More FA Prospects

Posted: March 7th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 78 Comments »

I have a few guys to talk about so I’ll make these write-ups a bit shorter.

MALCOLM JENKINS

Could be a great fit for the Eagles. Jenkins won’t command mega-bucks. He is a good player and has the size and versatility that I think will attract Chip Kelly and Bill Davis.

Jenkins was used all over the field by the Saints. He played centerfield, in the box, in the slot and even some outside CB. You have to love the fact you can put him in these roles and he’s talented enough to get the job done. The downside…there is nothing great about Jenkins. He lacks the pop of TJ Ward as a hitter. He lacks the ball skills of Jairus Byrd.

Jenkins is a solid hitter and tackler. He’s aggressive and will hit runners/receivers. He takes good angles to the ball. Jenkins looks comfortable playing in traffic or out in space. There were a couple of plays where he made tackles downfield that prevented TDs. This is the most under-appreciated role a Safety plays. Even if you get the guy down at the 1-yard line, make the offense earn the TD.

In the first Carolina game, Jenkins lined up at CB on a play inside the 10-yard line. He pressed and did a solid job. He regularly played in the slot. Eagles coaches could really value that. Brandon Boykin didn’t have a true backup last year. No one was a good slot guy other than him. That’s why you saw Patrick Chung forced into action there a couple of times.

Jenkins is a good leader. The Saints developed a pair of young Safeties last year. That makes him expendable, but you can bet he helped those players develop. The Eagles have 2nd year players in Earl Wolff and Keelan Johnson. They are basically a lock to draft at least one Safety this spring. Jenkins could help bring those players along. Jenkins played on good teams in New Orleans and back at Ohio State. I think he would fit in well with Kelly and the program he’s developing in Philly.

Stats page

MIKE MITCHELL

Mitchell was a 2nd round pick of the Raiders back in 2009. The pick was so unexpected that Mike Mayock basically said “Who?” Mitchell had a great Pro Day workout and a couple of teams loved his athletic ability. The Raiders were the first to pull the trigger. Mitchell had a non-descript career there, but had a breakout year for Carolina in 2013.

4 sacks, 4 INTs, 2 FFs, 9 PDs

Those are elite numbers. But the game tape doesn’t show Mitchell to be an elite player. Good. Talented. Not elite. Last year was a bit of an anomaly. The Panthers had a great season on defense and Mitchell posted great numbers. The team who signs him can’t count on that production.

Mitchell played deep Safety a lot for Carolina. He has pretty good range. He’s got some pop as a hitter, but isn’t an impact hitter. Solid tackler. He will come down aggressively to help vs the run. Showed okay man cover skills when going up against TEs.

I liked what I saw from Mitchell and have definite interest, but he does need the right pieces around him. If Carolina offers him decent money, he’d be wise to stay there. He’s clearly a great fit for them.

Stats page

* * * * *

DE Michael Johnson – Many ask about him. Johnson is a better run defender than pass rusher. I’m sure the Eagles love his length, but I see a 4-3 DE and not a 3-4 OLB.

DE Everson Griffen – Only a backup in MIN so I need to watch him more, but he would be risky. Griffen would be new to the team, the scheme, the role of LB and being a starter. That’s a lot of change. Can you pay that guy big bucks? Too much risk for me. I would have interest in him if the price were right, but I’ve got a feeling a 4-3 team will offer him good money.


  • Cranky Caucasian

    I’d be curious to see you make similar write-ups on Nate Allen and Earl Wolff based solely on last season. How Allen compares to the FA crop and how Wolff’s style would contrast/compliment anyone brought in, assuming he’ll be a starter next season if they have no better options or he wows in camp.

    • Patrick

      I think it will be a huge mistake going into the season and just giving Earl Wolff the job. I liked his play last year, but he was obviously a rookie, and not a rookie like Honey Badger who lit it up, Wolff was just all right. If he wins the job, perfect, that exactly what i want, but counting on a second year player who not only was injured, but even when healthy had limited snaps is just plain stupid. In an ideal Eagles world i would bring back the pretty average Nate Allen and have him and Wolff compete. I expect Nate would win that since he did a solid job last year, and it wouldn’t eliminate the chance to see Wolff in some 3 safety packages(or even just subbing in at times, Allen isn’t player you NEED to be out there). Im actually warming to the idea of Malcolm Jenkins playing with Allen or Wolff, but obviously anything can change if we spend a high pick on a S.

      • Cranky Caucasian

        Agreed, and based on how Chip has been so far, he won’t hand the job to anyone, but we have no idea how FA or the draft will shake out, and for all we know Wolff might wind up being the best option. Personally, I haven’t watched Wolff closely enough to see his strengths/weaknesses. Like is he more of a center fielder or in the box guy, etc. So was curious to see a write up comparing him to other FAs.

        • Patrick

          Im obviously not as good as Tommy to answer this and we know very little about Earl Wolff in the NFL, but i’ll give it a go. Wolff is a pretty speedy guy with a good range, which would imply that he is a deep safety like Byrd or Earl Thomas. He hasn’t really shown any playmaking ability(if i recall correctly, not even in college) and I wasn’t impressed with his coverage, but keep in mind he was a 5th round rookie, I wouldn’t have expected him to be great in coverage.
          On the other hand he is a good wrap up tackler(a tackle machine in college), although not a big hitter, which would normally indicate that he was a box safety like TJ Ward or Kam Chancellor.
          I actually think he is pretty similar too Jenkins, if he learns how to cover. Solid player, good tackler and general good fundamentals that does his job, but isn’t anything special in one area. Sorta an all around guy, which is an entirely viable option, you can have 2 good allround safeties with similar assignments. You don’t have to do what Seattle does and play one guy deep and one guy in the box. I think thats what the Saints did this year with Jenkins and Vacarro.

    • Anders

      Agree, would be nice to see.

  • eagleyankfan

    As I read some articles about FA — I think we have to keep in mind they system they were in AND what Chip can do with them in HIS system. Last year FA/Draft seemed to be more of Chip getting rid of the stench from the season before combined with Chip’s 1st year. This FA/Draft should be 100% of what Chip needs to be successful.
    As discussed before — better kicker and better return is needed(Tedd jr?) and the offense will be more than set.
    Defense — obvious changes are needed(stating the obvious) but I can’t wait to see who Chip goes after and brings in. Good times ahead. Chip will see something in someone that we can’t see. Would love to be a fly on the wall in their war room…

  • austinfan

    One other guy to check out is Stevie Brown on the Giants, torn his ACL last summer after a year in which he posted 8 ints. A UDFA who made good in his third season, has the size/speed combo to be worth a look, and would be a good bet for an incentive laden deal that would make him rich if he starts and give the Eagles good depth if he doesn’t.

    • Baloophi

      Well, we’ve certainly had a lot of luck signing FA’s from the Giants who are named “Steve” or are safeties coming off knee injuries…

      I’m just messing around! I always “love” it when people cite one failed example to scuttle a plan. I think he could be a low-risk/high-reward guy… I’d love to see what Brown could do for us.

      • nicolajNN

        I remember signing a former Giant named Steve, but did he ever play a snap FOR the Eagles?

        • Sb2bowl

          sure felt like he played “against” us that year…… specifically that “tipped” ball against his former team while we were in the red-zone, and his self tackle on 3&15 against Arizona, where he went down without contact, 2 yards short of the first…….

          We couldn’t cut him quick enough, and I’m not talking about releasing him from the roster…..

      • TheRogerPodacter

        wow. so much going on in this post. i just don’t know how to follow up on this.

        • Baloophi

          My goal is to befuddle people into confused inaction. I’m like the Putin of commenters.

          • A Roy

            Careful. Next thing you know, Maggie will want a photo with your shirt off.

  • NinjaP

    malcom jenkins would be my #1 target. Fits what we need and the team perfectly imo. Also wont cost an arm and a leg. We have a lot of good young players that need new contracts next offseason cant forget that.

  • ICDogg

    Antoine Bethea… older, but perhaps better.

    • Baloophi

      That’s the marketing slogan his agent is going with…

  • A Roy

    Tommy has talked more than once that free agency is where you fill your holes and the draft is where you find your talent. (Yes, unless you only need one or two talents to make a run…)

    Tommy keeps a link to Eagles Rewind and I view it regularly. There was a good chart several days ago that showed, using color codes…red=poor, orange=below average, yellow=average, etc. where the Eagles stood before resigning Cooper and Maclin. I recommend you read it. We have numerous orange and yellow holes on the defensive side and, at the moment, none in the starting 11 on the offense.

    IMHO, we should be using free agency to fill holes…at S, CB, LB…and perhaps, backup DL/OG. At this point, I would be looking at someone like Jenkins to turn orange to yellow (potentially green) and worry about finding talent as BPA in the draft.

    • Baloophi

      The chart would be rather confusing if you’re colorblind, I’d assume.

      Somewhat reminiscent of the Blackjack “hit” chart…

      • Tumtum

        Oh this is a pretty good one too. It actually tells you to hit soft 18 vs 9, 10, A. That always gets so many dirty looks…

        • Baloophi

          The killer one for me is the erratic 16 hitter. Obviously you should hit 16 against a 7 and up, but I at least understand it when people don’t. BUT, don’t sometimes hit it and sometimes don’t — that can turn a table against you quicker than “exhale cigarette toward your face” guy or “keeps spilling his jack and coke on the felt” guy or “vaguely racist sentiments” guy… usually the same person.

          Also, I don’t know if anyone else has this experience, but I’m often thrust into the role of “grizzled gambler” at a table full of “What do I do???” players. And – without fail – when I say “the book says you should hit,” the newbie will bust and glare at me… even though their 14 had no chance against the dealer’s 10. I actually remember coaching this guy to split 8′s against a 6 once… he kept getting 8′s and I kept barking at him to split them. Sure enough, the dealer flipped over a 5 followed by a queen. Oops! Sorry, stranger!

          Wait… we’re still talking about football, right?

          • Ben Hert

            The potent combination of your gambling knowledge and sense of humor makes me think that you’re the kind of person that going to a casino with would result in an epic night.

          • Baloophi

            If by “epic” you mean waking up penniless in a small fountain outside Caesar’s and suddenly remembering you cashed in all your Craps winnings to bet on Jeff Burton in the Food City 500 then yes.

      • A Roy

        Wow. That’s significantly easier to follow than the paper one I wrote years ago. Of course, the casinos won’t let me use the cheat sheet anymore. The house advantage isn’t big enough already, I guess.

        • Baloophi

          They won’t let you use the sheet? That’s crazy. Some casinos sell the plastic strategy cards in the gift shop, right next to the edible dice, Advil packets, and $42 bottle of sunscreen.

          • A Roy

            Here in Harrisburg at the Hollywood (like you shouldn’t…with apologies to Kool and the Gang) they even charge you for domestic beer or cheap bourbon. Just returned fron AC (Bally’s) but only shot craps, so I don’t know their policy.

    • TheRogerPodacter

      they recently posted another article that follows up on this and really covers everything we have been trying to say.

      http://eaglesrewind.com/2014/03/03/resignings-flexibility-in-team-construction/

      If you don’t fill the gaps in FA, you’re left with just two potential outcomes:

      1) You have to draft somebody relatively early in the draft at that position, regardless of it he’s the BPA.

      2) You go into the season with a huge gap in the roster.

      • Tumtum

        1/2 —- Lookin at you Casey Matthews.

      • Tumtum

        The one glaring problem I have with that article is that he completely discounts signing your own players as a means of filling holes. Identifying and holding on to your best players is a huge portion of the whole off-season escapade. Usually guys coming off their rookie deals will be coming into their prime. You are still projecting talent with guys like Maclin, Cooper and Kelce. You have to lock up your best guys long term for sustained success. Many teams are not that great at it. More often than not they will over value their own guys and over pay them. Then they end up in cap trouble down the road (hey there Jerrah).

        • A Roy

          I don’t think he discounts it. It’s more of a snapshot of a point in time to guide you as to what to do. If they draft a WR this year and he projects as “green” or, God forbid, “blue”, it signals whether or not they need to resign the (probably) green Maclin for mucho dinero.

      • A Roy

        That’s when you end up with a 26 year old with “low mileage” in the first round.

  • Mike Roman

    With Wolff and Keelan Johnson being SOOO young, I really hope we bring in two veteran safeties and then draft a prospect. Bringing back Allen (if the price is right) along with Jenkins or Mitchell wouldn’t be the worst thing. Allen / Wolff / rookie can compete for that 2nd safety position.

    Being a grown man waiting for free agency and the draft isn’t much different than being a little kid waiting for Christmas.

    • Baloophi

      Except Howie doesn’t “cleverly” hide our unwrapped gifts inside luggage up in the attic. At least he’d better not… #suffocation

  • Sokhar20

    Any thoughts on Brandon Spikes, who seems to be on the outs in New England?

  • Baloophi

    Anyone looking forward to the movie “Draft Day” featuring Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner?

    Me neither.

    Normally I’d give Ivan Reitman a lot of leash for bringing us classics like Stripes, Ghostbusters and Dave, but this one’s got me worried…

    • CrackSammich

      I bet the Browns still somehow screw up the draft even in the Hollywood version.

      • Baloophi

        That would be an amazing “break the fourth wall” moment… like, Reitman yells, “Cut! Kevin – trading our first round pick for two sixths and Ernie Sims isn’t anywhere in the script!” Costner shrugs, “Well, that new producer changed the line.” He points over to the craft services table where Joe Banner snickers maniacally, then sort of chokes on some Red Vines.

        • CrackSammich

          Of course the Browns wouldn’t splurge on Twizzlers. Red Vines are the worst.

    • A_T_G

      I hear that outfitting the Jags war room accurately nearly broke the budget.

      • Baloophi

        That was the craziest shot from last year! The other fun war room picture is the obligatory “Jerry Jones and sons” picture that looks like they’re sharing space with the office of a “wrongful termination” attorney who advertises on late night TV.

        • A_T_G

          I am pretty sure that is photoshopped. Any legit picture from the Cowboys war room has their draft board clearly visible in the background.

          • Baloophi

            Ha! I was thinking earlier that it might be a clever ruse to put up a fake draft board in your war room… though then you’re just inviting disaster in a moment of panic…

  • bdbd20

    I do wonder if Hester might be a target. Certainly would solve the return issue. Could be an interesting piece in Chip’s offense.

    Probably pretty cheap too.

    • Baloophi

      Let’s not call a man cheap until we peek over and see what he left for a tip.

      • A Roy

        Or if he went back to the table to steal the ones his buddies left.

        • Baloophi

          Classic move.

      • A Roy

        BTW, the fact you won’t yet call him cheap could mean that you DO think he’s pretty.

    • D3Center

      Hester really hasn’t been as dangerous of a return man these last couple of years. Plus he isn’t versatile, he is a bad receiver and I doubt we’d waste a roster spot just on a return man.

      • TheRogerPodacter

        i do wonder if he would be useful as an option to run the ball out of the backfield, though. imagine him on an end-around or reverse or something. it could be the kind of thing that keeps the defense spread out horizontally to defend it.

        i don’t really think he’d be worth it on offense, but he could be used there, potentially.
        but i’m with bdbd20…. i *really* want to upgrade our ST return game! lol

        • D3Center

          Maybe but we already have DJax and probably Maclin who can run those plays and Hester has no use as a receiver so it would be very difficult to disguise those plays. But I do agree that we need to improve the return game I just don’t see Hester as the answer.

  • Joseph Dubyk

    Mike Mitchell is the POSTER CHILD for why having a front 7 is much much more important than going out and spending high dollars and high draft picks on safeties (which is what 90% of the fan base wants).

    Witht hat said Jenkins makes more sense than Ward or Byrd

  • Hurontario

    How about Jenkins and Mitchell? Jenkins more as a FS, although Davis likes them interchangeable and Mitchell can play more in the box at times. Then you have Wolff and either (hopefully) another young draft pick to develop or, if Allen doesn’t signed elsewhere bring him back post-draft as depth and competition. Just a thought. I’d like to see us add 3 safeties, even if we get a first rounder like Ha-Ha or Pryor.

    • Baloophi

      I love the idea of combining Jenkins and Mitchell… but NOT as much as I love the idea of combining Lake Huron and Lake Ontario! GREAT handle!

      • A_T_G

        Lake Superior suddenly has an inferiority complex.

        • Baloophi

          Very erie…

          • A_T_G

            Oh boy, only one left! Let’s see if I can complete our Great Lakes-themed humor. (Goes through “homes” acronym using fingers) Michigan?! I’m left with Michigan? Dammit.

          • Baloophi

            I left you with the short end, buddy… sorry.

          • Maggie

            You sound quite illinoyed.

  • mksp

    some pro day tidbits from walterfootball

    ___________________

    Southern Miss
    The pro-day at Southern Mississippi was a short one, as 16 teams made their way to Hattiesburg for in essence on prospect, defensive tackle Khyri Thorton. And by the sounds of it, Thornton made the trip well worth it. He weighed in at 311 pounds, seven more than his combine weight of 304 lbs. Thornton’s forty times of 4.90s/4.96s were an improvement from his combine number (4.99s). I’m told during drills, Thornton looked smooth and showed surprising pass rush potential.

    Philadelphia Eagles defensive line coach Jerry Azzinaro ran the drills, and I’m told he met extensively with Thornton.

    ______________________

    Arkansas
    Neither Robert Thomas or Byran Jones took part in Arkansas pro-day today.

    Thomas, who dined with the Philadelphia Eagles last night, is still recovering from a broken leg suffered in the middle of October. Jones, who met extensively with the Atlanta Falcons, pulled a calf muscle in training last week.

    Both defensive linemen are scheduled to workout for teams on April 1.

    ____________________

    Kyri Thorton (DT) is 6’3″ 304 w/ 32.5″ arms

    Robert Thomas is 6’1″ 327 w 33 7/8″ arms and is recovering from a broken leg

    Both are late round / UDFA type guys

    • Insomniac

      Is he related to Cedric? Speaking of pro days, Shazier continues to show off his freakish athleticism by running a 4.36 40 (unofficial time).

      I’m kind of eager to hear how Jimmie Ward does at his pro day but there hasn’t been any news yet.

      edit: Ward ran 4.46-4.51 unofficially.

    • A_T_G

      I know some people think we should upgrade Thorton this offseason, but this is just ridiculous.

      • TheRogerPodacter

        i would assume it would be for a backup spot on the roster, not to immediately replace Thornton in the starting lineup. These are guys that are expected to be late picks or UDFA.
        its probably closer to looking to replacing Joe Kruger or Damion Square than replacing Thornton.

        • A_T_G

          I was just having a little fun with the fact that this guy is also named Thorton.

        • Maggie

          Replace Kruger? Why? When did he even get a chance to show what he can do?

  • A_T_G

    Maybe the readership can weigh in here on a domestic difference of opinions.

    The situation, presented wholly without bias:

    After dinner, without any prompting, I gather up the dishes from the table and carry them to the counter by the dishwasher. Upon opening the dishwasher door, my wife, still lounging in her dinner chair, informs me that the dishes inside the dishwasher are clean. Quickly reassessing my course of action (as she continues to lounge) I close the dishwasher and put the dishes in the sink before returning to the table (the same table at which she continues to lounge) to gather the condiments for re-refrigeration.

    Was there anything done worth commentary from the spouse?

    • Maggie

      Other than, “If you gathered up the dirty dishes more often, or loaded the dishwasher/unloaded the dishwasher more often, you would have already KNOWN where the various dishes were”, I can’t think of a thing! ;~) Presumably the spouse was lounging after cooking dinner and partially unloading the dishwasher?

      • A_T_G

        Apparently I did not explain the situation with enough clarity. That is the only possible reason for you not taking my side.

        • Baloophi

          Wait… is Maggie your spouse?!?!

          • A_T_G

            No, but I am beginning to suspect that they are both women…

          • Maggie

            No, we’re barely nodding acquaintances.

          • A_T_G

            *nods in agreement.

          • Maggie

            I do like a somewhat snide sense of humor, however.

        • Maggie

          Well, just speaking from the classic female point of view, lol.

  • RC5000

    Sorry if this was posted but I don’t see anything about this –

    Tim McManus ‏@Tim_McManus 2h

    Eagles showing interest in edge rusher Michael Johnson. But will the price tag be too steep? http://bit.ly/1eb5xs7

    • Baloophi

      Well, we know he’s fast and can turn the corner…

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQ9cBQANjiw

      • Insomniac

        I guess you like the smaller Johnson.

        • RC5000

          Does Howie like bigger Johnsons though?

    • Insomniac

      Interesting. I wonder how much he’ll cost?

  • Weapon Y

    My only concern is all the good things being said about Jenkins now are what was said about Chung a year ago.