Senior Bowl Preview

Posted: January 25th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 148 Comments »

The Senior Bowl is today at 4pm and will be on the NFL Network. Make sure to watch so you can get a look at a ton of good prospects. Last year the Eagles added Lane Johnson and Jordan Poyer from the Senior Bowl. Other years they’ve taken 3 or 4 guys from the game.

I won’t go through and list every name to watch. Essentially, you watch everyone. I will focus on a handful of guys that really interest me for the Eagles.

DT Ra’Shede Hageman
DT Justin Ellis
DT Shamar Stephen
DT Daniel McCullers

DE Dee Ford
DE James Gayle
DE Chris Smith

LB Marcus Smith
LB Jeremiah Attaochu
LB Kyle Van Noy

ILB Christian Jones
ILB Chris Borland
ILB Lamin Barrow
ILB Jordan Zumwalt

S Deone Bucannon
S Isaiah Lewis
S Jimmie Ward
S Kenny Ladler
S Craig Loston

CB Walt Aikens
CB Keith McGill
CB Jaylen Watkins
CB Lavelle Westbrooks
CB Pierre Desir
CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste
CB Dontae Johnson

There aren’t going to be nearly as many offensive players that I pay attention to.

OG Michael Schofield
OG Brandon Linder
OT Billy Turner

WR Kain Colter
WR Jordan Matthews
WR Shaq Evans
WR Josh Huff

Obviously I will be paying attention to skill players who get the ball and deliver big plays. You can’t help but notice that stuff.

The practices are more important than the game. That said, the game can bring out the best in some guys. Nick Foles didn’t stand out in the practices, but played well in the game. There are OL every year who struggle in the practices that play much better in the game.

The big thing I’m looking for is guys who can rush the passer (whether as OLB, DE or NT). I’m also looking for speed in the middle of the field (SS, FS or ILB). See which guys fly to the football and how well they tackle.

Here is the North roster.

Here is the South roster.

Please understand that no player is defined by this game, good or bad. It is simply a tool to be used for further evaluation. Scouts have been studying these players since last May. NFL teams already have multiple detailed reports on every player. Those players have some type of loose grade.

The most interesting player in the whole game might be DT Aaron Donald. Unfortunately, I don’t think he would fit in a 2-gap 3-4 system at all. He makes his living as a disruptive, attacking player.

I didn’t write about the QBs, but obviously the Eagles could be in the market for one. Do pay attention to those guys. A lot of people think Tajh Boyd could now be a 3rd or 4th round pick. He might be interesting at that point.

I wrote about some of these prospects for PE.com so you can check this out for some details.

You can also check this week’s posts over at ScoutsNotebook for thoughts on some of the players.

We’ll talk plenty about the game for the next few days. Some players will shine, others will struggle. I’m hoping for good defense.

_


  • Baloophi

    Tony Hunt – MVP.

    • TommyLawlor

      BANNED!!!

    • 33% God

      Bobby Hoying was too.

  • theycallmerob

    Thanks for the list, TL. I’ll have this window up while watching the game.
    Question for you and the peanut gallery re: scouting the OL and DL. Obviously, with new teammates and coaches, the OL is not running complicated plays in this offense. Similarly, I imagine they struggle a bit against stunts and disguised blitzes. When watching these guys on the field, is the DL expected to perform better? What’s the best way to evaluate the OL? Can’t say I have a well-developed eye for the trenches.

    • mtn_green

      I think you are right. DL has a distinct advantage and their will be moments where blocks are missed. But look at the one on ones who is winning that battle.

    • Anders

      they are not allowed to stunt or blitz

  • theycallmerob

    TL, did you see anything from the following? Saw they were left off your list; I know you’re not naming everyone, but did these guys not impress?

    DB- Lawson (Utah St), Huff (Wyoming), Dixon (Baylor)
    TE- Fiedorowicz (Iowa)
    WR- Hoffman (BYU), Saunders (Okla)

    Just curious what your take is on any of those.

  • Sean

    I’m all aboard the Marcus Smith train. I’m not sure why he’s not getting more hype.

  • http://iKillRats.com/ Charlie Kelly

    jordam mattews and josh huff… thats my focus. that and any S that stand out

  • Joe Minx

    Kain Colter’s not in the game. Needed surgery for something I think.

    • TommyLawlor

      Thanks.

  • Vick or Nick

    Just read both of the size articles. Interesting.

    I do believe Kelly is willing to make exceptions. But only in cases where the player is very unique at a particular skill set.

    D’Anthony Thomas is a prime example. He is a flat out playmaker.

    Eagles will play it smart. Take the best player available. Of course if you have two similar rated players and one is bigger. Chip will take the bigger player.

    I believe that will be the approach.

    • Anders

      Agree if two players are similar, they pick the bigger, but how much better do a smalelr player have to be for Kelly to pick him if at all?

      This year Dee Ford is the clear best pure pass rusher, but do Kelly prefer the slightly longer Marcus Smith or Attaochu?

      • Insomniac

        The combine will separate these 3. How much better is Ford than Attaochu in your opinion?

        • Anders

          I say Dee Ford has that Robert Mathis/Dwight Freeney ceiling as pass rusher where Attaochu is more like Trent Cole/Justin Tuck.

          • Insomniac

            Interesting. I wouldn’t say the difference in ceilings is that much higher though.

          • Anders

            I say Attaochu is something like a 10 sack guy per year where Ford is more like 12+, that may not sound like a lot but it is huge imo

          • Insomniac

            I actually see it the opposite way. Attaochu might not be as refined as Ford is right now at using his hands but his size/longer arms give him more potential. The speed difference might be a factor though.

          • Vick or Nick

            The key is going to be how they project in the NFL. You want guys that will PEAK during their NFL careers, not in college. This is always the hardest to judge.

            Prime example?
            Brandon Graham vs JPP

            Brandon was the better college player, JPP had more tools, and “upside”

            I think it’s time for Eagles to make some calculated risks on a really talented prospect. ESP at pick 22, it will not make or break the team per say.

            I guess picks 1-10 you worry about playing it safe. But with the way NFL rookie contracts are structured you are not paying huge amounts of guaranteed money. Makes it easier to take the player with more tools.

          • Media Mike

            Except Graham has played better over the past two seasons than JPP, who might be out of football soon.

          • Vick or Nick

            Still helped the Giants win 2 Super Bowl Rings.

            I don’t think the Giants management is hitting their heads against the wall saying “Oh Darn we should have taken Graham.”

          • Media Mike

            Did JPP get in a time machine to help win a Super Bowl while he was a freshman in college?

          • Vick or Nick

            Okay, 1 Super bowl. Still more than what Graham has helped the Eagles win.

            Regardless, the Giants do not regret that decision.

          • Media Mike

            That isn’t wrong either, but that “win” JPP was a part of was courtesy of a bad read by Chung on a rainbow pass and a brutal drop by Welker.

          • Vick or Nick

            He was a big part of that teams Pass Rush, esp from the front 4. You have to get to the big game first. And he provided pressure all year long. At 6’5 280 getting 16.5 sacks that season.

            F it. I would exchange Grahams “better play over the past two seasons” for one season of JPP 2011 and a Super Bowl run.

            Are you saying you’d rather have Graham right now than JPP?

          • Media Mike

            I’m sure about right now, JPP might never play again at a high level due to the injuries, but I wouldn’t turn down 16.5 sacks.

            I just don’t give the Giants credit for anything except having fans who bleed well in the Linc parking lot or down the Jersey shore.

          • Vick or Nick

            You know I wonder had Chip Kelly been given a choice between JPP and Graham, who would have he picked? Seems like he would have preferred JPP.

            Agreed on your second point. 100%.

          • Media Mike

            Too easy, Kelly would have preferred Earl Thomas.

          • Vick or Nick

            Can’t argue with that one.

          • Insomniac

            They’re both good college players though. It’s basically 1A or 1B right now. Both have questionable coverage skills. Attaochu has some experience as a 3-4 OLB. Dee Ford didn’t look bad with his hands out of the dirt today. He just said he wants to be a complete player a few minutes ago so there’s that.

          • James Adair

            I don’t think that Attoachu is nearly as good as the other 3. Ford’s speed off the snap combined with his quickness and speed is unique. If he is there at 22 I think it is a no brainer, size be damned. He is was able to drag a the 6’6″ Logan down by his Jersey (though Logan seems to fall down easier than say a Rothlisberger)

          • Insomniac

            His speed is not unique. Great first step though. He has above average speed. Honestly, I wouldn’t be impressed by something that has anything to do with Logan Thomas. Everything is overrated on that guy.

  • Insomniac

    *cough*

    http://www.stream2watch.me/live-tv/nfl-network-live-stream

    free stream for those that don’t have NFL network. No Mike Mayock what a bummer.

  • TommyLawlor

    Easy pick for Loston, but at least he did make the catch.

  • ToastJenkins

    felt like Smith showed well in the first series

  • ToastJenkins

    have to love Borland’s smarts/instincts. I just have doubts if he has the physical tools to be a starter or will he be limited to a backup/ST type

    • TommyLawlor

      Mike Mayock predicted Borland will be this year’s Kiko Alonso.

      • ToastJenkins

        fit will be key. put him at ILB in a 2-gap 3-4 and I think he can be a good player.

  • Insomniac

    Carr has a beautiful deep ball

  • OregonDucker

    Trent Murphy can ball.

    • ToastJenkins

      I think very highly of him, but have to admit i have my doubts if he is truly atheltic enough to be the OLB opposite Barwin

  • Insomniac

    Dee Ford baby! So explosive.

    • TommyLawlor

      He guessed the snap right and that should be illegal. OSU kid had no chance.

  • Insomniac

    Oh boy Dee Ford does it again. Telvin Smith is looking good too.

    • TommyLawlor

      I’d love to know if the Eagles have legit interest in him.

  • TommyLawlor

    Couple of good plays by Jimmie Ward. He’s growing on me.

    • OregonDucker

      Like to see him on the board with Buchanan..

    • ToastJenkins

      seems like he would be a good match with the Wolff

  • Insomniac

    Is there a Southern conspiracy here? Crockett Gilmore has like 95% of the teams catches.

    • OregonDucker

      When you get open and make plays, you get the ball a lot.

      • Insomniac

        True but it seems like the play calls is run run throw to Norwood or Gilmore.

        • ToastJenkins

          testament to the weak QB play

  • Insomniac

    So about Dee Ford’s draft stock..

  • TommyLawlor

    Marcus Smith just covered the TE down the seam. Impressive.

  • ToastJenkins

    frustrating that the North QB play has been so horrible. tough to evaluate their skill players

    • TommyLawlor

      They stink.

      • ToastJenkins

        the qbs or the skill players?

        • TommyLawlor

          The QBs.

  • Weapon Y

    Dee Ford might be out of reach for us now. His draft stock is about to go way up.

    • Insomniac

      He’s rising but he’s not going to crack the top 15. Might be a borderline first round pick now.

      • ACViking

        Yes.

    • ACViking

      Ford’s measurables about the same as former WVA DE Bruce Irvin (Seahawks – 1st Rd 15th pick in 2012). DFord’s a tad shorter/lighter.

      Irvin’s been solid for Seahawks. Not worth 15th overall pick yet.

      And I’m not sure Ford’s as quick off the ball as Irvin.
      _____________

      I leave it to T-Law to decide.

      • TommyLawlor

        I’ll cover that in a post.

    • ToastJenkins

      dont over-react

    • theycallmerob

      Personally, I don’t see him as being a good fit for the Eagles, scheme-wise. So the more he moves up, the more prospects for us that fall. I’m happy.

  • theycallmerob

    That FG reminded me…..were any of the kickers impressive during practices?

    • TommyLawlor

      Not really

  • ACViking

    From September 1, 2013 to today, I can’t think of a college player who’s fallen farther than Tajh Boyd.

    • theycallmerob

      Although opinion is extremely polarized, I’d say Manziel is up there too.

      • Anders

        How has he fallen when he has gone from 2nd round pick to top 5 for most people?

        • theycallmerob

          Wow, really? I didn’t realize he was top 5; I just heard some teams had taken him off their board. Holy cow.

          • Media Mike

            He’ll be the #1 overall pick when Cleveland moves up to take him! I certainly wouldn’t, but I’m not the franchise who fired Holmgren and Heckert for “missing” on RGKnee and then unloaded their Choad for balking at wanting to coach Johnny Football.

          • ACViking

            First, is Manziel a Pettine-kind-of-guy? I have no idea.

            Second, in fairness to Banner, Holmgren had a meltdown when the Browns unloaded T-Richardson — but TR looked terrible. And Holmy’s the guy who selected Brandon Weeden with a 1st.

            I don’t think Holmgren’s strength was talent evaluation. Like Andy Reid in that regard.

          • Media Mike

            I think those drafts were Heckert’s and not Holmgren’s, but I get your point in general. And the word on the street is that the Browns have target lock on Manziel.

          • shah8

            Smoke up the butt.

            Then again, they *are* the team that thought Colt McCoy should start a lot of games.

          • Media Mike

            There was a report on Walter football that Choad was 100% fired because he told the “brain trust” he wasn’t interested in coaching Manziel. The Browns obsessed with Manziel reports have been going on since Haslem / Banner came in the mix.

          • shah8

            Well, if that was true…not surprising. That Brian Hoyer promotion was sketchy, and was ill-received by the team, guessing from Joe Thomas’ reaction at the time.

            Producing more sadness, what they do best.

          • Joe Minx

            Choad lol

          • Media Mike

            I’m not a fan of any “coach” that has the play of Cam Newton as his #1 “accomplishment” as an OC.

          • ACViking

            That was Holmgren . . . (and Heckert?)

            They’re gone. New sheriffs in town.

          • ACViking

            Have heard about Browns & Manziel.

            That’d be a gamble . . . as much as I like watching Jonathan Pigskin. Shades of Tarkenton for me.

          • Anders

            Well some teams will not have him on because he does not fit their offense. I meant Arizona or the Steelers would be a terrible fit, but put him in spread zone scheme offense with a good OC/HC and watch him tear the NFL up.

            I would love him as an Eagle.

            How do you stop an offense with Maclin, Jackson, Ertz, Celek, McCoy and Manziel? Do you single high safety and leave Maclin 1v1 vs a CB, do you go only 6 or 7 near the LOS and watch McCoy destroy you?

          • Media Mike

            You watch Manziel not make NFL throws, get injured often due to being small and trying to extend too many plays with his legs, and regress this team many seasons over as you roll out yet another scramble bum.

            No thanks.

    • shah8

      I don’t think you really *can* fall when you’re under 6’1″.

      And there has been plenty of people who has fallen far. For example, Jevan Snead. That arrogant Louisville QB I can’t remember. Some might say Matt Barkley! Given realities, Boyd was a third round prospect that might get to the second round if he was all world. He’ll probably be still third to fifth round, much like Tyrod Taylor (however, Taylor is more of big game player). In any event, as a practical matter, Boyd is far more likely to make noise in the NFL than Barkley, though that’s not saying much other than Boyd has the arm and Barkley doesn’t.

      • ACViking

        I’m just talking about this season — not past years.

        And, yes, you can fall even at 6’04”.

        Boyd’s opening day performance against Georgia was spectacular. He looked like he had a shot at the 1st Rd. Worst case 2nd.

        Now? 5th? 6th?

        • shah8

          Weeeeeellll, that’s hype, though. Nobody is going to pick a guy like that in the first round if they aren’t Mike Vick type athletes or had torn up their league like Brees, and remember, Brees was very athletic when he was young.

          Same sort of hype that have people thinking that you should take Manziel or Bortles seriously as a top of the first pick seriously. Or Grappolo as someone worth spending time on developing. I mean, I doubt that teams have missed Bortles’ need for development, or that his ceiling is pretty low for a first rounder, compared to other guys that need development like Locker or Tannehill. Yet the rumor mill is going on how Bridgewater is gonna go far lower than predicted, when he’s the only true first round QB talent, much like 2011’s Cam Newton.

          When it comes to *this* year, I suspect that AJ McCarron might be the biggest disappointment, in the end, from second to fourth, like Tyler Wilson.

          • ACViking

            Fair enough. Like that argument much more.

            Boyd was hyped . . . good point.

            But he really seems to be tanking now.

      • Joe Minx

        “That arrogant Louisville QB I can’t remember”

        Brian Brohm?

        • shah8

          That’s it.

  • Weapon Y

    I’m a Penn State guy whose hometown is just a few miles away from Pitt, so I was curious to see how DaQuan Jones and Aaron Donald would do today. Both have seemed quiet today. Would that be your opinion too?

    • Insomniac

      I really wanted DaQuan Jones in the 3rd as a NT. He’s been quiet this entire week.

    • TommyLawlor

      I’m not paying attention to Donald. He’s probably getting a lot of attention from the blockers.

      • Joe Minx

        Not being able to draft a guy like Donald is the thing I miss most about the 4-3. Those kind of DL are my favorite.

        • TommyLawlor

          Agreed.

        • ToastJenkins

          i’d rather run the 3-4 and draft playmaking LBs over the dreck we used to, though

    • ACViking

      Penn State seems to be the place where D-linemen go to die.

      Seems like Matt Millen was the last great D-lineman from PSU to make a big-time impact in the NFL — and he became an MLB.

      Also, Tamba Hali (if he was a DE at Happy Valley).

      There’s some good players — like Odrick. But D-linemen like DT Mike Reid ’69 . . . can’t think of any who made the leap to the NFL and dominated as D-linemen.

      (I’m sure I’m forgetting some.)

      • Media Mike

        Jimmy Kennedy played solid NFL ball for a few years.

        • ACViking

          True on Kennedy.

          But I can’t remember any really dominant guys from the trenches.

  • Joe Minx

    I really enjoy the Senior Bowl, but I always try to remember that Mike Patterson, Trevor Laws, & Brandon Graham lit up this game & were “unblockable” in practice before I get too excited about anybody I see.

    • Insomniac

      ..Dee Ford?

      • Joe Minx

        Honestly it’s hard not to be excited about him. Really enjoyed watching him all year too.

        • Media Mike

          He was on Sirius yesterday and they point blank asked him about being able to play in space as a 3-4 guy rather than a 4-3 DE. He said he’d be able to do it, but was never asked to in a game. He’d be a project to transition to 3-4.

          • GEAGLE

            All day I watched trying to figure out if he can play OLB and his hips seemed better then I expected, announcers were raving about his 3-4 ability…very impressive day. Sacks on back to back pass plays, Barwin style PBU, more explosion off the snap then curry..since the championship game this kid has really been putting it all together

      • HazletonEagle

        He did great from the wide 9 position in the senior bowl. How that translates to 3-4 OLB I dont know.

    • Media Mike

      Graham had a retarded bum of a DC “coaching” him as a rookie and got his knee junked as well. That didn’t help.

    • ACViking

      Fortunately, the Eagles don’t rely strictly on Sr Bwl performances anymore. Right?

      • ACViking

        Should have read: “Senior Bowl Week Performances”

      • Anders

        We just drafted lane Johnson after a great senior bowl and it is not like Patterson and graham wasn’t highly productive college players

    • Anders

      Lets not forget that Mike P and Graham also had great tape before the senior bowl.

      Also we just drafted Lane Johnson 4th overall after a great senior bowl week.

  • theycallmerob

    KNV looked great getting lower than Seantrel Henderson on that inside move sack. Also glad Mr. Henderson is no longer on the Eagles’ board.

    • Media Mike

      I’d love to know what caused him to be taken off of the board. There is a weed story with him, but I wonder if it was something else.

      • Baloophi

        I know he threw up on the field at one point this week, but if history serves, the Eagles might actually like that.

        • Media Mike

          Maybe he way partying with Uncle Luke and B. McKinnie all week?

        • D3FB

          See above.

      • D3FB

        Jimmy mentioned it during his weekly chat thing that the kid bombed his interview with the team.

  • ACViking

    PAGING T-LAW . . .

    In your evaluations and compilations over the next few months, would you please identify some High School Stars who’ve fallen off the radar — but who might be worth a shot in Kelly Green.

  • Baloophi

    Wow… Logan Thomas has zero feel for the pocket.

    Time to enroll in tight end camp.

    • Media Mike

      Or slap #7 on him and tell everybody that running in more important than passing. Green and White or Scarlet Red and Gold. Your choice.

    • ACViking

      But can he catch the ball . . . outside of the shot-gun snap?

      • Baloophi

        I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not have to find out.

        • ACViking

          nix logan. got it.

          • Baloophi

            It seems like every year there’s a project guy that we try to convince ourselves with “the right coaching” he can be fixed.

            It gets more difficult to convince yourself when the guy is a senior and had multiple years at a major program.

            To Insomniac’s point above, you can bring him into camp and see if the light suddenly clicks or if he’s a natural TE (that’s what he was coming into Virginia Tech)… but I don’t think you give him much of a leash.

          • ACViking

            I’ve been arguing since I found the world of blogs that if a QB isn’t accurate, don’t waste your time. Far more important than any other quality for a QB.

            But that’s just me.

          • Baloophi

            A nice head of hair and rich beard go a long way, too…

          • ACViking

            What exactly do you use for inspiration?

            Some people say it’s God.

            Others point to the sun.

            Then others still live in Colorado.

            You?

          • Baloophi

            Procrastination.

          • ACViking

            Seriously, you’ll never top the Rose Bowl ride-home story.

          • Anders

            Modern spread in college make that less important. Colt Mccoy is one the most accurate college qbs ever

        • Insomniac

          He’d be a good camp body though.

  • ToastJenkins

    a Matthews sighting!

    • Insomniac

      A Desir sighting!

  • Baloophi

    I like the Senior Bowl band’s “tuning schmuning!” attitude. That shows some real brass. (Couldn’t help it)

  • ToastJenkins

    i’m feeling like we can draft a 3rd TE this year to replace Casey

    • Insomniac

      Gilmore?

      • ACViking

        Baloophi may say, “anyone but Logan Thomas”

    • Media Mike

      Somebody had a comment in an article up the other day that the Eagles have something like $9 mil tied up in TEs for next season and that is too much considering none of them are really that good. Either Casey or Celek is going to be eating some money or going bye bye.

      • Anders

        Celek is one of the most complete tes in the game and Ertz just had a great rookie season

        • Media Mike

          Hence my follow-up comment above about Casey being a candidate for a salary cut and/or total cut.

    • Media Mike

      And cutting Casey would net you $3 mil vs. the cap. Totally plausible they draft another TE this year.

  • Insomniac

    Desir made a nice play.

    • ACViking

      Even a blind chipmunk with no olfactory senses finds an acorn once in awhile.

      • Baloophi

        Let’s leave Sal Pal out of this…

        • ACViking

          you’ve outdone yourself . . . i’m on the floor typing

  • Baloophi

    I’m not sure why, but I have a curious craving for a delicious peanut butter cup…

    • ACViking

      Liberal “prescription laws” in California, perhaps?

  • ACViking

    A kid like Aaron Donald puts on a show at the Sr Bowl (WEEK)

    He must have had a great year because he piled up lots of hardware after the season ended.

    Question: Do you draft a guy like this, despite his size, if his production is great — and projects to continue at the NFL?

    That is, do you find a place for a player like this despite your system?

    The Vikings had a pair of DTs in the ’80s named Keith Millard and Henry Thomas. Millard weighed 260 lbs. Thomas was 275lbs.

    They were both great pass-rushing DTs — but sized to fit the DE position.

    RE: Donald . . . I’d hate to see him in Dallas playing 1-gap football and kicking ass against the Eagles if the Birds had the chance to draft him in Rd 2.

    • Anders

      Eagles should not draft him as we are full in on 2-gap.

      Donald is going first round now, most likely first or 2nd dt taken after Hageman

      • HazletonEagle

        Agree. Actually, I had Donald in the 1st round well before the senior bowl. I thought he would pull off some kind of Alu-alu type surprise when no one had him projected there. Now hes not much of a surprise anymore.