Let me respond to some recent questions about players and the Eagles.
Why don’t you write much about CJ Mosley? He is a terrific prospect, but I think he’ll be gone by 22. Mosley is smart and instinctive. He is an outstanding tackler. He wraps up his targets and puts them on the ground with authority. I think the Eagles would love to add a player like him, but he’s not the kind of guy the Eagles are likely to move up for.
What do you think of Ra’Shede Hageman? He drives me nuts. Good Hageman is something special. He can toy with blockers, using power and athletic ability. The problem is that he doesn’t consistently play to that potential. Should be a definite Top 15, if not higher, pick, but he’s so erratic that he’s not even a lock for the 1st round. I think he’s best suited for the 4-3, but he could definitely play DE for the Eagles. He’s just better attacking than playing 2-gap.
What WR do you want in the 1st round? Marqise Lee. He’s not as fast as Cooks, but I just like Lee better. Tough, clutch player. Great RAC skills. I think he’d be dynamic in the Eagles offense.
Why do you say Brandon Graham isn’t a fit in the Eagles defense? Understand this…your opinion means nothing. My opinion means nothing. This is all about the Eagles coaching staff. They could care less about PFF and pass rush percentage. Chip Kelly, Bill Davis and Bill McGovern are looking for certain players with certain skill sets for OLB.
Graham isn’t the body type they want. He’s shorter than they prefer. He doesn’t have the skill set they want. The coaches prefer an OLB that can rush and cover. They’re not asking the guy to be gifted in coverage, but he must be functional so that zone blitzes are effective. Graham spent last year looking lost in coverage.
Both at Michigan and with the Eagles from 2010-2012, Graham attacked. There was no reading plays. His job was to fly upfield. The current defense just isn’t a match for him. Could Graham be a situational 4-3 rusher? Sure, but you don’t always have the luxury of carrying guys like that. Complicating the situation is the fact that Graham is coming to the end of his rookie deal. The Eagles aren’t going to extend him. He’ll go elsewhere and play in the 4-3. Why not deal him now and get something in return?
Where will OLB Jeremiah Attaochu go? I wish I knew. Former scout Daniel Jeremiah said on Twitter recently that he and LB Marcus Smith could go earlier than expected since this isn’t a deep class of OLBs. I don’t think Attaochu is in play at pick 22, but I also don’t see him lasting to pick 54. He could be a target if the Eagles move back.
What about OG Xavier Su’a-Filo? Good player, but another tweener value wise. Probably not worth pick 22 to the Eagles, but I doubt he lasts to 54. Played LG and LT for the Bruins. Solid athlete with a good frame. Can run and pass block, but isn’t great at either.
What do you think of ILB Christian Jones? He’s become my favorite ILB from outside the 1st round. I went back and forth with him and Kyle Van Noy, but there is something about Van Noy that bugs me. He doesn’t use his hands well on a consistent basis. You have to watch Jones from 2012 to really appreciate him.
What about RB Jeremy Hill? Good RB, but he does have some character questions. I’m not sure he’s what Kelly is looking for in a RB either. Good athlete for a guy his size (about 230 pounds), but I just don’t see him being a Kelly RB.
Could CB Terrance Mitchell be of interest to the Eagles? Lacks the size they prefer (“only” 5-11, 193), but he is a terrific press corner. Excellent ball skills and an instinctive cover guy. Mid-round pick because he’s slow. Ran 4.63 at the Combine and 4.56 at his Pro Day. That can work in a system where the CBs mostly press. Not all 32 teams will have interest in Mitchell. I like him quite a bit.
Do you like NT Daniel McCullers? Not really. He is 6-8, 351. That’s great, but too often he plays like he is 6-2, 300. McCullers is a bit of a gentle giant. That’s not good. Big guys need to play big. He should have been physically dominant in college, but you just don’t see that on tape very much. Kelly will love his size, but they’ve got to be bugged by his style of play.
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One thing you have to understand this year is that confusion reigns supreme.
— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) May 3, 2014
Will there be 4 QBs in the 1st round or none? Will any of them go in the 1st round? I hope NFL teams are as confused as I am, as well as the rest of the media. There are lots of good players, but trying to figure out who will go where even in the Top 10 is very tough.
I put together a mock draft for PE.com on what I think the Eagles could do. This isn’t my preference. I want a group that focuses on defense, but I just don’t think that is going to happen.
Later this week PE.com will post more of a scenario that I would prefer.
And I’ll post a final mock here on Wednesday that will likely involve some trades. Only having 6 picks is driving me nuts.