More on the Eagles and the Draft

Posted: March 22nd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 98 Comments »

Star Lotulelei had his Pro Day earlier this week.  Here is the inside info from Gil Brandt of NFL.com:

“Lotulelei measured in at 6-foot-3 1/4, 314 pounds at Utah’s pro day. He ran the 40-yard dash (after being advised not to run it, but doing so anyway since he desired to join the rest of his teammates who were running), and recorded times of 5.31 and 5.36 seconds. He had a 4.65-second short shuttle and did the three-cone drill in 7.66 seconds. Lotulelei had a 30-inch vertical jump and an 8-foot-9 broad jump. Lotulelei performed 38 lifts of 225 pounds on the bench press, which would have tied Lotulelei with SMU’s Margus Hunt and Missouri Southern State’s Brandon Williams for most at this year’s combine.”

The Eagles are scheduled to meet with Lotulelei.  He does make sense as a draft target.  The Eagles would take him to be the 5-tech DE.  His job would be to set the edge against the run and then try to get upfield on passing plays.

Value comes into play.  Is a guy doing those two things worth the #4 pick?  This is a philosophical decision.  There is no right or wrong answer.  Personally, I’d lean more toward using a pick that high on someone who could really impact pass plays.

The Eagles might feel Lotulelei could do just that.  In the Nickel and Dime sets he would slide inside to DT and could help get after the QB from the inside.  He did have 5 sacks this year so he’s got the ability to get upfield.  Lotulelei has good burst off the ball.  He doesn’t have the agility you ideally want in a pass rusher.

Obviously the huge question is still his heart condition.

“…it was reported on February 24 that abnormalities seen in his echocardiogram — Lotulelei’s left ventricle was pumping at 44 percent efficiency compared with the normal range of 55 to 70 percent.”

You only draft Lotulelei if the team doctors give him a passing grade.  Some teams will do this.  Some won’t.  I have no idea how the Eagles feel.  I think it is smart for them to take as close a look at Lotulelei as possible.  He’s too good a player to dismiss casually.

Let’s now shift over to a couple of odd possibilities at #4.  What about the Eagles going for OT Lane Johnson or WR Tavon Austin?

Johnson at 4 may seem early.  I’m trying to think like Chip Kelly and the Eagles might be thinking.  Johnson does make a lot of sense.  He is the most athletic of the stud OTs.  Chip loves athletes.  Johnson played RT in 2011 and LT in 2012.  He could step in at RT this spring and play right away.  This wouldn’t be a crazy projection where you hope he could handle playing on that side.  If anything happens to Jason Peters, you could slide him to the left side.

Johnson also has a really good nasty streak.  He loves to pound guys into the ground.  I think he plays with a chip on his shoulder and Kelly would love that.

Austin at 4 would absolutely seem early.  The only reason I bring him up is that he seems like the ultimate Chip Kelly player.  Austin is 5-8, 174.  He’s tough to find on the field.  You just look for the blur with the ball.  You know how Kelly loves to say he’s an equal opportunity coach…we can score running or passing?  Austin scored 40 career TDs.  He ran for 6, caught 29 TD passes, ran back 4 KOs, and one punt for a TD.  He is an equal opportunity weapon.

Austin is small, but he’s not completely a finesse player.  He is deceptively strong.  I don’t mean that he’s going to run over defenders, but he’s able to play through some contact and maintain good balance.  That is a huge difference between him and other small guys that are good playmakers.

As you look at this draft, you try to identify if there are any special players.  Austin is one such guy.  For my money, he’s the best playmaker.  Austin produced at a high level for 3 years.  Teams had a chance to adjust to him and couldn’t do it.  Defenses were scared of Austin no matter where, when, or how he got the ball.  Because of his size, you have to figure out what his value is.  I think he’s a Top 20 player for sure.  I do wonder if some Top 10 team will see him as such a valuable chess piece that they’ll roll the dice.

The Eagles would put him in the slot right away.  They’d used him as a runner out of the backfield and on end arounds.  Austin would be the primary PR and KOR.  He would be a potential impact player.  Is that worth #4?

We’ve mentioned Austin as a target if the Eagles move back, but now I do think it is reasonable to talk about the fact that if you like the guy enough, maybe you consider him with the #4 pick.  The defense needs more help, but the argument for Austin is that he’s a special player you don’t always have access to and would fit the creative, versatile offense.  Is he too much of a luxury item, though?

In the last month or so we’ve talked about Geno Smith, Shariff Floyd, and Dion Jordan quite a bit.  I’ve touched on Ziggy Ansah as well.  All of those guys remain prospects.

If the Eagles want to add a RT, Eric Fisher would make sense for that.  I don’t see him as a great pass blocker, but he is an outstanding run blocker.

The Eagles are scheduled to meet with OLB Jarvis Jones.  I just can’t see him being a target at #4.  He had a bad Pro Day.  There are questions about his long term health.  He is 6-2, 241 and we know Kelly wants taller, longer players.  Jones is talented.  No one questions that.  I’m not sure he’s a great fit or great value.

* * * * *

Any time I see notes on the Eagles going to a Pro Day or talking to a prospect, I put the info up on Eagles Blog.   Be sure to check over there.  I’ve posted a few nuggets already today.

_


  • ICDogg
    • bridgecoach

      Star wouldn’t be available at 4 had the circumstances played out differently. He is an ideal fit for us at 4 because he can compete at two key positions – NT vs Sop and DE/DT vs Thorton. Everything I’m learning about his condition points to full recovery and likely improved performance. Would love to see him in Midnight Green.

  • ICDogg

    Would love to get Lane Johnson, though it seems like Joekel and Fisher are almost universally preferred.

    • TommyLawlor

      Johnson is favored by a small minority. They’re known as The Following. Don’t mess with them.

      • ICDogg

        I like that show, The Following

  • Baloophi

    If we can’t trade back (to say… 8?), my brain tells me that taking Austin at #4 is a reach both from a value standpoint and from a luxury standpoint (do we need another offensive weapon?).

    BUT – the fan in me would be very excited to hear his name called for us at #4.

    I think Howie would have to answer a lot of questions after taking him that high, but the second Tavon scampers for a couple of long screens all would be forgotten.

    If we put on our revisionist sunglasses (Tommy’s working on a surgical procedure to have those lenses directly implanted in your retinae), would you have taken Brian Westbrook at #4 (if you knew what he’d become)? Maybe that’s not the right comparison, but just food for thought…

    • TommyLawlor

      Revisionist sunglasses? Have you been breaking into The Lawlor’s Lasik Lifestyle Complex again? Best idea we’ve had in a while.

      Great comparison with Westy. They’re different to be sure, but there are enough similarities that the point you make is worth taking into consideration.

      Well done.

      • Baloophi

        Ironically, I’ve been able to bypass security at the LLLC with a pair of these…

        • TommyLawlor

          You must have bought those from G Gordon Liddy and Howard Hunt.

    • Iskar36

      Based on how Westbrook’s career played out, would he have been worth #4 (or even simpler, worth our 1st round pick, 26th, in the 2002 draft), absolutely. But, does taking Westbrook 26th in that draft also completely change how that draft goes? The 2002 draft was one of our best drafts in ARs tenure. So to me, even if a player turns out to be a great player, particularly because you don’t have the benefit of hindsight, a reach still can negatively impact a draft. To me you leave a ton of value on the table when you make a reach pick. So from that sense, no, I wouldn’t have changed how the Eagles drafted Westbrook. On top of all that, unlike in this scenario, we do not have the benefit of hindsight obviously, and if we reach for Austin and he busts, I don’t think that is a forgivable mistake. That sets your franchise back way to far, so to me, it is not worth the risk.

      • austinfan

        Westbrook would not have been worth the #4 because of durability, he was a part-time player until 2006-2007, and two years of carrying the load and he broke down. Might have been worth a late 1st/early 2nd as a premier role player.

  • mark_in_jax

    If you look back about 2 or 3 weeks you will see I suggested that Lane Johnson will eventually become the best out of the top 3 tackles in this draft. Might take a year or two but he could play RT this year and move to LT if necessary as you said. I would be thrilled if we took him at #4 no matter who else is available!

    • TommyLawlor

      I do think Lane has the highest upside. He’s the most raw. That’s really the only issue with him.

      • bridgecoach

        While lane may have more athleticism and upside than the top 2 OTs, I think Terron Armstead has most athleticism and upside overall. Hard to argue with him as our pick at 35.

  • RC5000

    I could be wrong due to the video I have seen on Fisher and I don’t look at nearly all of his games.
    Fisher seems like a pass protector to me but I’m going by his big games against Mich State, Iowa, Western Kentucky in little caesars bowl where his M.O. is setting up in pass protection and pushing the DE wide. He is usually in retreat but is outstanding mirroring and moving his feet and using his hands. Have seen much more of him in setting up in pass pro than run blocking.

    CMU ran the ball a lot during their conference games but I don’t know much was behind Fisher. I’m going by stats there.
    I think Johnson looks better for Kelly’s scheme. He is even quicker and faster than Fisher in space although Johnson isn’t quite polished technique wise like Joeckel and Fisher and Joeckel is most polished. Fisher seems like a Juan Castillo/Reid type of OT – setting up against the defender in pass pro like Tra Thomas or Runyan.

  • nopain23

    Hey T

    With FA additions do u still see the iggles taking a safety high in the draft?
    i was hoping they would take a shot at ELAM in the second.
    silly as it may sound i’m hoping the Iggles trade out of 4 with BUF wanting
    to jump ahead of a ARZ to get Smith netting us their 1st and 3rd Rd picks then……wait for it…we draft ……Warmack..maybe the best player in the draft. That would really be picking BPA at 8.

    • TommyLawlor

      I think the Eagles have the freedom to take a Safety early, but the need isn’t there. They don’t have to force the issue. I’d still love to add another hitter to the mix.

  • Adam

    If you take Austin at 4 and put him in the slot, your starting receivers are 6’0 (Maclin), 5’10 (DJax) and 5’8 (Austin). Not much skin on any of their bones.

    Does that work for Chip’s offense?

    • TommyLawlor

      Good question. Maclin is average size. DJax and TA would be small. Not sure what Chip would say. And who knows if Mac is part of the long term plans.

      I assume Austin is a Chip Kelly type of player, but I don’t know that for a fact.

      • Iskar36

        I certainly agree that Tavon Austin seems to be the type of player Chip Kelly would really like, but how do you balance individual player versatility with overall team versatility? And maybe I should add to that, does Austin actually limit the overall team versatility.

        What I mean by that is, as Adam pointed out, if we drafted Austin, we would have our 3 top WRs as 6’0 and shorter, and none of them “play big” either. While individually Austin could likely be moved around a bit, it seems with that set of WRs, the only type of mismatches you could setup are athletic/speed mismatches. If instead you have a guy who is taller, more physical, and also plays “big,” you can create mismatches both based on athletic ability as well as physicality.

        To me, it just seems even though Austin himself is versatile, the offense as a whole loses a potential dimension which makes the offense as a whole slightly less versatile. As a defense, my focus would be keep the safeties deep and make sure to play the WRs physical in the middle to wear them down. Obviously not every team will do that successfully, but against the ones that can, it seems we would have relatively limited ways of exploiting that compared to a team who has a big WR who can handle the physical play better and would have the space already created by DeSean and Maclin alone.

        • shah8

          Use the imagination a bit. Tavon Austin is basically from the Percy Harvin school of slot receiver/running back, of the sort that’s more useful than the Sproles of the world. So…let’s go back to Martyball. What Austin would do would be to replace Celek and Avant’s role and add YAC dynamicism that neither has. Wouldn’t have improved our ability to score in the red zone drastically, but I bet he would have drastically improved the number of times in the red zone and how deep in we get with fewer first downs needed. Chipball? I don’t really know, but we won’t be able to get him anyways, I don’t think.

          • Anders

            How would Austin replace a TE?

          • shah8

            Celek was primarily a pass-catching TE who was supposed to exploit gaps created by two speedy receivers on the outside. Avant as well. Celek was utilized more in the sense that he could help with pass blocking–and all those necessary chip (or more intensive) blocks definitely decreased his effectiveness. He’s not a great blocker anyways. Tavon Austin wouldn’t help with the blocks, but he would have been an actual hot read-ish sort of outlet that would have occupied a potentially pass-rushing LB (if slot CB isn’t to be trusted), given that the S are often pretty far back. More Harvin than Westbrook, Reid would have brought back the short almost-slants that typified an earlier Eagles offense. There would be even fewer rushes on the ground.

          • Iskar36

            No question that Austin would have far superior YAC ability than Avant or Celek, but in your scenario, you’re putting the ball in Austin’s hands to begin with. My point is that while Celek and Avant lack the YAC ability, does their physicality and strength help them get open to begin with in a way that Austin would be at a disadvantage.

            Don’t get me wrong, There are absolutely ways to take advantage of Austin’s skill set with Maclin and Jackson being your other two WRs. That’s not my question. My question is relative to a WR corp that has a more versatile group of WRs (one where you add a bigger, more physical WR instead of Austin), are you limiting the overall potential production of the group because you have fewer guys that can play physical with the defense that can balance the speed and athelticism we have with Jackson and Maclin.

          • shah8

            Watch Percy Harvin in action, and see why he got the big bucks. If anything, DJax and Tavon are far more complementary than than DJax and Maclin. Austin gets open, and he can get open in a way that’s consistent with NFL defenses.

            Now, no freakin’ kidding about the lack of size, but Austin is simply good enough that he can play his way onto snaps (if he’s not a bust, of course). What would happen is that Maclin is deep trouble in the event of an Austin drafting. Djax outplays his size. Austin that comes out Percy good will outplay his size. And…well…Maclin doesn’t. Impact matters, and his inability to be physical will be noted as the Eagles need even more size from *someone*.

          • Iskar36

            Ok, I understand what you’re saying now. Essentially you’re giving up on Maclin if you draft Austin, and planning on replacing him with that more physical receiver at some other point. That fits in with what I am hoping to have in a WR corps that has a balance of physical and fast WRs, and that may prove to be a good strategy. Still, since you would have to give up on Maclin at the end of this year, which is likely too quick to really determine whether or not Austin can live up to the hype (unless of course he has an incredible rookie season), that seems like an awful lot to risk on a player we would have to reach for. At the very least, it would make sense to trade Maclin now if that is the direction we wanted to go in.

        • http://twitter.com/JackfinBauer Jack Bauer

          I think you are missing the mismatch angle. You want to keep your safeties deep? Chip will run on you all day long. You want to put a nickle corner/Safety on him…good luck. If Chip decides to bring him in motion, or from out of the backfield, at the very least you have a decoy, at best a potential matchup nightmare in base packages

      • austinfan

        Could be a matter of priorities, defense early and then someone like Barner later on. Chip seems to like quick RBs and big WRs, maybe because quick RBs tend to be 5-8/5-9 200 lbs, a guy like Austin is tempting, but who that size has actually succeeded as a RB/slot WR? Even Sproles is significantly bigger (thicker).

        It seems 185-190 lbs is the minimum requirement to play in traffic with the big boys, because NFL defenders are so much faster than college defenders (I glance at all the pro days, it’s interesting to see how many college LBs run 4.9 and college safeties 4.7).

    • RC5000

      Followed Austin for his career, there’s no question he is special and he has an extra gear. I’m not really that in favor of drafting him and keeping Desean though it doesn’t mean Kelly would agree. They are a little different in that Austin has been more of a slot WR but I think you take him 4th, you probably will move him around.
      I like the defensive players like Star and Ziggy and the OTs and you can get a WR later if they really want one. Swope is one. And a guy who doesn’t get much pub who I think is going to end up being one of those solid, smart WRs is Austin’s teammate Steadman Bailey and Steadman is a good name for him.

  • ICEMAN

    How about trade back for OT Johnson if possible, select DE Margus Hunt 2nd round, 3rd round NT Brandon Williams. That would be a solid start i would think.

    • TommyLawlor

      There is some speculation that Hunt could go late 1st. I’m not his biggest fan, but I could see Kelly loving him. Williams would be a good NT to develop for the future.

    • EaglesHero87

      No love for the safeties?

      • GENETiC-FREAK

        I think Eagles are good for now with Phillips n Chung back there. Allen can cover the FS n play some SS if needed. Get a SS later rounds.

        • ICDogg

          Wouldn’t want to count too much on Phillips with his injury history

          • GENETiC-FREAK

            If Eagles use a high pick on a S then i think they would expect him to start or push for it.. FS Phillips, Allen SS Chung, Anderson, Coleman.. Think you can get a SS later in the rounds

          • holeplug

            Ya I wouldn’t count on Phillips for anything next year. He may not even make the team depending on how his knee is.

        • EaglesHero87

          I agree with ICDogg. When healthy, we know Pillips can be a playmaker. But if we can somehow get a safety in the 2nd round, become the protege behind Phillips and Chung if they manage to stay healthy, we’d be absolutely loaded.

        • http://twitter.com/Sattymike Michael Jorden

          Think you can count on both Philips and Chung with their injury history? I think we’ll be fortunate to hit with one of them. Probably prudent to draft a S somewhere in the top 4 rounds, but I wouldn’t use the 4th pick or first round.

    • Anders

      I prefer Devin Taylor over Hunt for potential 5 tech, I also like Hughes more than Williams at NT

      • D-von

        What about Joe Kruger or Dave Kruger from Utah? Possible UDFA pickups

        • Anders

          I wouldnt mind picking one of them up in UDFA, but I think we also needs to draft one.
          Taylor is really an under the radar player, but look him up:
          http://www.bigblueview.com/2013/3/21/4132222/film-study-de-devin-taylor

          Also Mike Kaye from BGN have this to say about him:
          “I love him as a 5-tech. Long arms, good open field tackler, can rush, has a swim move, patient, can hold up linemen, can push pocket, extremely talented at batting balls, constantly forces pressure.”

          Also Taylor is more freakish athletic than Dion Jordan or Mingo.

          • GENETiC-FREAK

            Taylor more athletic than Jordan n Mingo??

          • Anders

            yep.

            Taylor is 6.7 and 266 pounds and did the following:
            40 Time – 4.68 (low of 4.62, high of 4.72)

            3-Cone Drill – 6.89s

            Short Shuttle – 4.30s

            Vertical – 35″

            Broad Jump – 10’8″

            Mingo is 6.4 and 241 pounds

            40 time – 4.58

            3-Cone Drill – 6.84

            Short Shuttle – 4.29

            Vertical – 37 inches

            Broad – 10’8″

            So Mingo and Taylor got around the same times and lengths but Taylor is 25 pounds heavier.

            Jordan – 6’6″ and 248 pounds

            10’2″ Broad

            4.6 sec 40 time

            3-Cone Drill -7.02 sec

            short shuttle – 4.35

            Vertical – 32.5 inches

            So Jordan despite been label as the most athletic player is inferior to Taylor on most of these drills and he is 18 pounds lighter.

          • GENETiC-FREAK

            Man thats pretty good for a bigger guy.. Doesnt really show though Taylor being that athletic hence why im suprised.. Good stuff

          • Anders

            Its tough for a 4-3 DE to really show of his athleticism because he is never asked to do stuff like dropping back in coverage or stand up rushing

          • RC5000

            Taylor had an outstanding combine and it was talked about less than a lot of players.

          • Anders

            tbh I was really surprised how athletic he really was. I know it does not show on tape all the time. Thats also why I think he will be a low 2nd early 3rd.

          • RC5000

            We don’t disagree a lot…only slightly at best. Just saying what I have seen on tape and it’s always tough to judge combines either way.

          • Anders

            He will drop because of his tape and because people will compare him to Ingram and Clowney. If we can get him in the 3rd I would be very happy

          • RC5000

            Definitely on the top of my board in the 3rd. There may be some corners and safeties also but there aren’t a lot of DL I like there other than DT.

          • Anders

            I think he should be available there. The question is ofcourse if the Eagles see him as potential 5 tech like I do.

          • RC5000

            Agreed he and Swope were two surprises. I expected good solid combines from them but not top combine numbers.

          • bridgecoach

            There is a lot to like about DTaylor. Love that he played in the SEC. Love that he has a chip on his shoulder. Love that he has the athleticism to play multiple positions/roles – with a frame that could get bigger or leaner. We have an amazing coaching staff now both at LB and on the dline -that loves to teach. This kid has ridiculous upside and can likely be had for a 3rd or 4th round pick.

          • RC5000

            Like Taylor but he doesn’t always play up to his combine numbers. It’s tough to compare him to Jordan and Mingo. He’s a different type than them.
            Also think when Hunt is on, he is more explosive and fast than Taylor with pads on. It’s not a huge difference but enough of one I would take Hunt over Taylor although then there is the age issue with Hunt.

          • Anders

            Problem with Taylor is how he was asked to play. Because of Ingram and Clowney, he was more of a decoy. If you look at his shrine game tape, he can see how athletic he is on tape.

          • RC5000

            I saw it, he played well, he’s a good athlete for his size. He’s just a different type of player and just a little less agile and explosive on tape then these other guys but he is a different type of player also.

          • Anders

            “he’s a good athlete for his size.” Good athlete for his size? he is freakish athlete for his size

          • RC5000

            Not going to sit here and argue with you over him being a freak. Mike Mamula was a freak at the combine. You think he is more athletic than Jordan, Mingo, and Hunt and I disagree with you. People can go look at him on tape and decide for themselves.

          • Anders

            As I said in a reply to GENETIC-FREAK. Its tough for a 4-3 DE to really show of his athleticism beceause he is not asked to do thing like dropping back in coverage or rush from a 2 point stance

  • ceedubya9

    I love the idea of a guy like Austin on this team. He definitely doesn’t bring much height to the position, but there is no denying the explosive talent that he brings. Although they are two different types of players, you give yourself a bit of insurance by having him here just in case the team happens to part ways with Maclin when his contract is up. Assumingly Cooper and Benn may still be around as the big receivers, and Austin’s playmaking ability along with that of DeSean could work out great.

  • EaglesHero87

    In your other article, you mentioned how important it is for Chip to have WRs to block. Can this guy Austin do that?

    • TommyLawlor

      I meant to touch on that. Does a pretty good job, especially for his size. That’s part of his toughness.

  • GENETiC-FREAK

    Is Chris Rainey still on the market? Or his off field issues too much of a risk

    • TommyLawlor

      I think teams are scared of him.

  • D-von

    Tommy, if Jonathan Cyprien were to be drafted in the first round what teams do you think would have the most interest in drafting him with their first pick?

    • TommyLawlor

      I’d have to study the bottom of the 1st round. I think he’ll go somewhere in the 24-32 range. Wonder if BAL might like him to replace Reed.

      • austinfan

        He’s strictly a SS type.

        Lot’s of solid SS types early, really almost none of the top safeties have the top end speed of a true FS, but a lot of faster guys who are question marks later on, and some CBs that are good candidates to convert.

        This is a great draft to stock up on big DBs, and sort them out in camp. But to me, there are far more safeties that can play in the box and hit people, than guys who can play in space and still tackle, so the latter have more value when you can find one, or why Ed Reed is basically irreplaceable (as was Dawk).

  • PeterAkkies

    How about the following draft strategy?

    Let’s say the Eagles would be very happy with any one of the following players in the first round:
    - Luke Joeckel
    - Eric Fisher
    - Lane Johnson
    - Dion Jordan
    - Star Lotulelei
    - Tavon Austin
    - Kenny Vaccaro
    - Ziggy Ansah
    - Dee Milliner

    Then there are nine players that you like, so you try to trade down to around spot #9 and be assured that there’s a player you really like.

    Yes, I know Kenny Vaccaro won’t go as high as Luke Joeckel, but you catch my drift–trade down enough to be assured you’ll get a player you like, and then draft the best player available when you’re on the clock.

    • D-von

      I think mostly everyone would love for the eagles to trade down, but it depends on if the eagles can find a dance partner. I don’t expect many trades in the first because of the lack of “blue chip players.”

      • ICDogg

        I think you’ll find people willing to trade up, but the question as always is what they’d be willing to give up to make the trade, and the market this seems stronger for those who want to trade up than for those who want to trade down. So forget about gauging the value based on those charts.

        • D-von

          Yeah this makes more sense than my post but we have the same general idea

          • ICDogg

            So maybe the 49ers like someone at #4, and they offer you #31, #34, and #61. Do you take it?

          • GENETiC-FREAK

            Id take that lol

          • D-von

            That’s a hard trade. More picks but there is some really good talent at the top end of the draft

          • RC5000

            No that’s not that much for the 4th pick. If you can move down to 8 and pick up a 3rd, then move down to 15 and pick up a 2nd round pick, that’s already as good as that trade pretty much and you are at 15-20.

          • EaglesHero87

            I think I’d be more content with the second offer: trading down to the 8th and acquiring a 3rd-rounder rather than a 15th and 2nd-rounder.

    • Sifter

      Your strategy makes sense to me. But then you also have to be happy with taking all those players as high as #9.

      For me, I just don’t see why there is all this theorizing. We pick at #4, we shouldn’t be picking outside the best 4 players in this class. To me the best 4 players are Joeckel, Fisher, Milliner and Star (not necesarily that order), so consequently I’d be disappointed if one of those wasn’t our pick if we stick at #4. To me Star makes the most sense since there is a lack of good big guys on the DL.

      Interesting too to hear the theory that Star isn’t much use in the passing game, therefore we should go for Jordan or a pass rusher instead. I don’t buy that personally. The running game still makes up at least 40% of the plays in the league, and in situations like the red zone it’s damn important. Writing off a guy because he only got 5 sacks seems a little extreme. I think we take the best players possible, not get caught up in what skills might be ‘worth it’ at #4. Then you’re on the slippery slope of looking for TOO much value at #4 ie. looking for a tremendous athlete who does x-y-z and you end up shooting for the stars and enhancing your chance of a bust. I think of guys like Vernon Gholston or Aaron Maybin off the top of my head.

  • xeynon

    Austin would seem to be redundant with DeSean already on board and signed to a long term contract. Yeah, I know he’s a more complete and versatile player, but I don’t see how having two 5’8″ receivers as key pieces of your offense doesn’t hurt you in certain situations (particularly inside the red zone where downfield speed matters a lot less). If he somehow fell to the second round, maybe, but I’d be very disappointed if Austin is the first player the team drafts.

    • http://twitter.com/MFlicker Mike Flick

      I was thinking the same thing. Plus Damaris. That is a lotta small.

      • http://www.facebook.com/michael.w.cho Michael Winter Cho

        And we all know those people get beat up by big people.

  • http://twitter.com/mgrisez7 Matthew Grisez

    would it be possible to create a section that lists all the players the eagles visited w/ or worked out?

  • Flyin

    Tommy,

    I read Chip’s interview transcript and he mentioned “ankle flexibility” while describing what he was looking for while evaluating Trent Cole. In the visual sack presentation of Barwin by JimmyK, sack#2, pic1, is that what Chip is looking for in ankle flexibility? (inside ankle being able to tweak like that)

    By the way, it looks like Jimmy graduated from the Madden School of Telestrator Art Form.

    • Anders

      That type of bend is what you want out of your OLB because it means the tackle will have a hard time to block him,

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

    Margus Hunt’s lift was insane considering his length and build.

    • austinfan

      Okafor is a solid DE prospect, but Jeffcoat was the better player on Texas.
      Okafor is one of those guys who is solid, but the upside just isn’t there.

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

        I must say I disagree with that. Jeffcoat had more pre-season buzz, but Okafor once again proved he was the better player.

        Here they are both going against a pair of elite tackles in 2011. Okafor gets his pressures, Jeffcoat does not (Okafor unleashes a flurry of pressures, repeatedly going around Matthews starting at the 7:50 mark):

        youtu.be/B7-owiN2l-g

  • nickross23

    Couple of quick things.. The early talk before the combine was Chance Warmack being a top 5 pick.. Now it seems the other guard from UNC Cooper being rated slightly higher by some. If there is a trade down and all if the top OT are gone do we look at either guard prospects in the 10-15 range? Also some of the later round versatile players i really like is UGA DE/OLB Cornelius Washington. 6’4 265 ran a 4.55 and had 36 reps on the bench. He had his pro day and looked good in position drills..

  • mroberts327

    Tommy: how does Austin compare to Djax? I am hesitant to go after him because he seems like a very similar type player. If there was a tall red-zone threat type WR available, I’d be all for it, but having another speedy undersized WR scares me…especially in short yardage.

    • mroberts327

      Short yardage as in red zone

  • Gary

    Tommy, please tell me you got Chip’s movie reference when he said “I was told there would be no math.”

    • ICDogg

      Before Troy Dyer, Chevy Chase (as President Gerald Ford) did pretty much the same gag on SNL during a debate sketch: “It was my understanding that there would be no math.”

  • GvilleEagleFan

    Just a random thought I had while looking at the ESPN Power Rankings: The NFC is stacked. I know that seems like a pretty basic observation, but I think it might have some strong implications on how Chip builds his team. Look at the projected playoff field for the NFC this year:

    North winner – Packers

    West winner – Seahawks/49ers

    South winner – Falcons/Saints

    East winner – ?

    Wildcards – 2nd place teams from West and South

    While I think people are overrating the Hawks and 49ers right now due to FA hype, this is what frightens me:
    Age of starting QBs:
    Rodgers – 29, Wilson – 23, Kaepernick – 25, Ryan – 25, Brees – 34

    Add in the fact that Eli should have another 3-5 years as a quality starter and RGIII is only 23 and there are a lot of Super Bowl quality starting QBs in our way. Looks like our best path to the holy land is winning the division and hopefully beating up on whichever AFC division we get to play each year. I wonder if this factors into Chip’s decisions about building the team to specifically matchup well against the NFCEast, much like he recruited players to win in the PAC 10/12.

    • GvilleEagleFan

      Compare that to the age of Brady and Manning in the AFC and the fact that the next reigning champs of the conference are Flacco and Andre Luck, but who fills out the bench? Philip Rivers? Andy Dalton? Roethlisberger? Tannehill? Reid was smart picking the Chiefs, they’ve got as much shot at a consistent division title in 2-3 years as any other team (once Manning retires) and could make a strong case for a wildcard berth as early as next year, as long as they have a better record than the Chargers and Bengals

  • GGeagle21

    When you lack Oline depth, and have major holes in the front 7: 5tec, and you only have 1 OLB with any real OLB experience, and not a single OLB that I wouldn’t crap my pants watching drop back and covermWitten twice a year….I don’t even want to think about a RECIEVER, and I know just how dangerous Tavon can be… build the trenches, then work your way back. Dion, Ziggy, Sharrif or stat….I’m a huge fan of king fish and Lane, but since we are paying out starting tackles tons of money, without even asking either to restructure or take a pay cut…withthe money we are spending on Peters, and Herremans, I would like to think we don’t have to spend the 4th pick in the draft at RT…F you are going to spend the most valuable pick we had in over a decade, than cut Peters, since you can’t cutnHerremans because he hasntoonmuch dead money on his contract….Peters is my favorite player, and I want him on our team..so I would rather pass on Fish and keep Peters..But in terms of allocating resources,mwhat the hell are we doing, drafting anOT when peters is our highest paid player? if you need to criminally neglect the defense, for another OT…then do something about the money we are paying both our OTs..

    lucky for me, I doubt Chip would dare pass on Dion…so I won’t have to worry abut this silly fish pick(although I think the world of him)

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