Q&A

Posted: April 9th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 50 Comments »

Rather than write a long post, here are answers to some recent questions.

What do you think Vinny Curry can do as a 5-tech DE?

If the Eagles use him in a 1-gap system, Curry has a chance to be effective.  6-3, 266 is small for a 5-tech no matter how you cut it, but if his job is to slant in or out, Curry can do that.  If you want Curry to eat blocks and set the edge, he’s in trouble.  I cannot imagine the coaches would ask him to do something they thought was beyond his ability.

I don’t know if Curry can thrive in this role until I really see the defense and him in action.  Too much speculation at this point.

Can the Eagles go for Dee Milliner at #4?  Absolutely.  I haven’t written much about that because I don’t anticipate that happening.  CBs that go that early normally have return skills as well as cover skills.  You’re expecting someone that can make big plays.  Milliner is a big, physical corner with good speed.  He isn’t a playmaker.  Milliner only has one KOR in his career.  He had 6 INTs and 107 return yards in his career.  Those aren’t special numbers.  At the Combine you could see him struggling to catch the ball.  He doesn’t have great hands.

Milliner is the best CB, though.  Maybe the Eagles value his size and speed.  I think they could go for him.  I just don’t see it as likely.

Will the Eagles reach for position?  No.  NO.  When I write a post about the Eagles having a hole at LB and going for a LB, that assumes that the grades are the same or similar.  There will be no Jaiquawn Jarrett picks.  One of the key reasons the team was so active in free agency is that it gives them the freedom to draft who they want, not what they need.

What about LB Alec Ogletree?  The Eagles have checked him out, but as an ILB.  Some readers wanted to know if he could play OLB.  Ogletree is 6-2, 242.  The best thing he does is run.  He has 6 sacks in 2 years of action.  He’s not a pass rusher.  The Eagles interest in him would be as an ILB to develop for the future.  Ogletree must get stronger and work on his ability to take on blockers and play the inside run. Could be a great WLB in the 4-3.

Can Shariff Floyd play in the 3-4?  Yes.  6-3, 297 isn’t ideal size for a 5-tech DE (especially with short arms), but you have to remember that Floyd played some DE for Florida.  He isn’t a guy who played DT in a 1-gap system for 3 or 4 years and only knows how to fly upfield against OGs.  Floyd showed the ability to play NT or UT.  He was effective as a DE.  You’ll see him get by LTs and pressure the QB.

Floyd is a tough player to figure.  We know some teams love him.  But not all.  Russ Lande reported on Twitter that at least 2 teams have told him that Floyd is their #4 DT.  This could be mis-information, but I don’t doubt that a couple of teams see Floyd as having flaws.  It is rare that all 32 teams love a prospect.  I have no idea if the Eagles like Floyd, but my guess is that they do.

What’s up with Clay Harbor?   Great question.  At 6-3, 255, Harbor is an H-back type.  He’ll be learning somewhat of a new position.  I still think Clay has untapped potential, but there are no more tomorrows.  He must find a way to stand out this spring.  Clay hasn’t had ideal circumstances, but the bottom line is that the NFL is a bottom line business and he hasn’t gotten the job done.

Could Duke QB Sean Renfree be a late round target if the Eagles pass on early QBs?  Absolutely not. Renfree is an interesting player.  He spent 4 years with David Cutcliffe, the man who coached Peyton Manning and Eli Manning in college.  Coach Cut, as he’s known, is a terrific teacher.  Renfree is not a good athlete at all.  He isn’t Nick Foles athletic.  I think he’s got to play in an offense that is based on a pure pocket passer.

What is the difference in Eric Reid and the top Safety prospects?  Reid is an explosive hitter and tackler.  He ran well at the Combine.  There is plenty to like.  The difference is that he’s not a gifted coverage player.  Kenny Vaccaro is bigger than Reid, but put on the TX/WV game and you’ll see him do a good job vs Tavon Austin.  Reid is a good run defender.  He tackles well in space.  Receivers aren’t going to get a bunch of RAC yards against him.  But Reid isn’t going to get in the slot and shut down receivers.  He doesn’t have fluid hips and great coverage instincts.

Will/should the Eagles have interest in Rolando McClain?

http://eaglesblog.net/2013/04/rolando-mcclain-of-interest/

_


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

    Do you agree with Daniel Jeremiah’s assessment of a lack of pass rush talent beyond round 1?

    • TommyLawlor

      Yes. There are some guys to like, but the drop-off is there.

      • ICDogg

        In that case there will probably be a run on pass rushers early.

        • Geagle

          I agree…gotta try and get Jordan early..Plenty of ways to fix Oline/Dline after round 1

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

    One QB prospect you almost never see mentioned along with the Eagles lately is Nassib. I only know what I see on YouTube, but I like what I’ve seen of him… I like his short stroke and accuracy and velocity in the intermediate ranges. I also like the way he seems to dance out of danger in the pocket. How do you think he would fit with the Eagles?

    • JJ_Cake

      I like how he grew up an Eagle fan and is a season ticket holder. Problem is that he will be picked up before we get a chance, and not even sure we’d take him with our 2nd even if he was available. I haven’t heard any link of the Eagles to him. Seems like we are linked to E Manuel, or Scott from AZ, or Geno Smith… see a pattern? Could be bs smokescreens (i hope it is), I’m still hoping the best for Foles. I like him, has a little of that Koy Detmer leadership and passion, but without the antics and in a bigger stronger body.

      • ICDogg

        Sometimes what you don’t hear speaks louder than what you do hear.

        • Geagle

          Great pont Dogg….we saw Lurie overplay his hand with Geno…we saw us give attention to EJ, the QB everyone “figures” chip would want(apparently we now judge QB’s on their speed lol)….but not a single peep about Nassib, a player some consider the best QB in the draft….The Eagle way is to take a player that we never mention publicly….I don’t want to take Nassib for the simple fact, that we can trade down from 35-41, throw in a 7th round pick to get #105 back from Buffalo so that they can get Nassib…we would be able to land Kyle Long, or Pugh at 41, and then use 105 on Brennan Williams or Quessenberry type….In this scenario, we would have basically fixed all our Oline problems just by using our 2nd round pick…we get a starting guard/back up RT, and Quessenberry who can back up every single position…That’s some CRAZY value to be getting out of the 35th pick in the draft

          • Geagle

            And YES Quessenberry plays a zone blocking style…The Packers are said to be high on him, and they run a ZB scheme similar to ours…….btw, Winston said he is only looking for 2yr del at 3-4mil per

          • ohitsdom

            Zone blocking scheme similar to ours? Isn’t it a little premature to identify us as a ZBS team?

          • ICDogg

            Chip’s zone blocking scheme at Oregon was fairly similar to ours, based on some of the stuff I saw at Fishduck.com. With the personnel he’s inheriting I wouldn’t expect that to change as much as many of the other things will be on this team. I would hope that on the pro level he might disguise it a little better, on Oregon you could pretty much look at the backfield and know if it was an inside or an outside zone read.

  • Iskar36

    Tommy, there’s no question you know football, and more specifically, the Eagles, better than I ever will, but to say so emphatically that the Eagles will not reach for a position seems like an awfully bold statement. We have had much more complete teams in the past and still reached for certain players. Even on this blog and in H2H, you have discussed potential of us targeting Lane Johnson or even Tavon Austin (granted, it wasn’t discussed as likely scenarios), but both of those guys would be what I think is fair to consider “reach” picks. There are certainly solid arguments for those players, and on top of that, I do think at least last year they showed that they have adjusted to avoiding reaching for players/needs. Still, especially in this draft, where the top of the draft is not considered elite, I don’t think it is beyond the possibility that they will potentially reach for a player.

    To be clear though, I certainly am not arguing that it is likely that they will reach by any means. On top of that, I am relatively confident in Howie and Kelly to make theright decision in the draft. I guess I am just not as confident as you are.

    • laeagle

      I think it less likely to see a reach, now that certain changes have been made. “No, bad Andy! Down! No you can’t get another fastball in the second or third round!”

    • TommyLawlor

      You’re confusing some thoughts.

      I said the Eagles “would not reach for a position”. What happened in 2011 is that the scouts had one grade on Jarrett while the coaches saw him differently. The coaches wanted a Safety. They decided Jarrett was the guy and pushed for him to be picked, despite the fact his grade was lower than where he was taken.

      If the Eagles take Tavon Austin or Lane Johnson, it would be because the team had a high grade on them. You can still disagree with the pick, but the rationale behind it would be very different. It wouldn’t be a reach, per se. It would be a case of the Eagles liking that player more than you or the media or some other teams.

      Teams must follow their draft boards. That doesn’t mean that their boards have to be exactly the same as the other 31 teams. I hope this all makes sense now.

      • Iskar36

        I guess you and I are using the term “reach” differently. I totally agree that one team’s board doesn’t have to match another team’s board or even come remotely close to what the media thinks. Still, I consider a pick a “reach” when that player is selected higher than he would otherwise be selected. Of course, there is a ton of uncertainty with this definition because other than from reports which may or may not be true when it comes to the draft, it requires a ton of guess work to determine where a player would have otherwise fallen to in the draft.

        I wrote that there would be solid arguments for a player that is a reach because I think in itself, a reach does not make the pick necessarily a bad pick. This goes to your point that not all teams have the same board. A reach to me is not an issue of quality, it’s an issue of value. In other words, even if you have a player highly rated, if otherwise he wasn’t going to be selected until later in the draft because other teams don’t have that player highly rated, you missed out on additional value you could have gained. That issue can be compounded if the player you reached for also turns out to be a bust (see Jarrett), but that is a separate issue.

        Having said all that, it seems to me that you are using the term very differently. You are using it in the sense that they will pick according to their board and not “reach” for a player that is further down on their board because a coach wants that guy. That part I fully agree with. I don’t think CK would be able to overrule Howie (nor do I think he would try to) in his first NFL draft. He will have significant say and influence obviously, but from the way it seems like the organization is setup for now, Howie will have final say in the draft and will stick to the board he setup.

        • Ark87

          I agree with Tommy that a reach is when you don’t stay true to you board in the interest in filling a need. But I also consider it a type of reach when you take a player that you can probably get much later in the draft. If they best player on your board is likely going to be around in a few picks, you try to trade down. Of course that is tricky to judge, even in hindsight. Who knows what the boards of the people behind you looks like.

          That said I offer a different explanation. Understand that teams that are almost complete are more vulnerable to the reach than us. Those contenders are SO close, they just need that one piece to push them over. They’ll identify that one weakness that held them back and put laser focus on it. We filled in the gaping holes through FA. But we can improve at virtually every position on the defense, and most positions on offense. Simply put, we won’t reach because whoever is at the top of our board at any point will likely be a welcomed improvement to our team. The only position I would rule out in round 1 (the find a starter round) is RB.

          • ICDogg

            It’s not a matter of taking who’s at the top of the board, necessarily. It’s a matter of targeting players, anticipating where you need to be to draft them, and taking the opportunity to trade up or down or stand pat as necessary to achieve those targets.

            Players will be targeted for many reasons, but need is part of the reason you would target a player. I think anyone who thinks it’s not is fooling themselves. I think though that there is a distinction between immediate/desperate need and longer term need, and teams go wrong emphasizing the former to the detriment of the latter.

          • Ark87

            It depends on your philosophy and methodology, I think you should stick to your board as much as humanly possible, which is made on your meticulous assessments and grading over the course of the off-season. Everyone on your board is graded on various factors, such as up-side, work ethic, and fit in your scheme.

            Your board is ordered in a way such that you’d always take 1 over 2, and 2 over 3 and so on, every time. This doesn’t mean you always stay put. That’s what the grade is for. If there is a sudden drop-off in your grading at a certain part of your board, you move up to get a player before said drop off. If a player on the top of your board is expected to be available a few picks after your upcoming pick, you move back for value.

            Naturally in an absurd scenario if it just so happens that a tackle is on the top of your board for your first 3 picks, you have to deviate. Moving back, etc. But even then, Shanny stuck to his board, ended up taking a second QB despite already have plenty of career back-up QB material on his roster. This move will pay off for him in the long run, despite not being the most direct way to improve his team.

  • http://twitter.com/bebinabraham Bebin Abraham

    I thought Vinny Curry was up to 274 and counting of muscle?

    • http://twitter.com/bebinabraham Bebin Abraham

      “of muscle” #fail…. of weight mostly muscle.

      • TommyLawlor

        Hadn’t seen that figure. Could absolutely be true.

        • http://twitter.com/bebinabraham Bebin Abraham

          I think Sheil and Tim got that figure from a interview they did with him?

        • http://twitter.com/bebinabraham Bebin Abraham

          here it is

          “Jeff McLane
          ‏@Jeff_McLane

          2 Apr
          Just saw Vinny Curry at the NovaCare. He said he’s at 274 lbs. Doesn’t have a goal but is clearly adding more weight to be a DE in 3-4.”

          I can see him putting another 5-15 pounds before the season starts.

  • JJ_Cake

    Seems like we’d get the biggest bang for our pick getting one of the top 3 LT’s in the draft. Would like to see Dion Jordan if Chip thinks he’s the real deal (assuming he doesn’t go at #2), but LT/RT is pretty much the only position we don’t have a “future” guy, and these 3 sound like they have pro bowl potential (my ideal would be trade down and still get Lane, just seems like a good fit/potential).

    None of the other positions seems as sure a thing except maybe safety with Vaccaro or Austin (but he’s not a sure thing, let’s see how his size holds up in the NFL).

    There’s no Suh or Sapp like Tackles, no Willis or Urlacher like LBs, no top shelf DE’s, the best CB Miller does not seem as good as the Cards Patrick Peterson or last years top CB. The top 3 OT’s and top 2 guards seems like the players who will be able to transition to the NFL and do well more than the other prospects (based on the negatives all the other defensive guys, QBs, and WRs have).

  • RAVS

    Is there any chance they are looking at Curry as a 3 tech and not a 5 tech? Or did someone specifically say 5 tech? I know that Michael Bennett who was the LE for the Bucs last year signed with the Seahawks and is expected to play the 3 tech in there 4-3 under.

    • RAVS

      Michael Bennett was 6-3 1/2 and 275 when he came out of college. Vinny Curry was 6-3 265 but there are reports that he’s gained weight and is close to 275 now.

      • T_S_O_P

        From his twitter pictures I believe.

    • TommyLawlor

      We’re going off a comment from Jeff McLane. He said the Eagles would not use Curry as a LB. He didn’t elaborate.

      Curry would be small for a 3-tech, but I’m not ruling anything out. This staff is doing different things.

  • D3FB

    Tommy,

    One of the players I fell in love with after the senior bowl was Brandon Williams from Missouri Southern. Alot of people were talking him up, and from the clips I saw he seemed to be doing well. Tonight I found a youtube of the entire defensive coaches film for one of his D2 games. I got about ten minutes in and after about 15 “meh” and 6 or 7 “uhhhhhhh thats not good” plays, I’m now starting to have my reservations. Your thoughts?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YJL7Omn6G4

    • Geagle

      I’m a big fan of the kid…but here is the thing with NT prospects…there are too many of them this year. there are more NT prospects thn teams that need and or use a NT, so there is no point in drafting one early. Rounds 4 and 5, there will still be NT on the board that we covet….Then again, I could see Brandon falling to round 4 as well

  • Cliff

    I’d be terrible at drafting. I’d basically only ever draft OL and DL players. They’re just the least likely to get me in trouble down the line. It’d get so bad that we’d be trying to convert Danny Watkins to linebacker just to find a spot for him.

    • Wilbert M.

      You’d be a good fit on an Andy staff because he rarely cut his mistakes or kept them a long time. Curtis Marsh is set for life, so is Casey Matthews. How many reincarnations did Fokou and Macho Harris have? I’m sure they were all good people…..

  • austinfan

    I’m kinda leaning toward Richardson over Floyd, Floyd might be the better player now, but when you look at their frames and athleticism, Richardson has more upside – Richardson is almost a clone of Cox, 34 1/2 arms with 30 reps, pretty much outperformed Floyd in every test (though not by a large margin), and had a heck of a season in a very trying situation (getting motivated playing for Missouri had to be tough), 39 solo tackles in 11 games doesn’t sound like a guy with motor problems (36 assists as well).

    Floyd may be a situation issue, he’s a traditional 4-3 “3″, and those short arms and body type may make him unsuited for NT or the “5″. Now Cox could move out to the “5″, but you lose some flexibility with Floyd.

    Don’t think Curry will be able to bulk up past 280 lbs or so, but I always thought his future was as a 4-3 LDE, so he had to get to that size in any case. Obviously, they want speed at OLB, Graham was a 4.71 guy at 268 lbs, hopefully he’ll be faster at 260 lbs, won’t surprise me if they have Barwin drop back to his combine weight of 256 lbs or so for the same reason. Curry could play OLB in some systems, but he’s not as fast as those guys (and a reason Hunt probably won’t make it out of camp). I think you can use Curry as a “5″ in pass rush situations where he one gaps, and as a LDE if you go to a 4-2-5 in passing situations.

    • Arby1

      Did you see that tape of Richardson against Alabama? To my eyes, he wasn’t lined up against one of their OL studs, was single teamed, yet didn’t produce many plays. I saw a strong, athletic guy but was disappointed in the production. Also, where do you put Star in these rankings, assuming his heart is fine?

      • austinfan

        That’s why drafting is hard, with Floyd, you have a more finished product, but given his size limitations, how much upside does he have? With Richardson, you have the guy with the long arms (and with long arms, reps matter because it tells you if he has the strength to punch or just to reach, short arm guys can put up big numbers in the weight room but can’t transfer it to the field) who is more athlete than player – so can you coach him up or will he be a tease?

        • ICDogg

          I’ll take my chances with Ziggy.

          • Ark87

            I like Ziggy, but I’m not going to lose my job if he busts haha. So yeah, drafting is tough, when you gamble, you gamble with your future, if you are too conservative, your drafts will likely just be on paar, which isn’t good enough to keep your job for long either. I’d lose way too much sleep over this process.

          • Mac

            That’s why I’m saying we need to draft Lane Johnson.

            If he can’t play RT or LT then we can develop him into our 3rd string QB.

        • Geagle

          Floyd is like 20yrs old…how can we diminish his upside? because his arms aren’t long enough?

  • Arby1

    Tommy, not sure if you saw this, but Cosell was calling Ogletree an ILB or an OLB – because of his atleticism. Thought Minter was less athletic but the better LB/football player -( ILB.)

  • Greg M

    Tommy: Thanks for the answer on Milliner!

    A follow up question to that: As you pointed out, the popular sentiment seems to be that a CB only goes in the top 10 if he is a special player. Considering that this sentiment was born in the era of huge rookie contracts prior to the new CBA, do you think it’s possible that teams start to shift their philosophy on DBs in general at the top of the draft now that the rookie wage scale has been implemented?

    • ICDogg

      If anything it’s truer than ever, because DBs are restricted by the rules so much in how they can cover receivers. I would think that if you’re taking a CB very high you would want him to generate interceptions more than any other skill.

      • Geagle

        yeah unless that cb is also a st ace, he better be creating crazy turnovers to be drafted in the top 10. I think top 5 is bad value for a player who will get thrown at 10 times per game if that…it makes no sense when you can take a DE, who can make an impact on every play, and make ALL your CBs look better

        if you aren’t drafting a QB, then I always believed you focus on two things when picking in the top 10: Keeping pressure of YOUR QB, and putting pressure on THEIR QB….It would take like second coming of Deon or Peanut Tillman to get me excited about a CB in the top 10

  • Flyin

    Here’s Bill Davis talking about scheme with players available and the evolution of the roster… Meet the Coaches video… http://www.philadelphiaeagles.com/multimedia/videos/Meet-The-Coaches-Bill-Davis/13aeb4db-1d9d-4516-8139-77a7bca05be0

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

    I’m starting to notice a lack of safety interest from the Eagles. It seems all we are bringing in and working out are guys we would target with the #4 pick or mid first round with a trade back.

    There aren’t any second round or third round type guys coming in, and I feel like it’d be a shame if we didn’t get a safety in the second or third round this year…although with our track record on second round safeties, maybe thats for the best.

    • Geagle

      Tell you the truth, I think they like the safeties available in rounds 4-6 enough to pass on the ones in rounds 2-3….could be wrong. maybe if we trade back in round 2-3 and find someone like Swearinger on the board, who we didn’t expect to be there, we could end up taking one….

      I’m still, all for drafting Alec Ogletree and turning him into Kam Chancellor. if Phillips stays healthy, he has the cover range to play behind a deathbacker

  • VInny Curry

    Wouldnt our nickel possibly be a 4-2? Vinny curry and Trent Cole can be the DE’s, their normal positions. everyone is thinking about the 3-4 or 4-3U but we may play alot of nickel looks.

  • Eric Weaver

    Tommy,

    Do you think Bennie Logan could play 5-technique?

  • Geagle

    There is no way I see the Eagles passing on Jordan at 4? problem is, I’m starting to think Dion won’t be available at 4. the point of switching away from the 4-3 was that so now, opposing offenses don’t know exactly who we are rushing on any given play…It’s crucial to have a ass rusher that is a credible threat to drop back in coverage. I don’t see that player on our Roster…

    Switching from a 4-3 without having ATleast 1 OLB who is above average in coverage, is like Andy Reid calling a play action pass without anyone believing we will run the ball….If we pass on Fisher, Sharrif, Trufant, Star, I see other players at that position outside of round1….but when I look at the OLB later in the draft, I see pass rushers, OR cover guys….I’m having a hard time finding both….

    So if we can’t land Dion in round 1…who is the best combination of pass rush and coverage ability at the OLB after round 1? l ove Jamie Collins the pass rusher, but dropping in coverage he scares me. Love Jelani Jenkins dropping back in coverage, but I don’t see him adding much of a pass rush….any other player we pass on at #4, I see other options for, outside of round 1…..I don’t know WTF we are going to do if Dion gets picked by Jaxonville….anyone see a decent solution that Im not seeing?

  • bubqr

    Thanks Tommy, really appreciate you taking the time to answers those.