Long day of traveling on Wednesday and getting back to normal life today delayed my post. Enough about that and onto the good stuff.
I am home from Mobile. I had a great time down there. This wasn’t the best set of Senior Bowl players, but there were some really talented and really interesting guys. I think the Eagles can take 3 or 4 of these guys and help fill some holes on the roster.
Some Eagles notes…
* Maybe this was purely coincidence, but when the North team did their 11-on-11 work yesterday, a whole slew of Eagles scouts was sitting at a spot where they could watch the defense from behind. Essentially they had the All-22 angle. Jimmy Bama and I happened to be 5 rows behind them and I don’t know if the guys were there the whole time or moved to that spot to catch the 11-on-11 session.
Jimmy and I were there so we could chat up a couple of friends.
* Players are people. And who they are can affect how much you like them. Chip Kelly loved Matt Barkley and Bennie Logan. He then drafted them. A group of Philly reporters spoke to Safety Jimmie Ward yesterday and I have to say that I’m more intrigued by him after listening to him than when just going off the tape.
Ward isn’t big at 5103, 191. He is aware of that and after talking to teams he’s going to try and bulk up to 200 pounds. Being a shade over 5-10 and 200 pounds isn’t ideal size for the NFL, but that is big enough for a starting Safety. Ward admitted that proper nutrition hasn’t been part of his life to this point.
You really want this kid to succeed. He is from Mobile, AL. Sounds like he grew up poor and has made the most of his life. He knows he’s coming from a small school and he’s got a bit of a chip on his shoulder. A good chip. He’s not angry at anyone, but is driven. Some pro prospects have a sense of entitlement. Ward is hungry. He wants to be an NFL player. He’ll do what it takes to make it in the league.
I’m looking forward to watching more of him. I love his versatility, man cover skills, and downhill, attacking style of play. I do worry about size and the fact he doesn’t look like a special athlete.
* I also thought Deone Bucannon, the S from Washington State, came off pretty well in the interviews.
* Kyle Van Noy seemed like a sharp cat.
* I came away not sure what to think of Tajh Boyd. He didn’t say anything bad or obviously dumb. It just felt like he was trying to sell you on the idea that he was ready to be your team’s QB. I’ve mentioned before that he could be a good fit for the Eagles. Will Boyd go in the 2nd round? The 3rd? The 4th? He didn’t have a great week of practice and that won’t help his value. If Chip thinks he can turn Boyd into a quality starter or valuable asset, take him. I’m less enthusiastic after Mobile.
* One player was trying to tell a reporter that he wouldn’t take anything for granted…only he couldn’t think of “for granted”. I won’t take…I won’t take…I won’t take…ummm. I came really close to saying “for granted” to help the kid out, but didn’t want to ruin the reporter’s audio of the interview. There is nothing worse than when speaking publicly and a phrase you know won’t come to you. It’s on the tip of your tongue, but it might as well be on Mars.
* Eagles scouts weren’t talking to players after Wednesday’s practice. Heck, almost the entire on-field gathering of people was media and agents.
It should be noted that teams had a chance to speak with every player in Mobile. They have arranged interviews that are short. Those are the NFL equivalent of speed dating. There is an area in the main hotel where teams can chat up players for longer periods. Trying to figure out who is talking to who there is complicated. You can bet the Eagles talked to just about every player. The more important question is who they liked and who they didn’t like.
* I’ve got a few more Senior Bowl posts to write. They are more long form so I’ll get busy on them tonight. The game itself is on Saturday.