CB or S?

Posted: April 14th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 68 Comments »

I go through about 37 million mock draft scenarios everyday.  I’m searching for the perfect combination of players.  What is the perfect combination?  That changes every 5 seconds, give or take.

One spot where I’m most troubled is the secondary.  The question is this…what is more of a priorty, CB or Safety?

The Eagles will draft based on grade, but what if they have a CB and S with the same grade?  Who do you take?

We know that Bradley Fletcher and Cary Williams are projected as the starting CBs.  Brandon Boykin will handle the slot.

I guess the backups would be Brandon Hughes and Curtis Marsh.  We’ve also got Trevard Lindley and Eddie Whitley in the mix.  This group could turn out to be just fine.  Hughes has flashed good ability at times.  Marsh has given us hints.  Lindley plays well enough each summer to make the cut…and then gets cut 2 days later.  Whitley is a mystery man.  He was a FS at Virginia Tech and in Dallas.  The Eagles think he can play CB.

I guess a lot of this comes down to Marsh.  If you have no confidence in him, CB might jump ahead of S in terms of need.  I’m also curious what the staff thinks of Hughes.  He plays on the outside, but is only 5-10, 185.  They prefer guys in the 6-1, 190 range.

The good news is that the draft has plenty of talented CBs and Safeties.  The Eagles can address both spots, if they so desire.

What do you guys think…CB or S?

* * * * *

Oddball thought…Fletcher was a CB/S tweener coming out of Iowa.  Whitley was a Safety.  We’re seeing the Eagles value size in their CBs and elite athleticism isn’t required.  If things don’t go well with Nate Allen at FS, could he get a shot at CB?  He’s got the size.  And he’s got good man cover skills.

Matt Ware failed as a CB for the Eagles, but found a home playing for Bill Davis in a hybrid role in Nickel and Dime packages out in Arizona.

* * * * *

Jimmy Bama has a few good draft thoughts up in today’s BtB post.  He offers an interesting Eagles scenario.

_


  • http://twitter.com/n3th3rman Christopher Miller

    CB but I will still follow with a S later…my assumption being by all reports this is a deep safety class.

    • Geagle

      agreed…even if our new safeties get hurt, we atleast have 3 backup safeties with extended playing experience..If Fletcher gets hurt, I would crap my pants to see Marsh and them come in

  • ICDogg

    I think the draft is fortunately deep in both, but it seems deeper in SS than FS.

  • xeynon

    I would take a CB before a safety, but only because I think it’s easier for a defense to scheme to cover up the deficiencies of a mediocre S than those of a mediocre CB. I think both positions are about equally big needs for this team.

  • Mac

    Like a truck driver
    Chip reaches for his C B
    Maybe also a S

    • RC5000

      Less is moar

      • Mac

        tommy writes good
        I do not
        Meh

        • Flyin

          Yours is snot
          his is not

          • Mac

            Back feels warm
            Here is your knife back
            Et tu Flyin?

            ;)

          • Flyin

            while soaking up blood with smelly socks,

            remember, tommy rocks.

  • SteveH

    Definitely think safety is a bigger need. I fully expect Kenny Phillips to not be a factor at all because of his knee, which leaves us with Patrick Chung and Nate Allen. I’m more comfortable with Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher than I am with Nate Allen and Patrick Chung.
    I’m tellin ya, Cyprien in the 2nd is where its at…

    • TommyLawlor

      Don’t count on Cyp getting to the 2nd Rd.

      • Arby1

        Or if he does, certainly not past the first pick of that round.

        • Arby1

          I mean the Niners pick

          • Geagle

            p…no chance in hell he gets passed the niners

    • Iskar36

      I’m with you on this. I am way more confident in Fletcher and Williams than I am Allen (and Phillips knee) and Chung. Having said that, I have more trust in the depth at safety than I do at corner. Marsh could barely get on the field with both our starting CBs struggling badly most of the season and the season basically lost by week 10. I have a hard time thinking the new coaching staff will end up liking Marsh better than the coaching staff that drafted him. As for Hughes, I remember him flashing skills a couple times, but being significantly outmatched other times. Particularly with Fletcher and Williams as our starters, I think we have to add another guy to the mix that can at the very least be groomed to challenge one of them by next season.

  • Flyin

    I feel the Eagles need to focus on bringing in depth at LS. Sources are saying their radar is set on the guy with the initials T.L.

    • TommyLawlor

      Interesting.

  • dislikedisqus

    Contrary to received wisdom, we’ve learned that Good S can cover for bad CBs but good CBs cannot cover for bad S’s. So I say get the best S’s possible.

    • Anders

      Consider we always had atleast 1 pro bowl safety and 1 pro bowl CB before we lost Dawk, Mikell and Samuel. I dont think we have any proof of that (CB and safety play was bad in both 11 and 12)

  • austinfan

    I think they go the same as free agency, the shortest DB signed was Chung 5’11, the slowest was Fletcher around 4.55. That gives you a sense of what they’re looking for, but it could be a combination of players, Keelan Johnson is a fast safety with ball skills who doesn’t really tackle well but could be a press corner, Commings is a CB who might be better suited to safety. I can see them taking a “pure” player early and tweeners later. The guy who I think would be a great fit as a package guy is Cooper Taylor, 6’5 228 lbs with 4.53 who looked good in the East West Shrine game – could be a SS/LB hybrid.

    I think they’ll skip the short guys S Thomas and Swearinger, the slow guys Jefferson, Lester, Motta. At CB the same, Williams, Webb, Webster and Bushnell are a little short, Banks, Anthony a little slow. Someone like Gratz, Commings, Hyde, and Wooten or Wreh-Wilson might fit the bill, Taylor is a little smaller but had 22 reps, that’s a strong bundle.

  • http://twitter.com/Dasdip OR

    You take the unicorn. Every single time. You take the unicorn. By that, I mean that you take the talent you’re likely to not see again for a few years. Usually, that means taking the stud safety. I know… I know… people value CB more highly as a position. But pause for a minute and think about it. How many “stud” CBs are there every year. They’lll be there again with different names. Safety is a different story.

    How many CBs have been called “great” or “shutdown” or the informal “Pro Bowl” in the last ten years. I don’t know, but it’s way more than the number of fingers and toes that I have by a very wide margin. There are few hall of famers, sure, but the “good” ones are all over. They’re in the draft every year. They’re in free agency every year.

    Now, think about safeties. The position is very top heavy. Each draft has one top safety (because there has to be one top one), but there’s not even the confidence that the top safety is even close to being that good on any given year. Supposedly this year is different. Supposedly there are very good safeties and then even regular good safeties to be had in the draft. Do we think that’s a sign of things to come in the near future? I doubt it.

    So you take the unicorn. You take the safety. You guard him like Egg Nog or a McRib because this is a limited time only opportunity and you have to take him (but don’t reach).

    Of course… what are the chances that the Eagles will be in a position to draft or sign an elite corner who seems to enjoy coverage and tackling. A corner who tackles and can cover? Isn’t that kind of like a unicorn, too?

    You take them both.

    • Mac

      Unicorn blood is dangerous. We better have a good medical staff, just in case.

    • RC5000

      You have to take a safety but don’t reach may not be an option at their picks and 2nd/3rd/4th round safeties by definition are pretty big question marks. I mean Kenny Phillips is one of the few elite safeties in the league.
      Not to mention what made the Niners safeties so good last year? A great front seven?

      • Geagle

        Devin Taylor? I assume you see a little Caleaus Cambell in him?
        i think if we got Dion in rd 1, Hankins or Tank fell to us in round 2, and we managed to get kyle long in round 3, or move up from 3 to get him…thats a heckuva draft

  • RC5000

    I think Taylor and Slay are possibiiities but I’m still not sure I love either of them at 35.
    A possibility if they pass on CB/DB in the first 3 rounds is they draft a CB/S like Commings in the 4th round who can provide depth at both positions.
    Simon and Hawthorne are big corners who may be of interest to Eagles in 4th/5th round.
    McFadden and Webster aren’t tall but they are physical corners.
    One of my favorite corners is Poyer but I think he is probably more of a zone or cover 2.

  • RC5000

    I’m not as into a lot of the safeties as many are after Vaccaro, Elam, Reid. Cyprien looked terrific senior bowl week but he didn’t play top level competition. I wouldn’t be upset if they took him but I don’t know that he’s a sure thing. I think Roseman is going to have to very sure to take a safety there.
    Do you take a safety like Shawn Williams who looks like a two down safety when we have a lot of safeties? He is big and doesn’t have a lot of lateral quickness.
    i also think Kelly may want to go as light as possible at safety though I don’t know that. Just a hunch with his uptempo, that he’s going to want more players on offense and upfront on defense.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=47904149 Liam Garrett

    Hey, Tommy. Sorry to ask this again, but I’m really curious: Have we talked about center, yet? If I recall correctly, we were really affected by the poor center-play last year after Kelce went down in Week 2. I love Kelce’s personality and the way he plays, and I’m glad he’s back, but here’s the thing: He had a good-not-great rookie season, and now he’s coming back from a serious injury. Are we sure he’s our guy? Did we sign anyone who could push him this year? And if not, why aren’t we talking more about drafting a guard/center? With Kelce being more of a question mark (in my honest opinion) than we like to admit, shouldn’t we be discussing targeting someone like Jeff Baca (or whomever) in the mid-rounds? Especially if we’re going to have a high-octane offense that needs to make reads and line up quickly.

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot, lately, so I hope you get a chance to address this, or direct me back to a previous comments-conversation where it was. Thanks.

    • D3Center

      I’m not sure on this but I believe Tommy mentioned the Eagles having interest in Khaled Holmes from USC. He’d be a later round pick and has played both center and guard which is good from a versatility stand point.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=47904149 Liam Garrett

        Interesting. Thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/deshawnbentley BG

    What’s the deal with Tyler Wilson. At one point there was speculation he could go 1-1. What’s the latest word on him

    • Baloophi

      Yeah, he’s had to deal with some mega upheaval… New coaches, coordinators, etc., not to mention the rest of SEC. I think he’s been lost in the shuffle a little because of that and his relative lack of mobility, but had a good junior season stats-wise then took a tumble this year because of the above. My understanding about his question marks are decision making (forces stuff) and deep arm strength (Folesian).

      Matt Barkley is another guy who really took a dump this year from a draft value standpoint, but if he and Wilson were in the draft last year I bet we could’ve taken Russell Wilson in the 4th if we wanted.

  • Sifter

    Looking at the contracts/cash, then you’d lean towards picking a safety as plan B for Phillips – he’s only on a 1 year deal, and drafting is about looking forward more than filling a current hole. A potential starting safety from rounds 3 or 4 seems to be logical to me. If Phillips happens to plays well, then the drafted safety can push Chung or just provide cheap depth. I would say that the guy would need to be a good special teamer, just in case he can’t crack the starting lineup. OTOH, if you draft one more highly in the first couple of rounds then he’s potentially wasted if all 3 guys play well (Phillips, Chung and drafted S).

    If it’s 5th round or later I’d go corner, as that seems to be the position that needs depth to my eyes. While Allen is decent depth at safety, I’m not sure I trust any CB after Boykin on the depth chart. Andy Reid certainly didn’t – none of these guys got much playing time last year.

  • http://twitter.com/deshawnbentley BG

    Thomas, would you draft Tyrann Mathieu? If so, what’s good value for him and where do you think he gets drafted?

  • Mitchell

    How would tj McDonald fit into this defense in the 4th/5th?

  • http://twitter.com/danmats1 Dan Mats

    Off topic of safeties and CBs, but do you think the fact that the Eagles are bringing in almost anyone who would be a top ten pick could be so they make the Jags and Raiders reluctant to trade back to Arizona, Miami or the Chargers, making them think its possible that they will draft the pick they want at 4, whether to keep more trade possibilities open or to grab one of the three LT.

    • Sb2bowl

      Probably a bit of both; lots of smoke and mirrors going on. Especially this stuff with Geno. I’d say we are loading up for additional picks (either this year or next year).
      The Eagles are great at keeping their hand close to their vest. I read somewhere that Roseman won’t even tell his wife who the Eagles are thinking of drafting. That’s cool.

      • http://www.facebook.com/watkinsont Tom Watkinson

        I agree about the smoke about Geno. All this stuff coming out last week w Jeremiah and the guy from Houston and numerous other mocks in just that …. making a team like Cleveland, Cards, Bills, and moreso Jets feel they have to pull a Trent Richardson type deal to get the Birds to give up on drafting Geno ….. if we have one team wanting to trade for Geno and the Dolphins wanting to trade for Fisher/Joekel, we could theoretically start a bidding war and force the team with the higher pick pay the same equivalent as the lower pick team or alteast sweeten the offer ….

        • Sb2bowl

          Yup. Its all hypothetical at this point, but I could almost see them trading with Detroit or Arizona, and then again with Miami. Stay in the top 11 picks, but get an extra 2 and 3? Maybe more, and I would be fine with that.

      • Baloophi

        That’s probably because the last time he did she threw her shoes at him and screamed, “Danny freakin’ Watkins?!?!” and he wound up sleeping on the couch.

        • Baloophi

          This one…

          • Baloophi

            This person seems to be that rare fan of the Eagles, cricket, enlarged coffee beans, and early 20th century medicine balls.

          • Baloophi

            Incidentally, “medicine balls” seems like a good name for the condition one experiences when Icy Hot makes that inevitable journey to one’s genitalia.

            This concludes my conversation with myself.

          • Arby1

            I always keep my machetes next to the inflatable sofa.

          • Sb2bowl

            You need help :)

  • Arby1

    Good question. Nate and Kurt’s comments make me think we could be OK with safety if they’re not going to be playing in the box as much this year. Depth is a concern at CB. I keep thinking that we’ll take a S/CB in the 2nd or 3rd, as well as a TE. So if we go Ertz in the 2nd as has been rumored, we could go Slay in the 3rd and Cummings (not ee) in the 4th.

    • Arby1

      “Commings” Note to self: coffee before posting.
      Although if we do go with e.e. in the 4th, I’d recommend G. Stein in the 5th. She can lull an opponent into a coma with that boring repetition.

      • Baloophi

        Worked for A. Reid!

  • http://twitter.com/n3th3rman Christopher Miller

    Hypothetical…let’s say Eagles do draft a WR somewhere in rounds 1-3…do you consider moving Mac or DJax for a pick either this year or next year. Would you do either for a 1 next year and if you did, does that change your draft strategy for a QB this year knowing you are sitting on 2 1′s next year?

    • Sb2bowl

      I don’t think they will be able to get rid of Jackson this year (cap structure) and do you think someone will give up a 1st for Maclin? He is consistent, but not Harvin flashy.
      I don’t see us getting an extra 1 next year with our current roster; I can only see us trading a pick for a pick next year.
      If you were a fan of a different team, who (on our roster) would you give up a 1st for? I’d say McCoy, Jackson, Cox……. am I missing anyone?

  • JGinUK

    Apologies that this is completely off topic, but Tommy, (or anyone else) – do you have any thoughts on Lawrence Okoye? 21 year old discus thrower who represented Great Britain at the 2012 Olympics, now decided to pursue opportunities as a DE, despite no experience

    I hadn’t heard of this, and wondered if it had made news in the US

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2013/apr/15/lawrence-okoye-nfl-draft-discus

    • Tumtum

      Physically he is a beast. He might get a late round flier or probably more likely become an UDFA. He will almost certainly get a look somewhere though from what I have heard.

  • pricebe

    Safety play in the NFL is an epidemic. This is a good draft for safeties. I’m more comfortable with Williams and Fletcher than I am with Chung and Philips/Allen. No brainer to me

    • RC5000

      What safeties do you feel comfortable with that you are sure won’t be bust picks and in what round? I realize every position is like that but do you keep throwing darts at the safety position with the 2nd and 3rd rounder particularly.

      I took a look at some of Phillip Thomas for instance who the Eagles have shown interest in and people like in the 3rd but I saw a guy who wasn’t a good tackler and was late on many plays although then you have to weigh the defensive talent around him. Too much of a bust quotient for me to take him with that high 3rd. Thought Duke Williams looked solid but he probably won’t be great so I like him in the 4th but I actually like him better than Thomas.

      Then there’s Shawn Williams who I like a lot but as a two down SS. Do they want a two down SS? I don’t know. You have to remember Kelly may value certain positions more especially if he’s going to run uptempo and go less at a certain position but look for versatility (such as a CB/S).

      • pricebe

        Well obviously its going to depend on how the board breaks and whose there. In my fantasy scenario Cyprien drops to the 2nd round and we grab him. Obviously if there’s a higher rated CB on my board than an S I’ll take him.but if all things are equal I’m taking the S. For example, if Trufant also fell to the second round I’d still go Cyprien because they’re rated similarly in my eyes

        • RC5000

          Sure…you said it was a good draft for safeties plural so I didn’t know if you had a lot of safeties on your board and who you liked where.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jakwaggoner Jack Waggoner

    Emmitt’s Mock Draft is my favorite one of the year

    http://walterfootball.com/draft2013emmitt.php

    • Anders

      I know they say its satire, but its not much different what the crap walterfootball usually does, maybe thats why they are so good at impersonating Emmitt?

  • http://www.facebook.com/watkinsont Tom Watkinson

    Sadly from reviewing all the visits, workouts, and interviews the eagles have done, it appears that safety won’t get addressed before the 4th rd unless a stud drops, and most likely 5-7rd or udfa. Same goes with Corner (no early than 4th-5th) unless a Trufant falls to the 2d or slay falls to the 3d. Looks like the 2-3ds rds will be a te and/or qb and/or olineman … all offense unless exceptional value presents itself. That is why we really really need them to take Jordan first or trade down and get another 2d so we can get another playmaker on defense.

  • ACViking

    Re: Questions in the Draft Room

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    Re: Answers

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    • http://twitter.com/benjabad Ben Hert

      Best Haiku yet.

  • SuPaFrO

    Soooo which safeties is best value/potential if available??
    Cyprien -2nd
    Eric ried -3rd
    Tj macdonald-4th

    • ceteris_paribus1776

      Sign me up for Reid in the 3rd. He’s most likely going early/mid 2nd

  • Chet

    Hey Tommy, did you see Mayock’s quote in Peter King’s MMQB this morning? He’s talking about the top of the draft and the unpredictability, and he singles out the Eagles specificially:
    “And,” Mayock said, “you throw a Chip Kelly in there at No. 4. He could be so different. I’m not sure they value things in Philadelphia the way everyone else does in the league anymore. So we don’t know that.”
    I wonder if he’s hinting at something here, either his gut or something he’s hearing. You’ve been talking about it a lot – we don’t really know what Chip values. Chip seems to do things his way, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Eagles draft board looks really different. I wonder if this hints at either Ansah or Tavon Austin a little bit more? Ansah just the absolute freak athletically who can get to the QB, or Austin, the most dynamic offensive player in this draft. Everyone makes such a big deal of Kelly needing “his QB” for his system. But the same argument could be made for him needing “his D’Anthony Thomas” for his system – someone with incredible speed he can line up all over the field and in the backfield. Which Tavon Austin is. And DeSean isn’t. Hope you’re doing well!

    • RC5000

      Since Kelly was hired Austin has been in my head so I’ve been thinking as the draft approaches would I be shocked or not if they took him at 4? If they traded down and certain players were gone, I wouldn’t be shocked if they drafted Tavon. I still think I’d be pretty surprised if they took him at 4.

      • Chet

        I’m with you RC. I’d be surprised. Mayock’s use of language did catch my attention though. When he said, “Could be so different” (“so” being the emphasis)…and “not sure they value things in Philadelphia the way everyone else does in the league anymore.” Makes for an exciting draft night I guess – the potential for a surprise…

  • Geagle

    I really believe in Bradley’s game, but I cant count on his knees. I fall into, the NO FAITH in our backup corners group, because the Fatman rarely let me see any of them, no matter how many times DRC and Nnamdi blatantly quit on the field..Like, they werent even benched for a quarter..how could I have any faith in the backups..
    I hated our safeties last year, and if anyone was crazy enough to offer us a draft pick for either, I would gladly move on from them. If Phillips is healthy, he is the steal of the offseason..dont see how we could count him to be. Chung is penciled in as a starter til a young talent is drafted this year or next and is ready to take over..But because our backup safeties have gotten extended playing experience, I view CB as a much dire need…
    However, it gets tricky when you start hearing experts throw around phrases like “THis might be the best safety class EVER”..if thats the case, can we really not take one? Worst case scenario, I see a couple of safeties who could be on the board in the7th that have a chance of being this years Richard Sherman type late round steal…I dont know if we will draft a Safety in the first 5 rounds, but I do think we will atleast spend a 7th on one.. I think they have to add outside CB depth in the first 5 rounds(Brandon McGee). Wont be mad if they add a swearinger to bang it out with Chung…but I wont be surprised if we dont adress safety..It would shock me if we ignored CB

  • RC5000

    Howie on draft in case you miss it. How do you feel about him saying we have 4 guys? Do you feel as though that means they may be inclined to keep the pick? Do you think 3 of them will be gone?

    http://www.philadelphiaeagles.com/news/article-1/Roseman-Previews-Next-Weeks-Draft/a77916e1-9f0b-4ab6-976a-21f1f62faf97