Of Interest or Not?

Posted: April 20th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 70 Comments »

Let’s focus on a couple of NFL players that some people think the Eagles could have interest in. The first player is an athletic QB that many assume Chip Kelly would like.

Pryor is going to be cut and the Eagles might have a chance at him. Pryor will have to pass through waivers so that means other teams will have a chance to claim him. There are some QB needy teams who could take a chance on him. If Pryor hits the street, will the Eagles have any interest?

My guess is no.

We’ve assumed that Kelly is looking for an athletic QB since he got here, but he’s done nothing to make us think that is his ideal target. Kelly did re-sign Michael Vick, but that was partly due to the fact there weren’t great options and Vick is a very talented QB. To Kelly, that was a low-risk, high-reward move. Vick then lost his job to Nick Foles, who played at a very high level.

The 2 QBs that Kelly went out and acquired were Matt Barkley and Mark Sanchez. Neither of those players was ever referred to as a mobile QB. They move well enough, but are not runners per se.

Kelly might have interest in Pryor, but I doubt it. Kelly seems to prefer QBs that can throw the ball well first and foremost. He needs the passing game to be a threat to the defense so that will open up the running game. Pryor is a dynamic runner, as we saw first hand, but he is not a functional passer at the NFL level. He is a major project. The fact Oakland, who is QB needy, is letting him go isn’t a great sign.

RB LaMichael James might also be available.

Kelly coached James at Oregon. James was a workhorse back that thrived in the spread offense. Would Kelly have interest in getting back his old buddy?

Maybe.

The problem is that the Eagles already have a deep backfield. Shady, Bryce Brown and Chris Polk form a good trio. Brown had an odd year so many assume the team is looking to dump him. I don’t think that’s the case at all. Brown is very talented. He’s also young and cheap. That’s the kind of player you keep around and see if you can develop. At his best, he is a very impressive RB. Brian Baldinger compared him to Bo Jackson. Obviously that was a bit silly, but Brown does have a great size/speed combo. I don’t think you give up on him this quickly.

If James was flat out released, I could see the Eagles having interest. I just don’t see them trading a pick for a player at a position where they have depth. If the coaches think Brown is a lost cause, maybe they do deal him. I just don’t anticipate that happening.

* * * * *

We’ll get back to draft talk this evening.

_


  • Anders

    I really want LMJ because he is a talented returner (better numbers than Sproles) and he is very good on OZR runs that Brown struggled on and those runs are a big constraint play in this offense

    • Tumtum

      My thing about him is that if he really has been on the market for a while, as he indicated, then the Eagles could of already had him. They would obviously have taken anything. If the Eagles *really* wanted him they would have him.

      Now if he is free maybe they take a flier. I would not be upset. He would/should not be garunteed anything roster wise.

      • Anders

        Maybe the Niners want more than the Eagles are offering? I would trade a 5th for him as he is better than any 5th rounder we can draft

        • Tumtum

          Since they have designated Monday as the day to cut him I have to think they would take a gatoraide cooler if offered.

          • Anders

            LMJ is not getting cut, that is Pryor

          • Tumtum

            Oh yep totally right. Haha. Long weekend.

        • GEAGLE

          Hearring they will try to get a 6th for 2nd round LMJ

  • Ark87

    I think the Eagles are interested but won’t act….and probably kicking themselves for signing Sanchez a little. I think they like Barkley more, Foles-Barkley-Pryor would be a very young bunch with a lot of potential. Never know when you could flip one down the road for picks…and potentially still have a solid back-up with years in the system

    • Scott J

      I think they prefer Sanchez over Pryor. They can only have so many young projects at QB. Sanchez is is a reliable veteran. He may not be great, but he’s good enough to hold down the fort if Foles and Barkley get hurt.

      • Ark87

        we definitely brought in Sanchez for his experience, but we have seen a second year QB can run this system. It is QB friendly due to the run game being so prominent. I think we could get by. I’m not crying about it. I just know Kelly is always fascinated by physical talent.

    • kevinlied

      If you take Kelly at his word that repetitive accuracy is the trait he values most in a QB, there may not be a worse fit than Pryor.

      • Ark87

        I don’t take anyone in this business at their word. IE, the most important aspect of a QB in this offense isn’t anything to do with his arm at all, it’s his decision making. Wouldn’t hurt to stash him away and see if you can’t work on mechanics and such to iron some of that out. It’s no big deal, I just think there is interest, but I don’t think there will be a major meeting at Eagles HQ about it.

        • Call Me Carlos the Dwarf

          It’s not about Pryor’s arm. It’s about his inability to execute the decisions, good or bad, that he makes due to his lack of accuracy.

        • kevinlied

          I think Kelly was saying repetitive accuracy was the most important physical trait. Decision-making is absolutely critical, in this or any offense. Do we think Pryor can improve to average or better in that regard? I’m not going to pretend I saw a lot of Raiders games, but the few times I saw him, I was unimpressed with his “feel” for the game.

    • Anders

      we had 5 QBs in camp last season. This year we have 4, so why cant we sign Pryor?

      • kevinlied

        I imagine he’d rather wind up on a team where he can compete for QB1 (ideally) or QB2 (realistically). That’s not happening here. If he is willing to come here as a camp body with a chance to win the 3rd string job, cool.

        • GEAGLE

          No…the reSon he wants out of Oakland is because he thinks he should play…silly boy..shut up, sit on the bench and learn something you donkey! Lol

  • Greg Richards

    The 49ers could use a RB actually. Perhaps a draft pick and James for Brown? I’m thinking 5th rounder.

    • dislikedisqus

      Brown for James is conceivable but I don’t think Brown has done enough to lead other teams to throw in a pick. He is a 3d string RB at present and other teams see that as someone they can get for free should he get cut.

      • Anders

        Brown is above Polk

        • Nunya

          …but below Sproles

          • Anders

            Sproles is not a RB

          • Iskar36

            Just to be clear, according to Tommy, Sproles is not a RB. IIRC, Chip still called him a RB. They will clearly use him a ton as a receiving threat, but it still remains to be clear whether or not he is a RB who will run a lot of pass routes out of the backfield, or if he is a WR.

          • GEAGLE

            IMO he is Wes Welker for us

        • SteveH

          I could be in the minority here but until Brown proves he isn’t going to bounce everything wide I actually prefer Polk. Too many negative yardage plays for Brown.

          • Call Me Carlos the Dwarf

            and yet he still produced more than Polk by every standard, because he is significantly better at going up the middle than Polk when asked to do so (because he’s netter than Polk at just about everything football related).

          • Anders

            Polk had only 11 carries, I would think he would have gotten more if Kelly thought he was better than Brown

  • Iskar36

    My concern with Bryce Brown is that he seems to be a guy that we are significantly overrating based on his supposed potential. In addition to that, it is a guy we are overrating at a position that is considered relatively easy to fill, has a short career (so shorter opportunity to capitalize on potential), not to mention a guy who seems to have some trade value currently. Lastly, based on last year, he seems to be a guy Chip Kelly did not show a ton of desire to use.

    To back that statement up a bit, the Eagles had the fourth largest number of rush attempts all last season. Despite that, this is where Brown’s numbers ranked among teams second non-QB rushing options (player who had the 2nd most rushing attempts on the team but was not a QB):

    Attempts: 23rd (75)
    Yards: 20th (314)
    Touchdowns: Tied with 8 for 17th (2)
    Yards/Attempt: 12th (4.2)
    Percentage of Team total rushing attempts: 28th (15%)
    Percentage of Team total rushing yards: 27th (12.2%)

    And just to add his receiving skills to the mix, of the same group of players, here are his rankings:

    Receptions: 23rd (8th)
    Reception Yards: 20th (84)
    Yards/Reception: 3rd (10.5)
    Touchdown Receptions: Tied with 20 others for 13th (0)

    Those numbers are simply not that impressive for a second year RB and also don’t show a ton of trust from Chip, particularly the last two rushing stats. I know he impressed us all his rookie seasons with a couple of back to back huge games, but I really think having a RB who can share some of the carries with McCoy to hopefully extend his career a little bit and also keep him fresher for the end of the season/playoffs is extremely important, especially for a team who focuses on the run. I certainly would not give him away for free, but if they can get a mid round pick, or sweeten a quality deal for another player, I don’t think I hesitate all that much on Brown’s potential.

    • Neil

      I wouldn’t suppose Brown has any trade value. You make a good case for that. I’ll hold onto his potential over getting a 5th.

      On physical talent alone, Brown could be a top 10 RB in this league. He tore up the HS level so I don’t think he’s completely hopeless, but if the coaches figured he was not going to iimprove in the future I would be on board with getting what you can for him.

      • D3FB

        I mean lets keep in mind that he did only tear up south central Kansas. Not exactly Texas, Florida, Ohio, Georgia, California, Pennsylvania of high school football.

        • Neil

          You don’t think Rivals compensated for that when they made him the top guy? I figured they would, but I’d hardly be the one to ask.

          • D3FB

            Honestly I’m not a huge fan of Rivals. I think trying to rank high school players is pretty stupid. Khalil Mack, Darqueze Dennard were two star prospect. Of the first round picks in 2013: Only 16 of the 32 were four or five star recruits. 90% of the rankings are done before the senior year and so you are evaluating tape of a 16 year old kid. Plus it’s not like they have a small staff. They have hundreds of “scouts” on staff and each has their own bias and inputs. Plus it’s considered hard trying to project kids from the Sun Belt or FCS to the NFL because of level of competition. At the very least every kid they are playing with and against was all confrence all region all state in high school. Trying to evaluate high school tape where DE’s are 175lbs and the average 40 time for a DB is somewhere around 5 flat is laughable. Not to mention there are no endzone shots, and most film is shot from 60 yards away with a grainy $200 camera.

    • shah8

      Brown’s numbers are reflective of the fact that he’s behind a workhorse, who stayed healthy all year.

      Brown’s numbers are actually fairly typical of a talented number two. Guys like Jamaal Charles are not typical, and even then, Charles wasn’t really a bell-cow back sub, and more a combo third down back/bell cow.

      If the Eagles wanted to trade Brown, then yes, they will get suitors. That was likely never in the cards, no matter how some Eagles fans want to portray others as “overrating”.

    • Mitchell

      It’s gotta be hard to jump from basically high school to the NFL. I need another year from him at least. Like Neil said below his potential is worth more than a 5th. Even if RB is easy to replace, we might as well hold on to what we have so we don’t have to waste a draft selection on another who probably won’t have as much potential as Brown and won’t contribute a huge amount right away either because of Shady.

  • Finlay Jones

    Did you forget Sproles, or not counting him as an RB?

  • Insomniac

    James just isn’t a target of interest for me. I would have played with the idea of trading the 5th we gave for Sproles for him but now? Looks like he’ll just hit FA in a year or two.

  • barneygoogle

    Picking up Sanchez should kill any idea that Kelly needs a running/option QB. I also think the playbook Kelly employed in 2013 will change more than we think in 2014— Kelly loves to play chess while the other coaches play checkers.

    I do wish we could pick up more mid round picks. I think that we may see some interesting cuts, or trade offers around the NFL in the week leading up to the draft.

    • GEAGLE

      You would think right?msadly just yesterday radio hosts were proclaiming FOles would be gone soon, because he doesn’t have the mobility to run all of chips playbook…smh, I WISH I just made that up, but sadly this is the media we are dealt

  • shah8

    I doubt there is much of a market for Pryor. I do think he is a better QB than Matt McGloin and a better player than Matt Schaub, but I would not choose any of those guys if I could help it.

    As for Kelly choosing guys like Barkley, not really sure what to make of it, and I think at this point, it has to be conceded already (absent an unlikely passing of Sanchez on the depth chart) that Barkley is a bust.

    Sanchez is not what you’d call awesome at being a mobile QB, but he is actually pretty athletic. More so than Dalton, or Foles, etc, etc.

    I don’t really think system fit is the be all and end all of the decision-making at NovaCare. Quarterbacks often have to fit within marketing plans set by the organization as a whole, and the choices at QB reflects those compromises. I don’t think either Foles or Sanchez is a fit for Kelly’s offense at the NFL level, if you’re really expecting to win anything. I think the system, in effect, is supposed to make these QB work out well, and it did so last year for Foles.

    • mksp

      Wait. What?

      So you’re telling me Chip is hamstrung with who he can play at QB because of “marketing plans set by the organization as a whole.”

      CHIP? CHIP KELLY?

      Who could have had any open HC job he wanted in the NFL, agreed to only draft & sign QBs that fit within some “marketing plan”, whatever that means, set by an organization that SIGNED MIKE VICK FROM PRISON.

      I can only deduce that your love of Joe Webb is literally driving you insane.

      • shah8

        Plans can change, for whatever reason, and besides, Mike Vick wasn’t overtly intended to be a starting QB at the time, which was why he was talking Bengals or somesuch then. I don’t really do much in the way figuring out what specifically is going on in their heads.

        NFL franchises are intensely political organizations. There are proverbial “scream/thumps at the Topkapi Palace” all the time. They change direction all the time for inscrutable reasons. All any observers can do is check and see what matches up.

      • eagleyankfan

        yeah — that was one of the dumbest comments I’ve even seen. And I write some dumb ones…but that takes the cake. This IS Chips team just as it was AR teams.

    • Richaud Jeaffreson

      You have to be trolling.

      • bill

        But he might be the best troll since Andy Kaufman.

  • Call Me Carlos the Dwarf

    Yeah, the Jackson comp was nuts, but it’s not hard to squint a little and see Adrian Peterson (Obviously not a perfect comp, as Brown is both bigger and faster than Peterson).

    • shah8

      While all three are roughly the same flavor of tall RBs, Brown is the slowest of the three. Jackson was stronger, and AD is a violent player. Brown isn’t as violent and he’s a bit easier to take down than Bo.

      Even so, Brown is roughly in their class as projections go.

      • Call Me Carlos the Dwarf

        Brown is faster than Peterson. He’s just not quite as hard.

        • shah8

          eh, you’ll have to show me video on that, and I’m not quite sure you can do that. Brown hasn’t had that many long runs where he outruns everyone.

          Over the full 40, Brown is an eighth of a second slower. The splits seem to be the same though, at 10 and 20 yards. What’s interesting is the 3 cone score, where Brown is a bit better.

          One thing that was always amusing, is just how much people complain about BB bouncing outside, when it’s what AD does all the frickin’ time, and they are very much alike in that instinct. At the end of the day, Brown, like Peterson or Barry Sanders, is a slugger, but he isn’t a slugger like Frank Thomas or Emmit Smith was, but more like, say, Vladimir Guerrero.

          • A_T_G

            Those are pretty elite comparisons for a guy who has yet to accomplish much. I’m thinking more Ricky Jordan – high hopes that never materialized – or John Kruk – not enough balls to go around. I also, though, think he is worth keeping compared to the compensation we would be looking at.

          • shah8

            Well, we *are* talking ceilings. I don’t necessarily think Brown will hit his–I don’t think he has a ton of magic, but I do think he has enough to be considered a likely starting caliber RB. He’s gotta work on some stuff, especially vision in terms of small creases in the blocking. Balance, attention, situational awareness as well.

          • Anders
  • Stevo

    There was a discussion threat in the last post re: Ryan Shazier, but I think it got cut off with the new post. GEAGLE asked if he could be Meco’s replacement. Curious to hear people’s thoughts on that.

    With the defense, I like to look at SF as the model given the timing of when Gamble came over. People say Shazier is small, but he’s a similar size to Patrick Willis and Navorro Bowman (and Ray Lewis for that matter). Could the Eagles brass see Shazier and Kendricks as our long-term answers to ILB? Given Shazier’s blazing speed (unofficial 4.36, almost identical to Willis’ pro day time), could the Eagles see Shazier as a versatile 3-down ILB that can cover, blitz and stop the run? Could he be a poor man’s Patrick Willis? Would love to hear people’s thoughts on this.

    • andy

      I really like Shazier too, although I want to trade the 1st rounder for Dion Jordan still.

      • Stevo

        Definitely agree that ROLB is the higher priority and Dion would fit in nicely there. But maybe it’s just one of those years where you can’t push it too much: if Dion isn’t available and Barr doesn’t fall, you go with Shazier as your ILB and look for an Attachou or Marcus Smith in Rd 2 if you can get them.

        • andy

          would be perfectly happy with that

    • GEAGLE

      If they do see him that way, he would have tons of value because his speed allows him to play 3 downs in this new NFL where LBs have to be smaller and able to cover,,,,,wanting a smaller NT for our multifront defense instead of Casey Hampton type may complicated…
      I’m also curious to see what people think

    • D3FB

      I do agree that the days of having one of the two ILB’s be a thumper and the other be the athlete are over. However Shazier isn’t that guy for us. I’ve just seen him get locked up and ragdolled by linemen too much. I understand players can get bigger and stronger, but I don’t think it’s going to be a correctable flaw, not in this defense with the things that would be asked of him. He is probably best served going to a 43 and either playing WILL and being allowed to run and chase, or 43 Mike with two gapping DT’s in front of him to keep him clean.

    • Call Me Carlos the Dwarf

      i’ll take Shazier over Ford every time.

  • andy

    I’d bring Pryor to camp as a WR/athlete. Could have him on game day as an emergency QB, 5th receiver, special packages. Only questions are could he play STs and would he be willing to give up QB?

    • GEAGLE

      Isn’t that Brad Smith?

      • andy

        Yes, but the idea would be to get Brad Smith when he was still good

    • A_T_G

      I had the same thought, but if Prior wants out because he thinks he can compete for a starting role, it is going to take some time for him the get his fill of humble pie before this appeals to him.

    • kevinlied

      Emphatic no as to the second, I’d think. Dude was starting last year. For the raiders, but still.

  • GEAGLE

    No to both…tho I’d get. Kick out of Chip troliing the media and giving them their QB that can’t throw that they have been bitching about for a year now

  • James

    I’m still confused as to why Mark Sanchez is on this team. Can someone explain this to me so that I do not lose my sanity?

    • CrackSammich

      He’s a solid backup QB with starting experience and playoff wins to his name. We could have done much, much worse.

    • Mitchell

      Would you rather have had Tebow?

    • eagleyankfan

      He makes more sense than Mathews being on this team.

  • Mitchell

    Round 1 Pick 22: Odell Beckham, WR, LSU (A)
    Round 2 Pick 22: Jeremiah Attaochu, OLB, Georgia Tech (B+)
    Round 4 Pick 3 (ATL): Will Clarke, DE, West Virginia (B+)
    Round 4 Pick 9 (BUF): Christian Jones, ILB, Florida State (B)
    Round 4 Pick 22: Antone Exum, CB, Virginia Tech (A-)
    Round 5 Pick 22: Brandon Coleman, WR, Rutgers (A)
    Round 7 Pick 22: Aaron Colvin, CB, Oklahoma (B-)

    I about tickled myself pink with this one team. Loaded up on some versatile defense all the while getting two solid WR’s, one big, one (I think) especially talented!!! If you don’t like this scenario, something is wrong with you lol.

  • GermanEagle

    Since Evan Mathis is expected to be a no-show when the first team activities kick off this week there’s still a pretty good chance that the Eagles will need to draft an OG very early this year.
    With so many needs on D it would really be a shame to spend the first two picks on two offensive positions (WR, OG) what used to be one of the teams strengths just a couple of months ago.

    As much as I like Evan Mathis, but he’s either getting bad advise from his agent or he’s living in a dream world. Because a) he won’t get more money from any other team at the age of soon-to-be 33 and b) he won’t find a better system to fit his skills which makes it unlikely to be named an All Pro again should he switch teams. So he better shut the f up and return to work.