Posted: May 5th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on Biggies

Jeff Stoutland, Joe Douglas and Doug Pederson like big offensive linemen. Really big.

The Eagles had a lot of interest in Kolton Miller, the 6-9, 309 LT from UCLA. He ended up going in the middle of the 1st round. The Eagles showed interest in Orlando Brown, Oklahoma’s 6-8, 345 LT. He was taken in the 3rd round. The Eagles took a long look at Chukwuma Okorafor. The WMU blocker was tiny at just 6-6, 320.

The Eagles ended up drafting Matt Pryor (6-7, 333) and Jordan Mailata (6-8, 345).

I’m not always the biggest fan of massive O-linemen, but there is something to be said for the Eagles knowing what they want and drafting those players. The scouting staff and coaching staff are all on the same page.

Pederson likes big blockers. So did Andy Reid. There is a huge difference, though. Reid struggled to embrace the run game. We don’t need to re-hash that tired storyline in detail, but it made no sense to anyone that the guy who wanted Jon Runyan, Max Jean-Gilles, Nick Cole, Jamaal Jackson, Shawn Andrews and several others was so in love with throwing the ball.

The Eagles were 10th in rushing attempts in 2016 and 6th last year. Pederson will fall in love with the pass in certain games, but overall he is a pretty balanced coach. He uses his big linemen to pound on defenses and the running game has been very successful.

The play of the O-line was a big reason the Eagles won the Super Bowl last year. They did a good job in pass protection and also were good run blockers. Jason Kelce had his best year as a pro. Stefen Wisniewski played his best football. Brandon Brooks, too.

Halapoulivaati Vaitai took a big step forward, especially as a run blocker. In the past, he could be too much of  a gentle giant. That went away last year. He moved to LT, which is tough enough. His pass protection was inconsistent, but outstanding at times. Vaitai really came alive as a run blocker. He learned to use his size and power.

Not everything worked as hoped.

Isaac Seumalo failed at LG. He was given multiple chances and struggled every time. I thought he played his best football at RT when Lane Johnson was hurt. Chance Warmack was disappointing most of the year. He got a pep talk late in the year from Brian Dawkins and then played his best game. Warmack needs to build on that. He has the potential to at least be a solid backup, if not an effective starter.

This will be a very important summer for Warmack. If he struggles at all, the Eagles could go with a younger guy at that spot. The team likes him, but he must play better than last summer.

One final note of interest…the Eagles list Matt Pryor as an OT. After watching more of his tape, I think that is the right move. I’m still working on a longer post on him. He didn’t stand out to me as an OG, but he has had some really good moments at OT. Still very limited as an athlete.

Then again…the Eagles wanted a bulldozer, not a Ferrari.


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