Updated – Visits, Workouts and Meetings

Posted: April 9th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 262 Comments »

Here is the roundup of what we know in terms of visits, workouts and interest.

VISITS TO PHILLY

WR John Ross
WR Corey Davis
WR Mike Williams
WR Shelton Gibson
WR Chris Godwin
RB Leonard Fournette
RB Dalvin Cook
OL Ethan Cooper

DE Ryan Anderson
LB Reuben Foster
S Malik Golden
S Jamal Adams
S/CB Obi Melifonwu
CB Marlon Humphrey
CB Kevin King

CB Gareon Conley … not definite, but some great detective work by BGN reader

WORKOUTS / MEETINGS

WR Chris Godwin – Penn State
WR Fabian Guerra – Fairmont State
WR/RB Curtis Samuel – Ohio State … private workout
RB Aaron Jones – UTEP … private workout
RB Jahad Thomas – Temple
RB Elijah Hood – UNC … Duce Staley ran his Pro Day
RB T.J. Logan – UNC … Duce Staley ran his Pro Day
RB Matt Dayes – NC State … Duce Staley at his Pro day
RB Dalvin Cook – Florida State … private workout
TE Blake Jarwin  – Oklahoma State
TE Michael Roberts – Toledo
TE Adam Shaheen – Ashland
TE Evan Engram – Ole Miss … TE coach at his Pro Day
OT Olakunle Salako – Oklahoma State
OT Antonio Garcia – Troy … Jeff Stoutland at his Pro Day
OL Ethan Cooper – IUP
OL Forrest Lamp – Western Kentucky … Jeff Stoutland ran his Pro Day workout
OL Dan Feeney – Indiana … OL coach at his Pro Day
QB Nathan Peterman – Pitt

DT Elijah Qualls – Washington
DT Ryan Glasgow – Michigan … visit/workout
DT A.J. Wolf – Duke … Eagles scout ran his Pro Day workout
DL Chris Wormley – Michigan … private workout
DE Jordan Willis – Kansas State … DL coach at his Pro Day
DE T.J. Watt – Wisconsin … DL coach at his Pro Day
DE Derek Rivers – Youngstown State …assistant DL coach at his Pro Day
DE Avery Moss – Youngstown State … assistant DL coach at his Pro Day
DE Tarell Basham – Ohio … DL coach at his Pro Day
DE Keionta Davis – Tenn-Chattanooga … DL coach at his Pro Day
DE DeMarcus Walker – Florida State … DL coach helped run his Pro Day workout
LB Brandon Bell – Penn State … has visit, but local kid so not as meaningful
LB Jalen Reeves-Mabin – Tennessee … LB coach at his Pro Day
CB Chidobe Awuzie – Colorado
CB Corn Elder – Miami … DB coach worked him out
CB Damontae Kazee – SDSU … private workout
CB Cam Sutton – Tennessee … DB coach ran his workout

MISC

QB Garrett Fugate – Central Missouri … Showing interest
LB/DE Harvey Langi – BYU … Showing interest per this article
DE Bryan Cox – Florida … Showing interest
RB Christian McCaffrey – Stanford … Showing interest
PK Simon Mathiesen – NW Missouri … Showing interest

Multiple people at Oklahoma State Pro Day

Multiple people at Wisconsin Pro Day

Multiple people at UCLA Pro Day

Multiple people at Florida State Pro Day

Multiple people at Miami Pro Day

Multiple people at Tennessee Pro Day

Multiple people at Penn State Pro Day, but that’s somewhat local

Small School Pro Days (more noteworthy than a scout at Stanford or Florida)

Scout at UNC-Charlotte
Scout at Richmond
Scout at JMU
Scout at Harvard
Scout at Missouri State

*****

I wrote a piece for PE.com on some players who are good draft targets for the Eagles. I focused on guys outside the 1st round.

OFFENSE

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Renting vs Buying

Posted: April 9th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 7 Comments »

The Eagles have a lot of short term contract situations going on. Alshon Jeffery is here on a 1-year deal. The team traded for DT Tim Jernigan, who is in the final year of his deal. Chris Long essentially signed a 1-year contract. Patrick Robinson and Chance Warmack both came to Philly on 1-year deals. That’s a lot of rentals. Is that a bad thing?

Ideally you want to have a team stay together for several years so the players can develop chemistry. Stability is a good thing. Unfortunately roster changes are a fact of life in the NFL. There is a lot of turnover when there is a coaching change. The new staff has to find players that fit their schemes. There are also some situations where personalities don’t mesh well and that leads to changes.

Doug Pederson didn’t come in with the idea of completely rebuilding the team. He made changes where he felt they were needed. Some coaches go overboard with wanting to turn over the roster and fill it with their guys. Pederson wanted to win more than go on an ego trip so he kept a good number of coaches and plenty of players. He wanted stability.

Still, different schemes require different players. The Eagles made some changes last year and are continuing that process this offseason. They would love to only be adding young players and for those guys to be signing long deals, but that’s just not reality. First, there isn’t enough cap space to sign everyone to a big deal. Also, there aren’t always the right players available to make commitments to. Sometimes you have to rent.

Understand that these situations all are a bit different.

The Eagles wanted Jeffery long term. He and his agent wanted a short deal. Jeffery would love to have a big year and hit the market again next year. The Eagles will talk to him about an extension over and over. They want him to love Philly and realize this is a place to stay.

The Eagles like Chris Long. But reality says he’s 32 and nearing the end of his career. Players take great care of themselves these days so the old timetables are no longer set in stone. If Long plays well, he’ll stay for more than a year. The Eagles would love that to happen, but structured his deal so there is flexibility.

Robinson is here as a band-aid. He has experience and was cheap. Warmack is here for redemption. He’s hoping Jeff Stoutland can save his career.

Jernigan looks like a rental because he is in the final year of his deal. The Eagles were very happy to land him, because he’s young and they think he’s very talented and a great fit for Jim Schwartz’s defense. The Eagles will talk to him about an extension. They haven’t seen him on the field yet, but I think they are willing to roll the dice and sign him to a deal. They would love to have a talented DT to pair with Fletcher Cox. They hoped that would be Bennie Logan, but his price tag and their’s were very different.

Jernigan is younger than Logan and a better scheme fit. He is a good pass rusher and Schwartz places a priority on getting to the QB. I think the Eagles will be aggressive in trying to work on a deal with him. There is risk because he’s an outsider, but Joe Douglas and Andy Weidl were in Baltimore when they drafted Jernigan so it isn’t like the Eagles are flying completely blind.

If the Eagles can find a way to keep Jeffery and Jernigan around, these moves will look even better than they do now. The Eagles are renting them, but they definitely want to buy. All about finding the right price. The deal has to make sense to the Eagles and to the player.

*****

Let’s hope this timetable is accurate.

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Oh No, Beau

Posted: April 8th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 64 Comments »

Looks like a really good thing that the Eagles made the trade for Tim Jernigan.

That isn’t good news.

Allen had a chance to compete for a starting job this season. Odds are that Jernigan would have beaten him out, but you never know. All players want is a fair chance to win a job. Now Allen will be focusing on rehabbing his arm instead of improving his game. He can still be a valuable part of the DT rotation, if he does get healthy and is ready to go with little practice time.

The starters should be okay. Fletcher Cox and Tim Jernigan are talented, veteran DTs. After them, things are pretty open. Destiny Vaeao played 268 snaps as a rookie. That is about 16 per game. By comparison, Allen played 412 snaps, which included 3 starts. Is Vaeao ready to play a lot more? Can he play well?

The guy who benefits from this is Aziz Shittu. The Eagles list him at 6-2, 288. That’s his college size. You have to think he would have bulked up a little since getting into the NFL. His game is always going to be more about quickness than power, but a bit more bulk could help him handle NFL competition. Shittu flashed ability last summer. It will be interesting to see if he’s better this year and can really compete for a roster spot.

Justin Hamilton is also on the roster. He has good size at 6-2, 315. We just have to see if Hamilton is talented enough to make his case for a roster spot.

The Eagles could look for a cheap veteran to add. Roy Miller would be ideal, but he’s rehabbing an Achilles injury. Sen’Derrick Marks would be interesting at the right price. The team could look at Corbin Bryant, who played for Jim Schwartz in Buffalo back in 2014. Bryant was a bad fit for Rex Ryan’s defense and struggled last season. He might be worth giving a cheap deal to. He does have experience in the scheme. If he pans out, fine. If he doesn’t, you cut him.

Obviously the Eagles could just focus on the draft. This isn’t a great class of DTs, but there are some players that fit what the Eagles are looking for. I think Chris Wormley would be a real interesting target in the 2nd round. Montravious Adams is another player I love who could be in that area.

There are quite a few mid-round guys of interest: Elijah Qualls, Jaleel Johnson, Ryan Glasgow, Jarron Jones and Carlos Watkins. Let’s not forget that Allen was a 7th round pick. The Eagles could find a player at the bottom of the draft who could come in and help with depth.

Allen’s injury isn’t the end of the world. Heck, it probably won’t even be the end of the season for him. But it does create uncertainty at a key position. If there is one definite upside to this it is the timing. The Eagles have some free agent targets left. They also have the draft. We’ll find out just how worried they are by the moves they make in the next month.

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Moving Up?

Posted: April 7th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 212 Comments »

The Eagles won the coin flip and secured the 14th overall pick. That’s a terrific spot to be in such a deep, talented draft.

Howie Roseman isn’t afraid to move up or down if he wants someone or feels the value isn’t there. He made the huge move last year all the way up to the second pick so the Eagles could draft Carson Wentz. Will there be anyone he covets this year?

Marshon Lattimore is my top rated CB. There is some talk that he could slide a little due to some injury questions. I’m sure the Eagles love him as a player, but have no idea if they have any concerns with him or not.

We know the team had a visit with Jamal Adams, the star DB from LSU. The team checked out the top trio of receivers. We don’t know who they love, but they’re at least interested in all 3. We think the Eagles brought in CB Gareon Conley for a visit.

The Eagles could covet any (or none) of those guys.

Last year the Eagles had to pay a king’s ransom to move up. They won’t be making a move like that this year. I do wonder if the Eagles could call up the Buffalo Bills and talk. Sean McDermott needs good LBs. His projected starter at WLB is Ramon Humber. The Eagles could offer him Mychal Kendricks. I think Kendricks would be a player that McDermott could love. He would instantly be the most athletic LB on that roster and would be a big help to their Nickel and Dime packages.

Would adding a player like that be worth moving back 4 spots?

The Eagles are going to have good choices at pick 14. They would be even better up at number 10. The Eagles could also talk to the Saints about a swap involving Kendricks to get to pick 11.

If you could clear up some salary cap space and move up to get one of the best corners in the draft at the same time, that would be a pretty darn good scenario. Moving Kendricks would create a hole on the roster, but the Eagles aren’t going to play him much this year so signing a cheap vet or adding a late round pick there is a reasonable solution. There is always the concern about Nigel Bradham getting suspended or what happens if either of the LBs get hurt. Kendricks is a good insurance policy.

Those are the kinds of tough decisions GMs have to make. You are going to be thin somewhere. You can’t be 2-deep at every spot on the roster. Going thin at LB to help bolster the DL and secondary does make sense. If Hicks and Bradham do stay healthy, you’re good to go at LB. Depth would be the issue.

I don’t think the Eagles want to move back, but if a team made a good offer and the Eagles were just dropping back a handful of spots, they would stay inside the Top 20. There could be some wisdom in that. Some people have pointed out that moving back didn’t work in other drafts, but that usually involved the Eagles going from 22 to 26 or from 25 to 31…something like that. If you stay inside the Top 20, you are likely to land a player you have a high grade on.

If I had to guess, I’d say the Eagles are likely to stay put. 14 is a good spot and the team doesn’t want to give up picks. But nothing is certain with Roseman running the show. Joe Douglas and his guys scouted and identified the key targets. Now Roseman has to help the Eagles land as many of them as possible. That could mean going up or down.

Stay tuned.

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Updated Depth Chart

Posted: April 5th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 231 Comments »

The Eagles have made several moves in the last week. Let’s take a look at the updated depth chart.

WR Alshon Jeffery … Nelson Agholor
WR Torrey Smith … Dorial Green-Beckham
WR Jordan Matthews … Paul Turner
QB Carson Wentz … Nick Foles
RB Darren Sproles … Wendell Smallwood
TE Brent Celek …….. Zach Ertz ……. Trey Burton
LT Jason Peters …… Matt Tobin
LG Isaac Seumalo … Allen Barbre
OC Jason Kelce ……. Stefen Wisniewski
RG Brandon Brooks … Chance Warmack
RT Lane Johnson …… Halapoulivaati Vaitai

DE Brandon Graham …. Marcus Smith
DT Fletcher Cox ……….. Destiny Vaeao
DT Timmy Jernigan ….. Beau Allen
DE Vinny Curry ………… Chris Long
WB Mychal Kendricks … Kamu Grugier-Hill
MB Jordan Hicks ……….. Joe Walker
SB Nigel Bradham ……… Najee Goode
SS Malcolm Jenkins …… Chris Maragos
FS Rodney McLeod ….. Jaylen Watkins
CB Patrick Robinson …. Dwayne Gratz
CB Jalen Mills ………….. C.J. Smith
NB Ron Brooks ………… Aaron Grymes

P Donnie Jones
K Caleb Sturgis
LS Jon Dorenbos

This isn’t exactly the ’85 Bears. but there is plenty to feel good about, especially considering the Eagles still have the draft to build on this with. I highlighted the key new players and these are guys that can make a difference.

One of the disappointments last year was the DL. Connor Barwin and Bennie Logan are great guys and they were easy to cheer for, but neither of them fit the new system nearly as well as I thought they would. I wasn’t expecting dominance, but they combined for 29 starts and just 7.5 sacks. It would be one thing if they were getting tons of attention by blockers, but that wasn’t the case. Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox were the guys teams had to gameplan for. Sacks aside, Logan only had 5 TFLs and Barwin struggled vs the run.

Jernigan is a better pass rusher than Logan. Hopefully he will be a better overall fit in the new scheme. Logan was an excellent 3-4 NT and I thought the new system would help him to make more plays, but that really wasn’t the case. Logan is back in the 3-4 and should excel for the Chiefs. Special players like Cox and thrive in any system. Other guys need fit to help them play their best.

Long should be an improvement over Barwin. Long knows how to play in the Wide-9 front. He remains a solid pass rusher. He is older than Barwin, but that’s not critical for someone who will be a rotational player (starter or not).

I don’t think I need to say much about the WRs. Jeffery is a stud. Smith has been a good starter in the past. Agholor and DGB are outstanding underachievers. Let’s hope that changes and/or that it isn’t contagious.

Foles is a better backup QB than Chase Daniel, but I hope he doesn’t get a chance to prove it. If Foles has to start a few games, I would certainly have a lot more confidence in him than Daniel. Foles has shown he can be an effective starter in this league. His time in STL was awful, but he’s only partly to blame for that. He did some good things here in 2013-14 and I would expect him to be solid if he has to play in the future.

Warmack is a lottery ticket. Either Jeff Stoutland will push the right buttons or Warmack will be looking for a job. I have no feel for how this will play out.

CB remains the biggest hole on the roster. Patrick Robinson has a good chance to be a starter, but he’s not such a compelling player that he can count on anything. The Eagles will add at least a pair of CBs in the draft (barring a miracle). The coaches will give everyone a shot to win a job. They want good CB play and don’t care if it is a rookie, C.J. Smith or Robinson. They just want reliable starters.

RB is also a hole, but not nearly the same way. The Eagles have good role players at that spot, but need a starter. A rookie RB can come in and make a difference right away. That is a position that must be addressed, but I’m not as worried about it as I am CB. Finding corners is tough. This is a great class, but half or more of them will bust. That’s just the mathematical reality of the situation.

I can’t wait to see what the Eagles do 3 weeks from now. They have a chance to really help this roster. Find an impact DB and a good RB and the Eagles are looking like a playoff team.

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