Mayock’s Take

Posted: April 23rd, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 199 Comments »

Mike Mayock offered some thoughts on the Eagles and the draft recently on a conference call with the media.  PE.com has the comments.

“The first guy I looked at was Goff,” said Mayock when discussing when he started watching film on the pair. “After I watched four games of Goff I said ‘I think this is going to be my first guy. I think this is going to be my top quarterback.’ I liked everything about Jared Goff. I thought he was a top ten pick in just about any draft.”

“About a week later, I put in the first tape of Carson Wentz and it was against Northern Iowa, and I remember it like it was yesterday, I was like ‘Holy crap, that is a great tape. I hope the next one is as good.’ And the next one was as good, as was the next one, so right away I knew that we had a first-round quarterback on our hands and you needed to figure the kid out. Senior Bowl, best quarterback there. Combine, outstanding. The pro day really sold me on the kid just because of the way he was with his coaches and teammates and the respect he earned, the intelligence of the kid, the intangibles that helped make him, so he’s always been my number one quarterback since back in the fall. He crossed off every checkmark since.”

After going through all of the tape and getting to know both of the top quarterback prospects, Mayock came away very, very impressed with the duo, so much so that he even dealt with his fair share of criticism for how highly he regarded them.

“I took a lot of abuse a month or two ago for saying that I though Wentz and Goff were every bit in the conversation with last year’s Mariota and Winston, and I still believe it and apparently two other NFL teams do if they’re willing to give up that kind of fire power to move up to get those guys,” said Mayock.

While Mayock has studied each quarterback extensively, he’s spent a lot of time with Wentz, examing how he handles himself both on and off the football field. When asked if Wentz would fit well in Philadelphia if he is indeed the No. 2 pick, Mayock sees a good fit.

“People came away (from the Scouting Combine) buzzing about this Carson Wentz kid,” Mayock explained. “I go to his pro day in Fargo, North Dakota. I spend a day and a half. His teammates love him. His coaching staff love him. He has more freedom at the line of scrimmage for a college quarterback than anybody I’ve seen since Andrew Luck.

“He changes the plays, he’s never gotten a B in school, he’s intelligent, he’s got a great work ethic, he loves the game of football and if you’re talking about having a passion and being the face of a franchise, this is the kid and I do believe he could handle Philadelphia because he’ll work so hard and be so humble, I think the blue-collar Philly fans (would) love him.”

Man, Mayock really loves Wentz.

Part of the fun of talking about the draft is the different opinions on guys. I prefer Jared Goff over Wentz, but respect the heck out of Mayock and like the fact he sees this differently than me.

Mayock does make a compelling case for Wentz. The description above reminds me a lot of Andrew Luck.

Good QB
Good leader
Good student
Good person
Good athlete

That sounds like a guy you would want to build your franchise around.

Luck was different because he played at Stanford and also had been around the game of football his whole life (his father Oliver was an NFL QB). Luck had tremendous pressure on him throughout his career. That helped prepare him for life in the NFL. Wentz flew under the radar in high school and for most of college. He’s adjusted well to the spotlight, but things will only get more intense once he’s picked and a particular fanbase begins to live and die with him on a daily basis.

Mayock was asked to share his thoughts on possible OL targets for the 3rd round pick.

“I think with third round value a guy that’s rising, especially with coaches around the league … (Halapoulivaati) Vaitai, Big V they call him from TCU. He could go in the third or fourth round, can play both sides, offensive coaches around the league love him. Shon Coleman from Auburn could be there but he’ll probably be gone. Jerald Hawkins from LSU, more of a left tackle, narrow base, probably not as powerful as you’d like for a right tackle, and then some guys that I have in the fourth round but might go in the third are Caleb Benonoch from UCLA, a guy on the rise Alex Lewis from Nebraska, he could very well be a third-round tackle. I think they’re probably the logical conversation.”

I’ve liked Vaitai for a while. I had him to the Eagles when I did a mock draft for PE.com. At the time, I had him in the 7th. That felt low, but there wasn’t any buzz on Vaitai at the time.

He would make sense for the Eagles because he is 6-6, 320 and can play LT or RT. That’s a big, powerful frame. He also has good feet.

I also had Benenoch to the Eagles in that mock draft. He’s younger and less experienced, but shows a lot of potential. He is a better run blocker, while Vaitai is the better pass protector.

Shon Coleman played LT at Auburn. He could play LT or LG in the NFL. He’s a very good run blocker, but needs work on his pass protection.

The Eagles don’t have to grab an OL in the 3rd round. It just feels like that is a strong possibility, since they still could use OL help and this is a very deep position in the draft.

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Back to Wentz for a second.

Here is something I wrote about him during the Senior Bowl.

Wednesday was a cold, wet, windy day. I sat with Steelers and Packers scouts and they were griping about how cold it was. I don’t mean that as a dig at them. But if people from Pittsburgh and Green Bay are cold, you know it’s nasty weather.

Those conditions didn’t mean a thing to Carson Wentz. He had another outstanding day. There is something funny about looking at the field and seeing the huge, star QB being from North Dakota State while the small scrappy guy is from USC. Something backward about that.

Wentz looks like the real deal, in terms of size and play. His passes cut through the cold winds of Mobile with no issues. Compare that to Cody Kessler, the USC kid. His passes were obviously slower. He doesn’t have the ability to drive the ball the way Wentz does.

And Wentz doesn’t have to put his body completely behind the throws. He looks natural. He does things with ease. There were times Kevin Hogan made some impressive throws, but he had to really get behind the ball. You won’t always have a clean pocket and obvious target so you can’t count on being able to make throws that way.

The most impressive throw by Wentz came when he put the ball over an underneath defender, but in front of the Safety. The WR was along the sideline. He was open, but still somewhat in traffic. Wentz showed good vision in seeing him there and then made the throw, which combined velocity, ball control and accuracy. You can’t gun that in since the ball has to go over a defender, but it still needs zip so the S can’t close on it. Wentz did that with ease. That’s an NFL throw.

It would be fun to have a QB that is such a naturally gifted passer.

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Watching Wentz

Posted: April 22nd, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 156 Comments »

Let’s take a look at some pretty darn impressive moments from Carson Wentz.

Read the rest of this entry »


More on the Deal

Posted: April 21st, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 424 Comments »

Let’s start with the Goff vs Wentz angle.

I prefer Jared Goff. Many of you let me know that you disagree and strongly prefer Carson Wentz. That’s fine. This isn’t a situation where there is a right and wrong answer.

Some things we know for a fact. Wentz is bigger and stronger. Goff played against better competition. Wentz has a better arm. Goff has better pocket presence. But trying to evaluate the prospects as a whole? That’s opinion.

There are legit concerns with both players. If either one of these players felt like a slam dunk, the Browns would likely have stayed put and taken their QB of the future.

When it comes to the draft, there is no such thing as a sure thing. You have to deal with probability. Wentz comes from a smaller school. Tough. Wentz doesn’t have ideal experience, in terms of games started or passes thrown. Tough.

But Wentz has NFL size. He has an NFL arm. He is a high character player. While Wentz did play lower level competition, he helped his school win 2 national titles. He stood out when he did face elite competition at the Senior Bowl. There is absolutely a strong case to be made for him. It won’t surprise me in the least if Wentz has an outstanding career.

Obviously the Eagles are very comfortable with Wentz and Goff. I know I prefer Goff. Some of you prefer Wentz. It will be interesting to see if we ever truly find out who the Eagles prefer.

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The Eagles are coming off a 7-9 season that was hugely disappointing.

Cleveland has only won 7 or more games twice in the past 13 years.

The Eagles aren’t in total rebuild mode. They are building, but not from the ground up. There is a good foundation already in place. The Browns are a completely different story. They are building from the ground up. Philly re-signed key players and then added free agents. Cleveland lost some good players in free agency.

You can’t get stuck in the thought of why Cleveland was willing to move. Different organizations doing different things. It feels like each team did the right thing based on what they are trying to accomplish.

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What about Sam Bradford’s feelings?

I wrote about that here.

There are some people now wondering if the Eagles will trade Bradford to a QB needy team like the Jets or Broncos. That seems very unlikely due to contracts and the salary cap.

You also have the simple fact that Jeff Lurie wants to compete in 2016. He’s not delusional and thinking this team is going to win it all. But he sees enough talent for this team to compete for the division title in a watered-down NFC East.

In today’s NFL, you don’t need to hit rock bottom to build a title contender.

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While the Eagles did pay a steep price to move up, they do still have some ammo this year.

1
3
5
5
6
7
7

The 3rd rounder could net a potential starter. You can find some good players in the 5th round. You are more likely to land role players, but remember that Trent Cole and Brent Celek were both 5th round steals. Any good Cincy Bearcats out there this year?

Those final 3 picks are where you are really looking for role players.

It hurts not having the full complement of picks, but you have to pay a price if you want to move up for a potential impact player.

And Howie Roseman made a key point on Wednesday. The Eagles have to do a great job with undrafted players this year. You can find talent there. You have to be smart and aggressive.

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Eagles Are No. 2

Posted: April 20th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 688 Comments »

Another boring day in Eagles World.

Wow.

There was a lot of talk, but I wasn’t sure they would actually make the move.

Wow.

The Eagles gave up a lot, but they’re going up to get a QB. Go watch Howie Roseman’s interviews and he will explain things pretty well.

Press conference

Interview with Dave Spadaro

The Eagles believe this is a unique opportunity. It was too good to pass up. They decided to go all-in and move up for a QB to be the future of the franchise.

I would feel completely comfortable with this move if it was for Jared Goff.

Unfortunately, I think Goff will go number one and the Eagles will be drafting Carson Wentz. I think Wentz is a very talented prospect with a bright future, but he feels like less of a sure thing than Goff. The good news is that Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel will be the QBs for this year and probably next. Wentz will have plenty of time to develop behind the scenes. He has NFL talent. He needs time and coaching.

Is it smart for the Eagles to move up, not knowing for sure who the player will be? That is strange, but that tells you they like both players quite a bit. The QBs are different, as Roseman explained, but both are quite good and have the potential to be stars.

I’m sure some people will see this as a knee-jerk move. The Eagles got into the Top 10 and then just decided to roll the dice. That’s not what happened. The Eagles have been scouting Goff and Wentz since last summer. I have a North Dakota State game on my DVR from August 29th. I knew about Wentz back then. The Eagles sure as heck knew about him. Goff was projected as a possible Top 10 pick all year. I still have a handful of Cal games on my DVR that I’ve studied a few times.

The Eagles got to see Wentz at the Senior Bowl. Doug Pederson, Howie Roseman and Jeffrey Lurie watched 3 days of practices. The Eagles met with both QBs at the Combine. Then the Eagles loaded up the plane and went to work both players out at their respective colleges. Finally, the Eagles brought both players to the NovaCare Complex for final interviews and to do any medical checks they wanted.

I don’t think the Eagles have ever studied 2 QB prospects more than this.

That doesn’t guarantee the pick will work, but the Eagles are going to make a very informed decision. This will not be “what the heck, let’s go for it” kind of stuff. Roseman and Pederson may be tying their job security to this pick.

And let’s be honest. This move does involve serious risk.

There is so much potential value in landing a stud QB that I think the risk can be worth the price the Eagles paid. It all depends on how much you believe in the prospect. I’m firmly in the Goff camp. I appreciate the physical skills that Wentz has, but he does have some issues that make me nervous.

I know people want an immediate conclusion…good move or bad move? I want to see who the Rams pick and I want more time to wrap my head around this situation. I just didn’t expect this deal to happen so quickly, if at all. I thought a trade might happen next Tuesday or Wednesday. Seeing 2 trades before we even get to draft week is nuts. I don’t ever recall something like this happening.

No matter what, I do give the Eagles credit for taking a chance. You don’t build a Super Bowl team without taking some risks. Remember that Peyton Manning had all kinds of health concerns when Denver signed him. Aqib Talib has had serious character issues. DeMarcus Ware was 32 and coming off a 6-sack season when the Broncos signed him. Those risky moves happened to pan out and Denver got another Lombardi for the trophy case.

QB is the most important position in all of sports. To get the right one, you have to do a lot of looking and you can pay a high price. The Eagles made a move today that could help take the franchise to the next level. Or it could pushing Roseman and Pederson a lot closer to the unemployment line.

Just keep your fingers crossed that the Rams shock us all and pick Wentz.

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Trading Up

Posted: April 20th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 913 Comments »

The Eagles talked to the Titans about a deal for the #1 pick.

The Eagles are reportedly talking to the Browns about the #2 pick. One person is reporting the cost would be this year’s 1st and a 3rd and then next year’s 1st and a 3rd.

Oh wait. The Eagles have reportedly worked out a deal with San Diego for the #3 pick.

What about Dallas and #4?

Howie Roseman is busy working the phones. He has talked to all the teams ahead of the Eagles to see who might be interested in a trade and what the asking price would be. It never hurts to ask. You and I can guess at a trade price, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to be close, let alone right.

Roseman is only going to pay a reasonable price. The Eagles have Sam Bradford. They aren’t desperate for a QB the way the Rams were. Also, the Eagles are moving from 8 to 2 or 3 or 4 or wherever. That’s hugely different than jumping from pick 15.

As much as Cleveland or some other team might want a deal, they won’t have 30 suitors. There will likely be a couple of teams talking to them about realistic deals. And with a limited market, you will have controlled bidding. The Eagles aren’t going to make a crazy bid since there isn’t a once-in-a-lifetime prospect available and there won’t be tremendous competition for the pick.

Cleveland may decide to pass on the Eagles offer. Negotiating is a game of chicken. If no one blinks, the Browns may be “stuck” with the pick and just take their target. There is still a lot of time for all this to be sorted out.

I do think the reported asking price of the 1st & 3rd for both years is too much. I like Carson Wentz, but don’t love him. I would not break the bank to get him. I would be more inclined to pay that for Jared Goff, but even then…that still feels high.

I wrote about Roseman and trading up for PE.com. He was well trained by Joe Banner and Tom Heckert on how to work the phones and how to make smart deals. He’s made some good draft trades in the past so I trust him to feel out the situation and figure out the smartest scenario. The Eagles will know which players they like and exactly how much they like them. They’ll make an informed decision based on the appropriate costs.

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Want to hear me talk about the draft?

I did my annual show with Todd and Chuck to discuss the state of the team, the QBs, other areas of need and some possible players of interest.

Lots of fun as always.

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