Moving Up For Mike Evans?

Posted: April 11th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 113 Comments »

The Eagles like WR Mike Evans. Chip Kelly went to his Pro Day. Then the team brought Evans to Philly for a visit. But just how much do the Eagles like him?

Tony Pauline says…a lot.

– Consensus is Mike Evans/WR/Texas A&M is a lock to be a top ten pick. Several teams feel the spread between he and Sammy Watkins of Clemson is not a great as many are making it out to be, something I completely agree with.Based on conversations its my educated “guess” the team who selects Evans will make a trade to acquire his services . Right now it looks like three teams are the frontrunners to make some sort of move for Evans. If the St Louis Rams trade out of the second spot, and they will make every effort to do as much, Evans would be a target assuming they stay in the top ten. Two teams selecting in the middle of the first frame who are very high on Evans and would consider trading up to grab him are the Philadelphia Eagles and Baltimore Ravens.

Why such love for Evans?

Size is the first thing that gets your attention. Riley Cooper is a big receiver at 6-3, 222. Evans is huge at 6-5, 231. And he’s athletic. This is a huge WR that has good speed, agility and explosive ability. That makes him rare. Evans isn’t some freak that is more athlete than football player. He posted huge numbers for Texas A&M, including big games against some elite competition.

Every now and then you see a guy with great size/speed numbers who is a clear developmental prospect. Not Evans. He is a very talented player that should contribute immediately and could become the kind of receiver you build a passing game around. Evans is one of the rare guys who can be open even when he is double-teamed. He’s 6-5 with 35 inch arms. Who’s going to out-jump him for a pass?

Evans is a great fit for the Eagles. He could become a dominant blocker, which would help the run game. He has good RAC ability, which helps the quick screens. Evans can also be a good downfield receiver, which helps to stretch the defense.

I still question just how likely it is the Eagles will move up. They’ve only got 6 picks. I don’t think they will pay a high price to move up for a player. The flip side to that thinking is that they may feel Evans will be available later than he normally would due to the draft being so good. If the Eagles have him rated as Top 5, ten trading up to pick 10 or 12 may be good value.

In essence, this isn’t a question of whether they like him, but if they think Mike Evans is a special player that is worth the cost.

Stay tuned.

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Speaking of liking a player…the Eagles sent Duce Staley down to Auburn for RB Tre Mason’s Pro Day.

I can see the Eagles liking Mason a lot. He’s my favorite RB in the draft. I don’t think he is the best, but I love watching him play. Mason runs so hard that you can’t help but love watching him.

The Eagles don’t need a RB, but they could like Mason so much that they feel he’s worth taking anyway. If they have a high grade on him and he slides a bit (as so many RBs do), the Eagles might feel he’s too good to pass up.

I do think Mason would be a great fit for Kelly’s spread running attack. Mason is a N-S runner who has terrific power and doesn’t go down on first or second contact. He likes to make one quick cut and keep his shoulders facing upfield. Enjoy these highlights.

I tend to think the Eagles won’t take a RB, but never say never.

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A Couple of Big CBs

Posted: April 11th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 44 Comments »

The Eagles prefer big CBs. Bill Davis wants his corners to jam receivers at the line of scrimmage and throw off the timing of their routes. That half-second can give other cover guys time to get in position and more importantly, it gives the pass rushers extra time to get to the QB.

Two big CBs that will be available outside the 1st round are Keith McGill and Stanley Jean-Baptiste. I much prefer McGill. I see a corner with size and some quickness. SJB is huge and has some impressive moments, but he looks to stiff to me.

By the numbers…

Keith McGill
6-3, 211
arm – 33 1/4
hand – 10 1/4
40 –  4.51
VJ – 39.0
BJ – 129.0
3-cone – 7.29
SS – 4.18

Stanley Jean-Baptiste
6-3, 218
arm – 32 3/8
hand – 8 5/8
40 – 4.61
VJ – 41.5
BJ – 128.0
3-cone – (didn’t do it in Indy)
SS – 4.33

Neither guy has ideal agility. Jason Kelce’s SS was 4.14. That was freakishly good for an O-lineman, but those aren’t good times by McGill or SJB.

Set aside the numbers and check out the tape.

vs

SJB looks stiff and a bit slow. McGill will never be called Mr. Agility, but I think you can see that there is a clear difference in the 2 players. I don’t know if the Eagles like either guy or who they prefer, but I would think McGill should be higher on their list.

SJB didn’t impress me at the Senior Bowl either. You could see he lacked athletic ability down there.

I focused on these CBs since they are huge and Davis likes big guys at that spot. There are players who will go before them that are much better. There are other big corners who will go after them that could be better value picks. McGill and SJB are big CBs with big names. I’ve gotten a few questions about them so figured it would be good to take a look at them.

Of the two, give me McGill.

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Looking for a LB

Posted: April 10th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 61 Comments »

Bob Grotz reported that the Eagles did try to deal for OLB Dion Jordan. We’ve speculated about this quite a bit, but this is the first time anyone has reported that it actually happened.

Grotz says the Eagles made an offer for Jordan 2 months ago. The offer was a 2nd round pick and Brandon Graham, which is something we’ve mentioned as potential compensation. It would give Miami a young pass rusher to add to the mix and another pick in a deep draft. The Eagles could use an OLB with the size and athleticism of Jordan.

It doesn’t sound like this is going to happen. Miami would take a major cap hit if the deal happened before June 1st. I don’t know if they can work the trade around that date. You also wonder if they worry about the public relations fallout of dealing the #3 overall pick just a year after drafting him.

I hope Howie continues talking to the Dolphins. This deal does really make sense for both sides. Miami is a 4-3 team with a pair of good DEs in Cam Wake and Olivier Vernon. If they had any idea how good Vernon would turn out, they’d have never dealt up for Jordan last year. Miami still needs OL help, among other things. Adding another pick could really help them.

Dealing for Jordan would be a terrific move, even if it seems like a long shot at this point.

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If you need to know anything about Jordan and his rookie season in Miami, the guys at ChipWagon have a great post that covers everything you would want to know, aside from what color underwear he wears on Tuesdays.

I’m guessing it is something unusual.

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If the Eagles miss on adding a LB early on, there will be late round players to target. Here’s one.

Webster is a developmental project, but he has NFL potential.

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The Eagles have been checking out other OLB prospects. They are interested in all kinds of sizes, skill sets and backgrounds. The key is that they are trying to find a good pass rusher.

I like the fact they are being creative in trying to find a LB. They’ve worked out guys from the 4-3, 3-4 and 3-3-5. They are looking at someone like Dee Ford (6-2, 252) as well as Will Clarke (6-6, 270). We don’t know if the Eagles will find the answer at ROLB, but they are doing everything they can to try and and find the right guy.

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Eagles Draft Nuggets

Posted: April 9th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 111 Comments »

Chip Kelly was down at LSU for their Pro Day. WRs Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham were the big names, but Kelly was watching a lot of guys. LSU is loaded with NFL talent every year. Here are the top names (not in any order).

WR Odell Beckham
WR Jarvis Landry
OG Trai Turner
RB Jeremy Hill
RB Alfred Blue
QB Zach Mettenberger
DT Antonio Johnson
DT Ego Ferguson
ILB Lamin Barrow
S Craig Loston

Go here to see the full list of players who worked out. Even a few former Tigers stopped by. OLB Sam Montgomery, who was a mid-round pick last year and then got cut, was on hand to show teams he wants back into the league. I don’t know if anyone will be interested in a guy who has openly acknowledged that he picks and chooses when to  try hard.

Landry had a bad day. I wrote a piece about him and trying to understand Pro Days over at ScoutsNotebook. That workout is definitely going to hurt Landry.

Gil Brandt has the numbers from the Pro Day.

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Geoff Mosher had an interesting update on the Marqise Lee visiting Philly story.

That’s more than just passing interest or due diligence. It doesn’t mean the Eagles love him, but they obviously are taking a very serious look at Lee.

Some readers had a question about Lee’s size. He was 192 at the Combine and 199 at his Pro Day. USC had him listed at 195 on his bio and they aren’t one of those schools that generally puts up wrong sizes. I’m guessing that Lee is normally in the 195 range. I would bet he went to Indy light trying to run well.

Lee isn’t a burner. Never has been. He runs hard and has good burst, but lacks ideal long speed. That’s okay. You don’t need elite speed to be a playmaker if you are quick and elusive. And 4.5 isn’t slow. Remember that Boldin ran 4.71 at his Combine. He was a bit heavier, but 4.7 is stil 4.7.

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The Eagles were at the Pro Day for Morgan State CB Joe Rankin. He has some size and athleticism, but is a late rounder or UDFA.

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Chip Kelly was a Penn State’s Pro Day and got to see WR Allen Robinson up close and personal. Robinson changed his body from the Combine, hoping to be faster and more athletic. In Indy he was 220 and ran 4.6. At the Pro Day, Robinson was down to 207 and ran in the 4.5 range. He isn’t a burner on tape. I am curious as to what size he played at this year. PSU had him listed at 210. Was he heavy at the Combine or had he bulked up intentionally?

I like Robinson for the Eagles. He has good RAC skills and would fit the offense well. The one concern is that he’s a marginal blocker, and that is probably a generous description. Kelly would only draft him if Robinson promised that he’d be a better blocker in the NFL.

I wouldn’t consider him at 22, but would think about him at pick 54.

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The Case for Marqis Lee

Posted: April 9th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 95 Comments »

The Eagles are going to be bringing in USC wideout Marqis Lee for a pre-draft visit. This is really good news to me. Lee is coming off an up and down season due to injuries, but he looked like a Top 10 type of player a year ago.

Lee isn’t the huge guy the Eagles have mostly looked at. He is “only” 6-0, 192. With that frame, he could bulk up to over 200 pounds and carry it well if the Eagles want him to do so. Lee only ran 4.52 at the Combine and he’s not a burner.

Put on the tape and you’ll see why Lee is so highly thought of. Check out this game vs Stanford from 2013.

That game shows Lee doing a lot of good things. You see that he’s got very good hands. You see great body control. He’s got the ability to separate from defenders in tight space. He will work the middle of the field and catches the ball well in traffic. He’s got terrific RAC skills. Lee is a willing blocker and has the size/strength to do a solid job.

Put on his 2012 highlights and you’ll see Lee healthy and making some dynamic plays.

He posted huge numbers in 2011 and 2012. Having a star QB like Matt Barkley helped him go 73-1143-11 and 118-1721-14. With a younger player in 2013 and nagging injuries slowing him down, Lee was only 57-791-4.

Lee would fit the Eagles offense. He can move around and be successful in a variety of roles. He could help as a RS. He will block. Lee is a RAC weapon and that would be perfect for Chip Kelly’s quick screens.

It is possible that him visiting is a smokescreen, but I tend to think Kelly saw just how good Lee was for 2 years and has definite interest. Kelly has acquired players that lit him up at Oregon. Lee was 8-187-1 in 2011 and 12-157-2 in 2012. I’d say that got Kelly’s attention in a big way.

I would be happy with the Eagles getting Lee at pick 22. Really good player who has the skills to succeed in the NFL.

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