Hints?

Posted: April 6th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on Hints?

Dave Spadaro can be a good source of hints during the offseason. He had a couple of interesting things to say in a piece he wrote for Bleeding Green Nation.

  • Running back? Loved LeGarrette Blount, but Corey Clement and Jay Ajayi deserve more reps. And this is a strong running back class. It would not surprise if the Eagles dive into the running back draft class. Maybe even high.

High? That usually means a 1st or 2nd round pick. Maybe an early pick in the 3rd round. The Eagles only “high” pick is #32. Could the Eagles go for a RB there?

That wouldn’t shock me. The team has shown interest in LSU star Derrius Guice. Sony Michel from Georgia would be really interesting. Ronald Jones is a RB that some people love. Many of you will groan at the idea of a RB in the 1st round, but what if they took the runner at 33 or 35? Those are 2nd round picks, but not far away from 32 at all. If the team has a RB they love and wants to pair with Carson Wentz for the next several years, then I can live with taking one at 32.

It would have to be a player the team loves. With Jay Ajayi and Corey Clement already in place, just drafting a RB at 32 means this is a player you feel is just too good to pass up. This has to be a difference-maker.

I would prefer the Eagles go in a different direction at 32, but I can live with that pick if it is a player they feel that strongly about.

The other nugget of interest.

  • Are the Eagles done at linebacker? I say no. Corey Nelson and Paul Worrilow will be given chances to challenge for playing time with incumbents Mychal Kendricks and Jordan Hicks, respectively. But the draft has some players at linebacker. Could be somewhere in that second day, perhaps.

The Eagles drafting a LB wouldn’t be a surprise at all.

The mention of a second day pick is interesting, though. That is the 2nd and 3rd rounds…where the Eagles currently have no picks. Maybe Dave is just being casual with his draft talk and really means a mid-round pick. Or maybe Dave has heard talk in the building that the team intends on moving back from 32 into the 2nd round. Or possibly that the team is trying to move up from one of their 4th round picks into the 3rd.

Nothing concrete here, but interesting.

As for wanting a LB, Jordan Hicks is in the final year of his deal and has injury issues. The team could look for a player to put behind him. Nigel Bradham just signed a big deal, but the team can get out of it. If they can find and develop a cheap replacement for him, maybe they do that. There isn’t a need at LB in 2018, but there could be in 2019.

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Jimmy Bama shared his thoughts on Richard Rodgers.

He put together a video that shows all of Rodgers targets from 2016. Last year was a waste with Aaron Rodgers being hurt and the Packers passing game completely falling apart.

You can see that Richard Rodgers has some issues. There is a reason he signed a cheap, one-year deal. Thankfully, the Eagles don’t need him to be a key player. They need him to be an effective role player.

The Eagles will be adding a rookie to the mix so Rodgers isn’t guaranteed the #2 spot. There will be competition.

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What to do at 32?

Posted: April 5th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on What to do at 32?

The Eagles brought back most of a Super Bowl-winning team. They have done a good job of adding talent at some spots and finding solid replacements at others. If they didn’t add anyone else this offseason, the Eagles would have a pretty darn good team. The roster is just about complete.

That gives them freedom as they prepare for the draft. The Eagles can take a TE at 32 if they love some prospect, but they don’t have to force anything. At its best, the draft is a way to build your roster for the future. You want to add the best players possible rather than filling roster holes. Need is a factor in decision-making, but you want to focus on talent more than position.

I wrote a piece for PE.com on five players who make sense for the Eagles at pick 32.

I had players from five different positions. It feels like DB makes the most sense position-wise, but the team has flexibility. We’ll find out which player they really want. There is the possibility of moving back (or up). Howie Roseman has mentioned how few picks the team has and that he would like to add more. The draft is still weeks away and plenty can happen between now and then.

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Bo Wulf wrote a piece on TE the Eagles could target in the draft.

Mr. Wulf, America’s leading ageist, left South Carolina star Hayden Hurst off the list. Hurst will turn 25 in August and that’s just too old for Mr. Wulf.

Any list without Hurst is immediately awful. He is the top TE prospect in the draft for all cool people.

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I’d like to see Bill Belichick do that.

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Hughes would come in and compete for the slot corner role right away. He’s got terrific man cover skills.

Hughes is the kind of player Jim Schwartz would love because he’s a playmaker. Hughes doesn’t want to break-up a pass, he wants to pick it off. Hughes doesn’t just want to catch the ball and go down, he wants to score. He picked off 4 passes and averaged 23 yards per INT return.

Hughes is also a skilled returner. He returned 2 kickoffs and 1 punt for TDs in 2017. That’s great production for a returner.

There are some character questions with Hughes. He began his career at UNC, but left after an incident in his freshman year. The Eagles just hired Gunter Brewer from UNC so they can pick his brain for thoughts on whether Hughes is worth taking a chance on. He certainly has big time talent.

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Busy Day

Posted: April 4th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on Busy Day

The Eagles continue to tweak their roster.

For those of you who aren’t fluent in Moron, Jimmy Bama was trying to let you know the Eagles signed TE Richard Rodgers to a one-year deal. Jimmy no write fancy.

After releasing Brent Celek and losing Trey Burton in free agency, the Eagles were thin at TE. Zach Ertz is great and one of the best in the league, but you need multiple good TEs. The Eagles have shown interest in a lot of draft prospects, but relying on a rookie to be the primary backup at a key position would not have been ideal.

The Eagles will now have good competition at TE. Rodgers will battle Billy Brown, Adam Zaruba and Joshua Perkins for a spot and/or playing time. The Eagles will likely draft a TE as well and he will also compete. If the rookie wins the backup job, so be it. The point is that no one will get handed the job.

Rodgers is 26 and has four seasons under his belt, all with the Packers. They spent a 3rd round pick on him, but Rodgers never developed into the player they hoped. His best season was 2015, when he went 58-510-8. That stat line looks pretty good, but only averaging 8.8 yards per catch is an issue.

Rodgers has solid size at 6-4, 255. He has excellent quickness, whether releasing into a pass route or coming off the ball to block. He is slow. You don’t want Rodgers running downfield very much. He does have very good hands and can make some incredible catches. Rodgers is an effective blocker. He’s not going to be mistaken for a 6th O-linemen very much, but he gets the job done. You see good effort. He gets a wide base and uses his hands well.

How does Rodgers compare to Celek? He’s not as good a blocker, but might be a slight upgrade as a receiver. Rodgers is still in his prime and has the potential to improve. Green Bay has a mixed track record with skill player development. The Eagles have had interest in Rodgers for a while. TEs coach Justin Peelle was at his Pro Day at Cal to check Rodgers out back in the spring of 2014. Maybe Peelle and the Eagles offensive system can get the most out of Rodgers.

Rodgers can help if the Eagles ever need a Hail Mary.

https://twitter.com/HailRodgers12/status/981637267721682946

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Paul Worrilow met the media on Wednesday. We learned…he’s from Delaware and has always wanted to play for the Eagles.

That’s about it.

Worrilow did say he can play MLB or OLB and he will be a core player on STs.

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An era has ended.

Goode was a solid STer and somewhat effective backup. Worrilow should be an upgrade on him on defense. We’ll have to wait and see about STs.

Interesting that Frank Reich brought in a former Eagle. Reich saw the importance of a good locker room and players that embraced their role. Goode doesn’t think he’s some star LB. He knows he’s a backup and role player. Guys like that are good for chemistry and set a good example for other players.

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This was weird.

The Eagles want to be cheaper and younger at P.

Jones is still good and will likely find a home somewhere. I’m glad he was able to go out on top with the Eagles.

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Eagles Get Some Insurance

Posted: April 3rd, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on Eagles Get Some Insurance

Howie Roseman and Joe Douglas are fine-tuning the roster to have the Eagles ready for another run at a Super Bowl season. Unlike 2011 when the team focused on talent more than fit, this year the Eagles are taking their time and trying to build the right roster.

Worrilow started in Atlanta from 2013 to 2015. He was a productive MLB for the Falcons. They replaced him in 2016 with Deion Jones, who turned out to be a terrific player. Worrilow then went to Detroit last year and was a backup.

The Eagles see Worrilow as insurance for Jordan Hicks. The backup MLB in 2016 was Stephen Tulloch, who couldn’t run any more. Last year it was Dannell Ellerbe, who also couldn’t run very well. Worrilow ran a 4.59 at his Pro Day and he’s got the kind of speed the Eagles would like in a backup MLB.

Hicks played in 8 games as a rookie and 7 last year. He did start all 16 in 2016. Hicks had some injury issues in college so it is fair to be concerned with his durability. Ellerbe and Tulloch were poor backups, mainly due to health issues of their own. Worrilow is healthy and has the movement skills the Eagles want.

This move is a sign that Najee Goode and Joe Walker probably won’t be Eagles. Goode is still a free agent. He was a solid STer and somewhat effective backup LB. Worrilow is the same age as Goode, but has much more starting experience.

Walker is still on the roster and could play his way into a job, but he’s going to have to work his butt off. Walker looked very good in the summer of 2016, but got hurt and his athleticism wasn’t all the way back last year. The Eagles would love for Walker to look like his 2016 self again, but a team with Super Bowl hopes can’t roll the dice on a player in his situation.

Worrilow isn’t a player you want as your starting MLB going into a season. He doesn’t have ideal instincts, which is a critical trait for a LB. He doesn’t always do a good job of taking on blockers. Worrilow needs to be more aggressive with his hands. He is at his best on the run, whether shooting gaps into the backfield or playing in space and attacking a runner/receiver in front of him. He has good pop when he hits. Solid tackler.

The Eagles now have good depth at LB.

SAM – Nigel Bradham ….. Kamu Grugier-Hill
MLB – Jordan Hicks ……. Paul Worrilow ……… Joe Walker
WLB – Corey Nelson ……. Nate Gerry

You’ll notice I left off Mychal Kendricks. It feels like he is almost certain to be dealt, whether now or in the summer.

I expect the team to add a LB in the draft or at least as a priority UDFA.

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Speaking of LBs and the draft…the Eagles have already brought a trio of LBs to Philly for visits.

Leighton Vander Esch
Darius Leonard
Jermaine Carter

LBs coach Ken Flajole was at Vander Esch’s Pro Day today and worked him out. It seems like the Eagles are very interested. The only problem…it doesn’t seem likely that Vander Esch gets to 32. Is this a player the Eagles could move up for? That would be wild.

Leonard is a 2nd or 3rd round target. Carter is more of a late round guy. All of them can play in the middle.

Vander Esch is 6-4, 256 and athletic. He might remind you a bit of Brian Urlacher.

You can see why NFL teams are really high on this guy.

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Misc Eagles Draft Talk

Posted: April 2nd, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 1 Comment »

There isn’t one compelling story tonight so let’s talk about the draft.

Should the Eagles have interest in Shaquem Griffin?

Sure. They want to spend mid-round picks to build up LB depth. Griffin is likely a 4th round pick so he would make sense. I hope he goes somewhere else, though. Griffin is at his best right at the LOS. He is quick, slippery and deceptively powerful. I hope he goes to a coach who gets creative with his LBs and will blitz/rush Griffin on a regular basis. Playing off the ball and in space, Griffin is good, but he’s not special. Let him attack and he will make plays.

Is Kalen Ballage worth Duce Staley’s time and effort? 

100 percent…maybe. Ballage has incredible potential. He was fantastic at the Senior Bowl. Look at Tony Pauline’s description of his Pro Day.

The big story out of ASU’s pro day is Kalen Ballage and what some are calling the best pro-day workout they’ve ever witnessed from a running back. Ballage timed as fast as 4.35 in the 40 while a few watches had him in the low-4.4s. He hit 37 inches in the vertical jump, a vast improvement from his mark of 32.5 inches at the combine.

We’re talking about a RB that is 6-2, 222. He is fast, athletic and skilled. And powerful.

He caught 82 passes in his career. He is a good KOR. So what’s not to love?

Ballage ran for 1,984 yards and 27 TDs in four years. Part of that is being on a dysfunctional Arizona State team, but part of that is on Ballage.

Staley went to ASU to work him out on Pro Day. I’m sure Duce wanted to get a feel for whether Ballage is talented, but soft or a guy who had a so-so college career, but who can become a monster in the pros. Some guys blossom in the NFL. Ballage has that kind of talent. You just don’t want to waste a pick on him if you don’t think he will embrace pro football and work his butt off.

Staley got the most out of an odd backfield last year. Ballage has more natural talent than any of the 2017 Eagles RBs. If Duce thinks he can get Ballage to play to his potential, he would be a major steal in the 4th round.

Are there any underrated TEs prospects who should interest the Eagles?

The more I watch Tyler Conklin of Central Michigan, the more I like him. He goes about 6-3, 252. He’s got some Trey Burton in his game, but Trey was a far better athlete. Conklin is bigger and is a better blocker.

CMU lined him up in the slot and outside. They used him as a weapon in the Red Zone. I don’t see him as a starting TE in the NFL, but could be a good #2 and would fit the Eagles. Should be a 4th or 5th round pick.

https://twitter.com/fanaticsview/status/798754886657536000

Heckuva catch.

Is there a Penn State player the Eagles should be interested in? 

MLB Jason Cabinda would be a great locker room fit, but I don’t think he’s athletic enough for what the Eagles want in a LB.

TE Mike Gesicki is an athletic freak, but he’s more of a WR/TE hybrid and isn’t a great fit for the Eagles roster.

One guy who would make sense is CB Grant Haley. He can play in the slot or outside. He is a good athlete and plays on STs. Haley w0uld be a late round target, but could come in right away and challenge for the nickel spot. He’s only 5-9, 190, but that’s fine for playing in the slot.

If Saquon Barkley falls to 32, I guess the Eagles could take a chance on him. I hear he’s pretty good.

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