The most interesting nugget of the day comes from Geoff Mosher. He reported on Monday that the Eagles called Buffalo to inquire about C.J. Spiller.
Before they traded for Darren Sproles, the Eagles first tried to add a younger, more dynamic weapon to their offense.
The Eagles contacted the Bills this offseason with hopes of trading for versatile Pro Bowl running back C.J. Spiller, according to two league sources familiar with the situation. The Bills weren’t interested in moving Spiller, both sources said, and talks never heightened into an offer.
But it’s clear that the Eagles were looking to add a different dimension to their offense as they prepared to part ways with Pro Bowl wideout DeSean Jackson, another indication that Chip Kelly had planned to move on from Jackson well before the team released him March 28.
Spiller would be an ideal player for Kelly and his offense. Spiller can be a WR or RB. And he has explosive speed. He is a home run threat any time he touches the ball.
It sounds like the Eagles called to see if Spiller was available, not that the Bills were shopping him. It can’t hurt to ask, but obviously the idea got shot down pretty quickly.
It is interesting to find out that Kelly wanted a dynamic receiving RB. The Sproles addition seemed like just an opportunistic move. Asking about Spiller shows you that Kelly wanted that kind of a specific player.
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Tim McManus posted another interesting nugget. He reported that OLB Anthony Barr will be coming to Philly for a pre-draft visit. Within that piece, there is another bit of news I wasn’t aware of.
In a recent podcast on the team’s website, Brian Baldinger said that Eagles outside linebackers coach Bill McGovern went to UCLA to work Barr out.
“Say he’s there at 15 or 16. And I’m well aware that the Eagles only have six draft picks, they don’t have a whole lot of ammunition. But if that’s your biggest glaring need — and to me, the right outside linebacker position would complete this defense in some ways — why wouldn’t you be aggressive?” Baldinger asked.
So we now have Bill McGovern going to West Va to work out Will Clarke, a mid-rounder, and going to UCLA to work out Barr, a 1st rounder. Interesting.
I’m sure the Eagles do have serious interest in Barr. He is the kind of OLB I think they would love. Barr is 6-5, 255. He is an athletic edge rusher, but can also cover and play in space. Chip will have some knowledge of Barr from his Oregon days. He might have even recruited Barr a few years back.
If Barr falls far enough, I’d move up for him. The problem is that I just don’t expect Barr to fall that far.
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Jimmy Bama has a good nugget of his own. He says that the Eagles have shown serious interest in OLB prospect Ronald Powell from Florida. The former No. 1 high school player in the country didn’t have the college career that he expected.
Powell is an intriguing prospect. His college career hit a bump when he tore his ACL during the spring of 2012. Powell missed the entire 2012 season, but returned in 2013, when he had 4 sacks. Unless you’re Adrian Peterson, there’s a belief that it takes 2 years or longer to fully recover from a torn ACL.
Powell would be a mid-to-late round pick, but would be a good target. He could develop into a starter or might prove to be an effective backup and STer. He is a gifted athlete.
Jimmy has some videos over at the link. Go check ’em out.
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Why don’t we stick with the OLB topic?
— Alex Marvez (@alexmarvez) April 15, 2014
Chip Kelly was at Smith’s Pro Day. The Eagles also saw him up close at the Senior Bowl. Either they have serious interest or they are putting on a heck of a smokescreen. My guess is that Smith could go in the late 2nd round.
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None of the other Connecticut participants outside of Smallwood and Stephen are likely to be drafted, but the best prospect among the rest is defensive end Jesse Joseph, who had a fairly strong showing in his pro day workout.
Joseph put his versatility as an edge defender on display by participating in both defensive end and linebacker drills. He showed explosion going through the defensive line drills. Though he looked somewhat unnatural backpedaling and flipping his hips as you would expect for a defensive end, he looked relatively fluid for a player who typically has his hand in the dirt, while he did a good job catching the football in drills.
His numbers in the measurable drills weren’t good enough to bolster his draft stock, but they were adequate. He was hand timed at 4.83 seconds on both of his 40-yard dash attempts, while he recorded a 29 1/2” vertical, 8’6” broad jump and 19 repetitions in the bench press. He recorded impressive hand times of 4.19 seconds in the short shuttle and 7.26 seconds in the 3-cone drill.
“I think I did good,” Joseph said in an interview following his workout. “I did everything I could to leave everything on the field.”
Joseph said he could see himself playing either defensive end or linebacker at the next level. His sales pitch to an NFL team, he said, starts with being a hard worker.
“I’m a hard worker. I’m a competitor. I don’t let fatigue get to me when it’s that time for me to step on the field, and I can do more than one thing.”
Joseph said he has an individual workout scheduled with the Philadelphia Eagles for April 10, and added that he was “waiting on a couple more calls” from NFL teams.
Another LB to consider in the late rounds.
Here’s an interesting question. Does anyone else think the guy in this pic looks like Jerry Azzinaro?
— UConnFootball (@UConnFootball) March 11, 2014
He would have been at UConn to work out DL Shamar Stephen, who could be a DE target of the Eagles. In that pic, the coach/scout is working with Joseph.