Supplements Anyone?

Posted: July 11th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | No Comments »

The NFL’s Supplemental Draft is today. This is a strange year because there are actually talented options. Most years, the prospects aren’t that good on the field and their off-field issues make them undesirable. Most supplemental players don’t pan out.

This group is different.

CB Adonis Alexander – Virginia Tech
CB Sam Beal – Central Michigan
S Brandon Bryant – Mississippi State
RB Martayveus Carter – Grand Valley State
LB Bright Ugwoebu – Oregon State

Beal is the stud of the group, with Alexander coming next. I just don’t know that it makes sense for the Eagles to add a CB. That’s a spot where they already have good depth and youth. If the Eagles love one of them and he’s on the board when they think he’s great value, maybe they make a pick. Doesn’t seem likely to me.

The Eagles could use safety help. Bryant could make some sense. You can bet Joe Douglas, Andy Weidl and the scouting staff have been working hard to find out if he’s worth taking a chance on. The Eagles got a chance to watch several rookie safeties in the OTAs. They know if they like any of those guys or if this is still a position of major concern.

Here are some details on Bryant.

With representatives from 14 NFL clubs on hand, Bryant ran official 40-yard dash times of 4.45 and 4.52, per NFL.com senior analyst Gil Brandt, vertical jumped 34 inches and turned in a broad jump of 10-3. In agility drills, he ran 3-cone drill times of 7.26 and 7.52, with a 20-yard shuttle clocking of 4.23. He opted not to perform in the bench press. Scouts from the Atlanta FalconsOakland RaidersBaltimore RavensNew Orleans SaintsHouston TexansPittsburgh SteelersLos Angeles RamsCleveland BrownsNew York JetsWashington RedskinsIndianapolis ColtsJacksonville JaguarsSan Francisco 49ers and New York Giants were on hand for the morning workout. Among those, the Colts and Ravens were his favorite interviews.

“Those teams really stuck out to me the most. I had a great conversation with those guys,” Bryant said. “But wherever I get drafted or if it’s as a free agent, I just need an opportunity and I’ll make the most of it.”

The Eagles aren’t listed as being at his Pro Day. Could be that no one saw them or that they didn’t go. Bryant is reportedly leaving early because of academic issues. That could scare off the Eagles. They don’t require everyone to be Einstein, but if you can’t stay eligible at MSU…that’s not a good sign. That shows a lack of focus and effort more than anything.

Those workout numbers show good speed, but not good agility. The Eagles like safeties who have good man cover skills, which requires good agility. Bryant may not be their cup of tea.

Here is a fun highlight of Bryant in action.

Bright and Carter are limited prospects.

I don’t anticipate the Eagles making a pick, unless it is late and the value is just too good. They could aggressively go after Bryant as a UDFA to add to the safety mix.

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Fran Duffy offers his take on the players.

Good stuff as always from Fran.

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Things don’t sound so great for Shady McCoy. There is a lot of circumstantial evidence that would indicate he’s involved with the incident where someone broke in, assaulted a woman and stole specific items from her.

I hate this story. Shady was such a fun player to watch and he brought us a lot of joy when he was with the Eagles. He’s still fun to watch in Buffalo. I would love to think Shady is completely innocent, but he doesn’t have a strong track record and this incident sounds so specific and personal that it can’t be random. The best case scenario is that someone did this thinking it is what McCoy would want, even if he didn’t specifically request it. Even that doesn’t look particularly good for him. If true, what kind of people is he hanging around?

I hope I’m wrong and there is some angle that exonerates him totally, but it feels like that would be very unlikely unless you are delusional/frighteningly naive.

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The Best OT in the League?

Posted: July 9th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 1 Comment »

Jason Peters has been a stud LT since he arrived in Philly. He has been the foundation of the offensive line during that time. Peters is still very talented, but he’s no longer the team’s best OT. That title belongs to Lane Johnson. In fact, Johnson might be the best OT in the entire league.

Johnson is the complete package.

Size.

Skill.

Footwork.

Balance.

Power.

Athleticism.

And nasty.

https://twitter.com/fanaticsview/status/928820871065755648

Having a dominant OT means a lot to an offense. The Eagles are insanely lucky to have two of them when Peters is healthy.

Johnson might already be the best RT in Eagles history. Jon Runyan was good, but nowhere close to Johnson as an overall player. Runyan could be dominant as a run blocker, but his pass protection was an issue when going against a stud like Michael Strahan. Johnson shut down elite pass rushers all year long.

That’s incredible.

Johnson is 28 years old. If he takes care of himself, he could play at a high level for another 5 to 7 years. That would make Carson Wentz one happy QB.

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I have been a big fan of Johnson’s since I first saw him playing for Oklahoma back in 2012. Here is a lengthy post I wrote on him.

I closed with this line.

The sky is the limit for Johnson. If he works hard and develops to his full potential, he could be a Tony Boselli type of player. If Johnson doesn’t get that far, he can still be an above-average OT.

Boselli is the best OT I ever saw play so that is crazy praise from me. I’m shocked that I wrote that about him, but it tells you just how strongly I felt after studying him as a prospect.

Here is the first ever thing I wrote about Johnson, from September of 2012.

I was impressed with LT Lane Johnson.  He played RT last year, but has moved into Donald Stephenson’s old spot.  Johnson lists at 6-7, 303.  He’s got a slender, athletic build.  Good pass blocker.  They shuffled him around as the coaches looked at several players, but Johnson seemed to be the best LT to me.  Johnson was a TE and DL back in 2010. You can see his natural athleticism.

It’s always nice when you are actually right about a prospect.

I won’t be posting my Kevin Kolb notes…

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Josh Adams

Posted: July 7th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 4 Comments »

The Eagles wanted to find a RB in the draft, but with limited picks they weren’t able to find the right guy. They were aggressive in going after a UDFA they liked.

Interesting.

Josh Adams was a weird player in 2017. He ran for 1,430 yards and averaged 6.9 yards per carry. Those are impressive numbers. At the same time, he ran behind the best O-line in all of college football (two Top 10 picks) so there was almost always running room. How much of that success was Adams and how much was the OL?

The Eagles were willing to take a chance that Adams deserved a lot of the credit. They didn’t give him some mega-deal, but they obviously were aggressive in trying to add him. That shows more than casual interest.

Last year the Eagles had great success with UDFA runner Corey Clement. One of the things they did was have him lose weight to he would improve his quickness and speed. I’m curious what the Eagles will want Adams to do. He was 6-2, 213 at the Combine. He reportedly was up in the 220-range during the season. Will the Eagles want him down at 213 for athleticism or will they prefer he get up to 225 so he’s got more bulk and power?

Keep in mind that Corey Clement is 5-10. He needed to drop from 225 down to 215, or so. Adams has a bigger frame. The Eagles might prefer that he go heavier.

We didn’t get to see Adams in the OTAs. He was banged up. He remains a total mystery at this point.

Put on the USC game and I think you can see why the Eagles liked him.

Adams showed the ability to be a north-south runner and hit the hole. While he’s not explosive, he doesn’t get caught from behind when he’s out in space. Adams is a long-strider and just chews up yards when he’s out in the open.

He also showed the ability to run outside and then turn upfield. The Eagles like to mix in runs like that.

There were some plays where Adams showed good footwork and cutting ability. You’ll never mistake him for Shady McCoy, but he’s also got a bigger frame. The bigger you are, the harder it is to cut.

He runs behind his pads. He lowers his pad level at the point of contact. Adams is strong enough to break tackles and he uses his off-arm to fend off tacklers.

Supporters will say Adams is patient at the line of scrimmage. Critics will say he’s slow in traffic.

We’ll find out in August.

I think the Eagles are fascinated by his combination of size and speed. They do love big plays.

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Better Be Good

Posted: July 5th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 1 Comment »

There is a lot of interest and excitement with the Eagles secondary this year, especially the CBs. How do you use Ronald Darby, Jalen Mills, Sidney Jones, Rasul Douglas, De’Vante Bausby and Avonte Maddox? Just how good can Jones be?

Last year the Eagles didn’t exactly face Murderer’s Row when it came to receiving corps. This year will be different. The corners better be good because they have quite a challenge headed their way.

ATL – Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu, Calvin Ridley

TB – Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, Adam Humphries, Chris Godwin

MIN – Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs

NYG – Odell Beckham, Sterling Shepard, Cody Latimer, Evan Engram (hybrid TE)

LAR – Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, Josh Reynolds

HOU – DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller, Bruce Ellington

There are several other teams who have a mixture of talented pieces that could develop into good groups.

Not every one of those receivers is an elite player, but as a whole those groups are talented. You are going to have tough matchups.

We should get an accurate read on just how good Jalen Mills is. Sidney Jones will be tested right away. Ronald Darby better be careful when jumping routes against these guys.

The Eagles have good safeties and they have good pass rushers. Those will obviously be key factors in shutting down opposing passing games. Will teams copy the Giants quick passing game to counter the Eagles pass rush? If they do, that somewhat negates really good receivers. (Well, if your DBs actually make tackles it does.)

It is a good thing the Eagles have a talented set of CBs this year. They also should have a better feel for things. Mills has a full year of starting under his belt. Darby knows the system and his teammates. Last year he was learning on the fly. Jones lacks on-field experience, but he won’t be like a normal rookie. Sitting in meetings helped him to learn the scheme and what to really expect from NFL receivers. Bausby was with the Chiefs at this time last year. Douglas was a raw rookie trying to carve out a role. He’s still trying to carve out a role, but he’s shown NFL ability and that will give his confidence a major boost.

It is going to be interesting to see how the defense performs this year. There is plenty of room for optimism, but it will be a major challenge when you look at the QBs and receivers the Eagles will be facing.

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There are a couple of things we know about this group. They’ll be fearless. Jim Schwartz only wants DBs that are incredibly confident and who play that way. He’s got no use for a CB that always plays it safe or is scared to get burned.

We also know these DBs will make plays. Schwartz pushes them to take chances. He is willing to live with mistakes as long as those moment are countered by good ones. Darby, Mills and Patrick Robinson all had at least 3 picks last year. Douglas had a pair, and he played sparingly.

https://twitter.com/WeAreDBNation1/status/1001901459661905920

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More on Sustaining Success

Posted: July 4th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 2 Comments »

Winning a Super Bowl is career-defining for players, coaches and front office executives. Jon Gruden led Tampa to a SB win in 2002. Amazingly, that is his last playoff win and somehow we’re still sure he’s a brilliant coach.

You really need context to truly understand what a Super Bowl title means. You need to see what happens after a championship to find out if that was an anomaly or part of an extended run of success.

We can try to judge Doug Pederson and the Eagles right now, but we don’t have all the facts. He could turn out to be a football genius that will have a lasting impact on the game. Or he could be Mike McCarthy, a coach who won it all, but largely did so because he had the right players at the right time. I think Pederson is a special coach, but we won’t know for sure until some time has gone by.

I wrote a piece on the challenge of sustaining success for PE.com.

If Pederson can keep the Eagles winning, he will carve out a piece of football history. Having an elite QB like Carson Wentz gives him a chance to be part of something special. When you factor in Pederson’s gameplanning ability and leadership skills, it sure feels like good things are going to happen.

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One other aspect of sustaining success is having the right guys finding talent. This could give the Eagles another advantage.

The Eagles have a terrific scouting staff, led by Joe Douglas and Andy Weidl. They have helped to stock the roster with young talent. The Eagles don’t win it all last year without rookies Derek Barnett and Corey Clement.

Dwayne Joseph and his pro personnel staff have hit some major home runs in free agency, both with big money players and bargain buys. From Alshon Jeffery to Bryan Braman, veteran additions came up huge last season.

Howie Roseman gives the team an X-factor with his ability to make trades and creatively find talent. No one thought the Eagles would be adding Michael Bennett this offseason. Moving back to the middle of the second round and still getting Dallas Goedert? I would never have guessed that possible.

Roseman and Pederson are very much on the same page right now and that makes a huge difference. There is no fight for control of the team. Everyone does their job and they get to share in the glory. That may change down the road, but this is a united organization right now and that should help the Eagles to keep winning.

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