No Perfect Solutions

Posted: February 26th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 82 Comments »

The Combine is officially over.  We have a lot of info on a lot of players.  We’re still filling in the blanks on some, Star Lotulelei for instance, but for the most part we have a good feel for the Top 350 NFL prospects.  So who should the Eagles take at #4?

Go get Dion Jordan.  Oh wait, he’s “only” 248 pounds.  He’s not a polished pass rusher.  Forget him.

Go get Luke Joeckel.  Oh wait, he’s not a great athlete and has been beaten on some inside moves.  Forget him.

Go get Dee Milliner.  Oh wait, he doesn’t have great ball skills.

Go get Eric Fisher.  Oh wait, he played at Central Michigan and didn’t face much NFL level competition in his career.

Go get Star Lotulelei.  Oh wait, he’s got a heart issue and also wasn’t consistently dominant at Utah.

Go get Shariff Floyd. Oh wait, he’s “only” 297 pounds and is very similar to Fletcher Cox in terms of skill set.

I won’t even get into the QBs.

There is no perfect pick.  There is no flawless player that is such a great fit that we absolutely must get him or the draft will feel like a failure.  We can make arguments for and against each player.  I’ve already started doing that and will do even more of it in the next 2 months.

The Eagles need to get a pick that fits what the team wants to do and has the potential to develop into a Pro Bowl player.  If they think any of the guys can be a true difference-maker, go get that guy.

Did the Combine change my views on any of the top players?  No.  Dee Milliner running a 4.37 did catch me off guard, but it doesn’t mean we must take him or that had he run 4.47 I’d be completely against taking him.  He’s a big, physical corner with a lot of talent.  That was true last week and today.  Knowing his speed just bumps him up a notch.

I do think free agency has to play out before we’ll know what’s going to happen in the draft.  That’s one reason I’m so hesitant to say who I think we’ll pick right now.  If we go sign Paul Kruger to play SAM, Dion Jordan becomes irrelevant.  If we sign a 5-tech DE, then Shariff Floyd wouldn’t make any sense.  And so on.

The bad news is that there aren’t any elite prospects that we’re dying to get.  The good news is that there are some really talented guys who can help us, especially on defense.

I will discuss free agency in the next week or so.  I’ve made some preliminary lists.  There are some players of interest.  The problem is trying to gauge just how active/aggressive the Eagles will be.  I don’t expect any players to get huge deals, but the team could still add a couple of starters.  You don’t want to build through FA, but when you need to rebuild most of the secondary, trying to do that all in the draft is darn near impossible.

I am looking forward to the Eagles making some moves.  That will help us understand Chip Kelly and what he wants to do.  You have to go back to the early Reid days since we’ve been so unsure of what the team will do.

* * * * *

I’ve been a bit under the weather the last 2 days so I haven’t finished reviewing all of the DL/LB/DB stuff from the Combine.  There were a lot of players who did impress me.  I’d really love to have extra picks in the 2nd or 3rd rounds.

* * * * *

According to Bryce Johnston of EaglesCap, the Eagles should now have about $33.8M in cap room. They can be active in FA if they want to.  As I’ve said before, I’m thinking the team will look to mid-level and ascending players rather than top flight stars.

The problem with star players is that they have egos.  This doesn’t mean they’re all “me guys” or snobs, but they can be hard to fit into the team culture if they’re used to doing things a certain way.  After all, that’s what got them to play well and earn the big money.

Get guys who will buy in to your systems and style of doing things.  That can make up for lack of elite talent in some cases.

* * * * *

We’ve talked a lot about the front seven and what changes will take place.  Derek from Iggles Blog put up a post illustrating just how good Brandon Graham’s numbers from 2012 were.  Derek thinks Chip Kelly will/should build around Graham, despite the fact that Brandon is less than an ideal fit for what Kelly ideally wants on defense.

I need to do a full post on just Graham.  He did have a good year in 2012.  However, I think we need to be careful about keeping his performance in context.  I need to re-read some notes and do my own research.

Chip did say he’ll scheme according to the players on the roster, but long term plans are a whole other story.  You need to be one of Chip’s guys to stay for the long haul.  Not even Chip knows what to make of Graham right now.  As he said at the Combine, he needs to get the guys on the field so he can coach them and see them up close.  That’s when he’ll start to figure out what he really thinks.

* * * * *

NFL Gimpy posted the new MAQB column.  He has some thoughts on the Combine.  He also took a look at the Alex Smith trade situation.  He’s thinking the Chiefs are the key target. I’m still not so sure.  Gimpy does explore the other teams and uses good logic.  Really boils down to what the Niners want for Alex Smith and what the other team has at QB.

Here’s an interesting question.  Andy Reid says the KC job reminds him of the Eagles in 1999.  Well, that year he had the #2 pick and got a franchise QB.  Does Reid say the heck with it and take Geno Smith first overall?  Does he trade for Nick Foles?  Does he use the 2nd round pick on a QB, thinking that he coached Foles up in 2012 and could do even better with Nassib or Wilson or Barkley or whoever?

Coaches and GMs look to the past to figure out the future.  In GB they traded for Brett Favre.  Here he got McNabb.  There is no obvious solution in KC, but the two prior models focused on getting a young, star QB in the first year so you could build around him.  What will Big Red do?


82 Comments on “No Perfect Solutions”

  1. 1 mcud said at 5:24 PM on February 26th, 2013:

    Today is a good day. I now believe that Joeckel, Milliner, and Jordan are legit guys for the #4 pick. Throw in Geno (if that is who Chip wants) as a QB or a trade up target, and I think #4 is much more valuable today than it was a week ago. Bottom line, if somebody gives up the Julio Jones package, I’m fine with moving. If not, I am fine with one of the guys listed above.

  2. 2 TommyLawlor said at 5:29 PM on February 26th, 2013:

    But how do we get all of them?

  3. 3 Neil said at 5:32 PM on February 26th, 2013:

    come on, four team deal where the chiefs, jags and raiders send us their first round picks and then clone nick foles.

  4. 4 TommyLawlor said at 5:42 PM on February 26th, 2013:


  5. 5 RC5000 said at 7:33 PM on February 26th, 2013:

    It’s possible Joeckel is there but I am kinda, sorta putting him aside thinking he will go. You gotta draw a line somewhere so lets say there is 1 top guy in the draft. Milliner may not be a bad pick but he also didn’t make me want him any more than I did. Guess it will somewhat depend if they make some moves pre draft to get corner(s).
    Saw Milliner on the backpedal, flip, and turn in a series of 10 or so players and he was one of the least quick/fast. Deion also questioned his hands another knock on him , said he was maybe nervous. I think he’s a player that might be attractive 10-15 but I’m still skeptical at 4. He is so much better moving forward, I think he can be okay turning but you have to go by more than his 40. There are a LOT of intriiguing 2nd-4th rounders, smaller school lesser knowns who looked really good today. With a 6-6 guy like Jordan who can cover and has loose hips for his size (obviously not a WR downfield but still) that Kelly knows and Jordan knows Kelly’s habits, I still lean to Jordan over Milliner. Both have medical issues. Both played with them and did most drills.
    I like Fisher, Ansah, Jordan but I am pretty open and they will know their systems, etc. much better than I could.
    Geno still concerns me. You have to evaluate him in the classroom. His reading through progressions is a concern although some think Kelly likes quick decisions so it’s not for me to say I guess. You have someone like Foles who can process line up the OL, pretty decent at reading coverages, ran the hurry up like no tomorrow at Arizona and seems to have stamina. Everything I am hearing is Lazor, Shurmur like Foles intangibles and intelligence

  6. 6 mcud said at 7:35 PM on February 26th, 2013:

    Good points all. And I don’t think Milliner is nearly the prospect that Peterson was. But that is the draft we have…

  7. 7 T_S_O_P said at 5:39 PM on February 26th, 2013:

    Tommy, I’ve known you 10 years; when was the last time you didn’t want more seconds and thirds? And we’re talking draft picks here!

  8. 8 TommyLawlor said at 5:41 PM on February 26th, 2013:

    I’m weak. I always want more. Draft picks are even better than Funyuns

  9. 9 Ark87 said at 10:39 AM on February 27th, 2013:

    Funyuns are never a bust, I choose Funyuns every time.

  10. 10 nopain23 said at 5:39 PM on February 26th, 2013:

    If there ever was a draft to have Tom Gamble on board this is it. With no clear elite prospects the Iggles are going to have to be very shrewd with their picks especially 1st and 2nd RD.Milliner’s speed is comforting though..still having nightmares of seeing Nnamdi getting BURNEDt over the top. Howie pulled off a helluva draft last year. With gamble now part of player evaluation iIm confident we come out of this draft with some solid players. I’m all for trading back but someone’s gonna have to want to trade up and in this draft that seems like a pipe dream. Luke is the only guy who I say if he’s there at 4 we gotta snatch him up otherwise Tommy’s guess is as good as mine. If we pass on Jones and he has a 11-13 sack season that would hurt.. no doubt ( I know he has spinal stenosis). I just want to see one playmaker on defense next year..just one!! that too much to ask??? For once I wanna say WOW..did you see that??..and have that guy be in an Iggles Jersey

  11. 11 Osiris said at 5:59 PM on February 26th, 2013:

    The Eagles seem like they could move back one pick to start with the Lions if Milliner’s stock stays high. Then you work from there. I’m not saying that they have to trade back, but there is the possibility that this is one of those drafts where you see the Eagles stock pile third and fourth rounders while still getting their target.

    And then, of course, in three years the fans will still be fantasizing about Earl Thomas.

  12. 12 D3Keith said at 7:51 PM on February 26th, 2013:

    Guess you missed most of 1989 to 2004.

    I do like the sound of how things are shaping up as the draft approaches. Not sure we can fix the D all at once, but I hope we give it enough of a shot in FA that we can maximize what we can get from the No. 4 slot.

  13. 13 D-von said at 7:40 PM on February 26th, 2013:

    Hope you feel better Tommy

  14. 14 RC5000 said at 7:45 PM on February 26th, 2013:

    Only a couple drills but Tyrone Matthieu, wow…the athletic ability, quick twitch, hips, backpedal, turns – not that I was surprised really but it’s even more noticeable when they show many DBs in a row (some of whom were top notch) and he stands out…Tyrone “formerly known as honey badger” Matthieu’s talent and we know he has good ball skills is pretty unlimited. Is he going to squander it like Pac Man.
    Mayock compared Shamarko Thomas to Bob Sanders…not usually that into comparisons but I could see where he was coming from. Dude is built like a little mack truck and has some explosion and feet.
    Trufant solid day looks like a 1st/2nd bubble CB maybe. Wanted to see Terry Hawthorne but didn’t yet. Any thoughts on the 2nd-4th round corners. There are a lot of intriguing small school, unknown types so I don’t know if I am looking at workout warriors or they were good and worked out well. I know Alford caught my eye in Sr Bowl week even though he isn’t very big. Webb seems very athletic but is he a player to go with it. Steve Williams, Slay, Jamar Taylor also did well.

  15. 15 A_T_G said at 7:47 PM on February 26th, 2013:

    It is telling about this draft that there isn’t one player, even sitting at #4, where we can say that we absolutely must take him if the other teams are dumb enough to let him slide.

  16. 16 bubqr said at 11:57 PM on February 26th, 2013:

    Completely agree. I had a look at previous drafts and was trying to remember who I would have “dreamed to get” in each one but that we were in no position to get:

    2008 – V.Gholston (oops), Chris Long
    2009 – A.Curry (oopsx2), Crabtree,
    2010 – ERIC BERRY, Suh, G. McCoy,
    2011 – V.Miller, P.Peterson, AJ Green, Dareus, J.Jones
    2012 – RGIII (…), M Clairborne, T. Richardson

    There s no prospect in this class that comes close to that (and that is THE year we re picking 4th..). I could even add more names in each draft that I would have clearly felt confident getting (like Kuechly, Kalil, Blackmon in last draft). In this draft, apart from Joeckel , I’m not really confident about any other one not busting out.

    I’m really not confident about picking one of the DE projects and hope they pan out, or a non playmaking CB (Peterson/Clairborne I would have been OK with), or the risks than come with JJones or Star.

    The one that makes the most sense to me right now is Floyd. I am also intrigued by Geno though…

    On a side note, happy to see that the Combine confirmed what I was seeing in Te’o all along – A slow, a bit stuff LB not worth a top15 pick at all.

  17. 17 Alex Karklins said at 8:01 PM on February 26th, 2013:

    I keep reading that this year is a weak QB class and that the Eagles would be better served to wait until next year to draft their franchise QB. The only problem with that is: will they be in the position to draft a top QB prospect after next season? Even an 8-8 campaign would put them out of contention for a top-level prospect without pulling off a Redskins/RGIII type of trade. This year, they have the draft position to make a play for Geno Smith, who I think would be ideal for Chip Kelly’s system, especially after posting that great 40 time. I almost think they HAVE to make a play for Smith this year, even if it means “over-drafting” him. You just don’t know what can happen between this year’s draft and next. Am I way off base with my reasoning? I just don’t want to see the Eagles flailing around with trying to turn mid-level draft projects or castoff free agents into franchise-level QBs for the next five years.

  18. 18 Midnight_Greenville said at 10:04 PM on February 26th, 2013:

    I agree. God willing, this is the last time we draft in the top 5 for a long, long time. If that’s the case, and Vick is not your long-term solution, do you pounce on the best QB in the draft when you have the chance, even if it’s not Luck or RGIII?

    And just out of curiosity, Tommy, if they were all coming out in this draft (without knowing what they did last year), how would you rank Geno Smith, Kaepernick, Russell Wilson, Tannehill, (and Nick Foles)? If Smith ranks favorably, can’t you make a strong case for going after him?

  19. 19 D3FB said at 11:21 PM on February 26th, 2013:

    I’ve said before, and I think Tommy commented that he agreed that Geno probably would have gone after Tannehill and before Weeden in last years draft.

  20. 20 James Tolan said at 8:34 PM on February 26th, 2013:

    To try to compare this and last years draft, where would Fletcher Cox go if he entered this year?

  21. 21 TommyLawlor said at 9:15 PM on February 26th, 2013:

    I think he’d be like Shariff Floyd and a Top 5 prospect.

  22. 22 austinfan said at 9:21 AM on February 27th, 2013:

    He’d be ahead of Floyd, bigger frame, longer arms (by 2″), more athletic, similar college production. Should have been top 5 last year, outside the 2 QBs, who had a better rookie season and as much upside? Luke and Kalil are the only credible alternatives. We got lucky (and Howie played it perfectly).

  23. 23 Anders said at 9:37 AM on February 27th, 2013:

    Looking back at Cox tape and his combine, there is no way he should have lasted to the 12th pick

  24. 24 Warhound said at 9:20 PM on February 26th, 2013:

    I enjoy your analysis and your writing is getting stronger. However: “…or Barkley or whoever?” – that should be “…whomever?”

  25. 25 ICDogg said at 1:30 AM on February 27th, 2013:

    If we’re talking about someone named Barkley, that is just turrible.

  26. 26 TommyLawlor said at 1:34 AM on February 27th, 2013:

    Well played.

  27. 27 Baloophi said at 1:31 AM on February 27th, 2013:

    If we’re splitting hairs, Warhound, ellipses should have a space between each period as well as both before and after the ellipsis. But hey . . . who’s counting?

  28. 28 Mac said at 12:36 PM on February 27th, 2013:

    There’s always a bigger fish.

  29. 29 TommyLawlor said at 1:36 AM on February 27th, 2013:

    Generally, the rules of English and grammar are a good thing. Using “whomever” in football writing just doesn’t sound right. I’ll stick with whoever and let that be the flaw in my game. My apologies . . .

  30. 30 austinfan said at 11:29 PM on February 26th, 2013:

    The reason players’ stock in the media rise after a good combine is that media scouting analysis lags pro scout analysis by months, but even pro scouts can be taken by surprise by a small college guy or a guy who hadn’t played until his senior year and suddenly emerged.

    However, a lot of changes is simply that players in college don’t work out that intensely, they have class, babes and other distractions and NCAA rules. Suddenly they have two months after the all star games to do nothing but go to a training camp and work out 10 hours a day, i.e. it’s a job, just like the off season in the NFL. Some players respond to intensive training by getting bigger, stronger and faster, and if so, they SHOULD rise up the draft board, you’re not drafting them for what they did in college, that’s just a clue to what they will do in the NFL – and so is a dramatic improvement in athleticism from intensive training. Others gain weight and slow down, and that’s also an important clue to their NFL future (see Greene who at 242 lbs didn’t look like an explosive athlete anymore). There’s also the simple fact that juniors and guys who didn’t go to an all star game get verifiable measurements, I noticed some players lost 2 inches, while others gained 10 lbs.

    So when a CB expected to run a 4.55 runs 4.40, he should rise, how far depends on why he ran faster, was he faster all along and had bad instincts, was he in a bad scheme, or did he respond to intense training and that 4.40 is what he’ll do with his new “NFL body.” Luke last year is a good example, GMs who’d watched his film expected 4.7 or so, when he blew away the combine they knew he could build a NFL body to go with his instincts and he became a top 10 player. T’eo is the opposite, he dropped 10 lbs and still can’t run, to me he’s a marginal top 100 pick now, short area athleticism and instincts can’t compensate for being small and slow or bigger and slower at LB.

    This is why a guy like Jordan scares me, I know he’s a solid 4-3 SLB at 250 lbs, but to be an elite 3-4 SOLB he needs to be 270 lbs, but he had a 32.5 VT at 248 lbs, if he bulks up, does he slow down and lose explosiveness, i.e. less effective in coverage but still not a NFL starting pass rusher? Because he couldn’t lift, scouts can’t determine if he can bulk up without slowing down – had he come in at 265 lbs and run 4.60 and looked good in the drills he’d be a certain top 5 pick. Projecting how a player will move in his “NFL body” is the toughest part of scouting, that’s why guys who show up at the Combine with NFL bodies rise – they’ve reduced the guess work. Fletcher Cox had an amazing performance at 298 lbs, if he slows down a notch at 310 lbs in two years but gets stronger, so what? Same with Lane Johnson, if he runs 4.85 in two years at 310 lbs, he’s still a tremendous athlete at LT.

  31. 31 Phils Goodman said at 12:02 AM on February 27th, 2013:

    All the more reason to push back the draft and the combine in the proposed offseason calendar change.

  32. 32 RC5000 said at 12:30 AM on February 27th, 2013:

    Who does not have questions about being an elite NFL player in this draft?

  33. 33 ceteris_paribus1776 said at 10:20 AM on February 27th, 2013:

    Too much stock in the 40. It’s an artificial test that demonstrates how fast players run in the straight-line out of the starting block. 2/10 to 3/10 of a second of your time comes on how comfortable you are running from track blocks. Big swing for some guys. But aside from cornerback if any of your players are indeed in a straight line 40 yard dash understand that you’re in bigger trouble than the fact that a guy runs a 4.7 Instead of a 4.55.

    Teo wasn’t going to be a top prospect not because of his 40, but because of the fact struggles big time getting off block as displayed, in the Bama and Stanford games. He is scheme dependent. He won’t be a Mike in the NFL; instead he will have to be a Will in a scheme where the defensivre tackle is covering him up so that he can use his instincts and smarts to make plays. He’s a second round prospect.

  34. 34 austinfan said at 1:38 PM on February 27th, 2013:

    The combine is a lot more than the 40, 10 yard splits, agility and quickness testing, bench press, jumps – you look at all the test for each player and get a sense of his athletic skill package – and the drills give you a feel for his movement skills.

    Teo to me is a 3rd rd pick at best, lacks the speed for WLB in most systems, good instincts work better inside, but if he struggles to get off blocks (to be fair, with the athletic 310 lb OGs that are becoming common, most LBs struggle to get off OL blocks) you have to protect him to some extent. He’s a perfect example of a player being exposed at the Combine, he’s just not a good athlete, short area quickness and agility, but no deep speed, he won’t go sideline to sideline in the NFL and he’ll struggle in coverage. We saw with Matthews the limits of instincts and short area quickness.

  35. 35 ceteris_paribus1776 said at 3:41 PM on February 27th, 2013:

    Teo did reasonably well as a whole outside of the 40. You don’t need straight line speed to be successful in the NFL at LB. Most execs and scouts will point out the agility drills carry more weight.

    I’m not a huge Teo fan as the Bama game confirmed my suspicions about him. That said, I believe someone who can mask his weakness through their scheme will take him before the 3rd round. In fact, I won’t be terribly surprised if he goes late 1st. Just my hunch.

  36. 36 Jamie Parker said at 11:35 PM on February 26th, 2013:

    So the combine in complete and there are 120 definite first rounders.

  37. 37 ICDogg said at 11:52 PM on February 26th, 2013:

    OK… crazy (and, probably pointless) question to consider. The ground rules are you can only use players already on the roster. Keeping that in mind, who are your starting front 7 on defense and at which positions do they play?

    I have Cox at NT, Thornton at LE and Graham at RE. My LOLB is Curry, my ROLB is Cole, the ILB’s are Ryans and Kendricks.

  38. 38 D-von said at 1:22 AM on February 27th, 2013:

    NT- Dixon, LE- Thornton, RE- Cox, LOLB- Graham, ROLB- Cole, ILBs Ryans and Kendricks

  39. 39 Kushan Patel said at 9:29 AM on February 27th, 2013:

    Only change to your lineup that I MIGHT make is Vinny Curry as the ROLB, assuming he can run better than Cole, given that Vinny has the benefit of youth.

  40. 40 Anders said at 9:37 AM on February 27th, 2013:

    Also Curry does run pretty well in space.

  41. 41 Phils Goodman said at 12:15 AM on February 27th, 2013:

    I would be thrilled with Joeckel or Floyd at #4, even if they are not “perfect.”

  42. 42 ICDogg said at 1:32 AM on February 27th, 2013:

    I can’t argue with that. I’d be happy with either of those.

  43. 43 the midatlantic said at 1:23 AM on February 27th, 2013:

    Remember Kevin Curtis? Haha I forgot about him. We’ve swung and missed on a ton of vets over the years.

  44. 44 the midatlantic said at 1:24 AM on February 27th, 2013:

    Wow. Just looked up his numbers. How did I forget the ’07 season?

  45. 45 Eric Weaver said at 9:02 AM on February 27th, 2013:

    Not that his 40 changed much, but I think we can be at least at 50-50 that some team will attempt to trade ahead of the Lions for Milliner.

  46. 46 xeynon said at 10:01 AM on February 27th, 2013:

    Why isn’t anyone suggesting Dee Milliner as a pick? He’s an elite prospect at a position of glaring need, and his blazing 40 time pretty much answers the last question about him as far as I am concerned (ball hawking skills are nice, but a bonus – you don’t need them to be a shutdown CB who takes away half the field).

  47. 47 ACViking said at 10:12 AM on February 27th, 2013:

    X —

    Milliner could be the pick. But we’re all sort of stuck not knowing what C-Kelly values most in his defense. So if Milliner is part of a stack of players, some of whom project at the impact points of Kelly’s defense, then Dee’s not the guy.

    Personally, I’d love to see Roseman trade down . . . and down . . . and down in this draft to collect, ideally, a No. 1 in 2014 plus at least one each of an extra No. 2 and No. 3 in 2013.

  48. 48 xeynon said at 11:47 AM on February 27th, 2013:

    I hear you. I wouldn’t mind repeated trade-downs at all, but everything I read suggest that this year it will be a buyer’s market for high draft picks. That being the case, if Milliner is Darrelle Revis 2.0 (or Joeckel is Joe Thomas 2.0), I’m fine with taking that guy at #4, because he’s an elite player at a position that is hard to fill with anything but a high draft pick. Trading down will get us more picks and allow us to fill more holes, but may cost us a difference-making talent.

    If we do decide to trade down, Milliner shining at the combine is still a plus, since demand for him will be up and teams know they will need to trade in front of the Lions to get him.

  49. 49 ACViking said at 12:31 PM on February 27th, 2013:

    Your argument squares perfectly with (i) the present “conventional wisdom” about the available talent, and (ii) the Steelers’ approach to draft-day, i.e., don’t fool around with trades to outsmart the other guy . . . just choose the best player available in your slot.

    I’ll be curious to see if the Steelers stick to their modus operandi this year, given — per Mayock et al. — the level stack from 5-25.

  50. 50 xeynon said at 1:45 PM on February 27th, 2013:

    The Steelers have had pretty good luck building and maintaining elite teams through the years with their approach. We could do worse.

  51. 51 ACViking said at 2:25 PM on February 27th, 2013:

    You’re very wise, Van Helsing.

  52. 52 RC5000 said at 4:23 PM on February 27th, 2013:

    Something to think about…Steelers are aging and are they that stocked with young players?

  53. 53 RC5000 said at 2:09 PM on February 27th, 2013:

    Well said, there are 3 questions that need answers. I like Milliner as a good corner but I still can’t seem to get there with him at 4 with Fisher, Ansah, Jordan, Star, even Warmack and Floyd.
    1) is Milliner rare enough to take at 4? Or can you get a CB close to him in the 2nd/3rd (since our 3rd is almost a 2nd). Can you get an OT almost as good as Fisher later? Can you get a 275 lb lb/de like Ansah? Can you get a 6-6 cover LB and athletic player like Dion? Is there a 3-4 DL like Star with his athleticism? Can you get a potential stud at OG like Warmack?
    2) Do they want to take two starting corners in the draft? Getting Milliner at 4 and a corner in the 2nd round is a possibility.
    3) Can you trade back (way back in this case) and get a similar player to Milliner? Yes. Absolute worst case is you move back and get Elam or Reid. To me Elam steps right in so he fills a need. Although I do wonder if Howie is gunshy taking a safety.
    …Milliner is better with the action in front of him. I think of Poyer and Amerson as players like that. Milliner has more pounds than Poyer and is probably better against the run but Poyer is a ball hawk. Amerson also. Trufant is better in his backpedal and turning and running than Milliner as are several corners.

  54. 54 ACViking said at 10:06 AM on February 27th, 2013:

    Re: Forget Dion Jordan.

    The Eagles have their SOLB already.

    Here’s T-Law’s conclusion from his 2012 draft analysis of Vinny Curry:

    “I think Curry’s lack of top-end athleticism definitely makes him a 2nd Rounder . . . . To me, he really fits best as a 3-4 OLB in the NFL with his ability to play in space and versatility.”

    Austinfan has also made this point (below and in comments to other posts). Plus, as Austinfan has suggested, Dion Jordan is a hope wrapped in a wish wrapped in a guess.

  55. 55 ceteris_paribus1776 said at 10:36 AM on February 27th, 2013:

    I don’t understand the infatuation with Jordan. No one takes SAM/SOLB with the number 4 pick. If the guy isn’t set to be your premiere pass-rusher he doesn’t warrant the #4 overall pick. Plain and simple. He’ll be ideal for someone picking around 10 or later.

  56. 56 GvilleEagleFan said at 11:26 AM on February 27th, 2013:

    The “infatuation” with him isn’t because of his premier pass-rush skills, it’s because you can keep him on the field and not have him be a liability in coverage or in pass rushing. In fact, he’s talented in both areas and we’re not getting that beloved Feb. parade without someone with the athleticism and size to cover Jimmy Graham or Gronk as well as chase down a scrambling RGIII, Kaepernick, Wilson, etc. Having the first guy to fit the role of being able to counter these new wrinkles puts the Eagles at an advantage in play-calling on defense because you don’t have to rely on substitution as much to deal with the most recent offensive innovations.

  57. 57 ceteris_paribus1776 said at 1:07 PM on February 27th, 2013:

    Baltimore just won the SB with 0 speed at the LB spot given Ellerby’s bad wheel. Scheme will be far more important at stopping the read option that an individual player. Clearly the guy has nice qualities, but will he be able to maintain that speed and quickness while

  58. 58 ACViking said at 2:23 PM on February 27th, 2013:

    So you’re saying that if a Lawrence Taylor-type is available, you take him at 4 as a pass-rushing OLB.

    Otherwise look elsewhere.

    Makes sense.

  59. 59 ceteris_paribus1776 said at 4:02 PM on February 27th, 2013:

    See Von Miller. Think Denver’s taking him number two overall if not utilizing his pass rushing abilities?

    What it comes down to is this: is the guy someone that the opposing team has to locate on every play? Or is it someone that they are going to avoid? If so, then get him. If not, then look elsewhere. If you have him rated is the best available then get him, But I would imagine in most drafts you could find someone rated higher then the best available SOLB.

  60. 60 RC5000 said at 3:50 PM on February 27th, 2013:

    This is the wrong draft to make these arguments (you don’t take blah blah blah at 4) although I do to some extent too but I have an open mind. I sort of make a similar argument against Milliner but I also say if they want to rebuild the secondary and take a couple of corners in this draft, it could be okay.
    I dont think you should assume anyone is “infatuated” unless they state they are. This draft is not plain and simple.

  61. 61 ceteris_paribus1776 said at 4:12 PM on February 27th, 2013:

    See the later posts for further clarification. Plus It’s not like this draft is so devoid of talent that you can’t apply certain standards. You will not see anyone taking a guard or center or TE generally in the top five regardless of how deplete of talent the draft is.

    If Jordan has great pass rush potential then there’s not a problem, How many guys you see you at 240 pounds that end up excelling as pass rushers? There are exceptions but that’s generally not the recipe you’re looking for

  62. 62 RC5000 said at 6:02 PM on February 27th, 2013:

    I didn’t find any clarification of who it is at 4 that fits all of your standards. Are those all your standards for the 4th pick? You’ve eliminated all OG, C, TE, DE, OLB and maybe DT since there is no player set to be an elite pass rusher. If you disagree with that, who is it that will step in immediately and be an elite passrusher?
    That leaves OT, QB, WR, CB, Safety, RB at 4. maybe DT. What are your standards at those positions and who is it that passes the test(s) in this draft at 4.

  63. 63 ceteris_paribus1776 said at 9:18 PM on February 27th, 2013:

    First, I didn’t list all of my standards. I only said that if you are taking a SAM at 4 overall, he better be an elite pass rusher, and in general TE, C and G aren’t drafted top 5. Didn’t say they couldn’t ever be, but it would need to be exceptional. I never said that you shouldn’t take an OLB or DE top 5, and in fact, in inferred that if they are an elite pass rusher you should absolutely consider them. Second, DT’s serve a different role, so just being an elite pass rusher isn’t the only way you should evaluate them. You can’t rule them out. Now that we have what I did and didn’t say straight, we can move on.

    In terms of Jordan, he doesn’t excite me in an absolute sense, but if there is nothing else, then of course you take him, i.e. a relative sense. The reason why he doesn’t get me overly excited is because he’s a 6-6 240 OLB with 12.5 sacks as a two-year starter. “But he can drop back into coverage.” Great, when has that ever gotten an OLB drafted in the top 5? Let’s put that in perspective. The SOLB in Davis’ 4-3 under drops back 30% of the time according to reports. Let’s say that opposing teams run, on average, 40 pass plays against you and that your SOLB plays 80% of those snaps. That’s 32 snaps per game. He’s dropping back roughly 10 times and rushing the passer 22. Now consider the “predator” who rushes 90% of the time and we will also suppose that he plays 80% of passing downs for fare comparison. He’s rushing the passer 29 times per game and dropping back 3. That’s 7 times per game that he is attempting to get to the QB and hit him, sack him, force an errant decision, swat a ball, etc more than the SOLB. Additionally, of those 7 additional times that the SOLB drops back over the predator, how many of those will his receiver likely be the recipient of the ball? An even smaller handful. Over the course of the year, the pass rusher will attempt to make a play on the QB roughly 112 times more than the SOLB whereas he will get the opportunity to make a play in coverage a much smaller fraction of that amount.

    This is precisely why pass rushers get paid far more and more resources are used trying to obtain them. I’m not saying anything ground breaking, just putting into perspective what the NFL market has already sorted out.

    With that, since Moore half-assed it, it’d drop him back. Since Jones seems to have a medical issue, i’d drop him back. That just leaves Jordan, Ziggy and Werner as the top end pass rushers. None of them excite me with the 4 pick. So I’d look to Joeckle, Fisher, Milliner, Star or Shariff. Joeckle is probably gone by then. Moreover, if Peters is ready, that lessens the need for Joeckle and Fisher. At that point, I think you take the highest rated player on your board between Milliner, Star, Shariff, Jordan & Ziggy.

  64. 64 RC5000 said at 10:45 PM on February 27th, 2013:

    Good post that addresses the reality of this draft. I like your player selection and omissions.

  65. 65 RC5000 said at 2:42 PM on February 27th, 2013:

    I think we can defer to Kelly on this one. I don’t think Jordan is “a guess” more than most of the other players.Kelly knows him extremely well and he was very productive.
    He’s also 6-6 and much more athletic than Curry. He can also cover TEs which is very valuable in today’s NFL. Kendricks has some good ability in this area but he is vulnerable at 5-11 as we saw at times. I’m not worried about Jordan’s play. He is one of the best prospects in this draft.
    Jordan also may be able to provide some leadership with his understanding of Kelly.

  66. 66 ACViking said at 11:05 AM on February 27th, 2013:

    Re: B-Graham’s Statistical Success

    I read Derrick’s piece. He based it on the statistical analysis from Pro Football Focus.

    One problem is PFF gave Graham credit for 7 sacks.

    According to the official NFL stats, Graham had 5.5 sacks.

    Not only does that drop his sack percentage from 3.2% to 2.5%. But the mistake also raises concerns about PFF’s other stats.

    By the way, Daniel Te’o-Nesheim had 4 sacks as a part-timer (per official NFL stats).

    I wonder if DTO was a Roseman pick or a Reid pick (inasmuch as Lurie’s drawn a line here).

    And I wonder if cutting him was a Reid decision or a Roseman decision.

    I’m wondering if DTO would have any place in the new C-Kelly scheme . . . maybe he’d join the long line of Predator-types behind Cole and Graham.

  67. 67 xeynon said at 11:51 AM on February 27th, 2013:

    My understanding is that Te’o-Nesheim was released because he didn’t fit the wide 9, making it likely it was a Reid/Washburn decision.

    No wonder. As a hard-working plugger who defends against the run and cares about more than piling up sacks, he would be a bad fit for that defense. /(end anti-Jim Washburn-snark)

  68. 68 ceteris_paribus1776 said at 1:02 PM on February 27th, 2013:

    Teo accumulated all of his stats as a stater in 13 games. Not that impressive.

  69. 69 ACViking said at 2:20 PM on February 27th, 2013:

    didn’t know he was a starter. correction noted.

    Tampa Bay needs a DE in the draft.

  70. 70 GvilleEagleFan said at 11:32 AM on February 27th, 2013:

    Hey Tommy, any info on how Chip viewed “character risk” guys at Oregon? I’m sure he ran a tight ship leak-wise, but down here in the Swamp we didn’t start learning exactly how much Urban played Alachua County D.A. until after he left town. Curious to see if anything pops up in Eugene now that Chip is out of town.

  71. 71 holeplug said at 12:18 PM on February 27th, 2013:

    Glazer reporting Alex Smith to Chiefs a done deal. Joeckel #1 has to be a heavy favorite at this point.

  72. 72 xeynon said at 12:37 PM on February 27th, 2013:

    One would think, though since Branden Albert is a pretty decent left tackle and is still young it’s possible they may surprise us and go defense (remember that Andy Reid loves his D linemen almost as much as his O linemen in the first round). The question is, are there any D linemen in this draft worthy of the #1 overall pick?

  73. 73 ACViking said at 12:38 PM on February 27th, 2013:

    Re: Dion Jordon as a Nickel Corner . . . You read that right

    I watched some highlights of Jordon against Stanford this year.

    On a bunch of plays, Jordan moved from OLB to the slot corner position. Probably against a TE. But nevertheless, he had lots of space to cover.

    And cover he did . . . at least to my untrained eyes.

    Imagine that. Jordan head up on Aaron Hernandez in the slot . . . while the Pats are running their no huddle, Jordan wouldn’t to be replaced to cover a very big, fast slot receiver.


    I hope you’ll touch on Jordon’s pass coverage ability in the slot, as well as at the LOS.

    Plus, please weigh in on DJ’s (i) stoutness at the point of attack, (ii) 1st-step as a pass rusher from the 2-pt and 3-pt stances, and (iii) bull-rush ability, if any.

  74. 74 Mac said at 2:36 PM on February 27th, 2013:

    I think that’s one of the main reasons he’s a target for the Eagles. He’s got that hybrid LB/DE/Slot thing going on that Billy Davis has eyes for

  75. 75 GermanEagle said at 1:06 PM on February 27th, 2013:

    Please don’t tell me Howie said no to #34…!

  76. 76 Mac said at 1:11 PM on February 27th, 2013:

    No doubt. That would be insane, but I doubt that was the offer.

  77. 77 GermanEagle said at 1:15 PM on February 27th, 2013:

    AR loved Foles. I’d be surprised if they offered less.

  78. 78 Mac said at 2:43 PM on February 27th, 2013:

    Assuming it’s Foles straight up for pick #34, what do you use that pick on? EJ Manuel… or hope that Nassib falls to us in round 3? Conventional wisdom says that if we traded Foles we have to draft a QB in 2013. None of the options appeal to me as much as Foles. So I guess you could say I value Foles at more than just pick #34 at this point.

  79. 79 GermanEagle said at 2:49 PM on February 27th, 2013:

    Fair enough.

    Though I don’t necessarily think the Eagles must draft a QB this year, even with Foles potentially been gone.

    You can get away with Vick, Edwards and Dixon and then draft a QB in next year’s better draft class.

  80. 80 ACViking said at 1:39 PM on February 27th, 2013:

    Re: Chiefs get Smith . . . Eagles keep Vick

    Reid knows Roseman.

    And Roseman knows Reid.

    So I’m not sure how much of a game of “chicken” they could play with each other.

    The wild-card was C-Kelly.

    Maybe he was willing to part with Foles, but wanted a 2. No way — comparing track records — was Foles worth a 2.

    Or maybe C-Kelly wanted to see Foles up close and personal, like he’s been quoted as saying.

    But Reid wouldn’t and couldn’t wait. Though I’d like to think he’d have given up a 3 plus future considerations for Foles.


    The moral of this story is the Eagles still have Mike Vick, who’ll probably be gone in a season or so.

    So was it worth it to keep Vick . . . and miss out on a high pick from KC?

  81. 81 ACViking said at 3:55 PM on February 27th, 2013:

    Re: Xeynon Asked if AR Would Draft a D-lineman at No. 1

    X —

    AR loves to move around on draft day.

    After giving up his No. 2 pick for A-Smith, he’ll want to get back a 2nd-Rounder if he can.

    Last year, after the Birds used their No. 4 to move up in Rd 1 to get F-Cox, the Eagles brass moved down in Rd 2 to get back a 4th-Rd pick.

    Now maybe that was all — ALL — the handiwork of Roseman. I don’t buy it, though, because the Eagles’ modus operandi during the Reid years was to trade around on draft day to collect picks.

    Now in KC, AR can’t trade up. But he has the first pick on Day 1 and Day 2. If stacks Joekel, Fisher, and L-Johnson, he could move out of No. 1 to get ammo to get back his No. 2 picks.

    Same thing on Day 2 . . . no pick is more valuable after the first day than the first pick of the rest of the draft.

    Andy Reid may very well pass on Joekel, trade down, and aim to recover his No. 2 and get OT Lane Johnson later in Rd 1 . . . with visions of him running downfield the way Jason Peters did on those WR/HB screens.

    Joekel may be very good. But you can’t teach the kind of speed that Johnson has.

    Or AR could find a D-lineman later in Rd 1 . . . .

    My money’s on AR making every effort to get out of the top spot to recover his 2nd Rd pick.

    Unless, of course, Reid sees Luke Joekel — or someone else — as a “can’t miss” player in a class by himself.

  82. 82 Phils Goodman said at 4:19 PM on February 27th, 2013:

    Re: Nnamdi

    Still not cut. The Eagles are allergic to dead cap space. Nnamdi has said he would prefer to be here. The Eagles would prefer for him to be here (at the right price). Otherwise they would have just cut him already. The question is if they can agree to a new deal. I think there is enough motivation on both sides to work it out. The question next year is what his role will be. DRC appears likely to depart, but I don’t think you can just pencil in Nnamdi as a starter. I think they will try to sign at least one starting caliber CB and draft another with that potential.

    Nnamdi’s best skills at the moment remain pressing on big, physical receivers and covering tight ends. Those two things could make him a useful situational player. What other snaps he could win would remain to be seen.