Scouting the Underclassmen

Posted: February 16th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 98 Comments »

I have written a lot about Seniors so far, but haven’t covered the underclassmen as much. With that in mind, I wrote about some key underclassmen for PE.com.

Here is the full list of underclassmen from NFL.com.

Some of the underclassmen I know well. Others I’m still working on. We had a record number of kids come out. There is no way to know all of theses guys in depth unless you are completely focused on the draft 24/7. With all the Eagles writing I do, I just haven’t had the time to study them all.

The draft isn’t until May. I’ll be watching tape and doing research right up until a couple of days before the draft.

* * * * *

Jimmy Bama wrote about 3 interesting free agent targets for the Eagles.

Rather than going for typical big names, Bama went with a situational rusher, PK and RS. All 3 would fit the Eagles needs and offer some help. You have to think the price would be right and that they would fit in with the kind of players that the Eagles added in 2013.

* * * * *

A few of you have asked whether the Eagles could have some interest in OT Jonathan Martin if he is cut or traded. I doubt he’s on the Eagles radar. Martin will want to start or battle for playing time right away. The Eagles are set with OTs. They need depth and players for the future.

In terms of how the situation went down, I have no idea what Chip Kelly thinks. I think Kelly would be open to having Martin on the team, but you never know how a coach would feel about such an extreme situation. I imagine Kelly empathizes with Martin for having to deal with such an unhealthy locker room, but Kelly may not be comfortable with how Martin handled things in such a public, dramatic fashion. Coaches hate when locker room details go public.

_


  • Weapon Y

    I have heard a lot of people downplay the Martin-Incognito thing as “boys will be boys.” I am a little creeped out by how far Incognito went. With that being said, Martin is getting a pass by the national media for how he handled this. It really doesn’t sound like Incognito did anything more messed up than what frats make their pledges do. They are grown men and should be held to a higher standard than college frat boys, but the point is Incognito never did anything physically harmful. Sure he was an asshat the whole time, but life is all about putting up with asshats. How many people have ever had a coworker or boss they absolutely hate? I did entertain the idea of signing Martin for cheap, but now I am wary about it for the sheer reason that he made this go public.

    • Neil

      Based on what I read about him debating his other career options, Martin pretty clearly doesn’t love football. Most of the people like him, who think Incognito is “an asshat” and not “normal”, who play in the NFL just deal with it to do what they love. That’s the biggest strike against him. But it’s also pretty serious that when he realised he wasn’t willing to put up with his teammates’ insanity to play football for a living he decided to go crazy/public with it, and the whole thing just reeks of him refusing to take his share of responsibility for why his life was so terrible. I’m not saying all of the responsibility is his, but the person who would accept his part in mistakenly going into a field he wasn’t too crazy about in the first place (and ending up finding the field was chock-full of people he was completely incompatible with) would have quietly retired. You made a mistake, no need to make yourself into such a problem for so many other people because of it.

      • shah8

        A lot of people don’t like playing football that much, because of guys like Incognito.

        • Neil

          Yeah, which is my point about Martin. He’s the only one who did what he did.

          • Cafone

            Maybe he feared for his life. Supposedly Incognito was assisted in the bullying by one of the Pouncy brothers, and those Pouncy boys were tight with Aaron Hernandez.

          • Neil

            Wouldn’t we have heard about that?

          • Cliff

            Don’t know about the Pouncy stuff, but there are plenty of texts about buying guns to shoot people and plenty of texts about physically attacking Martin.

          • Neil

            Maybe so, but if any of it had the slightest whiff of credibility it seems like this wouldn’t have been a bullying story but a gang violence story. No? Wouldn’t that have been a much more sensational story, and, if there was any way to credibly write it, the news outlets would have run with it to get as many pageviews as possible?

          • Sokhar20

            Assuming that Martin feared for his life might be a stretch, but both the Pouncy brothers were recorded on video walking around wearing “Free Hernandez” hats not long after Aaron’s arrest.

      • Cafone

        Football is a business. Incognito hurt his team by destroying their investment in a player.

        Martin was fine playing for many years at Stanford. Why should it be acceptable for the level of class and civility to nosedive when the play goes up a level?

        The situation this reminds me a lot of Gilbert Arenas gun thing in the NBA . The owners do not want to encourage lawless behaviorbecause it’s bad for the game , and Incognito’s behavior reasonably rose to the level of criminal harassment that could be charged as a hate crime, .

        • Cliff

          I say no way the Eagles should be interested in Incognito. I understand there are plenty of assholes in football, but this guy is on another level. The Riley Cooper B.S. was pre-school compared to the crap Incognito has said. Incognito wouldn’t have anyone already on our team playing the Jason Avant role for him.

          • Cafone

            I agree that what Incognito did was worse, but he wasn’t an Eagle when he did it so it’s not the Eagles’ job to punish him for it. If the Eagles are reasonably sure the behavior wouldn’t happen again, then why not?

          • Cliff

            I totally get the Eagles wouldn’t have to punish him or anything. I’m thinking about Incognito fitting in to the locker room. If there were Eagles who took offense to what Riley Cooper said, they would DEFINITELY take offense to the things Incognito said and Incognito wouldn’t have the same support Cooper got from veterans on the team (Avant).

          • Cafone

            Do you really think Incognito would have trouble fitting in on the Eagles line? None of those guys would take any crap from him, and he will certainly need to be on his best behavior for the rest of his career anyway.

        • Neil

          Sure, but you can say Martin hurt his team by making it into a spectacle.

          I’m not saying Incognito isn’t to some degree destructive, but it’s not his fault he got put on the same team as a stick of dynamite. I bet you Incognito would have treated Martin totally different if he was smart enough to tell where this would end up. I can’t shake the impression that Incognito’s only crime is being an idiot. The Dolphins shouldn’t have signed him or shouldn’t have drafted Martin. The Dolphins hurt themselves.

          • Cafone

            His only crime is being an idiot, because he would have acted differently if he knew he would get caught? I guess you could say that about most criminals, but it doesn’t usually affect our view of the crime. Crimes that go unreported are still crimes.

      • Cliff

        This sounds a lot like “blame the victim.” Whether it’s football or the shipyard, every person in America has the right to go to work and not be harassed on a daily basis.

        • Neil

          You always have some degree of responsibility for the events in your life. Unless you’re still a kid. Or a slave or something. None of the exceptions apply to Martin. He made a bad career choice. He could have quit at any time. Maybe he has this “right” to be treated whatever way. Why didn’t he bring it up to management or Incognito, rather than check in to a mental hospital and otherwise generally act insane?

          I understand it sounds like I’m “blaming the victim”, but until you start sincerely looking for the ways you could have affected the outcomes of your life, you can’t stop doing the same things over and over, the things that keep putting you in the situation of victim. You can’t become a better person. That might be fine if you’re already perfect. Are you? Is Martin?

          • Cafone

            Dude, you’re hilarious. What’s with the word “right” being in quotes? Are those air quotes? The right to not be verbally and physically harassed in the workplace is not a frivolous turn of phrase, it’s a legal right. NFL teams don’t just get to ignore that because Football is a tough sport.

          • Neil

            The quotes mean the word right doesn’t really mean anything. If I go up to a lion and say “I have the right to not be eaten!”, do I actually have that right?

          • Cafone

            We live in a society based on laws and those laws guarantee us rights.

            Rights are actually a real thing: http://www.dol.gov/oasam/programs/crc/2011-workplace-harassment.htm

          • Neil

            Laws aren’t always enforced. If they were, this Martin thing would never have happened because you would have regular politeness patrols through locker rooms, and half of every football team would be girls.

          • Cliff

            That’s a really horrible metaphor. As far as I know, animals don’t have to comply with laws, just their human owners.

            I get that you’re trying to make a philosophical debate out of the word “right,” but it doesn’t belong in this case. Someone clearly had their rights (no air quotes) violated and fortunately we live in a country where the violator has to pay for it.

          • Neil

            Humans don’t either unless they have less guns than the ruling people. We’re lucky to live in a place where the ruling body has been fairly consistent (and not overthrown etc.), but there’s nothing stopping that from changing at some point.

            And then you’re at the mercy of a lion. I hope he listens.

          • Cliff

            We all have to be introspective and look for ways to make ourselves healthier or better. Martin did cry out for help on several occasions. Look at all the messages between himself and his parents about how depressed he was. His parents tried to be supportive and talk him off the ledge so to speak. He probably did not feel comfortable going to his management because saw the daily history of management condoning bullying (their OL coach even participated).

          • Neil

            Right, so he should have left. Right?

            But there’s another way to look at it. Instead he enlisted the media and the public. He used their strength to shame the NFL into changing. He clearly won.

            So Martin did have the right because he found the power to defend it. Good for him. Good for all of us.

          • livingonapear

            The problem isn’t that you’re saying Martin could have done something different, it’s that you focus on what Martin did as though it affected Incognito.

            This is a guy who thought nothing of referring to the team’s trainer as a “chink” and asking for “rubby rubby, sucky sucky” in a mock Asian voice. He also tormented another lineman. He sent out a text saying:

            Since we cut samuda we have been non stop on nate. Even turner is in on it. He looks like he’s about to cry 24/7.
            What Martin did or said was incidental, he just happened to be the guy who broke. His standing up to Incognito or not standing up to Incognito wouldn’t have stopped Incognito from acting like an asshole and harassing the trainer or Nate Garner.

            And on top of everything, Martin’s out of school maybe 2 years. Incognito is a 30 year old and on the leadership committee. It’s laughable that people hold a 25 year old to greater behavior standards than a 30 year old.

          • Neil

            I admit, that kind of behaviour isn’t a big deal to me. It’s just words. If words can break you, your problem isn’t the person who’s talking. Your problem is that your emotional stability, even happiness, isn’t 100% anchored inside of you, and you need to hear happy talk from your coworkers, etc.

            Incognito said a bunch of words. Martin ruined his career. So yeah, Martin did have an effect on Incognito and one that by my calculation is disproportionate.

            Martin could have been like most people in the NFL and not let words affect him. On a functional level, that’s probably the exact reason Incognito was such an asshole. If you can’t handle me talking, why should I expect you to take getting punched or stepped on, things you can’t just ignore, like a man on the field?

          • livingonapear

            I don’t think you really understand how harassment works…

          • Neil

            I say something mean to you, and then you hold onto it and let it bother you. Go ahead, try to harass me. You can’t do it. I won’t let you.

          • livingonapear

            Because I’m not your colleague. I’m just a guy on the internet. I can’t turn other co-workers, colleagues, or teammates against you. I also cannot physically imply harm to you.

            Also, since I don’t see you on a regular basis, I can’t make the abuse consistent or the intimidation consistent.

            Like I said, you do not understand what actually happened in that locker room.

          • Neil

            Making credible threats is a crime. It’s not harassment. If there was a misunderstanding and Martin thought threats were real, then he has a case.

          • livingonapear

            But that’s the whole point of harassment. You don’t do anything explicit. You use words like “chink” or the N word or “o-line bitch” to create the pecking order. You turn people against the “weakest” member, and then you make them feel like crap day in and day out by sending a message that they don’t belong. The key is repetition, not obvious threats.

            All threats are implicit, and encoded. You can aways say “I was joking around,” that’s the point.

          • Neil

            This sounds really paranoid to me. I’ve met so many people like Incognito who were just trash-talking teddy bears. You just had to stand up for yourself before they respected you.

          • livingonapear

            So when Incognito touched a female volunteer’s genitals with a golf club at a charity golf event, that’s on her as well? Or the people whose car he stole for a joyride?

            Are you being willfully obtuse?

          • Neil

            I’ve heard of much worse treatment of women…like throwing them out of your party bus on the highway. I didn’t know about stealing a car. He should be in jail, huh?

            But what do either of those have to do with Martin? Isn’t it funny how you have to bring up what Incognito did to other people to justify the way Martin reacted?

          • livingonapear

            I have my own opinions about what McCoy did. Like McCoy has a lot of issues with women that he needs to deal with and I think his limited suspension was a mistake.

            As for what this has to do with Martin; you keep insisting that Martin is the one who acted irrationally to someone who was just joking around. The point is that Incognito’s aggression and “joking around” are basically the same. Martin being tough is incidental, Incognito would still treat him like crap because Incognito is crazy.

          • livingonapear

            And by “limited suspension was a mistake” I mean he should have been suspended longer.

          • Neil

            But if Martin was tough we wouldn’t know Martin or Incognito’s names on this fine February day. That’s what I’m trying to insist.

            Every bad thing you can say about Incognito is true. Every opinion or judgement is justifiable. But don’t let it distract you from the fact that Martin was weak willed; therefore, Martin had a role to play in the events. If you think Martin’s toughness isn’t a problem, if you think it’s OK for a man to be weak willed, we can agree to disagree.

          • livingonapear

            Well personally I think that toughness is an ever shifting thing. Martin was tough enough to make it to the NFL which means braving hundred degree training camps, coaches who yell plenty, and getting through the NFL combine. He’s certainly tougher than I am.

            The fact that he doesn’t know how to defend himself against abusive behavior, and a crazy person such as Incognito, tells me nothing about his toughness. There is no “right” way to handle someone like Incognito. I know we’ve been taught that bullies are all talk and can be put in their place, but that’s not always true; you can’t intimidate crazy, and Incognito is crazy.

            To put it bluntly, your definition of toughness is one dimensional, limiting, and shows a naiveté towards the way abusive people act.

          • Neil

            Being an ever shifting thing makes toughness hard to discuss. We’ll end it here.

          • ICDogg

            Martin didn’t ruin his career. Martin didn’t cause Incognito to do the things that he now must face the music for. Don’t you think Incognito should take some responsibility for what he did? Or does that only apply to Martin?

          • Neil

            I do. I’d talk about that point if most of everyone else didn’t do so much of it for me.

            But you do have to admit that given different circumstances Incognito would still have a job as a football player. I don’t think he’s particularly bad. I’d be surprised if more than half of the teams had a better archknucklehead. Most of Miami’s line was pretty much the same kind of person. If you think being Richie Incognito merits facing this music, then a lot of football players should get the same treatment.

          • ICDogg

            I don’t think that’s the case. The league has lots of meatheads but there aren’t more than one or two that rise to the level of Incognito in that department, from what some of the players are saying.

          • Neil

            What are they saying? My list of Incognito’s crimes basically boils down to:

            Hookers
            Saying mean things
            Gambling?
            Being egotistical and pushing the boundaries of polite society’s decency

            This list seems pretty normal for an NFL player.

          • ICDogg

            He’s been among the most fined players, been considered by his peers to be one of the dirtiest players. The Rams released him because he was crazy and was injuring his own teammates in practice. And he tore his own ACL being aggressive like that. He has admitted to anger issues in the past. He has abused officials verbally, drawing penalties. He rudely assaulted a woman at a golf outing pushing a golf club into her privates.

            He’s not a good dude.

          • Neil

            Yeah, doesn’t sound like it. Sounds like a troubled dude.

        • Weapon Y

          To quote a former Philadelphia mayor, America is a nation of wusses. Sure, Incognito was vulgar to Martin, but give me a break. That’s life. There will be people who say racist, vulgar, whatever stuff to you your whole life. It could be a boss breathing down your neck 24/7 or a coworker telling you how much he hates your guts. Not everyone felt as entitled as Martin to make a big soap opera out of it.

          • livingonapear

            “That’s life” only works because people stand by and let it happen. It doesn’t have to be that way, and you don’t have to be an enabler.

  • shah8

    Gano is not an improvement on Henery. Henery will still make close field goals. Gano has missed chip shots before.

    If Foles plays the way he did the last season wrt Desean Jackson, it’s doubtful that Ginn would be especially well utilized as a receiver. And I doubt Ginn would be interested. Remember, Ginn really has to have the ball thrown pretty nicely and accurately, such that Ginn can continue to burn the DB. Got bad hands otherwise. Ginn isn’t that agile, either. He’s good in a sort of smooth takes the turns at high speed way, but he doesn’t really make people miss, in the way Corderelle Patterson can.

    as far as the OLB, that’s not really making a move. It’s just adding a camp body who might turn out to be decent.

  • Tracer Bullet

    If the long term plan is to eventually move Johnson to LT, seems like letting Martin replace Herremans now and sliding out to RT after a year or two isn’t outside the realm of possibility. Of course, Martin may not want to spend a year or two inside.

  • Baloophi

    In the interest of starting a non Martin/Incognito thread… what do you folks think of curling?

    Looks the perfect outdoor drinking “sport” to me.

    I keep waiting for someone to slip on the sheet and kick another team’s stone right out of the house in the ninth end during a hammer throw.

    • Insomniac

      It’s in the soccer category for me. It just isn’t enticing to watch. Why do they always yell? It’s even worse when the women do it ugh.

      • A_T_G

        I wouldn’t mind making that Russian curler yell…

    • TheRogerPodacter

      personally, i love curling. though i can understand why people wouldn’t give it any attention.

      I initially started watching it because i thought it was funny to hear the womens teams yell so much (especially the canadian team – HAAARRRRRRRDD!!! lol)
      i enjoy the chess-like side of it where you have to think ahead and anticipate how the other team is going to react. and after you decide what you want to do, its up to the team to actually execute.

      i also get irrationally angry when NBC cuts out a few throws in an end. even the first ones that are more or less inconsequential. but i want to see how all of the stones get there! lol

    • SteveH

      If there are 32 comments and 25 are in one thread… I’m probably going to avoid that thread.

  • Mitchell

    Tommy:
    In regards to Dion Bailey, I was wondering where you found he was 6’2″? I have been looking around and only saw him listed at 6′. I do think because he has played both linebacker and safety he may be of interest to the Eagles due to the versatility.

    • Insomniac

      Yea I don’t know where the 6’2 is coming from unless Tommy has an inside source at USC.

      • D3FB

        Probably Megan Fox

    • Anders

      Thought the same, even USC them self lists him at 6′ and schools normally list em higher.

  • Insomniac

    I’ve probably made my mancrush for Jarvis Landry known here. He’d be a great replacement and improvement for Avant. Ridiculously good hands, play maker, and he can block. He’s been compared to Anquan Boldin and Hines Ward recently. Those two were great and productive players.

    • Anders

      Im with you, I love Landry. As Tommy mentioned Beckham would also be a very nice fit.

  • Phils Goodman

    Colt Lyerla is a guy I had forgotten about until a few days ago. The obvious prospect comp for him is… *gulp* Aaron Hernandez. If they could get him in the 4th or 5th round I would be over the moon. He has prototypical size, great speed, good hands, raw power as a run blocker and good enough feet to look very natural taking carries out of the backfield (almost 6 yards per carry).

    That would allow them to load up on defensive prospects early in the draft and still add a 1st round developmental talent to the offense. Ease him along as the 3rd TE as a rookie and squeeze another year out of Celek, then if things pan out they have that coveted 2 TE tandem with him and Ertz for years to come.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fT9TR3ynLwI

    • SteveH

      I feel like there’s an Aaron Hernandez kills people/Colt’s name is Colt like the pistol joke in here somewhere. Somebody do something with this.

      • GvilleEagleFan

        He could do a guest verse on DJax’s next album:

        “Hernandez comp’s so fake,
        anyone who makes them meets my MF’ing namesake”

        • SteveH

          Jaccpot. I think. Maybe.

    • Anders

      I know Kelly would love Colt except for the character concern.
      Ertz, Maclin (I hope we re-sign him), Jackson, Colt and McCoy would be as good as any weapons any QB could want.

      • Weapon Y

        Kelly takes character stuff pretty seriously. Ask Legarette Blount or Cliff Harris.

  • Anders

    Tommy, how much impact do you think Nix’s knee injury can have? Im really worring for a 340 pound guy with a meniscus problem

    • D3FB

      I’d be more worried about the tendinitis. I had a couple issues with it my junior year, but during camp this past year it flared back up and it’s absolute hell. You can’t get in your stance without pain, moving around sucks, and after practice just walking up a flight of stairs makes you think your knee caps are just going to shoot straight out. And I’m only 6’1 285 so I’d imagine that’s going to be a major concern.

      • Anders

        Totally forgot about that. Some said Nix decline in play might be because of that. Sad there is nothing sport science can really do about it.

  • ICDogg

    Ebron is not a guy I’d heard mentioned as a possible Eagles target… intriguing possibility.

    • Anders

      I gladly take him. He is a Graham type mismatch in the passing game. He would be more slot WR than inline TE for us.
      Drafting Ebron (doubt he falls) and Benjamin would be crazy.

      • Mitchell

        Do you mean “or” instead of “and” because both of those guys would be truly crazy!

        • Anders

          I meant and. And is always better (not really, I do not want to have both plague and Cholera) :P

  • Anders

    I know a lot of people here wants to trade back to get more picks, but would people sacrifice picks next year, for a potential extra 1st or 2nd pick?
    With so many underclassmen declaring, next years draft might be a bit dry for talent compared to this year, so a talent you can get in the 2nd might be better than a late 1st next year.

    • A_T_G

      I don’t like the idea of trading future picks. If you look at what we thought we needed in the draft last year and compare that to now, it probably changes what we would do with that pick. Using next year’s pick based on this year’s perceptions sets us up for a bad case of buyers’ remorse.

      Plus, how much would this time of year suck next year with less to get excited about in the draft?

      • ICDogg

        It would have to be a matter of the right guy just falling into the right spot to do it.

        • Anders

          yea 100%.
          I still prefer trading back, but I would give up a first next year for a high 2nd if a very talented guy is still there.

      • Anders

        Consider I doubt we would draft for need and we still lack at the same positions as last year with CB, S, LB, OL, TE/WR all been things we can upgrade both this year and next.

    • ICDogg

      I never say never, but probably not.

    • Media Mike

      Good topic for discussion, but totally depends on the player. I’m not against it if they use next year’s picks to move up and get a really good player. Just don’t let it blow up and turn into Antoine Davis or Mike Mamula.

    • eagleyankfan

      More people declaring for draft doesn’t mean better quality this year. I think you stick to your game plan no matter how many enter the draft this year or possible lack of talent next year.

      • Anders

        In general underclassmen declaring early are doing it because they are often talented enough. Very few great prospects stay for their senior year

        • eagleyankfan

          Which is a shame. “Show me the money”

        • Iskar36

          This is true, but it will also be true next year as well. I think the reason we have started to see more and more underclassmen declare in the last several years has not only been due to great prospects declaring, but also less-than-great prospects declaring. A lot of the underclassman who declared last year went undrafted. That is likely to happen again this year with some of the underclassmen.

  • Kristopher Cebula

    I know the Miami situation was pretty extreme and I’m not trying to dis martin, but I wouldn’t want him on the team. besides of his public handling of the situation, it appears that he had depression issues coming in to the situation. i’d be afraid it would turn into shawn Andrews again. I also don’t want a guy who let’s people get to him protecting my qb. He wasn’t playing well to begin with and now it appears that he might not be the mentally toughest person. I’d be afraid of the other team getting in his head in a game and my qb paying the price. I could be completely wrong, but i’d find it hard to trust him with my qb’s health

    • ICDogg

      Martin would be one of the lowest risk acquisitions imaginable. His bonuses are already paid for the next couple of years so there is little to no financial risk, and his trade value is very low right now because Miami has no leverage.

      Add to that his physical abilities, good footwork, etc. and there is a high reward possible for this low risk.

      And if he does not seem to be tough enough, he can be cut with no consequence to the team, possibly before he ever plays.

      He should not, however be considered starter quality at this point in time. He just wasn’t that good when he started.

      • Tumtum

        The only problem with that is that there are teams that would be willing to let him start. He was a high pick and already a starter. I think of teams that could probably use him and the list is pretty long, including the Skins and Giants in the East.

        He just does not make sense here. Though I get the feeling this locker room is good for him.

        • ICDogg

          Want to toughen a guy up, do it the right way, make him earn his job.

          This might be a little bit like the Vick situation where the commish might want to engineer a situation to make sure he winds up in the right locker room. That might be here or somewhere else, most prominently mentioned are SF and Indy.

    • BreakinAnklez

      How else was he supposed to handle it! His coaches didn’t care, his OL mates wouldn’t back him? He had zero support from that organization which is pathetic.

  • eagleyankfan

    I’d be happy if you never say “Juan Castillo” ever again. That move was the beginning of a terrible end….

    • Media Mike

      I’d be happier to hear “Castillo” 100 times if we didn’t have to see additional fighting over Incognito vs. Martin.

    • Mitchell

      They intentionally didn’t kick it deep against Patterson in the Vikings game but look how that turned out. We definitely need a new kicker.

  • Tumtum

    **off topic**

    KC fans are coveting the heck out of Maclin. Jerks!