to take either player… but if I had to, I’d take the OT because I don’t have confidence in Herremans playing whole games at RT. I think he can pinch hit, but seeing him wear down in the 4th qtr in a couple games this year had me worried.

        • ian_no_2

          Mocks have Warmack in the top five and he may not be on the board at 4, depending on what the GMs think. I believe in best player available so long as he’s not blocked by a star player. If Herremans and Peters aren’t good to go there’s other rounds, pro talent, and possibly Dennis Kelly.

          • ian_no_2

            Do you look at past drafts and say “they should have drafted for position” or do you say “wow, they could have gotten that Pro Bowler but they didn’t.” The trouble is you never know who the Pro Bowler will be.

          • D3FB

            The fact remains that the value of a guard no matter how good is not commensurate to the value of pick number four.

          • laeagle

            One thing to consider is how the rookie wage cap affects that. How much was that perception in the past fueled by the crazy salaries you’d have to pay in the top 20? With more reasonable rates, does a guard become a viable option then at #4? If he’s a sure thing and other players at more important positions have question marks, I don’t think you can discount the position so much (except maybe kickers). And all indications are that Warmack is a sure thing. Just food for thought.

          • Mac

            Blue Chip players as some call them are hard to come by… especially in this draft. But honestly, don’t you think we could “get by” with a mid round target at Guard?

            I’m not sure how important OG is to Chip’s run game though. Maybe he wants an elite OG to play with… if that’s the case then why not? But conventional wisdom says you build an O-line starting at the LT and try to bookend with another good OT. Further the hope is that if you grade out an OT who isn’t quite good enough at OT to start that perhaps you can slide him inside, use him in a jumbo formation or at least solidify your OT depth.

            I’d feel better about Warmack if he were a C, but as a big Kelce fan… well… I hope we don’t need a new center.

          • ian_no_2

            Maybe we should tell NFL.com, who gives Warmack the top grade of all the players in the draft, that we have a bunch of guys who don’t think OG is valuable and they should correct their rankings. Maybe you can explain to Mel Kiper that he shouldn’t have him at #5 on his rankings, or Rob Rang that he shouldn’t have him at #6. Warmack is one of the best OGs to come out of the draft in a while based on what’s known beforehand.

          • Mac

            I’m not trying to be rude, but people were talking about DeCastro as a top 10 talent last year and he went #24. I also seem to recall golf claps all around when the Eagles selected Danny Watkins #23…ugh… and only 4 Gs picked in 2011 in the top 100 picks. It’s just not a highly valued position. You just can’t put a high value at every position on your team the NFL is a game of limited resources.

          • D3FB

            Exactly and I’m personally of the opinion that DeCastro was a better prospect than Warmack.

          • holeplug

            Warmack isn’t going in the top 3. He is a guard and they just aren’t as valuable as other positions to warrant taking one that high.

          • ian_no_2

            Check the major media draft websites and see if they agree with you. Andy’s in KC so we’re allowed to take LBs and interior linebackers.

            By calling yourself ‘holeplug’ I don’t think you are objective on the best player/ holeplug question ;)

          • ian_no_2

            interior linemen I meant

          • A_T_G

            See, and I would have thought holeplug would be in favor of a guard.

            I think the two of you are looking at bpa differently. The best player could be defined as the guy who does his thing better than every other guy does their thing, but it could also factor in how important those things are.

          • holeplug

            Right you must weight your board by positions otherwise you end up like Gene Smith and take a punter in the 3rd round.

          • holeplug

            A guard hasn’t been taken even in the top 10 since 1997. Tackles are just so much more important to building a line.

          • Iskar36

            http://www.draftace.com/mockdraftdatabase/.

            They have 23 drafts represented on that database. Of those 23, 20 of them have Joeckel going in the top 5 picks (7 have him going 1st overall, 1 3rd overal, and 12 going to the Eagles at 4). On the other hand, only one of them has Warmack being drafted in the top 5, and in that same draft, Joeckel was picked at 4. So I am not sure where you are getting your “major media draft website” information, but nothing I have seen suggests he will get drafted top 3.

            Now if you are talking about prospect rankings, yes, he is rated highly, but he is still a guard, therefor has much less impact than an OT would. On top of that, the majority of rankings I have looked at have Joeckel rated more highly than Warmack anyway. Finally, even if you just look at the NFL as a whole and look at the difference in salaries for guards vs. tackles, you will see that the NFL as a whole (and not just AR) value OTs way more.

            There really is no good debate of drafting a guard over a tackle when they are comparable in talent that early in the draft.

          • ian_no_2

            From what I’ve read, I’d pick Joeckel over Warmack. The question before was whether to pick Warmack or Fisher if Joeckel is off the board.

          • aub32

            I’d take Fisher. This way Herremans moves to guard, and Watkins and Kelly serve as backups. In a few years, Fisher moves to LT and Kelly takes over at RT, in a perfect world.

  • Craig

    I dont think Foles is a for sure, but look at his performances with the revamped Oline and compare it to Vick who was auditioning in that last week. Vick couldnt do anything behind them. Do you think that was more the defense, Vicks ineffectiveness, Foles effectiveness or line more geared up to play more with Foles. I know the receivers felt Foles put the ball in better places for YAC than Vick did.

  • MikeK

    I think taking a QB early would be a serious mistake with the OL talent in the top 10. I don’t mind taking a QB in the 2nd like Nassib or Barkley (based on Junior tape), but I think you need to nail this 4th overall pick and as much as I like Wilson, I’m not anywhere near close to being all in on him or trusting him. Also I think if you draft a 1st round QB, you are basically saying Foles is a back up without giving him a chance to compete.

  • Rage114

    Tommy,

    Last year, two once-in-a-lifetime QB’s were drafted in Luck and RGIII. So comparing most other QB’s to either of these guys seems unrealistic.

    So taking these two guys out of the comparison, how does Geno Smith and the rest of the QB class compare to the other QB’s of the last two years?

    For instance, Ryan Tannehill was drafted #8 overall in 2012, Locker was drafted #8 overall in 2011 and Christian “I-can’t-throw-the-ball-more-than-15-yards-downfield” Ponder was taken #12 overall in the 2011.

    Is this class on par with these players? If so, I certainly hope they don’t use the #4 pick on a QB.

  • wee2424

    I was just watching some video on Manual from Florida State. Have to say i like
    what i see. He has good pocket awareness, strong arm, very mobile QB and decisive with his actions. When he runs his vision is looking down field to still try and find that open receiver. I am not a scout or anything close to a scout obviously but he does seem to have good technique. His accuracy isn’t great but it is not poor. He doesn’t seem to force the ball down field and has no problem going to his checkdown receiver.

    The only thing that I was able to see that i don’t like is the typical rookie mistake. He tends to stare down his initial receiver and if that receiver is not open it seems like he automatically goes to his safety valve, typically his RB instead of going through all of his progressions.

    I am not sure of where he would go in the draft but I would be happy if the Birds got him. It seems like he would be a good fit to what Chip likes to run. I heard a report that he could go early in the first(doubt it), or middle rounds like 3 or 4. I think getting him in the 3rd would be a steal.

  • ICDogg

    Love the safety Matt Elam. Looks like Dawk Jr.

  • ceteris_paribus1776

    I don’t know if this is been brought up yet but with the Saints firing of Steve and the report of wanting to switch to 3-4 and no interest yet of any of the available candidates it appears they are also after Ed Donatell. You have to think the option of playing with a proven winning combination of Payton/Brees is much more enticing than new-comer Kelly and Foles/?. Just something to pay attention to

    • Mac

      Makes sense… but the DC has to factor the talent on his side of the ball though too right? That’s why I thought Spags was insane for taking that job last year.

      • ceteris_paribus1776

        Absolutely. I didn’t mean to imply that would be the only decision though I can see how it reads that way. I think the differences on D are marginal enough that playing with a high scoring offense would be icing on the cake. Makes it easier to always play with the lead, or the threat of tons of points being scored in every game.

  • http://twitter.com/SeedSeries J. Brian Anderson

    Tommy – I gotta say I was expecting a lot more posts by you after senior bowl. Content feels light these days. I know Chip Kelly is kind slow news these days but darn…. //Always a loyal reader!

    • phillychuck

      Honestly, the guy writes essentially non-stop and people complain? I don’t get it.

      • http://twitter.com/SeedSeries J. Brian Anderson

        Don’t confuse expressing disappointment with frequency and praise for the quality of GE99’s/TL product with complaining Chuck. It’s his business and we are his loyal customers, feedback is essential to getting to know his readers. But if you want to express your dissatisfaction about someone else’s discontent what the hell, why not. BTW TL if you ever want positive/negative honest feedback – I’m here for you. I read 3x a day.

        • phillychuck

          Hey, JBA, it’s nice to know that someone will tell you the truth, no matter how bluntly disheartening it might be! ;)

          My comment wasn’t meant to be that serious. I just love that there is actually a site on the internet with intelligent Eagles’ talk and that the site’s primary author is so prolific.

          • http://twitter.com/SeedSeries J. Brian Anderson

            Hey I totally appreciate the discourse on this site and even if you meant it critically (I can take it)! I can’t help but totally agree with you about intelligent Eagles fans having great conversation. Dare I say this is the ONLY place other than EMB where it happens and I left the EMBs 5 years ago because the vast majority of ‘em were either 1) Spadaroites, 2) Negadelphians, or 3) Blow Hards. I’m just happy guys like you, TL and the crew are here to add to the thought process. Big fan all way around +1 x 10.