There has been a lot of talk about the same group of prospects for the Eagles. Let’s talk about someone new…DL Shariff Floyd from Florida. At first I didn’t think too much about him as an Eagles prospect. He is 6-3, 305 and a very disruptive DT. He’s ideal for the 3-tech DT spot. The Eagles already have Fletcher Cox and it seems like he might be headed for that role.
I was watching a couple of Floyd’s games when something hit me. Florida actually used him at RDE on a regular basis, in both 3-4 and 4-3 looks. Floyd actually looked just as comfortable and natural at DE as he did at DT. That made me think that the Eagles could look at him as their 5-tech DE (generally the LDE).
Watch this game vs Texas A&M. Notice that he lines up at NT, 3-tech, 5-tech, and 4-3 DE. One of the most impressive parts of the video is watching him chase Johnny Manziel. There are a few plays where Floyd mirrors him and Manziel isn’t able to take off running as he normally would. This made me flashback to the 2000 playoffs when the Giants used DT Cornelius Griffin to spy Donovan McNabb. It was so discouraging to see a DT handling our stud athletic QB, but that’s just what Griffin did that day.
With Floyd at 5-tech, Cox at 3-tech, and Cole/Graham at Predator, that would be a good trio of athletic pass rushers. The Cards defense has both Darnell Dockett and Calais Campbell. You can’t double both of them. And if one is out of the game for a couple of plays, the defense still has a good interior rusher. Floyd would also be good insurance in case anything happened to Cox.
What about Cedric Thornton? He could be a good fit for the 5-tech spot as well, but Thornton also has value as the top backup for that spot and the 3-tech. We don’t know if Cullen Jenkins will be cut or kept. Ronnie Cameron has some potential as a 3-tech, but is unproven beyond the preseason. If you had 3 pieces in Cox, Floyd, and Thornton, you’d like the situation quite a bit. That would give you flexibility and depth.
Here are some overall highlights of Floyd, although 1/3 of them are from the Texas A&M game. Some are worth a second look anyway.
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A few of you have asked about Johnny Manziel, aka Johnny Football, as an Eagles target in 2014. Some have suggested the Eagles should do whatever it takes to get him since Manziel is the perfect fit for Chip Kelly’s offense.
Whoa. Slow down.
Manziel had an amazing season. He won the Heisman Trophy and beat Alabama. He was special. That makes him a great college football player, but it does not make him a great NFL prospect. Manziel is playing in the system that allowed Case Keenum to set NCAA records. Manziel is much more gifted than Keenum, but that still doesn’t mean he’s going to be a coveted NFL prospect.
We need to see how Manziel does in 2013. Last year he had the best pair of OTs in all of college football. Think about how many draft prospects get criticized for how they handle pressure in the pocket. Manziel had the cleanest pocket in the country. He had good RBs. He had good WRs. Manziel only had to face 3 good defenses…Florida, LSU, and Bama. He went 1-2 in those games and threw 2 TDs and 3 INTs. He lit up the mediocre and bad defenses that he had to face. The 3 good teams were all in the Top 10. No other opponent was in the Top 50.
Let’s see how Manziel plays in 2013 before we anoint him a great prospect that the Eagles must get. Another note…he ran the ball 201 times this year. Chip Kelly prefers his QBs to be about half of that.
As a side note, I still prefer for QBs to stay in school 3 years. That would put Manziel in the 2015 draft. He is eligible next year, but very few RS-Soph QBs actually come out. QB is one position where you need as much experience as possible.