Eagles Notebook – KC, FA, and More on Dion

Posted: March 5th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 84 Comments »

The Chiefs were busy on Monday.  They re-signed WR Dwayne Bowe, P Dustin Colquitt, and then placed the franchise tag on LT Branden Albert.  That was about as good a day as the Chiefs have had in a while.  Bowe can be a star WR.  Colquitt is a very good Punter and keeping Albert gives them options.

Albert played OG at Virginia, but turned out to be such a good athlete that teams projected him to LT.  Andy Reid and the Eagles were one of those teams.  They tried to move up to Detroit’s #15 spot in the 2008 draft, but the Chiefs got the deal done.  The Lions only had to move back 2 spots and were still able to get the guy they had targeted (OT Gosder Cherilus) so dealing with KC was the better option.  The Eagles ended up trading out of the 1st round for the Panthers 2009 1st round pick.  This turned into Jason Peters so maybe not getting Albert was a blessing in disguise.

The question now is what KC does with Albert.  I think he’ll stay at LT.  That’s where Reid wanted him.  A writer for the KC Star mentioned that Albert could still be traded.  The Chiefs would then replace him with Luke Joeckel or Eric Fisher.  Some have also speculated about Albert sliding into LG.  I truly doubt that happens.  KC has Jeff Allen there.  He’s a player the Eagles were high on a couple of years back so I’m assuming Reid will leave him in that spot.  The RG is Jon Asamoah, one of the best unknown players in the AFC.  He might be on the way to becoming a dominant RG.

RT is a wildcard.  Veteran Eric Winston played that spot last year, but he’s 30.  His play has dipped, but he’s still a solid starter.  The Chiefs could draft an OT and put him at LT, then shift Albert to the right side and cut Winston.  The rookie could go to RT.  Or the rookie could sit behind Winston for a year and then take over that spot.  Alex Smith is the kind of QB that must have good protection.  All QBs want a clean pocket, but some can handle pressure and bodies around them better than others.

I don’t know what kind of trade market there would be for Albert.  Would the Cardinals give up a 2nd rounder to get him?  The Rams?  The Chargers?  If KC can recoup the pick they used for Smith, that would be impressive.

It is possible KC’s moves will hurt the Eagles.  The Chiefs don’t have to draft an OT first overall.  They could take Sharrif Floyd, Star Lotulelei, or even Dee Milliner.  Those are all Eagles targets.  I still lean toward KC going for an OT.  Reid knows first hand how poor OT play can doom an offense.  Better to have too much than not enough.

* * * * *

Jared Cook did not get tagged yesterday.  He is a legitimate Eagles target.  I don’t know that the team will get into a bidding war for him, but Cook does fit what the Eagles are going to want to do.  He spent most of the time in Tennessee lined up in the slot.  He did a very good job of stretching the defense.  Cook lists at 6-5, 248.  He has good speed.  He doesn’t have great hands, but he can make some really impressive catches.  There could be a lot of suitors for Cook.  I think the Eagles would call and show interest, but I don’t expect them to break the bank for any free agent this year.

It isn’t a question of money so much as surrounding Chip Kelly with the right kind of players.  Any time you have players who go from making $600,000 a year to $6M a year, they are going to change, if only due to the distractions that money brings.  Chip is going to want players that are hungry and focused.  I think the team will avoid high end FAs because of that.

When you think of the Eagles and FA this year, ask yourself these questions:

1 – How old is he?

2 – How expensive is he?

3 – How would he fit into the lineup?

4 – How would he fit into the locker room?

The draft is the time to load up on talent.  FA is a time when you need to make sure to spend wisely.  Don’t throw money at talent.  Get guys that can contribute and will fit in.

* * * * *

We had a lot of Dion Jordan talk in the previous comments section.  There are a few people who are against him.  That’s fine.  I get the argument against him.

Let’s cover a few things.  There is no slam-dunk player to take at #4.  As I wrote recently, they are all flawed.  ALL OF THEM.  Some drafts you have 5 guys worth Top 5 picks.  Other times you have one…or none.  You have to take someone.  I get the theory that Jordan doesn’t look like a normal #4 pick, but no one in this class does.  Forget 2012, 2011, 2010, etc.  This is 2013.  We must draft someone.

Jordan isn’t strong enough.  The guy will add bulk and strength.  Oregon had him covering slot receivers.  Were they trying to have him be as strong as possible or as fast/agile as possible?  Players adjust their bodies for the NFL all the time.

Jordan isn’t a polished pass rusher.  This shouldn’t come as a surprise.  The guy hasn’t been a DE/LB for the last decade.  He’s still learning.  The reason you like him is the fact he can use his burst to beat OTs.  He’s able to bend and get under/around them.  People obsess on counter moves, but that’s missing the point.  Any player can learn a spin move or to bull rush.  If you can’t beat the OT by simply exploding off the ball, then you’re in trouble.  Coaches can teach pass rushing moves.  They cannot teach explosion, body control, and agility.

Jordan didn’t look good vs USC or Stanford.  Jordan hurt his shoulder in the Colorado game on 10/27.  He played the next week at USC and then sat out vs Cal.  Jordan played in the final 2 games and the bowl game.  He just recently had surgery on his shoulder so clearly there were issues that affected his performance.  I thought he looked solid in the games above, but some people have question how he used his hands and some of what he did.  The guy had one good shoulder.

I think Dion Jordan can be a star player in the NFL.  His game needs plenty of work.  I hate Mike Mayock’s comparison of Aldon Smith.  There were times at Mizzou when Smith lined up at DT.  He had violent hands and was a tough, rugged rusher.  Jordan is a better athlete with a bigger frame.  I actually see more Jevon Kearse in his game than anything else.  Kearse was 262 at the Combine and faster/more explosive so the comparison isn’t ideal, but the long, lean body type and agility is what sticks out.

The flip side is that Jordan could be a bust.  I’m not trying to sell him as a can’t-miss guy.  Not even close.  There is definite risk in taking him.  I just happen to think he’s a good fit for us.

I’m fine with the Eagles taking Jordan #4.  Or Floyd.  Or Ansah.  Or Lotulelei.  I like Jordan the most, but there is absolutely an argument for the other guys.  Right now the only thing I don’t want is QB Geno Smith.  I don’t love Dee Milliner at #4, but I can’t object too much to adding the best CB in the draft to a team that couldn’t cover.

* * * * *

A few people have asked about Manti Te’o as a prospect.  I wouldn’t object if he was on the board for pick 35 and the Eagles took him.  The best defenses these days seem to have impact players at ILB.  Mychal Kendricks might be one of those, but he’s still a bit of a mystery.  We know he’s talented, but just how good will he be?

Part of me would not want Te’o here for the simple fact of dealing with the Philly media.  If he says or does one odd thing, that will stick to him in a bad way.  Really, Te’o would be best served going to a smaller town where he wouldn’t be under great scrutiny.  Baltimore will need someone to replace Ray Lewis.  You wonder if that would be a good fit.

As for the locker room, all rookies are under pressure.  They were the “big man” back at Texas, Penn State, USC, or Notre Dame.  Now they are just one of 90 guys in a locker room full of men.  That’s a whole different vibe.  Te’o will be under more scrutiny than anyone else.  Players are going to pick on him.  They are going to wonder about him.

Te’o can survive if he carries himself the right way.  He needs to be confident and tough.  If he sulks as some jerk picks on him, that would be bad.  Te’0 must show that he can take that crap.  He needs to fit in with the veterans, in some way, shape, or form.  You see on Hard Knocks every summer how a couple of rookies get buddy-buddy.  Te’o needs to fit in with a big group and the right group.  The more he’s accepted by others, the more quickly he’ll go from hearing the whispers to just being one of the guys.  If Te’o is quiet and a loner, that will keep the scrutiny going.  This isn’t fair, but it is NFL reality.

Obviously he can answer a lot of questions on the field, but he’ll be part of the team for almost 3 months until hitting starts.  In that time he needs to fit in as much as he can.

I do think Te’o is a good prospect who can be a good NFL ILB.  Mel Kiper did him a dis-service with all the Top 10 talk.  You have to truly be special to go that high as an ILB.  Te’o is good, but he’s not special.

The problem with him to the Eagles is that Te’o would sit for a year or DeMeco Ryans would get cut.  Either way, that’s not an ideal start for him.  I’m hoping he goes somewhere that he fits in right away.  Peter King recently said Cincy would take him in the 1st round.  That would be interesting.

_


  • T_S_O_P

    Ropati Pitoitua
    How old is he? – 27
    How expensive is he? I doubt he’d cost big bucks
    How would he fit in the line up? He’s 6’8″ and started 10 games as a 3-4 DE giving him more experience than anyone on our roster
    How would he fit in the locker? He’s no dead cert to start and has to compete and overcome injury to get to start in the NFL from his status as a UDFA.

    • TommyLawlor

      I’ve watched tape on him. Told Jimmy about him earlier today. Don’t try and sneak names by me, Mr. Anthony Carfagno!!!

      • T_S_O_P

        I spoke to the EMB about him yesterday. He passed my ‘Tommy test’.

        Was Jimmy excited? Otherwise, it is just me and you, because no one on the Blog is responding.

        • TommyLawlor

          Jimmy had no idea who he was. Just me, you, and Mama Pitoitua are interested right now.

        • limodriver27

          Oh, trust us, Tommy. We’re reading. Love the name dropping,though. Keep up the bulldog work. You give an interesting slant to stories.

    • austinfan

      He may be a later bloomer, but we’re talking a UDFA that the Jets cut before last season. Not exactly a sterling recommendation.

      He had 505 snaps last year and made 51 tackles, but PFF had him at -4.8. Not saying that’s the last word, but 2 sacks and 2 stuffs isn’t playing in the opponent’s backfield either, though KC seems to be running a two gap. Point is I don’t see anything other than size that suggests he has more to offer than Thornton.

      He’d be solid depth, but I wouldn’t give him starter money other than in an incentive laden deal where he’d earn it.

      • T_S_O_P

        A UDFA that the Jets cut last season. Not exactly a sterling recommendation.
        If you replaced Jets with Eagles, you could be talking about Thornton.

        Looking deeper into his Jets career, he was cut after coming backing from a serious knee injury.

  • http://twitter.com/deshawnbentley BG

    Although I am on the DJ wagon, I would not at all mind if we traded back a few spots and selected OT Lane Johnson. His athleticism rivals that of JP (speed, explosion, agility, strength) and he would immediately improve our passing and running game.

    With the added pick, it would give the Eagles flexibility to fill other holes. You could keep the extra pick and get another player in the 2nd/3rd, or package it and move up to grab a player rated highly on our board. (CB Trufant or SLB Jamie Collins?)

    I actually may even prefer Collins to Jordan.

    • PK_NZ

      I think everyone’s first option this year would be to trade back… plenty of people saying not much difference between the top and 15th selection…

      • D3Keith

        Yeah when you don’t really fall in love with any of the guys at your No. 4 spot, you’ve by default fallen in love with the idea of trading back.

        When there are a bunch of guys you could use but none you could live without, that’s a good time to add value and slide back — IF anyone is interesting in coming up, of course.

        • ICDogg

          If someone does come up it probably would be for one of the OTs, before the top three are taken. Someone would see the top two are gone and would want to make sure they got the third.

  • nicolajNN

    If Jordan doesn’t develop as a pass rusher how much value would he then have? Could he play one of the ILB spots in 34 / 43 under, or OLB in in 43?

    And in regards to FA, I haven’t looked at names yet, but would you be willing to pay big bucks for a safety? Obviously he would need to be the right age and all, but considering our recent struggles there and the fact that good safeties are hard to come by would you do that or go after one of the middle tier guys?

    • TommyLawlor

      Jordan would be awfully tall for ILB. Not sure how that would go. He would be a very good 4-3 SAM.

      We need to sign a starting Safety in FA. I would not break the bank for anyone unless I felt he was truly worth it.

      • laeagle

        With that last bit about a FA safety in mind, how do you feel about Dashon Goldson? Sounds like he’s seeking upwards of $8mil a year. A guy you want to break the bank on, or come close?

      • http://www.facebook.com/normanahaupt Norman Haupt

        You don’t believe a 2nd round safety and Nate Allen would be fine with a mid level FA or 6th round competition? I don’t think it’s necessary to buy someone guaranteed to start. Not with Allen and a high talent pick.

        • Iskar36

          I think Allen needs to be challenged. I don’t think he has played nearly well enough that you can be comfortable with him starting without competition.

          • http://www.facebook.com/normanahaupt Norman Haupt

            ThHe looked great his rookie year then got hurt. After he recovered, he played in front of a train wreck defense who would’ve made any safety look bad.

            Just seems to me he it’s too soon to give up, and we have a lot of other positions to fix. Hoping he pans out is an acceptable risk when we still need 3 starters in the front 7, at least one corner, and defensive depth, and online depth. That’s not even considering Chips desire for more TE depth and receivers with size.

    • http://twitter.com/deshawnbentley BG

      As a SLB in the 43 under he’ll be lined up in a loose 9 tech over the TE the majority of the time. His run responsibility will be to play to/away the D gap and contain cutbacks. If he isn’t a viable pass rusher, then his value will certainly drop since he’d need to rush 70% of the time.

      Being an ILB would probably waste his talents (covering athletic TEs/rushing–which is up to debate whether he will succeed at this at the NFL level). The MLB in the 43 under attacks the B gap meeting the blocker and turning the plays back inside. The MLB needs to have great awareness otherwise he’ll become susceptible to PA plays and become vulnerable if he over plays. Does not fit DJ’s skillset tbh

    • Neil

      With Jordan’s explosion and speed, he just has to not regress to have some value as a passrusher; though he probably wouldn’t be good enough to play full time in that case. But he could play SAM in some 4-3 schemes and be a decent nickel linebacker for anyone with his coverage skills.

      • Neil

        Looking at Jordan’s natural abilities, the only things that can sink him are what can sink anyone. Maybe he just doesn’t have the noggin for a NFL defense, or he can’t motivate himself to work hard. If none of that general stuff applies to him, well, exactly like Tommy said, there’s nothing complex or crazy about learning to do a spin or bull rush. We can point to clear reasons for Jordan’s lack of proficiency in these areas like how he spent a significant portion of game and practice time in coverage, being multiple, not bad work habits or something like that. And he currently possesses characteristics as a pass rusher that are rare and not learnable.

  • nopain23

    What I’m most concerned about is the state of our secondary. We can’t afford to miss on another safety prospect. There is no MUST have safety in this year’s draft so the Iggles are going to have to be “surgical’ in their evaluation of this year’s safeties. I’ve been watching some game tape ( I’m no scout) and it seems that Elam stands out as the surest tackler in the group and he could be had in RD2. He seems to be a big hitter as well. I hope the Iggles can trade back and pick up an extra second. If Geno drops maybe some like Buffalo will get desperate. With Buffalo’s RD1 pick we go BPA and in the second, ELAM and J. Williams.

    • http://www.facebook.com/normanahaupt Norman Haupt

      I think it’s important to remember that Reid is no longer here. At the very least we won’t be following the same logic as before.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=565087931 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee

    Great breakdown of Te’o and his challenges in a locker room.

    “If he sulks as some jerk picks on him, that would be bad.”

    My problem with this is, that I don’t want players on my team who are jerks. Is that too much to ask? I would hate to be a part of a team where bullying is accepted. I can accept that young players maybe act stupid once in a while, but I can not accept veteran leaders, who bully a young kid. That’s just my opinion.

    • Neil

      Men are men. It would be impossible to find 53-90 players (while making sure they’re all talented) and have not a single one who will pounce on a guy who’s mentally weak, or forty who will not want to associate with the guy who’s mentally weak. It’s like how dogs will leave behind one of their kind for being too slow to keep up with the rest. If they all sacrificed for him then they’re all dead. In a highly competitive field like football it’s the proper mindset to have.

      • Neil

        Also, I’m not talking about bullying or hazing. When a win’s on the line, you can’t have Te’o sulking as some veteran is chewing him out for the mistake he just made, that’s all.

    • TommyLawlor

      As Neil alluded to, there are no football teams that are all great guys. An NFL locker room is one of the most dog-eat-dog, macho, ultra-competitive places on earth. That brings out the best in some guys, the worst in others. There will be jerks. You have to deal with them. Heck…I see a couple at family reunions. How the heck do you think a football team can get along without having any?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=565087931 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee

        I am just of the opinion that professional athletes on the same team should try to bring out the best in eachother. After all, they are all chasing the same dream. What good comes of bullying? I understand that the situation in lockerrooms (and at familyreunions) may be that way, but I don’t agree that we just have to accept it. Why not try and make a change for the better?
        Some players need coaches who are strict on them, and players that hold them accountable, while others might need a more gentle approach. The best coaches is the ones who know how to micro-manage the players, and treat them accordingly.

        • Adam

          Aw you’re so sweet I might get diabetes. As Tommy said football is the most macho, dog-eat-dog sport on the planet. Yes all these guys are on the same team, but you can’t forget that in the end you have to look out for yourself over anyone else. If I’m a linebacker fighting on the brink of a roster spot, and I see Te’o ahead of me, don’t think for a second I wouldn’t take a jab at him to get into his head and psych him out.

    • Skeptic_Eagle

      Guys break balls all the time. I was just reading about how Drew Bledsoe & Tom Brady were constantly plastering each other’s horrible combine picture around the locker room, creating posters, and circling and annotating them–and this is when Bledsoe was the big dog starting QB and Brady was the 6th round rookie. It’s part of the atmosphere, to a certain extent. I doubt there is a place for a delicate flower in any NFL locker room. You’ve got to have some mental toughness.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=565087931 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee

    Tommy,
    Last year we all wanted either Kuechly or Cox to drop to our pick/range. Those were the players we coveted and hoped to get. This year there doesn’t seem to be such players.
    Is both Kuechly and Cox top 3 picks if they had entered this years draft?
    I just hope that you can give me some names that you are as comfortable picking as Cox and Kuechly were. Is Joeckel the only one?
    The safest choices IMO is Fisher and Star, but they are not necesarrily the ones I want the most.

    • Mac

      I’m not Tommy, but I know he’s not big on Fisher. Solid, but not elite level talent. I think if we traded back and Fisher lasts till say pick #8-12 then Tommy would call that a good value.

      Personally, I think we can get a good OT with our 2nd round pick if we decide we need a new guy at RT. My top candidate for that is Long because of his nasty side and obvious work ethic from the way he carried himself at the Sr. Bowl and working with Chip in Oregon.

  • Iskar36

    In terms of Te’O, he seems to be able to respond very well to the questions and has largely killed the controversy of the stories surrounding him. From that, I get the sense that he would be fine dealing with the media in Philly and wouldn’t have a very hard time fitting in with the team because of it. To me, I would be a lot more worried about how he would fit in on the defense than how he would handle the media.

    From a defensive stand point, he seems like he would not have a role immediately that he could step into, so for me, with all the holes we have on defense, I would rather target someone else that can better fit a hole (this assumes there is a quality player available to target).

  • austinfan

    I have no problem taking Jordan, I just don’t think he’s great value.

    Guys I’d take over him

    Lane Johnson – he’s the true freak in this draft, only started one year at LT after going JC QB – DE – TE – RT. Impressed at the senior bowl, then had a Combine for the ages. This isn’t’ a workout warrior, this is a great athlete with huge upside.

    Eric Fisher – more polished than Johnson but less athletic, but who isn’t? A better fit than Luke, and has impressed at the Senoir Bowl. Movement skills and “nasty” – nice combination.

    Sherrif Floyd – I just value DTs over pass rushers, there are always fast athletic pass rushers in every draft, because every college tries to develop one, but athletic DTs who can make plays are still rare.

    Star – if his heart checks out, just because finding big athletic NTs who can play both one and two gaps is even harder than guys like Floyd who can play “3″ and “5″ at a high level.

    Two guys I rank with Jordan:

    Ansah to me is similar to Jordan, high risk, high reward. Different body type, different skills, but similar risk/reward equation.

    Richardson is actually bigger and a tad more athletic than Floyd, supposedly there are motor issues, but the guy had 75 tackles on Missouri (39 solo in 11 games and 10 TFL) – that’s a lot of hustle on a team that mailed it in after week 2.

    I don’t think Milliner or Rhodes are great CBs, and there are too many good CBs in this draft to reach for someone who isn’t the next Revis that high.

    • Arby1

      Those are the guys (first part) I was thinking of too in my previous post and of course Luke.

      • ICDogg

        Ziggy’s still my favorite, but I like Lane Johnson a lot too.

    • http://twitter.com/Gator_Hokie Bob Brewer

      I think I’d prefer Lane Johnson at #4 as well. Floyd would be me second preference and after that I wouldn’t care. I’d be annoyed if they drafted Geno Smith at #4 (or at all).

    • Ark87

      What kind of athleticism are we talking here on Lane Johnson, are we talking Jason Peters running stride for stride with Jermy Maclin to make a block 20 yards downfield type of athleticism or what?

      • austinfan

        I’d say a bigger, more athletic version of Mathis.

        Johnson may add another 10 lbs as he fills out, but he’s not going to be the monster that is Peters at 100%, but he’s faster, not just his 40, but his ten yard split of 1.61 was better than most TEs, 34″ vertical and 35″ arms – yet he still did 28 reps.

        He played well in his only year at LT, at a high level, and has tremendous upside as he learns to apply his great athleticism to the football field. The comparison on the defensive side would be Ansah.

    • Skeptic_Eagle

      I have never heard of motor issues with Sheldon Richardson. In fact, I’ve heard the exact opposite–his hustle described as one of his absolute best attributes. I also like his passrush repertoire more than Floyd’s, and think if you’re finding similarities to Fletcher Cox, Richardson compares more favorably than Floyd. He’s a guy, like Cox, that could project to the 3T, 5T, or even 7T DE in a traditional 4-3. My concern would be a lack of functional strength at the POA, and the fact that his weight dropped to 285 in season, but never his motor.

      What I have heard about Richardson are whispers about his personality and demeanor. Do you have any links for the motor thing? I’d be curious to see it.

  • RC5000

    I’m skeptical on Floyd being an Eagles target at 4 if they want to make the move out of the 4-3.

    • Mac

      I think Tommy projects Floyd to 5 tech.

    • TommyLawlor

      Either Cox would go to 5-T and Floyd to 3-T or they’d flip that. Both guys can play both spots.

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

        But neither one can play both spots at the same time ;)

        I think that would be a scary tandem for offenses to account for.

      • http://twitter.com/deshawnbentley BG

        I’d want to keep Cox as the 3T DT. Because of his alignment he should get a lot of 1 on 1 battles….And I’d take Cox in a 1v1 anyday

      • RC5000

        Not really the point that he “could play” the position. More of what the ideal is when you’re talking about the 4th pick.
        See them sticking with the 4-3 if they did take Floyd where Floyd is much better suited at the next level with his lack of length and size. You’re talking about a 6-2 1/2 , 297 lb , 31.5 inch arm length player in the 3-4 at the 4th overall pick. More of a 4-3 DT than 3-4 DE.
        I don’t know of a 3-4 team that has taken a player that high with that profile for DE , doesn’t mean they haven’t but I just can’t think of one.

        • Iskar36

          This is part of my concern as well. Sounds like Cox would be slightly out of position as the 5-T DE even though he could play it. Same with Floyd. To me, that means you have two guys that would excel at the 3-T spot, but a less than ideal guy at the 5-T. One guy gets misused in that setup. While they could rotate, I don’t like the idea of diminishing the value of Cox or our 4th pick because there is not a great spot for one of them.

    • westy36

      The only thing that bugs me about Floyd is that his arms are a bit on the shorter side at 31.75 inches. While that wouldn’t be a huge deal as an interior lineman, I’m a little concerned about him going up against offensive tackles if we convert to a true 3-4 down the line.

      • Skeptic_Eagle

        Yeah, I think there is some truth to that. If they go to a 4-3 Under, you’re either projecting him as a the strong side LE, or inside, to the 3 technique.

        Ideally, the 4-3 Under LE is a long tall athlete, powerful enough to occupy and lockout the RT with long arms and set the edge. Floyd does not fit that description.

        Cox is already an excellent inside passrusher, whereas Floyd–as good as he was in school–is a projection at the NFL level, so I prefer Cox at the 3T.

        Maybe they love Floyd’s athleticism enough to overlook his lack of length, or they feel his ability to penetrate is enough of an offset, but I agree, I’m concerned that his best natural position is the 3T, which we’ve already checked the box for.

  • ACViking

    Re: Dion’s Pass Rushing Ability . . . What about B-Graham?

    T-Law:

    Your wrote in addressing the pass-rushing concerns raised in the last post’s comment section:

    “If you can’t beat the OT by simply exploding off the ball, then you’re in
    trouble.”

    Does Brandon Graham pass that test?

    • TommyLawlor

      Brandon didn’t do that consistently in 2012. He was more of an effort rusher. That’s why I don’t get all fired up about the PFF stats about him being so good. You can fight through blocks, bull rush, and that type stuff only so much. You must be able to beat OTs cleanly on a consistent basis. I’m curious to see if Graham can do that this year.

      • ACViking

        That’s what I’m wondering, too.

        Maybe shedding some weight will help. But, to date, he’s been — just as you say (and to my frustration) — an effort guy.

        • http://www.facebook.com/normanahaupt Norman Haupt

          Standing up and giving him another step or two in to a guy could make or break him. I think that’s all Chip is waiting for.

          If he can get around the edge, set a spin counter, and maintain that bull of his, I see no reason not to keep him as a predator.

          Just get the feeling Curry will do all those things better.

    • Anders

      He can and did alot of that in college. Graham is so strong so most of the time he will use the bull rush and because he so low to the ground and strong it works even against tackles 50 pounds bigger than him

  • kujo76

    Ha! Nice one. “Really, Te’o would be best served going to a smaller town where he wouldn’t be under great scrutiny. Baltimore will need someone to replace Ray Lewis.” Yeah, you’re just replacing arguably the best middle linebacker of all time for the SuperBowl champs, but no pressure or anything.

    • TommyLawlor

      There would be pressure in that role, but how many newspapers cover the Ravens? How many TV stations? The initial story would get big coverage, but it would fade over time.

      • xeynon

        He’d also be surrounded by talented, experienced teammates, so he wouldn’t have to replace Lewis’ leadership. As for replacing Lewis on the field, let’s face it, he hasn’t been the best MLB in the NFL or anything close to it for several years now. I don’t think it would be as big a challenge as people think.

        • Cafone

          I agree. Plus the worst he did was lie to the press. It’s not like he murdered anyone. You have to think that if Baltimore fans are willing to forgive murder that the Te’o scandal won’t be a big deal.

      • Skeptic_Eagle

        I think the fact that they’ve won 2 Superbowls within recent memory helps their situation, as well. The fact that the Eagles have only been close one time since 1980, but were a solid playoff team with a fighting chance at it during much of the Reid regime pretty much put the fans in a constant fever pitch. Definitely a pressure cooker in Philly.

  • ACViking

    Re: The Mad Stork

    In 1969, the Colts used their 2nd Rd pick (no. 33 overall) to draft All American DE Ted Hendricks from U-Miami — all 6’7″ 220 lbs of him — and immediately installed Hendricks at LOLB.

    Hendricks filled out and developed into a HOFer, playing on 4 SB winners. His height alone was a huge advantage for the defenses he played on (Colts for 5 years, Packers for 1 year, Raiders for 9 years).

    In the 1980 SB, Hendricks played LOLB at 6’7″ in Oakland’s 3-4 defense behind 6’8″ LDE John Matuszak. Those two essentially shut down the right side of the Eagles passing game because Jaws couldn’t see over them.

    Don’t know if Dion Jordan’s a future HOFer. But Kelly likes length. A lot.

    Wouldn’t it be great to have a 6’7″ LOLB filling the passing lanes behind 6’4″ Fletcher Cox or 6’4″ Cedric Thornton.

    Or, who knows, 6’4″ DE Everette Brown — the former Panther DE added a month or so ago.

    I confess, I’m tired of the short guys AR seemed to prefer manning the front 7 on defense.

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

    My issue goes deeper than lack of power or polish. Rarely do I see Jordan “explode” as a pass-rusher. If he was exploding, you would see the tackle get knocked backwards on his heels. Instead what happens (on a good play) is JordN racing around the edge and keeping away from resistance. Even Kiki Mingo at 240 pounds was able to knock linemen backwards. He shows some natuaral explosiveness even at a small size. Jarvis Jones was able to knock linemen 60 pounds heavier than him backwards every time he tried to bull them. In the rare instances that Jordan does not try to go wide, he gets no push at all. I don’t see that as missing polish, I see that as a missing fundamental.

    You have refered to Jordan many times as a fluid athlete. What if that’s just who he is? When I watch Jordan, I see a glider. It’s graceful and nice to look at, but I don’t know if that is the type of athlete to turn into a high tier NFL pass-rusher. Maybe I am getting too metaphysical, but it’s almost as if some expect Jordan to change what he is.

    • Neil

      Explosion refers to a guy’s acceleration and first step. If you combine that with raw power and do a bull rush, you get the tackle being knocked backward, but Dion Jordan is a speed rusher and that’s not his game. He was playing lighter than he will in he NFL and will add strength. He might not ever develop a really good bull rush, but it would be surprising if he couldn’t learn counter moves to complement his speed rush. If you don’t like his first step, then I can understand why you don’t like him as a prospect, but I don’t agree with that assessment.

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

        I thought acceleration/first step was usually defined as “burst.” Anyway, that’s not what I’m talking about. I am referring to the ability to attack an offensive lineman with strong, sudden movements.

        I am thinking of the way Datone Jones moves right here, with powerful change of direction:

        youtube.com/watch?v=NpjCaXaPm1A#t=3m20s

  • Mac

    Not sure if the answer to this question would be more fact based or opinion based, but I’ve been wondering lately: which job is more challenging (or demands a more skilled/specialized player) 4-3 Mike or 3-4 ILB?

    This post sponsored in part by Tommy’s comment about Te’o going to Baltimore.

    • Iskar36

      I actually had a different, but sort of related question. How would you rate the relative importance of the different positions in a 3-4. Or maybe to make this less extensive of a question, what would be the 2 or 3 most valuable positions on a 3-4 defense that are required to make it successful? I would guess the rushing OLB would be one of them. Would the SAM LBer be an essential position? What about NT and the DEs?

      • A_T_G

        From my (very casual) observances of the 3-4, I would guess the rush OLB then the NT, then everything else. Maybe the SILB third?

        • Iskar36

          I’ve heard people devaluing NT which surprised me. To me, if NT is that valuable, I am curious why Star Lotulelei has not be more seriously discussed. I know he has been mentioned a few times, but I feel that the times I have heard his name, most people are saying that is too early to draft a NT.

          • ICDogg

            The biggest knock on Star was his recent heart diagnosis. If not for that, there would be a lot more support for drafting him.

          • Iskar36

            I know that killed the Star discussions, but even before that, he was never discussed as much as Jordan or Floyd.

          • Skeptic_Eagle

            I think for the most part, the NT is somewhat devalued in today’s 1 gap 3-4 alignments. That being said, I think people are making a mistake in viewing Lotulelei as a pure NT. He’s not. He’s got excellent short area quickness and burst, and could move out to 5 Technique End, which is how Baltimore uses Haloti Ngata, who is actually bigger than Star.

    • http://www.facebook.com/normanahaupt Norman Haupt

      It all still varies depending on defensive line assignments (1 gap / 2 gap), but in general a 4-3 mlb almost always plays clean, and has greater coverage responsibilities. The strong side ILB in a 3-4 is usually a bigger guy who has it take on and shed blockers. The weak side ILB is usually more athletic, plays like a 4-3 mike. You’d like him to have some blitz to him, but not necessary.

      • Mac

        Thanks

  • A_T_G

    I think you hate Te’o. You suggest a low pressure situation for him: replacing Ray Lewis, or a place that will allow him to develop a healthy relationship with his teammates: Cincy.

    He is also going to need reliable transportation. I wonder if any of the recalled Ford Exploders are still available…

    • D3Keith

      This post seems to be underappreciated.

      How about the Jags? Everything they do is low-scrutiny.

      • A_T_G

        Especially if they get Tebow. No one will even notice there are 52 other guys on the roster. Really, wherever Tebow ends up is a good bet for a low pressure environment for everyone else.

  • eagles2zc

    Prince is fervently hoping Te’o comes to the Giants so JPP would have someone new to pick on

  • austinfan

    Forget the character thang with Teo, the real problem was how he was exposed as a fraud by Bama. He couldn’t run at 241 lbs, at his real weight which is closer to 250 lbs, he’s going to be a tackle to tackle ILB and he’s still not exceptionally physical. Which means that in the NFL he’s not going to be able to stick in man coverage with the better RBs and TEs. And he’s not exceptionally physical, so he needs to be protected to some extent. Good instincts are nice, but at the next level it isn’t enough to be a top pick if it’s paired with mediocre athleticism. Ryans was a 4.65 guy coming out of college, Teo is more like a 4.8 guy.

    To me he’s not even a top 50 pick, I don’t see anything exceptional about him as a football player, a guy who’s a better college player than he will be a NFL player.

    • ACViking

      But . . . but . . . Te’o played for Notre Dame

  • Erik Richardson

    If he falls to 35 I hope we get Te’O. If he would be ever motivated now. this would be the time. I like his toughness and resiliency. His leadership was apparent. But, performance and leadership are unified in the NFL. He will have to prove he can play at that level.

  • GermanEagle

    I know that everyone seems to believe that trading down in this year’s draft will be more difficult than in previous years. However what about the Dolphins as a possible trade partner? They are currently sitting at #12 and could need a CB with “elite speed”, especially since Sean Smith seems to be leaving town soon.
    Hence my question if you would do the following trade:
    Eagles trade #4 to the Dolphins for the #12, #44 and #76. According to the NFL draft value chart the Dolphins would be slightly overpaying (by a mere 80 points though), but if they fell in love with Milli or one of the top 3 OTs (their former first round overall Jake Long is a UFA, so they might have a need there too!), I think it’s possible to give up that much.

    The Eagles could then try to haul in the following players:
    1. Round (#12): OT Lane Johnson
    2. Round (#36): CB Jordan Poyer
    2. Round (#44): OLB Jamie Collins
    3. Round (#68): DT Jesse Williams
    3. Round (#76): S DJ Swearinger

    What do you guys think?!

    • Skeptic_Eagle

      Not bad. Not crazy about taking a Tackle that high, but I think #12 is a more appropriate spot for a boom or bust guy like Johnson than #4. I like Jamie Collins, but I’m not sure he wouldn’t just be one more “Predator” on the roster. I believe he was a pure rush-linebacker at Southern Miss–might be a bit like projecting Chris Gocong or Vinny Curry to SAM. Really like the other 3…hopefully you’re adding another safety in rounds 4-7??

      • GermanEagle

        Thanks.
        Re S I am pretty sure the Eagles will add one starting caliber Safety (preferrably Landry, Moore or Quin) in Free Agency which makes drafting another S in rounds 4-7 obsolete.

  • Anders

    Tommy, I dont want to bring in Walker. We already got Harbor on the team who is cheaper and younger and can do all that Walker can do and got much better hands.
    The younger and cheaper part is important for me.

  • Skeptic_Eagle

    Interesting, Pat McAfee, the Colts loquacious punter, mentioned that quite a few guys have been “catfished” the way Te’o was, and that he didn’t think it would actually matter all that much in the locker room. He shared a story about an interaction he had on twitter with a girl tha had a very attractive avatar that didn’t have anything to do with the person tweeting.

    I don’t really care about Te’o’s personal life–though I do find it a bit weird–I just dont’ think he’s all that big of a deal on the field. A lot of his interceptions were fluky, thrown right at him, and he’s not that athletic. I think he’ll be a starter like AJ Hawk or James Laurinitis; competent at best, but unspectacular.

    Dion Jordan is a very tough call for me. There is so much of him that is pure projection. The explanations of his lack of pass rush productivity and skill are valid, it’s just hard to have faith that those things are guaranteed to develop. This team needs help, badly. I know you think they have a lot of talent, but when we’re talking about a smorgasboard of free agents, draft picks and priority signings to build the squad, that says to me that there is a dearth of talent. Jordan could be a really special player, or a guy that becomes a jack of all trades and master of none–a very scary proposition.

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