Best Player Available

Posted: March 24th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 155 Comments »

One of the phrases you’ll hear over and over for the next 2 months is “Best Player Available”. Every team will tell you this is how they want to run their draft. The smart teams do stick to this philosophy. Others cave in and focus more on need. This can lead to some bad picks (Jaiquawn Jarrett for instance).

BPA sounds simple enough. Let’s take the best player. But I think many people are confused about how this actually works. Good NFL teams have a limited draft board. There won’t be 250 players with a wide range of grades. You are more likely to have 85 to 125 players ranked, with lots of similar grades.

I think many people imagine the BPA mentality means having to take the highest rated player and having literally no choice in the matter. No, not really. Generally speaking there will be players bunched together. When a team puts those players in order, need is factored in. If you have a RB and OLB with the same grade, there is no question who the Eagles will take. If the grades are similar, but the RB is a bit higher, the OLB will still be ranked above him. If the RB is clearly better, then he will be on top.

Teams refer to this as stacking the board. Here is an interesting explanation from Bill Belichick from the past.

Bill Belichick enters his 12th season in charge of the Patriots’ draft. Over the years, he’s detailed how the team executes its “stack”, with one of the most detailed explanations coming back in 2003.

There is the vertical stack and the horizontal stack.

“When you stack your board, you’re going to look vertically … The way we do it, we look vertically by positions. Here’s all the quarterbacks, here’s all the tight ends, here’s all the running backs,” Belichick said at the time.

“[Then] horizontally across the board, you try to get some kind of value of … This cornerback and this guard, and this linebacker and this tight end would have about the same value. They’d come in and they’d be role players for us. They’re never going to be starters. Or whatever their value is.

“And so when you’re sitting there trying to make your picks, you may be looking at three or four guys and they’re all kind of about the same. You’re five or six picks away and whichever one of these guys we end up with, we take them in this order, but we could live with any of them.”

But Belichick also detailed how sometimes there is one player who is far and away above the remaining players on the board. That could spark the team to seek a trade.

“Sometimes you’re sitting there and you have three or four guys in that category and you have one guy that you feel like is sitting up there and is significantly higher and you’re not saying, ‘Well, he’s just going to come in and be a role player and he’ll never be a starter.’ You’re saying, ‘Well, this guy could come in and he’s going to be a starter for us, now it might take a year and he has a little developing he has to do, but we feel like this guy can come in and he can be a starter for us.’ That’s when you sit there and think about, ‘All right, do we want to try to jump up and get this guy if we don’t think he’s going to fall to us and give up whatever we have to give up to move up and get him, or do we want to stay here and hope he’s on the board — he probably won’t be — and we’ll end up with one of these other guys.’

“It just comes down to draft management. Sometimes you try to trade up and get him, and [sometimes] nobody wants to trade with you and you sit there and let it come to you. That’s basically the process.”

I don’t know if this is the system the Eagles use, but it gives you some idea of how things work. Every team does things a bit differently, but the good ones have some similar principles involved.

I think one of the big issues with understanding the draft is that many people don’t understand how choosy teams are with putting together their boards. The Eagles, Niners, Pats, Seahawks, Packers and Broncos won’t have the same players on their boards. There might be a LB that one team covets and the others think is too dumb for their systems. Or maybe they rejected him for medical reasons. Or could be character reasons. Or maybe they just think he doesn’t fit schematically.

The Eagles love all the prospects who end up on their draft board. The same is true for the Pats and other good teams. They aren’t going to have a player listed that they have doubts about. Don’t worry that the Eagles will go BPA and be forced to choose someone they shouldn’t want. That won’t happen.

We see Mel Kiper and Mike Mayock’s “Best Remaining” lists during the draft. Fans wonder how teams can choose some guy from New Mexico State when an All-American from Georgia is right there and both Kiper/Mayock have him as the best available player in the 3rd round. Teams obviously had issues with that star player and he’s not on everyone’s board.

BPA is a smart philosophy when handled the right way. You need to pare down the pre-draft list of targets to players you truly want and think can succeed. When you do that and go BPA, you’re going to get a good prospect for your particular team.

* * * * *

The NFL owners meetings are taking place this week. That means a ton of trade rumors and denials involving the Eagles and DeSean Jackson. You’re going to hear just about everything.

No one on the outside knows exactly what is happening, but we’ll find out soon enough.

Don’t get your hopes up. This trade is going to be ugly, if the Eagles are able to pull it off.

_


  • Anders

    Great stuff. I really wonder how picky the Eagles regarding the size of the players. I mean are Dee Ford, Verrett and Joyner all deemed too small? We most likely wont know until after the draft

    • Neil

      Whenever someone brings this up, I always go back to the time when Chip Kelly said something along the lines of “you go small here, there and everywhere suddenly you’re going to get run over.” I took that to mean he’s OK with mixing in small guys who can play. I’m sure he’d love to have the biggest team, but he’d love to have the fastest, most skilled, most committed, etc., too. If we do pass on any of those guys who are a little smaller, I think it could just as likely be a comment about their speed, skill, commitment as it could be a comment about their size.

      • Anders

        I really got mixed fellings about that comment. I really think on defense he want basketball sized team (seriously look at the current Oregon DL all Kelly recruits), but he is okay with smaller players on offense (why else would we trade for Sproles and Kelly’s WRs and TEs where all smaller types)

        • Neil

          Yeah, size matters to him. I just don’t see any reason to believe that he will be the opposite of Reid, who was absolutely convinced size didn’t matter anywhere, on either side of the field. By all accounts, he likes Kendricks and was/is still considering playing Boykin outside.

          • Anders

            The Eagles played Roc Carmichael over Boykin on the outside last year. Really doubt they want him outside.
            Kendricks is a super freak of an athlete tho

          • Neil

            I think that had everything to do with not forcing Boykin to play two different positions and overloading him. They want him to be at the point where everything nickel back in the NFL is second nature to him before they even try to teach him outside. This is my impression from interviews with defensive coaches.

            True on Kendricks. If you’re gonna be lacking size you better make up for it in some other area.

  • barneygoogle

    On DeSean Jackson, let’s remember the team has been non-committal in public. That’s the right move. It is the MEDIA who have been collectively going bonkers over this. WE have no idea what the market for Jackson is. The Eagles could decide to keep him for a while, and make the decision at the draft, or in mini camp or even training camp. Only the media has set some deadline here. Remember a lot of the media hoping, then expecting, we draft Geno Smith? DeSean fever is going on right now.

    • JJ_Cake

      I hate reading the news that they would be willing to cut him if they can’t trade him. That is just sloppy “house cleaning”.

  • Mike Roman

    I can’t quite visualize how the board looks horizontally. I think Tommy should make his draft board for the Eagles. As if Popeye’s chicken doesn’t make the draft fun enough, I can only imagine how awesome it would be keeping track on Tommy’s big board.

    • A_T_G

      I think seeing an actual draft board by an expert, like Tommy, and following it during the draft would be fun too.

      For the horizontal stacking, I am picturing horizontal stripes running across the board, with labels, top to bottom, like Pro Bowler, star, starter, rotational, situational, backup, camp body, funny name/better than forfeiting.

      Within each position, players are ranked best to worse, then spread out vertically into the appropriate band. That way, the team can say, “Well, Pro Bowlers and stars are gone, but we have a OT, TE, and S that we think are starter quality. Let’s ignore them all and take Casey Mathews instead.”

      • Mike Roman

        LMAO @ Casey Matthews.

        Ok, I see what you’re saying about the stacking. Probably something very similar to what most of us do for fantasy drafts. :)

  • Weapon Y

    I hate that the Eagles will have an extra need at wide receiver they absolutely will have to address (unless you’re fine with Maclin, Cooper, and Damaris Johnson as your top 3 WRs, yikes!). This will hurt the defense, especially if the Eagles get peanuts for DJax.

    • Anders

      top 5 pass catching targets will be Sproles, Maclin, Cooper, Ertz and McCoy.
      I think people forget we most likely will play more 2 TE and have upgraded over Jason Avant

      • Weapon Y

        Still need someone who can get open on the outside. A Spread offense requires a deep ball threat to vertically stretch the field. The Eagles don’t have that guy if DJax is gone.

        • Ben Hert

          They don’t have one as fast as DJax but Maclin can still accomplish that.

        • Anders

          Cooper averaged more per catch last than Jackson. Cooper was actually used more on vertical routes as well.
          Maclin also has good deep speed.

          • Weapon Y

            Maclin’s speed is nowhere near DJax’s, especially considering Mac is still rehabbing his injury from last year. DJax is so under appreciated by fans. You can count on one hand skill guys who have DJax’s break away speed. Defenses dont give corners a safety over the top for Cooper. They do for DJax.

          • Anders

            I would much rather keep Jackson, but remember all Jackson really have is speed and you do not need elite speed to be effective WR. Look at the Colts or Broncos offense with Peyton Manning.
            None of those teams had any WR close to Jackson’s speed, yet it is an offense based on 3 WR sets and 4 the main routes combination is 4 verticals.

          • Neil

            How do all the other teams without Jackson pass the ball deep?

          • D3FB

            MAGIC!!!

          • eagleyankfan

            IMHO — nobody under appreciates DJ. I think some of us are not over valuing him. It sounds like you’re saying the Eagles can’t win without DJ. I don’t think that’s the case. I like DJ and I wish his head was screwed on a bit better BUT this teams success does not fall on DJ’s shoulders.

          • Weapon Y

            They can’t win without a receiver who prevents defenses from always stacking the box. Defenses can just key in on Shady unless the Eagles, by some miracle, get a receiver who demands safety help.

          • Anders

            Because Maclin does not? Also no team is ever going to play man free against a 2 TE or 3 WR set, 1 broken tackle and McCoy is in the endzone

        • austinfan

          Why? If you don’t want the QB to hold the ball nobody gets deep, so a “deep threat” becomes any receiver who can get a step on a CB left on an island – and a bigger WR doesn’t need as much separation.

          This idea of the fast WR opening it up is not part of a spread, it’s a traditional “I” formation 2 WR strategy, keeping the safeties honest and using play action to burn them. Chip doesn’t even have play action in his book, since every zone option play has a play action element baked into it – but it’s not a hold and go long option, it’s a bang bang hit the open guy option.

      • BobSmith77

        Already played with a lot more 2 TE sets in the 2nd half of this season vs 3 WR sets.

        • Anders

          yea, I think Ertz and Maclin is gonna go past 1k yards and 10 TDs

  • A_T_G

    Barkley seems like an example of the Eagles implementing their BPA approach. First, he was likely ranked on par with Logan, but the Eagles selected Logan because of weighing the position. We then traded up to select him because we felt he was significantly better than the other players available at that time, and that he wouldn’t last.

    • Baloophi

      So… we should try Barkley at nose tackle?

      • D3FB

        Safety. All those years playing QB will definitely transfer.

        • Baloophi

          Ha! I just read Mike Sielski’s meandering article about why he thinks DeSean Jackson is on the block and he wound around to Seattle’s CB’s being former WR’s, and therefore able to predict routes. Hmm.

          http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/eagles/20140324_DeSean_no_longer_fit_mold_for_Eagles_receiver.html

          He also makes the “bigger people” argument for why Chip would want to get rid of DeSean, but Jimmy Kempski wrote an article today noting that Kelly’s offensive weapons at Oregon were never physically imposing.

          http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/red_zone/Eagles-notes-Birds-decided-to-move-on-from-DeSean-Jackson-over-a-month-ago.html

          • Stevo

            Yeah, I don’t really buy the whole scheme fit argument. If so, Riley Cooper would have put up bigger numbers than DeSean and DeSean wouldn’t have gone to the Pro Bowl. It must be a character / relationship with Kelly issue. Those reports about who called whom (back) were really annoying to read, but probably more at the heart of what’s going on.

          • Baloophi

            Yeah. “Scheme fit” in and of itself is probably over-valued by media and fans in general. I’m sure Chip Kelly wants every player to be a perfect “scheme fit” for his imaginary perfect offense, but his genius is in adapting his offense to what he has, and from a pure football player perspective, Jackson is fast and scores points, which undoubtedly trumps “scheme fit” for Kelly. Remember, he’s an equal-opportunity scorer.

            Therefore – and to your point – whatever the issue is with Jackson must be an off-field, chemistry thing… not like, Walter White meth lab “off field, chemistry”, but his overall approach to the game. It’s unlikely we’ll ever get the real story of what’s going on, but it has to be a long-term issue that Kelly feels outweighs on-field performance.

          • A_T_G

            Although running a meth lab out of a RV in the desert would probably put him on the outs.

          • austinfan

            Thomas is not a WR, he was used as a scatback, similar to the way Chip will use Sproles in 2014.
            Otherwise, they’re all over 6’0, but only Huff runs faster than 4.50.

  • austinfan

    You actually need two boards, one for the players you want, and one for all players, so you have a sense where the players you want will probably be drafted (this needs to be adjusted throughout the draft) so you know when to move up or down and when to stay put.

    Except for a half dozen ultra talents, most players’ value depends on the team, Eagles might consider Donald a 2nd rd talent because he’d be a part-time player for them, even though he’d be a star at a “3” for a 4-3 team. It’s not whether he’s talented, it’s that he can’t start in a base 3-4.

    Because different teams value different players, you see some teams “reach” while other players plummet, sometimes teams truly reach (Jarrett), other times they simply have a higher value on a player (which raises the issue of the “winner’s curse,” that may merely mean they’re overly optimistic). If a lot of teams emphasize arm strength over smarts, Barkley can be a 2nd round value for the Eagles (eventual starter) but a 5th rd value for most teams. If a lot of teams emphasize speed in WRs, guys Chip might consider 3rd rd picks may go in the 1st rd (if he values size, blocking and hands over speed).

    BPA will not correspond to the media because Howie and Chip don’t care what players did in college, or if they’re great athletes, they care about how the player will develop as an Eagle in Chip’s schemes – and that’s one reason why continuity is so important for a successful franchise – no point drafting a developmental player for a scheme you’re gonna change in two years. And a coach how has the luxury of the long view can take players with higher upsides over more polished, NFL ready players. One trick that aids the Eagle are player friendly schemes and a “teaching staff,” this allows them to take good athletes who need to be coached up, as long as they have “football IQ” and “work ethic,” since the best coaches can’t do much with stupid or lazy players.

    • Anders

      A player like Donals is most likely not on their board at all if he isnt a scheme fit.

      • austinfan

        He’d be a great fit as a situational pass rusher, like Bennett in Seattle, and he has the intangibles that Chip loves. So they’d have him on the board but lower than most teams – but sometimes shit happens and players drop unexpectedly. So you still want him on your board if you think he has real value to you in the middle of the second round.

        • Anders

          Consider we run a two gap system and we want 6’4+ guys on the DL (or very long arms). There is no way he is on your board. Same with a guy like Demarcus Joyner, wont be on the board.

    • Baloophi

      The other boards we see when allowed camera access to war rooms are depth charts for every other team. I assume this helps project which players might slide as the draft progresses as well as trading options (for anything that wasn’t discussed prior to the draft).

      Which – in and of itself – is interesting in that you have to determine if team X is more likely to go “best player available” or more likely to draft for need.

      • FairOaks

        The Cowboys give so much TV access that people have been able to piece together their draft board some years… for example, their 2013 board was documented at:

        http://www.bloggingtheboys.com/2013/5/30/4378574/dallas-cowboys-2013-draft-board-leaked-almost-complete-7-round-board

        The axes are flipped relative to what Tommy was talking about — the positions are down the left, and the grades are across the top — but it seems like the same idea.

      • D3FB

        The pro personel scouts give the GM a master list of all 31 other teams needs to use as a guide when trying to project where things are going in real time.

        • Baloophi

          THAT would be a sweet email leak…

          • D3FB

            Somebody get Anonymous on the phone…

  • mksp

    Prediction:

    DeSean will be traded before Wednesday. When asked why he traded his talented, star WR for a 4th round pick at his media session, Chip will respond “You’ll have to ask DeSean.”

    • BobSmith77

      Even more I am interested in why now and not earlier this offseason. If they really want to move on, it should have been arguably the biggest priority this offseason. Get what you can, patch it with a temporary FA solution, and draft as necessary in the first 3 rounds for good value at WR.

      You can argue the Eagles did try to do immediately move on by promptly resigning Cooper & Maclin and eventually trading for Sproles but it still leaves the issue of why Jackson is still here.

      Eagles can spin it any way they like and they are already at work it seems:

      http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/eagles/20140324_DeSean_no_longer_fit_mold_for_Eagles_receiver.html

      Releasing Jackson outright would be a simple and glaring ‘F’ and not getting any value in return for a Pro-Bowl caliber WR would be one of the worst moves by an Eagles GM of the past 25 years.

      • Tumtum

        They might publicly say something along those line, though the author there, took that upon himself to make inferences. Say it as a means of spinning all you want but I hope to the football gods they don’t really feel that way. It is quite possibly one of the dumbest things I have ever heard.

        Sure Desean might not fit the “mold” of a Chip Kelly WR, but you make exceptions for special talent. Chip knows that. While this author infers that people in “the know” think that this type of WR is on the way out, I infer that he is pretty simple.

        T.Y Hilton, Victor Cruz, Antonio Brown, and Steve Smith (oh and Desean) all think this guy is a nut job.

  • bubqr

    I honestly can’t believe how many people are now switching their stance to “It’s OK, we don’t need Desean anyway, we got lots of weapons and the Draft is loaded”. Worst of all being this article: http://www.csnphilly.com/football-philadelphia-eagles/6-reasons-eagles-should-trade-desean-jackson

    Honestly, people can’t remember going through 2001-2009 (more or less, and minus TO)?
    We’ve waited years for a good WR. Desean is one. So once again, unless some more information leaks out about some bad stuff he has done that we don’t know about, I still maintain that this is completely stupid, and insane. Chip was good year 1, Chip clearly has a plan, yes, and I was a Chip homer from Day 1, but people are giving him too much of a pass for that.

    I am still baffled that our plan is to rely on an average WR2 coming back from injury and a backup that just had a career 8 games playing opposite Desean at WR. Could it work? Of course. Does it make it a good plan? Hell no. No way. None.

    • eagleyankfan

      Maybe people are being open minded about he idea. Maybe they are coming to grips that it’s possible their favorite player might be leaving the team. In the long run – how do you know it’s not a good plan? DJ is no where near the talent of TO. Not even close.

      • Tumtum

        I gave this and the OP a thumbs up. Why? I am as confused as a 5 yr old whos parents are getting a divorce.

        Think about the children!!!!

      • bubqr

        Did I say he was? No. But anyone who endured those years without a decent #1 WR could not, in their own mind, want DeSean’s departure. Especially with the information we have at the moment. I am still very pissed, and I don’t like Desean that much.

        • eagleyankfan

          If you use TO in your comparison, you’re implying it. With DJ on the team, we’re still without a decent #1. Take a look from the outside of this whole DJ thing. One has to imagine it has nothing to do with this talent/potential. So we can stop questioning/stating how good he is. I have yet to read one response that says “DJ stinks”. You can be pissed — but there has to be a reason. Let it run it’s course. Then get pissed if you don’t like the reasoning….

    • BobSmith77

      A lot of Eagles’ fans have apparently reached the ‘Acceptance’ stage of the Kubler-Ross model.

    • shah8

      Sour grapes, is all.

    • austinfan

      Yeah, we scored 25 ppg every year, got to 4 NFCCGs and a false start away from a 5th, and got to the SB without TO in the playoffs.

      I sure hope we never see days like that again!

      • bubqr

        Oh yeah, afan, our defense sure is at least as good as it was during those early 2000 years with Jim Johnson. And the NFC is not more competitive than it was then at all.
        It makes me sad to see a long time fan and TATEr like yourself with such an argument.

  • CrackSammich

    I’m just remembering last offseason when it became a forgone conclusion that Maclin would be traded, and collectively, we all talked ourselves into thinking we’d be better off without. Now it’s a forgone conclusion that Jackson will be traded, and collectively, we all talked ourselves into thinking we’d be better off without.

    Slow news days (months) are the worst.

    • Anders

      Who are saying we are better off without him?

  • Finlay Jones

    Can’t believe you wrote about BPA
    and rankings, and neglected to mention Dallas not drafting the DL guy they had
    miles above where they picked.

    • Tumtum

      As an example of not using it?

      • Finlay Jones

        yes, an example of a
        bad team not sticking to bpa/their board.

  • Tumtum

    Here is too hoping they don’t find a trade and he doesn’t get cut.

  • Iskar36

    I think this draft will be fairly telling in terms of Howie’s ability to separate BPA and need in the draft. Especially if we trade DeSean, we will have significant holes at both OLB and WR. Will HR stick to getting the best players possible or will he slightly reach for a player to fill those needs? At WR, it seems there should be plenty of options throughout the draft, but at OLB, the options are a lot more limited, and especially depending on their views on Cole as well as getting a quality backup, finding an OLB that falls to our pick may become very challenging.

  • GermanEagle

    If you have an OLB and a WR with the same grade, there is no question who the Eagles will take. If the grades are similar, but the OLB is a bit higher, the WR will still be ranked above him. If the OLB is clearly better, then he will be on top.

    Following the ugly DeSean trade/cut you will have to adjust your draft example to the one mentioned above..

    • austinfan

      Chip has said he wants his QB to get the ball out of his hand in 2.5 seconds. Even the fastest WR can only run 20 yards in that time in shorts at the combine, so think about him in pads with a CB trying to get in his way.

      In that case, speed for outside receivers is overrated, and what Chip will want is size, quickness, route running and hands, big targets that can get open quickly (not high cut guys who take time to get up to speed), hands to make catches in crowds (with an accurate WR), run blocking.

      These guys may well be available in the 3rd to 5th rounds.

      On the other hand, Chip also likes quick/fast scatbacks and slot receivers, these guys can be shorter but must be elusive and able to break arm tackles (Sproles is a good example what to look for), so he can move them around, get them the ball in space and let them create.

      Again, these guys are often available in the middle rounds.

      So don’t assume if DeSean is traded that Chip will feel any pressure to use a high draft pick on a WR – they’ll go BPA.

      • GermanEagle

        - they’ll go BPA.

        That’s what I said.

      • Mac

        size + functional speed > rare speed

  • livingonapear

    It’s important to recognize that McShay and kiper are not there to set teams draft boards; thief job is to sell the draft by gushing over raw talent and giving fans enough names to recognize so that the fans will tune in on at least day one. All the lists and mock drafts are just there to get a handful of names on people’s lips, so that they can pound the table and get excited. That’s all.

    BPA means best player given our system and our strengths. When you say a smart team goes BPA, it simply means that they trust their scouting department and process.

  • Stevo

    I’m always curious how different teams grade/stack their board. When the Cowboys board got leaked last year, it looked like they just place the players by position into the round that they should fall in with no additional ordering (perhaps, they kept another ranking separately).

    http://slumz.boxden.com/f16/dallas-cowboys-2013-draft-board-leaked-1932723/

    The book Patriot Reign had some info on the Patriots’ number/letter system, which I thought was really interesting.

    http://www.footballsfuture.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=301992

    • ICDogg

      good stuff. Thanks. I love stuff like this.

      There was once, many years ago, an article in the magazine that came with the Sunday Inquirer, where Peterson and Vermeil’s system was explained in quite a bit of detail. I wish I could find it.

    • FairOaks

      If you look further down in the original article, they have the relative ranking for each player through five rounds. So that was a separate “board” which was also decipherable from the TV, though they mentioned that rounds 6 and 7 were covered during the broadcast, which is why they only reproduced five rounds.

      • Stevo

        Ah, good call.

        • A_T_G

          Wow, it has been a while since I saw black and white stripes and “good call” that close together.

          Even then, it involved soap-on-a-rope in an old prison movie.

  • Mike Roman

    Regardless of what happens with DeSean or the draft, I think Chip has big plans for Maclin this season. The fact that the Eagles wanted to sign Maclin to a long term deal, and the fact that Maclin wants the one year prove-it deal tells me that both sides are very confident in his health. All the talk last year was how Maclin was a perfect fit for Kelly’s offense. I think people forget that Maclin does have top end speed, albeit not quite as fast as Jackson. 4.45 isn’t anything to thumb your nose at. People also forget that Maclin fell in the draft even though many thought he could go in that 10-12 range. I think he can be a Pro Bowl calibur player in this system.

    • Neil

      Maclin is also much shiftier in space. In college he was great on WR screens.

      • GermanEagle

        As long as he’s not tackling himself…

        • Neil

          I feel you.

    • eagleyankfan

      I’m hoping he has big plans for the defense.

  • ICDogg

    I’m starting to get to the conclusion that Chip wants mostly big receivers, so Foles can float rainbows to them out of the reach of defenders.

  • GermanEagle

    Tommy
    Speaking of ‘ugly':
    What would be worse, cutting DeSean or signing Mark Sanchez (besides Megan Fox on a bad hair day)?!

    • Iskar36

      I’d actually have no issue with us signing Mark Sanchez. I don’t think he is starting caliber QB, and ideally, you want a guy who can push your starter, but I do think Sanchez would be capable of pushing Barkley. And if they really do believe in Barkley, the expectation is that Barkley will beat out Sanchez and push him to our 3rd string QB. You can do a lot worse than Sanchez as your 3rd string QB.

      I also don’t think it makes a ton of sense to go after a rookie, at least not in the context of hoping he competes for the #2 spot. If you believe in Barkley, you are wasting a pick (and likely an early one) to have a rookie QB compete for the #2 spot. With signing Sanchez, you can take a flyer on a later round QB with the logic of developing him long term, but you don’t have to put the added pressure of having a huge questionmark at backup QB.

      • shah8

        **quiet chortling**

        • shah8

          Mark Sanchez will get a better job than he will here.

          Seriously, nobody seriously thinks that Sanchez will “push” Barkley. Sanchez would eclipse him.

          A bad starting QB is always better than “not a starting qb”, and I certainly think Sanchez is better than Foles right now…

          • Neil

            **loud chortling**

          • shah8

            Laugh as you will, but Sanchez has a better arm and makes tougher passes, i.e., he can run a real offense, if not well. Sanchez’ problems are slightly similar to Delhomme’s problems.

          • Neil
          • Neil

            He makes real throws all right.

            (Into quadruple coverage).

          • A_T_G

            It is sometimes not quite completely transparent as to what you are saying with all of the qualifiers that you add. For example, slightly similar. That would seem to mean mostly different, but then why would it even be worth mentioning?

            Or, this morning I read “not exactly consistently very accurate,” or something close. That could be read as very accurate, and very consistent, but not quite perfect. Or it could be read as not accurate, with a bunch of outs in case someone disagrees.

            I like reading your comments, even if I rarely agree, but that trait makes them frustrating.

          • shah8

            Sanchez does not have on field common sense, or enough of it to be very good at it. And he likes to pull triggers on iffy potential plays, when a) he doesn’t have the arm to power through triple and quadruple coverage and b) doesn’t seem to realize that if there’s quad coverage here, then someone else is very, very, open. Much like Jake Delhomme who would try to fire toward Steve Smith so much of the time–and it worked for as long as Steve Smith was at his hyperbolic peak. Just like Sanchez worked, sorta, for as long as he has a run game and a good OL.

            Remember, this guy has a 4-2 playoff record over two seasons. That’s not really possible for QB with little talent, no matter how he’s carried by the other units of the team. Sanchez did carry some of the load in his early playoff runs, in a way that Foles, for example, didn’t against NO.

          • shah8

            When Logan Thomas is in “on” mode, he can, in fact, resemble a QB prospect. When Logan Thomas is in “off” mode, his accuracy is totally shot. Even when he’s on, it’s not always perfectly placed.

            I also wrote that predawn, before I finally went to bed. When I’m sleepy, I don’t always make sense.

          • A_T_G

            Fair enough, I’ve done the same.

          • Neil

            http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/3027159/quadcoverage_medium.gif

            Truly exquisite velocity and trajectory. I wish Foles could make this throw.

          • Neil

            http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/1783221/stillbetterthancassel_medium.gif

            If only the eagles had a QB with this athleticism.

          • austinfan

            Let’s see, credibility dropping into toilet.
            Flush.

          • shah8

            Feel better now?

    • A_T_G

      I guess that would depend on how many fingers are used to sign Mark Sanchez (as well as what Ms. Fox was doing to mess up her hair).

  • shah8

    Say, isn’t that a hunk of a fireman right there?! Damn, I bet he could play football! Let’s put him in a OG and see what he does…

  • Joseph Dubyk

    I guess the biggest question of the off-season is what the flying mother f-ing F did DJax do to make the Eagles want to trade him for a bag of potatoe chips or straight up cut him?

    • Iskar36

      Anything less than causing a MAJOR disruption in the locker room, this is a bad job by the Eagles FO. If it turns out that the Eagles got annoyed with Jackson for his desire for more money, his interests in things beyond football (assuming they are legal… and assuming otherwise is unfair to DJax), and his prima donna attitude, this is a huge mistake by the Eagles. Those qualities are annoying, but they shouldn’t be so annoying that they are impossible to overcome, especially considering that the alternative of trading him for next to nothing hurts the team next year.

      • anon

        Someone said the Eagles probably thought they could get Percy Harvin like value for DJax, and just replace him in the draft. I gotta think that that’s it — otherwise it doesn’t make much sense, especially now.

    • A_T_G

      Oh, that’s easy.

      DJax, in an effort to increase his income, had Jaccpot acquire the license to the name “Helmet 2 Helmet.” When the label then tried to threaten legal action, or illegal action, if Tommy and Jimmy didn’t agree to pay the exorbitant fee of a 40 of PBR (and sign an agreement to refer to positive things in the Eagles organization as “diamonds on Laurie’s neck”) for each show published using the name, things quickly spiraled out of control.

      Jimmy, melancholy at the inability to record shows and unable to bring himself to consider changing the numeral to the actual word “to” in the title, launched a smear campaign against DJax.

      Meanwhile, in California, Tommy had made his way across the country by selling off his vintage VHS collection of old games. Mistakenly thinking that a license to the title was similar to a license to drive, broke into Jackson’s home looking to take ownership of said license.

      • A_T_G

        (Discus disgust)

        The culmination came when Chip and Howie were sitting in the war room, scouring the Internet. “Where are the H2H shows?!” “I don’t know, how are we going to know who to draft?!” “I don’t know, I guess I could read this stuff of Scout Notebook, but everything has a green tint from my visor, it gives me a headache.” At that moment an envelope arrives containing a copy of the license, and a printout of a few Instagram photos. The letter has a Cleveland postmark.

        • Maggie

          Are you SURE you’re not RC?

    • Maggie

      He whined?

  • RC5000

    Eagles expected to sign Sanchez pending physical per Mort on Espn.

    • shah8

      /me mind boggles…

    • ICDogg
      • Neil

        He’s trying to slide behind the line of scrimmage :|

      • ChaosOnion

        Best takeaway from this GIF? Wilfork is a fucking monster.

        • ICDogg

          Trade Desean for him. At least it might be worthwhile.

      • BobSmith77

        Boom! Headshot!

    • anon

      Didn’t MB also have shoulder issues when we took him? WTF?

  • RobNE

    I’ve got zero interest in Sanchez.

    • A_T_G

      That’s okay, I think he’s married.

      • shah8

        To Rex? I don’t think the divorce papers have come through, yet.

    • shah8

      I did not expect Sanchez to have an interest playing here, though. Weird psuedo-trade pair of free agent signings.

      • shah8

        This is not to say I’m not happy with the signing. Sanchez will do fine as a bailout QB in the event something happens to Foles.

  • GermanEagle

    This off season has really made a 180 degrees turn for the Eagles. First DeGone and now a QG model to the Eagles as the backup QB.

    I am about to delete ‘benefit of doubt’ from my Philly vocabulary.

    • Bob Brewer

      I’ll put it this way, my faith is being tested.

      • GermanEagle

        Well played, sir.

  • shah8

    Heh, if Sanchez signs here, then Cleveland’s FA choice is made for them. Freeman!

  • GermanEagle

    Whoever thinks that Sanchez is a better backup QB than Vick should be given a free ticket with an Malaysian airline.

    • RC5000

      Vick has a better shot with the Jets. He preferred the Jets over the situation here. He’s not getting any younger.

      • shah8

        However, the logic really should have been as true with Sanchez despite his relative youth, in the sense that he could maybe get one more big payday with a year of good play.

        • anon

          If you’re a team that needs a QB you can’t bring a butt fumble to your franchise, the headline risk is too great for any FO.

          • shah8

            The Browns have Brian fucking Hoyer as their sole QB. The third stringer who never should have seen action, but for the love of Mike Lombardi. As I figure things, the Browns will not get a reasonable QB (Bridgewater, Bortles) at their draft position. They are not in a position to be picky about veteran FA QBs.

            Teams can and will bring the butt fumble. It’s just one bad moment for Sanchez. Funny for us, but it’s just funny for us, not some horrific disqualifying event!

          • anon

            leading the league 2 straight years in TOs should be. Hoyer was winning games before the acl.

    • Maggie

      He is 5 or 6 years younger and has been to the playoffs twice.

      • GermanEagle

        I start to wonder if Maggie is actually Howie. It would rhyme though…

  • shah8

    profootballtalk did have one news item about a coach who couldn’t wait to get his hands on Sanchez, so I have been wondering if Kelly isn’t…enthusiastic about Sanchez.

    There has been a later report that Jeff Fisher also is interested in Sanchez…

  • BobSmith77
    • Baloophi

      Of course they could reverse it for the Jets:

      Jets Add Veteran Lockup.

  • BobSmith77
  • Mac

    I guess the national guys were right. Chip needs a mobile quarterback.

  • ACViking

    Re: Barkley v. Sanchez

    At their respective Combines, Sanchez and Barkley both measured:
    6’2″ 227lbs.

    Barkley:
    http://www.nfl.com/combine/profiles/matt-barkley?id=2539308
    Sanchez:
    http://www.nfl.com/combine/profiles/mark-sanchez?id=79858
    ** Here’s Nick Foles’s Combine Profile: http://www.nfl.com/combine/profiles/nick-foles?id=2532842

    Hand-size: Barkley 10.125; Sanchez 10.25.

    Arm-length: Barkley 30.625; Sanchez 33.5.

    40 time: Barkley’s Pro Day times (not electronic) 4.93 and 5.02; Sanchez ran an e-time of 4.88 at the Combine.

    As for arm strength, I’m assuming that Sanchez — if he joined the Eagles — would have the best arm among the three QBs.

    Decision-making?

    Maybe the theory at NovaCare is all the Eagles’ receivers will be wide open so, no matter where Sanchez throws, he’ll have an open receiver.

    Except deep . . . maybe.

    • BobSmith77

      So both are evenly matched physically except Sanchez & he’ll be able to able to keep Barkley at bay in camp with his right jab?

  • Insomniac

    My newest theory on the Djax soap opera, Momah has turned into Megatron and will replace Djax as our deep threat. Damaris Johnson has reportedly been watching film on Wes Welker and will make great strides as a slot receiver this year.

    In other news, Kempski’s home now a target of tee-peeing, loud rap music from the artist Jacpott, and flashes of “gang signs”.

    No seriously, reading that Mark Sanchez rumor is probably the tipping point for me. What the hell Howie?

    • Mitchell

      Momah will work out. Give it time.

  • SteveH

    We’re signing Mark Sanchez? I must be a masochist for actually checking Eagles news daily.

    • Ark87

      We won’t sign him until the day we release DJax…..and I’m hoping that’s 04/01/2014…

  • Mitchell

    GIVE ME DA SANCHEZ!!!!!!! I don’t understand why this perturbs so many fans. He’s going to come into camp as a 3rd string qb with starting and playoff experience. We all know Rex isn’t an offensive genius and he didn’t exactly have weapons in NY. Give Kelly a chance with him. Kelly may turn him into something real nice which we can trade to another team a la cob. It’s ok team, I know DeSean is tearing you up but we still haven’t heard the whole story!!!

    • anon

      Never tossed above 50% even with a heavy run game. Not a gym rat. Not a student of the game and is crazy turnover prone which i feel like it’s CK’s #1 pet peeve (and exactly what people hate about MV and MB). All that said, maybe there’s no one else out there…

      • ACViking

        A —

        I think you meant 60%.

      • Baloophi

        “All that said, maybe there’s no one else out there…”

        I feel that way all the time. Wait, were you just talking about backup QB’s? Disregard…

      • shah8

        Eh, I think you need to keep it in perspective. He’s an actual NFL starter, who isn’t that old, and isn’t that bad who wants to be your backup. He might be a worse starter than Tarvaris Jackson, but still a starting QB caliber player with an actual starting QB caliber arm. It could actually be worse. You could have Graham Harrell or Derek Anderson as your backup QBs. One thing that will quite amuse me will be when the certain set of Carolina Panthers fanbase realizes that Joe Webb probably will be the primary backup and not Anderson. As in nobody in their right minds would pick Derek Anderson to save their asses if an injury to Cam should happen.

      • Mitchell

        Don’t you think some of his overall crappiness, as listed above, is the absence of any real offensive talent, save Santonio Holmes? In regards to Barkley, his criticism is also a bit unwarranted: rookie in his first couple starts, behind in score with no other options but to throw it. The game hasn’t slowed down for him. It’s really not fair to say Barkley is turnover prone without more of a sample size. However, Mike Vick IS turnover prone. We’ve seen that year in and year out. If Barkley has another couple showings like he had last year the same may moniker may be applied to him.

        • shah8

          Putting aside the usual claim of “Mike Vick is XX”…

          You examine the *reasons* why someone is turnover prone. Matt Barkley has a much more sound understanding of how to play QB than Nick Foles does. So he moves the ball pretty well. Unfortunately, a) He was kind of like a rookie, and playing with fire like he’s some vet was going to burn him. b) He doesn’t have the arm strength to actually play as a starting QB, and it showed up when he approaches the end zone.

          Unless Barkley shows up in training camp in a few months, throwing much better, his career in general will probably be in serious trouble, and he certainly will not ever be given a chance at starting QB after this year. Barkley has no more shot at supplanting Mark Sanchez than Derek Anderson has at keeping his current gig.

          • Mitchell

            Semi-unrelated question: what will it take for you to say “Foles is good?” You don’t seem as down on him as you used to but…..

          • shah8

            I’ve gone over that alot…

            lessee if I can say it quick (turns out no)

            1) Easiest to see, he is not very fast or agile, and he is below the athleticism needed to survive as NFL starting QB (cannot protect himself from dangerous situations wrt injury).

            2) He does not make very many different throws, and it seems like he can’t do some of them. I.E., if the ball is thrown towards the sidelines, more than about ten yards downfield, if he doesn’t loft the ball, he’s not very accurate. Does not attempt to catch a slant route among others, and only rarely busts zone coverage deeper (if he doesn’t have a set play).

            3) In general, he is very much not comfortable when he has to judge risk. That has meant that he doesn’t pull the trigger (or pulls late) on a lot of passes that he needed to make. It is not obvious to me that he really understands the coverage beyond what the offensive plays manipulates the defense to do. Thus he’s not seeing a busted play develop, and quick-thought slide if-then to probable open people. His usual reaction is to hold the ball and roll out if needed, and try to wait for the defense to break down. Yes, you can keep the interception rate down when you play like this, but, like Alex Smith, this is a *bad* way to keep the interception rate down, and it means that you can’t beat good defenses (playoff game against deserving team), or win shootouts.

            4) His deep ball is both good and sucks. He can throw the deep ball with plenty of softness and touch. However, all of his deep throws, it seems like, are underthrows. He has substantial difficulties trying to throw accurate deep balls in stride to the WR, say, like Andrew Luck (even though he’s without the top arm) to TY Hilton.

            5) In general, his ball placement sucks. If the WR isn’t in space in the short zone, like the hitches that Cooper and others run, but in the soup of defenders, like some of those lofted passes to Desean on the sidelines. WRs are getting hit very fast after their receptions, and there aren’t all that many good catch and run after any throws with 15+ air yards. Some routes, like wheel routes and RB leaks, do work well and are thrown appropriately. However, any sort of plays where Foles is shoved off his first read…

            6) Specifically for Chip Kelly’s system, his lack of mobility is a real impediment to optimal effectiveness, and thus requires that more resources be used to help the run game.

            Or in short, he’s not a good athlete, he doesn’t have a strong arm, and he doesn’t have a whole lot of natural feel for the game. If you put him in adverse situations–like a bad OL, then he’s not really going to be very effective at all, even more so than a more capable QB, say Cutler. If you ask him to run an offense that requires him to make reads and a diverse assortment of throws to the whole field, say like Jay Gruden, recently of the Bengals, Foles will look like a worse version of Dalton.

            He does do some things well. He has zip and placement to the middle of the field, can throw lofted bombs to any part of the field, and is mechanically sound (well, much of the time). He sells fakes well, whether that would be PA, or pump-faking. He has been productive in goal-to-go situations, not that his passing was great, but being a big and tall QB really helps to make that aspect easier, compared to Vick or Russel Wilson. He throws on the run fairly well also.

            I do not believe his tape match what you might infer from his numbers, so I believe that there is a strong chance of a severe regression. I also believe that Foles is injury prone, because since college, he has had only one entirely healthy year. Moreover, QBs who are undertalented wrt to arm strength tend to have shoulder injury concerns at some point.

          • shah8

            As for changes that will make me thing better of him, it’s mostly changing no2. He has to be able to take yards from functioning defenses more of a matter of course than he has been. If you see him hitting window throws and moving the offense, then I’ll be surely smiling more. In effect, I want to see that Chicago game be routine.

          • D3FB

            1. This doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Let’s look at the statuesque QB’s in the league. Matt Ryan has missed 2 games due to turf toe. Joe Flacco has missed none. Peyton Manning missed one season due to his neck injury. Tom Brady missed one season due to a torn ACL. Phillip Rivers, never missed a game to injury. So non mobile QBs actually don’t get hurt, the two guys who have been around forever have both had major injuries that statistically they were no more likely than more athletic players to suffer.
            2. 10 yard outs are more about timing than anything, which should come with experience. In regard to slants, I may be wrong but I don’t recall them being a major route with the exception of shortyardage/redzone.

            3. I’m not sure what you’re on about. A second year player with only 17 starts doesn’t read a defense like a vet? That would be expected. You can’t honestly tell me Kapernick or Cam are any better in this regard. As far as for the ability to do it, I think you aren’t factoring in a few things. First, he’s making alot of reads on our packaged plays. He has to check the defense, snap the ball, read the DE to see whether to give it to Shady, pull the ball, look to the bubble screen, and then try to read a hi-low combination on the backside? In 3 or 4 seconds?
            4/5. I won’t argue with you here. These are undoubtedly Foles weakpoints. They are improvable areas though. Every QB has flaws in their game.
            6. Would a little extra athleticism be terrible? No. However, lets look at the QB’s Kelly, the man who actually runs the offense has brought in. With the exception of Vick who was needed competition and a veteran presence both on and off the field, they haven’t exactly been stud athletes.

            In conclusion you want Peyton Mannings mind in Cam Newton’s body. If that’s what you are looking for then you probably won’t ever be truly satisfied because I don’t think that player exists. The closest things to that would probably be Rodgers or Luck, and it’s not like there are 20 of them out there, and only our stupid team can’t get them.

          • Neil

            No, a functional starter has to be more mobile than Rodgers and Luck.

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