Unresolved Issues

Posted: May 11th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 99 Comments »

There are a couple of areas where the Eagles didn’t make moves over the past several days. Let’s take a look at Brandon Graham’s status and the ILB situation.

I have written quite a bit about Brandon Graham and what his future may be. I was surprised the team didn’t deal him. We don’t know why the Eagles kept him for sure, but we can examine the possibilities. First, they could have decided keeping Graham was the smart move. No one questions the fact that Graham is a talented player and he can rush the passer. The issue is finding a way to regularly use him in the 3-4.

You can put him at DE in sub-packages, but that still is going to be a lesser role. Is it worth it to keep a guy for 15 snaps a game when you are virtually certain he’s going to leave once he hits free agency? Would you be better served giving those snaps to a player who has a bigger role and can offer more impact on STs?

I would love nothing more than to see Graham pan out as an Eagle, but it just doesn’t seem likely to happen because of the scheme fit. To me, you deal him and move on. The Eagles might disagree with me or it could be simply circumstances that kept him on the roster. It is possible the Eagles shopped Graham and found no takers. This wouldn’t be a case of teams not wanting him, but rather trying to wait and see if the Eagles will just cut him.

The more complicated option is that the Eagles could be holding onto Graham in the hope that they can get better value for him this summer. The thinking would be that some team will lose a DE to injury and then be willing to pay more in trade.

For now, Graham is an Eagle. This will be his 2nd year in the 3-4 and I would love to see him take a big step forward. We’ll see what happens.

* * *

I wrote a lot this spring about the need for more speed at ILB. The Eagles didn’t draft anyone, nor did they sign any UDFAs for that spot. What gives?

The need was for an upgrade, not just change. The Eagles have solid starters and backups with some potential. The cupboard isn’t bare or anything close to that. Let’s take a look at the depth chart:

ILB: Kendricks ….. Goode ….. Matthews

ILB: Ryans ……… Knott ….. Phillips ……..Acho

I’m assuming Casey Matthews comes back to the inside now that the Eagles have Travis Long and Bryan Braman to play behind Connor Barwin.

This is still a solid set of players. Everyone loves DeMeco Ryans. We just wish he was a bit faster. Mychal Kendricks flashes star potential, but must eliminate his mistakes and play more consistently.

Najee Goode impressed me last year. He made things happen when he was on the field. Goode ran a 4.64 at the Combine so he’s got pretty good speed. My only concern is that he’s very good downhill, but does he have the range to make plays all over. I’m looking forward to seeing the progress he’s made this spring and summer. He could turn out to be a key backup / role player.

The coaches love Knott, but speed is the question. He ran 4.84 at his Pro Day in the spring of 2013 and that is about how fast he looks on the field. Knott has excellent instincts and good quickness so he can be an effective player despite his lack of ideal speed. I don’t know if he’s good enough to ever start in the NFL. Knott will be sitting out the first 4 games due to a suspension. He took a banned supplement. Knott says it was purely an accident. I tend to believe him since he’s one of those guys you never hear a bad word about (college or pros).

Phillips is coming off a knee injury and I’m not sure what to make of him. He ran 4.60 at his Combine, but I don’t know if he’s still got that speed or not. If he’s healthy and running well, Phillips could be a big help on D and STs.

Casey Matthews is trying to save his career. He’s in Year 2 with the scheme and needs to play lights out this summer to save his job.

Emmanuel Acho impressed the heck out of everyone last summer, but wasn’t good enough to make the team. He needs another strong summer on defense, but also must stand out on STs. The coaches noted Goode’s ability on STs when they signed him last summer.

The Eagles could have signed some UDFA, but that wasn’t going to do much to the situation. They needed athletic, versatile players. And those guys rarely are available after the draft. ILB was a weak spot in this draft class so it was wise to use those resources elsewhere.

The Eagles have some potential answers already on the roster. Can Kendricks become a star? Can Goode show the kind of potential to be a regular starter in 2015? The same question applies to Knott? And is Phillips healthy enough to play well?

We’ll find out some answers soon enough.

The other question I’d love to have answered is just what did Christian Jones do? His fall is more than just one positive test. I’d love to know the story behind that situation. I’m assuming in involves Justin Bieber, a box of scorpions and an incident at a truck stop near the Mexican border.

_


  • GEAGLE

    Don’t see how BG is worth anything. Teams aren’t going to line up to take on his first round salary, for a backup who’s contract is expiring…just don’t get why anyone would trade anything for him…maybe a team will trade a player they play on Cutting for BG..if they can’t trade him I expect him to be cut in June…no reason to cut young players so they can keep a one year rental on their roster…

    Could hold on to him this summer hoping a team has a key injury at DE, but if you can’t trade him, cutting him that late in the summer, you will screw BG out of a chance to find. Job and. Land on his feet…not sure Howie would do yang to him….look to swap him for another teams trash who they play on cutting, and if you can’t complete the trade just cut him in June so he has a chance to land on his feet. We jerked him around so much, might as well cut him in time to find a job

    • Sifter

      Harsh to say he’s not worth anything. Any team that watches the tape will see his potential impact for their team. We just need to find a team desperate enough to pay for that potential. Anyway…I think a player for player trade seems most likely. Manny Lawson got mentioned below, someone like that makes a lot of sense. Shea McClellin of the Bears has been mentioned before.
      Maybe it doesn’t have to be an OLB candidate, maybe just a failed draft pick who is being usurped by a new one eg. Dre Kirkpatrick of the Bengals or Arthur Brown of the Ravens, Isaiah Pead of the Rams, the Pats always have failed DB draft picks to look at etc.

      • livingonapear

        He is worth something, but there’s no reason to offer us anything. If a team really wants him they can do what Washington did with DJax, wait until we cut him, then sign.

        So it isn’t that he has no value,it’s that we have no leverage.

        • mark2741

          But they’d have to compete with other potential suitors and outbid for his services or provide a better guarantee of playing time. Trading for him is the only guarantee of getting him.

      • BreakinAnklez

        Brown signed with the Colts I think…he was a FA. He also was absolutely not a failure. He made a huge impact last two years.

        • Sifter

          I think that’s Arthur Jones the DE. Arthur Brown is the ILB the Ravens drafted last year. Didn’t play much and now they’ve picked Mosley. Nigel Bradham of the Bills is another guy I’d have my eye on. He’s being swamped on the depth chart now by new signings and free agents as the Bills move to 4-3.

    • Anders

      Graham is making what equals to backup de money, a team like Falcons could use a guy like graham for that kind of money

      • Dominik

        + did anyone thought you get a 4th round pick for your #2 or #3 RB (wasn’t clear at the end of the season), a position which loses its value to the most teams every year?

        It is like it’s always been: you need to find that one trade partner. Falcons are a good team to start with. 43, didn’t draft outside pass rush in the draft despite need. Doesn’t have to work now, maybe it’ll work if they figured out they should have adressed that position in the draft.

  • GEAGLE

    Whatever Christian jones did, no harm bringin him in for a camp tryout…botched opportunity…
    ..
    Feel bad for Keelen Johnson…he stayed with us thinking he would have a shot to make the roster, and now he is burried behind Jenkins,Wolff,Nate, Reynolds and maragos???hope we can trade Keelen for a young ILB
    ….thrilled with this draft. One more drafts Like this and we will be stacked

    • mksp

      Nate is no sure thing, only paying him $1mm

      • GEAGLE

        Yeah I think it will come down to Nate vs. Keelen for roster spot! because maragos has Colts spot locked down….Reynolds is no joke, no doubt we cut Nate before we cut ed

        • OregonDucker

          My guess is that Keelen does not make the cut. Nate improved his tackling and coverage skills last year, probably good enough backup. Look out for Reynolds though, I have high hopes for the kid.

          • Pennguino

            I am a Nate fan. I think the kid just needs to get his confidence back and be in the same system more than a year.

            2010 He had 3 INT’s before the knee.

            2011 Was the Dream Team drama and him losing his confidence trying to recover from the knee. Was still 3rd on the team in tackles.

            2012 was a complete defensive melt down. With the firing of Juan. Was still 3rd on the team in tackles. Total loss of confidence and confused on run support or deep cover.

            2013 ushered in a complete new scheme as well as all new coaches. The #1 DB in combo tackles. #2 in solo. Got better as the season went on.

            I think the kid will step up and provide good competition. If he plays well on teams then his spot will probably be a lock. I can see them only keeping 4 Safeties though. Watkins will be an emergency Safety if needed.

          • bsuperfi

            Agree with you completely. I think Nate can and will get better, but his ceiling is a good solid safety. Nothing wrong with that. Though I’d prefer at least one playmaker in the middle. Jenkins seems like a versatile cerebral leader. We need that. But if Jenkins plays that role, I’d like more than solid in the other spot.

            I think best case scenario is that Wolff flashes hard in camp, starts the season, shows he can be healthy, and flashes across the season without making too many mistakes. Then he becomes a more steady player while still a playmaker in two years…right as we’re making a push. He’s athletic and his ceiling’s high.

            I really like the way the team treated safety this offseason. Plugged the hole. See what pans out. Don’t get too impatient because there’s a decent enough risk/reward calculus that the answer is already on the squad.

          • OregonDucker

            Well said. I agree.

    • GENETiC-FREAK

      Gonna be pissed if Jones becomes a star with the Bears!
      49ers ILB situation is like an All Pro LB core.. Willis, Bowman, Borland n Skov!

      • Anders

        Borland is a light version of Kendricks, skov just went udfa for a reason

        • GENETiC-FREAK

          Skov reminds me of Burfict without the dramas that made him fall.. Both on tape were n are ballers.. Skov poor times n medical history most probably made him fall to UDFA but still damn i wanted him in Green.. Ah well

          • Anders

            Problem is Skov is best fitted as a LB who is not tasked with moving backwards at all or outside the tackles.

    • D3FB

      I think Keelan beats out Reynolds. And it won’t even be close.

      • ztom6

        I agree

    • Anders

      We finally has depth at safety and you wanna trade it away?

    • Dominik

      “he stayed with us thinking he would have a shot to make the roster, and now he is burried behind Jenkins,Wolff,Nate, Reynolds and maragos???”

      You sound like he was doing us a favour, Geagle. Did he anything in his career that would say: this guy HAS to be on a roster in the NFL?

      Wasn’t a good draft for the kid, obviously, was one hell of a draft for Knott, Acho, Goode (a kid I liked when he was playing for Kendricks), Phillips and sadly even Matthews. But maybe that’s because the ILBs showed Roseman and Kelly something during last season and Johnson didn’t?

  • GEAGLE

    Jackson Jeffcoat and Dion Baily signed with Seahawks….pigs

    • eagleyankfan

      What was it about Jeffcoat that he fell so far? Shouldn’t the Eagles have at least gave him a shot? I like him better than some of the draft pics.

      • Anders

        He had some character concerns in college

  • A_T_G

    Repost, an unread confession is worth very little:

    Okay, confession time.

    After being confused (Mathews was our target?), disappointed (MIA wanted to trade down and we could have gotten the guy I wanted, Haha), and more confused (does Huff have incriminating photos?) the first two days, I drove to my brother’s Saturday morning. When I got a beer from the cooler around 11:30, I was surprised to see PBR sitting in the ice. As I drank a few and watched the picks trickle in, I saw guys we had discussed as targets.

    So, in retrospect, I like our draft more than I did in the moment. More importantly, I realize that Barr not falling to 22 is pretty much on me. Sorry guys, I’ll do better next year. PBRs all weekend.

  • Mitchell

    Find out the answers to these questions, next time on Dragon Ball Z!!!

  • Mark F

    Any chance that there’s a team out there who looked to improve at the DE spot through the draft, failed to do so, and that could now be a potential Graham trade partner?

    • anon

      Problem is you gotta pay graham like a first round pick and he’s a bench player. Even when he’s just rushing the passer.

      • Anders

        The Eagles pay hun most of the money this year so you are paying him back up de money if you get him

  • Gregory Wilson

    Maybe they think they can get better value for Graham via comp pick.

    • Sconces

      Or maybe talent > scheme, 50% of our snaps are sub packages, and he’s always been a really good edge rusher through all the adversity

  • Daniel Norman Richwine

    I keep coming back to the fact that Chip is a college coach. In collage, coaches do better in year 2 than year1, and then the big leap.is year 3. Is chip building for next year?

  • Mitchell

    They are obviously going to move Graham to ILB…….. duh.

    • baxter322

      Graham was actually the top high school MLB in the country and a 5 star recruit there…but he can’t cover

  • Vick or Nick

    My Final Draft thoughts (I’ll try to keep them condensed):

    By far the biggest issue most Eagles fans are having is digesting Marcus Smith at 26 when “experts” had him as a late 2nd-3rd round pick.

    To that I say: Cardinals, Patriots, 49ers, and Broncos are all 3-4 teams picking after them who would have jumped on him. That kind of size and athleticism combined with intangibles, those are smart teams that know value of pass rushers.

    The only critique you can give the Eagles FO is to say they should have moved up for Cooks, HaHa, Pryor, or CJ Mosley. As those guys were in “striking distance”. I think that is fair criticism. Although they did try to move up starting from pick 11. Just couldn’t get a deal done. Unfortunately.

    It would have taken our #22 and 3rd to move up to 20. It was a better deal for the Saints who moved up from 27 to 20. Again, draft is unpredictable.

    Loved the Jordan Mathews pick, but I really wanted Marquis Lee. Now I have no idea who will be the better player at the next level. I just thought Lee could be a really special player. Mathews will be a good player for us, I’m not sure if he can be special. Maybe I’m wrong.

    For people criticizing Chip for taking Oregon players. If you look at the last draft and take away Dion Jordon (who had injuries/questionable fit for 4-3 defense), the school produced quality NFL talent. Kyle Long and Kiko Alonso are going to be fixtures for years to come. It’s time we start giving Oregon respect for its player development.

    That said, Josh Huff and Taylor Hart will be immediate role players with chance to compete for playing time. Both guys are underrated but these are the type of players you win football games with.

    Jaylen Watkins and Ed Reynolds add depth to the secondary. Neither guy will start but they are an upgrade over Roc Carmichael and Coleman/Chung, respectively. I feel a lot better with Watkins going in for Cary Williams than Carmichael. Both guys will start on teams.

    Beau Allen. 6’2 333. That’s pretty much all I knew of him. Hopefully can contribute with 10-12 snaps at NT when the season gets along behind Bennie Logan.

    One common theme: All of these players have A++ character. They will work hard, they will spend that extra hr studying game film, working on their craft. None of these guys are content to have been drafted. They are hungry. And theres nothing better than talented players who want to get better.

    • IAteLunchToday

      Oregon does need respect for its player development. Here is a list by SI about 2013 NFL players on week 1 roster by school. Oregon is not the highest and it doesn’t speak of quality (Mark Sanchez is included in USC’s numbers) but it does give an idea that UO players can make NFL teams.

      The top 12 schools are as follows:

      1. USC — 40 players
      2. LSU — 39
      3. Miami — 38
      4. Georgia — 36
      5. Florida State — 31
      5. Texas — 31
      7. Alabama — 30
      7. Cal — 30
      7. Tennessee — 30
      10. Ohio State — 27
      10. Oregon — 27
      12. Florida — 26

    • eagleyankfan

      Oregon players taken in years past have no indication on what current players capabilities. That’s like saying because red came out in roulette black HAS to come out. One doesn’t have to do with the other. I haven’t made up my mind yet … but something does bug me. Maybe it’s not that he took the Oregon players — maybe it’s where they took him…

      • Anders

        Still, this is not like Bill Belichick and his fetish for Rutgers players. Oregon has been a top college program for several years, so naturally there must be talent on that roster.

        • eagleyankfan

          Absolutely.

  • Mike Cappelli

    Look, I was at that truck stop. Bieber was the one who started throwing the scorpions. Christian Jones acted in self defense.

    • TommyLawlor

      I’ll let Chip know. Kudos for stepping forward.

    • Maggie

      Actually the scorpions escaped when Jones tried to stop Bieber from entering the womens’ washroom.

  • Vick or Nick

    I’m in 200% agreement with Tommy. Brandon Graham has to go. I just don’t see him as a fit. Its unfortunate but since his ACL tear his rookie season he hasn’t had that explosion off the snap that made the Eagles fall in love with him. He looks extremely lost in coverage. I don’t think he is a special teams guy, or not a good one. I just don’t see a spot for Graham on the 53 man roster.

    This is a make or break year for Kendricks. After this year the word “potential” should no longer be associated with him. Its year 3, I think we were all underwhelmed with year 2, I’m sure the coaching staff was as well.

    I really really liked how Goode played when he got into game action. I’ll admit I was worried at first but he was very solid. I am comfortable with him being the 1st ILB off the bench. Also this assumes he’s getting bigger, stronger, etc.

    I think the Eagles are using the same approach with Graham as they did with Bryce Brown. They don’t want to GIVE him away. Graham, like Brown, is still young, has good ability. I think they are waiting for a team to come in with decent enough offer. I think at best you get a 3rd for Graham, but just don’t see any team doing that.

    The other option is to trade Graham to a 4-3 team that can give another LB back. Value might be hard to judge here.

    Either way, end of the line for Brandon Graham.

    • eagleyankfan

      IMO — Graham isn’t the only mystery player on this roster.

  • nopain23

    it seems than long before the draft Chip promised Huff to draft him in the 3rd. I have a huge problem with that..not the pick per se. if Huff was the BPA available that’s fine. If Chip just took him in the 3rd just because of a promise then thats loke giving your brother a job eventhough he may not be qualified for it or not hiring someone more qualified. there was some very good talent on the board. drafting someone because of a promise..just seems like undermining the team and the fans.

    • IAteLunchToday

      From stuff I’ve read/watched, Chip wanted Hart (I think) in the 3rd but Howie promised he’d be there in the fifth which he was. It is supposedly a Howie pick, but who knows. And as far as being told he’d be drafted in the 3rd, my best guess is Chip or whoever probably told him he had a 3rd round grade (which he obviously did for them) and Huff took that as being told he would be drafted in the 3rd which is not necessarily true–Barkley was a ‘top 50′ but didn’t get picked until the fourth. I think Chip and Howie might have higher grades on certain prospects than other teams because they fit what he wants to do. In other words I think he was BPA keeping in mind how they think players on their board will be picked by other teams.

    • Maggie

      Apparently it was an assistant who made the promise. CK only talked him up and someone took it a little too far.

  • John Eagle

    Hi Tommy, Do you think a package of BG and Curry would be good value for a 4 3 team with a solid 3 4 OLB that doesn’t fit their scheme. I read a while ago that Miami would take a big cap hit if they dealt Dion Jordan before June 1?

    • Poppi

      i”m sure there is more to come

  • GENETiC-FREAK

    Hey Tommy you forgot about Josh Kaddu Eagles signed former Oregon player

    • TommyLawlor

      He is 6-3, 242. Played OLB at Oregon. I was thinking he would be more of an OLB for us. Could be wrong on that.

  • Flyin

    Tommy, many thanks for your dedication to writing about the Eagles day in and day out like no other. This is one of my favorite times of year. Learning about the players the Eagles draft, since I don’t really follow college football. Most names are new to me, but it is so fun!

    Your incredible insight on the players got me hooked back in the day on the EMB. And since then, I have really enjoyed the draft knowing you will let us know about every player the Eagles draft. Thank you!

    Do you think they are holding Graham for insurance until they can find an upgrade to replace him?

    Since you mentioned truck stops, I would assume you are not assuming about Jones.

    • anon

      Smith is his “replacement”

      • Flyin

        Smith hasn’t done anything yet.

        Can Graham backup Barwin? Or would you rather have Travis Long?

        • Anders

          Barwin can cover well so his back up needs to be one who can do that. Long can do that, so can Smith

  • Greg Richards

    I don’t think it’s very likely that a team will trade a draft pick for Graham. I think we need to trade him for another player. Bleeding Green Nation a few weeks ago suggested trading him for Jerry Hughes but I don’t think there is a very good chance of BUF being willing to consider that trade. However, veteran Manny Lawson seems like a worthwhile target to me. BUF is moving to a traditional 4-3 and with their LB signings reportedly plan to play Lawson more as a DE where he’s an awkward fit. His strength as a 3-4 OLB are coverage and run defense. They utilized Hughes as a pass-rush specialist. Lawson’s strengths are minimized playing DE as he’d likely only be in coverage a limited amount of time in zone drops and while he’s a good run defender as a 3-4 OLB he’d likely struggle as a base end lined up one on one with OTs in a 3-point stance. Lawson’s salary for 2014 is $1.8M which is slightly over $100K more than Graham’s. If you trade for Lawson, he’s a natural fit as Barwin’s backup. Then instead of handing a guy like Travis Long a job he has to earn it by beating out Lawson. If you end up cutting Lawson in favor of Long, so be it. From BUF’s perspective, it gives them a more natural 4-3 DE who still has some upside and could potentially be a part of their future if they extended him. That is versus an older player in Lawson who isn’t a scheme fit and unlikely to be a part of their future core.

    • GENETiC-FREAK

      Jerry Hughes been on fire at the Bills.. No way they will get trade him

    • DanJ3645

      Bills are also in win now mode. Might be more inclined to pull the trigger

  • ztom6

    I take a very cynical view of PEDs in the NFL. The whole “but he’s such a good guy” defense doesn’t do much for me. Chances are he got caught for a reason. Feel bad for him if it affects his career though. I would be very surprised if usage of hgh and hormones weren’t much more prevalent in the NFL than is usually let on. No one even batted an eye when that Castillo kid got busted at the combine a few years ago… still went in the first.

  • troy412

    Graham and curry could be defensive ends in a dime sub package why not scheme that since on roster with additions of ,carrol and Watkins got good dbs to run dime

  • Arby1

    “I’m assuming in involves Justin Bieber, a box of scorpions and an incident at a truck stop near the Mexican border.” And Todd Heremanns’ van.

  • Telmert

    Tommy – What about Josh Kaddu? Where do you see him competing, inside or outside?

    • TommyLawlor

      My guess is OLB, but that’s just a guess.

      • OregonDucker

        SAM Linebacker for Oregon’s 3-4. He is listed as Linebacker with Miami, not sure how he was used.

  • SteveH

    One thing I think we can all agree on is that the best thing the Eagles did this weekend was bring in a kicker named “murderleg”.

    • Poppi

      along with War daddy Braman . KO returns could be interesting.

      • TheRogerPodacter

        i’m hoping kickoffs will be as exciting as when we had Jason Short here. one of my all time favorite eagles!

  • nickross23

    Taylor Martinez apparently has signed with the Eagles per csnphilly.com long, long shot to make the team as he’s being converted to either WR or DB.. IMO better suited trying to make it as a WR. If he’s fully healthy you’d rather have the ball in his hands then trying to tackle someone.

    • Poppi

      There are lots of ex-QBs on the 90 man roster. Must be reflection of a desire to have football smart talent everywhere

      • Anders

        In high school the best athletes often play QB even if they do not have smarts or passing skills.

  • Dave

    I still don’t see the need to upgrade Ryans for someone with more speed. I would say Ryans will be a better ILB for the next few seasons than Carey Williams or Nate Allen are today at their respective positions. Based on the draft, it appears Howie and Chip agree.

    I’m curious, did you consider Kendricks a better player than Ryans during the 2013 season? If not, would it be based on the fact that Kendricks flies around and is out of place from being too aggressive? Ernie Simms had all the speed in the world but was a huge liability on the field. The defense can be schemed to limit Ryans coverage of WRs, there is no way to scheme for a fast, overly aggressive replacement.

    Ask Denver if Dawkins was more an asset or liability during the twilight of his career, I would imagine they would consider his skill set an asset.

    • Anders

      First who they draft is just as much about value as it what they think of the roster. Howie said that the ilb in this draft wasn’t that good after mosley.

      I do not see the comparison between ernie Sims and Kendricks. Sims was always out of position, Kendricks was always in position but had a few troubles finishing the tackle.

      Regarding Ryans, yes you can limit the scheme to fit an odd or slow player or you can find players who fits.

      • Dave

        So basically you’re saying the only upgrade to Ryans would have been available prior to pick 17 in the first round? That’s my entire point…Tommy and others here keep clamoring for an upgrade to Ryans who can start in a year, but you’re saying that person did not exist outside of a high- to mid- 1st round pick. I could then make the argument that if the only way to upgrade a position is by using an early 1st round pick, its not worth upgrading.

        • Anders

          I say Christian Jones was the best after Mosley, but he must have had all sort of character concerns.

          Also Im just saying what the Eagles told us and I rather the Eagles not reach for a need if they aint comfortable with the player

  • UWotM8

    Isn’t it obvious that they are saving Graham to trade him for Dion Jordan after June 1st? Isn’t it also obvious that they didn’t address ILB because they plan on moving Connor Barwin inside next year after DeMeco’s gone?

    C’mon guys, this is football not rocket science.

    • anon

      what else would we be give up aside from BG? Why would we also spend a first on an OLB if that was the case?

      • UWotM8

        Isn’t it obvious that it was sarcasm?

  • Maggie

    A box of scorpions? I have a reasonably active imagination, but unless Bieber is substituting for his lost monkey…???

  • T_S_O_P

    First player to work everyday is Brandon Graham, despite internally the fact that he must be incredibly frustrated.

  • D3FB

    I think the biggest reason we didn’t draft an ILB this year is because the class wasn’t very good. Avery Williamson and Jordan Tripp are the only guys who probably even made sense. Even Chip said that after Mosley the class really took a nose dive. Let’s look at some of the players taken after Mosley.

    KVN: Conversion project, went at pick 40.
    Barrow: Didn’t really do much when you watched the tape. Kind of just a guy.
    Borland: Midget, sub 30″ arms, ran a 4.83
    Preston Brown: 2 down LB, ran 4.86
    Telvin Smith: Great football player but weighs 218lbs. Needs to gain a ton of lbs
    Carl Bradford: Another conversion project, great player, but was OLB in college
    Khairi Fortt: Better physical specimen than player, not instinctive
    Avery Williamson: Probably best fit of the bunch, needed work in coverage
    Zumwalt: Massively overhyped, deserved to go when he did, inconsistent
    Kirksey: Probably only a sub package player
    Smallwood: Showed me absolutely nothing on film.
    Andrew Jackson: Pretty average president, Brandon Spikes part 2
    KPL: Will backer
    Tripp: Decent player but pretty hard projection due to level of comp
    Jeremiah George: Another midget
    Spurill: Didn’t watch much tape on him, probably a Will
    Anthony Hitchens: Gotta love the Cowboys, third best LB in his own locker room
    Marquis Flowers, Corey Nelson, Will Smith: Will only backers.

    • Insomniac

      Is there any enticing ILBs next year?

      • D3FB

        It’s a much better class.
        Denzel Perryman, Miami, reminds me of London Fletcher
        Erik Kendricks, UCLA, yes the little brother of Mychael
        AJ Tarpley, Stanford, Skov got the press, Tarpleys more athletic and better
        Hayes Pullard, USC, anytime the SC defense was on the field his name was getting called.

        Those guys are all going to be seniors and it’s also very early in the process but ILB should be a much better crop next year.

  • bubqr

    Excerpt of Russ Lande report of this raft’s prospects: http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/74529464/2014-nfl-draft-position-by-position-scouting-reports-guide#!MBnre regarding Beau Allen.

    RUSS LANDE’S TAKE: Many of the players listed above have excellent upside and therefore will be drafted higher than Wisconsin’s Beau Allen. But every time I watch the film of Allen I keep thinking he will outperform many of the players drafted higher than him. While not a premier athlete, Allen has consistently displayed the quickness off the ball to get his hands on offensive linemen first, which helps him to slip free from blocks to disrupt plays behind the line. More impressive is his ability to take on run blockers at the point of attack. He sets his anchor, gets a good fit on blockers, holds his ground and can clog the middle. Unlike many defensive tackles who can hold ground versus one-on-one run blocks, Allen impressed with his ability to take on double-team blocks with good technique and leverage, shutting down the inside run. I doubt Allen will be selected until the later rounds, but for a team that plays a 3-4 defense, he has many of the traits to become a solid, workmanlike starting nose tackle.

    • Anders

      I cant respect Russ Lande after last year where he had Nassib at no. 1 overall prospect

  • eagleyankfan

    Since the dust is settled. IMHO — the draft was eh. Last year — Chip went with some comfort on roster. A mix of some veterans and players who had experience at Oregon in Chips scheme. I understood why he did that. This draft though, I didn’t expect him to go to the well again. First year — pass. Second time(2014), raise an eye brow. If he does it again next year — well, Chip might not be the guy I think he is.
    That leaves me praying H n H from Oregon works out. I don’t understand Huff in relation to this team – aside from Eagles need wr depth. Out of all the WR’s available — Huff was the best at that spot? I don’t think he brings anything to the table. Hart in the 5th. Meh. Again, doesn’t do anything for me.
    All those pro-days. All that time spent at the combine. All those visits. Sending a coach here, sending a coach there — and you select 2 players where a 2 minute phone call to your hold school could have handled all you needed to know.
    After 1 full season + a 2014 draft class — Chip appears to be an offensive genius. A handler of roster though, I am not wow’d. Not even in the slightest.
    3 years from now, I hope to say Chip IS a roster genius as well.

    • anon

      Yeah i don’t think it’s all that. Huff was an overdraft, it i think it’s hard for Kelly to find the mix of attributes that he favors. He probably picks too much based on that — but he thinks it’s the best predictor of success — i’ll wait until he proves us wrong.

      • eagleyankfan

        That’s the hard part. Maybe Chip IS the finder of gold. It’s hard to see that so early in his career. A glimmer of hope is when they did a piece on Seattle and their draft when Sherman was drafted. All the “experts” gave them a D- that year.

    • Anders

      Huff is the perfect slot WR for us.

      Think Jason Avant but actually can make players more than 10 yards down the field. Huff is a lot like Randel Cobb for the Packers and he is a great blocker and ST player.

      Hart has the perfect build for 4 tech in 2 gap system. He is long, pretty athletic, great work ethic and great motor.

      Also Kelly helps in evaluations but it is Howie who makes the pick and they even said that Kelly is not involved when it came to Oregon players

      • eagleyankfan

        I hope you’re right and my reservations about these picks are wrong. One thing though — I can’t buy that Chip has no say on who the players are on his team. That has to be one of those don’t believe everything you hear. Chip has a say on every player. Otherwise his relationship with Howie wouldn’t work. They have to be a team when developing this team.

        • Anders

          Kelly has a say in that he tell Howie what type of players he want, he also comes up with his own scouting report, but as we heard, Howie has the finally say (he picked Huff where Chip wanted Hart)

          • eagleyankfan

            hmmm. See that makes me wonder even more. If it’s true that Chip wanted Hard so early makes me question his evaluations of players. Sounds like Chip doesn’t care what these guys are rated or what numbers at combines or BPA stuff. If Chip likes a guy, he doesn’t care where he’s drafted. Howie is the brains. Ok.

          • Anders

            Several media outlets had Hart somewhere between the 3rd and 5th

    • Jernst

      Chip wants very specific attributes at different positions, it makes sense that the players he recruited to Oregon and excelled in his very unique offense would coincidentally be some of the same players he’d look at drafting. Plus it’s not like these guys don’t have NFL talent and measurables. Oregon has put out a bunch of NFL talent in recent years.

  • eagleyankfan

    Tre Mason — drafted by the Rams — is that the rb guy T-Law was liking?

    • Anders

      yea

      • eagleyankfan

        Rams had a heck of a draft…

  • Jernst

    No one seems to be as concerned as me, which means I’m probably over-reacting but I think the biggest need left on this team is #2 RB. Shady needs a breather and with Polk as the primary back up runner (sproles is a pass catcher, let’s be honest) I see Shady getting another 350+ carries which isn’t ideal. And if he were to go down we’d be absolutely screwed. Please someone talk me off the ledge without telling me about Matthew Tuckers potential and UDFAs.