Random Draft Thoughts

Posted: April 28th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 24 Comments »

When Roger Goodell started to announce the Eagles pick, I wanted him to say “Jonathan Allen”. That’s who I wanted the team to take.

The fact that the Eagles passed on him tells me their doctors had serious concerns about his arthritic shoulders. Allen should have gone in the Top 5. He slid down to the Eagles area because of the condition. The Eagles had to weigh risk vs reward with him.

Some of you wonder why it is such a big deal when the guy was just dominant in college the past 2 years. That’s a fair question. Allen played in 29 games over the past 2 years. He had spring practices, Training Camp and regular practices during the season. In the NFL you have OTAs, passing camps, minicamps, Training Camp, 4 preseason games, 16 regular season games and possibly the playoffs. That is a ton of wear and tear.

The level of competition is completely different. College football is played by boys and young men. Pro football is a man’s game. Players have incredible strength and power. They brutalize each other all game long. Playing against Middle Tennessee State is nothing like going against the Tennessee Titans. Allen’s body held up in college just fine, but the NFL is different. He might be fine, but there is serious risk as well. There is a reason teams spend so much time and money to do medical checks on prospects. That stuff matters.

With Allen’s shoulders not getting a passing grade from the Eagles, Barnett is the player I wanted. Malik Hooker wasn’t a good fit. I didn’t like Reuben Foster for the Eagles. I was fascinated with the thought of O.J. Howard, but Barnett was my preference.

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Either CLE didn’t make a strong offer or the Eagles really wanted Barnett.

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Jonathan Allen didn’t slide too much farther. The Skins took him. This could be a great pick for them…if he stays healthy.

The Giants took TE Evan Engram. They have a ton of weapons, with OBJ, Sterling Shepard and Brandon Marshall. Eli has some guys to get the ball to. Will he have good protection? That’s the key question for the Gmen. All those weapons don’t do you much good if Eli is getting pummeled by Derek Barnett.

Dallas took DE Taco Charlton. Great name, solid prospect. With him and David Irving, Dallas has a pair of long, talented pass rushers. Irving flashed big time potential last year, but hasn’t played consistently. Charlton was an underachiever until this season. I guess Rod Marinelli thinks he can get the best out of the gifted DE.

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I have never been a fan of moving the draft. I’m a traditionalist and I liked it in NYC.

The city of Philadelphia put on a great show. More than 70,000 fans came out to cheer, boo and just have fun. There was a great atmosphere. Seeing the draft in NY every year was cool, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a draft like what we saw on Thursday night. That was special. Kudos to the league for choosing Philly and Kudos to my Philly friends for doing such a great job.

That’s like a concert or something. That’s the NFL Draft? Crazy how this thing has grown.

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So friggin’ true…

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DE Derek Barnett is Your Newest Eagle

Posted: April 27th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 387 Comments »

The pick is in and Derek Barnett is your newest Eagle.

Barnett is 6-3, 259 and a high productive pass rusher. If not already, you’ll soon be sick of hearing the stat that Barnett broke Reggie White’s sack record at Tennessee. Barnett had a great college career and is absolutely worthy of a mid-1st round pick. This isn’t a reach or crazy pick in any sense.

Why add a DE here?

If you want to build a title team, you need a QB and guys who can get to the QB. The Eagles added Carson Wentz last year and wanted to add a pass rusher this year. Yes, the Eagles do have Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry and Chris Long, but none of them are young. Barnett won’t turn 21 until June so the Eagles just got better and much younger up front.

The team did pass on some big names. Jonathan Allen is a Top 5 talent. He has arthritic shoulders and that has caused teams to pass on him to this point. The Eagles obviously felt it wasn’t smart to take a chance n him. That was purely a medical decision.

Malik Hooker has issues as a tackler and that makes him an awkward fit for the Wide-9. That look puts a lot of pressure on DBs to be good run defenders. That’s an area where Hooker can struggle.

Reuben Foster has shoulder and character issues. We’ve discussed Dalvin Cook to death.

Why not move back? It takes 2 to tango. My guess is that teams weren’t looking to move up so the Eagles stayed put and added a player they were very high on.

The Eagles are a better team than they were this morning.

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2017 Eagles Draft Guide – 1st Round

Posted: April 27th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 803 Comments »

OVERVIEW

This is a deep, talented draft class. The group is strong in areas of need for the Eagles so things match up very well. That doesn’t guarantee the team will get who they want in each situation, but it helps them quite a bit. If you boiled this down simply, the theme would be “Help Carson and Find Cover Guys”. The Eagles went up aggressively last year to get their QB. Now they have to build around him.

The picks:

1 – 14
2 – 43
3 – 99
4 -118
4 – 139
5 – 155
6 – 194
7 – 230

The needs:

CB
RB
CB
DE
CB
WR
CB
S
CB
DT
CB

I think you might get the picture at this point. The Eagles need corners. I hope they choose 2 and it wouldn’t upset me for them to choose 3. The team has failed to develop good CBs in the last decade or so. They need stability at that point. Enough with trying out free agents from the rest of the league. The Eagles need corners who can play here for the next 5 years.

RB is obvious. Ryan Mathews will be cut when he’s healthy enough to pass a physical. Darren Sproles is in his final year. The Eagles just moved Byron Marshall to WR so this position is pretty wide open. I would actually like the team to spend a couple of picks on RBs, or to draft one and target one as a primary UDFA. They need a couple of bodies to add to the mix.

The Eagles have Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry and Chris Long at DE, but need some youth there. Also, you can’t have enough good pass rushers. We’d love Marcus Smith to keep getting better and become at least a good role player, but you can’t count on that. Same with Alex McCalister, last year’s 7th round pick. Both have potential, but have questions as well.  Read the rest of this entry »


Draft Day is Here

Posted: April 27th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 175 Comments »

I am working on my long draft post.

For now, get excited. The Eagles are going to add a future HOF player tonight. What about Danny Watkins and Marcus Smith you say? Watkins will be in a firefighters HOF in whatever Canadian city he calls home these days. Smith has a legit shot for the Louisville HOF.

See?

I think the Eagles are in position to get a good player. Lots of talk about 2 QBs going in the Top 13. That would be helpful. Doesn’t matter who takes them, it pushes a player down to the Eagles. Lots of talk about Hasson Reddick going Top 10. That would also be good. He doesn’t make sense for the Eagles, but could push down someone who does make sense.

Lots of buzz that the Browns could take QB Mitch Trubisky 1st overall. I don’t buy that. I think they are trying to get someone to trade up. Float the rumor and see what happens. I feel confident the pick will be DE Myles Garrett. I hope I’m dead wrong and Trubisky does go first. That could lead to a run on QBs and we might see 3 go before the Eagles pick.

I’m still hoping the team explores moving back. I would love to add a 3rd round pick. This draft is so deep and there are so many prospects I have interest in. Thank god the Eagles have 8 picks for now. If they only had a few picks like last year, I’d be going nuts.

No real update on the Gareon Conley situation. We’re all in wait and see mode on this guy. I don’t think he’s going in the 1st round, but after that, your guess is as good as mine. Tremendous player. And might be the victim of false allegations. But do you take that risk? If so, how early. I am guessing 3rd round, but you can bet NFL teams are digging into this situation as aggressively as they can. Nobody wants to pass on Conley if they think he’s truly innocent.

Let’s just hope we don’t have any breaking news today about players doing something dumb, getting accused of something serious or getting arrested. Let this be a good day for everyone (except Dallas).

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Draft Eve

Posted: April 26th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 403 Comments »

Santa is almost here. For now, you’ll have to settle for some weird news.

Eagles draft target and Top 15 pick Gareon Conley was accused of rape. The news became public yesterday. This is terrible timing. NFL teams now have just a couple of days to investigate and figure out if this is legit or something else.

There is a site called NFL Draft Diamonds. The guy who runs that put out some interesting information on Tuesday night.

How does this guy know about the Eagles and the Conley situation? Apparently he called the police himself after hearing about the incident and did some digging on his own. I cannot vouch for this guy as a reporter. His draft info is good, but I just don’t know him well enough to say “You can 100 percent trust him on this issue”.

Here is what he wrote after doing his digging and talking to some of the people involved in the incident.

If that is true…and I don’t know if it is…this sounds like a terrible case of a woman trying to get revenge. No arrest has been made, but there is a police report. The lack of an arrest tells you this isn’t a slam dunk case where he is clearly guilty.

If no arrest is made before tomorrow night and teams come to the conclusion that Conley is innocent, what does that do to his value? No matter what, it sure seems like he’s out of the 1st round. After that, who knows. Adam Schefter offered some quick thoughts this morning.

I have no idea how the Eagles view this situation. It is good that they have been on top of things for a few days and are doing whatever investigating they can. If Conley has done something terrible, you want to know it so you can take him off your board and move on. If he is innocent, you want to know that too so you can decide if you are comfortable with taking him and at what point you would do that.

Stay tuned on this one.

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https://twitter.com/JimmyKempski/status/857050089101111300

What has Jimmy heard? There was a buzz on Twitter last night about Dalvin Cook being in play for the Eagles at 14. Maybe Jimmy heard something that ties into that.

I still don’t see Cook being the target at 14. He was a great college player and would be a terrific fit for the Eagles offense. The problem is that he’s got some red flags and he’s a RB. Teams tend not to spend high picks on RBs. Combine that with the fact this is a deep RB class and that just hurts his value in my mind.

I will say this. I would find myself watching tape of draft prospects going against FSU and not even be thinking about Cook, but he would do something that would just jump off the tape. He does have great potential. If the Eagles shock me and take him at 14, I wouldn’t be upset. They’ve done a ton of research on him. If they’re comfortable with him and decide he’s worth the risk, so be it.

I’m still hesitant to fully buy in.

I do wonder if the Ezekiel Elliott situation from last year (rookie RB elevates a whole team) sits in the back of their mind and has Lurie/Roseman/Pederson just wanting to take a chance on their stud RB.

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Under the radar move…Byron Marshall is now a WR.

The Eagles now have these RBs: Darren Sproles, Wendell Smallwood, Terrell Watson. Ryan Mathews will be cut when he is healthy.

I wonder if the Eagles could consider adding a pair of runners now. They could draft one bigger back and one speed guy. Or they could just draft a pair of RBs with similar skill sets. This is a deep RB class. I’ve toyed with the idea of taking multiple RBs, but didn’t see it as great value because Marshall was there as a solid #3 / #4 type already.

Now things are wide open.

And Marshall gives the Eagles a shifty slot receiver. They ran those bubble screens last year and didn’t have much success. Marshall has the RAC skills to make those screens a lot more effective. Marshall could also spend the year on the practice squad trying to adjust to WR and then challenge for a role in 2018. He showed last year that he can play in the NFL.

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