The Eagles and the Combine

Posted: February 23rd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 90 Comments »

The Scouting Combine really got going on Saturday. That’s when the OL and TEs hit the field to do drills and the athletic tests. Sunday is for WRs, RBs and QBs. Monday is DL/LBs. The DBs will close things out on Tuesday.

This is a very talented, very deep draft class. Tons of athleticism. Chip Kelly has to be drooling as he watches these prospects work out on the field.

For PE.com I wrote a column on understanding the Combine. This is a critical part of the scouting process, with “part” being the key word. Some dismiss this as the underwear olympics. Others think players are defined by how fast they run, how much they lift or how high they jump. Both of those extremes miss the mark.

The Eagles could be in the market for some young OL. Yesterday’s workouts showed a deep, athletic group of blockers. I won’t cover the high prospects because those guys will be long gone by pick 22. Let’s talk about some other guys who could be of interest.

Xavier Su’a-Filo is a very interesting guy. He played LT and OG for UCLA. Mike Mayock relayed a really good story. Coach David Shaw of Stanford recruited Su’a-Filo a few years back. At some point Shaw watched a pickup football game where Su’a-Filo played Safety. Granted, Su’a-Filo probably wasn’t as big back then, but that’s still pretty crazy. Shaw said Su’a-Filo backpedaled and looked good in coverage. He even picked off a pass. Does that sound like the kind of OL that Chip Kelly would like or what?

Su’a-Filo (6-4, 307) ran 5.04 in the 40. He tied for 3rd with a SS of 4.44. Su’a-Filo will play OG in the NFL (doesn’t have OT feet), but he could slide to OT during a game if needed. He is a versatile athlete.

Michael Schofield played RT for Michigan this year. He’s got a frame that Kelly will like at 6-6, 301. Schofield ran the 40 in 5.01, showing better speed than I would have anticipated. He’s not a top athlete, but he is an interesting mid-to-late round target.

Ja’Wuan James from Tennessee is an interesting OT prospect. He is 6-6, 311. He’s got 35-inch arms. Hands are 9 7/8. I thought he was impressive in the on-field drills. He looked especially good in the mirror drill. James looked like a natural pass blocker. He tied for 5th in the vertical jump and was 6th in the 3-cone drill. You’ve got a prospect with a good frame, long arms, athleticism and pass blocking skills. Could be a good mid-round player to take and develop.

Matt Patchan was the LT for Boston College in 2013. He began his career at Florida as a DL. He then moved to the OL. Injuries kept him from playing at all in 2012. Patchan measured in at 6-6, 302. He had a strong day of workouts. Patchan ran 4.97 in the 40 and then had the top VJ at 33.5 inches. He’s another guy with the background, size and athleticism Kelly should like.

We know Kelly likes LSU players. OG Trai Turner was impressive on Saturday. He measured in at 6-3, 310 with 34-inch arms. He then ran 4.93 in the 40. Turner is a pure OG and lacks the size that Kelly wants, but he could be an interesting prospect to draft and develop.

Some of you will scream about 40 time being meaningless for OL. The real key is the 10-yard split, but to my knowledge the NFL doesn’t make them publicly available so I can focus on them. And the Eagles do have a lot of OL who ran fast 40s. Even Allen Barbre, the backup LT, ran a fast 40 when he was at the Combine. Please understand that I’m not saying you simply look at the fastest OL and draft them. The guys have to be good blockers first and foremost. Speed is more than just a bonus trait, but it only matters if the prospect is a good blocker.

The TEs also worked out on Saturday. Eric Ebron is the big name. He measured in at 6-4, 250. I don’t know that he’ll last all the way to pick 22, but if he does, the Eagles could be interested. Ebron could be a special player. If you get the chance to draft someone like that, you have to be be really careful before passing on them. Ebron ran a 4.60, which is very good for his size. Unfortunately he didn’t do a full workout.

Former Oregon TE Colt Lyerla was up and down. He measured in at 6-4, 242. I expected him to be closer to 255. He only did 15 reps on the bench, not good for a TE. But he also ran 4.61, which is very good, and then had a VJ of 39 inches. That’s incredibly impressive for his size.

I’m not going to write about a bunch of TEs. The Eagles will take someone if it is the right guy, but I don’t think they’ll feel they must go get one.

_


  • Media Mike

    The important thing in the draft is that the first 21 picks need to be all OT, QB, RB, and/or any other position the Eagles don’t need at 22.

    All nonsense aside, the draft reporting on all of these guys is about to get interesting.

    I’m still of the mind that Haslem forces Cleveland to trade up to 1 from 4 to get Manziel because he’s still salty over “losing out” on RGKnee.

  • SteveH

    Sammy Watkins soooo impressive during the combine drills. Dude is going to be a superstar at the next level. Wish we could have had the #4 pick in this years draft as opposed to last year, we’d have a buffet of studs to choose from.

    • Media Mike

      I’m perfectly fine with Lane Johnson. Shutdown tackle is a rarer commodity than a great WR of appx. 6 feet tall.

      • SteveH

        I’m not sure Lane has earned the shutdown designation yet, but I’m not dissatisfied with him either. I just think this year’s talent is pretty exceptional at a lot of positions. Would be a good year to own multiple firsts. Congrats St. Louis.

        • Media Mike

          Yeah, I wouldn’t sneeze at two first rounders either, but I think the class of this draft is with it’s depth, rather than top end.

          • Anders

            Im really hoping we trade out of the first. Pick up another or two more 2nds

          • Bob Brewer

            I usually get annoyed at that, but I think I’ d be OK with trading out of round 1 this year.

            To me sometimes the Eagles got too cute trading back so frequently.

          • Anders

            I had no problems in 2007 and 2008. The first we got from the 2007 got traded for Jason Peters and we really missed nobody in 2008 (Anthony Spencer have had 1 good season in 5 years)

      • Jamie Parker

        With a great O-line, all your receivers can be great. Your QB and RBs too.

    • anon

      I agree — but lots of guys looked great draft is super deep at wide out and with our system i actually don’t think we need an AJ Green to make the offense go.

      While i have a Mike Evans man crush, there’s lots of guys that were over 6’2, that ran well and that can likely catch in space.

    • Cliff

      “buffet of studs”

      O.o

    • Anders

      I take OBJ over any other WR not named Watkins.

      • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

        While I love OBJ as much as anyone, Mike Evans and Jordan Matthews may want to have a word with you

  • Joe Minx

    Re: 10 yard splits

    Rotoworld has been posting them for a number of the players.

    http://www.rotoworld.com/playernews/cfb/nfl-draft-player-news/

  • anon

    dri archer 4.29 (unofficial)

    • Insomniac

      I see no reason why people would favor DAT over Dri now. Produced and tested way better than DAT. Take the man now and get it over with so our ST can stop suffering.

      • anon

        Dat is probably more of a bargain now.

        • OregonDucker

          Agreed. He may be too small for the NFL but Chip was always creative with him. He must be a bargain IMHO for the Eagles to take a chance.

        • Insomniac

          He’s almost like Damaris Johnson at this point. Shifty but can’ outrun everyone at the NFL level.

          • Mitchell

            With a 4.34, I’m pretty sure he can run outrun several people. Johnson only ran a 4.52 almost 2 tenths slower.

          • Insomniac

            I’m taking his official time which is 4.5s. DAT ran slower with proper form which is kind of hard to believe.

          • Mitchell

            I should have known better than to go off hand times especially at that distance. They shouldn’t even show the hand times at all.

          • Anders

            actually the official times are way off more than the hand times.

          • Andy124

            How are the “official” times measured?

          • hokieduck

            I still think something is fishy with DAT’s times. Obviously, I am a homer, but I watched the 40s. No way he only ran a 4.5.

            There has been no simulcam released of him and Dri Archer. Why is that? When I see Dri beat him by over 8 yds, then I will believe that he ran a 4.5 and Dri ran a 4.26.

      • A_T_G

        You mean other than the signage material it would give us to counter the “Who ‘dat?” signs next time we face the Saints in the playoffs, right?

      • Anders

        I take neither before the 5th.

        • Insomniac

          Dri in the 5th. DAT in the 7th. Yes I’m being biased.

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

            I’d probably be ok with either in the 5th. both are low-risk, high-ceiling at that point in the draft. Maybe both with each 5th? :)

  • OregonDucker

    DAT 4.34 with scrape (unofficial)

    • Insomniac

      He’s not worth a pick.

  • midnitemud

    A little note about yesterday’s combine (OL & TE)… In regards to Tommy talking about OL prospects the Eagles might be interested in, I was watching the combine last night on my DVR and noticed Jeff Stoutland talking with Seantrel Henderson shortly before he was about to run his 40. Stoutland comes up to him, they give each other a bro-hug, and they start talking before the camera changes views (pretty early in the recording, but don’t know exact time). Seems like maybe they know each other from Stoutland’s recruiting days. Either way, Henderson was a highly touted prospect coming out of HS, but injuries and off the field problems have hurt his pro prospects. He could be a mid to late round prospect now according to Mayock, but with 1st to 2nd round talent. Something to look at since it seems Stoutland may already have inside knowledge on the kid and where he is now (mentally/physically) heading into a possible pro career.

    • mksp

      Saw a tweet during senior bowl that he was off the eagles board. May have been a smoke screen.

      • D3FB

        Jimmy reported he was off the board due to an extremely poor interview.

      • A_T_G

        And maybe that is the benefit of “Stoutland may already have inside knowledge on the kid and where he is now (mentally/physically) heading into a possible pro career.”

        Maybe Jeff said he is a nice kid, but we don’t want him.

    • Maggie

      Could have just been saying “Hi”.

    • Anders

      The biggest problem with Henderson is he might only be a RT in the future as he has slow feet

    • Amber Jack

      He recruited him to Miami and coached him his first year there(2010). I would be ok if they drafted him in the third round to play right tackle when Peters leave and Lane moves to the left side

  • Weapon Y

    Id be surprised if the Eagles took a G or OT in the first round, but I’d be cool with it. Herremans, Peters, and Mathis aren’t young guys. It does make sense to acquire younger, cheaper options. I’d say keep an eye on rounds 3-5. I could definitely see them drafting a guy to develop behind Herremans or Peters since they will likely be the first to go.

    • OregonDucker

      I agree. We got nothing without blocking and we are an injury away from problems. IF G or OT is BMA then go for it and I’m sure Chip will.

      • Mac

        It’s encouraging to me to see that you share this sentiment. I am actually leaning toward using one of our top 2 picks on a good (hopefully very good) oline.

        • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

          I think some great players may drop, at OT in particular (I’m of the opinion some good G can be found later). It would be ideal, of course, if we could get one of these prospects in the 2nd or 3rd.

          A couple of 2nd day names that could start immediately:
          *morgan moses, T, uva
          *michael schofield, T, michigan
          *james hurst, T, north carolina
          *kevin graf, T, usc
          *anthony steen, G, alabama (stoutland boy!)
          *billy turner, T/G, north dakota state
          *joel bitonio, T/G, nevada
          *dakota dozier, G, furman

          • Mac

            Thanks for the tip on who to check out!

  • Mitchell

    I know we don’t need a running back but what if Andre Williams from Boston College goes low enough. Weighs 230 with 4.5 speed and is a good pass blocker. Fans have been clamoring for a larger back, here he is.

    • mksp

      no way. totally useless as a receiver. anti-versatile. would be shocked if he’s on our board at all.

      • Mitchell

        Key words in my post: Goes low enough, Good pass protector, Larger back.

        • Anders

          We already have Brown, Polk and Tucker as bigger backs. A RB needs to be special to be picked.

        • mksp

          As a UDFA? Sure. I just don’t think he fits our scheme. I could be wrong obviously. But a RB that isn’t a threat at all out of the backfield would unnecessarily limit your options on any given play.

        • Maggie

          How would he do converted to safety? Just asking. :~p

    • Iskar36

      Is RB really a position were we have no need for added competition though? I know that seems to be the common sentiment, but part of me feels we are still buying too much into the Brown hype off of last year. There are definitely bigger needs but is love for them to bring in some competition at the #2 RB this year. If we are truly going to be a running team, I think we need a solid #2 who can share some of the load and I’m not sure Brown was effective enough at doing that last year.

      • anon

        i’d like to see him work on running in zone blocking scheme during the offseason. like that he didn’t fumble, stopped putting everything outside, he’s just really raw.

  • disqus_jB7dl5fzvO

    Anyone know anything on Brandon Coleman? Size intrigues me, ran sub 4.6 today which is great for his size, but I don’t want another Momah.

    • Mitchell

      Speaking of Momah. Is there a general consensus he will never make it in the NFL. I remember he was a dud last off season but he is still on the practice squad correct? He came off an ACL and maybe needed more time?

      • D3FB

        He was on the street all year. He was resigned to a futures contract when the season ended. There is a chance the lightbulb goes on but he wasn’t practicing all season so the only chance for him to have really improved his football skills will be OTA’s and camp next year. I don’t think that will be enough time for him to show enough to be kept.

        • anon

          Yeah unless he got with someone during the offseason to teach him how to play i don’t see it. But it is clear what were’ looking for in a WR — i think we can get that in the draft this year.

  • Joe Minx

    This probably means nothing at all, but NFLN focused on Chip & Howie watching when Kelvin Benjamin was running his 40s.

    • A_T_G

      I agree, it probably means nothing. If the NFLN knows who we are interested in, we are doing it wrong.

  • GEAGLE

    Would love OBJ and either Jordan Mathews or Moncrief…if Landry falls to round 5, I’d take him too. Don’t care about his 40time

    • Mitchell

      Anders and I were talking about possibly taking OBJ early and then get another bigger receiver later on. Perhaps a Martavius Bryant later on.

      • Amber Jack

        I would love OBJ early and Bryant later.I also want DAT or Archer as well as Lyerla . I would like to go mostly offense in the draft and fill most defensive needs through free agency. Thats not to say I would ignore value be it offense or defense. In fact ifif the above scenario played out where we got OBJ in the second I would lobe to get pryor or fix with our 1st pick if they’re available. I also think we should trade Brown,Graham,and Curry..I think we could get 2 threes and a 4 for those three. Then you could address a few more defensive needs in the draft

  • mksp

    Its gonna be really weird when we trade Nick Foles to the Raiders and draft Johnny Football..

    From MMQB: “An executive of one team who met with Manziel over the weekend said, “Has there been one killer incident for him? If there is, we haven’t found it.” [Manziel and his agent, Erik Burkhardt, declined to discuss how many teams he met with this weekend or which they were, and the executive of the team I just referred to didn’t want to identify his team because it has an established quarterback and didn’t want to drum up controversy in that market. But it’s known from reports in various places that Manziel met with Houston, Jacksonville, Cleveland, Dallas, Tampa Bay and Philadelphia coaches and team officials, and very likely Oakland, this weekend before flying back to Texas late Sunday afternoon.”

    • Anders

      I do it if we get an RG3 like trade back from Foles.

      • anon

        Yeah we’d have to get Mike Evans as well. a 5’11 guy throwing to 5’9 receivers doesn’t work for me.

        Also Manziel doesn’t follow that “grip it and rip it CK mantra”. He’s more a run around and toss a hail mary type of guy.

    • eagleyankfan

      I’ll file it under zero chance of happening….

      • Mac

        It’s every bit as likely as the Dion Jordan trade. ;)

    • anon
    • Maggie

      Teams’ front offices just doing “due diligence”. They interview almost everybody at the Combine, maybe including the assistant trainers, to see who is a slob in their personal habits, maybe!

  • Insomniac

    Michael Sam looks really bad

    • anon

      Did you expect him to be more than people said he was prior to him coming out? The media is really a shame — they expect him coming out not to be a story but he’s the most covered guy behind clowney right now.

      The nets went out and signed Collins to a 10-day just to sell tickets / cover the fact that they’re playing terribly.

  • barneygoogle

    Every year writers tout the “can’t miss” 1st round superstars– and every year half of them fail. Way too much hype. A lot of really good players go later. Interesting that Chip Kelly is not saying very much. I wonder if his recruiting background has him eyeing some real sleepers…

    • Anders

      I think Boseko Lokombo from Oregon could be a potential late round steal. Kelly knows him and he is super athletic and got good size.

      • D3FB

        The problem with Lokombo is a lack of production. All the Oregon beat guys said he looked like a man amongst boys at practices but never really played like that in games. Maybe he was miscast as an OLB, but watching his tape something just doesn’t look quite right with him.

        • Anders

          yea that is why I have him as a late round steal in the 5th-6th round

  • Ben Hert

    A few weeks ago I was discussing with someone about how culpable Howie was for the Watkins/Jarrett picks, and I was convinced that he should have some share of blame for those busts. I’m here to say I was wrong. I was just reading Domo’s article with this quote from an unnamed Eagles personnel person:

    ‘”That whole draft was about need,” said a personnel executive who was with the team during that draft. “We didn’t have a guard on the depth chart, so we drafted a guard in the first round [Danny Watkins]. We didn’t have a safety, so we pushed the safeties up a round and took Jarrett.

    “We didn’t say, ‘OK, this isn’t a good safety group, so let’s pass and find a stopgap and get by.’ Every team has weaknesses. But [Reid decided] that we were going to take the next safety and go from there.”‘

    Seems to confirm that Reid was indeed responsible for those picks, and it really calls into question how responsible Roseman is/was for that draft. There is also another great quote that sets me at ease about the future for Howie as our GM:

    ‘”Zach is an example of who we are now,” said Eagles general manager Howie Roseman. “We go into a draft and obviously there are positions you’d like to fill. But you have to stick to what you believe in, and that’s taking the best player.”‘

    Love that line about Ertz. TE definitely was not a need for us this year with Casey, Harbor, and Celek, as the article mentioned. But they took him anyways, and he turned out to be a great pick. A lot of people try and argue against BPA by saying that you have to fill you’re holes at some point. But more often than not, by drafting for need you’re going to miss eventually, which happened to Reid, disastrously with his top 2 picks. Then you’re left with nothing instead of a great player at a position you might not need right now, but will in the future. I think if you look at the aggregate of teams that draft BPA vs, need, say 5 years or so, the BPA team is always going to come out on top. Good to know we are going to be one of those teams.

    • RobNE

      link?

    • ACViking

      The story may be right that the selections of Watkins and Jarrett were Reid’s call. (As an aside, many respected folks — including T-Lawlor — projected Watkins as a 1st Rd pick. Jarrett’s was a reach by all the way.)

      But, in drafts ’10-’11, Roseman called the shots on Rds 3-7 — an account that’s never been disputed by Roseman or Lurie or anyone else with Eagles connections.

    • Sifter

      Couple of things I’d mention…I think a team that still has holes to fill in the draft has failed in Free Agency as much as anything. Howie should have got a guard and safety of reasonable standard on the roster before that draft.

      Second thing, BPA vs need over time: BPA will win every time. Not necessarily because it’s ‘better’, but it comes back to my first point. Good teams with depth can afford to take BPA. They don’t need their rookies to perform so they can focus on needs 1-2 years in advance. Bad teams have to draft based on need to fill all their holes. They roll the dice that the rookies can be relied on straight away. As many rookies will sink as float, and drafting on need gets a bad name. The BPA guys who languish on the roster of a good team still often fail too, they just don’t get the same level of publicity about it, they are just permanently on the bench.

      • anon

        I think BPA has to be balanced with aggressiveness in FA. When you limp by in FA it makes it harder to just take talent that’s on the board. BPA is a good way to get tradeable talent / depth.

      • D3FB

        Howie couldn’t have gotten a guard before free agency that year. That was the year of the lockout and the draft was in April and FA in July.

        • Maggie

          Howie couldn’t have gotten a guard at all that year. Banner and Reid were both here then. Banner was Howie’s BOSS and Reid largely controlled the draft. Besides, Watkins was rated the top guard by MANY NFL people, not just the Eagles. You are trying to rewrite history. Sorry D3FB, meant to answer Sifter.

        • Sifter

          Ah! Of course, ignore that part then please! Will edit…

      • Maggie

        Howie does not scout everybody. The draft is only as good as the scouting and player personnel department. Perhaps that is why both were changed before last season?

    • laeagle

      Let’s also keep in mind that was the only draft in recent memory that happened BEFORE free agency. Still, that anomaly does a good job of proving why BPA is important.

  • T_S_O_P

    Tommy,

    Outside of his 40, John Urschel posted some pretty good test numbers and he ticks every character box going. Have you seen much of his play?

  • T_S_O_P

    Off topic:

    Mr Stripes, Harold Ramis has passed today. Like you, I love that film and many others of his work.

    • Maggie

      Great comedic director and writer. Second City, Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day, National Lampoon, etc. REAL, sometimes silly, comedy, NOT sneering hysterical snickering while watching someone bleed out.

    • Flyin

      “No, we’re not homosexual, but we are *willing to learn*.”

  • the midatlantic

    Amazing: “Banner had new Browns coordinators reporting directly to him”

    http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/eye-on-football/24455925/joe-banner-had-new-browns-coordinators-reporting-directly-to-him

    If Banner’s looking for work, I think there’s a need for strong leadership in Ukraine.

    • Dragon_Eagle

      I just saw that. Its incredible, in the sense that I find it difficult to believe. But if true, I hope he gets hired by Jerry Jones really soon. They would get on really well or not at all. Either way its a win-win.

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