Mr. Nice Guy vs Bad Picks

Posted: May 13th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 170 Comments »

A few people hit me up on Twitter during the draft with the complaint that I wasn’t being critical enough of the Eagles. They saw the picks as being reaches or outright bad picks and therefore I should be more critical.

I liked each player the Eagles took, with the exception of Ed Reynolds. I was ambivalent about him. While I didn’t “like” that pick, that doesn’t mean it was bad. There were other Safeties that I preferred, but Reynolds was very good value at that point. Still, I wanted a more compelling player.

One of the reasons the Eagles took Reynolds is his brain. They were very impressed with his football IQ when they brought him to Philly for a visit. As an outsider, I could only go off tape. Reynolds is solid on tape, but not compelling.

The other players were all guys that I really enjoyed watching and studying. Marcus Smith went early for some, but on April 17th I had written a piece saying that he could be a target if the Eagles moved back in the 1st round. That means that 3 weeks prior to the pick, I thought it was a possibility. Would it then make sense for me to rip the team for doing what I had said was possible?

Josh Huff went earlier than expected. I was a big fan of Huff’s and listed him as a player I wanted the Eagles to take before the draft began. The fact the Eagles took him in the 3rd round didn’t bother me at all because I thought so highly of him. Frankly, he’s a guy I had a hard time valuing. He had a terrific season (18.2 yards per catch and 12 TDs). He was good at the Senior Bowl. He worked out well.

Huff’s size/speed ratio is odd. He’s 5-11, 206. You don’t find many WRs that are under 6-0 and more than 200 pounds. Mix in the fact that Huff ran 4.51 at the Combine and you’ve got a player that is hard to figure. He’s not big, but he’s not small. He’s not slow, but he’s not fast. I liked the tape, but didn’t want to rate him too highly.

The Eagles felt differently because he was such a great fit. They want guys that can play inside and outside. They want guys that can and will block. The Eagles love guys with good RAC skills. Check, check and check. Huff had the right personality and skill set. Some team running a different offense wouldn’t have had the same value. I can understand that difference.

And I don’t think taking Huff in the 3rd round was unreasonably early. If the Eagles took him in the 1st or 2nd, we’d have a different discussion.

I think one of the other factors here is the fact I don’t look at the draft through my own eyes.

I’m a 4-3 guy. Always have been, always will be. Beyond that, I don’t like 2-gap players. I prefer my DL to attack. The Eagles running the 2-gap 3-4 is as far from what I want as it could possibly get.

But what I want doesn’t mean squat. I study draft prospects from the perspective of what the Eagles want. They want 2-gap guys up front and press corners on the back end. They want interchangeable Safeties. When the Eagles draft those guys, I think they are smart picks. Those players may not be my ideal choices, but they fit what the Eagles do.

I’ve been angry with Eagles picks over the years. I hated the Jon Harris pick in 1997. I didn’t like the Ike Reese pick in 1998. I hated the Todd Pinkston pick in 2000. I hated the Freddie Mitchell pick in 2001. I hated the LJ Smith pick in 2003. In 2006 I had Winston Justice and Max Jean-Gilles as 2 players I wanted the Eagles to avoid.

The last Eagles pick that really bugged me? Nick Foles in 2012. I wanted Kirk Cousins. Oops.

I’ve been wrong over the years with plenty of picks. I thought Chris Gocong was a great pick and that he would become a terrific pro. The first time I ever appeared on Eagles Live, Dave Spadaro asked me to talk about a player outside the 1st round that could be a name to remember. I talked about Gocong and a month later the Eagles took him. I was on Cloud 9. Unfortunately, Gocong didn’t pan out as I hoped. He was solid, but not the guy I anticipated.

I loved the Matt McCoy pick. Loved it. He was one of my favorite players in the 2005 draft. I was ecstatic when the Eagles took him. Needless to say, that didn’t work out so well.

I wrote about prospects from January til mid-May. I didn’t want Daniel McCullers or Johnny Manziel or Trent Murphy or Logan Thomas or Justin Gilbert or Kelvin Benjamin or Kony Ealy and so on. Some guys I didn’t like as players (McCullers) while others I didn’t think fit the scheme (Murphy). Had the Eagles taken a player like this that I had written about not being a target or making sense as a pick, I’d have been critical of them.

Whether you like the Eagles picks or not, there is logic to them. That’s the key for me, whether talking about the Eagles or any other team. Is there logical thinking behind the pick? I can live with a pick that isn’t what I prefer if it does make sense in some way, shape or form.

I’m not going to rip the Eagles for the sake of it. That’s just not my style. I’m an optimist by nature. I know that goes against being an Eagles fan, but that’s part of what makes me such a complex and fascinating person (did your BS meter just go off?). Actually, the big difference for me is that I’m not from Philly. That gives me a different outlook on things and my writing reflects that.

* * * * *

Jimmy and I weren’t able to record a new H2H show on Sunday or Monday night. We’ll do one some time in the next few days.

I’ll be posting some more in-depth scouting reports on players. During the draft I don’t have a ton of time to write since I’m busy commenting here and on Twitter. Now that we know the players, we can study the heck out of them and really get to know them inside-out.

_


  • Mitchell

    “Jimmy and I weren’t able to record a new H2H show on Sunday or Monday night. We’ll do one some time in the next few days.”

    My heart just imploded Tommy. Imploded. I hope you can live with yourself.

    • sprawl

      I’ve been compulsively refreshing the podcast feed since Tommy’s previous post–I can’t be the only one!

    • TommyLawlor

      I was ready to do one, but Jimmy refused since he was getting a pedicure. He said “Let them wait.”

      • Mac

        I only donate to Eagles writers who aren’t pansies.

      • Maggie

        Are you saying that Jimmy doesn’t actually walk on his knuckles?

      • Mitchell

        That bastard. lol.

  • anon

    TJ Ward looking like a dummy they paid DJ Hayden 5yr. $68mm. Glad we don’t have any start corners Sherman f-cking up the whole market.

    • TommyLawlor

      I’m confused by this. Who got what?

      • holeplug

        he means joe haden

        • anon

          Yup…different positions (CB vs S) but even ETIII got pizaid. Pat Peterson saying he wants Sherman $$. Maybe getting to play for Broncos is worth it but i’d definitely be looking at my agent sideways right now if i’m Ward.

          • D3FB

            I mean you’re also talking about arguably 3 of the top 4 corners in the game. Ward is a good (great if you want because I’m not getting in that argument again), player but he’s a SS, who only has 5 career turnovers. Earl Thomas got paid because he’s a top level FS and a guy you can literally build your defensive scheme around.

          • Dominik

            I’m with you. When you look at Seattle, Chancellor often is some kind of a 4th LB for them. Against 12 looks there are the two corners and Thomas covers basically the whole deep middle on his own. If you play this way with Kurt Coleman sitting back there, you can’t count how many times you get burned, despite having Sherman. Seattle doesn’t get burned and that’s what they pay Thomas the money for.

  • Sean

    It was a good draft overall. My only gripe is that none of these players seem to have star potential. Several of them can be very valuable contributors and even good starters, but likely not much more than that. Chip doesn’t appear all that interested in adding star-level talents to the team, in general, instead having quality players and depth at every position rather than multiple elite talents.

    • sprawl

      Isn’t that just the result of having the #22 pick and not wanting to do anything insane like the Bills did trading up?

      • anon

        both

      • Ark87

        Yes, but also the picks were pretty safe. You get the feeling we will get what we paid for. After so many years with Reid you could always count on having 1 or 2 players where you could totally see them working out to be awesome, but there also a huge chance that they wash out. Lotto tickets basically. Bryce Brown was such a pick.

        • sprawl

          I get what you’re saying but if I try to distance myself from being a fan of Bryce Brown then I just read this as “Bryce Brown was an unsafe pick” and winning the lottery means getting a future 4th round (possible 2016 3rd round) pick after developing a 7th-round player for 2 years.

          • Ark87

            Well sort of. Bryce Brown washed out of 2 college programs but was a top recruit out of highschool. Wasn’t supposed to get drafted because his odds were that bad despite an intriguing size and speed combo. Another example like this going the other way is Curtis Marsh. A guy with great size and athleticism but simply super raw. He`s has not shown a back for the position and growth has been slow. Other times he would take a small and athletic guy, the infamous fastballs, knowing that some of them can overcome that and be special. Majority of them don’t work out, but you could see what he was hoping for

        • Scott J

          Besides McNabb who did Reid draft in the first round that became a star player?

          • Cliff

            Wasn’t a 1st, but VERY close – DeSean Jackson.

          • Cliff

            Lito Sheppard was a top corner for years. He was selected #26.

          • Cliff

            Shawn Andrews and Corey Simon belong in the “Lito” category. Maybe not household names around the NFL, but definitely top level players during their time in green.

          • anon

            Cox would have been a star if we played 43, now he’s a good player.

          • Ark87

            You must be responding to someone else as I wasn’t talking specifically about the first round, nor was I championing Reid. Just saying he regularly gambled on players with a serious flaw but tremendous potential. He would gamble on the player overcoming the flaw and cash in on that potential. Most washed out, a few shined, but it was mostly an either or proposition.

          • Scott J

            I just think your exaggerating using the term “star potential”. Only the top 5 to 10 players in a draft would have an expectation to be future pro-bowl stars. Maybe we have different definitions of a star? I understand what you’re saying with this draft. I think because so many of the guys we drafted won’t be starters, it feels a little underwhelming. But that just shows how good the Eagles are. Not many starting spots open. Can’t wait until training camp and see what these kids can do!

          • Ark87

            I never used that term, or talked about the first round specifically, which is why I think you’re mistaking me for someone else. Perhaps the original poster?

          • Scott J

            You’re right, sorry about that! I thought you were the OP.

          • Ark87

            no worries, I did something like that too, let some poor guy have it about all this stuff he didn’t say haha.

      • Sean

        Not really. I’m talking more about their approach for the last two offseasons. They have focused pretty much exclusively on polished prospects who are already at or near their ceilings, with the exception of Lane Johnson. Chip has much more interest in character, scheme fit, and versatility than raw talent. It’s not necessarily a good or bad approach, but it does limit the kind of player they will acquire, and thus the kind of team they will field.

        • sprawl

          Understand–hopefully they’ll have more chances for those lotto picks in the future. I think the fact that this is the first draft Chip’s been a part of since he’s actually coached any of the guys on the Eagles roster in an NFL game has left him with a wish list too long to make any room for projects.

        • D3FB

          At the same time Lane was the only top 10/15 player we’ve had the ability to draft. Guys who go later than that, who have really high ceilings are being drafted later because their floors are somewhere between an underground bunker and Dante’s seventh circle. Just look at Martavius Bryant. Could he be a top 10 WR and an absolute stud? Possibly. Is he far more likely to be on his second or third team or out of the league by the end of his rookie deal? Yep. Where the Eagles are right now I would rather take guys who are at a minimum going to be quality contributors, likely solid staters, and a decent probablity of being above average players.

          • Sean

            Fine, but what exactly is the point of drafting Beau Allen? He’s David King all over again. Why not take a chance on Christian Jones or Da’rick Rogers or at least someone with the natural gifts to become something special. It worked out pretty well with Bryce Brown.

          • D3FB

            Beau Allen projects to be a quality backup NT. He helps improve the position, so that you don’t have to move Thorton if anything happens to Logan and can be a more reliable player than Square when Logan needs a breather.
            King is nothing like Allen. King is actually the kind of player you propose we should take. He was a highly recruited, good athlete, who was a bit of an underperformer.

            People fell in love with Jones for some reason wanting him to play ILB for us. Go back and watch his 2012 tape when he played more LB. He has no instincts. Da’rick Rogers couldn’t make the Bills squad out of camp and then was behind DHB on the Colts depth chart, so lets not act like he was some borderline offensive star. Both those guys clearly had some personality issues and I think it’s pretty clear Chip doesn’t have a ton of interest in bringing in those kind of guys.

            Bryce Brown is an extreme exception and to act like all the highly talened guys who fall to the seventh or UDFA are likely to make teams is ridiculous. I’ll take the guys who can be solid contributors to your team like Allen over guys who have an fraction of a chance to become great players.

          • Maggie

            The plan.

          • Anders

            Some of the Eagles biggest contributers the last many years have been guys like Avant, Celek, Herremans and Cole, all 4 there was more like the Huff or Hart pick than a Martavius Bryant.

        • mheil

          I disagree. They start with raw talent first, and then look for character,etc only among those with the talent, size requirements. If the scouting report is accurate, Smith is not near his ceiling, nor are any of the other choices really. The nose tackle only played the position for one yr.

        • Anders

          We drafted super young and unpolished players in Earl Wolff and Joe Kruger. Logan needed to learn how to play NT after having played 1 gap DT in college.

    • Scott J

      I heard during the draft that 50% of first round players have successful careers. The top 10 had a higher percentage. Each round the percentage goes down.

  • Scott J

    Some of the picks surprised me, but after hearing Kelly and Howie talk about their draft strategy, the picks made more sense. We’re so used to secrecy and BS during the Banner and Reid regime, it was nice to get so much info into their thinking.

    • anon

      It’s good they pick for scheme and “mentality” instead of who’s the biggest athletic freak or who has most stats, etc. Be nice to have draft classes that actually play for us.

      I can us being like the Spurs, great system, we can get system guys off the st. or from Europe and still be great bc everyone buys into the system.

      Be nice if we don’t have to play starters 100% of every game so maybe we can have something left for playoffs…

      • Frencheaglesfan

        Agree but bad example, the Spurs have a great system but they also have a HOF team, I mean Duncan/Parker/Ginobili, it’s been a while since that trio terrorise the court and they are still in the top 3 of the NBA

        • anon

          The starters on that team played less than 30mins a game during the regular season — they have the best bench in the league (ive been learning a lot during NBA tonight).

          Was thinking who our pro bowl nucleus is — seems like a changing of the guard, but could be Foles, Matthews, Shady?

          • mtn_green

            You gotta throw peters in there.
            Shady, Foles, Peters, ???
            I agree with others, chip seems to spread the ball around to different receivers might not have a sole star wr or TE.

          • Frencheaglesfan

            What about defense? Ryans, Cox, Boykin?

          • DanJ3645

            I hope the defensive nucleus is: Cox, Kendricks, Smith and Boykin.
            I worry that:
            Boykin is only that level in nickel and will leave for outside starting money.
            Kendricks wont develop.
            That Smith’s ceiling is Barwin – very good but not a star.

            O looks much better – Foles, Lane, Kelce, Ertz with Peters and Shady already fully established at that level.
            Maclin also has potential to rise into that group.

          • Anders

            Smith’s ceiling is star OLB, floor is Barwin imo.

            Kendricks was a play making ILB last year playing in the 5th defensive system in 4 years.
            Boykin will be paid by the Eagles, they say that he is a starter, so why wouldnt they pay him like one?

          • DanJ3645

            I just went to pull some stats up to show why I feel Kendricks still has a way to go to match Pro bowl level (I had Bowman in mind to compare).

            Actually Kendricks had a much better year, stats wise, than I realised.

            Feeling a lot better about him now – thanks for getting me to look again.

            I was also trying to get across (poorly) that I have a greater worry about the core of the D. Less names and lots more hope for development. Compare this to the O which seems to have players who I feel are more likely to achieve consistent Pro Bowl performance.

          • Anders

            Also according to Football Outsiders, Kendricks’ tackling problems are widely overblown, he had only 9 missed tackles all year (PFF had him at like 21, so question who is most right?)

            Also this:
            http://www.pro-football-reference.com/play-index/tiny.cgi?id=5gPye

    • Christopher Miller

      I am with you. Really refreshing to hear things did not fall the way we hoped but they had a plan and executed it. I don’t know if it was the conditioning by the previous regime, but every time Chip does exactly what he said he wanted to do I find I am surprised. Maybe some day I will actually start believing.

      • sprawl

        I get pretty excited whenever I think of Chip getting exactly the kind of guys he thinks he needs.

        We need to remember that last year at this time Chip had never coached an NFL game.

        He had never coached ANY player on that roster in an NFL game or true practice.

        He did his best to put his guys in a position to succeed but he really had no idea how they would respond when put into game situations trying to execute his scheme.

        Things might get nasty this season…

  • bsuperfi

    There’s no way to get every pick right. It’s all risk management.

    I’m not so sure that some guys don’t have star potential, as some have suggested. Our first two picks could turn out to be superstars. It’s all about scheme fit, development, and motivation with these guys. It’s not like they’re merely average athletes.

    Tommy, you kill it around draft time. We get from you well reasoned arguments, which are so difficult to find around the draft. It stinks that you feel the need to respond to the critics, partially because you treat the draft as an exercise in risk. You actually do a great job with what some call intellectual empathy – trying to make out the best counter arguments you can so your arguments become stronger. Who knows, maybe you’ll become a 3-4 guy yet.

  • ridusofreid

    Dude- I read four or five eagles websites and I gotta tell you yours is the best. Very well thought out, well researched and nicely written. Much appreciated my friend. On a side note , I agree with you that Kelly and Roseman have a plan. Reid collected players, Roseman and Kelly are creating a team. Individual players may be steals or disappointments but clearly there is a plan in place. ‘Bout time.

    • Maggie

      If I might be so bold as to pat myself on the back, I posted this on Monday.
      “Don’t know how many times it needs to be said, but the Eagles have a plan, a backup plan and a long term plan. None of their plans include listening to fans with little knowledge about college players. None of their plans include going helter-skelter after every whim of somebody wanting this, that or the other WR or LB in these comments. If they tried to please everybody here, they would end up certifiably insane!”
      Glad you agree.

  • anon

    Not to sound narcissistic, but i hope this had nothing to do with my impartiality comment a couple of days ago — thought it’s really great to know that you read the comments and take them to heart.

    You’re a great blogger, scout, and human being. I’m glad you take the time to understand the picks, while fans like myself go crazy b/c the Eagles didn’t trade up and take Jarvis Landry before the Fins could steal him. All of us are here b/c of your insight and dedication to this team, i’m glad you continue to keep it real.

    • Insomniac

      Graham + a 5th for Landry after Olivier Vernon goes down with an injury this year. Yea I know..never going to happen. I’ll just watch welfare-Landry in Huff.

  • Flyin

    Here is a 22 minute video of Josh Huff plays over his career at Oregon. Enjoy!

    Btw, thanks to the person that posted this link over at BGN.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9SI4Ecnfug&noredirect=1

    • anon

      there’s a lot of triple option there. I can see that missing on ODB we wanted huff. seems like he does a lot of what desean was asked to do, only with more physicality.

      i’ve thought in the past that this is a finesse team, espeically on offense, looks like CK wants physical players that fight for inches, i love it. Excited to see the personalities of these guys. I hope one of them can salsa.

      • Flyin

        “CK wants physical players that fight for inches, i love it.”

        I agree and think you nailed it on head with that line. It looks like Huff would rather run through a brick wall than going out of bounds or laying down.

        Seems like a great pick/fit to me. After watching his highlights and learning about his family troubles… I am really pulling for him to be special.

        Family story on Huff… Eagles fans should read…

        http://www.oregonlive.com/ducks/index.ssf/2013/09/oregon_football_ducks_receiver.html

        • Mac

          Do you think self-tacklin’ will be extra motivated this year in light of the possibility of losing playing time to Huff?

          • Flyin

            I hope the attitude of being physical is contagious throughout the locker room. I think Maclin is already motivated to get back on the field and prove himself on his one year deal.

          • BreakinAnklez

            I think he’ll be losing time to Matthews before Huff..but I really hope he steps up.

      • Maggie

        With the name ‘Huff” he should dance more like Travolta.

    • Asian eagle

      I was ok with the pick but really love it after seeing these highlights. He’s tough and fights thru arm tackles and regularly makes the first guy miss. Looks like he’s got good enuf speed and playing on ST is a bonus. Tommy how does he compare to a young Steve smith? Is that a good comparison?

  • anon

    Andre Johnson might want out of TX — any thoughts? I love him in fantasy (when he was playing with Schaub). I’d be willing to trade that conditional 3rd/4th for him — too much, too little? he’s old.

    • Anders

      Old and too expensive

  • PK_NZ

    I think we did solid overall. Solid being the key word, we’re a better team after the draft, but don’t think we got any superstars either…

    The only issue I had was with the Hoff pick. 2nd WR seems like a luxury pick when they probably should have drafted some OL depth with that 3rd pick… Just think back to 2011 (or was it 2010?) when we played almost all backups on O-Line by the end of the season…

    • IAteLunchToday

      Howie already addressed that and said that there was a run in the third and when they looked at their board there was no one left and they didn’t want to reach because there was a big drop-Hoff.

      • PK_NZ

        Well Dozier Dakota and Michael Schofield were still available, not that I know anything about OL evaluation, but those two were players Tommy had mentioned before…

        • CrackSammich

          I think you can tell by the context clues of them not taking Dakota and Schofield that they didn’t want them, or thought it would be over drafting them in the 3rd. Debating it past that seems like yelling for the sake of yelling.

    • mtn_green

      That was 2012 Kelce, peters and one other. Feels good to be debating between wr4 and ol6

      • Anders

        Peters, Watkins, Herremans and Kelce was all injured or just bad.

  • A_T_G

    I was reading comments sections on other sites (yeah, i know, and I tested negative) and the circular debate of whether Smith was a reach is amusing. One side saying we could have gotten him later because all the draft experts say so and the other side saying we couldn’t because of hints that other teams were going to take him. It is funny because the experts who are willing to share their opinions don’t matter and the GMs who matter aren’t willing to share their opinions.

    • Cafone

      I was thinking… If the Eagles only got a 4th rounder in that trade, then traded the 26th and the 4th rounder for an early second round pick and a third rounder, then took Smith with that early second rounder, that would have been pretty good, right? Same result in the end. The Eagles got Smith and a 3rd round pick.

      In a way, the awesome deal Roseman got to move back gave him a little leeway to be careful about not losing Smith.

    • livingonapear

      Did Platinum call you a shill too?

      I don’t know why it never occurs to people that there is less information before the draft than after. Like, you still have all the scouting reports that you had before, and now you have MORE information which allows you to confirm or dispel what you previously believed.

      We previously believed that Marcus Smith:

      A) Had 2-3 round talent (depending on who you ask)
      B) Could be had in a later round

      But now that teams are being a bit more open about their draft strategy and have less reason to hide the facts we find that:

      A) Had first round talent for 3-4 teams
      B) Was a target of at least the Redskins

      More information cleared up the misconceptions.

  • nickross23

    I don’t get how there was so many ppl against the pick of Huff. He is Mr. Versatility in this offensive scheme. Tommy mention his combination of height at 5’11, his build at a cut 206 along with his 4.51forty. To me Josh Huff is a weapon that is built like a RB playing WR while adding value as a ST player. I remember during the season a couple formations where DeSean was lined up in the backfield with Shady while Nick’s in the Gun and thinking to myself this has to be a pass all the way or a decoy play with Desean cuz he’ll get killed if the gave him the ball out of the backfield. Now with Huff you have a player that is big enough and has the experience with this scheme to be a true duel threat option on this formation. Do we hand the ball off to Huff or shady, do we throw a pass? Maybe moving on from DeSean was just about football really

    • Insomniac

      He excels at nothing. It’s the same with Matthews.

      • nickross23

        His versatility is where he excels, and that’s clearly one of the many qualities Chip is looking for in a football player. To be considered as a Superbowl caliber team you have to build your 2deep up with good quality players. That’s what this draft class looks like to me without them playing a game yet of course

        • Insomniac

          I’m tired of hearing versatility.. The same things were said for Damaris Johnson and Brad Smith. They amounted to nothing. I’m wishing hard that they’ll prove me wrong but pegging guys to do X and Y before they step onto the field is blind homerism.

          • Flyin

            Think Jeremy Bloom… and then get back to us.

          • Insomniac

            The ice skater? I never heard about that guy again until now.

          • Flyin

            Ice? Winter.?.. I thought he won 2 golds for Underwater Free Dancing

          • Insomniac

            Looks like we’re both wrong. He won golds in skiing though.

          • Flyin

            Freestyle I know. Merril Reese was ecstatic for Bloom. It was hopes and dreams he would achieve on the NFL stage. This draft is different.

          • nickross23

            Damaris IMO offerd us nothing seemed like a guy AR preferred then he made the team over someone like Russell Shepard which I thought was a mistake, Brad Smith’s better days are behind him. Its not blind homerism when he has done these things his entire college career. Of course he like the others have to prove it on the field at this level. It makes the projection a little easier when u know the player has the experience in these areas.

          • Insomniac

            See Chip’s scatbacks production (in the NFL) if you need more examples.

          • nickross23

            Huff isn’t a back though so I don’t get why you’d bring that up. He’s built like a back, but I was simply just using an example of to how I’d think Huff could be used.

          • Insomniac

            Everyone thought they were going to produce in various ways. They haven’t done anything at the next level.

          • nickross23

            Yes but none of them are playing under the same coach and scheme. That same scheme that made Blount, James, and Thomas stars

        • xlGmanlx

          If he is 1″ taller, we are talking about how he has “great size” and that he can mix it up. This kid shows up on tape and has the kind of multi threat that Kelly gets excited about. This has Kelly putting him in better positions all over it.

      • Flyin

        Regarding Huff… I don’t care if he excels at any one thing. I do care that he accels timely and will accel into contact. Which he has shown to make a play the tough way.

        • Mac

          He might even catch balls in the endzone.

        • Insomniac

          I’m not trying to knock the two WRs for what they are. They have likable intangibles but sometimes the laws of nature just come into effect. There’s always going to be someone that you can’t outwork because they’re either more gifted than you and also works just as hard as you.

          • nickross23

            Time will tell to see what we have and what we could of had.. Should be a great camp and preseason ahead of us

          • Insomniac

            Yup. I’m just limiting my expectations to not be let down again. I’m looking at you Fletcher Cox and Kendricks.

          • xlGmanlx

            I’m sure Howie’s dreading his camp exit interview. Huff signed less than a week after the draft and SEC all time record setter said he wanted to get his degree so that he would have no distractions once he was a pro. This kid has the work ethic to be one of the greats, but only time will tell. To make authoritative statements at this point is a little frivolous.

          • Insomniac

            Please quote said authoritative statements. I’m just going by what I’ve seen from watching breakdowns of these two and thinking of how they might transition to the highest level of football.

      • livingonapear

        Matthews makes tough catches in traffic, finds holes in zones, takes great angles, creates space off the line of scrimmage, and is very hard to bring down.

        The entire Vandy offense was based around him beating tight and double coverages.

        • Insomniac

          I’ve watched every tape possible online and came back with the same conclusion every time. He’s okay at everything. Hands, toughness, route running, and elusiveness. Sure he could have some splash plays but he has work to do.

          If they both work out then cool. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they end up as just a #2 and #3 WR.

          • livingonapear

            Ok, def agree to disagree.

            Honestly, if he is a #2 receiver and that’s it, I’m ok as long as he’s a great compliment to the #1 we eventually get.

    • bill

      I was always surprised last year at how ineffective the handoffs to DJax were. Granted, they’re not staples, but I do think the plays serve a purpose in Chip’s scheme. The problem was that elite speed is overrated on those plays, IMO. Better to have vision, cutting ability, and some power. DRC and other DBs had no fear of going in to tackle DJax. I foresee some blown arm tackles when it’s Huff bearing down full speed on a DB like DRC.

  • nickross23

    In order of being Superbowl contender we need to have a balance of star impact players along with good solid back ups in our 2deep. The top two teams in the NFC SF and Seattle have incredible amount of depth and every position. Having such depth gives them the ability to have a longer window of opportunity for multiple Superbowl runs. This being yr 2 remodeling of the eagles roster I think they did a great job adding quality depth. Until they play a down we don’t know who’s going to be that star player though.

  • JJ_Cake

    Your draft analysis was well presented. I’d bet the guys complaining about the draft picks don’t have much more knowledge than what they get from the nfl or espn draft “gurus”.

    I also prefer the 4-3 but would rather see the Eagles win a Superbowl. I think being an Eagle fan and being an optimist go hand in hand. Why would anyone want to be an Eagle fan if we did t believe the team would make it some day. One might argue that the McNabb TO SB should’ve been ours because Belichick was cheating.

    Anyway, no need to defend your choices… Well except for being down on Foles initially ;)

  • mtn_green

    Is love to see a post about the scheme of the defense. One of the justifications for TE three four was that it is successful against the inside zone read. I’d guess Washington is gonna tone that down, 9ers already have.
    Chip isn’t one to say ‘I know the 3-4 and that’s what we are doing’

    • D3FB

      Just a couple of benefits of the 34.
      -More speed on the field. Most 34 OLBs are faster than 43 ends.
      -Extra LB’s who are better special teams players than DL.
      -Ability to run a more complex scheme. Good QB’s destroy basic schemes, it why schemes like the Tampa 2 are on life support.

      • Jack Waggoner

        But you really don’t have any more actual linebackers who are good at special teams in a 34 then in a 43. Just because you call Trent Cole a linebacker instead of a DE does not make him a better special teamer.

        • Anders

          That is why we brought in Braman and drafted Smith.

          • Jack Waggoner

            Special teams??

            I think on defense Smith will be a lot like Barwin.

          • Anders

            No, how we are going from 4-3 DEs to 3-4 OLBs

          • Jack Waggoner

            The confusion is in the terminology but on the whole the front seven is bigger in a traditional 34. Think about it.

        • D3FB

          Trent isn’t a good example because he was a player that was always a bit on the smaller side for the 43 and was then asked to transition to the 34. Marcus Smith is a better athlete than Kony Ealy. Clay Matthews is a superior athlete to Greg Hardy. Connor Barwin is a better athlete than Lamarr Houston. So on down the line.

          • Jack Waggoner

            Do you think, that on the whole, 34 Teams have better special teams than 43 teams? I haven’t seen any evidence of that.

          • Anders

            There isnt any, but that was Kelly’s own reason for liking the 3-4.

            Also one of the benefits of a 3-4 is that it is better against spread teams as it put more people who can cover on the field (when the transformation is complete)

          • Jack Waggoner

            To me, the main advantage of the 30 is a bigger team up front. You replace a smaller ILB with a larger OLB.

          • bill

            2 things stand out to me:
            1. I may be wrong about this, but 2-gap 3-4 always struck me as easier to slot players for. Big, strong dudes on the line, but don’t need to be explosive athletes. Tweener athletes of varying skills and speeds at LB. It always seemed to me that it was harder to find a “pure” 4-3 DE that projected well as a pass rusher than it is to find OLB. But again, I’ll admit that I might be wrong about that perception.
            2. More deception in the 2-gap 3-4. Yes, most times the ROLB is the guy who’s going to rush the passer, but zone blitzes are more effective out of a 3-4 where you can expect your ROLB to be at least partially competent at dropping into a medium zone coverage area.

          • ICDogg

            I agree with the 2nd point. The 1st, it varies from year to year.

          • D3FB

            That’s one of those things that from a statistics standpoint would be hard to uncover. Trying to untangle the impact of coaching, the K/P impacts, field (ie harder to kick it out of the endzone in Green Bay in Dec than in Miami or NOLA).
            However from a simple intuitive standpoint having an extra handful of more athletic players from the defensive side of the ball helps.

          • Jack Waggoner

            I think it’s more the other way around. The ideal ST’er is not as big as an OLB and they have fewer ILB’s.

          • Jack Waggoner

            I realized that was confusing. I’m referring to the size of 43 LB’s… They would all be ILB’s in a 34.

        • livingonapear

          But if you draft prototypical 3-4 linebackers, then you do usually have better special teammers. So you have to adjust how you build your team, but when you do that, it pays off in special teams as well.

  • Mac

    I realize that there aren’t many who will agree with this analysis outside of Eagles fandom, but Bryce Brown > DeSean Jackson.

    • Insomniac

      What?! Desean may have shit on Chip’s bed and all but what Bryce did for us pales in comparison to what Djax did for us.

      • Mac

        It was a joke, kind of… DeSean obviously did more for the team on the field, but Brown netted us some picks in the off-season.

    • Flyin

      You’re right! We got a return on Bryce Brown..

      • nickross23

        Hahah yea, NAILED IT!!

  • mtn_green
  • shah8

    I suppose the only pick I truly don’t like is the Huff one. Marcus Smith is logical, and so is Jordan Matthews. And I wish draft philosophy was more of a risk taker, as in take a shot or two at someone with stuff you can’t teach.

    I’d say that it’s pretty unfair to criticize you for not standing up to the man. I’ve always thought of you as a cheerleader, and well, that does mean putting a positive spin on things. Other people, like me, can do all the ripping. Also, I’ve never thought you wouldn’t refuse to make criticism if sufficiently agitated.

    • Jack Waggoner

      Whether they were the best guys on the board or not, they seem to be good fits.

    • mksp

      Some context from Domo’s column today (insight from an NFC personnel contact):

      http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/eagles/nfl_draft/20140514_An_insider_s_view_of_Eagles__draft.html

      Josh Huff
      WR, Oregon
      5-11, 206
      Round 3 (86)

      “He’s another guy I really like. They took him exactly where we had him – in the third round. The kid has outstanding hands. Not good, not excellent. Outstanding. He’s a quick-twitch receiver. He explodes off the line of scrimmage.

      “He’s versatile. He can play inside or outside. You can line him up in the backfield. Oregon did that a lot with him and got him matched up on linebackers. That was, like, forget it.

      “You can motion him and throw it to him in the flat. He shows great ability to adjust to off-target throws. He has good body control. He’s effective on bubble screens. He’s a difficult guy to cover because of his suddenness. He’s elusive in space. Has good balance. He can elude tacklers and run by defenders. He can play in the slot or on the outside.

      “He does have some diva in him. He can be a high-maintenance guy, but Chip [Kelly] obviously knows him, and that should help. We loved his tape, but didn’t like his interview process. He was kind of clownish in his interview with us. He’s one of those guys who will make a 20-yard catch, then lay on the turf. He’s not a mouthy diva. He’s not going to do a lot of trash-talking. He’s more of a see-what-I-just-did guy, which, sadly, is not unlike 90 percent of the receivers in the league. But I loved him.”

      Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/eagles/nfl_draft/20140514_An_insider_s_view_of_Eagles__draft.html#zglJ6YBa82bB5mlT.99

      • bridgecoach

        Huff also has great acceleration after slowing mid route – the kid creates separation in a lot of ways.

  • xlGmanlx

    In Howie and Chip we trust, the rest is just noise. Looks like another year of solid, smart, high character players and competition across the board with ST as the gateway to playing time. This will be another season of upgrading the talent across the ranks. They need to lessen Shady’s touches early and I would like to see a higher pace in season 2.

  • Jack Waggoner

    I think on the whole that the Eagles picks were kind of safe where there were still players on the board that had, perhaps, more upside. But they are also less likely to fail. And some of these guys can contribute right away.

  • Jack Waggoner

    Another thing we learned I think is that this was a Chip Kelly draft. As opposed to a Howie Roseman draft.

    • Anders

      How?

      Kelly wanted Hart in the 4th, Howie wanted Watkins, we picked Watkins.

      • Jack Waggoner

        Only after assuring Chip that his man would still be available in the next round.

      • Insomniac

        I believe it was the 3rd for Hart?

      • DanJ3645

        I think it can be seen that Chip Kelly sets the parameters for what he needs from a player.
        So the drive on minimum / maximum physical attributes comes from Kelly.
        The intangibles come from Kelly – football intelligence etc.

        Howie appears to own the draft process. The setting of the draft board. The decision to trade back or pick.

        Kelly obviously has significant input in the act of setting the draft board and a loud voice in the draft room.

        Like wise I’m sure that Howie’s beliefs around how to build a team somewhat dove tail with Kelly’s. High character / intangible players with minimum physical traits to support a high ceiling must feel very good to Howie. He saw how Andy Reid and Joe Banner lost their jobs by chasing high risk high reward players.

        Overall I think this draft has shown Jeff Lurie was correct in keeping Roseman. He has continued to show he can move up and down the draft board, getting very good value. The Hart anecdote shows to me how he is well linked in to the rest of the league, in the same way Heckert was on draft day, and that he was willing to enforce his opinion on Chip. I am giving him a pass on the 1st round having missed the 6 players they had targeted. Given the discussion of cost to trade up highlights that the team had really tried to get a deal in place to secure the player they wanted.
        I understand the DeSean situation will continue to weigh against him for some time to come, but with the contract and the league ‘knowing’ that they wanted to get rid him it was a tough sell.

      • eagleyankfan

        I’m with Anders. Everybody told me this is Howies team. Chip tells Howie what he likes in a player and Howie gets that guy. However — I still call bs on that because out of all the players in the draft — Howie himself found 2 Oregon players? No likely.

        • Anders

          Consider the parameters Kelly sets for players he want in most cases fit Oregon players, it is hard to believe?

          • eagleyankfan

            lmao. True. very true.

          • DanJ3645

            Oregon runs roughly the same schemes.
            Therefore it is highly likely that the parameters are the same (probably more stringent as there is a need to be closer to perfect given the smaller margins in the NFL).

            Given a 2 gap defence that is still a minority in college ball and the drive to look at evidence and reduce projection it probably skews the chances of Ducks making the ~150 on the draft board for the Eagles

          • Anders

            Yea, both Beau, Hart, Reynolds and Smith all played in a 3-4 with 3 of them playing in a 2 gap 3-4, makes em easier projections.

  • Jack Waggoner

    A lot of people, including many who should know better, I think that teams just put all of the players on a list from 1 to 250 and just take the top guy remaining off the list. Or perhaps that they take the best safety of the list if they need a safety. And any other way of thinking, to them, is stupid.

    Teams contribute to that misperception by using terms like “best player available”.

  • SteveH

    Just out of curiosity, what was it about Matt McCoy that had you excited?

  • Cafone

    You really need to pump up the negativity and controversy if you’re ever going to get an ESPN job.

    • Jack Waggoner

      Yeah, the problem with acknowledging you don’t know everything is that you no longer are qualified to take a job as a know-it-all.

  • Jack Waggoner

    I’m getting too damned old to type on a tiny phone screen.

  • Anders

    http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/eagles/20140514_An_insider_s_view_of_Eagles__draft.html

    Seems the only pick this guy didnt like was Smith and that because he didnt fit his own teams scheme, so clearly Domo talked with a 4-3 guy

    • Insomniac

      2014, where Eagles fans hate drafting a solid safety in the 5th round and an entire article of quotations make an article.

    • livingonapear

      The stuff on Smith has been weird. A lot of talk that he can’t anchor, but it seems on tape that isn’t the case. One guy says he looked overmatched 1 on 1 at the senior bowl, but I thought Tommy said he did really well. Same with the talk on his hips. He shows pretty fluid hips in coverage, and the ability to transfer back to a pass rush from coverage. Maybe that’s just me.

      It was good to see that we weren’t the only ones who wanted Huff in rd 3. I had a hard time getting past that, and now I’m good. Sometimes you just need somebody to say it out loud.

    • Dominik

      4-3 team out of the NFC who uses its safeties like this:

      “We play press coverage with our corners and drop a safety down in the box and have another safety with range.”

      Means, classic FS/SS. Could be a Seattle guy. And those guys have a little bit of history with late round guys, and he seems to like them all.

  • livingonapear

    Here’s what gets me about McShay and Kiper with their big board and mock drafts: They aren’t paid to be experts, they are paid to sell the draft.

    If the draft is just a bunch of names on paper, then it goes back to the single chalkboard affair it used to be. But because you have McShay and Kiper filling in the names with adjectives and expectations, there’s a reason to get emotionally invested in the process. They have to be knowledgable and have good connections to Front Offices, but their job is to give you enough knowledge and emotional connection to x number of players so you tune in. Their big board and mock drafts are the marketing tools they use to develop those emotional connections.

    Football has done a masterful job of inviting its fans into the process. The draft, the all-22 cams, and fantasy football have all made us feel like GMs and scouts. And that’s cool. I like feeling like I’m a part of the league, and blogs like this use tools like the All-22 to make better fans.

    But when you have people insisting that So and SO is a reach because they don’t appear on a list that’s basically a Christmas Catalogue for football players, then I get all ragey.

    • Koala

      I think the media at large sells “stories” nothing wrong with that. People like stories, but there’s a trickle down effect. The sheer mass of the ESPN’s and yahoo sports and the like effect simply by proximity the discussions on blogs and smaller indy-sites. Again, nothing wrong with that, but it does bear keeping in mind.

      When the draft happens is when people REALLY get to see where teams have players ranked. Not where just a few people have them. It’s a democratic process. Look at Manziel, in the public’s eye his stock flew up leading to the draft. People at my job were “stunned” he was still on the board at 22. Truth is it looks like NFL teams weren’t as high on him as we were led to believe, but his name sells ads and gets viewers so he gets talked about a lot. People tend to assume if you get talked about a lot you must be good, and the inverse that if you don’t get talked about much you must not be special.

  • Dominik

    @ T-Law

    Since I’m only a regular reader here since last summer and this was my first draft on your board, I did some digging the last few days over your analysis of the Eagles drafts the years before.

    Not that you need any defense, but you were pretty right most of the time. You called the Jarrett pick a reach, for example. Leads me to believe you would call Smith or Huff a reach, too, if this would be your opinion.

    Of course there were some mistakes (liking C. Matthews and Marsh, not liking Foles), but this isn’t science. Of course players don’t pan out who were good prospects at that time. Nobody is right all the time, even great organisations like the Seahawks make mistakes, like picking a 4th rounder and cut him after TC in the same year, and they got paid good money to do their evaluations and do this for a living.

    I get the fans who are sceptical if there is too much positive hype going on. I’m one of them. But before they criticize you, they should do their research on your work.

  • eagleyankfan

    Ok if Huff is the perfect slot guy(I still have my doubt about this pick) where does Jordan Matthews fit?
    T-Law — no offense. It’s expected that you like every pick. If you didn’t expect a pick you’re going to like(read find) the reasoning behind it. I had not issues with the players taken or when the were taken(I question going to the well too much from Oregon). But hoping there is solid reason to take them. What I do not buy is the garbage about Eagles wanting those 6 players. There was zero chance of any of them making to them at 22. If they really loved a player they would have moved up to get them. I think any team after 20 could say they loved those players too.

    • DanJ3645

      you don’t believe that Howie was telling the truth when he stated that the price was too high for the Eagles – with the Bills messing the value for other buyers?

      • eagleyankfan

        After something happens — Howie can say all he wants. Doesn’t mean it’s true. Howie choses his words carefully.

    • Anders

      Consider the over price ever team trading up paid, it would have been very costly to move up.

      • eagleyankfan

        I don’t think the Saints overpaid to get Cooks. I think that’s where weight comes into play. Eagles wanted more picks. If you want more picks, you can’t give up the picks you have. I think if the Eagles really wanted Cooks, they could have moved up and taken him.

    • Scott J

      If you don’t have a problem with the players or where they were taken then why care that they are from Oregon? I think it’s a plus. They know the offense and won’t have a learning curve.

      • eagleyankfan

        I just think — with very limited picks, taking 2 players from the same school where 2 coaches were from are biased. However, I didn’t study these players at all so I’m taking the word of Chip/Howie here.

        • ICDogg

          It’s a risk reduction strategy to bring in guys you are most familiar with. I have no problem with it once you get past the first couple of rounds.

    • Scott J

      It was rumored that Cooks was one of the 6 and if the Saints didn’t jump up and draft him, the Eagles would have. That’s why they traded down.

      • eagleyankfan

        That’s part of the point. Cooks was within reach. If the Eagles REALLY loved him, they would have moved up to take him. I don’t think the Eagles thought that highly of Cooks. Maybe they would have taken him if he was there. Maybe not. Eagles did want another pick in the draft. We’ll never know for sure.

        • Scott J

          If Manziel was drafted ahead of the Eagles, then everything would have been different. They could have ended up with one of their 6 targeted players. How frustrating was it watching Clinton-Dix go to the Packers? Arg!

          • anon

            eh, if he does WAY less likely we get that third on the tradeback.

        • Koala

          I’m not sure the Eagles were in any position to be moving up ,in the first round, this year. With only 6 picks, unless the guy they moved up to get would have been a sure-fire star, it would have been hard to justify.

  • GEAGLE

    Loved this draft.. Not sure which draft I I like more, this years, or last years…

    • eagleyankfan

      Anything stand out that you really like? Any guy specific you’re excited about?

  • Tumtum

    I seem to remember Tommy calling the JJ pick a reach too.

  • MattE

    Great article. The draft for the second year under Chip has made sense which is all we can ask during the draft. For example some picks under Big Red were head scratchers more so than Chip so far. I think the other take away from this draft is that OLB/ILB are going to be a HUGE risk/reward position. We live in a 3-4 world now guys so get used to taking chances on linebackers in general.