Changes?

Posted: April 22nd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 107 Comments »

This is one of the most uncertain times of the year. The Eagles have to react to what happens ahead of them. The team’s top target could slide to them. The team’s top 2 or 3 targets could be there. The Eagles can have some initial plans, but must also have some contingency plans.

If you listen to Eagles Live on a regular basis, you’ve heard Adam Caplan say the Eagles are interested in adding a veteran ILB to be a backup. This is interesting to note. The team already signed Jason Phillips and has Jamar Chaney and Casey Matthews returning.  If the Eagles are looking for help, that tells you that Matthews and Chaney have one foot out the door.

So why haven’t the Eagles made a move yet?  The team has been busy scouting and meeting with ILBs for the upcoming draft. They’ve checked out 1st rounders to mid rounders to late rounders. This doesn’t mean they’ll take one, but it shows significant interest. My bet is if the team doesn’t draft an ILB in the first 5 rounds, they’ll sign someone on Saturday or right after the draft.

It is possible the team could sign one in the next couple of days and then go away from drafting one unless a player they love falls to them.  Right now they have options.

The same scenario is true with Eric Winston and the OL. The Eagles want to draft an OT early. If for some reason that doesn’t pan out, they could turn to Winston and see about adding him.

Are there other moves that could be made? I have speculated about trading Jason Avant, but he’s scheduled to be at some team draft event this week. I don’t think the Eagles would let that happen if Avant was being shopped. The Jaguars did something like that to QB David Garrard and looked like complete jackasses.

The Eagles have 74 players on the roster now. Drafting 9 players leaves room for only 7 UDFAs. I do wonder if we’ll see any cuts. The reason you would hold on making the cuts is to not give away early roster hints to the other 31 teams.  I have no idea what Chip Kelly and Bill Davis think of short pass rushers like Everette Brown and Phillip Hunt. I do know that if you cut them, you’ll have a major hole at backup OLB. Other teams could read that and jump ahead of the Eagles in the late rounds if there is a LB on the board.

Or maybe the Eagles don’t want a bunch of UDFAs. They may see guys like Ed Wang, Allen Barbre, and Matt Kopa as a better version of UDFAs. If that is the case, then the Eagles will mostly leave the roster as is and draft/sign away.  It just won’t surprise me to see a couple of moves in the next several days.

* * * * *

Somehow I missed a recent piece by Geoff Mosher in which he wrote about Vinny Curry.

“For now, the Eagles are jockeying him (Curry) between defensive end — the five-technique opposite Fletcher Cox — in the odd front, where they also have Cedric Thornton competing, and outside linebacker, where the team is also auditioning converted ends Brandon Graham and Cole.”

This ties in with the earlier point about the Eagles wanting flexibility.  If the team drafts a DE early, but fails to land a LB, they may want Curry to shift back to OLB. Right now the only OLBs you would project to make the team are Barwin, Cole, and Graham. Guys like Brown, Hunt, and Chris McCoy are longshots. So I guess it is possible Curry could slide back to being an edge rusher.

* * * * *

Mike Mayock said tonight that he thinks the Eagles will be choosing between OT Lane Johnson and LB Dion Jordan.

Mayock also noted that he thinks Joeckel and Fisher are gone in the first 3 picks. If so, that means OT desperate teams could be calling the Eagles. That would not only give the Eagles trade partners, but the team could negotiate from a position of strength. You aren’t going to get a king’s ransom this year, but maybe the Dolphins would give up a 2nd and a 4th. That would be very tempting offer, especially if Dion Jordan is off the board. Mayock speculated that the Eagles could still get Star Lotulelei if they moved back to 12. Man, that would be nice.

I still love the notion of the Lions giving a 4th round pick to move up one spot. You then draft Ziggy Ansah at #5 and have the extra mid-rounder. I just don’t know how desperate the Lions are for an OT.

Miami continues to talk to KC about Branden Albert so that could change things in a heartbeat.

* * * * *

Phil Savage offered some draft nuggets on Twitter tonight. The only one of significant interest is that he doesn’t see any way that Barkevious Mingo goes in the Top 5. I think he could be a target if the Eagles move back. The Jets at #9 are said to like him quite a bit.

* * * * *

Gimpy posted his new MAQB column. He previewed the NFL Draft and made some predictions.

_


  • Baloophi

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    ***********

    Friends,
    With the NFL draft right around the corner it’s time to remind everyone of all the hard work Tommy and Sam do to bring us this special space. It takes a lot of time and effort to continually create new content, maintain the website, and respond to questions / comments / death threats after a mock draft. With that in mind, I’d like to ask everyone here to take a minute of your own time and consider making a donation in any amount to Iggles Blitz.

    Since one of the most enjoyable parts of my Iggles Blitz experience is engaging in discussions with all of you, I’d like to issue everyone here a challenge: If we can get 25 donations in any amount before the start of the draft, I will happily give $10 per donation to Iggles Blitz. Your contributions go a long way toward acquiring and maintaining a tape library, licensing and legal fees, and of course, making PBR-flavored smoothies.

    On the right hand side of the page is a “DONATE” button. Please
    consider giving any amount you feel comfortable with to a resource I know you all enjoy as much as I do. No need to post how much you have given, and if you not able to at this time, please consider “voting up” this post so it’s front and center for others.

    I know many of you graciously helped Tommy get to the Senior Bowl a couple months ago and that he was enormously grateful. Now let’s help keep the site going for the 2013 season! Remember, without Tommy, we’d be stuck getting Eagles information from Dave “Company Line” Spadaro, Les “Photo Bomb” Bowen, and Jeff “Who would YOU take?” McLane.

    NOTE: Tommy and Sam have not solicited this challenge in any way, shape or form and will undoubtedly shy away from it. Besides, they should be busy preparing for the inevitable fallout when the Eagles use their first three picks on quarterbacks.

    • EaglesJRL

      If Joeckel and Fisher go in the top 3, Eagles could still lack a
      trade partner since Miami is rumored to not be interested in Johnson. My bet is they stay put.

      • Geagle

        Eagles trade back one spot with Detriot, so they can draft Lane, and we can draft Jordan while aquiring the #132 pick, which is basically almost a 5th rounder…

        Im really starting to think Jax has NO interest in Dion…#2 pick in the draft will be Fisher, Mingo,Ziggy or possibly Geno(but thats a long shot)…You dont draft Dion to play predator and just rush the passer every play…

    • Caligreenbird

      Done. Best money I spent all day. Thanks Tommy for the daily distraction and Baloophi for the reminder.

      • Baloophi

        Thanks, Cali!

    • since1961

      I’m in. Rationality + Eagles fan? Hard to conceive of.

      • Baloophi

        Hats off! You did it!

    • Iskar36

      Baloophi, great job at organizing this. Tommy certainly deserves the support for all the hard work he has done, and your effort and initiative provided many of us the needed incentive. So great job Tommy for everything you do on this site, on H2H, on Scoutsnotebook, and on PE..com. Also, thank you Baloophi creating the challenge.

      • Mac

        +1

      • bubqr

        Clearly Thanks Baloophi – While Tommy is not as good as that old EMB poster goeaglesXX or something was then, he’s pretty good.

        • Ark87

          Go Eagles Dos Equis doesn’t always post on message boards, but when he does…..

          Wasn’t that guy banned from iggles blitz? This is PBR country!

    • Ark87

      Had to throw in some cash, with all the crappy posts and bad humor I put you all through hahaha.

    • hotcakes33

      Done! I’m still working rerouting the PBR delivery truck to Tommy’s.

    • dropscience

      In honor of Morton’s return, and the Eagles drafting a former Sooner who is going to see the field in some capacity other than special teams… I’m in. Plus, I just like costing Baloophi money. :)

  • Iskar36

    You have to wonder with Curry whether or not the talk of him being thought about at potentially two different positions is because 1) the Eagles think he is versatile enough to play either, 2) they are trying to put up a smokescreen and not give away where they may have a hole on the defense, or 3) they want to find a spot for him because he is a 2nd round pick, but in reality he doesn’t properly fit the scheme. Seems a bit unlikely considering he was just a second round pick and you would likely get a lot less than you would want for him, but is there any potential that he is traded? If the reality is closer to the third option, even if you can only get limited value for him, that may be the unfortunate best option moving forward.

    • TommyLawlor

      I could see Curry as trade bait, but I’m guessing since he was a high pick last year the Eagles will want to keep him. Howie will be working the phones and will listen to offers, if anyone is seriously interested.

      • Iskar36

        Definitely agree with that. I would guess the offers we would get would be a lot weaker than we would want for a 2nd round pick from last year. I’m sure they would rather try and find out what they can get out of him than accept a weak offer. That being said, the uncertainty of his position just has me wondering whether they are high on him or not in the new system. I could certainly argue it either way.

        • Skeptic_Eagle

          If they really don’t have a spot for him, I’d agree, try and trade him for a 3rd or 4th rounder this year to try and get some viable talent on this roster going forward. Really, I guess you could apply this same line of thinking to Nick Foles. Amazing to think that even if they end up getting rid of a 2nd and 3rd rounder they drafted about a year ago, it will still be considered one of the best Eagles draft classes in recent memory!

        • deg0ey

          My personal opinion is that it might be better to wait until training camp. Gives Chip a bit more time to make sure it’s closer to option 3 than option 1. It also lets teams take stock of their situation after the draft. There aren’t many true 4-3 DEs this year, so a team with a need there will invariably miss out and, if you’re waiting a couple months, there’s a chance somebody gets injured and a team gets desperate.

          Combine that with the fact that most teams tend to be quite bullish on their chances for next season immediately after the draft (Think back to last May; did anyone really see the Eagles picking #4?) and everyone expects they’ll be picking late in the round next year.

          I think my ideal would be to send him to a 4-3 team for a second round pick next year (could alternatively settle for a conditional pick that can become a second rounder if he plays well).

          • Iskar36

            I definitely agree with the logic here. It gives you some time in TC to see how Vinny Curry is progressing. We will have the mini camps and Curry will have some time to develop. Furthermore, after the draft, assuming we pickup a DE and/or an OLB, hopefully they have a clear plan of where they want Curry so that he can get to the appropriate weight. That way, by the time TC get here, he will be able to show what he can provide to the Eagles in whatever defense they like. If he doesn’t fit though, then you can trade him.

            The one place I will disagree with you on is that getting a 2nd round pick for him seems unlikely. Even if teams liked him at the draft last year, the lack of production and the negotiating leverage they would have (assuming we would only trade him if we didn’t feel he fit our system) would likely return less than a 2nd round pick.

          • deg0ey

            I could see where you’re coming from with regard to getting a second round pick for him and you’re probably right. I just feel like we’ve got more chance of that after the draft when teams already know they’ve missed out on one this year (and haven’t got close enough to covet someone next year yet).

            Also worth remembering that whilst other teams might have some leverage because we’d be trying to shop him, there’s a good chance he’s the only guy on the market so there’s a chance we could get a bidding war going.

            Overall, though, I think a conditional 3rd that can become a 2nd if he does well is probably the best all around. The Eagles get the chance of a very good return on someone that wasn’t a scheme fit and the other team get a little insurance against him not turning out how they hoped.

    • Arby1

      The fact that he’s worked with 2 of the coaches previously and that he’s adding muscle for a position indicates, I think, that the team has plans for him.

  • ShadyCrockett

    Tommy, (or anyone, really) have you heard anything about a Vick trade? My enthusiasm for Vick as our QB officially died last year and I’m holding out (an admittedly small shred of) hope that we’re going to shock the world and trade him. I think it’s possible Kelly could make a Vick led O work, just not Super Bowl work; so I’d just rather try to get a pick for next year.

    • deg0ey

      There’s an argument to be made that keeping Vick is actually the best move.

      If the speculation is true and Chip really does want a mobile QB to run the option then ‘his guy’ isn’t currently on the roster. If he doesn’t see ‘his guy’ in the draft either then whoever plays QB this season is just going to be a placeholder until the QBotF is inevitably drafted. If that’s the case, there’s something to be said for going with the more mobile placeholder so that the rest of the team can get used to implementing the concepts that they’ll use when the aforementioned QBotF arrives and can hit the ground running.

      Incidentally, this is not an argument that I actually endorse; I still believe Chip when he says he doesn’t have to have a mobile QB at all costs. But if he does then keeping Vick makes sense even though it’s not likely to win the Super Bowl in the short term.

      • Adam

        The threat of a QB running is a huge element of the read option. While I think Chip can make do without a quarterback that can run (which sounds really silly, they all can run, some just not very fast), I think it’s more of a situation like, “Yeah I can do it it, but I’d rather not.” It would be silly for him to paint himself in a a corner and say I need a mobile QB from a strategic standpoint because then teams know Foles is not valued highly and we may not get what we want in a trade. Plus, when the day comes when Vick gets benched and Foles has to go out there, he’ll have to deal with “you said you needed a mobile QB !!”

        I take just about anything Chip says with a massive chunk of salt. He talks fast, says a lot but really nothing at all. He feels no need to divulge any of what he’s doing or thinking to the media.

        Which I’m a huge fan of to be honest, I think McLane needs to be knocked down a few pegs again. Can we get him and Les in the ring again soon, with Asante doing the commentary?

      • A_T_G

        On the other hand, we might be able to get good value for an aging QB with a ton of unrealized potential this year, as compared to next year when there are a number of guys 10 years younger with potential.

        • ShadyCrockett

          That’s kind of what I’m thinking and, depending on your thoughts about Vick as QB, dealing him would also raise our chances of getting a higher pick in next years draft.

  • Geagle

    i got flamed on this board for stating that Dion = JaysonTaylor..now Cossell is throwing around that comparison, so its ok lol…I was convinced we would trade Avant to a contender, dont see how that will happen now….

    • A_T_G

      I must have missed that conversation. I’d like to go back and see it, can you link it?

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

        I have seen him say it several times.

        I find it hilarious people talking about Lane Johnson as a sure thing when he was ranked outside the first rd pre-combine and not considered one of the top 5 otackles but those same people conclude Dion Jordan is a raw prospect who is merely a workout warrior despite the fact he was ranked in the top 10 prospects overall pre-combine. Its quite ironic how quickly people will contradict themselves to target a position of need when you are supposedly never suppose to do that .. especially in the top 10 of the first rd.

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

          Lane Johnson had a much better 2012 season than Dion Jordan. Where the public mocks had them ranked in January is irrelevant.

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

            1) Public or Kiper and Mayock and NFP and Walter Football who had Lane Johnson no where near the first rd in January??

            2) Jordan tore his labrum in game 6 against Colorado .. when he already had 7 sacks … and then still played every game after than. I think the scouts are taking that into account and realizing why his production was off a bit his senior yr. But that would be rational so who knows.

            3) Jordan was all pac 10 first team HIS JUNIOR YR. Lane Johnson was second team big 12 after HIS SENIOR YR. Jordan would have been a 2d-3d rounder after his junior yr. I would say Jordan had more national accolades.

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

            1. I don’t think you understand what I mean by a public mock, because you just listed a bunch more of them. Do you really think the Mel Kipers of the world dictate value to NFL teams?

            2. Jordan had 5 sacks last year, not 7. They all also happened to come during the cupcake portion of the schedule. 100% of his sacks came on outside rushes and all but one came on 3rd down, meaning his production was extremely one-dimensional. Jordan was only able to get to the QB on outside moves on obvious passing downs against weak teams. That’s about all the concrete pass-rush success you can lean on from 2012. The rest is projection.

            3. Lane Johnson was 3rd Team All-American (CBS). He got national recognition for his play during the regular season.

    • MortonG

      Except that Jason Taylor had 21 sacks and 41 tackles for loss at Akron when he was in college.

      He produced. Dion Jordan hasn’t produced nearly as well. Dion Jordan has only 29.5 tackles for loss and 14.5 sacks in four years at Oregon. Not terrible on the surface, but very underwhelming for a player who stayed for his senior season.

      The cut-off, i you look at NFL history, is usually 17 sacks in college, and if they miss that cut-off, they have to basically have 35 or more TFL. 90% of the Top-50 NFL sack leaders in the game’s history fall into those parameters.

      • Ark87

        Dion’s stats simply aren’t good enough to justify him even being a first rounder, I wonder what people see on tape that has them so high on him. Clearly there is a ton of projection, I just hope it isn’t purely based on measurables (height, arm length, speed).

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

          sack total in college isn’t a perfect predictor of NFL sack production. Inferior competition and schemes. Thats why nfl scouts look for attributes … bend, flexibility, speed, arm length, broad jump, H, W, S, etc … that allows them to project a pass rusher ie Clay Matthews, Aldon Smith, Cameron Wake, Chris Clemons The inverse is true as well

          • MortonG

            Sack total and TFL total in college has a very strong correlation to NFL performance.

            90% of the top-50 sack leaders in NFL history had 17 or more sacks in college

            60% of the top-50 sack leaders in NFL history had 28 or more sacks in college

        • Iskar36

          I don’t think it’s based on purely just measurable, but I have to say, watching his tape really did not get me excited about him at all. I’m not a scout by any means, so I trust Tommy’s analysis of Jordan way more than I trust my own, but when I watched Jordan, I just didn’t see him make any moves or do anything special that would justify him as a top 4 pick (beyond seeing him occasionally lined up against a slot WR/TE, but in that capacity, all the tape I saw had him just move into a zone and then off the screen and you couldn’t really tell how great he was in coverage in that context). His game tape just really left me wanting more.

          • Ark87

            I’m in the same boat. I tried to watch a non-highlight tape on him. To the untrained eyes (mine) there is a lot of not making a difference, seemingly being a non-factor. Perhaps an experienced scout better understands his job/role in the scheme/defensive plays, maybe he was playing exemplarly…maybe they see a type of first step or something sticks out to them…I won’t throw a fit if we take him, I just don’t see why people rave about him.

        • Neil

          What people see is a guy who’s simultaneously the longest and fastest guy on the line of scrimmage. He has a good first step and is great at bending the edge. He can cover well in both man and zone. He is a good tackler in run defense and coverage. After his labrum injury, his sack numbers fell off because he stopped fighting OL with his arms. If that is purely a product of the injury, the decision to take him is easy. Watching the guy who played before the labrum tear, he would have had 10 sacks easy, on top of his roughly 30% of snaps of coverage.

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

        Ummmmmmm Dion didn’t play on defense his freshmen or sophomore yr. His first yr ever playing defense in his life – his junior yr — he had 5.5. He had 7.5 sacks his senior yr in 5 games and then tore his freaking labrum against Colorado and still played every remaining game.

        I would be interested to read about the college sack production or tfl loss analysis.

        The only analysis I have seen shows sack production in college means little to nothing …ie Matthews, Wake, A Smith, Clemons — little sack totals in college to NFL leaders & also SEC sack leaders does not equate at all to nfl sack production since 2004. Maybe the four sack leaders had high TFLs I dunno. Hence why i would enjoy reading that type of analysis if you have it.

        • MortonG

          Clay Matthews played 4-3 OLB in college so he wasn’t even asked to rush the passer. Same for Cameron Wake, who played 4-3 OLB at Penn State. These were complete gambles in the first round who may have shown pass rush ability had they played 3-4 OLB or 4-3 DE in college, but they didn’t. Jordan however has played pass rusher in college and has shown that he doesn’t have the ability to generate great pass rush.

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

            You already admitted Jordan was covering wr and tes half the time and playing contain a good amount as well … not purely rushing the qb every play like a Jarvis Jones but more like Clay Matthews or Cameron Wake would as a 4-3 olb … and he tore his labrum 5 games into his senior yr …. seems to me like a great reason why he didn’t reach your magical sack totals.

            O now Clay Matthews was a big gamble. Got it.

            I guess all those SEC sack leaders since 2004 won’t be top 50 all time sack leaders either.

            Just call me crazy but maybe the spread offense and use of 3-4-5 wr sets has weakened the correlation betweeen college sacks and nfl sack production … I bet most of those sack leaders are 4-3 d ends as well.

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

            If you look at pressure% (which won’t be deflated by Jordan’s frequent forrays into coverage), his production was still mediocre. This was also with Oregon using aggressive “hockey lines” substitution packages that should have kept Jordan fresh and ready to wreck.

            http://secondroundstats.com/2013/02/27/pass-rushers-pt1/

            http://thesidelineview.com/columns/nfl/metrics-breakdown-top-pass-rushers-tier-1

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

          Dion Jordan joined the Oregon defense in 2010 and had two sacks that year. Then he had two years as a starter. That is at least comparable opportunity to any underclassman who would declare for the draft.

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

        Jordan had a major injury to this shoulder his senior in game 6 … up until that point he had 7 sacks. None thereafter. He played in the rest of the games but was obviously hindered.

        Jordan played offense his freshmen and sophomore yrs — hence limiting his chances to get some sacks earlier in his career.

        Jordan was asked to cover and/or spy and/or contain on alteast 2/3 of the snaps he played …. severely limiting his opportunity to register high sack numbers.

        Lack of alleged production (mere sack total) was not because of lack of pass rushing ability PERIOD. Injury, Position Switch, and Usage were much bigger reasons. Tending to make your prediction unreliable on its face.

  • http://twitter.com/eaglesnut Greg Richards

    The 132nd pick is the Lions’ 4th round comp pick. Can’t be traded. They draft at 137th in the 5th. They traded their 2013 4th to MIN in last year’s draft to get Tahir Whitehead. They’d have to send us their 5th and next year’s 5th since they don’t have a 4th this year.

    • Geagle

      oh…so the Lions cant trade #132?

    • deg0ey

      Or we can package our own 5th and take their 3rd.

  • http://twitter.com/eaglesnut Greg Richards

    Veteran ILB? Any idea of who? I wondered why Larry Grant wasn’t receiving any interest and then it turned out the reason was because he was suspended the 1st 4 games. Doubt they’d have any interest in a guy like Dansby who will want to start.

    • RC5000

      Two OLBs are Shaun Phillips 31 and Michael Boley 30. Nick Barnett I think he’s 31 and Dansby is in Buffalo right now visiting to take his place I guess.
      Other LBs are Daryl Smith 31, Bart Scott who is over the hill, Urlacher who is OTH.
      Surprised Phillips is out there. I think he is still decent but he’s a pass rusher.

      • Adam

        Terrible time to be north of 30 in the NFL.

  • EaglesJRL

    What are the chances that Cyprien or Pugh are still available when we pick at 35?

    • Arby1

      Pugh should be there, Cyprien most likely not.

      • EaglesJRL

        A guy can hope, I’m curious as to where he ranks amongst the safeties on their draft board. Also can’t wait to see which TE they end up taking (most likely in the 3rd, 4th or 5th)

        • Geagle

          Gavin Escobar at 67…if he is gone, I can see them trading back 8 spots and taking Kelce

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

            What about Vance? think he is available in the 4th?

  • Arby1

    Going by the standard value chart, and I know that is loosely used, the #4 pick is worth 1800 points while Miami’s #12 is worth 1200. If we gave them #4 and our 5th rounder #136, in addition to #12 they would have to give us their 2nd 2nd rounder #54, their 1st 3rd rounder #77, and their 4th rounder #111 to have an almost equal trade value: off by just 1 point. I know that’ll never happen but I imagine that’s what Howie talks about by being blown away by an offer. We’d have the following picks: 12, 35,54,67,77,101,111, and 4 7th rounders. That’s 2 2nd’s, 2 3rd’s, and 2 4th’s. OK, fantasy over, back to reality.

    • deg0ey

      And then, knowing Howie, he’d presumably be trading down in the other rounds to get his 5th and 6th round picks back. Sounds like a pretty good situaish, though, let’s make it happen.

  • Skeptic_Eagle

    Thanks for listening to Eagles Live and getting the high points. A little tough for me to get through one of those, but there are some interesting bits. I’d imagine that with the way they’ve played, it’s probably an either/or situation with Matthews/Chaney to be a primary backup to Kendricks. The free agent market is slim pickins’ at this point, but I thought former 49er Larry Grant was a pretty decent STer, and there could be a Gamble connection.

    My only concern with jockeying Vinny Curry back and forth is that he’s not going to find a home at either position. 280 is light for a 3-4 DE, but probably a bit too big for a guy transitioning to OLB from college DE, without great natural movement skills in space. It would be a real shame to have ANOTHER wasted second rounder on the roster, I’m kind of hoping they try him at 5, and at least make him a primary backup to Fletcher Cox at 3.

    • Ark87

      totally agree about Vinny Curry. I think if he does get stuck in that, too light for 3-4 DE but too big for OLB, he will primarily be a situational pass rusher on the 4 man nickle and dime fronts. That’s if they really like him, and are looking to hang onto him while he properly makes the physical transition to whatever they want him to do (as well as picking up the new skill sets).

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

      I think if he wants to build a multi-front defense, a versatile defense that can switch between even and odd fronts at any given time, then he would want an assortment of guys that can either take on a tackle head-up or penetrate a gap. The fact that they can do either with a small adjustment may make up for the fact that they may not be the prototype player for either technique.

      We don’t really know, of course, what exactly they plan to do, so of course I’m only speculating.

  • dislikedisqus

    If they trade back, they should take Warmack. Also, if the Jets like someone, be careful!

  • ohitsdom

    The tough situation to me is if what if Jordan is available at 4, but Miami offers a trade for their 2nd and 4th? It’s so risky passing on Jordan to trade down, not knowing who will slip.

    • Mac

      I agree, if they have a very high rating on Jordan I would hope they would just sit tight and take him, or possibly just take the Lion’s 5th round pick and take Jordan after the Lions take Johnson.

      I am eager to see how Howie’s “aggressive” nature effects this decision. If he has a guy or guys he covets I would think that may make him more likely to sit tight and take his guy. Alternately, he may have more guys that he likes in the 2nd or other mid rounds and truly want more picks there.

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

        If you love a player at 4, you don’t trade down to 12.

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

          I dunno … if Dolphins offer 12 and a 2 and 3 …. that would be hard to pass up.

          • ICDogg

            Wouldn’t be for me, if I really liked the guy that much at 4. Of course, it depends on how much more I liked him than who else was available.

            And I’d rather trade back incrementally, if there were a few guys I liked. Maybe go back one or two picks, and if the guys I liked were still there, go back one or two more, if those moves were available. I might not end up with as big a return that way, but I would ensure that one of the guys I want is still there with my top pick.

          • Mac

            If the guy we really want is Jordan, we probably can’t drop back past the Browns. If we have Jordan and Ansah graded out about the same then perhaps we can drop that far, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility that Detroit takes Ansah and Cleveland takes Jordan. IMO that would be the “nightmare scenario” where we trade out of 4 to AZ who takes Johnson, and then Ansah and Jordan are picked 4,5,6…

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

            Which is why you don’t do stuff like that. You only outsmart yourselves when you do.

  • MortonG

    If the Eagles select either Dion Jordan, Ezekiel Ansah, or Barkevious Mingo, they will regret it for years. Picking any one of those players with the #4 or any Top-15 pick, for that matter, will be a disaster for the franchise.

    Every single one of these players will be a bust in the NFL. at most *one* of these players will even be a serviceable starter.

    None of these players has more than a smidgen of college production as a pass rusher. Ansah especially is completely unproven on any level, and has not shown the ability to rush the passer even in college.

    Jordan has spent more time in coverage than rushing the passer. And when he does rush the passer, he tries to use speed around the edge, and if that fails, he’s stuck. Mingo is mostly the same way. Neither of these players had more than 15 sacks in their college careers, even after staying for the senior year. That is a serious red flag.

    For some more info, please read here:
    http://predictionmachine.com/nfl-draft-2013-ogletree-ansah-bust

    If the Eagles are smart, the pick will be one of the OTs, one of the DTs. Any one of the three (Joeckel, Fisher, Johnson) would be a great addition to an aging offensive line. These prospects are much more sure than any of the sketchy OLB prospects in this draft. Lotuleilei or Floyd would be solid additions as run-stuffing DTs. The key is to avoid Mingo, Jordan, or Ansah. They are the death knell of the franchise if chosen.

    If there was a true DeMarcus Ware or Von Miller type of prospect, I would highly recommend that player, but NONE of the popular “top-10″ pass rushers (Mingo, Ansah, Jordan) are even remotely close to that caliber of prospect, either athletically or production-wise. Both Ware and Miller, and practically any other big-time NFL pass rusher, had both athleticism and college production in spades.

    • A_T_G

      My first thought was,”Morton, is that really you?” Then, when I saw you wrote 1000 words explaining that the guys I hope we get will set back the franchise for years, I thought, “That just might be him.” When I got to the death knell line, I was convinced.

      Isn’t it a bit odd though, that drafting Jordan will set us back years on defense by pushing to the bench a guy that you previously gaurenteed would set the defense back for years, even ignoring the fact that would be plenty of snaps for both of them outside of the base look?

      • MortonG

        I was a fan of the Graham pick in 2010 if you remember. I still think he is a great player and last year he was actually a better DE on a per-snap basis than Pierre Paul was a DE or Earl Thomas was a FS.

        • Mac

          Boy, I don’t remember that… I remember you calling Graham a bust, and saying the Eagles should have drafted JPP.

          • D3FB

            yea something stinks here. Methinks JohnG/GGEagle/GEagle got bored, went back and looked up all the old morton posts and is imitating his writing style.

          • Mac

            You think he’s a phony? A big fat phony?

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXBFre683dA

          • Smegga

            No, GEagle doesn’t understand paragraphs. Morton uses them so it can’t be him. Unless it’s a trick, and you’re GEagle under a new name?

        • A_T_G

          Ahem…
          From the old Iggles Blog:
          Graham is a solid player, but he’s not a freakish athlete like Freeney. He ran a 4.6+ 40, and only notched a 31″ vertical. He’s a try-hard guy who puts forth a lot of effort, but I don’t see how he could possibly have the same impact as Freeney.
          4/23/10
          The problem here is that unless Graham is an impact player, this move will set the franchise back 5 years. If… Morgan and Pierre-Paul become better DEs than Graham, this draft will be a massive failure… I know it sounds pessimistic, but the only way this *isn’t* true is if Graham surprises everyone and turns into Dwight Freeney, which is pretty unlikely because Graham isn’t half the athlete Freeney was coming out of Syracuse … Not looking good for the Eagles.
          4/23/10
          I like Brandon Graham’s hustle, and I was really high on him after the Senior Bowl, but [a]fter reading the SackSEER article on footballoutsiders, his poor vertical is troubling.
          4/22/10
          Basically speaking, the only first round DE prospects worth
          targeting are Derrick Morgan or Jerry Hughes.
          4/21/10 At least that vertical jump didn’t hold Graham back…

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

      Your article only discusses Ansah. He may be a bust who knows. How you reached the same conclusion for Jordan (and Mingo to a lesser extent) I would love to know.

      College production via sacks is not an indicator of NFL production.

      http://www.nfl.com/draft/story/0ap1000000153321/article/jarvis-jones-vs-dion-jordan-best-pass-rusher-in-nfl-draft

      The last 5 nfl leaders in sacks (clay matthews, aldon smith, cameron wake, geno atkins and chris clemons had LESS THAN 5.5 sacks there last yr in college. Jordan as an aside had 7.5 NO CORRELATION BETWEEN COLLEGE SACK TOTALS AND NFL SACK TOTALS.

      Furthermore, the last 7 SEC sack leaders drafted into the pros — not one every exceeded 9 sacks in a season. NO CORRELATION BETWEEN COLLEGE SACK TOTALS and NFL SUCCESS RUSHING THE PASSER.

      and you admit Jordan’s production was more limited because Kelly realized he was so versatile that instead of rushing the passer every play, they had him covering wrs, tes, spying the qb and playing contain and bump in run. Versatility can’t be explained in productivity. Maybe Jordan’s size and versatility allows you to blitz a safety or send a different lb to go after the qb.

      Furthemore, sack production in college is also a misnomer because alot of those sacks are coverage sacks. Look at each of Jarvis Jones sacks. Great secondary —- sack total goes up.

      Fisher played subbar competition (I like him but hasn’t shown elite pass blocking for a top 5 otackle). Johnson is raw and is the combine warrior everyone fears.

      Furthermore, Joeckel, Fisher, and Johnson do not compare to can’t miss stud otackles like Boselli, Trent Williams, O Pace, Joe Thomas, Russell Okung ………

      Furthermore, otackles aren’t safe. Both eaglesrewind.com and sportingnews did research and drafted articles that show over the last 12 yrs … otackles taken in first rd are riskier than lbs and several other positions. And eaglesrewind analyzed top 5 picks … and lb and otackle were just as risky … 50 percent bust rate.

      And finally athletically, Jordan is the closest prospect athletically to D Ware since D Ware …. watch espn special and numbers on espn.

      I know everyone loves to throw around the otackle safe draft myth and college sack production myth ………but they are FALSE.

      • MortonG

        Your list of “last 7 sack leaders” is too small a sample size.

        My sample size is much larger – the top50 sack leaders in NFL history.

        Dion Jordan does NOT compare to Demarcus Ware athletically. Demarcus Ware had a nearly 40″ veritical jump, which is the single most important test for pass rushers.because it measures explosion in the legs out of a stance. Dion Jordan posted a very pedestrian 32.5″ vertical jump.

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

            The most important combine test for pass rushers are Vertical Jump and Short Shuttle.

            DeMarcus Ware had a 40″ Vertical Jump and a 4.05 Short Shuttle time.

            Dion Jordan had a 32.5″ Vertical Jump and a 4.35 Short Shuttle time. He is vastly inferior in the tests that measure pass rusher athleticism.

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

            Ware was 38.5., not 40.

            You keep changing the numbers and stats you are looking at to suit your argument. Sports Science runs a myriad of pass rusher specific tests rather than merely a vert jump (spud webb had a 40 inch vertical) and concluded Jordan was only marginally lower than Demarcus Ware and Dwight Freeney.

            Jordan can also cover wrs and tes like a safety and play nickel/dime lb. Scheme versatility cannot be understated.

          • RC5000

            Well I think I have read one post too much…From how great short Graham was with his short arms and 32.5 ” VL to this. Why are you talking about Ware? He is a tall end at 6-4. I thought you liked the little guys like Graham.

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

          Jordan only played defense for 2 yrs and tore his labrum for half of senior yr when he was on pace to easily clear your magical sack total. He also covered and/or contained as much as he rushed the passer. Three reasons why not to pigeon hole him into your top 50 all time argument besides other.

          The great majority of the top 50 sack guys were 4-3 de ends who rushed the passer on every play or a 3-4 lb who played 4 yrs in college and had a greater majority of games and pass rush chances to boost their sack totals.

          Do you think Reggie White, Strahan, Bruce Smith, Deacon Jones, Gastineau, Howie Long, Dexter Manely, Charles Mann, etc were covering wrs and tes in college, were spying mobile qbs, or were playing bump and run and contain???? Or were they rushing the passer every play and were at least 3 yr starters???

          Jordan is such a freak athletically that he just learned starting playing defense his junior yr in college and was asked to cover wrs, tes, played bump in run and contain, and spied qbs. He maybe rushed the qb 1/3 of the time. His ability to cover wrs and tes, spy the qb, and rush the passer causes the qb not to know what he is doing pre-snap and creates mismatches which create sacks, turnovers and scheme disguise. To think we are drafting him purely as a pass rusher is dead wrong.

          His versatility is endless and allows you to blitz a db or other lb or cover a te with a lb rather than a safety … because he can rush the passer and is so big … offenses must address him w an otackle … if he drops in to coverage that frees up someone else to rush and a safety to cover a wr or blitz …. I would say if Gronk, Davis, Hernandez, Graham are the future and qbs like Kaepernick and RGIII will become more common, and with the rule changes favoring offenses, and the only way to deal with Brady, Manning, Rodgers is scheme disguise………….then Jordan is the perfect versatile weapon or STOPPER who can rush the passer, cover witten, spy RGIII, and play contain. Qbs will have no idea what he is going to do on a given play. His versatility allows you to do so many things and avoid the subpackage substitution vs a no-huddle.

    • Arby1

      Morton, Welcome Back!

    • http://twitter.com/alex_karklins Alex Karklins

      Up-voted for the “death-knell” line. Welcome back.

    • http://www.facebook.com/xbcsmith Brett Smith

      Glad someone has a different take on these guys. I was starting to buy into the Ansah thing. Also makes for good reading.

  • MortonG

    The selection of a 3-4 OLB with a first round pick will also be highly detrimental to the franchise in another way: it will push Brandon Graham to the bench, in all likelihood.

    The team has already signed Connor Barwin to be one OLB. If the team drafts a Jordan, or an Ansah, or a Mingo, with the #4 pick, the coaching staff will feel pressured to start this player over other players, even if those other players (like Graham) have proven to be superior pass rushers.

    Last year, Profootballfocus.com ranked Graham the #2 4-3 DE in the league, and determined that Graham had the highest Pass Rush Productivity (per snap stat) of ANY defensive player. Graham has serious Defensive Player of the Year potential as a pass rusher.

    Chip Kelly has stated numerous times that he prefers “big guys”, and we know Graham is not. But his size is one of the reasons he is effective: he wins the leverage battle against bigger OTs due to his strength and ability to slip under the pads of the OL. I hope Kelly is not so stupid that he ignores the effectiveness of smaller defensive linemen as bull rushers. Someone like Dion Jordan in a lanky 6’6″ frame could never be able to win the leverage battle as effectively as a much stronger, bulkier player at 6’1″.

    If Kelly selects Jordan or Mingo or Ansah with the #4 pick, he will let his prejudices against smaller players poison the potential of his defense. The pressure to play “his guy”, his first overall pick as an eagles head coach, will send far more talented players like Graham to obscurity or trade. It would be a disaster.

    If Kelly is smart, he will avoid any 3-4 OLBs in this draft, and focus more on DTs or OTs.

    • GvilleEagleFan

      I think the rationale behind getting a top-tier pass rusher is the number of snaps they expect the defense to see combined with Barwin’s versatility. If Graham’s game is leverage, you don’t want him bull-rushing for 85 snaps per game, which is what Kelly’s fast-paced offense is going to force the defense to be on the field for. You don’t want Graham wearing out by the 4th quarter or later on in the season (which we’ve seen happen to Cole in past years), so you get a guy that can rotate with Graham in 1st and 2nd down, then play coverage LB in the 4-2-5 with Graham/Barwin/Cole as 4-3 DEs in the 4 man front.

      That scenario gives us the #2 rated DE (by your logic) as our top situational pass rusher while not misusing him by forcing him into positions where he’d have to drop in coverage. Who doesn’t want to be in that position?

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

        Good pts … plus w Kelly’s offense playing so quickly … more snaps for everyone on defense … you will need Graham, Jordan, and Barwin to all play alot ….AND if Graham can’t cover its more likely he will be at d end in nickel and dime and Jordan would be coverage lb. They can easily play at same time. So graham isn’t stunted.

        Finally, Graham played limited snaps — no way Morton can conclude his production may not have fallen if he played a full compliment of starter snaps last yr. His smallish size may have wore him down, much the same way T Cole wore down every year in wks 9-16.

        And if Graham can’t cover tes or rbs in the flat, he shouldn’t be in our base front necessarily.

    • tball_man

      MORTON!!!

  • new coach

    surprised no talk of the Jets wanting to trade up. They have a lot of needs, granted, but could easily get our pick and keep their other 1st

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

      There will be trade ups, I think, but the media and fans of the teams in the 5-12 range are in general not advocating for them.

      The teams in general have been better than usual at covering up their interests. And there are a lot of players that the pundits and fans consider to be very closely rated near the top.

    • holeplug

      Jets finally dumped their moron GM so I really doubt they trade up. If anything they trade back to pick up more mid round picks since they badly need them to rebuild that roster.

      http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-triangle/post/_/id/59190/hey-dont-f-this-up-the-jets-new-start

  • new coach

    philly.com (albeit Sal Pal) mentions Tavon Austin as a possibility for us. don;t see it

    http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/20130423_Eagles_could_take_little_Tayvon_Austin_with_No__4_pick__Sal_Pal.html

    • new coach

      and josh smith of nfl.com (not sure who he is) has us taking geno smith in the 2nd round, of his mock

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

        I can’t see that happening. I think his floor is around 25th pick of the 1st round. Even a team that doesn’t really need him might take a shot around there.

        I have to wonder if the Jets won’t take him with one of their picks, if he’s even still around for them.

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

      Seems to be a polarizing choice, maybe not quite as much as Geno Smith. I don’t think they would take him at 4, but I also don’t think he’ll last all that much longer. If you traded down to 12, he’d likely be gone.

    • RC5000

      I wouldn’t be shocked at all if they traded back and took him. Still a longshot but I could see Kelly wanting him.

  • http://www.facebook.com/matthew.verhoog Matthew Verhoog

    Trading Avant – I don’t think it’s a good idea to trade one of your most high character leaders on a team with a lot of turnover, We need all the cohesion we can glue together.

    • Ark87

      I think Avant Sticks to play in the 4 and 5 WR sets (when we are in survival mode, and could use that possession guy to keep the game alive).

      What works well for Avant: he is a blocking receiver, and has special teams value, things Chip says he values highly. On top of being a major leader on this team as you mentioned. I think he stays around. He may need to restructure if that is his new role (I think he somewhat recently resigned for an appropriate contract of a #3 receiver). If he does, I think he could strick around another 4 years and retire here.

      • http://www.facebook.com/matthew.verhoog Matthew Verhoog

        Here’s to the good guys

  • GermanEagle

    Welcome back Morton!

    What’s the G though?! Are you a gangsta now???

  • Geagle

    If Fisher,Floyd, Joekel are the first 3 picks, you have to believe a team would be desperate to jump ahead of the Lions for Lane…so we basically need to strong arm detroit into giving up compensation to move up one spot, and us still draft Dion,….
    can someone explain why Detroit cant trade pick #132?thanks

  • RC5000

    Breer just said something about someone wanting to jump ahead of Detroit for Ansah….Did anyone hear Breer on NFL Network…I caught the tail end. Breer is in Philly so I am assuming he will be here reporting on the draft (they usually have 3-4 reporters at key cities so I guess we are one of them – not surprising).

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