Posted: February 23rd, 2015 | Author: Tommy Lawlor | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 276 Comments »
Even if the Eagles address the secondary through free agency, they’ll still need to add a DB or 2 in the draft. They need depth.
Landon Collins from Alabama is the Safety to pay the most attention to. Chip Kelly likes SEC guys and Collins is a terrific prospect.
There are lots of CBs to watch. I like PJ Williams quite a bit, but scouts seem to think he’s slow. I’ll be interested to see how he runs. Ideally, you want all your CBs to be below 4.55. Anything above that and they better be 6-2, 215 or something like that.
I’ll be putting up a post later on that covers the DL and LBs.
I’ll watch the DBs when I get home tonight and then write about them on Tuesday.
Posted: February 21st, 2015 | Author: Tommy Lawlor | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 409 Comments »
The QBs, WRs and RBs worked out on Saturday. The Eagles saw some good performances.
* Marcus Mariota had a good day. He did well in the athletic tests. He threw the ball well. He looked like a big-time QB. Chip Kelly watched his old pupil closely, but the good showing by Mariota makes it all the more likely that the Eagles have little to no chance to get him.
Mariota mentioned on the NFL Network that he didn’t meet with the Eagles. This makes sense. The team has a limited number of interview sessions. Why waste one on a guy Kelly knows very well?
* Jameis Winston threw the ball better than anyone else at the Combine. His combination of touch, accuracy and arm strength is outstanding. With a clean background, he’d be almost universally #1.
* Brett Hundley had a good showing. He tested well. I thought he looked good throwing the ball. There is no question that he’s got good potential. I’d love to spend a mid-round pick on Hundley and develop him for several years. The problem is that his potential means he’s almost certain to go in the 1st or 2nd round.
Chip Kelly loves athletic QBs with big hands. You know he’s got to be fascinated by Hundley. With Mariota quickly fading into the distance, it is important for the Eagles to have other options. I’m not a fan of taking Hundley at 20, but it is a possibility. We’ll have to wait and see how much Kelly likes him.
* I thought Bryce Petty helped himself more than any other QB. He had a terrific season for Baylor, but was up and down at the Senior Bowl. His intermediate passing was less than ideal, which led to this.
Petty looked much more natural throwing the ball in Indy. His intermediate throws were more accurate and had better velocity. Understand that QBs go work with tutors when the season is over to deal with the flaws in their game. Petty had about 2 weeks between the end of his season and the Senior Bowl. He’s had another 4 weeks since then. I’m sure he’s getting all kinds of training on footwork and mechanics.
I’m not excusing the faults Petty has. Watch the game tape and you see some accuracy issues and some erratic decision-making (heavily affected by his offensive scheme and the lack of reading progressions). There are also some medical issues for doctors to check out.
But I feel more comfortable with Petty after the Combine than I did the Senior Bowl. He’s another player I’d prefer in the 3rd or 4th, but I’m not sure he makes it out of the 2nd round.
* More than a few Eagles fans like QB Brandon Bridge. He showed a terrific arm in Indy. He’s big and pretty athletic. I just see him as a major project. I’m only interested in him late in the draft. QB projects don’t pan out very often.
* Bryan Bennett threw the ball well, just like at the Senior Bowl. I see him as a developmental QB of interest, but he also would need some work.
* Would the Eagles consider WR Dorial Green-Beckham? DGB is huge at 6-5, 237 and has the potential to be a special player. But he’s also got major baggage. You want to learn from the Justin Blackmon-Josh Gordon types. They have great talent, but can’t stay out of trouble. Is DGB one of them or is he a kid that can learn from his mistakes?
* If Devante Parker is on the board at 20, do you take him? Big talent with no real questions. Parker had a solid day.
* Sammie Coates will not be pick 20. He has good talent and potential, but you could see how problematic his hands can be. Had several drops today and you can see that he’s not a natural hands-catcher.
* Devin Funchess is a player I struggle with. Kelly loves big guys. Funchess, a former TE, is 6-4, 232. He only ran 4.70 today. That’s not awful since he’s 232 pounds, but it does affect his draft value. Some teams will still see him as a matchup nightmare and want Funchess. I don’t see a guy who always plays up to his size and that bugs me for a guy who is slow and has to use his size/strength to win. Still could be a terrific pro if he’s in the right situation.
* I would love Phillip Dorsett in the 2nd round. He ran 4.33. He is a gifted downfield receiver and that speed shows up on game day. Devin Smith wasn’t quite as fast as expected, but is another talented WR. I doubt Jaelen Strong lasts to pick 20 in the 2nd round.
* RB Ameer Abdullah had a great showing, except for his 40 time. He is strong, explosive, agile and versatile, but he doesn’t time fast. Could he be another Westy/Shady type that comes from the 2nd or 3rd round and turns out to be a stud? Would be an interesting fit in Kelly’s offense.
* I was impressed by RB Davis Johnson as a receiver. Big and athletic, and looks natural in space. Catches the ball well.
* Several small school guys got my attention. I need to watch more of Zach Zenner from South Dakota State. I’m also interested in Thomas Rawls of Central Michigan.
* * * * *
There wasn’t one player I cam away thinking “We must get him”. I get a lot of questions about what the Eagles will do. Remember that we need to see free agency before we know what the draft plan is going to look like.
I thought this was a good showing by the skill players. The Eagles have a talented offense already, but they shouldn’t pass up talent if the right guys falls to their spot.
Posted: February 21st, 2015 | Author: Tommy Lawlor | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 247 Comments »
Lots of great prospects to watch today.
I’ll post some thoughts this evening.
Posted: February 19th, 2015 | Author: Tommy Lawlor | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 288 Comments »
More Combine stuff involving the Eagles.
Yeldon is an outstanding talent. Junior RB with very good potential.
Good to know that Hundley likes Kelly and the Eagles. Do they like him is the more important question?
* * * * *
I was re-reading part of Bill Walsh’s Finding the Winning Edge book recently. The QB that he wanted in 1979 was Phil Simms. But he knew Simms would go early. Walsh finally decided that Joe Montana was his guy. The question was where he would go. Some thought Montana might be a 5th round pick. Apparently he was an inconsistent player at Notre Dame, lacked a strong arm and had a slight build. Walsh liked his athleticism and potential. The rest is history.
I don’t think we need to go over the Tom Brady story from 2000, but he lasted to pick 199 overall.
A 3rd rounder and a 6th rounder combined for 8 Super Bowl titles. There have been a slew of QBs taken #1 overall in the last 25 years. The only title winners? Peyton Manning (1) and Eli (2).
Getting the big name QB doesn’t guarantee anything.
Walsh made the point that you need the right guy. That sounds simple, even obvious, but too often we overlook that and focus on the big shiny object. Guys like Michael Vick, Carson Palmer and Matt Stafford are #1 picks with more physical gifts than Brady, but none of them have ever played in a Super Bowl, let alone won 4.
It would be great to see the Eagles get Marcus Mariota because he seems like such a good player, good person and good fit, but let’s not fall into the trap of thinking that getting him guarantees anything or missing on him means disaster.
* * * * *
The Eagles cut TE James Casey. He was a good STer and role player, but never became the offensive weapon we expected when he was signed. I’m not sure how much of that was on him. Brent Celek has been a terrific blocker and good receiver the past 2 years. Zach Ertz is a gifted young pass catcher. Those two limited the chances for Casey to get on the field.
Casey became expendable with the emergence of UDFA rookie Trey Burton. He was an outstanding STer this year and is a gifted athlete with the potential to become a quality offensive player. I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of progress Burton has made as a TE.
The Eagles could draft a TE or sign another UDFA if they want to keep 4 again this year. Or they could decide that going with 3 is fine. That would allow them to keep a player at another position that might not be as good (like LB or DB).
This isn’t a strong class of TEs, but Chip Kelly went to a few Delaware games this year. They happen to have a TE named Nick Boyle who is 6-5, 267 and is a good blocker. Could be an interesting target for the Eagles if they want a big TE to develop for the future.
Posted: February 18th, 2015 | Author: Tommy Lawlor | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 205 Comments »
This is NFL Scouting Combine week. That means every coach, GM, agent and NFL writer/reporter has descended upon the lovely city of Indianapolis. And it is story time.
The Bears like Jay Cutler, but they’re talking to QB Josh McCown. The Cardinals worked out a deal with Larry Fitzgerald so he can stay in the desert for 2 more years. The Browns aren’t committing to Johnny Manziel as their starter for 2015. And so on.
There wasn’t any hard-hitting Eagles news, but there are some items worth mentioning.
The Eagles don’t have anyone scheduled to meet the press. The Eagles writers sought out Andy Reid to get his take on the front office shake-up. Big Red offered his thoughts.
“Listen, I’m a big Howie fan, I’m a big Chip fan,” Reid said. “It looks like everybody’s happy, which is important, and in good positions. Nobody was released. That’s a positive. And whatever they’ve done, they feel they’ve done what’s best for the Eagles.”
Saying that everybody is happy is probably stretching things a bit. I doubt Howie is on cloud nine right now. But we should all be so lucky to be suffering the way he is…with job security and a big salary.
This is still different than having someone out on the street and ripping the team and keeping a negative story line rolling along. I don’t know if you can fully say there is closure, but there is some semblance of peace.
Reid also talked about Ed Marynowitz.
“Just a sharp guy,” said Reid, who is now head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. “Good evaluator. He’d tell you a good player from a bad player. Stays one step ahead of it. Could look into the future on things. I think he’s going to do a great job there.”
“Remember at Alabama, they had full trust in him,” Reid said. “Nick didn’t want to lose him.”
Nothing groundbreaking there, but always interesting to hear what someone like Reid has to say.
* * * * *
The Bucs have the #1 pick and did some talking about that. Jimmy Bama has the details.
“We have over two months yet,” explained Licht, “so it would be a little ridiculous to come out and say, ‘Well, this is who we want right now.’ We want to use every avenue that we have, every resource that we have in the next two months to make the final decision. But it would be an insult to sit here after two rounds of Draft meetings and watching every play of Lovie and I, or Jon Robinson, our personnel director, Mike Biehl, our college scouting [director], all of our scouts, to watch every play and say that, ‘Okay, we have two guys tied at the top.’ We have a favorite, but we want to let the process play out.”
So they have a favorite right now, but want to let the process play out. Who might the favorite be?
Jimmy highlighted an interesting comment from Coach Lovie Smith.
“We need a quarterback that can throw the ball and make a variety of throws, we need a leader, a guy who makes great decisions. We’d like to have a guy who is mobile in the pocket.”
Like vs need.
The first two sound more like Winston than Mariota.
Check out what draft analyst Rob Rang had to say after hearing from the Bucs brass.
“I feel more confident than ever that the No. 1 overall pick is Winston’s to lose.”
Wow. That’s pretty strong.
I still lean the other way. Lovie Smith said he was okay with Winston’s character issues since the legal system had run its course with the rape allegation and no charges had been filed, but you wonder how much of that is Smith trying to say the right thing and Smith truly believing that.
There is no doubting that Winston is very talented and could turn out to be a great NFL QB, but I still question his maturity. He was a good college leader, but are grown men going to put up with any of his stupidity?
I’d love to be wrong since it would help the Eagles to have any shot at Mariota. We’ll see.
* * * * *
Jimmy Bama has some random Combine notes here. Lots of OL talk because that is the first group. They’re getting measured, weighed, interviewed and doing the medical stuff.