Day 1 from the Combine is in the books. I think the Eagles should be happy. Chip Kelly likes athletic OL. We saw plenty of them today. That means the Eagles don’t have to spend pick #4 to find help for the guys up front. There will be options in the 2nd and even 3rd rounds.
I think the #4 pick could also be more valuable now. We knew that Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher were going to be Top 10 picks. Lane Johnson from Oklahoma had a great showing and now could be a Top 15 pick. He could even be Top 10 material. If you’re the Cardinals and Joeckel and Fisher are gone…do you take Johnson at #7?
This is worth discussing because some teams are semi-desperate for OT help. The Chiefs will need a LT if they let Brandon Albert go. The Cardinals, Chargers, Rams, and Bears need serious LT help. The Raiders could use a RT, or a LT so they could slide Veldheer to RT. The Lions could potentially use a LT.
Daniel Jeremiah, former Eagles scout turned NFL writer/analyst, swears no team will trade up. I get his logic (there’s no player worth moving up for and lots of talent in other rounds), but you just wonder if one of the teams desperate for a LT will decide to make a move. I won’t speculate on every possible scenario. You just wonder if someone will decide the risk is worth it. The Chargers sure do make a lot of sense. They’ve got a star QB in Philip Rivers, but his performance has dipped in the last 2 years due to poor protection. Best way to help him…get him a stud LT.
As to the Eagles, the presence of Peters allows them to gamble on a player from the other rounds. Terron Armstead might have run his way from the 3rd round into the 2nd. Kyle Long had a terrific workout and could be 2nd round material. Mike Mayock speculated on him being a 1st rounder. Justin Pugh still has the short arms, but looked excellent in the OL drills today. He’s probably a 3rd rounder. Reid Fragel could be 2nd round material. Dallas Thomas didn’t work out today, but has LT potential. Brennan Williams is very under the radar at this point, but a player the Eagles could like.
Reuben Frank reported that the Eagles met with Pugh at the Combine. Twice. That could just mean he had a casual conversation with a scout before/after having the full meeting with the team. Teams don’t have multiple interview sessions with prospects in Indy. Too many players to talk to. No matter what, it is interesting that the Eagles talked to Pugh. He could play LT, RG, or RT. His arm length is a legit concern, but he has good feet and is a tough run blocker.
Long is a player that continues to grow on me. He has good size. He’s athletic. He looks mean and (more importantly) plays mean. He’s physical and tough. LT might be a stretch for him, but he could be a very good OG or possible RT.
Lots of possibilities.
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Mike Garafolo of USA Today reported that the Eagles and Chiefs have had trade talks involving Nick Foles. The Eagles publicly continue to say all the right things. I get the sense that the Eagles intention is only to deal Foles for the right price. I don’t think a 3rd round pick is enough to pry him away, but this is purely a guess on my part.
If you trade Nick, you almost have to turn around and spend a pick on a QB. You want a young QB on the roster. You aren’t looking to dump Foles. The goal is to get enough in return that dealing him is worth it. Chip Kelly likes Foles, but doesn’t love him. You must get enough back so that you can add a QB this year and make the deal worth your while.
Would KC give up their 2nd rounder? Would they trade their 3rd and 4th? Maybe the Chiefs give in and pay the price. Maybe the Eagles give in and take less. We’ll see.
Getting Foles would be huge for KC. That would give them a QB. They could spend pick #1 on Joeckel and have a good OL in place. They’d then concentrate on re-signing Dwayne Bowe. That would be a nice offseason for a team that was dreadful on offense last year.
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Eagles scout Brett Veach was down on the field watching the TEs work out. Brent Celek will be the starter in 2013, but behind him the Eagles could use some help. I’m not ready to give up on Clay Harbor yet. The Eagles also have Evan Moore and Derek Carrier coming back. Moore is the NFL vagabond who has yet to pan out anywhere, but has enough talent to keep teams interested. Carrier is an undersized athlete that was on the practice squad last year.
The Eagles could go for a TE early, late, or as a UDFA. This isn’t a need area, but is a spot where an upgrade would be nice. The problem is that we’re not sure exactly what Chip Kelly is looking for.
I didn’t think any of the TE prospects had a great day. Several were very good, but they were expected to be that way.
The one guy who posted great numbers was Chris Gragg. And if Kelly wants a smaller guy that can run/jump, Gragg is the guy. He’s 6-3, 244. Ran 4.50 and had a 37.5 vertical jump. I thought he was solid in the on-field drills, but not great. Gragg definitely opened some eyes.
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Lots of great discussion in the previous post about what the Eagles should do in the draft. One of the key points is about value at #4. Greg Cosell made a great point today on NFL.com. Each draft is a separate entity. You can’t fixate on the #4 player this year vs last year or the year before that. There might not be the same kinds of choices.
In a normal year, the Eagles would not be talking about some of these guys at #4. Unfortunately, 2013 isn’t a normal year.
Trust your draft board.
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One guy we’ve discussed is Dion Jordan. He measured in today at 6-6, 248. That’s good for a SAM/OLB. He is going to have surgery to repair a torn labrum and will be out for 3 to 4 months. He’d be full go by Training Camp based on that schedule.
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Jimmy Bama and I recorded some podcasts.
Here is the first 10 mins of a draft discussion (OL). Skype issues.
We didn’t get to some of the questions/topics you guys had the other day. We will over time. If not, blame Jimmy. It’s all his fault.