Divin’ Into Dalvin

Posted: March 17th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 340 Comments »

The Eagles haven’t taken a RB in the 1st round since Keith Byars in 318 B.C. At least it seems that long ago. Might have been 1986. I mention that because…

There are a couple of points to discuss here. First, is Dalvin Cook worth pick 14? Second, is any RB worth pick 14?

Cook is a complicated subject, to put it mildly. I think he is the best RB in this class. Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey are special in their own way, but Cook is the best back of the trio.

Cook’s combination of vision, footwork, balance, body control, power and speed make him a special RB. He had a ton of 20-yard runs in his career at FSU. Chunk plays like that are huge, especially in the NFL. It is really hard to move the ball 4 to 5 yards at a time. Just watch the 2016 Eagles in case you’ve forgotten that.

Cook had an awful showing at the Combine. He wasn’t quick, agile or explosive. He could post much better numbers at his Pro Day, but if he doesn’t, this is a legitimate concern. You have to balance the athletic concerns with his game tape, which is outstanding. He ran for 4.464 yards in his career. He averaged 6.5 yards per carry and ran for 46 TDs in 3 years. He caught 79 passes and averaged 12 yards per reception. He produced big numbers for 3 years.

Then there is the off-field stuff. Cook was arrested for assaulting a woman. He won his court case, though. Go read this story and you come away wondering if he did something wrong or if this is a case of someone going after a star player. I wasn’t there and clearly don’t know if he punched the woman or not. I do know that he turned down plea bargains and that his parents were with him in the courtroom. That tells me he wanted to try to prove his innocence and that he’s smart enough to have his parents there. This wasn’t a felony case or huge trial, but he still took it seriously.

Part of the reason the Eagles are bringing Cook in for a visit is to get a better feel for him as a person. It is impossible for me or you to sit on the outside and know whether Cook is a guy who was more wrong place/wrong time or a troubled young man who has escaped punishment because he is a gifted athlete. The Eagles have done a ton of research on Cook and want to get a feel for him in an extended job interview.

Would the Eagles really take a RB early?

The Eagles brought Ezekiel Elliott in last year for a visit. I can tell you they had serious interest in him. Obviously things changed when they got the number 2 overall pick. They were locked in on a QB at that point. Had the Eagles stayed back, who knows?

I generally don’t think it is smart to take a RB in the 1st round. You can find impact runners all over (Shady, Westy, Wilbert Montgomery). But I also don’t believe all RBs are created equal. Cook is too good to dismiss casually.

“Why waste a 1st round pick on a RB?”

If you meet with him and come away concerned, pass. If he has a lousy Pro Day, pass. But don’t just pass on him because he is a RB. Cook has big time potential and would be a great fit in the Eagles offense.

I don’t know if Dalvin Cook is worth pick 14. I do know he’s worthy of taking a long look at. And the Eagles are doing just that.


There is also the added value of making other teams think you like Cook. If some other team covets Cook, they could always try to trade with the Eagles if they really want the talented runner.


It is possible that Cook won’t interview well and/or will have a poor showing at his Pro Day. If he slides down to the 2nd round, that could make him a player the Eagles would want to take a chance on.

Florida State’s Pro Day is on March 28. That workout will have a huge bearing on where Cook goes. He could redeem himself or he could be in for a big slide in late April.


340 Comments on “Divin’ Into Dalvin”

  1. 1 SallyForth said at 12:36 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    Have read where some “experts” believe he comps to Edgerrin James. IF this is the case, it’d be hard to pass him up. Nonetheless, I have a hunch that when all is said and done, Christian McCaffrey will have a better NFL career. TBD …

  2. 2 Dominik said at 1:02 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    The even better scenario, at least when it comes to the football field alone, would be CB or DE in the 1st, the other position in the 2nd and Mixon in the 3rd.

    Now, obviously, have to do your homework on Mixon even more than on Cook.

    Would have no problem at all with Kamara, though, don’t get me wrong.

  3. 3 Charlie Kelly said at 12:36 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    im not against taking a RB at 14, or in the 1st round.

    but… id take christian mccaffery over at 14.. if.,. corey davis isnt there.

  4. 4 Jamie Parker said at 2:19 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    I’d still take a CB in first 2 rounds and wait for Conner in 3rd or 4th.

  5. 5 Anders said at 2:23 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    There is also his best Michael Vick impression (which we here zero about)


    He also had shoulder surgery last year which is always a bad deal for RBs


    I love Dalvin Cook the player, but not sure the talent out weight the warts

  6. 6 Anders said at 4:47 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    If people are having a good day, just watch video of all the Eagles drops in 2016


    I still cant get over how Matthews can have so large hands and still catch a football like its a hot loath of bread

  7. 7 eagleyankfan said at 7:22 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    Sproles was in there more than expected.

  8. 8 ChoTime said at 9:46 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    A little research will show that Sproles has had multiple awful catching years, so not really unexpected.

    He may look like Westie sometimes, but he really isn’t.

  9. 9 Dominik said at 1:10 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    Sproles sure didn’t have his best year as a Receiver. There were times when I thought he might be done. But he’s good enough to make important plays (and he lets everything he has on the field like no other Eagles players) to make up for the mistakes he makes. That’s why most of us still love him.

    Problem with our WR weren’t the drops (in a vacuum). The Raiders had a lot of drops, too. The problem was that our WR didn’t do anything at all to compensate for their bad plays.

    There are those explosive players who make mistakes from time to time. There are reliable players who rarely give you big plays, but who also rarely make mistakes (think about Avant, f.e.). You can life with both, as long as you have a good mix. There aren’t many players who are explosive and who also rarely make mistakes.

    Our WR didn’t give us any explosive plays and they made far too many mistakes. Worst of both worlds, therefore one of the worse WR corps in the league.

  10. 10 Buge Halls said at 7:47 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    3 TDs and 8-10 1st downs (at the point of the “catch”) and who knows how many more 1st downs with RAC they could have had. Imagine the difference those catches would have made in those games and the record the Eagles could have had – and the stats Wentz could have accumulated! He didn’t show it, but had to have been so frustrated!

    Sad to say, it seems like there were more than that!

  11. 11 P_P_K said at 9:40 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    You, sir, are cruel.

  12. 12 ChoTime said at 9:45 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    Part of Zorro guitarist Esteban’s claim to fame is an old picture of him and Andres Segovia: scrawled on the bottom is, “Your hands are a gift from God.” In football terms, this is like Asante Samual getting a signature from Dick Butkus saying, “You’re a tough SOB, pal!” But beyond that, it’s been speculated Segovia was being ironic or coy. After all, everything is a gift from God, but that doesn’t really speak to the quality of that gift relative to other musicians.

  13. 13 xmbk said at 6:17 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    As good as Zeke was, I think the Cowboys would have been better off drafting Ramsey and Derrick Henry 1-2. Or even Ramsey and Jack, then a lower round back. Zeke is great, but how much better is he than the next man up, compared to how much a guy like Ramsey improves your team?

    Point is, hope we don’t take Cook.

  14. 14 eagleyankfan said at 7:30 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    so, you’re saying — Dallas would have been better off with without the guy who lead the NFL in rushing — rushed for more than 300 yards, than any other nfl player, as a rookie — 3rd, in the entire NFL in TD’s?
    I see your logic.

  15. 15 Rellihcs said at 7:47 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    So we’re going for flashy stats right? Or is team winning more important?

  16. 16 Buge Halls said at 7:49 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    I seem to remember the Cowpukes winning a lot of games last year behind Zeke.

  17. 17 eagleyankfan said at 8:07 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    no — we’re not going to take into account how hard that young kid played. Pay no attention to the second effort this kid gives. We’re only going to look at the stats and call him flashy. Next, we’ll bash the choice they made at QB too. He’s too flashy, with that flashy rb putting up all those wins….hate the Cowboys..but let’s not be silly about them…

  18. 18 xmbk said at 11:17 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    So you prefer Zeke to Ramsey? Because they are being paid about the same, but one is filling one of the highest demand positions in the game, while the other is one of the lowest. If I had to take one of the two for the Eagles, it’s Ramsey in a heartbeat.

  19. 19 Rellihcs said at 8:13 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    They certainly did.

  20. 20 eagleyankfan said at 8:09 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    go ahead and call NFL LEADING NUMBERS by a rookie — flashy. It’s not like Dallas went 0-16 and he put up those numbers — a rookie QB and rookie RB led that team…but I see your point too. If Zeke put up 700 yards and 3 tds— then we can call him pretty darn good because those are not flashy…

  21. 21 Rellihcs said at 8:12 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    I’m not arguing that what he did wasn’t amazing (though it’s possible a lesser back could have done similar with that oline.

  22. 22 eagleyankfan said at 8:13 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    they didn’t the year before…

  23. 23 Rellihcs said at 8:15 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    True, year before that though…

  24. 24 xmbk said at 9:59 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    With a crappy QB. And they still had solid ypc, just played from behind too often.

  25. 25 Anders said at 8:18 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    Great chance the Cowboys would have been better of with a lesser runner but far greater CB. Maybe not last year, but in the long run.

  26. 26 eagleyankfan said at 8:23 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    and if Eagles chose Zeke over Wentz and drafted Dak second…thing is — you can’t say that. You have no proof to back that up and the nfl is too fluid to say what will happen in the long run. There is no ‘Great chance’. What if someone else took Dak? You saying a lesser runner like Ryan Mat of the Eagles? Or are you saying, Dallas would have to have find a diamond in the rough? (because those odds are so great that the Eagles found one?)

  27. 27 Anders said at 8:32 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    If we cant discuss what if scenarios. What are we really discussion right now?
    Zeke wouldnt have looked as great here as in Dallas (the same with Dak). We can only talk what we might think would happen if the Cowbouys had drafted Ramsey instead of Zeke and signed a FA RB

  28. 28 xmbk said at 9:58 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    What are you rambling on about? Of course everything is hypothesis at this point. But Ramsey and Henry aren’t random names, Ramsey was the guy drafted after Zeke, and Henry is the back most likely to have been chosen at #2.

    It’s pretty much undeniable that the Dallas OLine and offense played a big part in Zeke’s success. It’s not like you can “guarantee” that he would have led the NFL in rushing no matter which team drafted him.

  29. 29 anon said at 10:22 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    Well they have Nolan Carroll now, and the ability to draft a stud can this year. Elliot was a special pick.

  30. 30 xmbk said at 9:55 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    You do get that they replace him with a different player? Ramsey may not get all the media attention a Cowboy gets, but he’s a beast as well.

    Are you certain that someone like Henry wouldn’t have had a great year running behind that line?

  31. 31 Call Me Carlos the Dwarf said at 10:30 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    Or they could pick Jordan Howard in the 5th, get the same production from the RB spot, and also have a true lockdown CB1.

  32. 32 D3FB said at 10:54 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    And not be paying a rookie as one of the highest players at his position

  33. 33 Buge Halls said at 7:43 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    Point out one other RB that had the year he had last year? Without looking at the stats, I’d have to say he had to be close to 1/3 (if not more) of their offense. What you said really makes zero sense!

  34. 34 Rellihcs said at 7:47 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    And it won them the superbowl right?

  35. 35 Buge Halls said at 7:54 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    One team won the Superbowl last year. What’s your point? Neither one of the picks he said they should have drafted got their team to the SB. Show me one RB across the league who did more for his team. Lead the league in rushing and had a ton of TDs (as pointed out below 3rd in the NFL). He isn’t going to win it himself, but he gave the team a better chance to win than freaking Henry with is 400+ yards and 0 TDs!

    Do you even understand the NFL?

  36. 36 Rellihcs said at 8:13 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    I do understand the NFL. I am just saying that there’s something to be said about building a football team over getting a stud RB.

  37. 37 P_P_K said at 9:39 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    Valid point. I’m be psyched if the Eagles scored an RB with a first round pick, but this needs to be part of an overall plan.

  38. 38 xmbk said at 10:02 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    I think he understands it a lot better than you do. Do you just read stat lines?

  39. 39 Anders said at 8:06 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    Jordan Howard, fellow rookie.

  40. 40 Rellihcs said at 8:11 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    Why are you so stat driven? I want the team to succeed. AP has amazing RB stats with years and years of ultimately painful seasons for the vikings.

  41. 41 eagleyankfan said at 8:16 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    What exactly was Dallas’ formula to winning last year? Strong line, great rb play and wonderful QB play. That is the standard for every nfl team to achieve. The fact that Dallas did it — makes them flashy and all about the numbers? His numbers were a product of that team and that teams success was in large part due to Zeke. To discount all that is just sour apples….

  42. 42 Rellihcs said at 8:18 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    I want to build defense too though. And I was only talking about specifically Elliot in terms of flashy numbers because that’s what buge was citing.

  43. 43 eagleyankfan said at 8:20 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    but the two go hand in hand…that’s the point. That’s what makes the Zeke pick a wonderful(if for only 1 year) pick for Dallas. When you draft low in round one, you can only pray it was the right choice. Not only was that the right choice – it was a perfect choice. Only other team that will have a better pick than Zeke? Eagles with Wentz :).

  44. 44 Rellihcs said at 8:23 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    Ok – but do you draft for the the purpose of the following season?

  45. 45 eagleyankfan said at 8:25 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    depends on team. Dallas is further along than the Eagles. Dallas could be specific with their targets. Eagles aren’t(weren’t) that far along. Eagles are getting there now and soon(maybe not this year) can start to target specific areas to round out the team.

  46. 46 Rellihcs said at 11:00 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    Right – that’s the argument for us NOT drafting RB in round 1. We aren’t that far along – we should become “farther along” before worrying about STUD RB in rnd 1. We might even hit on a stud RB in other rounds.

  47. 47 ChoTime said at 11:46 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    Dallas made a deep playoff run last year?! Why is a–to this point–one year flash in the pan even a thing here?

  48. 48 Insomniac said at 9:11 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    2007 – Tavaris Jackson
    2007 – Kelly Holcomb
    2007 – Brooks Bollinger
    2008 – Gus Frerotte
    2009 – Brett Favre
    2010 – Joe Webb
    2011 – Donovan McNabb
    2011 – Christian Ponder
    2013 – Matt Cassel
    2013 – Josh Freeman
    2014 – Teddy Bridgewater
    2016 – Shaun Hill
    2016 – Sam Bradford

    These are all of the QBs AP had to play with, I wouldn’t say any of them have been good with the Vikings.

    We’ve seen a good combo of QB/RBs win it all. Is it less frequent than a good QB and defense winning it all? It probably is but there’s not just one proven formula to build a Super Bowl winning team. We might have a good QB on our hands already so it’s not wrong to say that a stud RB is worth it and vice versa.

  49. 49 ChoTime said at 9:41 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    I’m sorry, where’s the evidence that top RBs are associated with deep playoff runs in today’s NFL?

  50. 50 Insomniac said at 9:50 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    Marshawn Lynch carried the Seahawks in the playoffs if you want a recent example.

  51. 51 xmbk said at 10:01 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    I don’t think you can ignore their D and Wilson.

  52. 52 Insomniac said at 10:29 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    Wilson wasn’t as good back then. That D and Lynch’s tough running helped Wilson out a ton when they won it all.

  53. 53 ChoTime said at 11:48 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    He was a great piece for a team also blessed with the best defense in the league and a playmaker X-factor QB. Without the latter two, Marshawn ain’t doing shit.

  54. 54 Insomniac said at 11:58 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    Wilson isn’t doing well in the playoffs without those two either. So what’s your point besides that you’re just ignoring facts?

  55. 55 ChoTime said at 1:56 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    In order of importance:
    1. QB
    2. D
    3. RB
    Any other questions?
    *mic dropped*

  56. 56 Insomniac said at 2:33 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    Wilson averaged 24 throws in his Super Bowl run and nearly cost his team getting to the big game itself with 4 picks in the conference game. He was surely the most important X factor QB that did everything that year right? So how does the crow taste?

  57. 57 anon said at 10:19 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    Cowboys, Seahawks, broncos, NE, did you watch this year’s sb?

  58. 58 bill said at 11:07 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    I think this has been fairly well hashed out in the comments here over the years, but perhaps some have missed it (if they aren’t obsessively here nearly every day like some of us…). The best correlations are above average defense and great QB. Great RB, WR, heck, even LT show very little correlation. Just below the top two is, apparently, a relatively healthy OL.

    There appears to be many ways to go about winning it all, but the foundations appear to be QB, defense, and a consistent, but not necessarily dominant, OL. If you have those three, you can swiss army knife the rest, and that’s generally been the case for SB champs (and even many SB losers).

    So, if we’re going by that logic, we should rule out WR and OT as a first round pick, too. Not sure that’s the right way to do it (I prefer taking a playmaker no matter where he plays), but that’s where this train of thought leads.

  59. 59 eagleyankfan said at 12:51 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    Does beast mode count in Seattle or was that mostly D? Denvers back to back winning seasons had a pretty RB. Emmitt Smith had a good run. As did the Buff rb with 4 trips to superbowl etc etc etc. I’m not saying RB’s are important — but good to great rb play is relative. But then you throw in the “nfl is now a passing league”. I’m not sure there is a right answer, but teams have had immense success with pretty good rb’s.

  60. 60 ChoTime said at 1:55 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    Let’s take out Emmitt Smith, whose heyday was the 90s. That is not the modern NFL.

    Seattle and Denver had the best defenses in the league. Their RBs were important elements in their success, but the defenses were what drove those trains.

    Basically, sure you want great players at ALL positions, but some positions are more important than others.

  61. 61 Rellihcs said at 10:00 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    I always appreciate your input, opinions, and remarkable dedication to research and doing the work. It’s pretty crazy to see that list.

    I agree fully with most of what you said. And believe me, I’m not opposed at all to getting a very good or great RB. At all.

  62. 62 anon said at 10:17 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    Farve was good, Bridgewater too

  63. 63 Insomniac said at 10:30 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    Favre was good for a year. Bridgewater is the new version of Alex Smith.

  64. 64 Call Me Carlos the Dwarf said at 10:33 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    Favre was pretty fucking good.

  65. 65 Insomniac said at 10:33 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    One year wonder with the Vikings.

  66. 66 Call Me Carlos the Dwarf said at 2:01 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    And played extremely well in that single year, which is the one listed.

  67. 67 Sb2bowl said at 10:35 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    JOE WEBB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  68. 68 kajomo said at 9:40 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    It made perfect sense. Put Jordan Howard on the offense and he has similar production. I think what Howard did was maybe more impressive playing behind a pedestrian OL. Zeke is good. Nobody is disputing that. His production was greatly inflated by laying behind the top run blocking OL in the league and a coaching staff who believes in running the ball consistently.

  69. 69 xmbk said at 9:53 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    He’s great, no doubt. How much do you attribute to the OLine? I tend to think Henry would have been a beast on that team as well.

  70. 70 anon said at 10:16 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    Henry can’t get snaps over Demarco and we all no he sucks…

  71. 71 Call Me Carlos the Dwarf said at 10:32 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    Jordan Howard.

    …whom the Bears (Joe Douglas!) drafted in the 5th.

  72. 72 Mac said at 9:59 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    Agreed. And it’s funny that most Cowboy’s fans aren’t smart enough to have regret.

  73. 73 eagleyankfan said at 12:45 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    what do they need to regret?

  74. 74 Mac said at 4:59 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    Taking Zeke! over Ramsey.

  75. 75 Buge Halls said at 7:38 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    “Why waste a 1st round pick on a RB?” I’m pretty sure the Cowboys organization and their fans aren’t saying that!

  76. 76 P_P_K said at 9:36 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    A stud RB would make the Eagles O very strong and help Wentz immeasurably.

  77. 77 CrackSammich said at 9:56 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    Browns and Colts are.

    Small samples sizes are just a gift that keeps on giving in the sports world.

  78. 78 anon said at 10:14 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    Browns got a no. 1 back in trading him. I don’t trust that from bama though.

  79. 79 Dominik said at 1:19 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    The Cowboys got a great player, but they didn’t get great (or even good) value for their pick. Especially in the long run, but also short term. Just because they won a lot of games and Elliott was great doesn’t mean it was the right pick at #4. Now, if they drafted him at #10, different story. But at 4, they could have gotten Ramsey, a future shutdown CB. Or Floyd, who looks like a very promising pass rusher. Those position are so hard to find (just look at our roster, or around the NFL). Dallas obviously didn’t need them, but Conklin (1st Team All Pro as a rookie) and Stanley also gave their teams better VALUE than Elliott.

    And again, Elliott is a great player. Not just for a Rookie. Nobody in his right mind can argue about that. But imo, Draft is always about value. Chip never got that and there are some successful personell people who also don’t look much at value in the draft (Belichick, Al Davis). I’m sure glad Howie knows a lot about value.

  80. 80 Rellihcs said at 7:46 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    I go back and forth on this all the time. Cook would definitely be a good fit and a valuable weapon. The off the field stuff and injury stuff, and fumbles are issues. I know this is contrary to what most fans think and do – but I see it as there are good options at 14 most likely – multiple ones. And frankly, there’s different ways to do things (I’m avoiding an idiom about animal brutality here on purposes) and I will likely be OK with multiple versions. I like Kamara, Hunt, Connors, and other RBs almost as much as I like Cook (and for some reason I don’t see McCaffery as such a great pick but I’m open minded).

    Bottom line, I’m OK trusting Howie and Joe Douglass. It will be interesting to see what happens.

  81. 81 Buge Halls said at 7:57 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    So below you talk isht on a RB in the 1st round and here you say it’s okay. I don’t get you man.

  82. 82 Rellihcs said at 8:10 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    I don’t have a hard line opinion one way or another. I think there’s a strong argument that picking cook would do wonders for our offense and Carson. I also think that there is a strong argument that we can get overall greater value at 14 and still get very good RB later in the draft. But I don’t think that successful NFL teams in the modern day NFL build around RBs. How many of the top RB’s in the league of recent have superbowl rings?

  83. 83 bill said at 8:10 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    I went on record early this offseason that I wasn’t against a 1st round RB, if he was a playmaker. Cook is certainly that, but also has plenty of warts. All things being equal, I’d like to see a DE at 14, but that doesn’t look like a good match with this year’s talent. So, in the end, I’m with you: conflicted, but willing to trust Joe if he thinks Cook is worth it (but I’d bet that he won’t think so, given his history).

  84. 84 Rellihcs said at 8:15 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    Yeah, I have to say that my ideal situation is that one of the top DE “falls” to us at 14 this year and Jim, Joe, and Howie love him. Howard, Cook (with some reservations), Davis, maybe Foster – I’d be cool with them too. CB – sure if it’s a good one. I’m flexible and open minded. But I don’t think that Cook is a must have.

  85. 85 scratcherk said at 8:28 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    This is why this site is amazing. Tommy, appreciate the time you take to dig past the surface on things. In my mind, I heard he punched a girl and that was truth. Nice to see the other side of things. Not nearly the same as the mixon situation

  86. 86 Insomniac said at 9:00 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    There’s a lot more of dumb things Cook has done. Major red flags everywhere for the guy so I really hope the Eagles pass on him unless he’s there in the 4th.

  87. 87 scratcherk said at 9:14 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    Cook? in the 4th? you mean Mixon?

  88. 88 Insomniac said at 9:15 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    I definitely meant Cook. Mixon is less of a nutcase than Cook

  89. 89 scratcherk said at 9:16 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    Interesting, well no chance he’s there in the 4th…

  90. 90 Insomniac said at 9:20 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    I wouldn’t care too much if he isn’t. Bad combine (lack of work ethic), trouble with the law ranging back from high school, and he’s always banged up. Let someone else take the risk.

  91. 91 kajomo said at 9:36 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    My feeling on players with off the field issues is that if the eagles pick them, I have confidence that they have been thoroughly vetted. The eagles do their homework. We have limited knowledge of true events and even less understanding of who a person in.

  92. 92 Insomniac said at 9:37 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    How many repeat offenders have we picked up?

  93. 93 kajomo said at 3:09 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    That’s the point though. If we did draft Dalvin it would point to these issues being over blown or just not factual. The eagles have a moral compass as an organization. If they sign off after doing their homework who are we to argue

  94. 94 GermanEagle said at 9:37 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    I personally think that if someone is a prick, he’s not even worthy to take a late round flyer on him.

    I’ll pass, thanks.

  95. 95 P_P_K said at 9:44 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    My wife took a chance on me and that’s worked out, um, sorta’ well for her.

  96. 96 CrackSammich said at 9:53 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    Hopefully you locked that one down before the one-year contracts started.

  97. 97 A Roy said at 10:49 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    I guess that would depend on how big of one you…ummm…are.

  98. 98 GermanEagle said at 11:00 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    But you’re a nice prick. 🙂

  99. 99 P_P_K said at 11:48 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    If you changed the wording just a bit…

  100. 100 GermanEagle said at 11:50 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    Are you fishing for a good guy discount?! 😉

  101. 101 Rellihcs said at 10:55 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    But you love Desean. Shady is a prick too…

  102. 102 GermanEagle said at 10:58 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    I can’t remember them hitting women.

    I should have used the word ‘scum’ for Cook instead. Mea culpa.

  103. 103 Rellihcs said at 11:07 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    Fair enough. Desan it was more about ego/effort/dumb behavior.

    Shady – there was the twitter babymomma stuff and the party bus incident with a woman.

    You don’t have to hit a woman to be a prick in my book.

  104. 104 GermanEagle said at 11:18 AM on March 17th, 2017:


    That’s why I should have chosen a different term from the beginning.

    Both DeSean and Shady don’t strike me as the brightest guys tbh.

  105. 105 Sb2bowl said at 9:40 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    Cook has more red flags then Mixon does…….. just so happened that Mixon was on video, and then it surfaced 2 years later.

    If we were going to go that direction (RB in the first), I’d rather see them take a shot on McCaffrey — at least with him you know you’ve got the work ethic, intelligence, skill, production and determination. Maybe he never turns out to be a stud running back, but he’s got the intangibles which the other two lack.

  106. 106 P_P_K said at 9:47 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    Count me in as a Nick Foles fan.

  107. 107 anon said at 10:09 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    As good as he is at backpedaling he should try out for the 76ers

  108. 108 P_P_K said at 12:45 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    They could use the help.

  109. 109 Mac said at 10:30 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    I think you can dismiss RBs for round 1. Gone are the days of smash and dash, thunder and lightning, the three headed monster, etc. I know most of the folks on here including Tommy have fond memories of those parts of football history, but that’s what they are… history.

    Is dismissing all RBs as RD 1 picks a gross oversimplification? Yes, but it’s easy to do because it’s the correct judgement so often. Are there outliers? Of course. But I would argue they’re extremely few and far between.

    The Eagles ran the ball 40% of the time (just like every other team).
    RB value is decreased because running the football is less efficient than passing. RBs are devalued even more because it’s easier, cheaper, and perhaps even better to take a running back by committee approach.

    Bust potential (no as bad as some positions but still exists)
    Possibly the most grueling position on the field. (shortens career and increases likelihood of career ending freak injury).

    Supply and demand:
    Possibly the most bloated position in terms of raw talent. (any kid who is gifted and won’t play QB probably dreams of being the RB)
    Other teams understand the relative minimal value of 1st rd RBs (which helps to push them down everyone’s board)

  110. 110 ChoTime said at 11:44 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    I agree. People shouldn’t let ESPN love for Ezekiel Elliot blind them to modern NFL reality.

  111. 111 eagleyankfan said at 12:43 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    it’s worth noting…no body here last year thought EE was worth a 1st round…I’m not saying there’s an RB worth it this year — just saying years past success, or failure, shouldn’t stop a team from doing what they think is best.

  112. 112 Jernst said at 12:26 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    The other thing people overlook is how situational a RBs skill set needs to be to provide value. On 3rd and 1, having a guy that can more often than not gain that first down or TD in short yardage, gives you a sizable advantage during a game. No matter who the back is the defense knows you’re either going to run it up the middle or playaction pass it. On third and long, having a guy who can pass block and catch passes out of the backfield and make one perimeter defender miss to pick up the first down gives you a significant advantage. No matter who the back is, the defense knows you are probably throwing. On first and 10, having a back that can consistently pick up 4 yards and not lose yardage, putting you in long down and distances is a significant advantage. However, here that ability is determined to a far greater extent by the ability of your line to run block and the quality of your passing game that keeps defenses from stacking the box. Also, it’s fairly easy to find a guy that can consistently gain 4 yards on 1st and ten behind a good oline than it is to find someone who can do the other two skills.

    A RB that is a true playmaker that can do all of those other things listed above while also make huge splash plays and bust off 40+ yard runs makes a huge difference. The problem is that those guys are exceptionally rare. Whereas finding one guy who is an incomplete back that can pound out short yardage/pick up 4 yards behind a decent oline and another incomplete guy who can be your third down back is fairly easy to accomplish without expending much resources.

    The ultimate difference in a teams ability to win a game (the ultimate goal in roster construction) between a team who has 1 back who can do all of those skills at an elite level and a team who employs 2 or 3 backs that can each only do 1 or 2 of those things is fairly negligible.

    So, it’s a cost benefit type thing. The cost of getting one of those rare do it all backs is high. The benefit is negligible over the RB by committee approach.

    This is different for all other positions. You can’t go QB by committee, or Oline by committee. You can’t go Dline by committee and have a couple pure pass rushing DEs and a couple pure run stopping ones and just switch them out when you want to stop a certain play, same for LB and CB. WR you can get away with having a couple guys with specific skills, but they need to each be exceptionally well at their specific skill to not be easily taken away if they’re a one trick pony. Those WRs that are exceptional one trick ponies (DeSean Jackson) are also much harder to find than RBs who can make a LB miss on 3rd and long or RBs who can pound out short yardage behind a good Oline.

  113. 113 Mac said at 5:10 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    Well stated.

  114. 114 A Roy said at 10:53 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    Top half of the first round, you not only need to hit on someone elite, but it should be someone who will be around for 8ish years. That happens very rarely with RBs. Rules out Cook in the 1st. It should be someone that can stay on the field. CK (?) was right about the best ability being avail-ability. Rules out Ross in the 1st. I’m warming up to a certain TE at this point as best available…but I have to admit I’d prefer we find defensive talent.

  115. 115 Jernst said at 12:14 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    Exactly THIS! Top half of the first round, the only goal should be to get an elite difference maker. Who cares what position. In a years time, sometimes even less, a position of strength looks like a weakness (think LB when we drafted Hicks and half of Eagles Nation lost their mind because we had too many LBers already, think about CB when we had just signed Nnamdi and DRC to go along with Samuel, how quickly would we have been able to use a stud CB if we had the opportunity to have drafted one that year? Week 6 of that same season? Oline looked like a strength in 2013, by 2014 we were kicking ourselves for not drafting there more, but still felt it was a relative strength by 2015 the situation was dire enough to tank our entire season and one season later it’s again a position of abundant wealth).

    WR looks good now, but what happens next year if Jeffery spends half the 2017 season on the bench with soft tissue injuries, Smith looks like the 49ers version of himself and Matthews leaves in FA for $10M per year? CB looks terrible now, but what happens if Mills develops into a starting level CB, and we find two Sheldon Brown level guys in the later rounds or hit on the next Sherman or Norman or Bouye late in the draft?

    There’s just too many variables to try and get cute with it. Get the best overall prospect in the first round that has the highest chance of being a decade long elite player and the rest will fall into place. No one ever got themselves into a bad position by taking an elite all-pro at a position of strength. Conversely plenty of teams stay in purgatory for years because they draft the decent player at a position of need over the difference maker that wins you games.

    This team has plenty of decent players. What it lacks is true difference makers and all-pro level elite players.

  116. 116 GermanEagle said at 11:02 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    The more I think about the more I happen to believe that the Eagles might not address RB in this year’s draft at all.

    Howie R. is someone who also takes into account the drafts next year and beyond.

    Maybe the Eagles hope to get a guy like Chubb and sign a ‘band aid’ veteran to help the trio of Sproles, Smallwood and Marshall instead.

  117. 117 Insomniac said at 11:05 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    I think they will but it’ll be like a mid-round pick. The argument last year was “Fournette/Cook > Zeke” and now this year “Barkley/Gulce > Fournette/Cook”. Just take the one you like and worry about it later.

  118. 118 RC5000 said at 11:06 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    This is a really deep and good draft for RBs though and backs often slide so we should be able to get one. I think 2/3 of the teams are going to come out of the draft with a good RB prospect.
    Some guys will end up injury busts but teams are going to RB by committee approach so they’ll add to their stable.

  119. 119 D3FB said at 11:12 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    I agree that I don’t think the Eagles are looking for the answer at RB. But I do think they need to find someone who is at least part of the answer.

    I’m much more interested in spending a day 3 pick on Matt Dayes or James Conner or Wayne Gallman or Deveon Smith than I am in spending a high pick and the opportunity cost involved in such a decision.

    I’m a much bigger fan of the Falcons model of investment at the position than the Cowboys.

  120. 120 Sb2bowl said at 11:15 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    You like Conner from Pitt? Hell of a story for him though.

  121. 121 D3FB said at 11:41 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    See above

  122. 122 GermanEagle said at 11:16 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    Agree with you, mate.

    But being in pre- St. Patrick’s day excitement and drinking stage I couldn’t have chosen such a great wording.

    Re Conner,

    his slow 40 yard time doesn’t concern you?

  123. 123 RC5000 said at 11:35 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    Look at all the backs size and respective 40 times, there really are hardly any outliers either way.
    Conner and Perine were both 233 lbs. and ran the same times.
    Cook, Kamara, Mack who are among the faster backs are all about the same size and time.
    I think you can throw out the 40s for almost all the RBs.


  124. 124 Jernst said at 12:05 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    Agreed. 40 times only matter so much for RBs, because it’s rare that RBs rip off 40 yard runs regardless of how fast they are. LeSean McCoy had about the same 40 as Dalvin Cook. He routinely got caught from behind in the open field after about 15-20 yards, but no one would say he wasn’t a great back.

    The difference becomes apparent when you look at their 3-cone times. McCoy had a 3-cone drill at the combine that ranked in the 86th percentile. Cook was in the 6th percentile. That shows up on the field. McCoy has insane short area quickness that allows him to rip off plenty of 20 yard runs by making defenders miss the tackle in a phone booth, even if he eventually gets caught from behind. Cook will try to play the same game, but with far inferior short area quickness/stop and go ability, he’ll get tackled in the backfield rather than getting a 20 yard run.

  125. 125 xmbk said at 11:37 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    Meh, he’s the opposite of a combine warrior. Tons of upside. Definitely worth a shot on day 3.

  126. 126 D3FB said at 11:41 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    Nah that’s not his game. He’s basically what Ryan Matthews was last year (except younger and not glass).

    He’ll be consistent, positive yard back. Won’t be particularly dynamic but can rip off a handful of 20-30 yard runs. Those will be the difference week to week between a 75 yard game and a 120 yard game.

    Displayed good hands and really added that element to his game this year. All reports indicate he’s murdering these interviews. Coaches are going to love him.

    Long term you’ll want someone more dynamic to pair with him but he’ll move the sticks.

  127. 127 GermanEagle said at 11:49 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    What round do you project him to be drafted?

  128. 128 D3FB said at 11:54 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    I like him in the 4th.

    I think he could go as high as late 2nd if a staff falls in love.

  129. 129 Insomniac said at 12:19 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    Who will be our Freeman and Coleman?

  130. 130 Mitchell said at 6:12 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    Kareem Hunt

  131. 131 D3FB said at 9:12 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    Think he goes top 100.

  132. 132 xmbk said at 11:20 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    Bottom line, if the Eagles had their pick between Elliott and Ramsey, Ramsey is the easy winner. If it’s at all close between CB, edge rusher, and RB, the team clearly should take CB or edge.

  133. 133 eagleyankfan said at 12:40 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    You can say “bottom line” all you’d like. It’s still YOUR opinion. To use a blanket statement is easy. Take team needs into consideration. If a team is fine on defense, then sure, RB might be the way to go. If team is stacked at RB then Elliott isn’t the choice. Elliot was a great choice for Dallas.

  134. 134 xmbk said at 1:32 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    Fair enough. Given salary structure in the NFL, if you were operating in a vacuum, CB is rated above RB. If you were building a franchise from the ground up, Ramsey is your pick. But yes, there are franchises that might prefer Elliott. I think you can make a sound argument, based on the actions of NFL teams, that the majority of teams would go CB over RB. Both of those guys are outstanding talents. Focusing on how good Zeke is seems to ignore how good Ramsey played last year.

  135. 135 Jernst said at 12:00 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    Exactly. It’s impossible to say just go BPA because it’s so hard with different positions to decide between two evenly ranked players, one at DE and one at RB, or between a LT and a CB, who is actually the best player.

    That being said…I think the offensive skill players are going to be significantly better prospects than the best defensive players available at our pick. OJ Howard or Corey Davis are much more likely to be all-pro level studs than say Derek Barnett or TreDavious White regardless of position.

  136. 136 xmbk said at 12:27 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    I’m not so sure that Davis has significantly different all-pro probabilities from Barnett or White. But Howard, yes.

  137. 137 Jernst said at 12:46 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    That’s fair enough. I happen to have an extremely high opinion of Davis and think he’s a perennial top 10, perhaps even top 5 WR in the NFL.

    As for Barnett, I’ve only watched his youtube highlights, but I didn’t come away all that excited by him as a prospect.

    Check out his highlight video and tell me what it is you see that transfers against NFL caliber LTs that would make him a force to be reckoned with:

    What I see, is a shorter stouter, albeit undersized (6’3″ 259″ lb, 30th and 27th percentile respectively) DE, with extremely short arms (5th percentile), that has a very slow initial burst off the line (39th percentile 40, 27th percentile vertical jump, 64th percentile broad jump), who is very stiff and shows no counter moves whatsoever (every play on that video is him just either running past a completely overmatched LT or engaging the LT with his chest/body instead of properly using his hands and overpowering him to the outside due to poor LT technique). He bends the corner well, but not nearly at an elite level. He’s slow off the ball. He doesn’t use his hands all that well. He doesn’t have any physical skill that jumps out at you either on tape or in testing. And, when he wins at the college level it’s mostly by being just slightly stronger and faster than overmatched college LTs with poor technique.

    At his NFL best, he might be a Trent Cole level DE, but he’ll never be that DeMarcus Ware, 15 sack a year guy. He’s a 5-10 sack/year guy if he maxes out his ability. To me that’s not worth the 14th overall pick. Especially, when I’m staring at the next Tony Gonzalez or the next TO (or at worst a better version of Anquan Boldin), or the next DeSean Jackson (Ross). But, even if you don’t see the other guys as that talented, I still don’t see what the allure of Derek Barnett is.

  138. 138 xmbk said at 5:10 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    I’m a fan of production. Good football players play good football. Finding guys who will blossom at the next level might make you look like a genius, but it’s more likely to get you job hunting. Barnett is clearly not an athletic “freak”. But he is strong, and has good vision. He’s not just getting into the blockers chest, he’s extending his arms and usually controlling the blocker. He does get off the ball late too often, but that’s one of the easiest things to coach. A knock on Graham when he came out was that he got by using just power moves. I see similarities between the two.

    The Alabama games is a good one to watch. He’s up against a probable first round pick, and it looks like the Bama game plan is pretty much based on Barnett. They either run away from him or try to attack his aggressiveness. Robinson wins a few battles, and Barnett misses a chance for a big safety. But he still got a strip sack and a pick.

    I think we can out think ourselves. A Trent Cole career would be a happy outcome for this pick. No way you can call any receiver in pretty much any draft to be guaranteed to be a better version of Boldin. If we can get a bookend for Graham, I think the team will seriously consider it. That said, I would love to root for Davis.

  139. 139 Jernst said at 7:57 PM on March 19th, 2017:

    All good points. Although I will say that Barnett’s lack of urgency off the line seems to be more a physical issue due to his lack of quick twitch explosion, which comes through in his combine results as well, rather than an issue with timing the snap or using proper technique. That’s not something that’s easy to teach at all. In fact, I’d argue it’s one of those things like straight line speed that you literally can’t teach. With the best training and coaching known to man I’ll never beat DeSean Jackson in a foot race and I’m not sure Barnett will ever be someone that fires out of a sprinters stance with elite level quickness.

    At the end of the day it’s all projection. We have no idea who will become an All-Pro and who’s going to bust out. Hell, the guys being paid millions of dollars solely to figure out which players are the “Best Available” don’t even know. All we can do is look at the game film, review the combine performances and decide what someone’s ceiling can be, what’s the most likely level that they’ll reach and put guys in general tiers. If two guys at different positions are in the same tier, but one plays at a position of strength and the other at a position with a glaring hole in your roster, you obviously pick the player at the position of need. For me BPA is just short hand for don’t take a 2nd tier CB over a 1st tier/blue chip player at a position that isn’t as much of a need.

    So, the way I look at the draft is that the best thing a GM can do is trust his evaluations and avoid the common mistakes that more often than not lead to a bad pick. 1) Like you said, base 90% of your evaluation off of game film and production. Good football players play good football, as you said. Seems obvious, but every year high paid NFL executives fall in love with the guy who lights up the combine despite not being all that great at actual football in college.

    Which brings me to #2) Don’t fall in love with the workout warrior. Use the combine to 1) confirm what you saw on film and 2) eliminate some prospects entirely if they don’t have the requisite physical skills (you don’t want to draft a CB that runs a 4.8 regardless of how good his film is). If the combine results meet or exceed expectations based on the film, great, however if you’ve got a RB whose game is built on speed, quickness and avoiding contact, a 4.6 forty yard dash and an 8s 3-cone drill should raise some red flags that maybe the things this guy was able to do against inferior athletes won’t work in the NFL. In that sense, the combine is a good tool for letting you know what is going to physically limit a players chances of succeeding or less often give him an even better chance of succeeding if his measurables are so off the charts that the average NFL player he’s going against is going to be at a disadvantage (I.e. John Ross’s 4.22s 40 is a substantial advantage as he will quite literally always be the fastest human on the field in every game he plays)

    3) Don’t force a pick by going with (based on your own evaluations and rankings) the obviously inferior talent just to fill a need. If you’re in the top half of the first round for instance, you should reasonably expect to find a prospect available for selection that has great college production on the field, great game tape, has well above average to elite measurables from the combine and doesn’t have any glaring off the field red flags. You should be able to look at him and believe that the most likely outcome for this player so long as nothing goes unexpectedly wrong is a future pro-bowl level player. If there’s 2 or 3 guys available at your pick in the high first round and you find that your talking yourself into a player that doesn’t meet those marks, you’re likely going to be disappointed with your selection.

    And, 4) Skill position players from USC are a black hole of despair. (Honorable mention: don’t draft full time firefighters that want to dabble part time in football)

    So, getting back to Barnett for second…his production in college was very good, his tape is good but clearly shows some things that might make it difficult for that production to continue at the next level (he has a noticeable lack of burst off the line, he has one move and only one move to get around the LT, and he appears to win at the college level mainly by being stronger and faster than his competition, which judging by his combine results won’t be the case in the NFL. It’s not all bad, he shows really good strength, he bends the corner fairly well, he routinely disengages from blockers and he has a really good motor).

    His combine results make the deficiencies in his game tape look even more concerning though. Physically he’s in the bottom third for DEs in height and the bottom fourth for weight, and most concerning he’s in the 5th percentile for arm length which is a critical measurement for DE. It’s hard for a T-Rex to use his hands to keep a Left tackles hands off of him when you’re giving up that much reach. He’s well below average in speed and lower body metrics as well.

    When trying to basically guess whether or not someone will succeed as a DE in the NFL, undersized and slow with T-Rex arms is not reassuring. The fact that it’s plain to the naked eye that he lacks explosion off the line in college and the combine confirms that with pedestrian vertical and broad jumps, should convince you that it’s a very real impediment to him ever reaching elite status. It’s a lot easier to become an elite football player if you start out with elite physical traits. Doesn’t mean he can’t or won’t become a perennial All-Pro, but it’s certainly less likely given what we know.

    When I look at Howard or Davis, I don’t have any of those concerns (although we don’t have combine numbers for Davis, it was clear from the tape that he had ample speed and exceptional quickness). Both of those guys had great production, on tape they look and play like elite prospects with no obvious or glaring weaknesses in their games. At least nothing I saw while watching them stood out as something that would put them at a disadvantage physically like Barnetts lack of explosion and freakishly short arms did.

    So, as prospects in my eyes (and just realize these are projections, approximations and educated guesses of best case scenario) both of them have ceilings way up in the elite level performer category. Howard has more than enough of the necessary physical attributes to continue to exert his will even against bigger, stronger, faster competition than he saw in college. He has top level and frankly downright impressive game tape to go along with the measurables and stats/production. If he fails to be a top producing TE in the NFL, it won’t be because he was a fatally flawed prospect. His ceiling, best of the best case scenario is Tony Gonzalez. Like everyone else his floor is complete and total bust, but given his skills and physical attributes he’s got a much easier path to success than other lesser prospects. There’s nothing he’ll need to overcome to get there as long as he works hard at his craft.

    Barnett, conversely, is starting out at a disadvantage based on his size, his arm length and his lack of lower body explosion. His path to becoming decent starter let alone an elite game changer is already more difficult than even the average DE prospect based solely on his significantly below average physical attributes. The fact that the things he’s lacking in are the very things that are most important for his position is the nail in the coffin for me personally.

    That’s why I say, at BEST (certainly not guaranteed), his ceiling maxes out at a Trent Cole type of DE. And, that’s no knock on Cole. I think we’d all be happy to have Trent in his prime back on our defense. At the same time, Trent was never an elite (Demarcus Ware level) DE. He was the rare undersized guy with mediocre measurables that worked his way into a damn good player. But, even though Trent was considered undersized and underwhelming physically when he came out, his measurables still blow Barnett’s out of the water.

    His vertical jump was 7inches higher, his broad jump was 9inches further, his forty time beats Barnetts by almost a quarter second.

    Given the choice, I’m going with the prospect who has a much clearer path to elite status and as happy as I’d be to bring back a 27 year old Trent Cole to our defense, I’m not looking to take a prospect at 14th overall, who has to overcome some fairly significant physical limitations just to have a chance to reach that level.

  140. 140 Jernst said at 8:09 PM on March 19th, 2017:

    So, getting back to Barnett for second…his production in college was very good, his tape is good but clearly shows some things that might make it difficult for that production to continue at the next level (he has a noticeable lack of burst off the line, he has one move and only one move to get around the LT, and he appears to win at the college level mainly by being stronger and faster than his competition, which judging by his combine results won’t be the case in the NFL. It’s not all bad, he shows really good strength, he bends the corner fairly well, he routinely disengages from blockers and he has a really good motor).

    His combine results make the deficiencies in his game tape look even more concerning though. Physically he’s in the bottom third for DEs in height and the bottom fourth for weight, and most concerning he’s in the 5th percentile for arm length which is a critical measurement for DE. It’s hard for a T-Rex to use his hands to keep a Left tackles hands off of him when you’re giving up that much reach. He’s well below average in speed and lower body metrics as well.

    When trying to basically guess whether or not someone will succeed as a DE in the NFL, undersized and slow with T-Rex arms is not reassuring. The fact that it’s plain to the naked eye that he lacks explosion off the line in college and the combine confirms that with pedestrian vertical and broad jumps, should convince you that it’s a very real impediment to him ever reaching elite status. It’s a lot easier to become an elite football player if you start out with elite physical traits. Doesn’t mean he can’t or won’t become a perennial All-Pro, but it’s certainly less likely given what we know.

    When I look at Howard or Davis, I don’t have any of those concerns (although we don’t have combine numbers for Davis, it was clear from the tape that he had ample speed and exceptional quickness). Both of those guys had great production, on tape they look and play like elite prospects with no obvious or glaring weaknesses in their games. At least nothing I saw while watching them stood out as something that would put them at a disadvantage physically like Barnetts lack of explosion and freakishly short arms did.

    So, as prospects in my eyes (and just realize these are projections, approximations and educated guesses of best case scenario) both of them have ceilings way up in the elite level performer category. Howard has more than enough of the necessary physical attributes to continue to exert his will even against bigger, stronger, faster competition than he saw in college. He has top level and frankly downright impressive game tape to go along with the measurables and stats/production. If he fails to be a top producing TE in the NFL, it won’t be because he was a fatally flawed prospect. His ceiling, best of the best case scenario is Tony Gonzalez. Like everyone else his floor is complete and total bust, but given his skills and physical attributes he’s got a much easier path to success than other lesser prospects. There’s nothing he’ll need to overcome to get there as long as he works hard at his craft.

    Barnett, conversely, is starting out at a disadvantage based on his size, his arm length and his lack of lower body explosion. His path to becoming decent starter let alone an elite game changer is already more difficult than even the average DE prospect based solely on his significantly below average physical attributes. The fact that the things he’s lacking in are the very things that are most important for his position is the nail in the coffin for me personally.

    That’s why I say, at BEST (certainly not guaranteed), his ceiling maxes out at a Trent Cole type of DE. And, that’s no knock on Cole. I think we’d all be happy to have Trent in his prime back on our defense. At the same time, Trent was never an elite (Demarcus Ware level) DE. He was the rare undersized guy with mediocre measurables that worked his way into a damn good player. But, even though Trent was considered undersized and underwhelming physically when he came out, his measurables still blow Barnett’s out of the water.

    His vertical jump was 7inches higher, his broad jump was 9inches further, his forty time beats Barnetts by almost a quarter second.

    Given the choice, I’m going with the prospect who has a much clearer path to elite status and as happy as I’d be to bring back a 27 year old Trent Cole to our defense, I’m not looking to take a prospect at 14th overall, who has to overcome some fairly significant physical limitations just to have a chance to reach that level.

  141. 141 xmbk said at 10:13 PM on March 19th, 2017:

    Absolutely, agree with pretty much all of that. Barnett’s tape shows the ability to get off the ball on the snap, he’s just inconsistent. I’m sure teams ask him about that, and it’s almost certainly coachable. The quickness/stiffness concerns you have really show on a play like the safety he missed in the Bama game. He will be a difference maker, but I would have no problem with the team taking Davis or Howard. Any of them help the team considerably.

  142. 142 xmbk said at 12:28 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    I think the team picks Barnett out of those 4.

  143. 143 RC5000 said at 11:53 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    Cook, Fournette, Davis, Williams all visiting today according to BGN

  144. 144 Insomniac said at 11:56 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    The visits have all been first rounders so far I think?

  145. 145 RC5000 said at 12:00 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    I’m pretty sure. Ryan Anderson visited and he probably isn’t a first round pick. It seems like they’re doing more early visits this year too. It always seemed like they did more of those after most of the pro days. Are these more because of medicals?

  146. 146 Insomniac said at 12:04 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    I think so? Off the top of my head the only guy who doesn’t have medical concerns is Ryan Anderson.

  147. 147 D3FB said at 12:01 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    The guy they really want is probably whoever they send Wiedl and the position coach to stand in the back corner of the pro day

  148. 148 Crus57 said at 11:57 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    Anyone having problems getting videos to play on the PhiladelphiaEagles website? I wanted to watch the FOles press pass but nothing loads for me. I tried Firefox, Chrome and IE, nothing works.

  149. 149 Rellihcs said at 11:58 AM on March 17th, 2017:

    very common for that site.

  150. 150 Ankerstjernen said at 12:15 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    Want NO part of cook in the first round. Even if you set aside the off field stuff and the fact that he is simply not an explosive athlete, his game tape is also grounds for concern. I was listerning to Greg Cosell comment on his tape, and he did not express enthusiasm. Essentially said that cook in the passing game is a complete projection and that he is and runner that runs away from bodies and seeks space, which isn’t very promising for a player lacking breakaway speed at the next level. Cosell seemed to imply that cook might not be a foundational back. Ugh. This better be a smokescreen or due diligence if he happens to be there in the second, which he might. Daniel jeremiah, who is usually pretty well connected, has said that McCaffrey is likely to go before cook in drafts, of course so is fournette. And there are guys in the later rounds who might are ctually be more talented. I just don’t see it. Cook is the only player jn this conversation that I will be furious if we drafted. I don’t think Howie is that dumb.

  151. 151 GermanEagle said at 12:33 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    Plus I don’t actually think that Lurie would approve of him.

  152. 152 ChoTime said at 12:49 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    With the needs at CB, big ugly, and even WR, I just don’t see the devalued position of RB being a target for Howie and company.

  153. 153 eagleyankfan said at 12:53 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    That’s a great point…lots of holes, so little time. It’ll take more than 1 more draft to help this team…

  154. 154 RC5000 said at 2:02 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    I hear you on not drafting Cook at 14 because of a number of reasons. I like Cosell but there are many different opinions .

    I’m not sure I agree with these comments below. Running inside may not be his bread and butter but that’s not Charles bread and butter nor was it Westbrook’s two of Pederson / Reid’s offenses best backs. It’s not McCaffrey’s either, just saying.

    Re: runner that runs away from bodies and seeks space…lacking breakaway speed at the next level. C

    1) Starting at 1:49, 1 run he’s ” breaking tackles”, 2 run he’s “breaking tackles again”, 3 run he outruns the Clemson D 4 run “that stiff arm is lethal” “#1 in power 4 RBs in yards after contact”


    2) it’s one of the objects of the game running away from people.

    3) We complain backs get injured and worn down when they get too much contact. How’s it working out for Mathews.

    4) Fran Duffy says he has ability to separate in short areas and pull away from defenders. “Once he gets to the sideline it’s curtains for the defense more often than not.”

    At 1;15 Cook takes on contact. Granted it’s a DB but if he can avoid second level by elusiveness or speed great that’s less wear and tear


  155. 155 Ankerstjernen said at 3:52 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    I see lot of really bad angles and a lot of really bad tackling. And a lot of really big holes. I dont think he looks anywhere near as quick and nimble as Charles or Westbrook, nor does he look physical. But what do I know, I’m just leaning on the evaluations from guys that study this stuff, and I can kind of see why they are less impressed than the mock drafters. Not saying he is not good, of course he is. He is going to the NFL and he will probably be a good pro. But is he much better than guys that will be drafted in the middle rounds? I really dont believe it. If there is a starting caliber CB or DT available in the second, I’d rather they go that route even then and draft a RB later. Thats just how I feel.

  156. 156 RC5000 said at 5:27 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    The bad tackling and bad angles are a lot because of him. He looks nearly as quick. He’s not as quick. Charles and Westbrook are smaller too. So they should be quicker.

    What is it that is bad about his feet here?

    Do you not see him running by everyone?


  157. 157 Ankerstjernen said at 6:23 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    Well this is a high light reel, so probably not the best basis for the discussion, just to be frank. If course his high light reel speed plays where he runs by defenders. But, looking at a high light reel, what would you like to see, apart from succesful plays? Well. If we are talking about a potential first round pick, I would like to see special ability. Something that only a few young guys can do. Flashes of qualities that are rare. And I just don’t see that with cook, not even in his highlights. He looks good, but not special in any way. What is his elite trait again? What makes him special as a runner? I don’t see anything here. Again, not saying that he is not good, he is. But so is a lot of other guys. Watch the high light video of hunt or perine or any of the other 4th rounders, and tell me why cook is much better than any of them. Not the fastest. Not the most physical. Not the quickest. Not great vision. Not great hands. NOW add that he is testing out like a bum at the most important event of his career and might have off field issues and plays a position with a lower market value, and I think you have to be mad to take him in the first. (or the start of this years second.)

  158. 158 RC5000 said at 6:55 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    I’ve watched 6 of his games and he runs by defenders.

  159. 159 RC5000 said at 7:41 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    Not trying to be rude and ignore your post. But I’ve already covered it. You just don’t agree so I don’t see anything in your questions that the blog or I didn’t cover.

    But I’m not locked into taking him for many reasons. They’ve all been covered in here.

  160. 160 RC5000 said at 7:52 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    What were all the terrible tests for Cook at the combine?

  161. 161 Jernst said at 11:57 AM on March 18th, 2017:

    His 20 yard shuttle ranked him in the 6th percentile of all RBs tested since 1999. His 3-cone drill was 7th percentile. Broad Jump 37th percentile and 40 yard dash was 70th percentile. He’s also in the 35th and 38th percentiles for height and weight respectively. His vertical jump of 30′ also places him about the 10th percentile. And, his broad jump is about 50th percentile.

    For a smaller back who is supposed to make his money on being quick and fast those 3-cone and 20 yard shuttle times are astoundingly bad. You’re looking at a smaller scat back that has similar agility test numbers as LeGarrette Blount. And, his vertical jump and broad jump show a surprising lack of lower body explosion again for a player that is so light and who is supposedly known for his quickness and burst. Add in a 40 time of 4.5s and there’s not much to like about his combine performance.


  162. 162 RC5000 said at 5:36 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    Re; I’m just leaning on the evaluations from guys that study this stuff, and I can kind of see why they are less impressed than the mock drafters.

    Tommy “studies this stuff” lol.

  163. 163 RC5000 said at 5:42 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    I don’t see a problem passing on Cook if there are as good players at other positions. I have concerns about non performance based issues and this is a deep draft at RB.

  164. 164 Jernst said at 11:48 AM on March 18th, 2017:

    I saw the same things you did. Bad angles, arm tackles, poor effort from the defenders and huge holes. While I saw excellent patience and vision, two oft overlooked RB skillsets, I also did not see anything that screamed transformational talent at the NFL level. A poor combine also gives me plenty of reason for concern.

  165. 165 Ark87 said at 12:25 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    I want him on the team so we can call him Dalvin the Chipmunk. When he fumbles Dave can be all “DALVIIIIIIIIN!”

  166. 166 GermanEagle said at 12:26 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    Happy Guinness Day. #KellyGreen https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/10e5781f6ad1b187f2b03f777822f4f503d9f7a4912c2a6877f9cd6d8a25e642.jpg

  167. 167 Sean Stott said at 12:43 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    At this point should we consider Mathews to be on the 2017 gameday roster?

  168. 168 Dave said at 12:54 PM on March 17th, 2017:


  169. 169 Sean Stott said at 1:07 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    with his medical issue, when is he expected to be healthy? In addition to that, I’m not sure how the post-June 1 cut would work. If it’s not too much of a net difference in keeping him, cap-wise, and he’s healthy he’s still a talented RB

    edit: basically, when does his 4mm guaranteed salary become guaranteed? Is it possible he doesn’t pass the physical before that happens?

  170. 170 Dave said at 1:21 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    I’m have no idea about his salary, but his prognosis doesn’t look good to play football again…

    “It is worth noting that the C6 and C7 vertebrae are not so much in the back as they are in the base of the neck, in the lower portion of the cervical spine. Nerve roots in the C6-C7 spinal segment allow for movement in the elbow, triceps, wrists, hands, and fingers, according to Spine-Health.com.

    A C6 or C7 herniation occurs “when the disc’s outer layer (annulus) gets a large enough tear to enable the inner gel layer (nucleus) of the disc to leak out and potentially irritate the nearby nerve. If the nerve is affected, neurological symptoms such as pain and weakness can radiate down the path of the nerve into the arm and/or hand.”

    If that sounds serious, that’s because it is. Peyton Manning’s near-career ending neck injury was located in the same place on the cervical spine. He ultimately needed spinal fusion surgery to facilitate his return to the NFL, and needed a second surgery after the first one did not work as well as necessary to get him back on the field. Even then, doctors said there was no guarantee he could play again.”


  171. 171 Sean Stott said at 1:29 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    Damn. Feel kinda bad for the guy. Wonder how the cap works for salary payouts for injury reasons where a player doesn’t make roster at all.

  172. 172 Rellihcs said at 1:44 PM on March 17th, 2017:


  173. 173 morenthemiddle said at 3:50 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    I’ve had the c5-c6 and c6-c7 fused and plate put in with the c4-c5 still herniated. I’m surprised that there is any talk of him continuing his NFL career.

  174. 174 Dave said at 7:19 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    Sheesh. That’s sucks. Fortunately, I can manage my disc issues and sciatica pain with an inversion table.

  175. 175 79mr2t said at 8:52 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    Inversion table really helps that much? I just got over 2 months of severe sciatica pain due to herniation of l5-s1. Nerve pain is no joke, I was nearly debilitated for over a month.

  176. 176 Dave said at 9:19 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    My pain started in my ass cheek and within a year it migrated down my leg until it became unbearable to stand.

    It completely changed my life. 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes at night. Within 4 weeks, pain was completely gone. I’ve been using it for 2 years now.

    Read some of the reviews. For $200, it is worth giving a try if your doc says it is OK.


  177. 177 79mr2t said at 9:36 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    I hear ya man, changed my life too. Mine came on over a span of 24 hours after injuring my back. Fairly mild shooting pain at first which turned into constant throbbing/searing pain from my ass cheek down my right leg & into my foot for about 2 months before finally easing up. I’m afraid to do anything strenuous since. I’ll definitely check it out. Appreciate the info!

  178. 178 D3FB said at 9:08 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    They’re just keeping him until he passes a physical.

  179. 179 Media Mike said at 6:51 AM on March 18th, 2017:

    Can the get the Rams team doctor to pass him? They’re good at ignoring concussions, so anything wrong with Mathews should be easy to ignore.

  180. 180 Media Mike said at 6:52 AM on March 18th, 2017:

    I consider Mathews a soft annoyance who is stealing money.

  181. 181 Jernst said at 11:42 AM on March 18th, 2017:

    No absolutely not. He’ll be cut the moment he passes a physical. Can’t be cut before then while he’s recovering.

    Right now the starter is Smallwood, Sproles is the third down back and Barner, Marshall and Watson are battling for the third spot/back up to Smallwood. Ideally, we’d be able to pick up a mid round RB who can be the #2 behind Smallwood if he goes down or falters and Marshall, who I thought showed excellent quickness and receiving ability hangs around on the PS if possible or at #4 RB to hopefully take over for Sproles as the PR/3rd down receiving back next year.

  182. 182 GermanEagle said at 1:41 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    So what shall we trade for Richard Sherman – if any?!

  183. 183 RC5000 said at 2:12 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    $13,631,000 Cap number.

  184. 184 GermanEagle said at 2:22 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    Damn. 🙁

    Any restructuring possible???

  185. 185 GermanEagle said at 3:03 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    But if we’d trade Curry straight up the cap hit wouldn’t be that bad, would it?!

    Plus trading Kelce and releasing Ryan Matthews finally would bring us under the cap??

  186. 186 Sb2bowl said at 3:49 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    If we traded Curry, we’d have $8m of dead money this year alone. Not going to happen. Plus we’d need another starting DE

  187. 187 GermanEagle said at 4:20 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    Ok. You. Win.

  188. 188 RC5000 said at 4:04 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    Seattle would want Curry for Sherman? They’re like the Patriots. They probably want a young asset for him.

  189. 189 Dave said at 2:16 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    Vinny Curry, straight up!

  190. 190 Mac said at 5:02 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    Sherman puts on Midnight Green and his superhuman ability to keep yellow flags in pockets instantly vanishes. No thanks.

  191. 191 GermanEagle said at 5:29 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    So he’s not a top 10 CB in your eyes?

  192. 192 Mac said at 12:39 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    Not outside of Seattle.

  193. 193 Media Mike said at 6:50 AM on March 18th, 2017:

    IF he was actually available, I’d love to discuss this. But the whole “report” was based on speculation by idiot Mike Lombardi, who has no contacts in Seattle. If Sheil or John Clayton stated this, I’d agree.

  194. 194 scratcherk said at 2:14 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    Kiper seems to think cook is going to go in the second

  195. 195 RobNE said at 2:21 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    Last night NE sports radio was saying that the Pats are trading Butler to Saints for the Pats #1 pick back. They are just waiting for Saints and Butler to agree to a new deal.

  196. 196 GermanEagle said at 2:22 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    Pats are laughing at all the other 31 teams.

  197. 197 Jernst said at 11:39 AM on March 18th, 2017:

    Jesus…the rich just keep getting richer. If they pull this off and essentially trade a 3rd round pick for Brandin Cooks while simply switching out Butler for Gilmore, that will be an insane coup. They’ll be odds on favorites to with the Super Bowl without a doubt.

  198. 198 xeynon said at 3:56 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    This is a really deep draft at RB. I don’t know that it’s a good use of resources to draft a Cook, McCaffrey, or Fournette in the first round when there will be potentially starting caliber players available in the 3rd or 4th. I’d rather see them draft a top talent at a less deep position (e.g. WR or DL) – they can get their RB later on.

  199. 199 kajomo said at 5:07 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    Funny because I said the same thing about Rueben Foster, but I feel like everyone on this site felt he was too good to pass up at 14.

  200. 200 Anders said at 6:22 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    If you can get a star lb at 14 and he is bpa you take him

  201. 201 kajomo said at 6:26 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    If you feel that way that’s fine, but the same should hold true for RB.

    Id honestly feel better about a RB in round 1 than LB.

  202. 202 xmbk said at 8:15 PM on March 17th, 2017:


  203. 203 kajomo said at 9:48 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    Mainly because I feel a top RB could really complete the offense. Depending on wentz’s progress this could be a really good offense. With a top playmaker at RB it could be elite.

    Adding Foster doesn’t bring the D close to elite status. Those CBs and DL depth will be hard to overcome regardless.

  204. 204 xmbk said at 9:23 AM on March 18th, 2017:

    This defense only really needs 2 linebackers. I would love to see Hicks and Foster playing together for a few years, both are 3-down backers.

  205. 205 kajomo said at 10:13 AM on March 18th, 2017:

    I get why people like Foster. I like Foster. I just don’t think due to positional value he is the BPA for the Eagles. I don’t know what else to say about it.

    The best thing about this draft is that their will be a lot of talent at 14 and later. Regardless of what the Eagles end up doing we will be a better team. There will be no Marcus Smith reach. While Foster may not be my top choice, I know he would make us better and I would ultimately be a big fan of his. He is a very good player.

  206. 206 Jernst said at 11:36 AM on March 18th, 2017:

    I guess the only caveat is that a top playmaker at RB can be found a lot easier than a top playmaker at LB. The Patr*ots (Tom Brady aside) are plenty effective with Dion Lewis and Blount, both signed off the scrap heap.

  207. 207 kajomo said at 11:41 AM on March 18th, 2017:

    They also traded Jamie Collins away like he was nothing. Still won the SB

  208. 208 Jernst said at 12:32 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    Very true. Its difficult to really emulate the Patr*ots, since one they have Tom Brady, two the have Belicheck and three the seem to be able to replace high level talent all over their roster because of reasons 1 and 2.

    But, 3-4 inside LB is something that’s a little easier to find than a 4-3 LB. That being said, they still spent a 1st round pick on Hightower who eventually replaced his production. I guarantee they won’t expend a 1st on a RB to replace LeGarrette Blount in short yardage or Dion Lewis as the third down back when he finally departs.

  209. 209 kajomo said at 12:48 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    They drafte Lawrence Marony (I don’t remember how to spell his name) back in the day.

    Fournette to me is such a special talent he is worth a 1st. Ian’s gone adding him and Jeffery in one offseason.

    Cooks could drop to the 2nd. Kamara is worth a 2nd. Same holds true with Jarrad Davis.

  210. 210 Jernst said at 1:08 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    I’m not sure how much sense it makes to quote a first round bust like Moroney that they drafted 11 years ago and the only RB taken by them in the first round in Belicheck’s entire tenure as proof that Belicheck values RBs enough to expend premium resources on them.

    For sake of argument, the only other RBs that Belicheck has drafted in the first three rounds in the last 16 years are Shane Vereen and Stephen Ridley in the back of the 2nd and third rounds of the 2011 draft. A draft where they obtained these picks by trading out of their first round selection so that the Saints could draft Mark Ingram.

    Other than those two backs, you’re looking at 16 years of the occasional 6th round draft pick and scrap heap free agents.

  211. 211 kajomo said at 1:43 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    Hightower is the only LB they drafted in the 1st in that time frame I believe. Again the Patriots are an outlier. Most of the top LBers are 2nd & 3rd round picks when you look around the league.

  212. 212 Jernst said at 6:05 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    I feel like we’re just talking in circles now. I agree with you that a dynamic stud RB would have a big positive effect on our offense. Where I think I disagree is that I don’t think the difference between Dalvin Cook and a RB that could be had at our 3rd to 5th round picks is nearly as big as the drop off from someone like Howard and a 3rd round TE or Davis/Ross and a 3rd round WR, or Foster and a 3rd round LB.

    That’s what I mean by saying it’s easier to find a stud RB than other positions. The chance that a 3rd to 5th round RB becomes the stud we’re looking for is much higher than it is that we find a stud pass rusher, CB, DT, WR, LB. of course there’s exceptions to every rule. But the true STUD, ELITE guys at many of those other positions don’t make it past the first or early second round with any regularity. Whereas truly elite RBs do routinely last till the later rounds.

    Some positions are valued higher around the league to an extent that MOST (of course not all) truly elite studs at those positions have to be found early in the draft. Other positions like RB fairly regularly have elite level performers fall till later. It’s much more rare to find an elite DE, QB, LT, DT, CB, TE and to a slightly lesser extent WR in the later rounds.

    LB is another spot like RB that’s often devalued. That’s why so many good ones last till the second round every year. That’s why I still think it’s slightly more easy to find an elite guy after the first round. That being said, true difference makers like Kuechly, Patrick Willis, and guys of that level often go very high, few top level performers last past the second round and of all positions, LB has the lowest bust rate of all first round picks, RB one of the highest.

    So ultimately, I’d rather see us take a once in a decade TE like Howard, or the fastest guy ever to play football in Ross or a guy I think will be a top 5-10 WR than take a RB that I’m not completely sold on as an elite guy when I assume guys with elite potential will be available at RB late into the draft while I don’t expect to find similarly elite TEs and WRs in those same later rounds.

  213. 213 D3FB said at 9:13 AM on March 19th, 2017:


  214. 214 kajomo said at 9:43 AM on March 19th, 2017:

    Forgot about Mayo

  215. 215 RC5000 said at 6:22 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    Last time Eagles drafted a RB in the 1st round was 1986. Guess who, no googling…

    Besides Marcus Smith (who was a DE drafted to become a 3-4 OLB), the last time the Eagles drafted a LB was in 1979 – the infamous Jerry Robinson pick..

    Will this be the year?

  216. 216 A_T_G said at 6:24 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    Are we allowed to scroll back to Tommy’s opening paragraph?

  217. 217 RC5000 said at 6:28 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    LOL. I read the whole article and even the videos. I know I didn’t see that because of the 318 B.C. I’ve never in my life considered 318 B.C. lmao.

  218. 218 daveH said at 7:21 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    Scarier was that our top 2 pocks were RBs and drafted 5 in total ..

  219. 219 Media Mike said at 6:47 AM on March 18th, 2017:

    If you’re a fan of a certain age you knew it was Byars anyway. He’s one of my all time favorite Eagles.

  220. 220 xmbk said at 8:19 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    I would say that the drop off from Foster is considerably larger than the drop from a RB. But I get where you’re coming from.

  221. 221 Media Mike said at 6:46 AM on March 18th, 2017:

    Not that you’re wrong, but who are the good 4-3 LBs we can get later on?

  222. 222 kajomo said at 9:08 AM on March 18th, 2017:

    I honestly haven’t paid much attention to LBers. I’d rather trade Kendricks and go with a cheap veteran signing. I am fine with Hicks and Bradham and the field all the time. Our WLB will see less than 35% of snaps. If given the choice to spend a pick on a LB or nickel corner and they have similar grades Im going to take the CB. He will see the field more and hopefully have a larger impact as a result.

    Off the top of my head Anthony Walker, Elijah Lee, Raekwon McMillan, Alex Anzalone.

  223. 223 nickross23 said at 5:44 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    I’m a big FSU fan and college football fan as well. I’ve seen every game Cook has played and i love his total game. Is Dalvin Cook worth a 1st round pick? Yes I absolutely believe he’s worth it, but is he best for the Eagles at 14 that is debatable. As fans of this team we all know that the Secondary is the glaring need.. it has been for years, WR is a very close second even with the signings of Jeffery, and Smith. Edge rusher and linebacker depth would round out the true needs. Don’t get me wrong the rb position is a need for the Eagles, my problem is that there has been so many cases where you can take a RB in any round or even as an UDFA and have success. The real question is what type of RB does Doug want to have for his system and will that person grow with Carson… I’m just happy that this years class is load with talented backs with a diverse range of skills.

  224. 224 Jernst said at 11:34 AM on March 18th, 2017:

    Agree with your entire post. I so much more prefer the Pat*ots method of stocking the RB depth chart without using any meaningful resources and just looking for guys that are capable of being used in situational football. You need a bruiser that can pick up short yardage. An incomplete back that does that one skill very well can be found all over the place, especially if you’ve invested in maulers upfront. You also need a third down back that can pass block and catch swing passes and make a CB miss him to pick up yards after the catch as well as be an option in the screen game. Smaller quicker backs that can catch and block can also be found all over the place. No need to use a first round pick on a guy who can do both when you can sign two guys that can do one at a time for nothing.

    Situationally it makes little to no difference on the offenses actual ability to convert a first down or TD in the red zone and thus has minimal effect overall on the outcome of the game.

  225. 225 nickross23 said at 6:06 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    Back to Cook, just evaluating the on the field stuff. Even though he didn’t test exceptionally well the tape doesn’t lie. He is a patient quick footed rb in and out of his breaks with excellent burst and deceptive power. He’s a great hands catcher of the football for a RB and is dangerous in the Screen game which is a regular fixture in the FSU offense. He’s a willing blocker but doest anchor well and explode into the defender. Can go down a little too easily when in the open field facing a corner or safety where a Fournette is a punisher and will deliver the blow. The biggest issue I have with Cook is the ball handle and fumbling issue. He’s been a bit too cavalier with the football.. Go see the the 2015 rose bowl. Cook had 127 yrds rushing and receiving on 18 touches but had lost 2 momentum shifting fumbles. Bottom line is that he’s super talented player that can give a team explosive big plays in both the running and passing game, but may cost you with some untimely turnovers

  226. 226 xmbk said at 8:22 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    He’s a solid day 2 pick. Not worth a one.

  227. 227 Media Mike said at 6:45 AM on March 18th, 2017:

    Yeah, given to where RBs have slid in the last 10 years or so of drafts you have to look at Cook as not in play at 14.

  228. 228 Rellihcs said at 6:38 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    Question for D3FB – and secondarily others of course:

    Theoretically forgetting any injury, off-field bs, and even fumbles, compare and rank Cook and Mixon as RBs.

  229. 229 GermanEagle said at 6:59 PM on March 17th, 2017:


  230. 230 Rellihcs said at 8:25 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    LSU and Stanford?

  231. 231 xmbk said at 8:13 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    Why would you not count fumbles? It’s not like those are automatically correctable.

  232. 232 Rellihcs said at 8:15 PM on March 17th, 2017:


  233. 233 xmbk said at 8:21 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    Upside is a dangerous thing to chase. DGB has tons of upside. You need some playmakers, but you need far more football players.

  234. 234 Rellihcs said at 8:25 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    Can’t argue any of that.

  235. 235 Media Mike said at 6:44 AM on March 18th, 2017:

    I might have de-boarded both over the off the field BS, but I’d also be curious to hear their differences from a scouting point of view.

  236. 236 Rellihcs said at 12:38 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    Me too.

  237. 237 Insomniac said at 8:26 AM on March 18th, 2017:

    Mixon > Cook with all the terms listed. Mixon also has the potential to be the best RB out of this class disregarding all of those terms.

  238. 238 kajomo said at 9:25 AM on March 18th, 2017:

    Mixon reminds me a bit of David Johnson. He can win with both speed and power. We run a varied rushing attack, but did beast when R Matthews was healthy last year with our power game. I think Mixon can fill that void. He is also an excellent receiver out of the backfield. Most RBs his size are not such a threat on 3rd down. He is a little stiff, but checks every other box. He put up very good numbers at his pro day.

    Cook is explosive and a proven work horse. He has great vision, patience, and sets up his blocks. Those traits translate to the NFL. His lack of power bothers me a bit. Give him good blocking or get him in space and he is a nightmare. He will not move the pile and will have a lot of little/no gains and then some explosive runs. Also a great receiver out of the backfield.

    I actually prefer Mixon because he gives you everything in a bigger package. Getting him in the 3rd round or later provides excellent value. If we don’t bring Mixon in for a visit I think it’s highly unlikely we draft him however.

  239. 239 Insomniac said at 10:06 AM on March 18th, 2017:

    Mixon also has a lot less wear and tear on him. He’s also only 20 and will be fresher than most RBs.

  240. 240 D3FB said at 9:06 AM on March 19th, 2017:

    I’m not really a big fan of either.

    As far as comps stylistically Mixon reminds me of Demarco Murray (upright, not sure I love the vision, can break the long one but more of a half dozen 10-15 yard gains) and Dalvin of early career CJ2K (little shorter and not quite the track speed but will take a handful of negative runs and then rip the defense open for a long one of the next play, can bang a little but not his game).

    Mixon’s going second round.

    I’d just rather not be involved in having to root for #actuallybadguys given the depth of the class. As I’ve said before I’m ok with dickheads, assholes and dumbasses. Just not shitty scumbags.

  241. 241 Bacon & Iggles said at 8:56 PM on March 17th, 2017:

    Elsewhere in 318 BC, Phocion ‘The Good’ was forced to commit suicide by drinking Hemlock as punishment for attempting to restore democracy in Athens. So there’s that. lol

  242. 242 daveH said at 10:13 AM on March 18th, 2017:

    318 BC .. oh yeah that was Year of the Consulship of Flaccinator

  243. 243 Media Mike said at 7:18 AM on March 18th, 2017:

    So where to get RB………………

    Round 1 Pick 14: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan (A-)
    Round 2 Pick 13 (ARI): Cordrea Tankersley, CB, Clemson (A)
    Round 3 Pick 12 (N.O.): Derek Rivers, DE, Youngstown State (B+)
    Round 3 Pick 36 (TENN): Dalvin Tomlinson, DT, Alabama (A)
    Round 4 Pick 12: Isaac Asiata, OG, Utah (A)
    Round 4 Pick 13 (ARI): Rasul Douglas, CB, West Virginia (B)
    Round 4 Pick 32 (COMP): Samaje Perine, RB, Oklahoma (A+)
    Round 5 Pick 11: Jeremy Sprinkle, TE, Arkansas (A)
    Round 5 Pick 13 (ARI): Daeshon Hall, DE, Texas A&M (C+)
    Round 6 Pick 10: Xavier Woods, SS, Louisiana Tech (C+)
    Round 7 Pick 12: Brandon Bell, OLB, Penn State (C)

    Given the overly generous (by one round) returns on my trade downs in rounds 2 and 3; assume Kelce, Kendrick, and/or Jordan Matthews were liquidated in the process.

  244. 244 Sb2bowl said at 8:42 AM on March 18th, 2017:

    If Matthews is gone, how many (and who) makes up our WR corpse?

    Ps- I’ll change the spelling once they actually prove to be a serviceable part of the team and not a detriment to our young QB.

  245. 245 Media Mike said at 10:25 AM on March 18th, 2017:

    You saw I got Davis, right?

  246. 246 Media Mike said at 10:25 AM on March 18th, 2017:

    And it would be Davis, Alshon, Smith, DGB, Agholor, and PT Cruiser.

    Add a mid round RB in 2018 draft and keep Alshon while shedding DGB, etc. for 2018.

  247. 247 Sb2bowl said at 11:06 AM on March 18th, 2017:

    Yes- saw that; was wondering if you’d keep 5 or 6. Looks like we will have 10-11 OL, plus at least 3 TE’s (probably 4 w/development). 3-4 Rb’s. Numbers get crunched very quickly. I don’t see PT on our active roster unless someone gets hurt.

    Again, love the Davis pick.

  248. 248 Jernst said at 11:09 AM on March 18th, 2017:

    Davis has the quickness to play inside or outside. If he’s the pick, I’m completely comfortable with Matthews leaving in FA or even being traded after/during the draft.

    OJ Howard would, in my opinion be an upgrade in the slot over Matthews and would present insane matchup problems either from the slot or in two TE sets with Ertz.

    If either of those guys are the picks, our receiving corp is set for a long time assuming we can lockup Jeffery. And, if we can’t, they provide excellent insurance to him leaving us next offseason.

    If we end up going with Ross, and his speed translates to production, we simply don’t pick up our year two option on Smith. Ross slides into Smith’s role as the Z-receiver deep threat and we either keep Matthews on a reasonable contract ($8M/year), or we try to draft a short quick guy like NE does to constantly move the chains from the slot and move on.

  249. 249 kajomo said at 12:16 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    If you are looking to replace Matthews with a TE, why not Evan Engram. He is a better receiver, good effort blocker when needed, and could be available in round 2

  250. 250 Jernst said at 12:56 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    I’m definitely not looking to replace Matthews with a TE. Ideally, I like the short quick, Wes Welker/Julian Edelmann version of slot WRs because I think there’s simply no way to defend against open field option routes with those extraordinarily quick slot guys, whereas the height advantage of someone like Matthews is almost moot since he’s not good and catching contested jump balls over the shorter slot CBs anyways.

    The only way I’d ever replace Matthews’ intermediate production from the slot with a TE is if that guy was a generational type talent like Howard. I think Howard is so good that he’s capable of doing things that other TEs couldn’t do or would be out of place doing.

    I’m not looking for any TE to take Matthews spot, I’m seeing an exceptional TE that’s good enough to do it in spite of my preference for a quick twitch slot WR.

    That being said, I know nothing about Evan Engram other than the fact that his combine performance was exceptional. However, at 6’3″ 230 lbs he gives up 3 inches and 20 pounds to a guy like Howard who can actually play in line too, as opposed to a tweener like Engram. And, Engram while faster in the 40 is also slower in the 3-cone, 20 yard shuttle and 60 yard shuttle than OJ.

  251. 251 Insomniac said at 1:37 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    That’s not a bad idea actually. Vertical deep threat with soft hands and the size match up? Yes please. That’s the complete opposite of Matthews isn’t it?

  252. 252 Gian GEAGLE said at 5:43 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    Why would you want to get rid of jordan?

    1) jordan himself publically stated that he understands you don’t win SUPERBOWLS by paying crazy money to WRs. We are talking about a kid who was happy that MS2 was drafted in no round 1 instead of Jordan because I quote “MS2 family needed that first round money more”… And this is the kid people want to get rid of? Finally he doesn’t have to try to be the #1 WR and can really concentrate on the role that fits him, we might want to see what Jordan looks like this year before considering getting rid of him
    2) he loves being an eagle
    3) even if you extend and draft Corey Davis, it will be 4-5 years before we have to extend the rookie we draft.
    IMO the Eagles shouldnt even consider getting rid of Jordan while DGB and Nelson are still on the roster. Replace them first and then having a convo about replacing Jordan makes more sense to me.
    Im also very interested in seeing how Jordan and Ertz perform now that we have a weapon that stretches the field, and a legit #1 X WR to command attemtion of the defense. Both Ertz and Jordan should have more room to operate this year than they have had since Maclin left
    IMO I think Howie is going to try and keep Jordan, Alshon, Ertz as the nucleus of weapons to build around. If we draft a WR, I assume he will be competing for DGB or Nelsons job, not Jordan.

  253. 253 Jernst said at 7:32 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    I’m not necessarily looking to get rid of him. He’s an excellent 3rd (2B) WR playing in the slot as long as there’s a true #1 on the outside along with a deep threat to stretch the field at the Z-WR spot.

    That being said there are some pretty glaring deficiencies in his game that I think will keep him from ever being elite or even to a lesser extent a guy that makes a huge difference in your ability to win games. He’s not a natural catcher. He jumps frequently when he doesn’t have to, he drops/double catches a lot of balls, he doesn’t use his size (his greatest asset in the slot) to his advantage well, he’s pretty bad with contested catches, he’s not a guy who will make a spectacular catch, he’s not great at YAC and rarely makes big plays with a low average yards per catch, and he’s got straight up horrendous body control. If I see him high step into the sideline while trying to make a catch and end up out of bounds instead of executing a simple toe drag that most college level WRs can execute I’m gonna lose my mind. He’s also not a clutch performer as many of his drops are of the big drive ending, game ending variety.

    That being said, he’s not a bad WR either. Overall he’s actually pretty decent and has put up some impressive numbers over his first 3 years. The caveat to that being he did so while eating up a ton of targets while moscasts as a #1 WR and earlier in his career had his stats padded by the increased opportunities in Chips offense that inflated all offensive stats.

    The question becomes what are you willing to pay a great #3 WR that requires you to pay two other WRs starting money because he’s limited to just the slot, who also has some extremely frustrating flaws that don’t seem to be improving. Based on his stats he’s gonna probably get $8-10M a year from someone. Whereas I’m not comfortable giving him more than $6-8M a year. I think you could get more consistent short to intermediate production from the slot for much less than he’ll cost.

    Therefore, I’m assuming that despite his frugal non-materialistic nature and team first attitude that we’ll end up being priced out of his services and he’ll leave. If he comes back for $7M/yr then no need to replace him. Like I said before, I’m not looking to replace him, I’m just saying that OJ Howard is so good that he “could” take over JMatts role in the slot which would mitigate the “we have Ertz already we don’t need another TE” argument, which seems to be the only reason people are against taking Howard.

    If he can do what JMatt does but even better, while also having the ability to let us go two TEs and create matchup havoc all over the field, he would not just give us an excellent TE corp but he’d allow us to overcome the reasonably likely loss of Matthews next year.

  254. 254 daveH said at 10:10 AM on March 18th, 2017:

    You’ve gotten my hopes up for corey d.
    Think hes been your 1st pick easily 50 pct of the time.
    Hope we can.

  255. 255 Media Mike said at 10:24 AM on March 18th, 2017:

    Probably goes at 13 and I go berserk.

  256. 256 Jernst said at 11:04 AM on March 18th, 2017:

    I absolutely love Corey Davis. He looks like a super quick TO with better ball skills that will end up being a top 5-10 WR for years to come. If it wasn’t for signing Jeffery, I like him enough to consider trading up for him if need be. But, with Jeffery I think we have the luxury to just wait. However, if he’s available at 14, we should run to the podium and select him.

    The only other player that I honestly feel even close to that with is OJ Howard, who I think is such an insane talent that you draft him, let JMatt leave in FA next year and use him in the slot as a WR and in tight in two TE sets.

    Cook has all the normal knocks on him as a first round pick simply because he’s a RB. But, he also has a poor combine that scares me even more. Ross’s speed tilts the entire field, but his medical concerns trouble me.

    The couple of defenders that could be available (Humphrey, White, Barnett) all look much less exciting to me as prospects when compared to Davis and Howard (and Ross if he medically checks out). If we’re going BPA (especially now that Jones is off the board in the first round), I think the pick has to be one of those offensive guys.

  257. 257 RC5000 said at 1:15 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    Great post. I agree with so much of it. I know Cook had some bad numbers and spidey which fans look at because it’s much easier to compare. But there is more to the combine than SPARQ (he had a good BP, 40, arm length too) and I thought he looked good in some drills. He’s very smooth.:


  258. 258 Jernst said at 1:23 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    Absolutely! Combine performance is just another tool in the tool box. It shouldn’t make or break a prospect unless the numbers are a straight death shot, like a CB who runs a 4.8 forty.

    I like to use the combine numbers to either confirm what you see on tape or if they’re concerning give you a reason to look back at the tape and see if they’re an aberration or something that will truly limit a players effectiveness at the next level.

    When I see a smaller back that is supposed to make his living with his quickness test in the 6th percentile on the combines quickness tests while also showing limited lower body explosion and average 40 time, I have to pause and go back to the tape. Dalvin’s tape to me is slightly impressive, but not awe-inspiring even on first glance. On a deeper look, I see a lot of huge holes and big gains got by way of poor defense, shitty angles and arm tackles.

    He does look very smooth. He looks like a natural runner, who shows good patience and vision. I’m just not sure if that’s going to be enough, without the quickness, speed or even size to allow him to dominate at the NFL level.

    I have none of those concerns with OJ Howard, Corey Davis, or John Ross and Leonard Fournette to a slightly lesser extent that I have with Cook. Add in the off the field concerns and the depth and strength at RB, to my preference for devaluing the position and I don’t see Cook as worth a 1st round pick.

    If he’s there at our 2nd (a hugely unlikely prospect), I’d run to the podium to take him. At 14th overall I want a guy who looks on tape and in combine testing to have all the skills to DOMINATE if he achieves his potential in the NFL. I don’t see that with Cook, Barnett, or White.

  259. 259 RC5000 said at 3:13 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    You’re right about the value. I just disagree with some things slightly. I don’t want Cook or a RB in the first. A second round RB is pretty much a first rounder so if you’re running to the podium in the 2nd he better be a great RB. You said he’s slightly impressive so why is that a slam dunk pretty high in the second in a great RB draft? I feel like him a lot more than you but I like backs who are available later more? I probably would want Cook or McCaffrey in the second but it depends on a lot of things like – did we draft a CB? Who else is on the board?

    He didn’t have big holes against Florida. I don’t know why there’s this thing that Cook has big holes and he’s in a pro offense (as opposed to spread or Chip Kelly offense which generate gigantic holes ) and he’s great at finding holes. It’s not even like he was in a spread offense. He was in a pro offense. He’s not a Ryan Mathews but I don’t even really know if want a back like that as the guy because he’s been so beat up.

    Fournette didn’t have holes vs. Alabama and he didn’t do anything. He had 40 yards against Florida this year.

    Also when defenders take bad angles and miss tackles against Cook or any player sometimes that isn’t just a negative. That is also because they’re afraid of the player


  260. 260 Jernst said at 5:37 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    Honestly can’t disagree with any of that at all. I think we’re agreeing much more than we’re disagreeing. I guess I wouldn’t just blindly run to the podium in the 2nd round if Cook is there. Our pick is pretty high in the second (11th overall). If there’s a potential starting CB there is probably take him over Cook since I’m not super high on Cook to begin with. But I also recognize he does have some significant talent, so I’m assuming he’d be at least close to the BPA if he’s still there in round two. Either way, I don’t want Cook or Fournette at our first pick and I’d probably prefer our high second rounder on defense regardless if there’s someone ranked similarly and go with a RB later in the draft since it’s so deep and there should be good players available into the 5th.

  261. 261 Gian GEAGLE said at 5:48 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    If Cook and Mixon are both available in round 2, think id lean towards Mixon. Im not Down with this new bullshit phenomenon of judging/punishing kids more harshly just because their crime happened to be caught on Camera
    If both have Charechter concerns, give me the Bigger/explosive back. WIth less surgeries on his body, which would be Mixon. I also wonder if the Eagles will be attracted to Kamara’s pass catching ability?

  262. 262 RC5000 said at 3:37 PM on March 18th, 2017:


    Like at 5:54, he jukes and has ability to accelerate quickly after his cut. No one ese was there but it wasn’t just the defense.

    6;40 that wasn’t a big hole. He got 3 extra yards a lot of backs don’t have the talent to get.

    7:23 makes something out of nothing.

    After that a couple of big holes but he explodes through them… I’m not sure how many backs can do that. I’m sure there are some but that’s pretty damned good.

  263. 263 Jernst said at 5:29 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    Absolutely, Cook is a damn good RB. I did say above that I thought he was the best RB in Florida State history. I’m in no way saying he’s a bad RB. I just don’t think I’ve seen him do anything, the plays you talk about included, that was so phenomenal that you’d need to spend the 14th overall pick to get someone that can do those things. There’s more than a few backs in this class alone that have similar plays in their highlight reels.

    Add in his very poor showing in agility, lower body explosion and quickness tests and I’m concerned he’s not going to be able to excell trying to do stuff like that against NFL caliber athletes.

  264. 264 Jernst said at 10:58 AM on March 18th, 2017:

    This is the biggest source of my difficulty with trying to decide who I want with this pick is the disparity between what I’m seeing in these prospects and how that lines up with my desire to have the BPA be a CB or DE. I want a defensive difference maker at either CB or DE. However, the more I look at the players available there seems to be a much bigger chance of there being an offensive difference maker available along with some slightly lesser, but albeit very good defensive prospects available when our pick comes up.

    At the end of the day, all I really want is a true difference maker. If the Hicks pick two years ago taught me anything it’s that drafting the best player despite what seems like a crowded position is always the right move, because in less than a year what seemed like a position of strength becomes one where you’re glad as hell you drafted BPA after all.

    Of the players that I think might be available at our spot that I view as true difference makers the list looks like this:

    Difference Makers:
    – Corey Davis
    – OJ Howard
    – John Ross
    – Reuben Foster
    – Dalvin Cook
    – Leonard Fournette

    Really Good Prospects
    – Tre’davious White
    – Derek Barnett
    – Taco Charlton
    – Christian McCaffrey
    – Takkarist Mckinley

    I just see a lot better offensive skill position players being available than CBs or DEs.

    The question we have to ask ourselves is, position aside, is Derek Barnett or Tre’davious White more or less likely to become a true stud. all-pro level, difference maker than guys like Corey Davis, John Ross, OJ Howard or Dalvin Cook.

    I’m no scout and my research into these guys ends at casually watching a few college football games and all their highlights on youtube. However, I can’t help but feel like my brain is telling me OJ Howard, Corey Davis and John Ross are the guys that are going to be the true studs that we look back in 4 years and are kicking ourselves for passing on, while Barnett and White are the guys that our heart wants to be that type of player because it would conveniently fill our biggest needs. But, who will ultimately peak out as solid, if unspectacular starting level players.

    The drop off from Garrett, Allen and Solomon to Barnett is noticeable. Barnett looks like a good DE prospect. The others look great. White looks like he’s got all the tools to start at CB for a long time in the NFL, but doesn’t do anything so exceptionally that I’m salivating over his skill set. His measurables are good, but not eye-popping.

    Then I look at Ross, his measurables literally tilt the entire field and change the dynamic of the entire game. Davis looks like an exceptionally quick TO with better ball skills. OJ Howard looks like the kind of transformational talent at TE that changes a game. He’s such a good receiver that I think he could take over for Matthews in the slot and play his role even better as a WR than Matthews (a true WR) could. And, he’s a guy that would create insane matchup problems either split out or in tight with Ertz on the field. Dalvin Cook, despite his poor combine is arguably the best RB to ever play at Florida State and instantly catapults our offense into a totally different and more difficult to defend attack.

    If my goal is to truly get the absolute best player that has the best chance to have the biggest impact on my team, I’ve gotta go with one of those guys. If my goal is to get cute and try to base my first round pick off of maximizing value in later rounds while filling a glaring need at starter on defense, then, and only then do I go defense.

    My feeling, ultimately, is that the biggest misses in the first round are when teams choose to go the latter route and forego the guys that look like the best prospects due to roster needs. Especially in the first half of the first round, teams should forget their roster and just draft the most talented players. Get your all-pros in the first round. Get cute with maximizing value and filling our your roster after that.

    My question to you Tommy is this: forget the Eagles roster right now, forget all the latent desires you have to come away with a stud at a specific position, pretend you’re drafting for an expansion team that has no starters on its roster yet…who’s the better prospect, Tre’davious White, Derek Bennett, Corey Davis, John Ross, or OJ Howard? If you say one of the offensive playmakers then that’s who we should pick.

  265. 265 Insomniac said at 11:03 AM on March 18th, 2017:

    I said this to Anders in the last thread but I really think OJ Howard might have the potential to be the next Tony Gonzalez.

  266. 266 Jernst said at 11:22 AM on March 18th, 2017:

    Exactly. And could you imagine looking back in a couple years knowing we passed on the next Tony Gonzalez because of Celek and Burton being locked in to the #2 and #3 TE spots for 2017.

    I’m a bigger Ertz fan than most, but I also don’t see him as a game changer. He’s an excellent chain moving TE, who at his absolute best is like a Jason Witten. But, OJ completely changes the dynamic of your passing attack.

    If we’re going to emulate someone, how about the Patriots who seem to have (Tom Brady aside) the general blue print for successful roster construction. Two high end receiving threats at TE, an insanely quick slot receiver that catches 100+ balls a year moving the chains because no one can cover them in a short area where they can run option routes in or out from the middle of the field, a cadre of RBs that take little to no resources to obtain, each of whom do one thing well (short yardage, catching out of the backfield) and a wall of an offensive line.

    Here’s OJ’s Combine vs Matthews:

    OJ: 40yd dash: 4.5s, Vertical: 30″, 3-cone: 6.85s, 20yd shuttle: 4.16s, 6’6″ 251 lbs

    Matthews: 40: 4.46s, Vertical: 35″, 3-cone: 6.95, 20yd shuttle: 4.18, 6’3″ 212 lbs

    So he’s 3 inches taller with arms that are 1inch longer, with a 5 inch less jump. As far as catch radius is concerned, especially when you add the 40 lbs of muscle to box defenders out, that is negligible difference. They have essentially the same long speed and OJ is quicker in and out of his breaks and is better at running after the catch and harder to tackle. And, he’s got better hands.

    He could easily replicate Matthews success from the slot. He can play split out wide and would be a matchup nightmare in two TE sets with Ertz as well as either of those spots.

    I hope we don’t get cute with our first round pick and pass on a generational talent for someone like Derek Barnett who looks like a decent DE but nothing more.

  267. 267 Insomniac said at 12:50 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    “And could you imagine looking back in a couple years knowing we passed on the next Tony Gonzalez because of Celek and Burton being locked in to the #2 and #3 TE spots for 2017.”

    Yup a great example of this is 2014 and Jordan Matthews. I hated the pick since I didn’t think Matthews would be anything special and got a ton of crap for it over the years. I still don’t like the pick regardless of the stats he has put up. Not to mention we traded up for him too ugh.

    With the lack of production and even flashes from our recent first round picks (thanks Chip), we can’t continue to miss on them. Wentz needs help immediately and we can’t just keep relying on big name FAs. We need to groom our studs and keep them. Stop overpaying

    Absolutely agree with you on Howard’s impact. Even if Howard never reaches his potential, he’s still going to be a match up nightmare for other teams and he’ll be a better blocker than Ertz is.

    Just stop reaching for guys because of their position.

  268. 268 Jernst said at 1:16 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    Yep! We need impact players, not guys who can be reasonable starters at positions of need. If we were a stacked team with one glaring hole that we needed to fill to be odds on favorites to win the super bowl, then fine, MAYBE, it would make sense to forego the elite prospect to fill out the starting roster. But, this team has two elite players (Wentz and Cox), a handful of potentially top level cusp of pro-bowl level players (Jeffery, Ertz, Johnson, Graham, Hicks, Jenkins) and a whole bunch of decent above average starters (Peters, Brooks, Kelce (Maybe), Matthews, Curry, Bradham and McLeod). We don’t need more Jordan Matthews and Vinny Curry’s, or even more Etrz’s and Grahams although I’d be thrilled to get more of those types of players. What we really need is the Dez Bryant, ODB, Ezekiel Elliott, Von Miller, Justin Houston level elite game changers that tilt the field and win you games on their own every once in a while.

    Presumably, we plan on not drafting this high for years to come as Wentz continues to develop. This is a rare chance to land a top level elite playmaker to either side of the team at any position but QB. I say we should focus on that. And, I just happen to see a lot more of those types of players on the offensive side of the ball in this years draft! A LOT MORE!

  269. 269 Insomniac said at 1:30 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    Yup and Howard is just that type of player too. I don’t watch regular college games unless it’s just a breakdown on a player. I have watched the last two BCS Championship games live and two guys stood out to me above the rest of the good prospects in those games. Ezekiel Elliot and OJ Howard. We already know how good Zeke is so hopefully I’m right on Howard too. Lets hope he falls to us.

  270. 270 Jernst said at 7:12 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    Exactly. There’s only a handful at most prospects every year who clearly stand heads and shoulders above the rest. If you have a chance to take one you do it. If you pass up one of those clearly elite prospects for one the top prospects at the tier below that clearly don’t look as exceptional, because you’re drafting positions instead of players you’ll almost always be disappointed.

    I have a hard time believing that anyone watches OJ Howard and sees his measurables and doesn’t think he’s a unique level elite prospect that only comes around every 5 maybe 10 years. I also have a hard time believing that anyone watches Derrick Barnett or Tre White and thinks they’re horrible, but I also don’t believe anyone watches their game tape and thinks they’re the type of generational talent someone like OJ Howard is. If given the choice, forget positions, forget needs, draft the once in a decade talent and sit back and enjoy the spoils. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to draft another Derrick Barnett, you might never get another shot at an OJ Howard.

  271. 271 Insomniac said at 7:42 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    Damn right. If he falls right into our lap at 14, I would send Lane Kiffin a years worth of fruit baskets. Seriously, you have to be pretty dumb to under-use the guy who put up 314 yards and 3 TDs on 9 receptions in 2 games against Clemson. That’s unheard of from a TE, those are numbers I would expect from an elite speedster like Djax.

  272. 272 ChoTime said at 1:16 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    It’s not about the reach, it’s about the miss. Just too many misses overall.

  273. 273 Insomniac said at 1:20 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    Yes that too.

  274. 274 Jernst said at 1:25 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    Very true! I tend though to not see them as separate issues. I think teams miss more often than not when they talk themselves into reaching for a Derek Barnett over a clearly better prospect at another position because they have a glaring need and desperately want the BPA to be a, for example, CB or DE, instead of evaluating the prospects fairly and determining that to be the case.

  275. 275 ChoTime said at 3:47 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    “Reach” is kind of a loaded term that makes the conclusion part of the assumption, don’t you think? Like, if the Browns choose a QB when everyone else is saying OT, they’re reaching, but if Belichik did it, people would say it’s a stroke of genius.

  276. 276 Jernst said at 7:04 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    Not necessarily. I think reach as I define it is taking a prospect who has less of a chance to become an elite difference maker than other guys that are available, clearly look like potential studs at their position, because you have a glaring need at the position played by the prospect who looks to be more than likely a solid to good starter rather than elite player.

    If Warren Sapp is available and you draft Mamula because you need DE more than DT (not saying that’s why that happened just using an example) or if Earl Thomas is available and you draft Brandon Graham because you value DE above safety, or if you take or you take Jake Locker or Blaine Gabbert over Tyron Smith and JJ Watt because you NEED a QB, you’ll just end up being disappointed. You’ll end up with a lesser prospect or even a bust at that NEED position rather than an elite difference maker that would have helped your team win games for a decade.

    Go BPA, knowing that if two guys are evenly ranked go with the need position, and don’t over look great prospects at positions that aren’t needs to draft good prospects at positions of need. That’s all I’m saying. If people disagree with which prospects are elite versus merely good and think Derek Barnett or Tre White are elite prospects then you should support taking them. But don’t route for Barnett if you agree he’s got a lesser chance to be elite than OJ Howard because he’s a DE and we don’t need a TE. We NEED elite players.

  277. 277 Bert's Bells said at 11:32 AM on March 18th, 2017:

    With a name like that would you settle for the next Aaron Hernandez?

  278. 278 ChoTime said at 1:15 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    If there’s an obvious difference, you have to go BPA or trade back. If there are several players at a comparable level, you go for need.

  279. 279 Jernst said at 1:26 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    Exactly! My point is that I think there’s an obvious difference between OJ Howard/Corey Davis and Derek Barnett/Tre’Davious White

  280. 280 Gian GEAGLE said at 4:42 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    Absolutely, No need to reach for any prospect because of positional needs. take the most special talent at our disposal even if it means Drafting a position (like TE or linebacker) that isn’t as much of an immediate need as cornerback.
    I’d Probably just take Deshuan Watson, trubsiky, Kizer, Jamal Adams, and Hooker off our big board and stick to strict BPA at #14. We need talent way more than we need to address specific needs

  281. 281 Gian GEAGLE said at 3:11 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    I’ll take a round 1 diffetence maker at DT, DE, LB, or CB, any of those positions would Do.
    Obviously upgrade at DE would be BIGTIME for us.
    But it’s just as big to get an impact DT to pair with cox allowing Beau and Destiny to rotate in off the bench
    Difference making corner would obviously be huge
    But I’d also be thrilled with adding a Beast at LB like Foster on a rookie deal so we don’t have to pay Bradham past this year or we can even trade him during the draft if we were to get Foster. Seth Joyner always raves bout how great he thinks Hicks can be at WIL LB, but l also think we could leave Hicks in the middle and play Foster at WIL… Foster/Hicks would be scary young LB tandem patrolling the middle for years to come
    I want premier talent at any defensive position except Safety

  282. 282 A_T_G said at 11:42 AM on March 18th, 2017:

    I thought this twitter user showed a lot of restraint in how he left the Cooks/Mixon corollaries unstated, but looming large. Powerful.

  283. 283 ChoTime said at 3:43 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    That twitter user is very handsome and modest as well, or so he says.

  284. 284 A_T_G said at 9:45 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    It must be true, he didn’t even bring up how observant and self-aware he clearly is.

  285. 285 kajomo said at 12:14 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    Where the hell were all these 3-4 OLB when we needed one. Harris, McKinley, Reddick, Watt, Tyus Bowser, T Williams all look like potential top edge rushers.

    Do you think Schwartz would ever consider taking a guy like Reddick or Watt and using him like John fox did when they draft Von Miller? They played off the ball in base defense, but moved to DE in passing situations. These 2 guys specifically are 2 of the best football players in this draft, but will be under-drafted due to their “tweener” traits.

  286. 286 Nu_B said at 12:20 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    Reddick looks like a WILL to me. With his injury history and size a move to full time 4-3 DE just might be too much. Explosive athlete though. I’m not sure Watt is even a first round talent to be honest.

  287. 287 kajomo said at 2:41 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    Watt should absolutely be drafted in round 1. I think he is better than Clay Matthews coming out. With Pittsburg, KC, NE, Seattle, and Atlanta in the back end of round 1 I would be pretty surprised if he didn’t end up in the 1st round. He has a 140+ SPARQ score. This is a big time athlete with production and pedigree to match

  288. 288 Nu_B said at 12:17 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    Went a little outside the box with this one.

    Round 1 Pick 14: Jamal Adams, SS, LSU (A)
    Round 2 Pick 11: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford (A)
    Round 3 Pick 10: Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State (A)
    Round 4 Pick 12: Taywan Taylor, WR, Western Kentucky (A+)
    Round 4 Pick 32 (COMP): Jaleel Johnson, DT, Iowa (A+)
    Round 5 Pick 11: Daeshon Hall, DE, Texas A&M (A-)
    Round 6 Pick 10: Marquez White, CB, Florida State (B-)
    Round 7 Pick 12: Travin Dural, WR, LSU (C-)

    Adams is a position we’re loaded at but is too talented to pass up, top 5 kind of guy. This is a definition BPA pick. Talking about a potential perennial All-pro, not the kind of prospect I want to pass up.

    McCaffrey I just have the feeling is going to be a solid pro. His combine was excellent. His size may make you worry about him as a feature back but his ability in the passing game and all around versatility make him a high floor RB.

    Gareon Conley should definitely not be available to us in the third. Some people are talking about him as a first round guy. You’d have to be crazy to hate this pick.

    Taywan Taylor is a shifty slot receiver I think a lot of us would love. Excellent routes, seperation, outstanding 3 cone–there is a definite need for this type of receiver in our offense and really we don’t have anyone who’s doing this well (Agholor????) Think he’d be a great pick. Just have that sense, sort of like I felt with Stefon Diggs when he went in the fifth a couple years ago, I just knew that dude would be a baller.

    Daeshon Hall has the great length (6’5″ 35″ arms) you look for in DE prospects. He needs some work but could round into a starter over time.

    Jaleel Johnson is a solid penetrating tackle, hard to hate on this pick with our need up front since Bennie left. Beau is great and all but I like a three-tech who can get after the QB. Not an anchor, but a nice pass rusher. Next to Fletch he could be in good shape.

    Marqeuz White is nothing special but lets be real we need bodies at CB.

    Travin Dural is one of those injury ravaged high ceiling low floor guys. Totally fine for taking a flier on in the 7th.

  289. 289 Nick C said at 12:58 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    I’d take this outcome in a second. Too bad these mocks are tremendously unrealistic.

  290. 290 kajomo said at 2:52 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    Seriously. I’m sick of seeing gareon Conley as a 3rd round pick he’s likely a top 20 guy.

    Plus every mock must include Samaje Perone and Dalvin Tomlinson. Don’t you know the rules.

  291. 291 GordonGekko said at 1:21 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    If it’s brown, flush it down.

  292. 292 Insomniac said at 1:47 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    IMO the top 15 guys based on just their ceiling

    1. Myles Garrett
    2. Leonard Fournette
    3. OJ Howard
    4. Soloman Thomas
    5. Marshon Lattimore
    6. Malik Hooker
    7. Corey Davis
    8. Jonathan Allen
    9. Joe Mixon
    10. John Ross
    11. Haason Reddick
    12. Malik McDowell
    13. Marlon Humphrey
    14. Cam Robinson
    15. Jamal Adams

    Honorable mentions

    Dalvin Cook
    David Njoku
    Mike Williams
    Forrest Lamp
    Garret Bolles
    Gareon Conley
    Reuben Foster

  293. 293 Gian GEAGLE said at 2:38 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    Kiper said he thinks the best 6 prospects are all defenders, Garrett, Allen, Foster, Lattimore, Solomon Thomas, Jamal Adams. And he thinks Mixon is the most talented RB in the draft.
    His thoughts on CB prospects were interesting, he doesn’t think there are many legit round 1 corners, and he isn’t in love with many of the round 2-3 corners and that teams might be better off targeting the round 4-5’corners If they miss out on Lattimore, White, and I forget who the 3rd corner he liked was now that Jones is injured.
    Seems to think LB Foster is really special, and he loves Jamal Adams

  294. 294 Insomniac said at 6:26 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    It’s debatable but that’s a good list. Mixon is reallllllllllly talented and young. You’re going to get a 21 year old version of Le’veon Bell/David Johnson that hasn’t even had 400 touches in college if you’re going to take the risk on him.

    I don’t agree with him but he has seen 1000000x more CBs than I have. There are good CBs in this draft who have their specific flaws but none of them are major enough to skip on day 1.

    Foster is a heat seeking missile but he’s really light and small. He plays too violently and his body might not hold up in the NFL.

  295. 295 Jernst said at 6:51 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    I rarely agree wholeheartedly with Kiper but I see the same thing. None of the CBs in play at 14 excite me as much as the offensive skill guys that should be available. And after the top 3 DE I’m not excited at all by the next tier of guys. And, I feel like DE is a position where you’re either an elite level performer or you’re not. A guy that gets 15 sacks a year makes a huge difference over a mid level starter, but a guy that gets 5-9 sacks a year are a dime a dozen and don’t change the dynamic of a defense like the elite guys do. You can get an ND Kalu to give you 7 sacks over a season. Don’t waste a high first on one of those. If a DE doesn’t look like an elite pass rusher that I could see putting up 12-15 sacks a year I don’t want to waste high firsts on them.

  296. 296 Gian GEAGLE said at 2:17 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    Yesterday Mel Kiper went on Philly Radio and told Gargano that he keeps hearing about Cook falling into round 2 while McCaffrey is going to go in round 1.
    Roseman put his money where his mouth is and made our commitment to building the trenches crystal clear, so when I see all the emphasis on OL depth, it makes me think we are going to see a big emphasis in building the DL up next especially since DL depth is equally or even more important than OL since Schwartz needs at least 8 DL rotating in each game where as OL depth only comes into play when a starter needs to be replaced. it’s not like our DL needs a full rebuild, but we do need at least 1 more DT and DE upgrade in our rotation
    Rosemans actions showed how Commited they are to the trenches yet the DL ISNT on par with the OL so I would be really surprised if we don’t see some valuable assets dumped into upgrading DL. For sure we Need to add a DT, the Only way we could get away with not adding DE talent is if MS2, McCalister or Means are ready to make huge improvements and become key contributors to the rotation this year. But since we can’t just assume that I won’t be surprised to see the Eagles spend a top 100 pick on the DL

  297. 297 ACViking said at 2:31 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    . . . made our commitment to building the trenches crystal clear, . . . I see all the emphasis on OL depth . . .

    So far, the so-called “commitment” is a 1-year contract for OG Chance Warmack. And keeping 32 year-old Alan Barbre, who’s on Y-2 of his 2-year deal.

    At the same time — as Belichick immediately observed — by adding Warmack and not moving Kelce, the Eagles have made it next to impossible to draft anyone at the OG-C position.

    And the OT position also remains razor thin.

    Depth? Sure, for 1 season. But “BUILDING” depth? No way.

  298. 298 Patrick said at 2:51 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    I mean, if Kelce isn’t moved this season, we’ve invested a 3rd round pick in C/G depth with Seumalo and Vaitai looked pretty solid at RT, and with Lane Johnson being the future LT, thats a decent future outcome and 2 good backups with some youth. Thats not including whichever of Wiz/Barbre who will loose the starting job and be a backup. Team obviously sees Wiz here longish term. And when Barbre is gone, we’ve hopefully figured out if Warmack can just step into that position at age 26.

    Assuming the starters last years are Peters, Barber, Kelce, Brooks and Lane, Seumalo and Vaitia basically covers the entire line. Warmack has 50 games in the NFL and Wiz is a veteran but young enough. Heavy on the G depth with youngish starters, but Barbre can also play OT, Seumalo did it last year.

    Theres good depth this season, but theres also some very good youth for the future. Would a line in 2018 of Lane, Wiz, Seumalo, Brooks and Vaitai really look THAT bad, that we would have to pump loads of money and picks into the position? Those are all players who’ll be here. Maybe we bring back Chance, maybe Peters doesnt retire or suck, maybe Tobin, Andrews or Dillon Gordon earns a roster spot. Its not like we realistically haven’t got a starter in 2018, we do and they would be a decent line.

  299. 299 ACViking said at 3:48 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    Not seeing any OL depth beyond 2017 on this roster.

    There’s names, sure.

    And a starting line could be cobbled together — but a substantially untested group (beyond LJ and Wiz).

    As for identifiable, quality long-term depth, though?

    I don’t see it — without hypothetical scenarios.

  300. 300 Patrick said at 5:03 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    But how many teams have backup offensive lineman secured for multiple years? The only situation is basically mid/late round draft picks(which we could very well add come april) sitting behind older veterans.

    Theres teams in the NFL where you look at the starting OL and think to yourself, are you guys gonna start that? Do you dislike your QB or are your stadium sponsor just the local hospital.

    Not only do we have an OL worth starting, although obviously we all prefer Seumalo to just demolish Kelce in camp and prove himself an above average C in the League. Obviously, whoever wins between Barbre, Wiz and maybe Warmack, probably aren’t a top tier LG, but they’re at least a starter. We have great players Lane and Brooks in place for the next couple of years, barring suspension from the roidfreak. Seumalo and Vaitai proved that they deserve to at least get a try to win jobs not only this season but in 2018. Brandon Brooks is the oldest and he will turn 28 this season.

    When I look at OL, and then look at WR, RB, DL, LB and DB, I see loads of situations worse, both this season but certainly also long term.

    All of the sudden our WRs are superb? Yeah, until Alshon fucking leaves, Matthews wanna test the market where we all know someone will pay him and will be a 30 year old speedster. We have nobody at RB once Sproles retires. Outside of BG55 and Cox, what do we have at DL. Beau Allen whos a decent rotation player and Curry who have looked promising for what 5 years now? Hicks is a god, but Bradhams contract are up in a year, and we have nothing behind them, neither now or the future. We have literally 0 CBs on the roster. We have some pretenders and a pro finger wagger, but no CBs. Our best safety will turn 30 and we have nothing behind Jenkins and McCleod.

    Outside of QB, OL might be our best position group, both now and when looking for the future.

  301. 301 Jernst said at 6:40 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    Well, you have a starting LT locked up beyond 2017 in Lane, you have a guy in Seumalo who will almost certainly be a starting G or C in 2018 and beyond, and you have a good starting RG in Brooks locked up long term.

    There’s needs for future starters at LG (assuming Seumalo starts at C) and RT. And, those two spots are two of the easiest spots to find starter quality players. At LG we have a potential starter (although not ideal starter) in Wiz and RT has a similar situation with Vaitai. And, while Warmack is only on a 1 yr tryout deal, if he comes alive under stoutland we’d have first shot at signing him to a longer contract and I’d assume he’d want to stay on with us if we rehabilitate his career.

    Ideally we have two off-seasons (the draft this year and FA/draft next year) to fill two starting spots (LG and RT), while giving two players with tremendous upside at both of those positions (Warmack and Gordon) here this year to try and develop. Given that this years starters and depth are in excellent position that’s not a bad spot to be in. We’ve got good starters at every spot, good depth at every spot and two developmental guys with high upside. That’s awesome!

    Even if Warmack and Gordon fail to develop we’re still projected to have a starting lineup of Lane – ??? – Seumalo – Brooks – ???, with Wiz a potential starter at LG or ideally the backup at all three interior spots. And Vaitai as a potential starter at RT or ideally the top backup at tackle. So over one and half off-seasons we’ll, at most, NEED to find a backup guard and a backup tackle, while maybe wanting to upgrade the starters at LG and/or RT.

    And, that’s worst case, if everything goes against us (Dillon Gordon never develops at all, Wiz proves to be nothing more than a decent backup, Warmack fails to even be a decent mid level starter which he’s already been in the league since being drafted. Vaitai doesn’t improve at all AND no rookie lineman are added in this draft.

    We’ll have a bunch more cap space next year and could conceivably splurge on a RT or LG if we felt we needed to and we already have guys locked up that are reasonable depth at both of those spots if we do add starters at LG/RT between now and 2018. And that’s assuming Peters retires too.

    That’s not dire at all. We’ve got enough people locked up that we know we’ll at least be able to staff reasonable starters at every line position in 2018, even if our HOF LT retires, we trade our starting C and either cut/trade our starting LG, if a former once in a decade draft prospect fails to become a starting quality LG, none of our developmental tackles (Vaitai and Gordon) develop and we don’t add a lineman in two drafts and another free agency.

  302. 302 FairOaks said at 6:40 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    A lot depends on if Peters leaves after 2017. That may no longer be a lock. If he is here in 2018 (and he’s under contract, for a cap figure which is quite reasonable given current contracts), then you’d have Peters, Seumalo, Brooks, and Johnson for 2018. You would only be trying to fill one starting OL spot — which would be Wisniewski at worst, or maybe Warmack finds his Alabama form playing for his Alabama coach and gets re-signed, or another draft pick / UDFA steps up.

    It’s more troubling if Peters leaves — but Big V is on the roster in 2018 as well, so that’s a worst-case scenario there.

    But, there could still be a draft pick. He hasn’t moved Barbre, but if there is someone you can’t pass up in the draft, then Barbre becomes expendable. Similar for Warmack if he is scuffling in preseason and a draft pick looks better. Neither of those guys should prevent a good draft pick from sticking with the team. Unless there is a need for cap reasons, it doesn’t help the team to cut them now — may as well wait and see who you manage to get in the draft, what injuries occur, who plays well in preseason, etc., and cut them at the 53-man deadline instead.

    IIRC, D3FB has been saying there isn’t much high-end OT help this draft. So, most of the guys you may want to take in the draft could well be lower picks which are practice squad candidates, instead of using 53-man slots. There is certainly room for those, and 2018 depth can also easily come from that route.

    I don’t think we are in great shape with the OL long-term, but it’s OK, which is understandable given that Chip ignored the OL for his two draft years. OT depth is definitely the biggest concern, but not sure it’s dire.

  303. 303 Jernst said at 3:52 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    You phrased it as if that wasn’t a decent commitment to depth along the line, but that seems fairly substantial to me. Of course it’s not a bevy of consecutive first round picks, but would that even have been necessary.

    Howie locked up Lane long term on a substantial extension (highest paid RT in the league by a mile at the time), has kept Peters around, spent 3rd and 5th round picks on a G/C that looks like a long term starter and a RT that’s at least a decent swing tackle off the bench in last years drafts, they signed one of the top FA guards on the market last year to another substantial FA contract, they signed an excellent back up G/C with plenty of starting experience in Wiznieski this year who was a FA and took a no cost, extremely high upside flyer on a former top ten pick guard who was thought to be a generational type talent when he came out before semi struggling to reach his potential playing for 3 different line coaches in 3 years. And, he’s kept Kelce and Barbre for the time being.

    If someone they really like is available during the draft they can still select them and either cut or trade Kelce and/or Barbre.

    Assuming we move on from both Kelce and Barbre either this year or next, a draft pick will have a spot on this roster. Looking ahead to 2018, our starting lineup is Lane-???-Seumalo-Brooks-???. I don’t think Wiz or our one year flier on Warmack prohibits us picking a guard to compete for a starting spot with either of those guys in 2018. And, I don’t think Vaitai or Dillon Gordon is so special that we’d take tackles out of consideration either.

    The moves made ensure we don’t HAVE to select a lineman early, but they don’t prohibit it either. They merely ensure good depth whether we get to pick one or not.

    With our more pressing needs at both CB spots, DT, DE, WR, RB, and LB, I didn’t expect them to spend a pick in the first 3 rounds on an olinemen anyways.

  304. 304 Gian GEAGLE said at 4:33 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    Is our OL depth even debateable? We are about as deep as I could ever expect to be. We can trade an established OL or two and still Possibly have the most OL depth in the division with Dallas Losing Leary and Free. Giants still have the worst OL in the division.
    We also have a lot of young OL that we really know so little about. Who’s to say a young gem doesn’t emerge further making veteran OLB expendable?
    My biggest questions are
    1)will Vaitai improve enough to show the coaches he can be our starting RT of the future?
    2) Can Warmack win the starting LG spot and thrive in it this season under Stoutland?
    I don’t know how much more Depth I could ever expect than what we currently have:
    4 players I would be comfortable putting in a regular season game at Tackle (JP, Lane, Barbie, Vaitai)
    3 guys I would be ok playing at Center (Kelce, Wiz, Isaac)
    4 Capable guards with game Experience (Seumalo, Brooks, Chance and Barbie)

    And that’s without knowing what we have in the young OLineman Stoutland has been developing like Greene and Dillon.
    really great position to be in because we have more than enough depth for this season buying us another year to evaluate the player development of all our young Olineman so that come 2018 when we shed a couple veteran OL we will have a better idea or what we have and what we still need. But depending on player development there is a chance we can find out that the starting OL of the Wentz Era is already on the roster
    I hope Kelce is the first to go simply because he is the least versatile of our top lineman

  305. 305 Jernst said at 4:58 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    I think the issue AC and D3FB have brought up is that there’s a lot of 3rd to 5th round Oline talent in this years draft that, D3FB particularly, has said he wanted us to look at/select at some point, and they’re worried that Howies “half measures” (1yr flier on Warmack, bringing back Wiz on the cheap, and keeping Barbre and Kelce) will keep us from selecting one of those guys who they think could help long term.

    I don’t know anything about 4th round guard prospects so I can’t argue D3FB on how good they are. But, I’d venture a guess they’re not half the prospects Warmack was when he came out or have half the potential he still has.

    Also, I don’t truly expect us to keep Barbre and/or Kelce. And, I don’t think our minimal investments in Warmack or Wiz prohibit us from taking a guy if we really like him. Plus, I think we still have bigger needs at tackle and nothing we’ve done there will prohibit a mid round tackle selection. And, finally, I figured even without Wiz and Warmack being signed we’d spend the majority of our mid round picks on an assortment of CBs, a DT, an OLB, a RB and a WR rather than a guard.

    So all I see is a team that ensures regardless of how the draft works out we won’t feel like we HAVE to take an interior lineman and will still have incredible depth if we don’t. But, we can still draft one if a guy we really like ends up the BPA in a later round (4th on…).

  306. 306 Gian GEAGLE said at 5:26 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    Doubt we will see the Eagles spend a pick in the first 5 rounds on OL. It would surprise me but im greedy when it comes to the trenches, more talent the better. Roseman often points out how they drafted two OL last year when we had limited picks because they felt the draft was so rich in OL talent. then two of of their 4 signings in FA so far went to the OL. Im greedy when it comes to the trenches but I try not to be unrealistic so Whether the OL of the future is already on this roster or not, I don’t expect to see draft picks in the first 5 rounds invested in the OL.
    Fans would have to really know what we have, to know what we need, and I doubt any fan has enough info at the moment about how the Eagles view the young OL talent on their roster that they have been developing behind the scenes. Do we have enough OL for the future? Not sure,but I think the Eagles plan to take a pause from investing more draft pics in the OL this years, and player development will dictate if we need any further investments in the line

  307. 307 D3FB said at 8:57 AM on March 19th, 2017:

    Warmack isn’t good though.

    I helped Jonny Page with a piece thats coming out this week.

  308. 308 Jernst said at 6:15 PM on March 19th, 2017:

    That is likely to the case. I’d be lying if I said I watched a single one of his snaps over the last 4 years, so I’ll defer to others analysis on how he’s played.

    Clearly he hasn’t been great and probably not even good, otherwise we wouldn’t have him on a minimum contract. He’s the type of guy who’s got all the physical skills, so I’m assuming either technique or issues with assignments are probably what he’s lacking. I’ll wait till I see your piece to find out if that’s actually the case.

    He’s basically a no cost lotto ticket who might have a chance to turn his game around since physically he’s got all the tools. I wouldn’t put money on him becoming an All-pro overnight. Most likely he’ll fade away and be a non-entity. But, I think it’s definitely worth a shot given how highly he was rated as a prospect coming out.

  309. 309 D3FB said at 11:24 AM on March 20th, 2017:

    He’s a lunger. It’s a combination of technique and kinesiology. He got away with just mashing people in college. That shit dont fly in the league.

  310. 310 Mac said at 4:36 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    I’m seeing not so much as kicking the tires on a vet, but rather “kicking a pile of tires.” with little commitment to any. Which means that I’m delusional enough to think that we may draft one of the Lamp/Elflein/Pocic.

  311. 311 Insomniac said at 6:21 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    There’s no way that we’re going to get Lamp. Elflein and Pocic are more likely.

  312. 312 Gian GEAGLE said at 3:02 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    what Jonathan Allen’s True Value? I used to always see him viewed as a consensus sure fire top 5 pick, but now i often see him talked about as falling into the 11-15 range. I haven’t followed his offseason at All, what is the reason for this?
    Obviously we are trying to build around Cox and when you have a stud DT on a big contract I think its ideal to pair him with a young beast DT who will be on a rookie contract for the next 4 or 5 years. the addition of a starting DT allows us to leave Beau allen/Destiny tandem as our 2nd team Dl rotating in.
    If Lattimore, Foster, or Allen fall to like #11, I hope to see Roseman get aggressive and trade up for one of those 3. It’s unlikely, but you never know. In 2015 most thought leonard Williams was the best prospect and he ended up falling to #6.
    I can live with Roseman feeling like there is a young RB, WR. Or TE Thats too good to pass up, but im really hoping for a heavy emphasis on Increasing the Talent level of our defense. For me winding up with Jonathan Allen, Lattimore or Foster would be a dream scenario, although highly unlikely. Hoping for mostly defense, with a mid round RB like the kid from Pitt

  313. 313 Jernst said at 3:37 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    If top end defenders in the first round of the draft is what you want, we might just have to trade up. Trading up for any of the guys you listed, and even Solomon too would make me happy so long as the cost isn’t too much.

    The only thing I don’t want to see is to have Howard, Davis, Fournette, and/or Ross sitting there at 14 and see us force a DE like Barnett or a CB like White at that spot knowing we could have a truly generational type talent on offense instead of a decent starter on D that seems more like a mid to late 20th overall selection talent-wise.

    I’d be fine taking a luxury like Howard in the first and then going all, or almost all defense the rest of the draft.

  314. 314 Gian GEAGLE said at 4:12 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    I’d agree with all of that. Either secure one of the top defensive prospects or take a highly rated offensive player instead of Forcing a defensive pick at #14. But hopefully with a little luck we can get one of the big dog defensive prospects like the Dolphins got when Tunsil fell to #13 or when Carolina got Star Latululiei in the teens. both of those players got plenty of consideration from the teams that picked in the top 10. Heck at #14 all we really need is two QBs and two safeties getting drafted ahead of us and we would end up with an opportunity to draft one or our top 10 targets and that’s without having to trade up
    Im down for Luxury additions if it’s a gamechanging talent too good to pass up. while I value Ertz and Burton, we could draft Howard and have him on a rookie salary for 4-5 years, and by the time we have to extend him, we could move on from Ertz or he would be old enough to take a pay cut and fill Celek current role. While for me adding defensive game changers is the best case scenario, adding another big weapon for Wentz certainly can’t hurt. It would give us an entire stable of big Body pass catching weapons. Secondaries would need a lot of size to try and match up with so many Big body weapon. Howard, Ertz, Burton, Alshon, Jordan, Torrey, DGB lol there isn’t a pass catcher in that group shorter than 6’3
    If Myes Garrett, two QBs, Hooker, Adams, Fournett, Mike Williams, Howard all end up going top 13, there will be a good chance of seeing a big time defender available at 14, or within trade up distance to secure one

  315. 315 ACViking said at 3:43 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    No good GM uses the draft to try to increase the talent on one side of the ball at the expense by passing on more highly rated players on the other side.

    That’s just draft-101.

    Roseman’s on record saying Douglas’s job is to repeat ad nauseum:


  316. 316 kajomo said at 4:05 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    Allen has some issues with both of his shoulders. It honestly wouldn’t shock me to see him fall out of round 1 after what happened with Myles Jack last year.

  317. 317 Gian GEAGLE said at 4:13 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    So he is unlikely to go top 10 at this point? How good is the MALIK McDowell kid?

  318. 318 kajomo said at 4:47 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    Arthritic shoulders sound like an issue for an interior DL so who knows how far he’ll fall.

    McDowell is super talented, but disappears for long stretches. Is he a guy Schwartz would like? I’m not so sure.

  319. 319 ColorSgt said at 4:53 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    Thing about cook that Tommy failed to mention but concerns me is the fumbles. There were costly fumbles last season, and I’d like to see that trend end with a new RB. Also I believe that if they had to get by with the RBs on the roster, they could this year. Definitely not ideal, but CB and DE are much more glaring needs. I say CB is out in front of DE too because there are two big holes as opposed to one. Last season Barwin didn’t do much and the defense wasn’t that bad. But the two below average CBs are gone and there are no replacements.

  320. 320 Gian GEAGLE said at 5:14 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    Fumble problems are certainly a big concern after ryan Mathews struggles
    The surgeries since he was in highschool
    Mistreating 3 pitbull puppies.
    Didn’t he have a burglary or assault too besides the incident he went to court for involving the young Lady?
    Kiper said recently he has been hearing round 2 for Davin Cook from NFL Execs
    McCaffrey is a very interesting prospect who could be that Brian Westbrook, Darren Sproles type weapon in the west coast offense but i wonder if he can carry a big enough workload each week to really warrant being taken #14?
    I assume 14 is too High for Mixon and he won’t still be available when it’s our turn to pick in round 2. I know a lot of people want to go RB early, but I think we could see the Eagles wait to address it later in the draft with someone with Power like James Conner, Samaje Perine

  321. 321 ColorSgt said at 5:21 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    Yeah, all that other stuff too. Injuries definitely a concern. Character stuff is concerning, but I’m glad to get away from the Chip Kelly boyscout end of the spectrum a little, only because it doesn’t work. Agree about later round power back.

  322. 322 truehaynes said at 8:05 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    The puppies thing bothers me. That’s heartless not stupid

  323. 323 Sb2bowl said at 9:38 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    There’s a reason why the FBI tracks animal abuse and fire starting in youngsters. It is a trait which leads to greater atrocities in adulthood if not curtailed

  324. 324 ColorSgt said at 4:55 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    I’m for BPA, but ideally it would be great if the BPA for rounds 1 and 2 are a CB and DE in no order. And the BPA for rounds 3 and 4 are CB and RB in no order.

  325. 325 Jernst said at 6:14 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    I’ll be thrilled if the BPA in round 1 is a DE or CB. If there’s an elite guy at either of those positions available at 14 that’s exactly who we should pick. I’m not sure any of the many good CB prospects outside of Lattimore are elite enough to be better overall prospects than some of the offensive skill guys that are sure to be available at our 14th pick. And, while one of the top 3 DEs very well might fall to us, if they don’t, I’m not at all on the Derek Barnett bandwagon.

    The absolute worse thing we can do is want the BPA at 14 to be a CB or DE so badly that we convince ourselves they’re better prospects than the OJ Howard’s, Corey Davis’s and John Ross’s of the draft. I hope Howie doesn’t talk himself into a CB or DE over one of those guys just because it fits our needs.

    That being said, there’s a good chance that a CB is BPA in almost every round after that.

  326. 326 Patrick said at 8:14 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    I think sometimes people go a little overboard with the whole BPA aspect of the draft. A player is never the best available if you’re already stacked with great and young-ish players beyond you starting spots and significant playtime.

    Sure, if its you think one player is a HoF guy and another is a pro bowl guy, then yeah, draft a WR even if you already have good/great starters, but holy shit it’ll have to be some QB for us to draft a QB at 14.

    I can get behind the whole OJ Howard hype. Personally, i’m not buying the koolaid. I think he is gonna be a good or very good player, but dont really see the whole Gonzalez or Gronk level of influence. Nevertheless, if you think he is that good, then yeah it makes sense at 14. Celek is old and in the end i kinda doubt Trey Burton would be anymore than a decent 2nd TE. Maybe not a JAG, but nothing special. Yeah, maybe it’ll suck when we dont have a CB this year but carry 4 TEs because we couldn’t/wouldnt trade Celek/Burton, but next year we might very well be left with just Ertz and Howard as a dominant duo.

    Thats the long term sentiment behind BPA, and really the only thing worth taking from the BPA mentality. Think long term when deciding what will be most helpfull for your franchise.

  327. 327 ColorSgt said at 5:12 AM on March 19th, 2017:

    Your last paragraph is exactly why you go BPA. If there is a great qb sitting there at 14 you could probably trade back to a desperate team like the skins and get good value for the pick. If there is no long term planning, then why not trade away all of 2018 picks and draft whatever players you want? The Eagles are in the perfect spot to be thinking long term. They have a new coach, system, and qb in place, and the rest of the puzzle is filling in the pieces for long term. This is why Howie gave out contract extensions to young guys last year. The AJ deal was a little disappointing since it was only one year, but it does give the Eagles flexibility if it doesn’t work out. With BPA it’s usually easy to ignore a position where you might be loaded. If you have to narrow down to two positions on a pick chances are you are leaving better talent on the board and forcing the pick like Chip Kelly. Talent is scarce in the NFL and demand is high. Anytime you have a surplus of talent it’s a good thing, especially at qb, the most important position on the roster. Hicks is a perfect.example of drafting BPA and it working out long term despite being set at MLB. So yeah, putting the most talent on your team in a league starving for talent is not going overboard with the concept.

  328. 328 Insomniac said at 7:31 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    My ideal draft right now. Trade Kendricks and a 5th for Kyle Fuller. Trade Matthews for a mid-round conditional pick in 2018.

    1. OJ Howard TE
    2. Fabian Moreau CB
    3. Joe Mixon RB
    4. Taywan Taylor WR
    4. Daeshon Hall DE
    6. Carlos Watkins DT
    7. Jalen Reeves-Maybin LB

    Impact players

    OJ Howard
    Joe Mixon


    Fabian Moreau (should be an impact player considering our CBs)
    Taywan Taylor

    Potential starters

    Daeshon Hall
    Carlos Watkins



  329. 329 daveH said at 8:09 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    Did u pick up OJ Howard over Corey Davis?

  330. 330 Insomniac said at 8:47 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    Yes. Solely to piss off every Eagles fan who thinks that Corey Davis has to be our pick.

  331. 331 daveH said at 9:30 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    Ahhh the ol ‘andy knows more than everyone else’ .. good thing we didnt draft JPP and Earl Th.. we’d freaking have to pay them so much

  332. 332 Insomniac said at 10:14 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    Exactly, plus we never get who we want most of the time.

  333. 333 daveH said at 9:49 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    OJ Howard wud be fine

  334. 334 Mitchell said at 10:44 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    Bro, I need at LEAST two more CB’s on that list!

  335. 335 Insomniac said at 12:21 AM on March 19th, 2017:

    CB depth would be ok if we slid Watkins back to CB and signed Aaron Williams as a backup safety. There’s always next year to add depth or another starter just in case Fuller has been ruined.

  336. 336 Sean Stott said at 11:02 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    Just want to say no chance Mixon makes it to the 3rd round. Not with teams like Dallas and Cincinnati.

  337. 337 Insomniac said at 12:23 AM on March 19th, 2017:

    Dallas has Zeke and could easily get someone to complement him without using a second round pick.The Bengals don’t need a RB.

  338. 338 anon said at 11:33 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    Beastmode coming back to play for Oakland? Some people get all the luck

  339. 339 anon said at 11:40 PM on March 18th, 2017:

    Think it’s pretty clear we have an issue if there’s a run in cbs

  340. 340 BlindChow said at 12:23 AM on March 19th, 2017:

    Wow, Baldinger needs to learn how to use twitter. By starting his tweet with an @ he basically just tweeted only to Cook himself (unless someone follows both Cook and Baldinger).