Two In, One Out

Posted: March 21st, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 2 Comments »

The Eagles came alive on Saturday, making moves to improve the talent and depth of the defense. They didn’t add household names or make sexy moves, but these are the kind of acquisitions that can really pay off for a team.

First up, a LB.

Brown played for the Chargers from 2016-2019. He started 23 of 56 games in that stretch, although he was primarily a special teams player last season. Brown is 5-11, 221 and is a natural at WLB.

For now, the Eagles could go with Nate Gerry at SAM, T.J. Edwards in the middle and Brown on the weak side. I know a lot of people think the team would be nuts to rely too much on Gerry and Edwards. The Eagles are going to have to go cheap somewhere. LB will be that spot.

The Brown signing feels familiar, like Corey Nelson in 2018 and L.J. Fort in 2019. Nelson was terrible and got cut. Fort was terrific in the summer, but then Jim Schwartz buried him on the depth chart and Fort was cut during the season. I still don’t fully understand the disconnect on Fort. I thought he should have been playing.

Back to Brown. I liked him quite a bit coming out of college. I put him on my team of favorite non-first round players.

WR Pharoh Cooper – South Carolina
WR Malcolm Mitchell – Georgia
WR Leonte Caroo – Rutgers
QB Vernon Adams – Oregon
RB Kenneth Dixon – La Tech
TE Beau Sandland – Montana State
OT Halapoulivaati Vaitai – TCU
OG Christian Westerman – Arizona State
OC Nick Martin – Notre Dame
OG Jordan Walsh – Iowa
OT Joe Gore – Clemson

DE Ronald Blair – Appalachian State
DT Trevon Coley – Florida Atlantic
DT Javon Hargrave – SC State
DE Tyrone Holmes – Montana
LB Jatavis Brown – Akron
ILB Steven Daniels – Boston College
LB Brandon Chubb – Wake Forest
S Kevin Byard – MTSU
S Tyvis Powell – Ohio State
CB Eric Murray – Minnesota
CB Sean Davis – Maryland

You might notice a couple of other interesting names in there. Big V had caught my eye as a late round OL target. And DT Javon Hargrave was a player I liked quite a bit. Who doesn’t love 1-gap DTs that blow up plays?

Brown can be a terrific STs player. He can compete for a role on defense. Brown is young and runs well. He’s the kind of LB you want to bring in. We’ll have to wait and see where he fits on the defense, but he at least offers some depth. He could play MLB and would be fine as one of the nickel LBs.

The Eagles also signed Will Parks, a S/CB from the Broncos.

The 25-year old Parks has started 15 of 62 career games. He can play SS, FS or in the slot. Parks is at his best in the box. Strong, forceful tackler. He shows okay man cover skills. I don’t think you want him starting at CB, but he can go out wide if a team goes with an empty set. Denver didn’t use him deep very often, but he did show potential when playing back there.

Parks is here to take on the role that Corey Graham had in 2017-18 and Andrew Sendejo had last year. The Eagles love to use 3-safety sets. Jalen Mills and Rodney McLeod project as the starters. Parks gives them a third player for those sets.

And I’m sure the Eagles told Parks he will have a chance to earn a starting role. The Eagles need players competing for jobs in the secondary. Only Darius Slay has earned one.

The Eagles accomplished their goal of getting younger and faster at safety. Last year McLeod was the youngest of the safeties at age 29. This year he’s the oldest at 30. We’ll have to wait and see how the moves pan out, but I do like the thinking behind the moves.

Mike Kaye has a few more thoughts on Parks.

The Eagles are taking a chance on Brown and Parks. Those players are taking a gamble on themselves, hoping they can shine with a new team and then earn a long-term contract in 2021.

I like the moves. The Eagles added young, athletic players who offer depth and STs ability. And they were cheap.

The team will draft a LB and still could add someone else in free agency.

My guess is that the team is done shopping at safety, but will certainly add one in the draft.

*****

Agholor helped the Eagles win a Super Bowl. For that, thank you. We should always be grateful.

Agholor was also one of the most frustrating Eagles of the last 20 years. He could look so good at times and so dreadful at others. The drop against the Falcons will be a lasting memory for most of us.

I wonder if an abrasive, demanding coach like Jon Gruden will bring out the best in Agholor or turn him into a complete basket case.

*****

I need to do some tape study to see if the Eagles should be interested. Desir will turn 30 in September. I’d rather the team focus on youth, but CB has been such a weakness that I wouldn’t rule anything out.

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