Let’s Talk About Safety

Posted: January 9th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 101 Comments »

The Eagles need help at Safety. We all agree on that. Let’s talk for a minute about the position and what needs to happen.

We’ll start by reviewing 2013. Nate Allen had a solid season. Earl Wolff showed good promise as a rookie. Patrick Chung, who I had high hopes for, proved to be a major disappointment. Kurt Coleman and Colt Anderson played sparingly and failed to show much on defense. Keelan Johnson just dipped his toe in the water. Impossible to judge him.

If the Eagles re-signed Allen and paired him with Wolff to be the starters in 2014, that wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. But it also wouldn’t be ideal. Allen is coming off the best year of his career.

82 tackled (59 solo) – 1 INT – 1 FF – 1 sack – 6 PDs – 2 TFLs

Allen showed the ability to play in the box or deep. He was good in man coverage. He had some good moments while playing centerfield. Allen made serious progress when you consider he was benched at the end of 2012. Arguably the most important stat of all is that Allen played in all 16 games.

While all of that is encouraging, Allen isn’t much of a playmaker and he’s not exactly a DB that opposing offenses fear. Has Tony Romo or Eli Manning ever said “The first thing I do when I get to the LOS is find Nate Allen.” Can he develop into more of a playmaker? Sure. His self-confidence and the confidence in the defensive system have to be at an all time high. You’re going to make plays when you’re confident and you can attack the ball.

One of the problems with Allen is that he’s not great at anything. Okay size. Okay speed. Okay tackler (after lots of work). Okay instincts. Okay hands. And so on. There is nothing compelling about him. He’s not a ballhawk that needs to be more physical or a run-stuffer that needs to improve in coverage. Allen is okay all around. I wish he was either faster or more instinctive. Good Safeties either anticipate plays or they have the speed to attack and make things happen.

I think there is logic in bringing Allen back since he knows the system and has proven he can be a functional starter. There are some other teams who would love to have a Safety who is a functional starter. If one of those teams overpays for Allen, let him walk.

Earl Wolff showed good promise this year. Let’s start with the stats.

45 tackles (37 solo) – 1 TFL – 1 INT – 5 PDs

Wolff played in 11 games with 6 starts. He was durable in college so hopefully the injury was an anomaly.

Wolff did show the potential to be a good hitter/tackler. I don’t know that he’ll ever be an impact player in terms of physicality, but he’s willing to really get after guys and has some pop. He showed some potential as a cover guy. The mistakes he made looked more based on a lack of experience than a lack of skills. You can teach someone how to cover if he’s got the basic skills and ability.

While Wolff and Allen showed promise this year, let’s not overrate them. This defense could really use a playmaking Safety. It would be nice if QBs had to be nervous about the middle of the field.

I don’t think the Eagles have to go throw a ton of money at Jairus Byrd or T.J. Ward. I’d love to see them go after those guys if they think they are a good fit in terms of personality and scheme, but I wouldn’t just hand them a blank check and say “Save us.” There are some other choices in free agency. The team can also add a player early in the draft

The Eagles need to upgrade the position. They need more talent back there. If Allen is re-signed, the team can still spend an early pick. You would then have Allen, Wolff and the rookie compete for 2 jobs. No one should be guaranteed anything.

I’m sure you guys have a ton of questions about Byrd, Ward and draft prospects. I need to do more research so I can offer an informed opinion. I also want to think about Davis past and the scheme as I try to figure out what seems like the best course of action. The days of the pure SS and pure FS are gone. There are no more clearly defined roles.

I would cut Pat Chung. The guy has his moments, but his tackling issues are highly frustrating. This isn’t a guy like Nate Allen who was in a bad system with odd coaching. Chung played for Belichick before coming here. He never played in a system that put him under massive strain and developed bad habits. He got the bad habits all on his own. Playing behind the Wide-9 put Allen in some really tough situations and hurt his development as a player. Chung has a limited ceiling. Allen too, but I think I trust him more based on what I saw this year.

If the Eagles lose Allen in free agency, they might keep Chung around until after the draft. That would give you some insurance in case a nightmare scenario played out and the team didn’t get a Safety until late in the draft. If you add an impact free agent, Chung should be gone. If you keep Allen, Chung should be gone.

The coaches went out of their way to praise Chung. He might be a good guy off the field and very coachable. Heck, maybe he helped Allen turn it around and Wolff develop. That’s not enough going forward. He didn’t make plays and he did make mistakes. That’s a guy I don’t want to keep around.

Tim McManus offered some thoughts on the Safety position and also got some quotes from Howie Roseman and Nate Allen.

* * * * *

Good move. I liked Molk coming out and he’s a good fit for this blocking system. Good competition for backup C.

Here is the scouting report I did on him prior to the 2012 draft.

_


  • GENETiC-FREAK

    I liked Molk. Remember i wanted Eagles him that draft. Strong as an Ox too for his size.

    • Anders

      We draft Kelce instead. Not a bad thing imo

      • Mitchell

        Now we get both, win win.

      • D-von

        Well Kelce and Molk were from two different drafts. I’m not sure if that is what you meant or not.

        • Anders

          wasnt both from 2011? or was Molk 1 year later?

          • D-von

            Molk came out in 2012. I remember because his pro comparison from a draft site was Jason Kelce

          • Michael Jorden

            But can Molk produce the ferocious beard of a Norse deity?

    • jshort

      Wonder if they give him a look at guard. Sure they don’t keep him just to back up center.

  • Kristopher Cebula

    Can’t we just clone Brian Dawkins? Invest in cloning technology Jeff!!

    • Chippah

      Weapon Y

    • GENETiC-FREAK

      His name is Calvin Pryor!

      • Anders

        Agree, for me it with Cyprien last year who really played like Dawk, This year it is 100% Pryor.

        • Mitchell

          Had such a HUGE man-crush on Cyprien last year. Alas, he was picked 2 spots before us.

          • Anders

            Same here, thought he was the perfect safety prospect for us and the Gus Bus of course took him (which Im happy about as that means a great defensive mind at least agrees with me :P)

          • SteveH

            Also me, I was stomping for Cyprien at draft time last year. I was sad we didn’t get him but Ertz looks like he could be a good tight end for us moving forward so at least we didn’t miss Cyprien and get a shlub on top of it.

          • Mitchell

            We should have enough good player evaluation personal to draft a safety that can be an impact for us. There are so many safeties to pick from this year, we just have to hit on one eventually.

    • sa_eagles

      We’ve had success with DeSean and LeSean, so we clearly need to target HaSean Dix in the draft.

      • Corry

        He also adds to our numbers of players with a phallic last name.

  • ICDogg

    The Bengals offensive DVOA rank under Gruden: 17th, 17th and 17th.— Dave Mangels (@Southern_Philly) January 9, 2014

    • Patrick

      To be honest i think Jay Gruden is a really good coach. First of all football runs in his blood, and not just from Jon. Jay had to work himself to the top like Chip which I like and have spent several years learning from Marvin Lewis, who despite his awful PO record is a good coach too. Being around Lewis and Zimmer will have taught him how to lead and the value of a defense + maybe he will bring Lewis’ uncanny ability to turn around bad guys. Jay seems really smart and knows how to create an offense and game plan every week. As far as i know, he has had a lot of control of the Bengals offense. I also really like his ability to develop talent. The Bengals have a lot of weapons and a pretty decent OL, and i credit his part in that. The fact that he got Andy Dalton to look like a good QB speaks loud enough, or maybe thats just my complete disbelief that Dalton is actually a NFL QB, don’t see his talent at all.

      That being said, it won’t matter. Snyder is almost as delusional as Jerruh in Dallas. Jay Gruden can be a good coach in Washington, but Snyder will find someway to fuck up the roster and then blame it on the coach. Oh and the obligatory: Jerry Jones, please live to be a 1000 years old.

      • Anders

        Look at all the offensive talent he had to work with and compare it to every other top offense in DVOA, how many of those have that much top 3 round talent on offense?

        • Patrick

          I don’t follow all these ratings by different websites, otherwise I would have to be delusional enough to think that Brandon Graham is a top 5 pass rusher in the NFL or whatever that stat was, so that might be where you’re losing me, but I don’t really get your point. He was given a lot of talent on offense and he delivered a good offense, top 10 in points, yards and passing this year. Rushing offense down at 18, which isn’t bad, especially with a rookie, albeit a talented one, and Law Firm who might be really good at getting 3 YPC, but really bad at doing anything special. And once, again, he did it with Andy Dalton at QB, the most important position. Can you only be a good coach if you’re given crap and deliver the Denver offense with UDFAs and practice squad players?

          Besides, that draft position argument is weak. Peyton Manning was taken first overall, but that doesn’t even come close to describing him. On your stat sheet, both Manning and Dalton would just check out in the: taken in the first 3 rounds column, but that is clearly an incredible unrealistic viewpoint. In what would does Andy Dalton = Peyton Manning?
          To go along with that, Wes Welker was undrafted, but he sure wasn’t considered a undrafted rookie when Denver picked him up.

          • Anders

            No, but in general talent taken in the first 3 rounds are much more likely to be good.

            Im not impressed with what Gruden have done even with Dalton maybe hindered him down as his offensive game plan does not really feature 2 TEs as much as it should based on them having 2 1st round TEs.

          • Patrick

            Yeah i get what you’re saying, but picks aren’t created equal. Christian Ponder was picked the as Fletcher Cox, and even though I’m mildly disappointed with Fletch, I don’t think anyone can say they’re equal in value.

            I haven’t watched the Bengals enough to comment on their use of 2TE sets, but since Gresham have been considered a slight disappointment, Eifert is a rookie(Jimmy K recently wrote about how massively unimpressive rookie TEs have been) and both of them struggling with injuries, i don’t find it very troubling considering you have 1 godly WR in AJ Green, 1 very good WR in Marvin Jones and one good WR pin Sanu, to go with a Bernard who is very good in the passing game. Green, Jones and Bernard are bound to be in there on passing downs, you can only have 5 targets out there. Its gonna end up being a numbers game with Sanu, Eifert, Gresham and then their fullback and 4th WR/3rd TE. With the mentioned reason not to get overexcited about Eifert/Gresham, i don’t really blame Gruden.

      • CrackSammich

        When Jerry Jones finally does die, I have a feeling he will be mourned more in Philly than in Dallas..

        • Patrick

          Its gonna be a rough day. Luckily i believe he has a son with the same winning mentality. Winning of course being by the definition of Charlie Sheen. To be fair, that amount of blow would probably explain some of the roster moves Jerruh made. Nothing like seeing Dallas pay Doug Free 10 million while their roster depth can be written on a cocktail napkin.

    • AnirudhJ

      So….he’s consistent?

    • BlindChow

      Gruden is also heavily criticized for passing way too much. In their playoff games, they averaged a 25/75 run to pass ratio.

      This could be good.

    • nevadausa16

      ‘skins hiring of jay-g looks as bad as packers hiring of mike mccarthy. he was coming off 32nd offense as SF o-c coaching alex smith for his first year. lame. before that mccarthy was saints o-c and that offense finished 31st 15th & 25th. then he flipped rodgers for smith and mccarthy’s a genius

  • Arby1

    one free agent and one early round draft choice. problem solved (?).

    • Chippah

      With the overall level of safety play the last few years, I’d say there are very few locks at the position.

      • Arby1

        Yeah, that’s where the question mark comes in…

  • Insomniac

    Yea Chung would give us insurance…life insurance that is.

  • Mike Roman

    “I would cut Pat Chung. The guy has his moments, but his tackling issues are highly frustrating. ”

    Yes, he has his moments. But too many of them and none are good.

    • Mac

      Looked like Chung was protecting an injured shoulder when he was tackling (or what passed for his tackling this year).

    • 47_Ronin

      The Eagles never should’ve had hopes on Chung considering the problems the Patriots had in the secondary Belichik benches him then makes no effort to resign him, that was an accurate assessment of him.

      • jshort

        maybe do a Vermeil and have open auditions

    • xeynon

      Chung may be an unreliable tackler, but he makes up for it by being bad in coverage.

  • Mitchell

    Someone else has gotta jump on the Telvin Smith as safety! Huh? Anyone? Ok :(

    • Anders

      Im more in the camp of great 4-3 OLB like Lavonte David or if he can get 15 more pounds on great 3-4 ILB.

      • anon

        I like David too but feel like transitions just cost a year and it’s never clear if they’ll be awesome at the new spot. Although those spots are pretty similar.

    • D3FB

      I just went back and watched all his film this year thats on draftbreakdown. I just don’t see him as a safety. He is a sloppy tackler in open space and runs too high which causes him some trouble redirecting suddenly. He has good LB speed but would be average to a step slow on the backend.

      However I did very much like what I saw as far as a potential ILB. He has good man coverage skills. Not great in zone but athletic enough to make up for it. Good blitzer, doesn’t necessarily have any pass rush moves but does a great job in finding the seams in protection and slipping through. Does a nice job progressing through his keys and finding the ball. Attacks downhill violently and either takes on blocks or sifts through traffic well.
      Overall I would say he’s a fringe top 100 player who can play man in nickel and be a stud special teamer while he grows into his frame to become an everydown inside backer.

      • Mitchell

        totally agree on the complete lack of pass rush moves, of course that’s probably part of the reason he is an ILB.

  • TheRogerPodacter

    i like the idea of bringing back Allen, but i want there to be another guy brought in the mix – either in the draft or FA. then, we have a competition. best guy wins.

    but more importantly, the offseason is an ongoing process.
    FA starts before the draft. you can’t skip over all FA safeties with the assumption that you are going to take one in the draft. What if your guy is gone before you pick? now, you are screwed. you have to reach for a pick to get a guy earlier than he should be drafted.

    the ‘safe’ offseason plan would be to pick up a FA that you *know* will be “good enough” (sounds like Allen to me). Then, if you get a chance at getting your guy in the draft, you can choose to pass on him or not to take the best guy on the board.

    question – does anyone foresee the defense using more 3 safety sets?
    what if…. we get a big name FA S and also bring back Allen. They are both given the starting jobs *for the start of the offseason only*. Wolff is going to be there to fight for either spot. The best two get to play. or maybe all 3?

    • bentheimmigrant

      If it’s a safety that can play slot I think we’d go 3x S in dime. As for naming starters for the offseason, Kelly would just say there isn’t a depth chart.

    • D3FB

      Depending on the players skill set we could use 3 safeties when we go to 3-3-5 looks. The third safety is a rover who can be used to blitz, cover the slot or drop into a zone. Can really create some nightmarish blitz packages out of the 33 stack.

  • andyisme

    “If the Eagles lose Allen in free agency, they might keep Chung around until after the draft. That would give you some insurance in case a nightmare scenario played out and the team didn’t get a Safety until late in the draft.”

    I feel like the nightmare scenario is Chung actually playing.

    • Mike Roman

      I’d have to start drinking again.

  • Cliff

    Nate Allen is an interesting case of a widely-considered “good” pick experiencing mostly negative fan opinion during his immediate career, don’t you think?

    Any issues with the pick at the time (2010) were either due to us moving up for Brandon Graham when Earl Thomas was still on the board or us not drafting Taylor Mays (gasp!).

    • nevadausa16

      yeah, the funny thing is that some folks had Mays projected to go in the first round.
      http://scoutsnotebook.com/2010/04/21/final-mock-draft/

      • TommyLawlor

        That guy is a hack!!!

        I was never on the Mays bandwagon, but the NFL loves big guys that run well. Figured he’d go early.

        • Dominik

          You nailed 5 out of the first 6. Respect! :)

    • McNabbulousness

      admittedly im still a little irrational about this but im still pist we didn’t get thomas. he was a blue chipper available for a secondary that really needed a top notch safety. on top of the fact that the eagles weren’t the best at drafting on the d line during the reid era.

      the graham knee injury of course is the monkey wrench that makes this draft sooo hard to evaluate. he came on during reid’s last season in the 4-3 and started to look like a good first round pick. then the 3-4 happened and it was back to square one. time will tell the whole story on graham but the “breaks of the game” have not been kind to him. you also wonder about allen’s develpment sans injury as well.

      if we did draft thomas i have no idea whether or not we draft kurt coleman. if we did that puts him (an excellent late round pickup) in a much more advantageous position to be a solid backup instead of being thrust into the a starting role he was not ready for.

      haha totally forgot about t. mizzle, yeah that woulda sucked

      • 47_Ronin

        Whoa, I think the further time passes the hazier are people’s recollections. I think it is incorrect to claim that the Eagles weren’t good at drafting DLs during the Reid era when they drafted very good talent in Corey Simon, Derrick Burgess, Trent Cole. Yes they did whiff on some picks, but everyone does that.

        That draft is unfortunate b/c I think Graham’s time with the Eagles will soon end likely through trade. Nate Allen was widely ranked as a top 3 safety the year he came out but he had his flaws (one biggie was his tackling), and I liked the pick. But as Tommy and others have stated Allen probably doesn’t have much more growth potential, but the draft is not a science.

        • xeynon

          Patterson was a solid DL pick too. Bunkley never developed into a star but was a serviceable starter for several years. Still, when you trade up for an epic bust like Jerome McDougle and overdraft guys like Bryan Smith and Daniel Te’o-Nesheim you’re going to get a bit of a stink on you.

          • 47_Ronin

            I forgot about Patterson and really forgot about B. Smith. Mcdougle is a sad story, I think the gun wounding really set him back as a player, but he survived and that’s more important. I think the problem with the Eagles FO in the mid aughts was that they never deviated from their apparent mentality that the DL should all be small fastballs. I never understood why they never liked big athlethic DLs. I think TeoNeshiem was an attempt to get players with leadership qualities on the roster like former captains b/c they were missing that after jettisoning the aging vets. Some posters here actually write positively about Danny Teo.

  • SteveH
  • deg0ey

    I’d keep Allen, sign a mid-level FA (maybe Kendrick Lewis or the other Chris Clemons) to compete with Allen and Wolff and then draft a development guy on day 3 (I’m all about Tre Boston right now).

    Thoughts?

    • Anders

      I like Chris Clemons and Tre Boston a lot so Im all for it.

      • deg0ey

        Deal! Now the only question is which one of us gets to replace Gamble when he gets a GM gig somewhere else?

        • Insomniac

          Depends on how fast either of you can get Howie to cut Chung.

        • anon

          Interesting to see if Wolff can stay healthy next season — flashed but also missed a lot of games.

      • 47_Ronin

        I wrote the other day that 3 FA safeties that I like are Clemons, Darien Stewart and Duke Ihenacho. I weary of Byrd, I also like Ward but his injury history concerns me. As for the draft, right now I’m really favoring Kenny Ladler, he was a turnover machine for Vandy.

        • D3FB

          Duke is an ERFA. That means his contract is up but doesn’t have enough service years to become a free agent. Just like Ceddy Thorton. I’m a huge Ladler fan been leading the charge for him for a couple months now. There’s a lot of talent in the safety pool to be had on day 2.

          • Insomniac

            I had us drafting Ladler with our 4th round pick. Calvin Pryor has really grown on me but Ladler would be reallllllly nice if we don’t get Pryor.

          • D3FB

            Problem with Pryor is he can be a really shitty tackler and I worry about flags. Goes for kill shot too much. Physically talented. Closes in a hell of a hurry. Problem is he can play too much out of control and causes him to miss alot of tackles. I like him as a centerfielder or robber but he seems to struggle with other assignments.

          • 47_Ronin

            You have Ladler lasting until the 4th rd? Who are your top 5 FS? I saw Ladler as a 3rd rounder dependent on combine performance.

          • D3FB

            I have Ladler as a second round grade. Buchanon as well. Haha is a fringe first but I haven’t seen a ton of film on him yet. I have third round grades on Dixon, Pryor, and Bailey.

          • Insomniac

            I have Ladler as a 3rd round pick depending on his combine. He’s in the same mold as Phillip Thomas who was a 4th rounder last year, who I also had a 3rd round grade on. Now I don’t know exactly why Thomas fell last year but they have eerily similar situations. Both are seniors and had ultra productive seasons before entering the draft. So yea I can see Ladler dropping to us.

  • Jason

    Tommy,
    Wolff, K Coleman, and Anderson all likely stay on as reserves/ST depth? Change would come with starters.

  • ICDogg

    Good news for OSU and Miller. RT @RustyMillerAP: #OhioState confirms that Braxton Miller will be returning for his senior season. #Buckeyes— Eric Galko (@OptimumScouting) January 9, 2014

  • Jamie Parker

    Don’t rule out an off season trade for a safety or OLB. It’s not always a FA or draftee.

    • Insomniac

      Would Andy send us Eric Berry or Justin Houston for…Kurt Coleman, Matt Tobin, and a dozen cheesesteaks?

      jokes aside this is the least likely to happen from my view though.

      • Jamie Parker

        I know, but it can happen. With all the coaching turnover, there are bound to be some pieces those guys don’t want and want to get something in return.

        You think Andy would send us some real KC BBQ sauce for Patrick Chung? Or will he need another player?

        • xeynon

          You’re not getting any KC BBQ sauce out of Andy without offering a Herschel Walker/RG III-type package.

    • anon

      They could move Graham or Curry. I know Graham wants to go.

  • Corry

    I’m all for Allen coming back, but if some other team decides to break the bank for him, I’m not matching it. Allen, all things considered, is JAG. Granted, with the safety play across the league, being JAG is better than some teams can field.

    If I were Howie, I’d re-sign Allen and Anderson and say good bye to Chung and Coleman. I would then try to draft a safety or sign a mid-level FA capable of starting. 3 player competition for 2 spots would be great. Dawk was my favorite player, so the safety position is one of my favorites to watch, but I would put my resources into fixing the pass rush.

    • anon

      Good secondary improves the pass rush. Interesting to see if Howie actually spends money on a top of the market FA or not.

      • Corry

        I believe in the opposite: Good pass rush improves the secondary. That’s a matter of philosophy though and can be argued both ways and neither would be wrong (or right depending on the players).

      • Jamie Parker

        Works the other way too, like with the Giants in ’07 and ’11. Doubtful Howie goes spending lots on FA’s. He’s seen first hand how that works out.

    • 47_Ronin

      One big issue here is how much value do the Eagles place on Allen. Do they view him as having a higher ceiling and can be a medium to long term solution at FS or he is what he is. Allen is 25 or 26 so he should be entering his prime, but I just can’t see a long term contract going his way from the Eagles. Do the Eagles resign him for 3 years?

      • Corry

        Right, and we should get a good indication of how the front office feels about him if they re-sign him or let him walk.

    • Michael Winter Cho

      JAG is better than “Hole in the Zone” as they say over at Football Outisders. Just saying…. :)

  • kajomo

    I dont know if any else mentioned him, but I covet Calvin Pryor in this draft. He is my #1 safety and a first round pick. I dont care how he times at the combine (though I do expect him to ran fast). This guy is a fierocious hitter, has great range, and is a big time playmaker. If anyone wants to check him out check out draftbreakdown.com.

    He was the best player on a very good louisville defense. My dream offseason would be to sign Byrd and draft Pryor. Our safeties would be set for the next 5 years and each of those guys prodcues more big plays than allen, wolf, and chung combined. Plus Davis could be more agressive up front and with press coverage with these guys as his saftey net.

    • mksp

      I started watching the UCF tape, saw him take 3 straight bad angles, get blown up, and then make an athletic INT. I know it was just like 5 plays, but the bad angles spooked me. Too many bad memories.

      • kajomo

        You watched 5 plays of 1 game and made an opinion? Really?

        Go watch the first 5 plays of the Rutgers game or the Kentucky game, you will says he is a top 5 pick.

  • PeterAkkies

    Tommy, you wrote that Nate Allen has “okay size”. According to PE.com, he’s 6’1″ and 210 lbs. Is that not good size for a safety? What’s the ideal size?

    For reference:
    Troy Polamalu – 5-10, 207
    Jairus Byrd- 5-10, 203
    Ed Reed – 5-11, 205
    Earl Thomas – 5-10, 202

    Not that I’m under any illusions that Nate Allen is anywhere near as good as those guys (at their peak), mind you…

    • TommyLawlor

      Okay, good size. But he’s not 6-2, 220 or something that really jumps out at you. He’s just not compelling in any way.

      • austinfan

        He’d have good size for a FS if he ran 4.4 and/or had great play maker instincts (Byrd). He’s got average size for a SS, with average speed, but lacks violence in his game. A classic tweener with no special qualities.

  • Vick or Nick

    I think its way more reasonable to expect Earl Wolff to become a playmaker than Nate Allen. Nate has pretty much hit his ceiling. I don’t expect him to be anything more. For some reason (injury, lack of confidence, scheme), Allen hasn’t shown the skills he displayed as a rookie.

    Wolff certainly has a chance to make the jump from year 1 to year 2. I was a huge fan of his coming out of the draft, into preseason, and during the season. Heck, Eagles may still be in the playoffs had he remained healthy. I really think he can develop further into a blitzer as well as coverage and run support.

    It would be nice to get one of the top safeties in free agency but its not necessarily needed. Byrd will be 28 next season. Looking at at the very least 8 mill a year for 5 years for total of 40+ mill. That is IF another team doesn’t overpay, which some desparate team will.

    Best course of action is to draft a safety (maybe 2) in whichever round you get the best value and go forth with what we have.

    The Bigger issue is Pass Rush. We have to get better there. Getting good secondary players is a bonus but lets get one point very clear:

    With the way the NFL rules are set up, WRs are expected to get open and make huge plays. QBs are too smart and good. The value of CBs is not as high as it once was. Saints were covering us with CBs that aren’t considered top players.

    Best way to stop high powered offenses is with an even better pass rush.

    • 47_Ronin

      The Eagles will need at least one veteran Safety starter next year, I just can’t see them going with rookie and Wolff next season, plus Wolff hasn’t shown he can play an entire season. With 3 FAs safeties the Eagles have a quandary. I think they’ll draft 1-2 safeties (but they also need another CB). If they don’t resign Allen they’ll get a FA. There are other names besides Byrd that are available. But I agree with you the pass rush is a bigger concern. I think at #22 they need the best pass rusher available in the draft.

      • Vick or Nick

        Like Tommy said, Wolff was healthy in college hopefully this is just an anomaly.

        But having a vet would def be a plus. Although I foresee Wolff making big strides, you can’t count on anything in the NFL. Howie has done a good job mixing in vets with youth.

  • Vick or Nick

    Would you take these corners?

    6’1 190lbs 4.43 40 time

    6’0 200lbs 4.44 40 time

    In other words….

    Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher.

    The Corner positions are good enough, not great, but we need more depth.

    • Corry

      Given Fletcher’s injury history, i wonder if he still runs a 4.44…

  • wighty

    Tommy, what’s your grade on deonne bucannon?

    • D-von

      “I’m sure you guys have a ton of questions about Byrd, Ward and draft prospects. I need to do more research so I can offer an informed opinion.”

      - T. Lawlor

      • wighty

        I suppose I should learn to read

  • Vick or Nick
    • Dominik

      Lol. So much gold.

  • Zivetor

    Regarding a Safety, got any thoughts on TJ Ward being brought in to compete for a starting spot. Besides being an Oregon guy, I seem to remember him all over the place vs the Eagles in 2012.

  • Zivetor

    Byrd and or Ward should both be pursued. I am not sold on Wolff and the FA safeties the Eagles have, shouldn’t be resigned. Without a dominating NT, the safety positions need to be upgraded.