The draft is finally here.
1st round – Pick 4
2nd round – Pick 35
3rd round – Pick 67
4th round – Pick 101
5th round – Pick 136
7th round – Pick 210
7th round – Pick 212 … from Cleveland (David Sims deal)
7th round – Pick 218… from Tampa ( A Benn deal)
7th round – Pick 239 … Comp pick
My top 3 guys are:
1a – LB Ziggy Ansah – BYU – 6-5, 271
1b – LB Dion Jordan – Oregon – 6-6, 248
2 – OT Lane Johnson – Oklahoma – 6-6, 303
I have a hard time choosing between Ansah and Jordan since I don’t know exactly how the defense is going to play out. Jordan is faster and more of a natural pass rusher. Ansah is heavier and more physical, while only being a notch slower. I think both players have tremendous potential. When in doubt, I’m going with the bigger (heavier) player.
Johnson is my favorite of the 3 OTs and the one who makes the most sense for the Eagles. Great athlete who has RT and LT experience. Truly a special athlete, but before you start screaming “workout warrior” at the top of your lungs, know that Johnson has a real nasty streak to him. Loves to finish his blocks. If he gets a defender on the ground, Johnson piles on and keeps blocking. Imagine Tra Thomas athleticism with Jon Runyan’s nasty streak. Sounds pretty good, huh?
I prefer an impact player for the defense rather than an OT. The reason is that coaches can scheme and do some things to help with blocking. On defense, if you don’t have top athletes and playmakers, you’re hopeless. Think about GB. They have a legend like Dom Capers running the show, but take away Clay Matthews and that defense is helpless. The OL has had a lot of injuries, but because of Aaron Rodgers and Mike McCarthy, they’ve remained explosive on offense.
The Eagles have some good players on defense, but they need better athletes. Trent Cole was one in his prime. Brandon Graham was one prior to microfracture surgery. The 3-4 defense needs athletes. Ansah or Jordan would be ideal.
Any other targets?
I think 4 is too early for Tavon Austin, but I wouldn’t be mad if he was the pick.
Shariff Floyd offers the versatility the Eagles like. He could play 5-tech or 3-tech.
Geno Smith will not be the pick.
Trade Back Scenarios
DET, ARZ, and MIA are most likely. They could be in the hunt for OT help. I think those teams are more likely to deal with the Raiders than us, but you never know.
The reason to want to move back is to get extra picks in Rounds 2-5. This draft isn’t loaded at the top, but there is good depth.
It is possible Jordan or Ansah are on the board even if the Eagles move back, but lets take a look at 5 other targets the team could have interest in.
1 – WR Tavon Austin – West Va – 5-8, 173
2 – LB Barkevious Mingo – LSU – 6-4, 241
3 – DL Star Lotulelei – Utah – 6-3, 311
4 – DL Shariff Floyd – Florida – 6-3, 297
5 – CB Dee Milliner – Alabama – 6-0, 201
Austin is the most dynamic offensive playmaker in the draft. Mingo is a very good athlete and pass rusher. Star would initially project to DE, but could grow into a NT in time. Floyd is a versatile athlete. Milliner is the best big CB in the draft.
In a lot of years I have wanted the Eagles to move up or down to help them target better fits. This year staying at #4 would be fine in that sense. The problem is that the draft has a lot of depth and with Chip Kelly changing the roster, all the mid-round picks possible is a good way to go. I want more picks.
PROBABLE DEPTH CHART
WR – DeSean Jackson….Jason Avant ……. Damaris Johnson ….. Ifeanyi Momah
WR – Jeremy Maclin …. Riley Cooper ……. Arrelious Benn
TE – Brent Celek
H-back – James Casey …. Clay Harbor ….. Emil Igwenagu
RB – LeSean McCoy …. Bryce Brown ….. Chris Polk
QB – Mike Vick………… Nick Foles ………. Dennis Dixon
LT – Jason Peters ……. Allen Barbre
LG – Evan Mathis……… Julian Vandervelde
OC – Jason Kelce…….… Dallas Reynolds …… Matt Tennant
RG – Danny Watkins …… Nate Menkin
RT – Todd Herremans.…. Dennis Kelly … Ed Wang
DE – Fletcher Cox ….. Ronnie Cameron
NT – Isaac Sopoaga …. Antonio Dixon
DE – Cedric Thornton … Vinny Curry …. Clifton Geathers
ROLB - Brandon Graham … Trent Cole … Phillip Hunt
WB – Mychal Kendricks ….. Jamar Chaney
MB – DeMeco Ryans …. Jason Phillips ….. Casey Matthews
LOLB – Connor Barwin …… Chris McCoy
SS – Patrick Chung …… Kurt Coleman …… Colt Anderson
FS – Nate Allen ………. Kenny Phillips …. David Sims
CB – Cary Williams ……. Brandon Hughes … Trevard Lindley
CB – Bradley Fletcher ….. Curtis Marsh
NB – Brandon Boykin
P – Donnie Jones
K – Alex Henery
LS – Jon Dorenbos
NEEDS (not in order)
Rather than re-posting… here is the link to a full post.
VISITS TO PHILLY (most important)
* WR Sky Dawson – TCU … WR coach Bob Bicknell was at his Pro Day
* ILB A.J. Klein – Iowa State … Eagles scout attended Pro Day, focused on ILBs
* CB Dwayne Gratz – UConn … DBs coach at his Pro Day
EAGLES VALUE BOARD
Because the Eagles are so specific I’m trying to list players that I think have a likelihood to be on the Eagles draft list. I will be omitting good players. The value board is a combination of grade + need. There is a report out there that the Eagles have 160 players on this year’s board.
TE: Tyler Eifert
WR: Tavon Austin, Cordarelle Patterson
OT: Luke Joeckel, Eric Fisher, Lane Johnson
OG/C: Chance Warmack, Jonathan Cooper
DE: Star Lotulelei, Shariff Floyd, Datone Jones, Sheldon Richardson, Sylvester Williams
LB: Dion Jordan, Ziggy Ansah, Barkevious Mingo
ILB: Arthur Brown
S: Kenny Vaccaro, Jonathan Cyprien
CB: Dee Milliner, D.J. Hayden, Xavier Rhodes
QB: Geno Smith, EJ Manuel
RB: Eddie Lacy, Jonathan Franklin, Gio Bernard
TE: Zach Ertz, Gavin Escobar
WR: Justin Hunter, Robert Woods, Keenan Allen, Da’Rick Rogers, Markus Wheaton, Quinton Patton
OT: Justin Pugh, Terron Armstead, Kyle Long
DE: Margus Hunt, Jesse Williams, Jonathan Hankins
LB: Damontre Moore, Tank Carradine (or DE)
ILB: Kevin Minter, Alec Ogletree, Manti Te’o,
S: Eric Reid, Matt Elam,
CB: Desmond Trufant, Jamar Taylor, Darius Slay, Robert Alford, Dwayne Gratz, Blidi Wreh-Wilson
QB: Zac Dysert, Matt Scott
RB: Le’Veon Bell
TE: Vance McDonald, Travis Kelce, Jordan Reed
WR: Marquise Goodwin, Aaron Dobson, Ryan Swope, Chris Harper
OT: Dallas Thomas, Reid Fragel
OG/C: Barrett Jones, Brian Schwenke, David Quessenberry
DE: John Jenkins
NT: Brandon Williams
LB: Jamie Collins, Corey Lemonier
ILB: Kiko Alonso, Kevin Reddick
S: DJ Swearinger, Bacarri Rambo, Phillip Thomas, JJ Wilcox
CB: Johnthan Banks, Jordan Poyer, Leon McFadden, David Amerson
QB: Jeff Tuel
RB: Spencer Ware, Stepfan Taylor, Kenjon Barner
TE: Dion Sims, Nick Kasa
WR: Josh Boyce, Denard Robinson
OT: Brennan Williams, Luke Marquardt
OG/C: Khaled Holmes, Brian Winters, Earl Watford, Vinston Painter, JC Tretter
DE: William Gholston,
LB: Michael Buchanan
ILB: Keith Pough, AJ Klein, Jon Bostic, Nico Johnson
S: TJ McDonald, Shamarko Thomas
CB: Sanders Commings, Tharold Simon,
All-Tommy Team (my favorite non-1st rounders)
WR Markus Wheaton – Oregon State
WR Tavarres King – Georgia
TE Mychal Rivera – Tennessee
FB Kyle Juszyzck – Harvard
RB Johnathan Franklin – UCLA
QB Matt Scott – Arizona
OT Patrick Ford – Eastern Kentucky
OG Larry Warford – Kentucky
OC Brian Schwenke – Cal
OG Kyle Long – Oregon
OT Brian Winters – Akron
DE Tourek Williams – FIU
DT Jordan Hill – Penn State
DT Josh Boyd – Mississippi State
DE Jamie Collins – Southern Miss
LB Mike Taylor – Wisconsin
LB Mike Mauti – Penn State
LB Khaseem Greene – Rutgers
S Jordan Kovacs – Michigan
S Shawn Williams – Georgia
CB Jordan Poyer – Oregon State
CB Johnthan Banks – Mississippi State
Out of this list I want the Eagles to get 4 players…guys I covet (more or less)
RB Kerwynn Williams – Utah State … Explosive RB that can catch passes
RB Spencer Ware – LSU … Bigger back that can catch the ball and run over tacklers.
WR Marquise Goodwin – Texas … Versatile, explosive talent
WR Denard Robinson – Michigan … Could be a hybrid RB/WR and thrive under Chip Kelly.
WR Da’Rick Rogers – Tennessee Tech … Character would have to check out. Has elite talent.
TE Zach Ertz – Stanford … Versatile pass catcher that will also block.
TE Gavin Escobar – SDSU … Versatile pass catcher that must learn to block.
OT Dallas Thomas – Tennessee … 2-year starter at LT could be excellent value.
OT Kyle Long – Oregon … Nasty run blocker that plays with an edge.
QB Zac Dysert – Miami OH … Good fit for Kelly’s offense and would be good value.
QB Jeff Tuel – Washington State … Great fit for Kelly’s offense and would be great value.
LB Dion Jordan – Oregon … Great athlete and potential difference-maker up front.
LB Ziggy Ansah – BYU … Bigger, stronger version of Jordan.
LB Michael Buchanan – Illinois … Mid-round guy with great measurables and good potential.
DE Joe Kruger – Utah … Young kid with a great frame and some real talent.
DE Jared Smith – New Hampshire … Late round target that could be good fit at DE and DT.
NT Josh Boyd – Miss State … Could play DE or NT. Willing to do the dirty work.
S Jonathan Cyprien – FIU … Best FS in the draft. Reminds you of Dawk at times.
S Eric Reid – LSU … Can be explosive hitter.
CB Jordan Poyer – Oregon State … Playmaker with great instincts.
CB Robert Alfrod – SE Louisiana … poor man’s version of DJ Hayden.
CB Johnthan Banks – Miss State … Big time playmaker that will hit, tackle.
Please Avoid These Players
QB EJ Manuel – Florida State … Still a project. I doubt he ever develops.
WR Terrance Williams – Baylor … Never lived up to the hype.
OT Menelik Watson – Florida State … “Athletic” OT who went to Combine and posted terrible numbers.
OT Oday Aboushi – Virginia … Up and down season, then struggled mightily at Senior Bowl.
DE/LB Bjoern Werner – Florida State … Lacks the motor to play LB in 3-4.
DE/NT Kawaan Short – Purdue … Great stats, potential, but never clicked for me.
ILB Alec Ogletree – Georgia … Too many red flags.
CB Jamar Taylor – Boise … I’m one of few who doesn’t love him. Hate his tackling. Asante-ish.
I really, really want a couple of more picks. Could be in 3rd, 4th, or even 5th round. This draft has good depth. Lots of talent to be found. The Eagles must come away with an OT in the first 4 rounds. Beyond that, about anything else can happen. I prefer to add a LB or playmaking DE early so the front seven will have a boost.
I won’t be upset if Chip Kelly goes more for offensive guys even though D is more of a need. It takes an offense longer to gel so targeting that side this year does make some sense.
The Eagles should be a much better football team in a few days.
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Jimmy Bama and I did a podcast today. Final draft preview.
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Quite a few of you made PayPal contributions recently and I can’t thank you enough. That’s very generous on your part and much appreciated by me.
Special thanks to Baloophi for putting that all together. He doesn’t know it yet, but he gets my first born. And probably the next couple as well.