Going Offense?

Posted: May 1st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 139 Comments »

I was watching tape on some Florida State defenders the other day. I chose the national title game vs Auburn. If you watch that game, you can’t help but enjoy Auburn RB Tre Mason. He’s my favorite runner in the draft because he’s so aggressive, tough and strong.

Then it occurred to me. The Eagles sent Duce Staley to his Pro Day to work him out.

Mason seems like a lock to be a 2nd or 3rd round pick. Is there any way the Eagles would take a RB that high? I think I’ve shot down this idea to this point in the pre-draft process, but that might need re-examination. After all, you don’t put Duce Staley on an airplane and send him to Alabama for the hell of it. The Eagles are a well-to-do organization, but nobody is going to just waste money like that. The Eagles were more than just curious.

I love Mason. What if Chip Kelly does as well? Would he spend an early pick on a RB? That would bug the heck out of me (even on Mason), but the Eagles could do something like that. Here’s why.

After the 2012 season, Seattle’s defense was 4th in yards allowed and #1 in scoring defense. The offense was 17th and 9th in yards and scoring. Logic would have dictated to spend their resources on fixing the offense, especially the OL and passing game. The Seahawks went into free agency and signed DE Michael Bennett, DE Cliff Avril, DT Tony McDaniel and DE O’Brien Schofield. They did deal for WR Percy Harvin to help the passing game. Then they spent their first draft pick (2nd Rd’er) on…a RB. Then they spent 3 of the next 4 picks on defensive players.

The defense was already great, but still got most of the resources. That paid off as Seattle finished 1st in yards and points. The offense was basically the same as 2012, finishing 8th and 17th.

Was this by design or just the way things happened?

You and I want the Eagles to focus on defense in next week’s draft. We’re desperate for a pass rusher, playmaking Safety, ILB that can run and cover and a CB who can develop for the future. There is depth needed on the DL. The defense needs help.

But think about this draft class. The best position is WR. Next is OL. There aren’t any great RBs, but the group is deep with talented players. There might not be any slam-dunk Top 5 QBs, but the class has some really interesting players. TE is the only position where there isn’t a whole lot there.

There are good defensive prospects, but not quite in the same way as on the offensive side of the ball. If the Eagles do go Best Player Available, that may push them to offense in several rounds. And that could be something they want to do.

As much as I want defensive players, even I have to admit that the defense isn’t going to be a juggernaut unit even with a bunch of picks. This defense is a long term project. The offense was very good last year, but could be even better. That side of the ball could be special if the Eagles add the right players.

We know the Eagles are wanting a WR, possibly as early as the 1st round. They’ve been spending a lot of time looking at OG prospects. They’ve checked out TEs, especially late round guys. The Eagles have even been looking at RBs.

I’m not arguing for them to go with offensive players. I’m not telling you to like it if they do go offensive. I’m simply trying to make the point that this draft might have more offensive players than you want. Be prepared for that possibility.

You have to build your draft plans according to the available players. This year the best talent is on offense.

And Kelly is an offensive coach. He won’t ignore the defense, but Kelly may feel that it is better to build a special offense than to try and balance things out between offense and defense. Balance sounds great, but there is a definite argument to be made for trying to build one side of the ball to be special. That’s what got Seattle a Super Bowl title and helped get the Broncos to the game.

In just a week we’ll find out what the Eagles actual draft strategy is. I prefer defense, but I’m now bracing myself for the fact that just might not happen. There are only 2 specific things that will really upset me. I’ll be ticked off if they pass on Anthony Barr, should he slip to 22. I’ll be ticked off if they spend pick 22 on WR Kelvin Benjamin. Beyond those 2 things, I’m pretty flexible. Obviously this is a generalized comment. There will be a ton of very specific scenarios that could drive me nuts because you never know how things will play out and what choices the team will have during the draft.

* * * * *

For your viewing pleasure, here is Tre Mason vs FSU. Such a tough runner…

_


  • Anthony Hart

    On the topic of running backs, how do you think Carlos Hyde would fit? He’s not a speedster which is what most assume Kelly wants but he has a lot of experience in a spread and with the option.

    • Media Mike

      Bad college program massively detracts from any desire I have to see him on the team.

  • JettMartinez

    I’d like to see at least 1 potential impact defensive player. First three rounds, not to reach for a particular position, but just someone who has a chance to be a starter now or in a year or two replacing a vet. I don’t want to look around in a few years and every defensive position is a glaring need.

    • Media Mike

      They are not good enough to be a great D in any position group. An impact player at any spot on D would be an awesome addition.

  • Tom W

    Eagles visits and interviews are geared towards wrs and lbs early, secondary and ol in middle, and tes and dl late. They also looked at McNeil from USC the top ranked center but I really doubt they take him in the second. Deuce visited like 5 rbs … Most 5 th rd or later guys … Unless mason fell to third round I highly doubt we draft him. Would have to be extreme value pick on the board

  • HazletonEagle

    Tommy I’ve suggested this in the blog a couple times pointing out all the interest we’ve showed in Mason. I’ve joked that we’ve followed him so much he probably has a restraining order. Eagles went to the game against Alabama reportedly specifically to watch Mason. And it wasn’t just scouts. I can’t recall if it was howie or chip or both included in that contingent.
    At the combine duce Staley was running RB drills and had a long talk with Mason on the field before his workout.
    Then we flew Duce to see him again.

    Adding all the reports together it appears the 2 players we’ve shown the most interest in are Mason and Latimer.

    • ceedubya9

      Good stuff. Wouldn’t be surprised if this is an offense heavy draft. I wouldn’t be upset either. The offensive side of the ball is the part of the team that has the potential to be elite, so why not continue to make it even better than last year if the draft falls that way? I do think they will do their best to improve the D, but as they start getting closer to the middle rounds of the draft, the value on Offensive players may be a lot higher than defense.

    • Sb2bowl

      Hazleton Eagle– was wondering where you are from? I’m guessing hazleton, PA? If so, I’m up near Scranton and its always fun to run into fellow Eagle fans

  • Tom W

    One week to go:

    No trade downs

    1) Anthony Barr
    2) Kyle van noy
    3) donte moncrief
    4) dontae Johnson
    5) josh huff
    7) colt lyeria

    • Arby1

      No trade downs

      1) Odell Beckham Jr
      2) Jeremiah Attaochu
      3) Christian Jones
      4) Dontae Johnson
      5) Aaron Colvin
      7) Spencer Long

      • Mike Roman

        Attaochu is a guy I would love but I have a feeling it won’t last til our 2nd round pick. I wonder if the Eagles like him enough to take him in round 1?

        • Arby1

          They might think his production, potential, and age all add up to a #22 value, but from the outside it seems a bit of a reach. As Tommy and others have speculated, a trade back to the bottom of the 1st – beginning of the 2nd would be a better place to get him. But with everyone supposedly wanting to trade back, who knows if we can get a trade partner, that is, if we’re one of those teams that wants to trade back…..

          • Mike Roman

            I agree with you, #22 is a reach for him. In this draft I would love a trade back to get an extra pick or two. The draft is so deep that you can stockpile talent in rounds 2-4. There are teams like the Jets an 49ers that have the ammo to move up. A team like Jacksonville may want to get back into the 1st round if a QB they like is falling. I’m assuming they’re not going QB at #3.

      • Sb2bowl

        I’d do back flips if this is what we ended up with…….. and that would be a sight to see!

    • mksp

      We should all stop mocking KVN to Eagles, his measurables just don’t stack up. Particularly his short arms.

      • Tom W

        Nah thinks that a narrow view … His height and weight are ideal, combine and proday numbers good not great, versatility second to none, intangibles off the chart, leadership and intelligence …. I bet he is our second highest ilb after Mosley followed by Christian jones and Preston brown and barrow and Tripp. The fact that you could line him up inside or outside his first year has to be great news to chip.

        • mksp

          I just don’t see it. I’m almost positive we have C Jones ranked ahead of him.

          • Tom W

            Maybe but jones wasn’t very productive in college … Not nearly as KVn. I forgot to add kirksey on there too … They definitely like him. Reports were we interviewed kvn at senior bowl and came away very impressed … If we project him inside need a qb for the defense. We probably take attaboy or Marcus smith over KVn, but if we get Barr in rd 1 that really opens up our second round pick. I wouldn’t be suprised if chargers or pats take KVn in first round or titans in early second

          • mksp

            Were those reports or just GEAGLE-blabber? I don’t remember seeing anything about the eagles talking to him at all.

            They did bring Kirksey in, FWIW.

          • Tom W

            Reported they spoke w him formally and informallly at senior bowl along w jones and barrow.

          • GEAGLE

            Thinking chargers want him in round 2

        • D3FB

          I doubt a two down backer like Brown is high on our board if he’s on it at all.

        • GEAGLE

          Totally agree…Meco’s eventual replacement will have to QB and lead the defense and I expect KVN to have knocked chips socks off in the interview room…and in case Meco has two years left in the tank instead of one, KVN can play multiple positions to get snaps…As a rookie he will wear so many different hats for us:
          backup Barwin
          See a few snaps at ROLB across from Barwin(3rd down)
          Replace Meco in certain subpackages
          ..
          I wouldn’t be shocked if we had him above CJ, just because he can do some emergency 3-4 OLB that i don’t see Mosley doing……either way I think CJ and KVN sit at the top of out ILB wish list. I got Jones 3rd, Kirksey 4th
          ..,
          Don’t know what to think of Telvin. With “the way the league is trending” LBs that can cover are becoming more and more valuable. Problem is I struggle seeing Telvin at ILB next Mykal in our Base..so I guess I would take him if he were to fall to the 5th and just use him as ST/ Nickle LB specialist, but he won’t ever fall that far. Don’t see how we can draft a LB in the first 3 rounds who won’t be a 3 down LB

      • Media Mike

        They don’t add up at OLB. They work for ILB.

      • GEAGLE

        The point of playing a 3-4 is our DL occupying blockers so our ILBs can run around and be tackling Machines…if our ILBs are having to take on too many blockers than something isn’t right up front..Think ILB is one of few positions where we wont be obsessing over height and arm length…but we shall see, going to be interesting aspect to keep an eye on…but I won’t lose any sleep if we draft C Jones and miss out on KVN….either works just fine for me..

  • Arby1

    Your point about building one side of the team at the expense of the other has been acknowledged by Roseman, which is why I think taking a WR in the 1st is a very real possibility, especially if the Jets pass on Odell.

  • tball_man

    t-minus one week 12+/- hrs.

    • GEAGLE

      Hopefully it’s T minus 8 days because we traded out of round 1 and won’t be making our first pick til #36 :)…or because we aquired Dion Jordan and our first pick won’t come til 54 lol

  • Matt Gosline

    I wouldn’t mind them grabbing Devonta Freeman. He seems like a good pass catcher and he looks really fast at times. He looks like he attacks when he blocks and he does it well.

  • mtn_green

    If Chip Kelly says Tre Mason is the guy, take him. This offense is built around 5 guys and a RB. Tre somehow makes defenders miss without slowing down his north south movement, perfect for chip.

    • GEAGLE

      Also pretty good in blitz pickup already…I would never pound the table for a RB, but I expect Chip to love this kid…

  • austinfan

    Eagles checked out everybody, I think someone must have been a Boy Scout – “Be Prepared.” Go onto Brandt’s blog and you constantly see “Eagles had assistant coach . . . ” at the most obscure schools. Lurie was willing to spend the money and Chip and Howie like being thorough. So don’t read too much in any single workout.

    In free agency they added one starter to the secondary, another starter (Carroll) as a backup, lost only Geathers and Coleman from the defense. They also added Maragos and Braman for STs. However, they’ve also been stockpiling athletes on defense, Kruger and Phillips back from the IR, Long, Kaddu, Acho at LB, K Johnson at S. There aren’t that many open spots on the defense outside of backup DL, so unless a draft pick is a clear upgrade, he’s not a lock to make the final roster, and after the first couple days, who’s going to be a clear upgrade?

    You’re adding talent for 2015-16, if you draft two offensive guys early, then in free agency next year you can spend your funds on defense, and end up with the same upgrade to the defense. So you draft the best players, and in free agency, buy the “ready to play” guy.

    • Tom W

      That’s great and all, but we can’t and won’t be paying all of de meco and Trent and graham next year so drafting their future replacement is a necessity in this draft …. Guys who could start next yr bc we ain’t starting a rookie olb or ilb in a Super Bowl run year like 2015. Need at least two of first four rounds to be olb, ilb and another one a wr.

      • austinfan

        Don’t “need” anything, that’s how they got in trouble in 2011. Take the BPA, and after the season go into FA to patch the holes before the next draft, which is what they did last year and this year.

        • Tom W

          If you think all the eagles do is draft blindly bpa your nutz. That’s the biggest misconception there is. It’s a combo of factors including talent, scheme fit, character, need, premium position etc. If we doing bpa, then we could end up w Johnny football in rd 1 or an otackle in rd 2. Not happening. Eagles balance talent and need w need being the tiebreaker if they have similarly rated players at different positions. So if we have tre mason and Christian jones rated similarly in the third round, we best be going Christian jones

          • Media Mike

            That is where being able to trade down is helpful. If the BPA is clearly a guy you don’t need; trade down until the BPA is a guy who you do.

        • GEAGLE

          BPA is “an old wives tale from the sea”, it’s a fairy tale….it’s a cute way GMs figured out how to say NO comment…it’s basically a term invented to justify doing whatever they want in the draft….BPA would matter if it were a ranking scheme…you would look at your board and draft the I highest name on your board, but BIG BOARDS are made up of grafting system, not ranking system…so when it’s time to pick at 22, we will be choosing between a few similarly graded players. Usually broken into tiers of player….,BPA would mean that at 22 we would draft a RB with an 8.4 grade, over an OLB with a 8.2 grade…and that’s like telling kids Santa is real…
          ….
          Only time BPA,really comes into play is after a couple rounds have already passed, say you get to round 5, and you see that a running back that you have a round 3 grade on is left on the board….you would then draft that drastically higher rated player, even if the position he plays isn’t a need

          • obsolete vernacular

            could not agree more with this. “BPA approach” allows GMs to avoid giving any substantive answers.

      • GEAGLE

        We need that trade down with the Niners bud,,. We NEED it, BAD! Not only would we get a 3rd from Niners(only question is if it will be 77 or the one at the end of round 3), but sitting at 30, you know we will get another trade back opportunity from a team like Oakland or jags that wants to trade back into round 1 for a QB so they can get the 5yr option instead of only 4years taking him in round two…

        if Gamble can get Baalke to choose us as his trade partner! we will strike Gold!! We would get a 3rd from the Niners, another 3rd from raiders or jags(which would be an early 3rd)..,And we would still be able to land A-rod,Cody lat, Attaboy, or Marcus…

        Basically if Baalke chooses us, we can end up turning #22 Into something like:
        #36 Allen Robinson.
        #69 KVN
        #77 Tre Mason
        ..
        Still have 54 to land Attaucho or Marcus OLB
        ,,
        We would still have #86 to either use on a top 100 talent, or to trade back and get a few later round picks..
        ….
        We really really really really need gamble to come thru with Baalke unless Barr falls to us.

        • Media Mike

          77 or they can drop dead and continue to have no chance vs. Seattle.

          • GEAGLE

            Doubt you wanna play hardball with Baalke, considering most teams will be thrilled to trade down and he has the ammunition to get much higher than 22…hopefully he doesn’t have to because a CB or WR he really wants will be available at 22

  • ICDogg

    FSU = Free Seafood University

    • Mike Roman

      Now he has to steal a pot to steam them in. I guess if you’re going to shoplift food, go big or go home. At least he wasn’t dumb enough to steal 33 cent packs of Ramen noodles (no matter how delicious they are).

  • Engwrite

    The Eagles had a good season last year. But the defense was poor. At no time one felt as if the defense could hold. It didn’t with a small lead in the playoffs against NO nor did it hold against a lousy Washington team that was way behind. RGIII passed his team into a winning position and NO ran the ball into a winning situation. Boykin saved the day after RGIII’s silly pass but we have no one to make plays on defense. We have no one to make them pay when the other team becomes one dimensional even though we know what they are going to do. So it doesn’t much matter how much better the offense plays if the other team can always take advantage of our poor defense.
    In other words, compare how much better the team would be with another stud running back versus a stud safety or a stud pass rusher

  • Mike Roman

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/05/01/draft-needs-philadelphia-eagles/

    Maybe it’s just me, but I wouldn’t describe Demeco’s play as being “shaky”.

  • Mike Roman
    • Jason

      Love BGN’s idea of targeting OLB Jerry Hughes from Buffalo as they switch from 3-4 to 4-3. It would be great to pry him away for some combination of Graham and/or Curry. Also worth exploring for draft pick. 4th? Then arbitrage Graham for 5th or 6th if Bills aren’t interested in him.

      • GEAGLE

        I have wanted Jabaal Sheard from the browns! we should have traded for him as soon as they drafted Mingo, now it seems like the new coach likes him. Because he plays so Violent…been a fan of his since Pitt days… I would Call the browns and offer them BG for Sheard straight up..both become free agents at the end of the year, both could use a change of scenary

  • Stevo

    Tommy, I hear you on Seattle, but Seattle’s offensive was tailored to their defense. Don’t give up a lot of points on D, control the ball with power running game (with a unique back like Marshawn + draft/acquire other guys like him), don’t turn the ball over and only force your QB to make a few plays a game (Russell Wilson’s job). Everything balanced and made sense together.

    Billy Davis (and Chip) have said they want a defense that creates turnovers. I see how this could go well with Chip’s high powered offense, but other than Boykin, who’s creating those turnovers? I guess there’s more than one way to create pressure, but you still need playmakers at the end of the day.

    I do agree you have to go BPA and, for this draft, maybe it does favor the offense. Think it’s just my impatience talking, but we’re not going to be serious SB contenders until we get some playmakers on D.

    • Sokhar20

      Kendricks didn’t get turnovers?

      • Stevo

        I’ll give you Kendricks, sure. But look at the last five SB winners. Count how many playmakers each had on D. Each will look a lot better than Boykin and Kendricks.

        • Anders
          • Ark87

            pretty exclusive club, yeesh, good on Mykey K.

          • Stevo

            My point was number of players, not a knock on Boykin or Kendricks. I like Kendricks a lot, but we need more playmakers and at more positions.

          • Anders

            Just your wording made it sound like the playmakers had better seasons than Kendricks and Boykin

          • mtn_green

            For single seasons, from 1973 to 2014, played ILB, requiring Sacks >= 4 and Tackles >= 80 and Interceptions >= 3 and Fumbles Forced >= 2, sorted by most seasons matching criteria.

            Query Results Glossary · SHARE · Embed · CSV · PRE · LINK · ?
            Rk Player Draft From To Tm Count
            1 Lavonte David 2-58 2013 2013 TAM 1
            2 Mychal Kendricks 2-46 2013 2013 PHI 1
            3 Karl Mecklenburg 12-310 1987 1987 DEN 1
            4 Sam Mills 1995 1995 CAR 1
            5 Mike Peterson 2-36 2005 2005 JAX 1
            6 Brian Urlacher 1-9 2001 2001 CHI 1
            7 Patrick Willis 1-11 2009 2009 SFO 1

          • Media Mike

            Where do missed tackles and blown coverages show up on that list?

        • Sokhar20

          No argument from me there. I’d love to add more playmakers on defense. Just wanted to make sure Kendricks was getting his due.

    • Ark87

      I think that is the ultimate plan, much like the Saint’s team that won the superbowl, and to be honest our 2010 team was designed that way (Mc D pretty much sold out for turnovers, and was at least successful at that). Last year our D was a bit vanilla. The key piece is pressure for strip sacks and forcing bad decisions. The other part is letting a receiver look open when they are being covered by someone the QB isn’t seeing (zone concepts help). Pretty hard to have a CB just run with the WR and get to the ball first these days, almost has to be a bad throw or a special CB (again we need pressure).

      While the defense did get some take-aways, the timing was incredible, ended a lot of final drives with turn-overs to win games. I agree with you, that D needs some help, particularly in the pass-rusher front, or we’re going to have to get pretty creative schematically (which will compromise us in other areas).

      • Stevo

        Yeah, thought Billy Davis did an outstanding job putting together the defense, finding creative schematic ways of creating pressure/turnovers and doing what he could with it (don’t think he got enough credit). Of course, there are limits to good schemes. Just not sure how much more he can squeeze out of these guys without an influx of talent.

    • D3FB

      I mean we were tied for second with Tampa last year in takeaways, behind only Seattle.

      http://espn.go.com/nfl/statistics/team/_/stat/givetake/sort/takeTotal

      • Stevo

        True. I’m not going to get into def. scrimmage plays and all those types of arguments b/c I think it’s irrelevant. I do think Billy Davis was a huge success last year and he was able to create turnovers with the talent he had. The Eagles defense wasn’t bad last year (esp. 2nd half), just not SB contender-worthy. I think my points about upgrading and needing playmakers still stand.

        • GEAGLE

          Kendricks sure seems like he has a chance to become a playmaker to me…we need Barwin,Curry and Cox to start stripping QBs when they hit them

          Our defense has a lot of nice pieces in place, but we lack depth across the board which coincides with our lack of subpackages. last year, we were basic and limited in terms of subpackages. The only bench players we would really use was the DL.that can’t happen again.,We need to use 18,19 defenders in games…Depth needs to improve….but our main priority is finding a young Kid who can line up against LT standing up or with his hand in the dirt and produce 12 plus sacks for us… its CRUCIAL that we find a stud ROLB…

      • ACViking

        Tampa was 2nd in the NFL in takeaways?

        I did not realize that.

        The Bucs must have really been one very dysfunctional offense, right?

        And Lovie Smith . . . walking into a good situation, it seems.

        • Sb2bowl

          The defense he inherited already had a lot of very good pieces. Two strong safeties, one very good LB, and now 2 “great” d-linemen. With his mind and those players, TB has a chance to be nasty and aggressive (but they play in a powerful division). If Lovie is able to garner a C+ or better offense, they could be a team on the rise this year and subsequent years.

          • GEAGLE

            They really do have a chance at building a pretty darn good defense…word is they will trade Glennon, which sounds really stupid to me, but whatever….

            Btw, sounds like Giants GM is open to trading Nassib

          • Sb2bowl

            I like Glennon, but if the new coaching staff doesn’t believe (or like his style) in him, no need to keep him. While I think its stupid to disregard a 2nd year player who did pretty well his rookie year, the Bucs don’t pay me to make those decisions.

            Now, if the Giants are “open” to trading Nassib after only 1 year, that’s a red flag for me; Eli isn’t getting any younger, and while he doesn’t miss many games, the Giants typically only carry 2 Qb’s on their roster, which means they may not like what they have in him. I liked Nassib coming out of ‘Cuse, and for a 4th round pick, to me he presented good value (average QB, better than a game manager type, similar style (though not as polished) as Eli)….. that “leak” smells fishy to me

  • ACViking

    Re: What’s a Kelly ILB?

    In Tommy’s prior post, I commented that there’s no guarantee Kendricks will be resigned.

    It was asked, “What’s a Chip Kelly [inside] linebacker?” And in regard to Kendricks, his stats from last season were linked.

    [h/t Anders for asking and finding some interesting numbers, also linked above.]

    No question Kendricks came on fast at the end of 2013.

    He netted 3 of his 4 sacks, 2 of his 3 INTs, and both of his forced fumbles in Weeks 15, 16, 17 — against Minn, Chi, Dallas. [I didn’t take the time to count how many of his tackles came in the last 3 games of the season.]

    Prior to week 15?

    Numbers aside, when I said MK’s not a Kelly ILB, I’m referring to his size.

    If Kelly was here for the 2012 draft, would the Eagles have a spent a No. 2 pick on a 5’11” 237lb ILB?

    Maybe. But I’m skeptical.

    Looking at the Oregon teams, Kelly’s ILBs tended to be guys measuring at least 6’1″ up to 6’3″.
    ________________

    I’m not beating down Kendricks. I was thrilled when the Eagles picked him.

    The late Sam Mills, at 5’9 230″, from Montclair State was one of the NFL’s best 34 ILBs.

    But in the 3-4, Kendricks does have some match-up problems with taller TEs.

    Anyway, my point was only that if Kendricks is not consistently good — as he certainly seemed to be those last 3 games — I could see Kelly moving on to someone else at ILB. Even if it means keeping DeMeco for another season.
    _______________

    Kendricks is not a big guy. He’s very athletic. But not big.

    I’ll be very interested to see where Kelly goes with him after 2014.

    • Anders

      My counter is Kelly’s 2 best CBs at Oregon never was very tall, yet he prefers taller CBs in the NFL.

      His wrs was in general never big, but in the NFL he clearly seems to favor bigger WRs.

      I just think we should already stop looking at what he did at Oregon because he as already changed quite a lot compared to what he did at Oregon.

      Maybe Kelly wouldnt have drafted Kendricks, but why would he keep Kendricks over 1 inch taller and infinite slower and way more expensive Meco?
      The Eagles have even said they hope that Goode can take some of Meco’s snaps, not Kendricks.

      • ACViking

        A —

        I don’t disagree as much as look forward to seeing (i) how Kendricks does this year, and (ii) what Kelly does with the ILBs.

        MK has great play-making potential. Showed last year. Not so much as a rookie. Need to see it again this year.

        • GEAGLE

          What him blow up this year

    • GEAGLE

      I am convinced Kendrick will have a spectacular season.

      people like to complain that Mykal hasn’t completely shut down TEs, but that’s not a responsibility of the ILB. Typically safeties and OLBs are responsible for TEs, and the ILBs would be responsible for RBs/FB coming out of the backfield. Its a testament to what a special player Kendricks can be, that we have see Him on TEs so much. Although some of that also has to do with us lacking the right personel forcing Us to use an ILB on a TE(a little of both)…It’s important to remember that his rookie year was the first time he ever really,experienced playing Man coverage(he revealed that in an interview during his rookie season)

      Kid spent his rookie season as a 4-3SAM in the most dysfunctional situation imaginable. We them move him to 3-4 WILB, make him learn an entire new playbook, and once he started to get comfortable you started to see the flashes of brilliance and playmaking ability. It started to click for him around the Oakland game but by the end of the year! he a started to look pretty damn dominant(bears and cowboy games)..

      He still has a lot of work to do. Just the other day he admitted he needed to improve his tackling and sounded committed to doing so(working on his core strength). But this is a smart, hard working kid who CARES about being great. I would not bet against this kid. We have plenty of promising young players on our defense like Boykin,Curry,Cox,Wolff, Logan. If I had to bet on a young defender to go to multiple probowls, i would go with Mykal all day.

      This kid can be elite in every area of ILB. Once his tackling arrives, he has the aggression, anticipation and range to fly sideline to sideline and be that tackling machine in a 34 two gap. Experienced Blitzer who has been getting after QBs since the Cal day. He already emerged as a playmaker last year, forcing fumbles, sacking QBs, recovering fumbles,coming up with timely INTs out of both man coverag and dropping into zones…Has the speed and potential to grow into one of the best ILBs in man coverage against RBs like Jamaal Charles catching a swing pass, or forte running a wheel route. 3 down ILB…Those are the duties of an ILB!, and I struggle trying to figure out how height has any impact on that position…I can’t even make a case for how being a tall ILB can help other than having a better chance to jump up and bat Balls down I guess.. Actually, Mykals height can be used as an advantage in many cases if he masters the use of leverage.

      I’m expectng a probowl caliber season out of Mykal Kendrick this season, making a name for himself and in 2015 being named to his first probowl. So excited to get to see this kid in year two and I think the continuity will provide an absolute stud for us. you can tell when he knows what he is doing because he looks shot out of a cannon, and I expect to see a lot more of those plays

      This kid is going to be special. I have no doubts this kid puts on a show this year…wonder what weight he will play at this year..

    • repski@yahoo.com

      Watching this video is why Robinson should be the #1 pick in the draft. He is going to be a beast LT for the next 12 years.

  • Baloophi

    Way too soon for me to watch these highlights, but if you squint about 20 rows up in the center-right of the Auburn end zone you’ll see me and the in-laws, confident in what-looked-to-be an impressive BCS championship win.

    If you flash ahead to Jameis Winston’s on-field interview where he claimed to have carried the team on his back the whole game (???), you might catch a group of people standing around my shock-frozen father-in-law as maroon and gold confetti lands on our heads.

    Barf.

    • TommyLawlor

      Barf, indeed.

  • mksp

    Reading between the lines of all these GM interview / Mayock conference calls, I’ve decided that there is no way Kyle Fuller falls to #22 and I’m going to have to settle on a Marcus Smith / Attachou / Dennard / Lee – type pick. Which sucks. I mean, I like those guys, but they’re not on Fuller’s level in terms of impact, at least day one.

    I think Fuller / Barr are going to be the last of the “elite” players that we have a chance of drafting depending on how other teams reach for QB / OL help. Maybe ODB or Cooks as well, but I could see them going higher.

    I think Xavier Su’a FIlo is wildcard at #22, wouldn’t shock me.

    • GEAGLE

      Two nights ago I had a dream Dennard tore his ACL in a predraft workout with us :)

    • D3FB

      What I love is that three weeks ago when Tommy mocked Fuller to us everybody crapped on him for it. Now most people are hoping he lasts to us.

      • Tom W

        Still ripping. Don’t think fuller is worth 22 and really don’t think he is bpa and corner is like our fifth biggest need. The kid would sit on the bench all year.

        • D3FB

          He’s the best corner in this draft. He’s got the best combination of coverage ability and physicality. Fits what we want to do perfectly. He’s got perennial pro bowl upside. He’s safe because if things don’t work out at corner you can slide him back to safety and make him Malcolm Jenkins 2.0. If Martin, Mosley, Barr, and Haha are gone it comes down to him or one of wideouts. None of them have top 10 at their position ceilings, Fuller does. After the top 6 corners the position falls off a cliff.
          Do you “reach” for Ward? Deone? Smith? Attachou?

          Of the guys we are going to be picking at 22 nobody except maybe the receivers who don’t have the same ceiling as Fuller is going to be playing more than 40% of the snaps this year. Get the best talent and solidify the position moving forward.

          • Media Mike

            A corner, given the nice cap space the team will recoup via a cut of Cary Williams going into 2015, makes sense at #22.

          • D3FB

            Plus Fletcher is a free agent after the season and Carrol is a relative unknown.

          • Media Mike

            I’d 100% bring Fletcher back considering he knows what we do and won’t cost a ton. I love Williams as well, but the age / salary / talent mix leaves his prone to be cut. Neither guy is great, but they’re solid. I think we need to be better than that in one spot at least.

          • Tom W

            But you save more cutting cole or demeco so based on that logic we should go ilb or olb before corner and get a wr to replace djax cheap who was 10 mil.

          • Media Mike

            I didn’t say OLB or ILB didn’t.

          • Tom W

            That’s your opinion but I think Gilbert is easily better and Dennard and roby are both close. Doesn’t fit what we want to do bc he sucks at press coverage. I actually watch his games and the kid was horrible at it. Beyond that he got beat deep w ease twice against Clemson and bama in man coverage. You can parrot mayock to me but most pundits have Gilbert higher. Zack Martin? Short armed sack Martin from overrated talent pool notre dame. No he definitely isn’t even on the eagles board. And if you don’t think that odb, latimer, or Arob have elite position upside you are crazy. Beyond that, our wr3 last year played close to seventy percent of the plays. Our fourth and fifth corners …. Barely a snap. Furthermore, young corners notoriously suck. Hence why teams like Seattle and the pats draft them late and develop them. And the safety nonsense is nonsense … You don’t draft a player in the first round thinking he can transition to another position as a fall back. And how did Jenkins work out …. Saints fans are happy he is gone. Hey I like the kid and have him rated in my top 40, I just realize that we are going Mosley, Barr, haha, odb over him. Eagles would trade down before they picked fuller

          • D3FB

            Gilbert makes Asante look physical, as far as pure coverage Gilbert gets a slight nod but lets not act like he’s some magical press corner. He presses but doesn’t jam. He has no will to mix it up. Great athlete, but as we saw with DRC that only gets you so far. Roby is in the same boat but is far more volatile both on and off the field. Dennard is a walking PI in the league. Fuller is fine is press coverage, no corner comes into the league perfect at press.

            How can you say Notre Dame is an overrated talent pool and then praise ODB? So you’re saying past performance by players from a school is an indication of current players draft prospects? Well then you must hate Lee and ODB because WR’s from their schools have predominately sucked in the league. Martin would be a guard for us where arm length is minimized and would be a high quality player there.

            As far as me quoting Mayock to you, that’s laughable. I do my own tape study and don’t watch much NFL network. I had Smith, Lattimer, and Fuller graded out where they are considered to be in January. I started watching tape last August. So for you to claim I’m not doing independent analysis is a joke.

            ODB and Lattimer are both good players who should have long and steady careers. Like I said though neither one will ever be a top 10 player at his position. A-Rob is a nice player but massively overrated. Give me Cody Hoffmann in the fifth over Robinson.

            WR’s also have an incredibly high bust rate. I looked at it a few months back and both big and small WR’s taken in the first three rounds have a bust rate of 53%.

            The safety comment was simply saying he’s a safer pick. If he doesn’t work out at corner he’s not out of the league he’s at least an adequate safety.

            Like I said I would prefer Mosley, Barr, and Haha but I don’t think it’s terribly likely any of them are going to be available.

      • mksp

        It’s our island!

    • Tom W

      Eagles definitely have odb and Mosley and Barr and haha rated high than fuller. Wasn’t that impressed of his horrible ability to press anyone at the line of scrimmage and the two deep tds he have up in man coverage in four games i watched. Definitely not elite.

  • shah8

    I will be completely unsurprised if we get an offensive guard in the first or second. I think that’s actually the most likely position we draft on offense, depending on who falls. If we trade up, it will be for WR or defense, but if we stay at 22, the strongest possibility is OG who can handle tackle in a pinch.

    • botto

      sounds true because the o-line is one of the most important pieces of this run heavy offense, so an athletic beast is going to be needed. its not a popular pick when it happens only when it shows on the filed.

      • shah8

        No, I think the focus will be on pass protection and depth. Great run blocking is an extra, here…

    • A_T_G

      I am hoping our current guys allow them to hold off until the third or fourth, but I have questioned the mocks that have us completely ignoring OL.

      • ChaosOnion

        If Herreman’s age and Mathis’ contract issues are a bigger deal than we understand, an OG high in the draft is a foregone conclusion. Just Herreman’s age alone means it is time to reload.

      • GEAGLE

        Don’t see why we would draft an OL high..

        Then again, it’s impossible to have any clue about OL in this draft. Can’t know what you need, if we don’t know what we have..For all we know, our coaches see Bamiro,Dennis.and Tobin as eventual starters and we don’t have room for new linemen. Or….our coaches see them as players who don’t belong in the NFL and we have a major need at OL.
        ..,
        It’s been like two years since any of us Saw Dennis Kelly. How we address OL in the draft should give us a good idea of what our coaches think about our bench players..

        I like the G/C fom USC, but I believe if you draft a OG in round 1-2 he should start day 1….If we don’t plan on playing a rookie OL this year, than I would strongly consider the injured Brandon Thomas G/T.. He is an opportunity to get a fringe round 1 talent in rounds 4-5 and we have the starting line in place to IR a kid we draft at that position. Whether we land Brandon or not, drafting a OL before round 5 probably isn’t the best use of our resources in this draft….
        .,
        We only have 6 picks right now, so I’m hoping we can afford to not draft an OL at all this year. I expect our starting 5 to reach a higher level this year, getting a year together using Stoutlands technique under their belt. last summer, 3 of our starters were busy rehabbing from serious injury. This year they get to reap the benefits of our offseason program. Lane won’t be a rookie anymore, and Herremans got better as he got more accustomed to playing RG. There is a chance that Herremans has more left than we think! playing at a higher level than we expect???we don’t know what we have in Dennis!Bamiro and Tobin, but Barbre seems like. Reliable insurance policy..

        Because we Only have 6 picks, I would strongly consider not drafting an OL..like I said, if you draft a OG in the first two rounds, he should a try day one…so If Herremans doesn’t rebound as he gets more accustomed to RG, . We can draft a RG early in next years draft(Hroniss Grasu G/C from Odegon)

        • A_T_G

          Agreed that the nature of the OL makes the backups difficult to evaluate. No sub packages, no sharing of snaps. Does special teams offer any hints as the FO opinions of those guys?

          • D3FB

            Not really the only two groups they would be put on would be FG and FG block. If they are on FG it just means they don’t want to risk a starter getting an ankle rolled up on and the backup has enough mass to stonewall any push. On FG block it would simply be because they are tall with long arms.

          • A_T_G

            Yeah, that is where I was headed too. I thought someone like you, who knows a lot more about this stuff, might be able draw a conclusion from whether our backups play more or less special teams than a “normal” NFL team. Wishful thinking, I guess.

          • GEAGLE

            Don’t recall ever being this interested in a 3rd or 4th quarter of a preseason game

      • D3FB

        Billy Turner is our guy in the third round. Has three FCS champ rings as the starting LT for NDSU. Can play LG, RG, or RT for us. Needs a year in the incubator but he’s gonna be special.

        http://draftbreakdown.com/video/billy-turner-vs-kansas-state-2013/

        • Media Mike

          Starting RG 2015!

    • Tom W

      What happened to all your preaching about defense only early for the last two months.
      You crack me up hiral

  • Dan

    Yes, more than two things could tick you off and tick you off more than those two things, like them trading up to get Benjamin or them trading down and still passing on Barr.

    • A_T_G

      Or passing on Barr to draft Benjamin.

      • GEAGLE

        I don’t think it’s possible to pass on Barr. Talk about shock

  • GEAGLE

    I have been worried about Chip falling for Mason for a while now because he is the perfect back for what we do. I wouldn’t be surprised if we work out a trade for Bryce Brown in the days leading up to the draft, have the frame work for a deal in place and agreed upon, and only pull the trigger on the deal if we draft Mason. Even if we have a deal in place for Bryce(7th, 6th round if we are lucky), I wouldn’t want Mason at 22 of 54…if we trade back to #30 and get the #77th pick, I would be ok using that pick on Tre……”DUECE”‘scouting “Tre”..where’s “Uno”???

    Wonder if Andy would want Bryce? Andy drafted him, got a first hand look at his rookie season, when Bryce ran for like 600 yards in two games. Maybe Andy would be interested in a Bryce/Charles pairing… Miami signed sucky Knowshon to a one year deal, wonder what Billy Lazor thinks about Bryce?
    ..,
    I prefer leaving the RBs alone, since we have plenty more pressing needs, but my gut says chip will be sweating uncontrollably like a crackhead trying to refuse a rock when he sees this kid at the top of his board, and this kid is such a perfect fit that I doubt Chip has the discipline to pass on him…hopefully Howie comes to the rescue, and gets Chip like an extra 3 picks to make up for spending a high pick on a position we are pretty rich at..

  • GermanEagle

    I totally understand your Barr and Benjamin tick-offs, however what would will you do if the Eagles draft Johnny F at #22, Tommy?!

    • A_T_G

      I am going to assume we are planning to turn him into a LB.

      • GermanEagle

        Whom?! Johnny F? No, he will play safety!!!

        • Maggie

          Why not?

          • GermanEagle

            He seemed ready to tackle at his pro day when he was wearing those pads! Just do it!

  • jamesbondage

    Mason reminds me of Marion Barber. Tough runner, but won’t play long because his body will take a beating. Wouldn’t mind the pick in later rds.

    • Media Mike

      Exactly. I’m not trying to hear about a RB in this draft until rd 4 or later.

      • A_T_G

        Hopefully Chip and Howie will say, “What’s your man got to do with me?”

        • Media Mike

          Positive K in the house!

    • anon

      What makes you say that? He might get 5-10 touches a game for the first 3 years, then switch to a feature back (or move on). To me the issue with picking guy’s that aren’t ready to start is that you end up waiting half the rookie deal trying to teach them up.

  • SteveH

    Interesting that Howie is suddenly very talkative about the draft. 10 top tier WR’s, not a great safety class, we wouldn’t hesitate to trade up… That’s more than he’s said the other 11 months combined I think.

  • GEAGLE

    QUESTION for all:
    ..
    Say we are fortunate enough to land At #22. would you trade your 2015 1st round pick for a early round 2 pick that gets you Allen Robinson? Kid turns 21 at the end of August..wonder how much of a beast he would be playing at PSU next year….

    If we land Barr at 22, we could easily sit tight til 54 and wait for a WR, but we would probably have to settle for mathews, Adams, Moncreif if we are lucky..If Robinson, Moncroef or Latimer get to play for a good coach with a good QB, think you can see them have a better career than some of the guys in that tier above them: Evans,OBJ,Cooks,Lee…another upside to mortgaging our first next year for an early 2, is we would nail down,franchise ROLB and franchise WR and still have #54, which we can either trade back for more picks, take a 2nd high upside WR like Moncrief take our ILB like KVN..TE like NIklas or ASJ
    ..
    We may not have a 2015 first round pick, but that pick will probably closer to round two, if you add Barr.A-Rob and KVN in the first two rounds…

    • Baloophi

      I wouldn’t. I tend to think the “pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today” model when it comes to trading future picks is risky business in the NFL.

      Missing out on a high round pick (even if it’s late in the round) is one of those invisible things that can really set you back. Especially because it’s likely to be more than just next year’s first – other teams will expect our first rounder to be late next year, too. The player you pick has to not only perform at the level you ultimately draft them at, but also account for the opportunity cost of getting that pick, and that’s some tough sledding.

      On top of that, I’m not personally very high on Robinson or at least not as high as many people here seem to be, perhaps because I don’t live in the PSU radius. Lastly, I wonder how much value Kelly really places on WR – we tend to forget he’s really a running coach. Would he be willing to cough up a first round talent, plus whatever extra pick we’d have to throw in from this year, at the expense of whoever else you might take with the newly acquired pick for a fringe top-ten receiver this year?

      • GEAGLE

        Personally, I would feel much better about trading a 2015 2nd round pick for an extra 3rd this year. For example, get #77 from the Niners for 2015 2nd round pick…..that way we would still have our first round pick next year and we can try to trade back, and get an extra 3rd to make up for the 2nd we traded away…

        • Baloophi

          Part 2 of that scenario is what Reid use to call “making us whole again.” Remember that verbiage?

          I’d be more comfortable with that scenario than I’d be throwing future firsts around, but I’d still be vary wary… (“vary wary” would be an awesome phrase for Elmer Fudd, B-T-W).

          I think it would take a significant slip of a guy we LOVE to do that trade.

          I’d also try to extract some sort of sweetener from the Niners… like a future 7th from them.

          • A Roy

            Even better if you picture Barry Kripke saying it.

    • A_T_G

      Not interested, and not because of the player. I hope to never see the Eagles trade away a pick from a future season.

      A year ago, many thought it made sense to trade one of this year’s picks to move back into the first for Geno Smith. How frustrating would that move be today?

      At the end of the season, we could be discussing whether Benn or Maclin is going to sit next to Cooper on the flight to the Pro Bowl.

      It is never a good idea to steal from your future.

  • http://twitter.com/ezgreene ezgreene

    Question for the group and Tommy. With Kelly in town, which reporter seems to get the best info. It seemed like pre-Reid it was Eckel, McLane for Reid’s tenure, but now I’m not sure.

    Thoughts?

    • GermanEagle

      I am not sure if he gets the best info out of Chip Kelly, but the (football) opinion I value the most is Sheil’s (besides Tommy’s and Derek’s of course).

    • A Roy

      It would seem to me that Jimmy had the coup regarding the former Eagles WR.

      • anon

        Yeah but i don’t think that came from anything that CK said, that was just jedi mind tricks.

    • Tom W

      Seems like rube frank if anyone but really no one. Nationally it’s rappoport

  • Jernst

    You are absolutely right, Tommy. I have no idea if it’s the smart move or not, but get ready, because I’d be willing to bet that the absolute latest the Eagles take their FIRST wide receiver is the 2nd round. I don’t think it’s likely, but if Mike Evans falls to the mid teens I wouldn’t be the least bit shocked if we traded up. And, I’d be shocked if the Eagles don’t take 2 WRs this year. Book it!

    • Maggie

      I still say trade Mccoy to the Rams for #13, take Barr. Yes McCoy is special, but for how long? And just maybe, like the article say, some folks feel he is overpaid for a running back.

      • Jernst

        Holy crap…this is a joke right? McCoy is 25 yrs old, he’s the best back in the league and our entire run first offense is built around him, and you want to trade him straight up for a rookie LB with upside that we could trade up for with a 2nd round pick or less? What is it with people around draft time that always want to trade away our best players for draft picks, I seriously don’t get how that strategy helps a team take the next step.

  • Tom W

    Mosley, Barr, odb at 22 in that order. Evans isn’t falling past 8 so let’s stop w the trade up nonsense. Maybe we trade to 19 for any of the 3 I mentioned. Most likely when they all gone, we trade back w niners so they can take fuller or Dennard or roby or lee or latimer or cooks. Then hopefully we trade back from 30 again w titans or jax or vikes for a qb they want … Jimmyg or teddy. Then take attaboy and Buchanan in the second, Bryant/moncrief and Christian jones and tre mason in the third, and dontae or exum or Dakota dozier in the fourth. Rock and roll

  • Greg Richards

    I can’t justify taking any RB in the top 3 rounds unless you can trade Bryce Brown for a starting caliber player at another need position. Pure logic tells me that McCoy’s personality may not be a fit for what Kelly likes and they may not think paying a RB as much as they’re paying McCoy isn’t a wise cap allocation. Pure logic tells me that they may view Mason as an economical replacement for McCoy after this season or the next. However that pure logic is based on more of a long-term plan and we were good enough in season one under Kelly that it would be disappointing if we sacrificed potential talent that could help this year in favor of a more long-term focus. I understood it with Jackson considering the strength of this year’s draft and the long-term cap needs considering Foles is eligible for an extension. To double down though and take McCoy’s replacement would be going too far. BPA and all, I know, but in reality there are a few players available at each draft spot that have identical or near identical grades and it’d be nice if we took one that could help significantly this season. A RB in the 5th or so, fine. Give me Jerick McKinnon.

    • anon

      I wouldn’t be too surprised if we restructured or moved on from #25 if they find the right rookie. It’d obviously be sad — I’d like to see all players retire here but I think a guy like tre mason could work well in the scheme and cost under $1mm.

  • Raul Estrada

    He reminds me so much like Duce. Not afraid of contact. Legs keep churning away. Has soft hands. Hits holes quickly.

  • Jerry Pomroy

    A little late to the convo, but I don’t think I have agreed more with Tommy. I’ll be ticked if they pass up an opportunity for Barr & I’ll be ticked if they take Benjamin at 22. I also wouldn’t be upset if they added Mason in the 2nd or 3rd.