Howie Roseman met with the media yesterday to discuss the draft. He didn’t say anything significant, but that was expected. You really have to read and listen to him and then try to infer what you can. A lot of Howie’s comments are here on PE.com.
The most interesting thing for me was something that Howie said in an interview with Dave Spadaro that took place after he met with the media. Howie talked about having a high pick and said simply that the Eagles are looking for a cornerstone player. That means someone that you build around. Think about that for a second. Who fits that profile? Maybe the OTs do, in the sense that they could be your best OL in 3 years. While they might start out at RT, they’d eventually move to LT. What about DE? This doesn’t fit so well in my mind. Do you build a defense around Star Lotulelei or Ziggy Ansah? I do think Dion Jordan fits well here. Just look at the impact guys like DeMarcus Ware and Aldon Smith have had for their teams. What about CB Dee Milliner? Is CB that critical of a position (4th overall pick)? Is he that good? I don’t think he’ll be the pick.
Sheil Kapadia wrote about Howie’s comments in regard to Geno Smith. I tend to agree with his take…that Howie doesn’t sound as though he’s about to take Geno. Again, we are reading into comments and this is an imperfect process to put it mildly, but I think Geno will be playing elsewhere in 2013.
In regard to trading back, Roseman said the team is open to that. He and the Personnel Dept have gone through a variety of scenarios of what might be offered and they know what they’re comfortable with and how far back they’re willing to go. I think they would love to move back, but that’s just a hunch.
Howie said the team has 4 names they are targeting at pick #4. They know at least one will be on the board, maybe 2 or 3. The value the Eagles have on those players will affect if they move down or not. If there is a prospect the Eagles covet, you only move if a team makes a great offer. If the team likes the prospects, but doesn’t love them, the lure of adding picks might be hard to pass up.
Who are the 4 players? I’m sure Dion Jordan and at least one OT are there. Maybe it is Jordan and 3 OTs. Maybe Jordan, 2 OTs, and Barkevious Mingo. If the Eagles think Ziggy Ansah could ever develop into an impact DE like JJ Watt, then he could be there. Star Lotulelei is a good player, but I’m just not sure he’s in that same category. Shariff Floyd is another possibility. If the coaches want to run more of a pure 3-4, I don’t think Floyd will be a target. If we are going to run a hybrid or 4-3 Under, Floyd might be someone they want.
In the interview with Spadaro, Howie talked about all the situational prep work that has been done. He and the staff are prepared for virtually any scenario. This way they don’t get faced with something in the draft and have to decide on the spot. They’ve got players targeted at #4. They’ve got ‘em targeted if they move back. They know what compensation they’d be looking for in a trade. They’ve discussed and made plans so that when the poop hits the fan during the draft, they can make rational, informed decisions.
I don’t really feel like we learned a ton from Howie, but he can’t exactly give away the team’s plans. I thought he did a good job of shedding some light on the process and the team’s mentality heading into the draft. They were aggressive in free agency so that they would have freedom in the draft to focus on talent and not need. If a great WR is on the board, do you want to pass 0n him for a solid Safety?
Howie did say what we’ve already discussed…that if there are 2 players very close in terms of grade, the team can go for the more needy spot. That is something all 32 teams do. The human element is part of drafting. You have to know when to move up or down. You have to know when to go for the need. Howie showed us a lot last year. Let’s hope he does a good job this time around as well.
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I’ve put up quite a few posts at EaglesBlog.net. Be sure to check them out. Lots of draft nuggets these days.
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Couple of questions from recent days.
What about Center? Can the Eagles count on Jason Kelce? Dallas Reynolds is still here. He struggled mightily early in 2012, but got much better as the season went along. He isn’t someone you ever want as a starter, but could be an adequate backup. The team still has Matt Tennant on the roster. He has potential as well.
The Eagles did have a workout with USC’s Khaled Holmes, who played C and G for the Trojans. The team has looked into some other versatile linemen that could possibly slide inside to C in the NFL.
Kelce sounds to be on schedule with his rehab, but there are no guarantees. Also, he’s an athletic OL. The ACL could have a bigger effect on him than other OL.
I won’t be surprised if the Eagles take a C or OL that could play C. I would be surprised if they used an early pick. There are some guys to target late. One player mentioned by a few fans is Dalton Freeman from Clemson. He is light, but athletic. Think of him as a poor man’s Jason Kelce. Eric Kush from Cal (PA) could be a target. Expect the spot to be addressed, but not too early.
Barrett Jones is the one guy that could change that. Would the Eagles spend a 3rd round pick on him? Jones played T, G, and C at Alabama. He spent 2 years under Jeff Stoutland there. Jones could be one guy that would make so much sense and is so versatile that he’s worth the early pick.
Do you have any thoughts on Lawrence Okoye? He is a big, talented athlete. Okoye is 6-5, 304 and had a great workout for NFL scouts. I just don’t know what you do with a guy who would be so raw. It took Ziggy Ansah a few years at BYU to adjust to college football. Okoye is intriguing, but will need time to develop. Someone will sign him. I’m not sure if anyone will draft him.
What’s up with QB Tyler Wilson? I think he’ll go in the 2nd round. The Eagles could be interested, but I’m not sure he’s worth pick 35. The Eagles might like him. I’ve not heard anything. Wilson could slide to the 3rd round. The one issue with him that could turn off Chip Kelly is that Tyler has small hands and that’s something Kelly doesn’t like in his QBs.
The Eagles haven’t shown much interest in Safeties with visits. Will they ignore that position? Chip Kelly went to Georgia’s Pro Day. He got to see Baccari Rambo and Shawn Williams in person. He then went to LSU and got to see Eric Reid in person. The Eagles have met with Don Jones, an intriguing late round guy from Arkansas State. I’m sure they have been all over the Pro Days of plenty of other Safety prospects. For whatever reason, we’re just not hearing about it.
Visits are important to track, but sometimes who doesn’t visit can tell you a lot. Did the Eagles bring some Safeties in and just keep it super-secret or did they not bring in anyone so as not to show their hand? We really don’t know the answers to these questions until after the draft. Just trust me…the Eagles want a Safety.
Someone had previously asked about Kelly and the schools he goes to and what that means. I think Kelly went to places for a reason. He was at West Virginia because Geno Smith is worth seeing up close. You don’t want to pass on a QB without doing your homework. Also, it helped with possibly selling a trade, should the Eagles try to do that. Kelly was at LSU and UGA because both schools had so many prospect that the Eagles could have interest in. If you can see a bunch of highly regarded prospects at once, go do it. That doesn’t mean the Eagles will draft LSU and UGA kids. It does show serious interest though.
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And finally a story from a reader. This will make you feel a bit different about Nate Allen:
“I know that this is not on topic with Goodwin or even the draft really, but I just wanted to tell all of you die-hard Eagle fans a quick story.
My friends daughter has autism. She goes to the autism benefit every year at Lincoln Financial Field. My friend and he daughter met Nate Allen last year and he was extraordinarily nice to them. This year, not only did Nate remember her, but he remembered her name, and made it a point to go talk to them, stand with her in the huddle, introduce her to other Eagles, spend 20 minutes of his time catching up with her, and never treated her like she was “special”.
I just thought I would share this because of regardless of what you think of Nate Allen as a safety (and I admit, I have expected more out of him) these are the kinds of athletes that should be idolized and rooted for.”