Another QB to Consider

Posted: April 14th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 379 Comments »

The Eagles would love to get Marcus Mariota, but know that’s far from a sure thing so they are checking out a lot of different QB prospects. Here is a rumor someone shared in the comments section the other day.

Interesting.

Grayson played at Colorado State and had an outstanding Senior season. He went to the Senior Bowl and was the best QB down there, although he wasn’t facing murderer’s row.

Grayson has NFL talent, but I’ve gone back and forth on whether I like him or not. I watch one game and don’t like him. Then I watch another and I feel differently.

He throws a good deep ball. He makes some good throws over the middle in traffic. He shows good accuracy and seems to be a smart decision-maker. He’s not reckless, but will take some chances. Grayson had a good workout at his Pro Day, but I didn’t see that athleticism on the field with any consistency.

4.75
34-inch VJ
6.97 3-cone

Watch this segment with Jon Gruden and Grayson comes across like a bright QB.

Watch his showing in the bowl game and you see a bit of everything. Utah’s defense played well that day so definitely factor that into the equation.

When first watching Grayson, I certainly didn’t think of him as a Chip Kelly QB. Then again, I didn’t think Chip would draft Matt Barkley or trade for Sam Bradford.

I think Grayson is probably a 3rd round prospect.

My Top 5 QBs

1 – Marcus Mariota
2 – Jameis Winston
3 – Bryce Petty
4 – Garrett Grayson
5 – Brett Hundley

I think there is a big drop from the top pair to Petty and then another big drop from him to the final pair. I know many of you like Hundley, but the fact he took so many sacks at UCLA concerns me. They’re not all his fault, but they can cause him to develop habits that will never go away.

The Eagles spent a lot of time with both Petty and Hundley. Kelly would love to find a young QB to develop. We don’t know for a fact who they like and how much they like ‘em, but the rumors are keeping us entertained and doing a lot of guessing.

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Too Legit

Posted: April 13th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 241 Comments »

I saw this today on Twitter and loved it.

Interesting. Made me think of this.

Chip Kelly does love QBs who move to other spots. Lane Johnson was a junior college QB. James Casey played some QB. Brad Smith was a star QB in college. The thought of moving Bennett to a new position makes some sense.

But not all that much sense.

Bennett has DB size at 6-2, 211, but he ran 4.81 at the Combine. The Eagles like Safeties that have good man cover skills. Do I want a converted QB that runs 4.8 covering a WR? Heck no.

It is possible the Eagles see him as a UDFA and do want to try him at DB. Timed speed isn’t the same thing as game speed. But why would Eagles scouts be sharing that info? This totally feels the scouts are spreading mis-information.

Now comes the tricky part.

Are the scouts doing this because the Eagles like Bennett as a QB and they are trying to make people think Chip Kelly has no interest in his former pupil? I mean, if Kelly doesn’t think Bennett is a good QB, why should any other team have interest?

The other possibility is that the scouts were told to do this to make people think the Eagles do have interest in Bennett. By spreading the story, the scouts are bringing attention to Bennett. You might do that if there was another late round QB you had your eyes on and didn’t want teams to notice that player.

Jimmy Bama and I discussed Bennett recently. He wasn’t sure Kelly liked Bennett. This was a hunch of his based on some things that were said and the way they were said. I didn’t draw the same conclusion, but certainly could see Jimmy being right. Bennett never started for Kelly and ended up transferring away. Their relationship might have been more rocky than we would guess. Might, being the key word.

I think Bennett would be a good late round target for the Eagles. Matt Barkley seems to have a short future here in Philly. The team will need to add a young QB to the mix. Bennett is a solid athlete with a good arm. He also knows Kelly’s offense. He’s the kind of player you could develop over time. He might never become starter material, but might be a good backup.

time will tell if the Eagles are genuinely interested in him as a QB or DB, or if this is just a way to throw people off some other target.

* * * * *

DE Ced Thornton signed his RFA tender.

That’s good news, but now the team has to work with him on a long term deal. Thornton is a good player and should come at a reasonable price.

* * * * *

The Eagles have checked out quite a few TEs. Most of them are bigger guys that have the potential to be very good blockers. This makes sense with Brent Celek’s age. Zach Ertz is a terrific pass catcher, but his blocking needs a lot of work. It seems like the Eagles would love to find a guy that is about about 6-4 or 6-5 and goes 260 pounds.

James has a lot of potential and would be an interesting player to add. He’s a big guy that can catch and block. So often these days TEs seem to be smaller, athletic guys…essentially bulked up WRs. James is a legit TE.

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A Scary Thought

Posted: April 12th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 363 Comments »

Rumors, rumors, rumors. This is the time of year for them.

Sheil Kapadia wrote a piece on some info Ron Jaworski passed along on Friday. Here’s some of what Jaws had to say.

On Friday, Ron Jaworski was a guest on CSN’s Philly Sports Talk and said he is picking up buzz that Marcus Mariota is going to be Tampa’s selection.

“The latest I’m hearing now from my sources around the league, who are pretty wired in, is that he’s going to go number one now to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers,” said Jaworski.

“Mariota’s stock, remember it was quiet for a while? And there’s a reason for that. There’s a lull every year until about 30 days before the draft. Now the coaches get involved. Prior to that, it’s the scouts, it’s the roadies that are filling out the paper work. Now the coaches get involved. Now team owners get involved. Now general managers get involved. So you’re starting to see, in my opinion, Winston’s stock starting to slide a little bit and Mariota’s stock starting to go up a little bit.”

First, we have no idea if any of this is true. I don’t doubt Jaws is hearing things, but this is the time of year when teams love to spread mis-information to try and keep everyone confused as to what they are really thinking and what is going to happen.

If this is true, the thought of Mariota going 1st overall is interesting, mainly because it would involve Winston sliding. And where would he go?

The same teams in the Top 10 (or so) that like Mariota could have interest in Winston, but not necessarily. Winston has serious baggage. The Browns have been reported as a team that likes Mariota. After dealing with Johnny Manziel’s immaturity this year, I don’t know that they would want anything to do with Winston.

My personal nightmare is Winston coming to the Eagles. I think there is very little chance of that happening because I think someone will take him prior to 20 and I question whether Chip would want him. But if things went wrong and the Eagles did take Winston…I’d be very uncomfortable.

I can’t stand him.

The rape allegation bothers me tremendously. If you somehow move beyond that, his pattern of small, stupid incidents goes beyond what his coach Jimbo Fisher tried to paint as typical college kid behavior. Winston knew the spotlight was on him and he didn’t care. He did dumb thing after dumb thing, all with a big smile on his face.

Ugh. I want no part of that guy.

There is no question that he’s got the talent to be a star QB, but his lack of maturity should be a gigantic red flag for all 32 teams.

If the Eagles drafted Winston…I’m just not sure how I’d handle that. I just can’t see any scenario where I’m cheering for him on the field. Let’s hope he goes 1, 2, 5, 6, 10 or anywhere before 20 so I don’t have to face that dilemma.

Not all of you will agree with my feelings on Winston. Let me know what you think about him.

* * * * *

More from Jaws on the QB situation.

“I’ll give you a little bit of information on how much Chip Kelly loves Marcus Mariota,” said Jaworski. “This is the time of year when everyone talks, and I talk to general managers, I’ve talked to player personnel directors, and I’ve heard it from a couple or three people that have had conversations with Chip Kelly, and Chip Kelly said, ‘Marcus Mariota will win multiple Super Bowls in the National Football League.’

“Now, he didn’t say it was going to be in Philadelphia (laughs), but that’s how much he loves this guy, and a lot of people feel the same way, that Marcus Mariota is that good that you can win multiple Super Bowls with him as your quarterback.”

That’s high praise from Chip. He’s doing the right thing by supporting his former player, but he’s not helping the chances of Mariota becoming an Eagle.

* * * * *

Here’s a bit of good news. The Eagles are talking to DE Cedric Thornton about a long term deal. BGN has the details here.

Thornton is a good LDE. He is an outstanding run defender. He still needs work on his pass rushing skills. It would be great if the Eagles could lock up him, Fletcher Cox and Bennie Logan long term. That is a good D-line and they work well together.

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A Convert?

Posted: April 10th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 371 Comments »

Quinten Rollins was one of the most interesting players at the Senior Bowl. He had played college basketball for Miami of Ohio for 4 years before deciding to try his hand at college football. And boy did that prove to be a wise decision. He picked off 7 passes and played his way onto the NFL’s radar. Rollins was up and down in Mobile, but you could see his talent. He is a legit NFL prospect.

Jimmy Bama and I got to speak with him one night. Rollins was bright, funny and fun to talk to. He started off with the usual answers, but we got him to let his guard down and be honest with us. I came away very impressed.

I’ve watched tape of lots of DBs since then and went back to do more tape study on Rollins recently. He is one of my favorite prospects in this class and a player I’d love the Eagles to target aggressively. Here’s the interesting part. I’d like them to try him at Safety first.

Some NFL teams, including the Eagles, have been trying some Safety drills with him during workouts. And Mike Mayock liksted him at Safety on his latest rankings.

Rollins has great ball skills. He picked off 7 passes in 2014. Some of them were really impressive. You want a S to have good hands so he can take advantage of any balls that come his way.

Rollins has great instincts. He took up football in his 5th year of college and looked completely natural most of the time. He showed an understanding of routes and plays. He has excellent field awareness. Some players only see what is right in front of them. Rollins saw the whole field.

One of the things that really impressed me is that Rollins is a physical player. He will hit and tackle. He will fight through blocks. Watch what he does to the RT at the 4:25 mark of this video.

That guy was a basketball player? Wow.

Rollins would be perfect for the Eagles scheme. He could play deep, in the box, Cover 2 or slide down and play the slot. He has the size, skill set, athleticism and toughness to handle those roles.

If he doesn’t pan out at S, you can always put him back at CB. I think he could be a good starting corner in the NFL. I just think Safeties are harder to find. And Rollins combination of ball skills and instincts makes me think he could thrive at that position.

If Rollins is on the board in the 2nd round, I hope the Eagles take him.

For now, enjoy his highlights package.

* * * * *

The preseason schedule was announced yesterday.

3 of the 4 teams are in the AFC.

3 of the 4 teams are very good.

We’ll get to see some ex-Eagles in a couple of the games.

How is that for some in-depth reporting on the preseason schedule?

Oh yeah…and the Eagles will have vanilla gameplans.

* * * * *

Jimmy Bama breaks down the odds on who the Eagles 1st round pick will be.

Oh, and we did record a new podcast in case you missed it.


More Bradford Talk

Posted: April 9th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 298 Comments »

Elliot Shorr-Parks came up with a new angle on the whole question of whether Sam Bradford is here to stay.

If the Eagles aren’t selling his jersey at their own stores, isn’t that a hint? Maybe.

I don’t think this means anything definitively, other than the merchandising people are waiting until after the draft because they don’t want to get burned.

When Chip Kelly says the Eagles didn’t trade for Sam Bradford with the intention of trading him away, I believe him. Totally. That deal was being talked about in early February. I don’t think Kelly is delusional enough to start planning at that point to deal for Bradford “knowing” he can then turn around and deal Bradford to get Mariota.

If Mariota falls and the right situation plays out, maybe Bradford does get dealt in a move-up for MM. Maybe. But there are way too many moving parts for anyone to say that is going to happen with any sense of likelihood.

Tampa is taking a long look at Mariota. It is still possible he goes #1 overall. Mike Mayock just put Mariota at the top of his QB rankings. That’s based on more research and analysis. And his rankings are also a reflection of what he hears from league sources. Maybe people are starting to wake up to the idea that Jameis Winston should scare the hell out of them.

The Titans are checking MM out. The Chargers are showing interest and there are rumors of them dealing Philip Rivers. Word out of Cleveland is that they’ve all but given up on Johnny Manziel. They could move up for MM. If he falls to them, would they really deal Marcus to the Eagles for Bradford and picks? Why not just keep the high character rookie QB? It isn’t like that team is built to win right away.

I would love for the Eagles to get Mariota. I still struggle to picture Bradford and Kelly standing on a podium holding the Lombardi. I don’t think Mariota is leading anyone to a title in 2015, but it would be exciting to see Kelly get a young, dynamic talent at QB that he could mold the way he wants. Michael Vick had talent, but was a veteran with a lifetime of bad habits already built in. Mariota needs plenty of work, but he’s already been taught a lot of the key principles of KellyBall due to his time in Oregon.

But I think MM to Philly remains a huge long shot.

I hope I’m wrong.

* * * * *

Many of you found my comments about WAS yesterday to be ironic. I mentioned that they often put their DBs in bad situations and that led to bad results. Your point…didn’t the Eagles do the same thing?

No. Not at all.

The Eagles DBs did some dumb things, but the basic coverage ideas weren’t an issue.

Nate Allen got burned in Arizona because he was careless and bit on a fake. He was focused on preventing a 1st down when the game situation dictated that he should have focused on preventing a TD. He didn’t and the Eagles lost.

Allen was to blame for some of Bradley Fletcher’s late season struggles. Allen was the deep Safety in the middle of the field. He should have cheated to Fletcher’s side, but instead sat right in the middle until the ball was in the air. That led to big plays by DeSean and Dez. Allen pulled his head out of his butt in the 2nd half of the WAS game and finally rotated to Fletcher’s side before the pass was thrown. Allen was able to pick off a deep throw. Funny how that works, huh?

The Eagles had bad DBs last year. I don’t think the coverage concepts were unsound.

The flip side of that is that the coaches didn’t do a good job of getting creative to try and come up with some solution to the situation. They stayed fairly basic. Some coaches can come up with complex coverages that do help protect vulnerable DBs.

You can argue that Fletcher should have been benched (as many of you did), but that’s still not a scheme issue.

Jim Haslett ran the WAS defense for 5 years. They averaged finishing 22nd in yards allowed and 24th in points allowed during that stretch. It amazed me that the man kept his job. The Skins never showed serious improvement.

Some of you will still disagree with me and that’s fine. I just wanted you to understand the thinking behind my comments. I’m not delusional about Bill Davis as a coach who is going to turn water into wine. I guess I just think he’s more fundamentally sound than Haslett.

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