The Jets cut Bart Scott and Calvin Pace today, among others. I’ve already been asked on Twitter whether the Eagles should have any interest in Scott. He is a fiery player and physical LB. It is easy to see how some people would see that as a fit for the Eagles. The problem is that Scott’s slowed down. His tackle total has decreased each of the last 4 years. He’ll turn 33 this summer. He can attack downhill, but just isn’t as fast as he once was.
Assuming the Eagles go to the 4-3 Under scheme, the 2 ILB spots will be filled by Mychal Kendricks and DeMeco Ryans. Kendricks is a natural for the WILB spot. That was Karlos Dansby in Arizona. Ryans can handle the other spot. The Eagles do need some depth here, but not a starter.
Calvin Pace would have been ideal for SAM 5 years ago, but he’s going to turn 33 in the fall. I could see a title team like SF signing him as veteran insurance for a guy like Aldon Smith. Pace makes no sense for the Eagles.
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We talked a lot about how the draft is weak at the top. That doesn’t mean this is a bad draft. The class is fine. There are plenty of good players. I’m actually pretty happy with the depth, especially at certain spots.
What this class lacks are elite players.
2012: Andrew Luck, RG3, Trent Richardson, Matt Kalil, Justin Blackmon, Morris Claiborne
2011: Cam Newton, Von Miller, Marcel Dareus, AJ Green, Patrick Peterson, Julio Jones, Tyron Smith
2010: Sam Bradford, Ndamukong Suh, Gerald McCoy, Eric Berry
2009: Matt Stafford, Aaron Curry
2007: JaMarcus Russell, Calvin Johnson, Adrian Peterson, Joe Thomas, Gaines Adams, LaRon Landry
Not all elite prospects pan out, as you can see. But they are guys who are so talented that they have the potential to become special players in the NFL.
Star Lotulelei is a good DT. You can watch him shed blockers with ease. Put on one of Suh’s college games. I saw him overwhelm a triple team. That is dominance. That is a special prospect.
This year we have good players in the Top 10, but none that seem great. If Joeckel were a bit stronger, he might be very close to Joe Thomas. If Jarvis Jones were more explosive and athletic, he’d be close to Von Miller. And so on.
The key is that not all great NFL players were elite prospects. DeMarcus Ware was in the next category down. I’d say he’s done okay. Patrick Willis was on the fringe. He’s been kinda decent in the NFL. The Eagles can find a very good player at #4 if they stay put. Or they can move back a few spots and still find a very good player. There are no special prospects this year, but there is plenty of talent to be had and the Eagles have plenty of need for young talent.
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Speaking of Star Lotulelei, Sheil Kapadia did an excellent profile piece on him. Definitely check this out for lots of info.
The Eagles would land a good DL if they took him.
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I didn’t really cover Dennis Dixon’s comment that the QB competition is wide open. I’m sure Chip Kelly told him that. I’m sure Chip means it, but Dixon would have to perform at a very high level to win the job. When you’ve been in the league since 2008 and have minimal experience, you’re going to be a long shot. That’s just reality. Still, I think Chip will keep an open mind. I just don’t think Dixon is going to light it up.
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I assume everyone already saw the story about how Jerry Jones talked the Cowboys out of drafting LeSean McCoy in 2009. If not, this is must read material (and short).
The interesting angle is that the story comes from Bryan Broaddus, who personally benefited from non-personnel guys making bad draft decisions. Broaddus is a former NFL scout and the most forgotten personnel guy in Eagles history. After the disaster of the 1997 draft (Jon Harris), Jeff Lurie forced Ray Rhodes to hire someone to run the draft in a structured system. Broaddus worked for Ron Wolf in Green Bay and came over. He put together the Eagles draft board that year. Ray Rhodes was petrified. The board didn’t have a ton of names on it and Ray thought for sure the Eagles would run out of players to pick.
Instead, the system worked brilliantly. The Eagles had good values for players and took them when they should. That 1998 class turned out to be outstanding.
1 – OT Tra Thomas
2 – traded to the Jets for Hugh Douglas
3 – LB Jeremiah Trotter
3 – CB/RS Allen Rossum
4 – DL Brandon Whiting
4 – CB Clarence Love
5 – LB Ike Reese
7 – DT Chris Akins
7 – OG Melvin Thomas
After the 1998 season, Lurie hired Tom Modrak as GM. Broaddus moved on to Jacksonville. I always wonder what would have happened if Broaddus could have stayed on. He wasn’t a brilliant talent evaluator. His specialty was collecting and organizing information and then building a good draft board from it. That’s an underrated skill.