Understanding Visits

Posted: March 19th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 78 Comments »

Lots of visit info in the past couple of days.

The Eagles are taking a look at some really talented runners and receivers. But what do the visits mean?

Players cannot work out when they go to team facilities. That has to be done on the campus of the prospect. Teams bring prospects to them usually for a medical or character concern. Davis has an ankle injry. Fournette missed time this year with an ankle injury. Cook has medical and character concerns. Williams had a serious neck injury that cost him almost all of 2015.

No matter how much you love a player’s game tape, you have to check out these other factors before assigning that player a draft grade. Durability and character are critical to success for pro prospects.

Teams are not going to waste visits. They are allowed to bring in 30 prospects (plus all the local kids they want). Teams need those 30 visits to count. Now you have to understand that not all visits go well. The team can have genuine interest when they meet with a prospect and a couple of hours later they can be removing him from the draft board. That happened with one prospect last year.

Just because the Eagles brought in Cook doesn’t mean they will take him at pick 14. If anything, I would bet against that.

There are some smokescreen visits. Tom Heckert admitted to this a few years back. Since Howie Roseman learned from him, I assume the Eagles still do this. It isn’t something you would necessarily do every season and you certainly wouldn’t do it much because there are so few visits. Still, it is something to keep in mind.

The key thing to take away from all of this is that visits don’t mean the Eagles love those prospects. They had questions and wanted some answers.

Visits do matter.

Carson Wentz
Nelson Agholor
Marcus Smith
Lane Johnson

All those prospects visited the NovaCare Complex. All were 1st round picks of the Eagles. Just because you come to Philly doesn’t mean you will be drafted, but if you are drafted early by the Eagles, you probably did visit. Does that make sense?

Chip Kelly really drafted guys that visited. That was true of 1st round picks, but also Jaylen Watkins, Ed Reynolds, Taylor Hart and even a UDFA like Travis Raciti. Chip loved to meet with players and lock in on them.

Last year late round guys like Blake Countess, Alex McAlister and Wendell Smallwood all visited the Eagles. Be sure to pay attention to who comes in for a visit, but be careful not to draw any definitive conclusions.

*****

What we know so far this year.

WR John Ross
WR Corey Davis
WR Mike Williams

RB Dalvin Cook
RB Leonard Fournette

DE Ryan Anderson

LB Reuben Foster

CB Marlon Humphrey

*****

A few of you have asked me to list my top 15 or 20 prospects. That way you can have an idea of who the Eagles might be looking at for pick 14. I am still working on my draft research, but will do that soon. I will tell you now that I won’t have any QBs in that group, but there could be one or two that go before the Eagles pick. Heck, it is possible three could go if teams are desperate enough.

*****

The Eagles had assistant DL coach Phillip Daniels at Wisconsin’s Pro Day. I’m sure he was checking out T.J. Watt, J.J.’s little brother. Watt played OLB for the Badgers in their 3-4 scheme, but would be a DE in the 4-3. Watt is 6-4, 252 and a good athlete.

You can see where Jim Schwartz might have some interest in that guy.

_


  • makarov123

    If I learned one thing from Casey Matthews….

    • that he was a at best a late round prospect that the eagles over drafted and relying on him to start from day 1 was a huge mistake?

    • Insomniac

      An OL coach turned into a DC really sucks for defensive players?

    • Gary Barnes

      The brother of an elite player whose “potential” the Eagles mis-evaluated and drafted.

  • CaliEaglesFan

    Fletcher Cox and Danny Watkins were not brought in for official visits.

    • Dave

      If I remember correctly, Watkins was scheduled to visit but got called out to fight a fire and had to cancel.

      • P_P_K

        An omen of things to come.

    • D3FB

      Washburn flew out for a private workout with Cox

      • CaliEaglesFan

        I’m not saying they didn’t show interest. Teams usually will show some interest whether that is a private workout, combine meeting, shrine game meeting, senior bowl meeting, pro day meeting, and so on. I’m just adding to what Tommy is saying about an official visit not being the be-all and end-all.

        I think official visits are more telling when you are drafting early. Like when we drafted Lane Johnson and especially when we drafted Carson Wentz.

        When we drafted Johnson we had the #4 pick and likely only had a handful of guys we really considered taking if not for a trade down, so it made sense to bring in those guys and we did as we brought in Joeckel, Jordan, and Johnson.

        When you are thinking about drafting a QB you want to do as much vetting as possible, so of course they brought in all their top guys at the position which included Wentz.

        When you are picking outside the top 5 or top 10 even… it is smart to not read too much into official visits.

  • BlindChow

    We definitely need to continue the time-honored tradition of Philly drafting the less-talented brother.

    • D3FB

      This is why I want Isaac Asiata. We know the downfalls of “wrong brother” but think of all the upside of “right cousin”

      • Sb2bowl

        Sounds like we should draft players from West Virginia then, they love their cousins down there!

      • Ankerstjernen

        Jordan Matthews hands disagrees with that strategy.

        • Insomniac

          Matthews missed the gene where he could get away with stick’um.

          • Ankerstjernen

            Matthews hands couldnt catch the ball reliably if they were the center of gravity.

          • ChoTime

            Nothing can escape a black hole, even light, except if Jordan Matthews is holding the black hole. Then, things can escape.

      • DetmerWillHoldClipboardFor$7M

        We tried that too. Jordan Matthews is Jerry Rice’s cousin, right? Still doesn’t work. (sorry, just saw Ankers post)

      • unhinged

        How late do you think he can get got?

        • D3FB

          He could go in the same range that Seumalo went but he’s 24 and a guard. I’d feel totally comfortable taking him in the 4th (we won’t because we have other bigger needs). If he’s there in the 5th I will literally drive to NovaCare and fucking fight Howie and Joe if they don’t take him.

    • Anders

      Brian westbrook and Shawn Andrews was the right brother

      • Dave

        Byron Westbrook was undrafted.

        • ChoTime

          Wait, someone had a kid named Brian and then named their next one Byron? That’s confusing as hell.

          • Dave

            If would be more confusing if they were Bryon and Byron. At least his parents has the decency to spell his name Brian.

          • ChoTime

            Good point.

          • Anders

            American moms needs to be saved by them self with all their crazy spelling of names

  • kajomo

    I brought up Watt yesterday. The guy is really fun to watch. I think he is a better prospect than Clay Matthews was.

    He has a 140+ SPARQ score which is excellent. He had 11.5 sacks this past year so you know he is productive. We joke about pedigree and for the most part it is stupid. However you can look at JJ and Derek and see their work ethic. TJ has that same Drive and determination.

    I think Watt goes in the back half of round 1, but if he slid to the 2nd he is likely BPA.

    • Fufina

      I have to agree – i was initially really not that high on Watt mainly because i think ‘bloodlines’ pushes people up draft boards and makes absolutely no sense. But having watch a couple of games he is a legit weapon, and has some real bend and athleticism and he could be a really effective 3rd down rusher in this scheme straight away and as he gets stronger could transition to a bigger role in 1-2 years.

  • Ark87

    I agree, some teams may believe in smokescreens, but I think Howie is too value-savvy to waste precious assets. I don’t think Cook is in play for 14, but trading back is. You need a complete board because you don’t actually know where you are actually drafting on draft day, only the resources you are going into the draft with. These visits are like a Who Wants to be a Millionaire lifeline towards answering question marks on your board.

  • nopain23

    I know I’m in the minority here but with Sidney Jones’ recent injury I’m really hoping Foster falls to 14. I think if 2 qbs and the the top 3 receiverss plus fornette all go top 10 then there’s a chance he makes it to 14. I think he and hicks would give this defense and identify for the next half a decade at least. With zeke in the division it can’t hurt to have 2 tackling machines with great instincts on our D. Other than lattimore and ones I just don’t see any DB worth a top 15 pick.

    • meteorologist

      Would set a really tough tone for our defense like Bobby Wagner, Kam Chancellor in Seattle

    • Gian GEAGLE

      I’d be thrilled if we end up with Foster. Jordan Hicks and Reuban Foster would be such a nasty LB tandem in our nickel defense. Bradham is a beast too so I would love to have all 3 of them this year but I would understand if they decided to trade Bradham during the draft after they got Foster.
      ..
      Fortunately Joe Douglaa grew up in places that really valued Linebackers so I doubt the Eagles would be crazy enough to pass on him if they are lucky enough to see him still available at #14. just adding 1 impact defender like Foster would have a huge effect on the defense. From I think we would be a DT and a DE away from having a nice defense in place, after we take Care of the cornerback position of course. There aren’t many kids in this draft Id take over Foster. I just love the combo of Physicalty and cover ability.

  • daveH

    Giant TE, OJ coming in ?

  • Sean Stott

    Wonder how McAlister is looking these days. He really needed to bulk up.

  • johhnyblaze

    Nolan Carroll: #Cowboys wanted him to “prove” he was healthy last year (which is why he didn’t sign there the 1st time).

    • GermanEagle

      F him.

      However signs with the Cowboys is not worthy to be called an Eagle anymore.

      Can’t wait until AJ burns him for 168 yards and 3 TDs.

      • BlindChow

        I think you’ve been an Eagles fan long enough to know that this means Carroll will completely shut AJ down this season.

      • CrackSammich

        3 day old post, but Ced Thornton can come back any time he wants from the Cowboys. I’ll buy his first beer.

    • Bert’s Bells

      Well, he proved he was healthy…

      • Dave

        I absolutely disagree. He obviously had a neck injury. How else can you explain why he never turned his head to find the ball.

        • johhnyblaze

          Hahaha

    • Gian GEAGLE

      did they sigń any other corners since losing Carr and Claiborne? Did they replace Church at safety yet?

  • GordonGekko

    I took a shit on a nigger today

  • Gian GEAGLE

    The trade market for Trumaine Johnson has gone completely silent. I haven’t been able to stomach watching the Rams the last couple of years so I have no idea how he has been playing. I don’t know what to think of kyle Fuller either but I do hope Roseman pulls a starting caliber corner out of his ass before the draft via trade or FA signing. The Rams franchised Trumaine so any team trading for him has no choice but to work out an extension with him before going through with the trade.
    .
    How does Malcolm Butier fit with what Schwartz looks for in corners? Of course its intimidating that Bellichik hasn’t been on the wrong end of too many trades. Butler is another one of those Situatins where you would have to agree on extension before consummating the trade.
    .,
    No matter what the Eagles are going to invest 2017 draft picks n corners, but I would feel a lot Better if we could acquire a corner before the draft who can be penciled in to start week 1 in case the corners we draft aren’t ready week 1. Basically im trying to avoid the dysfunction Chip Kelly brought to philly that we are still paying for when he decided to let Desean and Maclin get away just assuming he would be able to draft WR’s who would be capable of starting week 1. I want to avoid doing to another first round pick what we did to Nelson Agholar clearly asking too much of him, before he was really ready to handle it.
    ..
    I believe that HOWIE is smarter than to put himself in position where not only Does he have to draft a corner, but he has to draft a Corner who can handle starting day 1 of his rookie season. Im pretty sure Roseman knows Better than such dysfunction at a position as important as cornerback, so I have to assume that there is another shoe to drop at corner. Either:
    1) Sigń a veteran stop gap mentor who can start the first couple of weeks until we are comfortable turning it over to the rookie
    2) Trade for a starting caliber corner
    3) sigń a young bench corner, like a nolan carroll/Bradley Fletcher type who weren’t starters but we took fliers to see if they could grow into starting role during their second contract
    ..
    Im not asking for the next Deon, but it shouldn’t be too much to ask to add someone who can keep us from throwing a rookie to the wolves week 1 if he isn’t ready for it
    ..
    Since you DONT know which corner you will be able to draft, only a moron would just assume we will be able to draft a corner who can handle starting immediately like dumb ass Chip did with Agholar

  • Dave

    So either Chase Daniel just wanted out of Philly, or he and his agent were dillusional as to his opportunities to start somewhere else. I lean toward the latter.

    https://twitter.com/ProFootballTalk/status/843569680971415564

    • A_T_G

      How old is Chase? The Saints job will be open long before ours.

      • Dave

        30…I suspect the Saints will be drafting a QB in round 1 this year.

        • A_T_G

          Yeah, too old to be waiting in the wings.

    • Sb2bowl

      When Mike Glennon gets $15m/year for 3 years, you gotta try.

    • Mr. Magee

      Could also be that he was making too much money here, and was unwilling to renegotiate. Another possibility is that the Eagles were simply unimpressed with his play, and decided that Nick Foles would be a better back up. (I lean toward the latter, actually… They signed Foles for almost as much $ as Daniel was scheduled to make).

      • Dave

        What are the odds that he signs with the Saints and they’re a QB in round 1 to be Brees successor?

        I’m confused on his contract though. I thought he got $12M guaranteed…$7M last year and $5M guaranteed this year. If he has offset language for the $5M, that means the Eagles only paid him $7M, not the $11 to $12M reported by numerous beats, once he signs with a new team.

        Evidently he thinks he’ll make more than $5M elsewhere.

        I’m happy to have Foles backing up Wentz vs Daniel.

        • Mr. Magee

          Yeah, me too. I don’t really know much about his contract details, but knowing Howie (and the market) it’s unlikely he got much if any guaranteed money in year 2 of his deal.

          I really hope some teams in front of us in the draft take some QBs!

  • bsuperfi

    On an unrelated note, I just put up some new sconces for my wife this afternoon.

    • Sb2bowl

      Is that you, Cary?

  • P_P_K

    Can someone help me block a certain poster? Been following T-Law’s stuff since the early days and this is the first time.

    • daveH

      Agree .. far right of each comment are the tabs that do it

    • KillaKadafi

      I don’t understand why he isn’t banned…..?

      • ChoTime

        Tommy doesn’t really do that. Or else he would.

        • KillaKadafi

          Surely a line must be drawn somewhere?
          Overlooking racism just isn’t something that sits well with me

          • eagleyankfan

            assign me as moderator and I’ll take care of him. And the 400 draft posts :)~

          • Media Mike

            You can feel free to not read them, but the feedback I get from people about them helps me understand more about guys from a scouting / strategy perspective.

          • eagleyankfan

            face with the tongue sticking out is just teasing…

          • Media Mike

            Gotcha; I’m often to old to get those usually. Noted however.

          • eagleyankfan

            it’s what you do, I don’t mind them at all…

    • meteorologist
      • meteorologist

        Hmm. Didn’t know the cursor disappears from screenshots. Anyway my mouse is pointed over the triangle on the top right corner of a comment, which is where you click to block someone

        • P_P_K

          Got it. Thanks, my friend.

  • Dan in Philly

    Tommy, got any ideas as to why the last few drafts have been so disappointing?

    • Fufina

      In what way? generally? in the 1st round? For the Eagles?

    • xmbk

      I’m pretty ok with last year.

      • Media Mike

        Only stupid pick was Blake Countess. I still don’t understand why they chose to reach for a UDFA bum in the 6th round.

    • Dave

      Chip Kelly

      • GENETiC-FREAK

        hahaha

    • Media Mike

      Bad reach on Marcus Smith and conned by Agholor.

  • Media Mike

    Took a different approach at 14 (mostly because Davis wasn’t there) and went with Howard. I still don’t think he’ll be there at 14, but we’ll see.

    Round 1 Pick 14: O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama (A)
    Round 2 Pick 11: TreDavious White, CB, LSU (A)
    Round 3 Pick 10: Chris Godwin, WR, Penn State (B+)
    Round 4 Pick 12: Isaac Asiata, OG, Utah (A)
    Round 4 Pick 32 (COMP): Davon Godchaux, DT, LSU (A+)
    Round 5 Pick 11: Julie’n Davenport, OT, Bucknell (A+)
    Round 6 Pick 10: Brian Hill, RB, Wyoming (A+)
    Round 7 Pick 12: Jeremy Cutrer, CB, Middle Tennessee (C-)

    • Media Mike

      Then backed up using Fanspeak with the Matt Miller big board.

      14: R1P14 WR COREY DAVIS WESTERN MICHIGAN
      43: R2P11 CB TRE’DAVIOUS WHITE LSU
      74: R3P10 EDGE JOE MATHIS WASHINGTON
      119: R4P12 CB CORN ELDER MIAMI (FLA.)
      139: R4P32 EDGE DAESHON HALL TEXAS A&M
      155: R5P11 RB JAMAAL WILLIAMS BYU
      194: R6P10 LB ALEX ANZALONE FLORIDA
      230: R7P12 WR SPEEDY NOIL TEXAS A&M

  • Bacon & Iggles

    “You only need to hang mean bastards, but mean bastards you need to hang.” ~John Ruth ‘The Hangman’ :~)