Number 22

Posted: January 6th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 228 Comments »

After this weekend’s games we know where the Eagles will be picking … #22. I’d prefer that to be #32, but we’ll have to dream about that for now.

It is hard to know what the Eagles will draft since the team has to go through free agency and pro personnel moves first, but I’ll go ahead and say the most important area for the team is OLB. The Eagles need an impact LB.

I know many people will focus more on the secondary. The Eagles need to get better at Safety and CB, but if you watched the games this weekend you saw blown coverages all over the place. Offenses are so ahead of defenses that even with good DBs you have no guarantees of shutting someone down. Go put on the September game between the Texans and Seahawks. Matt Schaub threw for 355 yards in that game. He had guys running wide open down the middle of the field. And Seattle has unquestionably the best secondary in the league.

It seems more and more to me that the best solution is to win up front. The Eagles have young talent on the D-line. I know those guys were way too quiet in recent games, but I’ll share some thoughts on that in another post. I think an impact LB would help more than anything.

The Eagles could go for someone like Brian Orakpo in free agency, but I’m not sure they’d think he is worth paying huge money for. There are some interesting targets in the draft. Instead of focusing on names, let’s start with a key question…can you find an impact LB at #22?

Obviously you’d rather have pick #2 or #12, but you can still find really good OLBs outside of that range. Clay Matthews was pick 26. LaMarr Woodley was pick 48. Anthony Spencer was pick 26. Shaun Phillips was pick 98. Tamba Hali was pick 20. Justin Houston was pick 70. As you can see, the Eagles could even wait to the 2nd round and try to get a LB there.

I don’t know what the plan for next year will be. The Eagles could draft an OLB early, but still keep Trent Cole around as the projected starter and have the LB work into the lineup. The team could throw caution to the wind and cut Cole. They would still make the rookie earn the starting job, but the plan would be to push the player aggressively. The team will have some options.

And you must keep one thing in mind. Drafting a LB in the 1st or 2nd round doesn’t guarantee immediate results. Matthews was freaky good as a rookie. Woodley didn’t start as a rookie, but had 11 sacks in his 2nd year. Spencer didn’t develop into a force off the edge for several years. His first double-digit sack season came in his 6th year.

I know Cole had a solid year. He was outstanding vs the run. He had 8 sacks and was able to get pressure on a regular basis. Cole still plays hard and he is everything you would want in a guy in the locker room. Great work ethic, perfect attitude. The problem is that the 3-4 defense really is best when an OLB can take over games. You need someone who requires double teams and can be a force off the edge. Cole will beat single blocking from time to time, but he’s rarely drawing double teams. He will get chipped. And he does go against the LT, generally the team’s best blocker. But Cole is no longer a guy that offenses fear. They know he’s dangerous, but they expect the LT to keep him under control most of the time.

That’s just not good enough for the 3-4. There is logic to keeping him around so that you could work a rookie into the lineup. Cole is due a high salary and the Eagles may prefer not to pay that. There is always the possibility they think another year in the system can bring out even better results. Still, he’s not the long term answer. The Eagles must add a young edge rusher with big time potential.

The mystery guy is Brandon Graham. He had some good moments this season, but never played so well that he was going to push Cole for his job. The Eagles might consider trading him if they don’t think Graham will take a big step forward this year. The team needs to add a young ROLB. Would Graham slide over to LOLB? That position, called The Jack, is more of a complete LB. Graham did improve with his cover skills, but it still isn’t anywhere close to being a strength for him. I’m definitely interested to see what the Eagles do with Graham.

You guys may disagree about going for a LB over a DB. Speak up and share your thoughts. I’ll keep an open mind. Hopefully we’ll get some good clues from the Eagles as to what they think in the next few months.

One thing to keep in mind is that the Eagles have enough holes on the roster that they need to stick to the best player available theory. If you have a shot at a playmaking WR or stud OL, don’t pass on them for a pretty good LB. You are always one injury away from having a hole in your lineup. Don’t pass on talent.

_


  • TommyLawlor

    I thought about titling this post Acacia Avenue, but didn’t because I figured a majority of the readers wouldn’t be Iron Maiden fans that get the reference to the song called 22 Acacia Avenue.

    If only we lived in a world where Maiden fans made up most of society…

    • JJ_Cake

      Maiden was my favorite band growing up. Saw several concerts starting with Peace of Mind, Power Slave, Somewhere in time, Seventh son of a Seventh son, and several years ago when they toured with Queensryche and Rob Halford.

      To be honest, I really don’t like them with 3 guitars. Janick is a nice guy, I just don’t like his sound, and a 3rd guitar doesn’t add anything to the band.

      On the draft, I don’t think the team will find Charlotte, but I’m hoping BPA, leaning towards CB or Safety. It’s amazing our DBs (and team) stayed as healthy as they did, but you saw the huge impact loosing a starting caliber CB does to the team. A smart opposing QB will pick on that guy and wreak havoc.

      I agree with you that we got bullied at the LOS, and our entire front needs to get better, but CB and S are our weakest positions.

    • Jamie Parker

      If you listen to relatively new music and then turn on some Maiden, the noticable difference in musicianship is astounding.

      • Maggie

        If you have the stomach to listen to new “music” and then turn on almost ANYTHING from the 70’s the noticeable difference in musicianship is astounding.

  • Mitchell

    I would be totally have with drafting an impact OLB in the first. There is a lot of secondary talent in this draft yes? Why take a corner so early when, like Tommy said, OLB is probably more of an impact player. The Eagles might as well draft secondary players in later rounds. There is a ton of talent there. In summation, we might as well draft Barr in the first :)

    • Vick or Nick

      When I saw his videos from past few games, I knew right away we needed him badly.

      Unfortunately, theres talks of him going first or 2nd overall.

      • Mitchell

        yeh he will go top 5. I can dream lol

      • BreakinAnklez

        Jack is a freshman

  • IG

    Safety is 1st priority. Chung and Coleman have been huge liabilities. For a while Chung couldn’t even tackle the right guy, always hitting Boykin or williams instead of the ball carrier. Nate allen has played alright at times, he made a play then lost a play. Im excited about Wolf’s progress for next season though

    • bentheimmigrant

      I think we have to keep at least one of them. Chung has to go. Coleman can stay since he’s good enough to be #4 and is good on STs. If we’re planning on signing a safety, Allen might not want to stay to be a backup. Could easily see him walking. I just don’t see how you find 3 new safeties.

      • anon

        chung has guaranteed money so me thinks he’ll be on special teams.

      • Insomniac

        If we sign a safety and Allen leaves…we’ll still need 2 safeties.

        • bentheimmigrant

          Exactly. That’ll be hard enough. Getting rid of Coleman just makes it worse.

          • Insomniac

            Draft one and..uhh sign a safety that the Seahawks cut. There you go, two safeties that hopefully won’t suck as much.

          • bentheimmigrant

            Yeah, that works for me. If we can sign a starter and draft someone with potential, I’m happy.

          • fran35

            I agree. Chung needs to go. He is horrible. I think Coleman is worth keeping as he is decent on ST. However, if there is a young guy who shows promise and can play ST as well, Coleman goes. Plus, Chung scares me more than Coleman.

        • Anders

          I think Allen stays.

    • xeynon

      There are two good safeties due to hit the open market this year in Jairus Byrd and T.J. Ward. Both are still relatively young, and both have a Kelly connection as former Ducks. I’d rather go after one of them in free agency and draft and OLB.

      • bridgecoach

        I’ve been looking for the TJ Ward bandwagon, time for Iggles Nation to jump on board. TJ Ward is a defensive leader who is playing at the top of his game – with grit, fire and consistency. He lobbied hard for the Browns to go after Kelly and has a strong relationship with Billy Davis. He has been vocal about his disgust for the Browns powers that bluster to be. We can get him with a 4 year, 28-30mil deal. The safeties in the draft class are below par. I’d take a shot on LSU’s Loston rd3-4, but the most interesting safety draft prospect for me is Exum – who could possibly play CB in the future depending on how injuries heal – but thats a Rd5 type of flyer.
        I

  • Chuck Stuller Jr.

    Tommy,

    We talked about this briefly on Twitter. I really like Kyle Van Noy BYU OLB (6-3 235). He had a down year this year (sacks went from 11 to 4) and his TFL went from 22 to 17.5 in the. I hope he is there in the 2nd round but, I think he will regain the stock he lost when he goes through the post season workouts.When you get a chance to view him on film, his closing speed jumps out at you. As for the 1st rd pick? If he comes out I like Ifo Ekpre-Olumo, CB from Oregon (5-10 190). He is very technically sound, and Chip is already familiar with him. I think they go corner because the pass rusher they covet wont be there. However, you may see OLB Khalil Mack of Buffalo (6-2 245) drop due to teams drafting on need and not the best player. He is a top 10 talent, but if I’m the Eagles and he is there sitting around Pittsburgh’s pick? I give them a call and see if they can work something out. Pittsburgh may lose picks after HC Mike Tomlin had his sideline penalty earlier this year. They also do not have a pick in the 3rd round. In addition to that, they are aging and need a lot of help. Especially along the OL.

    -Chuck

    • bridgecoach

      I agree. Now that we have gotten a chance to live a Chip Kelly season, I think that Kyle Van Noy is the type of LB he is looking for – athletic and vesatile. The kid can rush the passer and cover a variety of players. I think he is 6’3 245 tho – and I think Chip would love a guy that was even bigger (but Dion Jordons don’t grow on trees). Smart, fast, instinctive – I like him a lot on our Defense. I think think Brent Murphy, Mosely, and Mack are higher on the LB draft board, but Van Noy will be part of a lot of coversations inside the Eagles war room.

      • D3FB

        I think Trent Murphy is not going to go until the third. He is physical but not a great athlete. Most of his sacks come on effort plays rather than beating the tackle cleanly. Think a more physical Damontre Moore.

  • Call Me Carlos the Dwarf

    Gotta say, Graham was the only guy getting any pressure against Brees last night.

  • Phils Goodman

    I think our areas of need are very clearly defined:

    1) rush linebacker
    2) defensive back
    3) wide receiver

    Big names in free agency who match those needs are obviously Orakpo and Byrd. I think this is a good year to make at least one big free agent signing. The 2010 and 2011 classes are next up for extensions, and since the Eagles drafted so poorly those years, they have plenty of money to spend the next couple seasons before the 2012 guys come up. It’s not beyond Howie to structure a big contract that’s escapable after two years. Look at Nnamdi. He was basically a worst-case scenario in free agency and it had no long-term cap ramifications.

    As an fan, I have absolutely no objection to the team “overpaying” a quality free agent. All of our good young players are already locked up or have 2+ years left on rookie contracts. This is a good window for “overpaying.” The key is doing the right evaluation to make sure the free agent is a quality player.

    Prospects that could be available with the 1st pick are Ifo Ekpre Olomu, Vic Beasley, Kyle Van Noy, Marqise Lee, or round 2-3: Allen Robinson, Jordan Matthews, Kelvin Benjamin, Davante Adams, Josh Huff (it’s an incredibly deep class at WR is what I’m saying — I hope we tap into it with an early pick). No matter what they do with Cooper, Maclin and the draft, they should easily come away with a 3 WRs on the depth chart better than Avant (who is in line for restructure or release, IMO).

  • GENETiC-FREAK

    Here you go MACHers!

    1. OLB Kyle Van Noy – Can cover n blitz n hussle.. Add some more muscle on that frame n we got ourselves a stud OLB.

    2. ILB Shane Skov – Ryans aint gonna be here forever n the depth behind him is not the greatest. Nice aggression. Future starter.

    3. S Calvin Pryor – Dunno if he will be here in the 3rd round come
    combine but i think hes the best S in this draft. Some of his tackles n
    pop in them makes me think you one badd a** mother f**cker! Along with
    Byrd Oooh Yeah!!! My boy;)

    4. OW D’Anthony Thomas – KR/PR need some spark n put him on the field with DJax n Shady n i have the need for speed.

    5a. CB Stanley Jean-Baptitse – Bit of a arm tackler needs work on it. But the size n skill is there.

    5b. C/G Gabe Ickard – Athletic C/G depth behind Kelce.

    7. BPA – TE Lyeria, QB Thomas or NT?

    • Anders

      I do not like Van Noy.

      After Mack and Barr my favorites are Early and Attoucho as possible first round OLBs

      I love Shane Skov, but he would most likely be too slow to be a pure play maker at the ILB position. I prefer Ryan Shazier or a Smallwood.

      I would love Pryor at safety and in general they aint picked super high (Nate Allen was a better safety prospect imo than any safety this year and he became a 2nd round pick).

      I prefer a bigger WR at this point, somebody like L’Damian Washington from Missouri

      Bapiste is the perfect size/speed CB and he got very good hips. I really doubt he will last to the 5th.

      I like Ickard, perfect athletic center/guard type that we need

      • Insomniac

        Attaochu and Sam (in that order) are my choice of pass rushers after Barr/Mack. I think you mean Ealy? I don’t think he’s the same athlete as Ansah/JPP and even Dion Jordan. There’s very huge risk in him since he’s raw and lack instincts even after 2 years of starting..

        • Anders

          I meant Ealy, tho I do like Early as well.

          Ealy is a lot like Aldon Smith in size and type of player comming out of college.

          • D3FB

            I like Ealy but I think he profiles better as a 43 end.

      • Mitchell

        Jackson jeffcoat. Dnt forget about him!

    • Insomniac

      DAT is overrated.

      • A_T_G

        I would like to draft him and devise a game plan to have him run wild all over the Saints, just to serve as an answer to that stupid Who Dat? Question.

  • SteveH

    I just want the best player, its how we revitalized our roster and I don’t want to see us switch anything up. Good teams get by with weaknesses in areas all the time, you just need to keep getting the best talent to give yourself a shot. If the best guy happens to be a stud pass rusher, all the better.

  • PhiEagles14

    This is my thinking on the subject:

    Use free agency to fill holes (secondary) u are more likely to find an impact cb or safety in free agency- they are proven and have a track record, look at recent draft picks in the first round. (Claiborne, milliner,) I would argue that they aren’t true impact corners. Safeties have been more consistent in the first round, but with Byrd on the market I don’t see why you don’t peruse him.

    Draft- use the draft to add the best player possible ( whether that’s an OLB, Cb, safety, wr, lineman. Wit this theory u aren’t garunteed a player that you remotely need.

    Fill holes in free agency. Boost roster in draft = success.

    • PhiEagles14

      What do you think of this theory Tommy?

      • A_T_G

        I think this is a theory in the same way that gravity is a theory. You aren’t going to find many people that argue with it.

    • Anders

      I agree.

      Fill some holes in FA (but do not over do it like 2011) and then just draft BPA.

    • Michael Winter Cho

      Sure, I agree. We can weigh certain positions more, but if we can pick up an impact player or two in the off-season, can we really be choosy about where it is? Or do you just collect those “freaks” and adjust your schemes to take advantage of their abilities?

  • Reem

    In the first round I think two of the best OLB’s
    Anthony Barr and Khalil Mack will be gone by time the Eagles pick but OLB’s Vic Beasley, Kyle Van Noy, and Trent Muphy might be there. Only thing I don’t like about Vic Beasley and Kyle Van Noy are that they are undersized for the 3-4 OLB position but they can rush the passer. Me personally I would love for the Eagles to draft CB Justin Gilbert in the first round because he might be the best CB in this draft and he can affect both defense and special teams

  • Reem

    In the first round I think two of the best OLB’s Anthony Barr and Khalil Mack will be gone by time the Eagles pick but OLB’s Vic Beasley, Kyle Van Noy, and Trent Muphy might be there. Only thing I don’t like about Vic Beasley and Kyle Van Noy are that they are undersized for the 3-4 OLB position but they can rush the passer. Me personally I would love for the Eagles to draft CB Justin Gilbert in the first round because he might be the best CB in this draft and he can affect both defense and special teams.

  • deg0ey

    Looking at the draft, I’m just not sure I see a way that OLB is going to be BPA. Outside of Barr and Mack, there aren’t really any compelling options at OLB. I think BPA is more likely to be CB (Verrett, Gilbert, Roby) or DL (Nix, Tuitt). My opinion is that I’d much rather grab one of those guys in the first and then target Attaochu in the second (might need to trade up a bit). I know he’s raw, but he’s got good size and speed and he has experience playing in a 3-4 so I’d give him a look.

  • Sifter

    Like last year and Dion Jordan, I’m hesitant to draft an OLB. Simple reason being that I think in Graham and Curry and Cole the Eagles already have a lot of pass rushing talent. Of course none of those 3 fit the current scheme perfectly, and that is why there is this perceived need. But that is kinda my point – it’s almost like we need the perfect guy to be satisfied, I think we could better use the guys on the roster, particularly Graham.

    Apart from secondary, my position to look at is WR. Cooper improved a lot this year, but he’s still not an ideal WR2 in my eyes, nor is Maclin. At present it feels like if the opposition have 1 good CB and a good run D, then the Eagles stall ie. cover DeSean and stop the run = win. We saw it once Keenan Lewis went out, the Eagles started moving again. So I think get better at WR, make the offense a true juggernaut.

    • GENETiC-FREAK

      DJax had Lewis beat few plays its up to Foles to pull the trigger n throw it to him. They kept showing the same clip over n over again with Collinworth saying Lewis is doing a great job covering DJax but the clip was DJax beating Lewis! lol

      • fran35

        I saw that clip too. I thought the same thing. However, after watching the replay of the game, those snapshots failed to show Desean had a safety over the top, so he was not open.

    • fran35

      I differ a little with your opinions here. I think Cooper is a decent number 2, but Desean is not a Number 1 WR in the NFL. That’s my issue. I guess it all depends one what you consider a number one, but I consider a number one WR a player which can run every route on the field and get open consistently. It is a player that cannot be so easily taklen away by a defensive gameplan. With Desean, it always seems to be boom or bust.

  • Mitchell

    We should probably just trade down. It should be easier than last year due to bring in the twenties.

  • Anders

    I 100% agree, a great pass rusher is more important than great cb. Take eagles 2010, Samuel was one of the best cbs in the nfl and we still had terrible pass d. In 2011 we got a lot better at sacking the qb and pass d improved.

    My list of importance of defensive players.

    Interior pressure, most QBs are so good at getting the ball out fast that pressure up the middle is the most devastating.
    Outside pressure
    Safety, a truly great safety can change a whole defence
    Cb
    Ilb and all 4-3 lbs, while great ilbs are important, none of those can do a good job without the rest. Take 2008 eagles defence, they had all the other parts and therefore had a top d with Chris Gocong, disco Stuv and Gaither at lb

    • Chippah

      Absolutely. You can throw away from a top corner. Even if they’re playing the best game of their life they might not make any plays.

      When a pass rusher goes off he can take over the game.

      Granted there is value to taking away the other team’s no. 1 WR but disrupting a QBs rhythm affects the whole offense.

  • Daniel Norman Richwine

    I’m expecting a very big year from Ertz in 2014. I think BPA will be what we do again, but if there’s a tie, defense will win in this draft. I think its possible there may be a QB at 22 Chip will grab. I think one more good to great draft and the team will dominate the east for the next 3 years.

    • suthrneagle

      There may be a QB at 22,
      and if so,
      there will be a QB at 23
      cause Chip will not waste a #1 pick on a bench warmer

  • bentheimmigrant

    The answer is obvious. We must trade whatever it takes to get Clinton-Dix. It is our moral duty to obtain the ‘Sean trifecta.

    • Anders

      We most also collect all the players with penis like names :P

      • Cliff

        I wouldn’t have gone with the “sticking tongue out” emoticon with this one.

    • Cliff

      YES! I love this strategy.

  • Corry

    A good pass rush can make a below average secondary seem above average. We do need to address the secondary at some point, but I agree that the pass rush should be first priority.

    I’m all for FA but I think they need to be careful about who they bring in. Part of the problem with the free agency bonanza in 2011 was the lack of team harmony. This year we seemed to have a very good group outside of a few sideline issues.

    *sigh* we made it to January football but it still feels too early to be discussing the offseason.

  • eagleyankfan

    That is a tough question but I trust in Chip. Since pre-season, I trust in Foles too. I don’t think the Eagles got any pressure on the QB since 2011 :). That needs to be changed. Secondary and WR.
    First and foremost thought — somebody has to take out a missing persons add for DJ. This is a must. He’s been missing for more than 24hrs. He never showed up at the game.
    My priority: Impact defensive player. I don’t care which position but we need someone. 2: WR. Again — DJ is nice and has his moments but they are far and few between. Time to move on from him and get somebody that we can trust all the time. 3: give walking papers to the dolt who kicked the football into the end zone. I would have done that following the play but I guess today is ok too. Big spots like that you need smarter people. There is zero reason for him to even touch the ball. ZERO.

    • Bob Brewer

      I’m with you on Desean.

      • Jamie Parker

        He had a couple of big returns that set the offense up big time. He also set up that last TD. He created the space top get the ball into Ertz. They just used him way too much as a decoy. And sometimes you just gotta throw it up there for him to make a play, like what happened twice Saturday night.

        The DJ that was MIA all season was D. Johnson.

  • Scott J

    I was disappointed in Trent Cole against the Saints. I thought he would dominate their rookie LT Armstead.

    • D-von

      He did a little to much talking, which made him look bad.

      • suthrneagle

        exactly–saw that before the game and thought he was askin for trouble; overconfidence is a sure way to get beaten.
        That vet./rook dynamic he was talkin about;how`d that work out for him?!

    • sew737

      yea right dominate Armstead…he is as good if not better thasn our #1 draft choice @ tackle.

    • D3FB

      I loved Armstead coming out of the draft. He was raw due to playing small college but you could see the unique blend of power and athleticism. He did some Jason Petersesque things.

  • Mike Flick

    The first round I think you look for the player who will have the biggest positive impact.

    One thing the entire coaching staff talked about more than anything else is ‘Catching Radius.’ The last half of the season, that was the mantra. Even the players were saying it.

    If there is a big WR on the board, I think it will be hard for them to pass him up. Looking at last draft, there was Cordarrelle sitting there at around the 22 pick. Chip loves size and with a guy like that who is able to dominate blocking downfield plus a guy who is open even when covered and can win single coverage consistently.

    A lot of it will depend on how the draft falls out, but a solid offensive player may be too much for Chip to pass up.

  • philllyfanatic

    I’ll take Jarius Byrd and Orakpo in free agency and then try to draft Ha Ha Clinton Did. Resign Colt Anderson or Nate Allen on the cheap and let Earl Wolf compete for playing time.

    • sew737

      I wish we could trade Barkley and a draft pick for Coples (Jets).You have a DE and OLB all in one

    • D3FB

      Calm down Steinbrenner.

  • ian_no_2

    I’d want to extend Graham and use him more, but he would seem not to be eying any more green pastures or 3-4 pastures.

    There should be an impact WR on the board at 22. CB is comparatively weak but someone is there who can play as always.

  • RobNE

    How has Byrd recovered from his injury? Are there other FA safeties (besides Allen)? say we want him, can we get him or will there be lots of competition for him?

    The Bengals seem trapped. Good team, adequate but not good enough QB. How do you get a better QB while the team is still good?

  • RobNE

    Also what could we get for Graham? realistically.

    Was Vick on a one year deal? Or can we trade him for something?

    • Andy124

      Vick signed a 3-year deal last offseason, and they immediately voided the final 2 years. I’m sure it was some kind of cap manipulation. Basically a 1 year deal. So no, we can’t trade him for something.

      • RobNE

        thanks. I think there should definitely be a starting position out there for him. I wish him well, unless we play him. Bengals?!?

        • Andy124

          I don’t think a team that just won their division by 3 games is looking for a new QB.

          Jags, Raiders, Vikings, Browns all seem like places where he’d be an upgrade over anything they’ve got in hand.

  • Mike Roman

    Lack of a consistent pass rush hurt us many times this year. I think we need someone that we can pencil in for 12 sacks a year (and hope for the 15+) range. A good pass rush will mask a mediocre secondary. OLB, S, CB is how I’d rank the order of need.

    With that being said, I think we need another wideout. Someone who can consistently beat press man and be Foles’ hot read on 3rd and 6 when the defense comes with pressure. I feel like these last two games, the sacks and intentional grounding penalties came against blitzes while Foles was waiting for someone to come open. We have good receivers, but that big, physical element is still missing.

    Time to bring in competition for Alex Henery too. I’m not so down on him missing a 48 yard field goal in this conditions (although it wasn’t even close), but the depth of his kickoffs are abysmal. He seems to be the only kicker in the league who can’t put it 8 yards deep into the end zone with any consistency.

  • Bob Brewer

    You have to love that Dallas found an impact player at 26 in Anthony Spencer. How did they get pick 26 that year again?

    • Anders

      He have been in the nfl for 7 years and he have 1 impact season, not sure I would be mad about that

      • Neil

        Yeah, before he posted 10+ sacks one year he was Jimmy’s leading “edge setter” and otherwise the victim of many jokes. To call him an impact player seems like a stretch.

      • Ben Hert

        But imagine with sports science!!

    • Arby1

      We traded pick #26 for the Sean Lee pick..wait, no! – that was another year, another trade down… : ( Joe Banner was the best GM Jerry Jones ever had.

  • Cafone

    I asked this in another thread a week or so ago, but I got it in late… Why not Curry as OLB? We already know he can be a pash rushing force. His natural size/weight seems to fit OLB more than DE. He had to gain weight this past offseason when they decided to try him at 3-4 DE. I suspect he could lose this weight if needed. As you mention, having Cole around would give us some time to develop a young guy. Why can’t that young guy be Vinny Curry?

    • D3FB

      I suspect its due to his lack of elite first step. He excels at his current role as interior pass rusher because his athleticism is too much for interior linemen but I don’t know that he’s got enough tools to be a good OLB.

  • Cafone

    I see Brandon Graham is list at 6’2″. Is that an exaggeration? He looks shorter than that on the field.

    • guest

      I believe his combine height was something like 6’1 5/8

  • D-von

    If we stay where we are right now in the draft, I think out best choices are Vic Beasley and/or Jackson Jeffcoat for OLB unless we trade up. FA and the combine will shed some light on the Eagles approach

  • Engwrite

    I thought the success of the last two drafts was predicated on taking the best man available rather than going (over reaching) for position. FA should take care of positional needs. Having said that, what I see as the problem is the need to replace ‘good’ with ‘great.’ Clearly Chung was a liability, as was the absence of a KO returner, but other than that, the Defense developed well. So replacing Cole or Fletcher will be tough inasmuch as they played hard and improved as the year wore on.

  • Andy

    Without exceptional knowledge beyond the popularly projected first round players at this point, do you see any promising OLB prospects who could be had in the third round or later? Particularly, I’m wondering if there are players who have exhibited flashes, or are perhaps exceptionally athletic/physically imposing, but raw?

    To my knowledge (and I know we’ll have a very different picture in the coming months), Anthony Barr, Kahlil Mack, and Kyle Van Noy appear to be the best OLB candidates in the draft. Beyond them, do you have any under-the-radar rush linebackers on your radar, who might boom in the NFL, given proper development?

    • D3FB

      Marcus Smith, from Louisville. Go check some tape, you’ll be salivating. Look at all the places he lines up. He will be moving up boards as people catch up on his film but still will be around in the 3rd.

  • austinfan

    I disagree that this team has “lots of holes,” on the contrary, other than safety, it has almost no holes, Howie did a great job in FA last year filing a bunch of holes.

    The two key needs are safety and depth with upside. You go with Cole for one more year because he’s affordable and competent, how many WOLB get double digit sacks? Then you find a couple (safety in numbers) young OLB prospects in the draft and even SFAs (look at Junior Gallette, your pass rushers can come from everywhere) and develop athletic depth. I’d move Graham if I can, but he can be a solid pass rush specialist if you don’t get offered value.

    Realistically, there will be few (non-franchised) FAs who can step in and start for this team, Ward (say no to Byrd, wants too much money, and his lack of speed is a poor fit at FS for this team), Orakpo (if you want to blow your budget), who else? The guys who will be available are similar to what they have, Verner might be an upgrade at CB, who else? So I see Howie looking more for 26 year old bargains, players with talent who were in the wrong scheme or buried on someone’s bench – low cost, you try to coach them up, and hope to hit a couple. Same with SFAs. Athletic guys who can contribute on STs will be a priority, i.e., like Phillips last year.

    With 6 picks in the first 5 rounds, and a solid group of guys off the PS, free agency and the street, they should up the ante on the back of the roster spots – I want to upgrade over guys like Maehl, D Johnson, Geathers, Square, Knott, Matthews, Carmichael, Marsh, Anderson, Coleman, Chung. Improving the talent base not only provides with a pool of potential starters, it also upgrades the quality of athletes on STs.

    • Breezy

      FA will hopefully fill at least one hole allowing us to go into the draft with options. A safety like Ward (id prefer we stay away from bidding wars on guys like byrd, orakpo) would be gravy. Through whatever means neccesary, I look forward to this team upgrading the back of the roster. Improve a few spots on our STs units and this team takes a big step forward

    • teltschikfakeout88

      ANother damn good post on what to reasonably expect from the Eagles in FA. I have not looked at the FA lists for this year yet, but assuming that Ward, Byrd and Orakpo are the sexy names….I really think you go with Ward as Byrd and Orakpo want big time money and I am not sure they are really worth it. Outside of these names I don’t think there is anyone that we would be interested in the early part of FA. What we do in the latter weeks of FA will be dominated by what we do with Maclin, Cooper etc. As for Cole, I would like for us to keep him for one more year but…..we will hear more leaking of info relating to DE’s/OLB prospects which could impact what direction we go in with Cole or Graham. A position I am interested in is TE as both Casey and Celek have some big cap numbers. My preference is to still keep both these guys unless we needed to free up some cap space (not sure about the cap hit on a cut for these guys?)…..which would be doubtful as I don’t think there are any big time FA that we are interested in.

      • D3FB

        Celek will be here next year. Casey could get moved if we pick up somebody in the Celek mold to groom as his eventual successor, because they would be able to play Casey’s blocking H-back position in the interim. Haven’t done a ton of film study on TE’s yet but Rob Blanchflower from UMass reminds me alot of Celek.

        • teltschikfakeout88

          Casey does not fill the stat sheet but his contributions in his snaps (i.e. sift blocks) shouldn’t be marginalized in thinking that a rookie can do what he did this past year…I am not so sure on that. The block he made in the cowboys game on the Brown TD run was crucial and more due to his skill set. I don’t think a rookie would of done that…..However, is his blocking ability (aloong with his ST’s play) worth the money he commands…..probably not I will be interested to see if this position is something we address in the draft and if we do address…is it a developmental guy or a high end prospect??

          • D3FB

            Day 3 developmental guy.

    • sew737

      Holes? Did you watch the last tweo games ? The los was controlled by the Saints and Cowboys. We need to get bigger/stronger. NG has to get bigger or move on from Logan. Center and guard bigger. We cannot run with straight ahead running as the Pack did last night. In playoff football who ever controls the LOS wins the games in most cases.

      • ICDogg

        AF isn’t saying the team is good enough, he’s not saying that players don’t need to be upgraded. He’s just saying that there are competent players at almost every position. Obviously we need to get better, but those aren’t holes.

        • austinfan

          Thank you. And guys like Thornton, Cox, Logan and Curry aren’t 8 year veterans, they’re very young and it’s reasonable to expect them to take substantial steps forward (of course, one might also regress or get injured). People talk about Logan, who was a 309 lb rookie, as “not big enough”, well, how big is Bunkley? Maybe he just needs that offseason in the weight room and to work on getting better leverage?

          • ICDogg

            And even if we had a 360 lb. behemoth at the nose, with the number of plays this defense is on the field, I’d be concerned with how much stamina he could possibly maintain.

      • D3FB

        Centers and guards won’t get bigger. The scheme we run won’t work with big fatasses. Those players are required to pull. Your not going to get some 330 lbs phone booth guard to go block a linebacker on the far hash. Plus the zone blocking scheme we use values athleticism over size and strength.

  • jtre

    Draft simulator for everyone to play with for the next few months. It updates players and teams needs every Tuesday. http://fanspeak.com/ontheclock/

  • Joseph Dubyk

    Nope, I have been saying it all year.. Totally agree about everything you said.

  • xeynon

    I agree that OLB is the top priority. We’re likely not drafting high enough to have a shot at Barr or Mack, but this is a deep draft at that position and guys like Beasley, Sam, and Van Noy should be available. I’m fine with taking a guy and letting him learn behind/push Trent Cole for a year.

    However, as you say if a stud OL or WR is available, they should take him over a lesser LB prospect. With Peters, Mathis, and Herremans all older OL is a need and you can never have too many weapons on offense.

    • Andy

      After his Bowl game — and his availability is highly unlikely given his performance — how much fun would Sammy Watkins be in this offense?

      • Bob Brewer

        Outstanding, but my dream of Sammy Watkins as an Eagle is dead.

        The team that should draft him is St. Louis. Trade back from #2 (if possible). He’s exactly what they need.

  • Yuri

    Aaron Curry and Rolando McClain are two names I think of regarding high draft pick linebackers that did not pan out. I would be cautious. Neither LB nor S are traditional high picks, but of course at 22 most any position (other than a special teamer, QB or RB) would be fine with me. I am fine with OL, WR, DL, LB, CB, S. I do expect the draft to have a run on QBs in Rd1, unlike last year.

    • Andy

      I’d say a rush linebacker is very different than an ILB, or 4-3 OLBs. Drafting Aldon Smith in the top 10 is a different approach entirely than drafting Aaron Curry in the top 10.

      • Neil

        Von Miller’s technically a 4-3 SAM; is that what Curry was slated to be?

        • Andy

          Von Miller’s kind of a unique situation unto his own. Curry was just, as far as I recall, a highly touted WIL/MIKE. I don’t think he ever had the rush ability of Miller, or was expected to perform similarly.

        • Tumtum

          Curry was projected at 43 DE

        • D3FB

          Pretty sure Curry was meant to be a 43 Will, possibly a mike.

    • Neil

      I’m foggy on Curry, but Mcclain could have been Luke Kuechly if he wasn’t a nutjob.

  • Cafone

    I agree that OLB is a priority, but I am not convinced it is the top priority. Safety is the top priority.

    But let’s assume we can get a safety via free agency or a latter round pick, my new #1 priority becomes wide receiver. Maclin and Cooper are both FAs. Even if we sign Maclin, it may just be a one year deal. Chip Kelly is an offensive coach and I think he would love to see what he could with a legitimate threat alongside Jackson. I’d love to see it too.

    My plan would be sign Maclin to a one year deal, let Cooper go in FA (assuming you can’t sign him for less than 1 mil/year), draft a WR in the first round.

    • Jack Waggoner

      When I see the chemistry and success rate between Foles and Cooper, I find it ridiculous that anyone would be so ready to have the guy walk.

      • Cafone

        I find it ridiculous that fans who have been hoping to see an upgrade on Cooper in the #4 spot for years suddenly think he’s a #2. Imagine what a legitimate starter could have done on the other side of DeSean Jackson in the Chip Kelly offense. Imagine what DeSean Jackson could have done with a receiver that can get open playing with him.

        If we keep Cooper around to catch jump balls in the red zone, fine. But this offense is only going to get better by having another receiver that can actually beat opposing DBs and get open.

    • Anders

      I hope we can keep both Maclin and Cooper. Get a guy like Byrd in FA and get some depth at OL/DL and we can take BPA who fits the best.

    • D3FB

      WR is very deep. There are going to be guys that are 10 year starters drafted in the 3rd, 4th, 5th round this year. No need to take one early.

  • Mac

    The statistics on selecting a top shelf OLB are not good. Over on Eagles Rewind, there was a break down of the risk involved with drafting certain positions at certain points within the draft.

    I’m more interested in something close to a guaranteed result for my investment rather than taking a gamble. I would like to see the Eagles invest more into the O-line, and possibly Safety if the right player is there. OLB is just too hit or miss for my taste… I’d rather treat that position as a place to polish a diamond in the rough and grab a small handful of guys to compete for it.

    • Ark87

      Pass rushers are one of those things that you get a lot of and hope to get a hit on somewhere. Tough because college tape and even pre-season production just don’t translate to regular season production

    • Anders

      So you only wants too draft kickers and centers in the first?

      • Mac

        You’re silly.

        • Anders

          you only wanted guaranteed things in the first round

          On a more serious note. Remember that OLBs are lumbed together both as 3-4 OLBs and 4-3. While a lot of 3-4 OLBs was really DEs in college.

          • Jack Waggoner

            On the other hand, we drafted Henery…

          • Anders

            In the 4th :P

          • A_T_G

            And I think that is what crushed his confidence and caused his head problems. If we had taken him in the first, he would be a monster.

          • Bob Brewer

            Henery is the second best player the Eagles drafted that year.

          • Anders

            true :)

          • Mac

            I think the % of misses is a legit concern at certain positions. Obviously, most of us want an impact OLB. Well, what happens if the team selects one late in the first round and whiffs on the pick? I’m not talking injury stuff like what happened with Brandon Graham, I’m talking the kid just can’t beat out Trent Cole for playing time, and never amounts to much.

            I don’t want a 50/50 crap shoot with our best resource if it can be helped. That’s why I preferred Lane Johnson over Jordan last year. I considered them comparable quality players, but as an OT Johnson is the safer pick.

            I would rather see the team take a flyer on a retread like Orakapo and spend some of our cap space (which is also valuable) than a 1st round pick.

            But that’s just my preference, it doesn’t have to be yours.

          • Anders

            Or you could miss on an OT or OG like we did with Watkins?

            Every position in the NFL is filled with failures, you still keep on taking impact positions in the first over less impact positions

          • Mac

            Watkins wasn’t a miss due to position. He was a miss because he was a “need” pick. The team overvalued a player who was too old and came to the game too late. If he was an athlete he may have been serviceable, but it turns out he’s a fireman, and a complete bust.

            O-line is in my opinion the most important position in football. A pick used on a good o-lineman is not a wasted pick.

          • Anders

            Watkins was rated as a low 1st or early 2nd and early 2nd was only because of his age, so no we didnt reach for Watkins.

          • 47_Ronin

            I think draft talk is very premature right now, we still don’t know the final tally of underclassmen who will the enter. Some needs of the Eagles will need to be addressed in FA and how that plays out in terms of the Eagle additions and subtractions will affect the draft.

            I think an upgrade at OLB must come from FA, and Orakpo is not the answer, IMO the better option is Jason Wolrids of the Steelers he’s 25 and has played in the defensive system Davis runs.

      • Mitchell

        I heard that’s what the cowboys are gonna do from here on out.

    • ICDogg

      To value a player too highly because of the position he plays is the NFL drafting equivalent of beer goggles.

      • Mac

        That’s exactly what I’m talking about here.

        • Neil

          I’m not sure it makes sense to pad someone’s grade for playing a certain position, but it is true that nothing behind the defensive line or offensive line is going to look good when the big guys can’t perform. QB is like this too. I think you need to keep this in mind. You can go get a bigshot WR over a solid OL, but you have to acknowledge that if your OL can’t produce the WR isn’t going to pay dividends until they can.

          • Mac

            I’m not suggesting grade padding so much as tie breaking.

          • ICDogg

            I think it’s reasonable to consider needs, but too often we’ve seen teams (including the Eagles) overreach for players at positions of need. And this is one of the biggest drafting mistakes teams make.

  • Mac

    Tommy and other draftnicks… what’s your take on Allen Robinson?

    • Jack Waggoner

      I’m hearing late first to early second.

    • A_T_G

      I’ve heard good things about his mom.

      • Mac

        Well you certainly don’t want to rule out the effect of a good mom.

        • D3FB

          Then again Dez’s mom is a hooker and he’s pretty hard to cover….

          • Mac

            True, but like the number of licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie pop, we won’t ever know how good Dez could have been with a good momma.

        • A_T_G

          To be fair though, I heard them from a recent college Graduate.

    • D3FB

      I’ve liked what I’ve seen on him in my limited study. Problem is that this class is so incredibly stupid deep (I mean the deepest I’ve seen at any position in the four years I’ve been a draftnut) that there are going to be guys with second round grades getting drafted in the fourth and fifth rounds.

  • mksp

    Name to watch on the OLB front is Benardrick McKinney (MS St.).

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1906095-2014-nfl-mock-draft-matt-millers-complete-7-round-projections/page/18

    I said it in another thread, but I really want more picks this year. This looks like a deep draft, and we have a good personnel team.

    Graham, Vinny, Bryce, maybe DJax (only because he’s already talking about restructuring his contract) could all be potential trade-bait.

    • D-von

      I couldn’t believe it when you said Djax wanted to restructure is contract but its true. He is supposed to be paid 12 mil next year.

      • mksp

        nothing’s guaranteed anymore though

  • Neil

    A lot of people are talking like certain positions are more prone to being draft busts than others, but it seems like every example is a guy whose head wasn’t right. That has nothing to do with the position he plays. Then there are the guys who can’t stay healthy, I guess. Can anyone think of a player who was a bust for neither of those reasons, and how can we describe how his position had a role in it?

    My only idea is that certain positions require different intelligences. This usually shows up as certain players being unable to get on the field immediately because of the learning they have to do, or if they get on the field they aren’t playing near their potential. EG, Lane Johnson. Seems to be OL and QB which are toughest in this regard.

    • RobNE

      A lot of people are talking like that because that is what the review showed. I think Brent at Eagles Rewind showed all this back before the last draft. I don’t think it’s as easy as saying the guy wasn’t smart enough. There are physical abilities that may make it harder to project how that college player will translate into a pro player. In a vacuum, one might think that’s true at all positions, but the review showed it’s more likely at some than others. Yes it is the position he plays.

      • Neil

        So are you saying that certain positions require the player to do things that are harder for scouts to project?

        How can we KNOW that to be true looking only at the stastical outcome of a process, rather than understanding precisely how the outcome was achieved?

        • Mac

          Alternately, are some positions more likely to be played by a person who is a nutjob?

          • Neil

            We’ll call it the diva factor. WR and pass rusher seem to fit the bill.

          • Mac

            Haha sounds about right!

        • RobNE

          That is what the data seems to show, yes. Or rather, that college players who score in the similar tranches of rankings (e.g., really high, or just high, or not quite as high) have different outcomes based on their position. Maybe that’s the same thing.

          Here is one of the articles: http://eaglesrewind.com/2013/04/09/total-prospect-rankings-pvm-version-2-0-balancing-risk-and-reward-in-the-nfl-draft/

          • Neil

            I don’t dispute what the statistics show, but I don’t understand how you can know how the statistics came to be by only looking at/knowing the statistics. The result could just be random. If so, it’s not the position. My question was more geared like “what about the position of a player can cause variance in the bust ratio of all players in that position?”

          • RobNE

            maybe it’s something like OG is just not that different from college to pro, but another position – say corner, is because the techniques are more sophisticated. But that’s above my pay level.

            Yes it could be random, but that’s what stats are for. If it’s statistically significant, it’s likely not random. You can read Brent’s articles and draw your own conclusions. I don’t have a horse in the race, I was just responding. I found Brent’s articles and conclusions persuasive as an additional tool a FO could use. But I’m not in the FO, so…so what right? I assume smart FO’s look at these things.

          • D3FB

            In general DB’s are hard to project. Daniel Jeremiah said he hated scouting safties because its so hard to determine sometimes what the responsibility was on a given play, even if you know what the coverage is. IE they are playing cover 3 and the safety is told to come down on the star TE at risk of exposing a post over his head. CBs are also tough due to how much more physical some of these guys are allowed to play in coverage. Dennard from MSU I think is a great example. Alot of people think he is a top 10 corner but alot of his tight coverages are going to be PI’s in the NFL.

      • ICDogg

        I get the impression that Brent cherry-picks his data sometimes to prove his point. I like what he’s trying to do in general, and I find it interesting, but I find myself disagreeing with a lot of it and finding holes in his methodology.

  • Sean Stott

    Trent Cole is a top 10 3-4 OLB, period.

    The safety tandem next year could realistically be Wolff and Allen, and I don’t think that’s too bad. Fletcher and Williams are good enough.

    No, this team needs a quality WR that can take over games for you. A Dez Bryant type, to pair with DeSean.

    Another note: T. Cole would have wayyy too much dead money if he gets cut. So that won’t happen. Graham is still cheap to keep around for another year.

    • ICDogg

      Cole’s cap number, dead money, and cap savings if cut:$6,600,000, $4,800,000, $1,800,000.

      • RobNE

        you keep him for $2M. For his replacement I think this FO and Kelly try to find a freak who didn’t have as great of a college career as the 1st rounders.

        • D3FB

          Take a look at Marcus Smith from Louisville. Came out of nowhere this year. 6’3 250something. Lined up over slot recievers, in a 2 and 3 point stance and as a DT in nickel situations.

    • Tumtum

      I cant disagree at all that the offense needs a consistent threat. A chain mover. Hopefully that can be Maclin and perhaps Ertz. It sure seems like Chip wants the TE to block a bunch though, because I feel like Celek could be that guy too.

      I do disagree that Cole is good enough. My fav Eagle player of the last 8 years or so but the pass rush disappears too much.

  • Tumtum

    I think OLB is probably the biggest need on the team BUT am wary of taking a pass rusher with 22. This team is not so good at nearly any (if any..) position that it can afford to pass on the BPA for a pass rusher.

    I never liked Dion Jordan, but he was the sexy guy at the top of the draft and at #4. 26 total tackles 2 sacks. Not terrible considering he was the 3rd guy off the bench I guess… How different is this season if we drafted him?

    • D3FB

      Alot of that may have been how Miami was using him and the emergence of Olivier Vernon.

      • BlindChow

        Yeah, he was just a situational pass rusher, and he came into the season injured. Wasn’t he projected to be a 3-4 OLB rather than a 4-3 guy?

        I wouldn’t be opposed to giving Miami our 22nd pick straight up for Jordan this year.

  • RobNE

    Doesn’t FA come before the draft? Shouldn’t that be the focus of discussion then? I mean we can talk about whatever we want obviously, there is no wrong answer but in order I think it’s do we go after Byrd? do we resign Allen, Coleman, Colt Anderson?

    It’s a little odd to wonder about who we take in the 2nd round when we don’t know what we did in FA yet. Again, I know it’s all for fun. I guess I am asking what would you do in FA?

    • Breezy

      What we do in free agency is huge. The strength of FA matches up with a position of need, Howie can’t go home empty handed here. Talk to Byrd’s people of course, see what they are asking, but I think Ward is the smarter buy. I wouldnt be upset if we resigned allen after getting one of those guys, the more competent dbs we have on the roster the better. Keep anderson for Sts, coleman can catch a cab with chung and charmichael. I really want ward, big upgrade over what we have and I don’t want to see us blow our money in one place (byrd). Maintaining flexibility is key.

      Throw in a B.j Raji and we have upgrades on the front and back lines of the defense. Then we can confidently go Bpa all the way.

      • D3FB

        I would be much happier with Ward than I would be with Byrd. Personally I would prefer to bring back Allen and then draft a midround safety to compete with Wolff, but wouldn’t be mad at Allen and Ward in the backend. I’m a little concerned that the $$$ may get a bit inflated for S this year because of how piss poor S play is around the league.

        Raji would have to be a very team friendly deal. I follow some Packers draft guys on twitter and lets just say they aren’t too torn up about losing Raji.

    • 47_Ronin

      Spot on. With the 2014 draft in May, FA is more prominent and will influence e Eagles’ draft decisions (e.g. Nate Allen is a FA). Right now the draft still needs to get rounded out, underclassmen still have a few days to declare. I think FA would be the better route to find a pash rusher. The 2014 FAs are known and one name I’m looking closely at is Jason Wolrids of the Steelers. His game picked up this year as he finally got extended playing time, from what I’ve read his relationship with the Steelers might be described as rocky. Wolrids is only 25, and he has played in the scheme Davis is attempting to bring to the Eagles

  • Weapon Y

    I understand a lot of people think Van Noy is too small for OLB, but he’ll get bigger over time. He’s already 245 lbs and could definitely gain 10 lbs. (Clay Matthews’s size). IMO he has the best raw talent of the OLBs. If you get McGovern to coach him, I think he could very well be the stud edge rusher we’ve lacked since the Buddy Ryan era.

    • D3FB

      The one major hole in Van Noy’s game is his overagressive play. I’m a huge Van Noy fan but it can be infuriating at times. However, I’m hopeful that if he could rotate with Cole in year one to learn to become more disciplined, and gain the weight (which will slow him down a bit, good in this case) he could become an absolute nightmare.

  • Mitchell

    C.J. Mosely is on the board at 22. Do you take him?

    • Anders

      no

    • D3FB

      Yes. He has potential to be special. Just look at what SF has been able to do schematically with two fast play making ILBs. Then again if he falls that far its because something didn’t check out. Catch-22.

      • Anders

        and it is still Aldon Smith, Justin Smith and the safeties who make that defense elite.

        • teltschikfakeout88

          Wow …..I mean Navorro Bowman and Willis don’t contribute to that reputation in anyway???? I think if you take those two away from the Smith Brothers, you don’t have that elite defense that you speak of either…..

        • D3FB

          But what Bowmann and Willis allow the back half of that team to do allows the guys up front to be more creative, and also allows them more time to get home.

  • Chippah

    De’anthony thomas declared for the draft yesterday. He’s currently projected in the 7th round because he’s so small. What do you think Tommy? I’d love for the eagles to take him with the extra 6th rounder.

    We saw what Chip could do with him last year moving him all over the formation. He could be the playmaking slot receiver. He could make up the killer “De’s” with Desean.

    • Anders

      I think you mean 6th.

      I wouldnt mind him in the 5th. He can be what D Johnson was suppose to be.

      I do hope we still draft a bigger WR as I wouldnt call DAT either RB or WR but just offensive weapon.

      I think L’Damian Washington is going to be a stud in the NFL, he would be there in the 4th.

      Washington in 3rd/4th
      DAT in the 5th
      and pick up Lyerla as an UDFA, he is the most talented TE in the draft, but his legal problems is a concern and that is why he becomes a UDFA.

      He is this years Bryce Brown or Da’Rick Rogers (both perfect speed/size/talent for their position but both fell because of problems)

      • Chippah

        We definitely need a bigger WR and they’ll address that. I think it depends on how Arrelious Benn’s rehab is going. If he doesn’t look up to speed they might invest a higher draft pick than if he looks good.

        • Anders

          I think Kelly will go big no matter what. I love his WRs there can block.

      • D3FB

        I personally prefer Dri Archer over DAT. WR is so loaded this year its going to push alot of guys down. Cody Hoffman is a big physical receiver that can be had on day 3. Jared Abrederris and TJ Jones would be excellent slot guys who will be around later as well. I’m really hoping we take multiple OL early. Zach Martin, James Hurst, Billy Turner, and my big time man crush Justin Britt all would make me a happy lad come draft time.

    • mtn_green

      He will go higher than 7th. He would be a pr, KR, compete for gunner. A younger faster brad smith.

  • BobSmith77

    I thought the bigger issue with the defense the last few weeks of the season was at inside LB.

    Ryans is a real liability covering anyone in man coverage and isn’t quite the great run-stuffer he is man out to be. Kendricks will obviously remain the starter at one of the other positions but the only thing about him through the first 2 years is his maddeningly inconsistent consistency. His performance seems to fluctuate wildly from game to game. This year was no different.

    Still want a S more than than even an OLB too and that is even if the resign Allen. Also love to see a lot more depth. Besides the DL, there is little/none right now.

    Defense actually played better than I thought it would this year but they still need at least 3-4 upgrades before it will be a quality unit.

    • D3FB

      ILB can be addressed later in the draft. Jordan Zumwalt, James Morris, and Glenn Carson all should be there on day 3.

  • mtn_green

    I like last years strategy, fill holes in FA then draft if BPA. Is there a OLB coming off injury? OLB in this draft may easily be BPA. Give a tie in ranking to the defensive player.
    Give Maclin and cooper good short term contracts and see if they walk for more money or not.
    Safety in FA.

  • Vick or Nick

    100% on the $$$ Tommy.

    Draft for best talent always.

    But the biggest need, hands down, unquestionably is OLB rusher.
    The last two weeks there just wasn’t enough pressure on the QB, also even if there was, it never got home consistently. The Saints got meaningful sacks in known passing situations. We didn’t get those impact sacks.

    A pass rush can automatically improve the secondary.

    If there was a stud OLB and a stud DB, I’m taking the explosive rusher.
    Our secondary will be OKAY- we def need to improve if possible but as of now
    Cary Williams-Nate Allen-Earl Wolff-Brandon Boykin-Bradley Fletcher is a good nickel secondary. The problem is depth, there is none.

    I said this from the very beginning of the season, the type of 3-4 Davis wants to run requires an OLB pass rusher that can get home almost every time.

    • Vick or Nick

      From what I’ve been reading there should be a lot of depth in the DE/OLB and Safety positions. Great for us.

      • D3FB

        TONS of options in the mid round area for OLBs and Safety.

  • Vick or Nick

    D’Anthony Thomas declared. Lets hope Chip can convince him to run a 4.6 at combine to lower his stock so we can draft him.

  • Rage114

    Agree. #1 priority is a pass rushing OLB.

    Safety is a interesting subject because the safeties are much better as a group with Earl Wolff starting. In his second year, could he be the answer? Depth and competition are necessary in either case.

    Cornerback is also difficult. Depth is absolutely needed. But both Williams and Fletcher were solid. If either were paired with a legit #1 shut down corner, they would be fine. Additionally, if the pass rush is better, they would be fine. Finding shut down corners in the later rounds is difficult.

    One position I think still needs addressing is NT. Logan did a fine job but in my opinion, he is better suited as a DE. He simply is too small to hold the point as evidenced against the Saints and every sneak Brees attempted.

    • Rick

      Agreed NT should be addressed. The 3-4 all starts with a stud NT to eat up double teams which in turn frees up LBs to fly around and make plays. Best example is the steelers’ D which has been a shell of it’s former self without Hampton clogging the middle. Tough thing is stud NTs just don’t grow on trees.

      I do agree a stud rush OLB along with saftey are HUGE priorities but only after we shore up the middle of the D line. Maybe Logan can step up but he’s no Goose or Wilfork. Just my 2 cents.

      • D3FB

        Problem is I just don’t see that War Daddy type NT in this draft. Hageman plays high at times and may be gone well before 22, Nix has knee problems, the kid from Tennessee is lazy. There are a couple of options in the later rounds that are intriguing but nothing to bank on.

  • Vick or Nick

    As sad as that loss remains, it’s great that we aren’t too far away from seriously contending with the top teams. Just a few more playmakers.

    • ICDogg

      It’s a harder jump to make, I think. You don’t get as much mileage from “addition by subtraction”, you actually have to get good, talented players.

      • anon

        We need a lot more talent on this team. Some of it is b/c the team is really young but we just need better players. DJax / Riley as your 1/2 aren’t great. Need safeties obviously, pass rushers, etc.

      • A_T_G

        Only if you limit yourself to your own roster when implementing the addition by subtraction idea…

  • Ark87

    22 sounds like red chip Safety territory to me. If we don’t shell out Cash in FA for a proven Vet, I think this is a strong possibility.

  • ICDogg

    Apologies, Drew is no longer representing DeSean. Rather, he is suing him for hundreds of thousands in unpaid loans. Quite a turn.— Andrew Brandt (@adbrandt) January 6, 2014

    • Jernst

      Desean is scheduled to be the 4th highest paid WR in the league next year. http://overthecap.com/top-player-salaries-cash.php?Position=WR&Year=2014

      Is he seriously asking for a new deal less than 2 years after signing his contract? When he signed that deal it seemed like there was little guaranteed up front (due to his piss poor attitude and penchant for tanking it) with high yearly salaries later in the deal, that most thought he wouldn’t be able to perform up to. Most people thought we’d have to restructure down based on those ridiculously high salaries every year. But, the man performed up to the level of that salary. Which means there’s no reason not to keep paying him that? But, now he wants even more? Is this dude serious?

      If he’s asking to have some of that salary converted to bonus money so it’s guaranteed, fine…but otherwise F him.

      • Anders

        He does not want more total, just more guaranteed money.

        • ICDogg

          We don’t actually know what he wants, but that’s the way he made it sound.

          • Jernst

            My other concern is, why does this need to be made public with the media? Can’t his agent talk to Howie about quietly restructuring the deal to move the money from salary to bonus, without coming out with this stuff to the media?

          • D3FB

            I’m just praying he didn’t sink all his cash into that record label of his.

          • anon

            he was asked by the media. it’s their job and it’s DeSean.

        • Jernst

          was editing my post as you wrote that…like i said, I think he’s earned more security from the team in the form of guaranteeing some more of his money. But, he shouldn’t be asking for a penny more.

  • ICDogg

    It doesn't sound like Mychal Kendricks will be calling @rihanna anytime soon, despite her showing interest #Eagles http://t.co/OWu31Y2Dew— Eliot Shorr-Parks (@EliotShorrParks) January 6, 2014

    • Jernst

      Eliot Shorr-Parks; bad Eagles blogger, or the worst Eagles blogger?

      • Anders

        He got chased of BGN

  • Mike Flick

    I think our defense is good, not great or very good.

    A good NFL defense can take away the opponent’s strength. We were able to take away Graham. Against Dallas we took away Dez. If we were very good we could also take away the #2 option as well. With our additional focus on Graham and Dez we got beat by the running game and Witten lit us up.

    If we were great, we could shut a team down. If we were mediocre you can’t shut down anything.

    There is some progress from last season to this. We can take away the opponents first option. Growth of our current personnel and new additions will need to occur for us to really improve.

    Another thing that we need to get better defensively is getting off the field. Most have given the defense a pass because of the number of plays they played, but they need to be better to reduce that number. Good defenses get off the field.

    • anon

      Needed a better pass rush, but most of our d-line are 1st or 2nd year players so will only get better.

    • suthrneagle

      one reason they did have so many plays is that when it was 3rd and long , more than not it became an 1st and 10.

  • Bob Brewer

    Ifo Ekpre-Olomu (DB) is returning to Oregon in 2014. It’s of note because he was linked to the Eagles by several lazy mock draft boards.

  • PK_NZ

    Vic Beasly as a pass rushing specialist, with Cole holding down the front on run downs while tutoring Beasly and waiting for him to bulk up a bit… then just who ever happens to be the best DB on board in 2nd, I’m holding out hope for Joyner, but he might be gone…

  • Mitchell

    Chip wants monsters on his defense. I think some of these OLB’s projected to go in the 1st/top 2nd are a bit small. ie Beasly. My idea would be to keep Cole and Graham and draft an athletic, tall freak in the 2nd/3rd to develop for a year or two.

    • D3FB

      Who would this tall athletic freak OLB be?

      • Mitchell

        I have no idea. I’m just laying the blue print. You would actually be someone I would ask. You seem to have a pretty good grasp on players. Well, besides your opinion on Gilbert :P

        • D3FB

          Unfortunately this year there just aren’t a ton of tall OLB type guys who are also dynamic athletes. Ealy is intriguing and may have the ability to stand up but we won’t know that until later in the spring. I’m not a Murphy fan and if you want athleticism he’s defintely not the way to go. Most of the taller pass rushers will profile better at DE so even if we like them they may be valued higher by 34 teams.

          However 6’3 should be more than enough to at least satisfy the coaches. There is a ton of guys that will be available on day 2. Let them learn from Trent while rotating in for a year and they could become annual 10 sack guys.
          Van Noy
          Marcus Smith (my new man crush)
          Carl Bradford (short, and a bit of a hothead but has all the tools)
          Attachou
          Dee Ford (has slowly grown on me)
          Demarcus Lawrence (not a huge fan, but his name makes me always thin he’s the love child of D-Ware and LT)

          Tyler Starr (FCS player who could eventually replace Barwin)

          • Mitchell

            Have you changed your mind on Gilbert yet? Also you should read my post about Telvin Smith from FSU.

          • D3FB

            Haven’t done a second wave of film on Gilbert yet. I’m not disputing his athletic abilities, but he seems disinterested when asked to jam and refuses to get off blocks. To me thats a major hole in his game and one I’m not sure you can coach out.

            Haven’t watched any of Telvin’s film yet. Your idea is possible. I think unless he’s running in the 4.5’s right now he’s going to be told to either put on 10 lbs to be a Will backer or lose 10lbs and become a safety. I’m just not sure about the S/LB hybrid. The Eagles tried that with Keenan Clayton. If somebody wants to try it again then Telvin may be the player to try it with.

          • Mitchell

            he is reported to run in the 4.5’s

          • D3FB

            Interesting, I’ll get back to you when I get through some tape on him.

  • dan quisenberry

    Would love to see them draft Ryan Shazier. He could be there at 22. Obviously I’d like to get an elite safety like Ha Ha Clinton Dix or a big body receiver like Kelvin Benjamin on the team, but they’ll both be gone by 22.

  • Kevin Powell

    Roseman strongly hinted that Jairus Byrd is a big time target for them on the howie show today. With ifo ekpre omolu going back to Oregon now, unless we have a shot at Clinton-Dix then a stud OLB is good as gold. I would be willing to trade up to as far as 15-17 range for Ha’sean, kid is that good.