Young vs Old

Posted: May 8th, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 1 Comment »

One of the biggest challenges for any coach or GM is deciding between an up and coming player and a proven veteran. Teams want young players. They are cheaper and they have more of a future. Veterans on short term deals are disposable band aids. While not ideal, they can get the job done.

The Eagles have signed some band aid veterans already.

Andrew Sendejo
Vinny Curry
Zach Brown

More could be on the way. Or Howie Roseman and Doug Pederson could decide to see what some of the young players can do. I wrote about some young players who could step up this year for PE.com. I focused on some spots where there are enough young players that there will be good competition. And that’s key. You never want to hand a young player a job. They have to earn it.

Avonte Maddox and Kamu Grugier-Hill were young guys who emerged last year. They proved to be important for the defense, as both safety and LB had to deal with injuries.

It will be interesting to see if the Eagles give Josh Sweat, Daeshon Hall and Shareef Miller a chance to show what they can do or if the team wants a sure thing at DE and goes for a veteran. All three of those players are young, athletic and have decent size. You can argue that there is a good chance one of them will prove to be at least an effective role player.

The flip side is that the Eagles scheme is built on D-linemen who can pressure the passer. If the pass rush struggles, the defense is going to have major issues. DE is a critical spot for the Eagles. Can you take a chance there?

The Eagles have very little depth at C/G. That feels like a spot where they need to add someone. One of the problems is that there aren’t good options. The OL market wasn’t great to start with and there are slim pickings left. This is a spot where the Eagles have to look long and hard at their internal options.

Matt Pryor – Second year OL is back. Played a lot of RG last summer. Up and down.

H. Vaitai – Pure speculation, but the arrival of Andre Dillard at OT could mean the team shifts Vaitai inside this summer to see what he can do.

Anthony Fabiano – Athletic player who is on his seventh team. That means he probably isn’t a player you want to pencil in for anything.

Ryan Bates – UDFA who played OT and OG at Penn State. Athletic lineman who could play G or C in the NFL.

Iosua Opeta – UDFA who played LT for Weber State. Projects to OG in the NFL. Very strong upper body.

Nate Herbig – UDFA who was a massive RG for Stanford. Will stay at OG.

Keegan Render – UDFA who played G and C at Iowa. Technically sound player with good movement skills. Nothing special physically.

Jeff Stoutland is a good OL coach and those players all have ability, but none of them is a sure thing at G or C. You could go get John Sullivan or John Greco for a season, but those guys are in their mid-30’s and they are on the market for a reason. They lost starting jobs because their play is declining.

Why not bring back Wiz? That is possible, but he wasn’t exactly great last year when he had to take over at C. Issac Seumalo played well at LG. He could slide into C if needed, but you want him at LG for now.

The Eagles need some cheap depth for the future so there really is something to be said for letting Stoutland work with the guys listed above to see what he can do. Jason Kelce was a sixth round pick in 2011 and nobody expected him to turn into the player he did. The Eagles have had UDFAs like Artis Hicks and Jamaal Jackson develop into solid starters. Right now the Eagles just need depth. They need these players to be effective backups.

It will be interesting to see what other moves Roseman and the Eagles make. They have the flexibility to do a lot, but they may genuinely want to see what the young guys can do. If you can get some of this young talent to pan out, it really does help you long term.

*****

I wasn’t huge on Matt Pryor coming out of TCU, but he did have some people who loved him.

This is a huge summer for Pryor. With Brandon Brooks hurt, Pryor should get a lot of reps and he’ll have a chance to impress the coaches.

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