Today’s Senior Bowl discussion generated lots of questions. Let me try to answer a few.
Compare Dee Ford to other recent pass rushers. Some of you want to compare him to Brandon Graham. Not a good comparison. Graham was a better prospect than Ford. We use a lot of revisionist history with Graham. He hasn’t panned out as hoped, but he was a terrific prospect. Graham led the nation in TFLs as a Senior. He then went to Mobile and dominated the Senior Bowl. He then had a good showing at the Combine. Brandon Graham deserved to be a high pick. He was coveted by a slew of teams.
We talk about him as undersized, but that’s not a great label. He was 6-1, 268. He was short by an inch. That’s it. One inch taller and he was the same size as Trent Cole. Graham didn’t have the arm length to make up for his short build. I do think that has affected him in the NFL. But obviously the biggest hindrance to this point was his ACL tear and microfracture surgery.
What about Ford vs Bruce Irvin, a 1st rounder from last year. Irvin is 6-3, 245. Ford is 6-2, 243. Those numbers are almost identical, but the bodies are very different. Irvin is a former WR. He is a sleek speed rusher. Ford has some thickness to him. His thighs are huge, which helps him generate the strength to be an effective power rusher.
Dee Ford should probably go in the 20 to 40 range. He had a very good Senior season (10.5 sacks, 2 FFs). He looked great in the Senior Bowl practices. He was the MVP of the game. And he’s got some personality to him. He is reportedly interviewing well.
I still have no clue if the Eagles will be interested. They won’t casually dismiss him. I guarantee you there will be some interesting discussions about him and how he’d fit at ROLB.
What about Trent Murphy as a fit for the Eagles? I get this every few days. Murphy plays OLB for Stanford, but he is a limited athlete. I don’t think he’s got the explosion to be the ROLB. I don’t think he has the cover skills to be the LOLB. You could see about bulking him up for DE, but Murphy is 6-6, 261. He’d need to add 25 pounds to be 3-4 DE size.
Murphy is a great college player, but not a great pro prospect. He’s not even a good pro prospect. Some 4-3 team will give him a shot at DE. I’d love to see him end up with Lovie Smith (TB) or Rod Marinelli (DAL). Those guys put a premium on effort and would be a great fit for Murphy’s motor. I think Murphy has a major uphill battle to make it in the NFL. I hope he proves me wrong.
Should the Eagles have interest in Aaron Donald? Jimmy Bama paid the ultimate compliment to Donald when we were sitting in the stands and watching practice. “I sure hope he doesn’t go to Dallas.” We agreed that it would be ideal to see Donald drafted by an AFC team. He is a flat out terrific player.
That said, fit is crucial. You only take him if you have a specific plan for how to use him. And as good as Donald is, I’m not sure he’s a guy you build your defense around. I love Donald as a prospect, but I have no interest in him for the Eagles 2-gap system. If we move to the 4-3 Under, I’m open to taking him. I just don’t think that’s going to happen. Chip wants a 3-4 team that mixes in some hybrid looks. You don’t spend 1st round picks on guys for that.
Would it make sense for the Eagles to take Lamarcus Joyner as a S when he’s played so much as a CB or in the box? We’ve already discussed the size issue so we’ll set that aside for now. I love Joyner as a prospect and think it would be great to see him in Eagles green. He is a terrific player and big time playmaker. Joyner is tough as nails and plays with incredible confidence. Put his spirit into Daniel McCullers’ body and you’d have the #1 overall pick. Wouldn’t even be close.
Joyner played back more in his Junior season. This year he played close to the LOS most of the time. He excelled in both areas. Joyner can hit and tackle. He has good cover skills. He has good hands. I haven’t seen him play centerfielder a lot, but he’s fine when patrolling the deep zone. He closes to the ball and can be an impact hitter in space. I think Calvin Pryor is the only Safety I’d take over him.
Kyle Van Noy showed good cover skills as a Senior and down in Mobile. Any chance he could play Safety? No. Van Noy is versatile, but he’s an OLB or ILB. You don’t want him chasing WRs 40 yards downfield.
QB update? I still have no interest in Logan Thomas as a QB. None. Not as a 6th rounder. Not as a UDFA. Might as well spend time trying to turn Jimmy Bama into a ballet dancer. Tajh Boyd did nothing to help his cause today. Mid-round guy. I might have interest in the 4th round. There is hope for him. The South QBs all had some good moments. Impressive trio.
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I’ll write a Senior Bowl review tomorrow. The Eagles should be happy. Lots of defensive players looked good.