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.
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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.
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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.
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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.