I Feel the Need for Speed

Posted: November 24th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 90 Comments »

I can’t remember if it was William Shakespeare, James Joyce or Danielle Steele who famously wrote the words “I feel the need for speed”, but I’m sure Bill Davis will be saying them when the Eagles head into the offseason.

The 3-4 defense needs great LB play for the scheme to thrive. Those guys are required to be playmakers. The Eagles have some pieces, but aren’t good enough.

The most obvious spot is ROLB. Trent Cole has been an effective player this season. Making the switch from RDE to OLB wasn’t easy, but Coles has done an admirable job. He has been terrific as a run defender. Trent sets the edge very well. He pursues plays. He is active and will get in on a good amount of tackles. I don’t think anyone has issues with him as a run defender.

Pass rushing is another story. Cole has 3 sacks. Bill Davis and the coaches chart his pressures each week. Davis says the staff is happy with the pressure that Cole gets. I think there is a bit of PR going on with those comments. Davis might be satisfied, but I doubt he’s happy. If you go to the team’s own stats, they have Cole with 7 QB hurries. Fletcher Cox has 19. Connor Barwin has 8. Vinny Curry has 7. Ouch.

Cole still has a great motor. He is powerful, despite dropping to 260 pounds. Cole uses his hands well and knows how to do the little things to beat blocks. The problem is that Cole just doesn’t have the speed to consistently beat blockers. The 3-4 puts LBs on the edge and is built to give them favorable matchups when rushing the passer.

The Eagles need a ROLB who has the speed to be a disruptive force. I think you could get by with Cole if you had a great LB on the other side, but that’s not the case. Connor Barwin is more of a complete OLB than a dynamic pass rusher. Barwin is good at what he does so I think having a guy like him at LOLB is fine. He can cover, rush and play the run. Plus, he’s 27 years old and in his prime. This is a guy you want on your defense. The Texans had a younger, cheaper option and went with Whitney Mercilus.

Let’s look behind the starters. What is Brandon Graham’s future with the Eagles? This is a tricky question. Graham has made a slow adjustment to the 3-4. He doesn’t look natural at LB. He’s not playing nearly as much as he wants to. For the year, Graham has 10 tackles, 1 sack and 1 TFL. I’m sure PFF will list him as a productive pass rusher based on pressure percentages, but the coaches aren’t happy with what they’re seeing from an overall standpoint. Graham is up and down as a run defender. He’s made some progress on his pass drops, but that is still a major weakness. Remember, you’re not looking for  him to turn into William Thomas, but he does need to be functional on those plays when he’s needed to drop back.

Graham’s return in 2014 is up in the air. If the coaches like his work ethic and attitude, they may decide it is smart to bring him back and see if the light goes on. If they don’t see him panning out, then trade him to a 4-3 team and don’t waste your time. Better to get a true LB in there and work on developing him.

The Eagles have Phillip Hunt on IR. Clearly you don’t count on anything from him. Travis Long is a UDFA on the practice squad. He is more of a Barwin type. I think Long can challenge for a backup role next year, but I don’t see him pushing for a starting role in 2014.

I think the Eagles are going to need to find a LB in free agency or the draft. Brian Orakpo is the big name in free agency. I would not pay huge money for a guy who will be 28 next summer and has one double-digit sack season in his career. If the price was right, I’d absolutely be interested. However, the price is rarely right in free agency.

The draft has some interesting players. UCLA’s Anthony Barr is the top OLB prospect and a darn good player. He’s likely gone in the Top 10. I don’t think he’s the type of guy you use a bunch of picks to move up for. After Barr, things get a bit less obvious.

The big question here becomes what kind of player Bill Davis, Chip Kelly and Howie Roseman are looking for. Khalil Mack has been a terrific player for the University of Buffalo. He lists at 6-3, 248. Is that big enough for them? Kelly loves big players. He wanted Dion Jordan as an OLB. Jordan is 6-6, 260. What if Mack measures in at 6-2 1/2 and 242 pounds? Jeremiah Attachou is a 6-3, 242 LB/DE for Georgia Tech. I could go on and on with talented prospects that are in the 6-2, 240 range. Is that big enough?

Beyond that, how good of an overall athlete are the guys looking for? Barwin is the LB that will cover TEs and spend more time in coverage. The ROLB should be mostly a pass rusher. Michael Sam of Missouri might remind you of Trent Cole. Sam lists at 6-2, 255 and is a DE, not a LB. Is he a guy that the coaches would love enough as a pass rusher to convert to LB? There are plenty of other guys who fit into this same category.

I don’t know Kelly or Davis well enough to have answers to these questions right now. We’re all getting used to the new ideas on players and adjusting to the 3-4.

I don’t think the Eagles have to spend their 1st round pick on a LB, but that is where most of your dynamic rushers come from. I would lean in that direction if the right player is available. Obviously you don’t want to force anything. Best Player Available is generally the wisest draft strategy.

I’m not in love with any pass rusher right now. Mack fascinates me because he is such a good overall player. He’s got 28.5 career sacks. He’s also got 3 INTs this year. Mack isn’t just a pass rusher. Attachou has some violence and power to his game. I really enjoy watching him quite a bit. Attachou plays through contact. So many edge rushers are finesse guys that want to run around blocks. He’s not afraid to take on TEs, OTs or OGs.

We’ll talk a lot more about the draft in the coming months. It took some time to figure what the Eagles needs were, but it is clear that OLB is a big one.

* * * * *

The overall defense needs speed. As good as DeMeco Ryans is, the one thing he lacks is top speed. Brandon Boykin is the only DB you could describe as fast and he’s nothing special in that area. Kelly and Davis prefer size to speed, but I think even they know the back end needs some faster guys. This doesn’t have to happen overnight.

You’d like to replace Cary Williams with a faster CB. You’d like to pair Earl Wolff with a Safety who runs well and had good range. Mychal Kendricks can make a big difference if he’ll start to play at a higher level. He’s got the speed and range to be a key player vs the pass. He’s just an erratic young player. Moving from SAM to WLB to ILB in the span of 26 games will do that to you.

The Eagles could use speed with the backups as well. OLB might need some help. None of the backup Safeties are special in terms of size or speed. CB could be better as well.

_


  • Anders

    I have begun to really like Attouchu for us.

    When looking at OLBs around the NFL. Unless you count Mario Williams an OLB, almost all the OLBs are around 6’3″ in height. Barwin is actually one of the largest OLBs in the NFL.

    3 guys who I like with great size is Trent Murphy, Aaron Lynch and Randy Gregory.

    I think Sam would be a great OLB because of his insane first step and his ability to dip under the tackle.

    • kajomo

      Randy Gregory could be special. He is actually my #1 target, but not sure he declares

      • Anders

        Both him and Lynch can be special.

        • Jerry Pomroy

          Lynch when at ND weighed 270 & was an absolute MONSTER. But since transferring to USF, he dropped 25lbs & is just not the same player. The drop in the level of coaching, I’m sure didn’t help either. But from what I’d seen of him from his year at ND, I’d certainly take a mid to late rd flyer on him & get him on a training regiment to gain that weight back ASAP, because if he’d return to form he’d be a perennial pro bowler in no time.

          • RIP illa

            I thought I saw reports of him dropping to the 240s. That’s and the drop off in play makes him a no go for even a 2nd or 3rd choice for me. I’m not totally dismissing the mid round flyer tho. I just have this thing about players that need to be “forced” (for lack of a better term) to get their weight up/down in order to play at a high level or face severe drop off.

          • Jerry Pomroy

            Yeah, I’m definitely talking 5th rd or later. Dunno if the weight loss was his own doing or a recommendation from USF coaching staff or what. He’s listed now at 244lbs. He did sit out all of 2012, after making the transfer, not sure why. But after seeing what he did at 270, with a good coach in B Kelly, I’d certainly take a look to see if he could regain that form as long as he doesn’t have any red flags on his character. He’s not my 1st, 2nd or 3rd choice. I’m still looking to fill the ROLB spot early in the draft. Just after seeing him just be an absolute dominant force at ND (I’m talking blowing up double teams & all), I’d take a chance on him with a late pick.

          • D3FB

            He sat out a year due to the transfer. NCAA rules. Unless you transfer down to the FCS or D2 player must sit out a year.

          • RIP illa

            Agreed.

      • Jerry Pomroy

        Yeah, I really like Gregory! I’ll take raw explosive talent any day of the week! That kid is gonna be special.

    • RIP illa

      Haven’t seen Gregory yet, but Lynch concerns me with his lack of weight and strength. Could have withstood a “developmental” pass rusher this year, as we were supposed to be rebuilding, but I think next year we need an impact player from that position. If not might as well stick w/ Cole.

      Murphy reminds me of Paul Kruger from a glance. Big and strong, yet limited athletically and speed wise to be the guy you want to be the elite pass rusher on the opposite side of Barwin.

      Gotta get down more w/ the OLB/DE prospects but in my time looking so far, it’s been not easy trying to find a guy w/ the requisite height/weight/speed, that Davis is said to like, to fill the need.

      • GEAGLE

        SAM is really starting to grow on me, problem is it seems like he is starting to grow on everyone since he is recently showing up at the end of round 1 in loll the updated Mocks…
        ..
        Half of the OLBs need to add weight so i don’t get bent out of shape over it…V IC Beasley for example is Tiny, but would you really feel comfortable passing on a talent like him?

        • RIP illa

          Yeah Sam’s shooting up the boards like crazy. I’m still keeping my eye on him though. Don’t know bout Vic though. That size really scares me for now for OLB, but intrigues me for ILB. Especially w/ Mecc getting older and Kendricks yet to show consistency.

          I do like the size factor that Davis is rumored/reported to want…6’4 and above at least 250ish! I think it’s great that although, he sticks to the Steelers model of the 3-4, he still is trying to take it to a new level w/ bigger athletes. Your boy Barr would have been perfect for this team IMO. So I’m looking for a poor man’s version. Of course I’m not so, and hope the FO is not so ridged to pass up some one that can be great for the position and the team due to size.

          I don’t trust Matt Millers evaluations, but he does put me on to players that I haven’t heard or thought of yet. The latest is Kony Ealy. Like the size and athleticism

          • D3FB

            Ealy’s major flaw is lack of explosion, first step.

          • RIP illa

            Thanks but I was readin CBS and they described him as an explosive athlete. But more specifically to the point said he showed good initial quickness off the snap. Of course that was in Sept tho.

      • kajomo

        Gregory reminds me of Aldon Smoth a bit. 6’5 250 lbs who is explosive. He’s raw and needs to add some good weight, but he has elite potential.

        Murphy isnt explosive enough for me. I think Barwin is a better pass rusher. I don’t want any part of him. He’s just more of the same.

        • RIP illa

          Thanks for the info on him. Nothing wrong w/ being raw. Those are the guys that you take the leash off of and say sic him on passing plays!!! Love it. Moves can be learned along w/ the use of hands. IMO the most important requirements of a Rush OLB are speed, athleticism, and bend. If he’s got that then sign him up. 250 is a decent size for now. Agree that he’ll have to put on a little more.

  • BlindChow

    Mack also now holds the NCAA record for forced fumbles (previously held by Suggs and Kerrigan, among others).

    • GEAGLE

      God I love him

  • BlindChow

    With both Detroit and Chicago losing today, The Eagles are just one game out of the 6th Wildcard spot. All three are 6-5.

    • TommyLawlor

      Crazy, isn’t it…

    • ICDogg

      Chicago looked awful.

      • BlindChow

        Well, now we’re behind Arizona and the 49ers. But if we beat Arizona…

  • sew737

    We need someone like Demarcus Ware for OLB. Dion Jordan sounds great but he isn t starting yet at Miami. Maybe ask Rex RYan about that. Coples and Pace aren’t bad.

    • TommyLawlor

      Jordan is playing DE for the Dolphins.

      • austinfan

        Which is an awful waste.

  • Dave

    I have a feeling Chip would long and hard at a wide receiver in round 1. Avant is easily replaceable and depending on whether or not we resign Cooper or Maclin, a big physical jump ball receiver may be in play.

    • TommyLawlor

      Has the play of Riley Cooper made you wonder about the need for 2 stud WRs? Bring him back. Re-sign Mac to a 1-yr deal. Find a slot guy and you could be great.

      • Dave

        I’d be ecstatic with your scenario. I just think Maclin will want a ton of money ($8+ mil/year) on a muliti-year deal and some team will pay it, just not us. I’d be fine with keeping Cooper and letting Maclin walk. The question becomes more about upgrading Cooper with a high draft pick or paying Cooper big money. I’d argue that Cooper is very similar to Eric Decker and that Decker will be asking for a lot of money too.

        • BlindChow

          No team will pay Maclin that much coming off an ACL.

          • ICDogg

            They won’t, but that doesn’t mean that there won’t be a team that will be willing to give him a multiyear contract with more guaranteed money than the Eagles would be offering.

          • Insomniac

            The Rams and Vikings?

          • Mitchell

            Jacksonville, Rams got some crazy young talent.

          • Insomniac

            And neither of them have a franchise QB.

          • BlindChow

            Jacksonville paid big money for Laurent Robinson after his breakout year, so I can see them gambling on Maclin. Also, they lost Justin Blackmon, so they’re short a number one.

            But I would bet Maclin takes a hometown discount and short contract over a long-term contract on a dead-end team.

      • A_T_G

        And don’t forget about Benn. He is probably in play to see if he is healthy, no?

      • GEAGLE

        I have a feeling they might want to re do the WR corp:
        1) Desean
        2) Try and sign Coop
        3) Maclin prove it deal
        4) Maehl
        5 and 6) I wouldn’t be surprised if they drafted one or two WRs in the first 4 rounds
        7) Undrafted WR
        Or something along these lines and then have them battle for spots in camp..

        Checked out the FA WR market, nothing special..Best available is Decker…Tom, could you see us take a run at a veteran WR who is also an established return man, like Ted Ginn or dexter McCluster? If we draft WRs I would assume one to be a capable return guy, but if Foles and the team keep improving and we are closer to really competing than expected, I could see us add an extra veteran or two then we would have if it were the 3 year rebuild that we expected

      • Insomniac

        If we resign Maclin, do we put him in the slot or split the snaps between him and Cooper? We already saw how forcing an outstanding athlete that isn’t used to playing slot can be (DRC).

        • RIP illa

          I don’t get why everyone thinks Mac can easily slide to the slot position? Not saying that it’s out of the realm of probability, but for me it would take a significant commitment and improvement of his game for that switch to be successful. He’s got good size for the slot, but plays way smaller than that. Not great at getting YAC, gets injured frequently, and has good hands but yet still inconsistent, and IMO…lacks the mental make up to play the position at a high level.

          I think we should try to resign him for next year and keep him at outside w/ Coop getting the start (if we don’t draft a outside WR that can out perform Coop) and look to draft a slot guy on day 2 or 3. Hope Beckham’s available on day 2!!!

          Even if Mac is resigned, I hope fans don’t expect him to come out playing at the level he has or better right out the gate. AP is the exception to knee injury recovery rules…the Steve Smith’s of the world are the norm, unfortunately!

          • GEAGLE

            You know what always pissed me off about Mac and Djax?…That during the offseasons they never sought help from Marvin Harrison…Marvin is usually in Philly during the summer, and it’s such a waste for them to never have taken advantage of such a resource as him…for two WRs who aren’t physical Marvin could have really helped their game in terms of short-intermediate routes, than learning to get down and avoid the big hit…Few WR in the history of the game did it better than Marvin.

          • RIP illa

            Same here. I don’t know who they train w/, but the number of former and current players that are willing to take young guys in and mentor them is pretty good in the league. Never heard/here of those 2 taking advantage of it.

          • ICDogg

            He’s no slot receiver. I don’t see it.

      • D3FB

        TJ Jones is gonna be available late or as a UDFA. He would be a great addition.

  • GENETiC-FREAK

    I have the need, the need for speed.. Top Gun??

    • TommyLawlor

      Some people do know it from Top Gun.

      • ICDogg

        or Breaking Bad

        • Hurr-Durr

          That’s the need for meth.

    • A_T_G

      No, I think Tommy had it right. “Alas, poor Horatio and Juliet, I knew well they had the need. The need for speed to escape the boiling cauldron.” From Shakespeare’s 13th night, the lesser known clip show from the later years of his career.

      • TommyLawlor

        Looks like another pair of free (but slightly used) sunglasses for you.

        • BlindChow

          Some assembly required.

        • A_T_G

          Yea! I hope lenses aren’t an optional, non-free accessory this time.

  • planetx1971

    Off topic but is anyone else as nervous as me about Arizona? At the moment they’re tearing Indy apart. I’ know Palmer is inconsistent for sure but from what I’ve seen that D is flat out nasty. I’ve seen alit if folks seem dismissive of them. I dunno :|

    • ICDogg

      Their defense is outstanding.

    • GEAGLE

      Considering they have always given us a hard time, you should def be concerned….can FOles play a clean game against a nasty defense? Can our defense make the BAD, turnover prone Carson please stand up?

      Tough game…need to get ERTZY matched up against the honey badger any have Folesy chuck it up and away…

      • ICDogg

        Should be the best D Foles has faced. I think he can really make a statement by having a solid performance.

        • GEAGLE

          Yes sir…looking forward to it….of course once he shreds that defense everyone will complain that he didn’t beat a good QB

          • ICDogg

            It’s a process… lots to prove, but he’s doing great so far.

    • BlindChow

      Actually, the fact the Colts lost is a great sign. Indianapolis struggles against bad teams!

      • planetx1971

        I was searching for a positive spun. There it is! thanks lol. Also you have to wonder about Indy losing by 29 & 30 points in consecutive weeks. HUGE opportunity to make a statement for Foles in this one!

        • BlindChow

          Arizona was also at home against the Colts. They won’t be in their comfy dome against us!

  • planetx1971

    There’s a million reasons for me to hope Foles keeps on keeping on just like he is & that we move forward with him as our QB next year. GOD I want him to be! The biggest reason for Me is the desire to see this team be able to focus on our D. I’m pumped to see this D with a couple new beasts. Then I think WE can have a nasty D :)

  • TommyLawlor

    This DAL vs NYG game is bizarre. Some bad football being played.

    • Maggie

      Perhaps they’ll end up like Green Bay and Minneapolis? Best outcome! I thought the part of the Arizona game I caught looked interesting.

    • BlindChow

      It sounds like there are a lot of Dallas fans there. Either that or the Giants fans are really pulling for a better draft slot.

  • RobNE

    I’m taking this cowboys win hard. Kills us for the tie breakers.

    • A_T_G

      If we play well enough down the stretch to where getting into the playoffs will be an enjoyable experience, needing a tie breaker shouldn’t be an issue.

      • ICDogg

        Yeah, that’s the way I look at it. I want to see the Eagles continue to show improvement. If they do that, even if they fail to make the playoffs, it is a better situation than if they somehow stumble into the playoffs without getting any better than they are now.

    • GEAGLE

      We are running the table, they aren’t!! Lol

      Why would you take the cowboys win hard? It’s November 24. that’s what the cowboys do in November, they win….fortunately for us the next time Dallas takes the field it will be December lol. And that’s a completely different story :)

      In all seriousness, this arizona game is critical. Will a good defense, led by a motivated Todd Bowles slow down our young QB? Will the bye week slow down our momentum?…or will it rejuvenate us to come out sharp and continue to build onto the progress of the past month and lead us to a win against Zona? If we have an impressive showing and win this game, we will officially be HOT, and no one wants to face that hot team down the stretch

      Our lines have to be the stars of this game…if the Oline doesn’t have a big time showing, things will get rough for FOles, Desean and shady..If our Dline shows up, we all know Carson will unwind and turn that chicken over. You can’t force things against a tough defense, you must be patient. It’s more important to not turn the ball over and play the field position game in a game like this. I don’t care if we struggle moving the ball as long as we don’t turn it over we should be fine.

      We always have a tough time against Arizona..then again we never won in Oakland! we never had a QB throw no INTs, we always struggle in Lambeau, we always struggled throwing 7 TDs in a game lol…with the Rainmaker at the reigns, historic failures no longer scare me :)

    • GEAGLE

      Cowboys suck in December. Romo is a joke…we also are in nthe hunt for the wildcard, and we didn’t think there was any chance a wildcard spot was going to an NFC east team…win 3 of 5 and we will be in the playoffs…Dallas doesn’t scare me

  • BlindChow

    Kansas City fans are livid about Andy Reid’s timeclock management.

    They’ve also turned on their defensive coordinator. Just wait until Reid promotes offensive line coach Andy Heck to that spot next year!

    • GEAGLE

      Really? Or is this a joke? I’m out of the loop, barely know who won today

      • BlindChow

        With 1:28 seconds left in the 4th quarter, Andy Reid called a timeout on 1st and Goal at the 5, with 17 seconds left on the play clock. The next play was a TD pass, leaving 1:24 seconds on the clock, which was just enough time for Phillip Rivers to go 80 yards for the game-winning TD.

        On the plus side, this happened:

        http://nesncom.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/andy-reid.gif?w=450&h=303

        • GEAGLE

          Hahahahahahaha thanks..classic fatman

  • GEAGLE

    Brady sucks tonight…every QB has bad games!!

    • RobNE

      I blame you for the comeback

      • GEAGLE

        Lol my bad….”put him in the bathroom

  • Joseph Dubyk

    I honestly wouldn’t mind going CB very high… Why? The guys who have to beat to wina championship Brees, Brady, Manning, Rodgers, etc all get the ball out super quick which negates a very good pass rush. Meanwhile , a bunch of talented CBs who can challenge WRs will negate that a bit.

    • RIP illa

      Agree w/ the high CB pick. Was thinking 2nd rd initially, but if we keep winning then I’m expecting for The worthwhile picks at WR and OLBs to be gone so we may end up taking a corner as BPA and need in the 1st. I just really want to stay away from high 4.4 to 4.5 guys as I think that the coverage skills of the top prospects are not that far off from one another.

  • Joseph Dubyk

    Also…am I alone that I don’t see anything special from Bridgewater or Mariota? I haven’t watched any of the other QBs much, I would love to watch Manziel.But I wouldn’t be happy trying to get either of those 2.

    • RIP illa

      Haven’t watched him for a several weeks but I love Bridgewater!!! I see him play and think in NFL, terms of the type of throws, placement, decision making, and command of the field. I thought and still think MM is mostly based off of people’s projections to what he could be rather than what he is now.

    • livingonapear

      I would recommend watching Mariota a bit more carefully. He really understands how to use his head and body to fake. He doesn’t stare down his receivers, and he keeps his head on a swivel. So he does a lot of the great things Foles does, but he has Vick’s kind of athleticism as well.

  • RIP illa

    Thank you Tommy for addressing the lack of speed we have on this D. Been trying to scream this since the offseason. Specifically at corner. For a D-Coord like Davis, who doesn’t want to get beat deep above anything else, I would think the team would want to have more speed. Birds24/7 has a good post w/ info about us v the deep ball. Not saying that speed would be the end all to us getting beat deep, but having speed at the outside corner would help. It would also help by having corners who don’t have to play so far off (Fletcher) and give up a lot of underneath completions. Plus having a corner that can run downfield w/ WRs could allow for less safety help and using the Safeties for other roles…of course this all depends on the corner and is theoretical.

    We have a DE who is one of the fastest 300 pounders in the league. We have Kendricks who at MLB has good speed for a DB. And as you said we have great speed w/ Wolff. Although Allen doesn’t have the speed he once had, pre-injury, I still believe he has great speed for a safety and good range. Barwin is a freak athlete hands down!!! But is limited as a pass rusher for whatever reasons.

    Getting an OLB that can rush and run around the 4.6 would be tremendous for this D!!! And adding corners…yes corners…w/ speed would be even better! And before people get mad about the cornerS, part…C-Will is not great in coverage and Fletch is oft injured. I do realize it’s most likely (hopefully) will get only 1.

    Mostly I love how this D is trending. Our D-line is great, we just need to add depth, cuz we have none outside of Curry and I still think he should be mostly a situational rusher. Wish we could get Graham to bulk up like I thought we would have heading in to this season. He’s gains weight easily (see his weight during his injury), strong as most NTs in the league, and would add another dimension of athleticism to the line!!!
    LBs more depth needed also. Past time we start grooming Ryans replacement and get our elite pass rusher and his backup. I think long can compete for to be Barwin’s backup as you said. I would love to bring in Martez Wilson also and see if he can contribute at OLB. He was NO’s version of Acho earlier this season, plus he’s big, young, fast, and strong.
    And DB…obviously Bryd!!! And maybe draft another late rd safety. I’m a firm believer in keeping Allen at this point along w/ Wolff still competing. Never liked Chung! Louchiez for CB. Big, fast, physical, play making corner who has solid coverage skills.
    Anyway I digress…got a little carried away.

    • D3FB

      Take a peek at Kenny Ladler S from Vandy. Good speed. Will hit. Takes good angles. Projected to be taken in the 4 to 5 range. His running mate at corner Andre Hal would be a nice later round CB pickup, and as far as the guys at the top Kyle Fuller is a stud. Watch his Bama tape and he shuts down Amari Cooper who is going to be a first round receiver next year.

  • Richaud Jeaffreson

    I watched Sam play twice this year, and was really impressed. He was all over the field making plays.

  • Weapon Y

    I actually think Trent Murphy will turn out to be the best of the OLBs. He looks like the most natural pass-rusher of the bunch. Few college OLBs go beyond just trying to bull rush O-linemen into the QB. Murphy already has a very good spin move, rip move, and swim move. He’s also 6’6″, 260 lbs and fits Chip Kelly’s bill of a big, tall OLB. The only real knock on him is his 40-time, which is supposed to be 4.8. That shouldn’t matter because he is never going to cover 40 yards on a play. He’s explosive and smooth at the position. I’d be thrilled to get him in the draft. If the Eagles could also get an excellent outside CB, I think they’d have everything they need to pull off a playoff run, dare-I-say, to the Super Bowl.

  • A_T_G

    I am sure I am not the only one that takes a little perverse joy in the fact that DRC hurt himself diving for a meaningless, stat-padding interception on a last second hailmary pass to end the half.

  • McNabbulousness

    No impact playerS since Dawk
    PAtrick Chung
    Passed up Earl Thomas For Brandon Graham
    NatE Allen
    KurT Coleman
    You know what I’m getting at

    If a can’t miss OLB falls to us go for it, but it’d be really nice to have a consistently productive/potential future probowler somewhere, anywhere (hell, we need corner help too), in the secondary.

    I really like wolffe and boykins and their potential but it’s going to take more than that.

    • Anders

      all I see is whine, whine whine.

      • GEAGLE

        Someone call the WHAAAAAAAmbulance!! :)

        • McNabbulousness

          how dare you!

  • austinfan

    Eagles are patterning their defense after the Steelers, who never put a premium on speed. Rather, it’s a matter of the right mix of players, Clark with Polamalu, physical CBs with quickness rather than speed.

    The one area where the Steelers always emphasized athleticism was LB, Farrior (Trade), Timmons, Woodley, Porter, etc. Note that the Steeler OLBs were never tall guys, Harrison et al were all under 6’2. Foote was the only LB with average athleticism that started, but that was at ILB where his instincts and quickness compensated (and good tackling).

    I think a faster S than Allen, a WOLB who is explosive around the edge. upgrade over Williams in terms of both speed and quickness. That’s really all you need, after that, it’s a matter of just landing good athletes to develop as depth, the DL is already set, but you want to upgrade Square, Geathers. At LB, upgrade Matthews, Knott. in the secondary, Coleman, Anderson, Marsh. But you don’t blow your budget (in terms of money and draft picks) to do so.

    PS: I think Ms Steele prefers size over speed.