Explosive Talent

Posted: April 19th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | No Comments »

The Eagles have had some interesting pre-draft visitors in recent days.

Jones would be in play at pick 32 or if the team moved back into the 2nd round. He is one of the most explosive RBs in the draft and would give the Eagles their fastest runner in a long time. Jones ran 4.39 at the Combine and had a 36.5-inch vertical jump. That speed and explosiveness isn’t just for workouts. It shows up on game tape.

Remember Jay Ajayi getting loose on the long run in Dallas? Or Corey Clement’s long catch and run in the Super Bowl? Both were caught from behind. Jones would give the Eagles a faster, more dynamic threat. He would make a great offense even more dangerous.

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Alexander is a very talented prospect. I have him rated as a 1st rounder, but there are other CBs I like more than him. He is big time athlete, running 4.38 at the Combine and also posting great times in the 3-cone and short shuttle. Quickness, agility, body control, explosive speed…he’s got it all.

Alexander makes some real highlight plays. His physical gifts make him a player with huge potential. My only issue is that he’s not as instinctive as I like. Alexander relies on physical ability to make plays. That’s fine in college and can even work in the NFL. I just happen to prefer players who have a good feel for things.

He played a lot of press man at Louisville and the Eagles would use him in that role in the slot. Alexander certainly has the physical skills for it. He will hit and tackle, which is key for that spot. Alexander also has PR experience and the Eagles could use some help in that role.

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Turay was terrific at the Senior Bowl. He stood out day after day. He is 6-4, 252 and has dynamic potential as an edge rusher. His ability to get off the ball quickly, bend and dip as he goes by the OT should remind you of a good pass rusher from the 2017 draft…Derek Barnett.

There is a big difference in Turay and Barnett. Production. Barnett set the Tennessee record for career sacks and played at an elite level for multiple years. Turay was great as a freshman, racking up 7.5 sacks and looking like a special talent. Shoulder injuries limited him to 11 games over the next 2 years. Turay only had 7 sacks over his final three seasons.

The Senior Bowl gave Turay a chance to show what he could do when healthy and consistently attacking off the edge. He will be one of those players who is much better in the NFL than in college.

The big question here is value. I currently have Turay rated as a 3rd rounder. This isn’t a great class for edge rushers so it wouldn’t shock me to see him possibly go higher than that. The Eagles might consider trading up from the 4th to get him, if Turay lasts into the 3rd.

Is it possible the Eagles could like him enough to trade back into the 2nd round and take him there? Brandon Graham, Michael Bennett and Chris Long aren’t getting any younger so the Eagles could use a young player to add to the mix for the future.

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Demby is not explosive. But he is a solid prospect and would be an interesting prospect for the OL.

Demby is 6-4, 319 and played LT for Maine. He could play OG or OT in the NFL. Demby has potential to develop as a pass protector, but he really stands out as a run blocker.

The Eagles love big, physical, versatile OL. Demby checks every box there. Should go somewhere in rounds 4-6.

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It Begins

Posted: April 16th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | No Comments »

The players reported to the Novacare Complex today. They didn’t show up to check out Fran Duffy’s latest mock draft (they know what a hack he is) but rather to begin the offseason conditioning program.

That might not sound like a big deal, but one year ago Doug Pederson laid the foundation for a Super Bowl team starting with offseason workouts. He preached competition and had the players battling on a daily basis for rewards such as parking spots. That sounds pretty simple, but it helped the players to push each other and also to bond.

Pederson knows the value of laying a good foundation and made sure to get his message out to the players for 2018.

The new normal…playing in February and winning titles. You don’t get there unless you start putting in the work in April (or sooner).

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I wrote a piece for PE.com on the top storylines for 2018. Guess what’s number one? (in best Jan Brady voice) Carson, Carson, Carson!!! That’s all you do, talk about Carson and his stupid ACL!!!

Get ready for annoying levels of Carson Wentz rehab updates. He’s the key to the franchise and coming off a serious injury so you can’t help but focus on that. And with more than a gazillion people covering the Eagles, there will be an abundance of updates.

The weirdest thing will be the Eagles as the king of the hill. I’m used to the Eagles chasing the Cowboys or Giants or Packers or whoever. Now the Eagles are the hunted, with 31 other teams licking their chops for a chance to take down the Super Bowl champs.

That will put a ton of pressure on every game, but it is a cool issue to have to deal with.

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For my money, the Eagles have the best team site in the league. I know I’m biased, but I do go check out other sites when doing research on coaches and players. I’m not sure if anyone is even close to the Eagles. If you agree, go support the site in their bid for a Webby.

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Home Sweet Home

Posted: April 15th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | No Comments »

The Eagles shocked us when they traded Torrey Smith for CB Daryl Worley. The team was going to cut Smith so getting something of value came as a shock, especially a young CB with starting experience. That seemed too good to be true.

It was.

Oops.

Worley was arrested on Sunday morning.

Worley had some character questions. That’s part of why the Panthers were willing to give up on him. This doesn’t mean he’s the worst guy in history, but backup players just can’t afford to get in trouble like this. They just aren’t worth the headache.

The Eagles were a feel-good story in 2017. The team won the Super Bowl and did all the right things off the field. With the Michael Bennett situation still playing out, I’m sure the team had a low tolerance for legal trouble. Worley was new and played a position where the team is deep. That made him expendable.

With the team set to begin the voluntary offseason conditioning program on Monday, Worley’s release will serve as a warning to other players…stay out of trouble.

Worley is from Philly and you always wonder if coming home is a good thing. You have a lot of friends to have fun with, but those friends don’t always understand that the NFL world has consequences that don’t exist in the real world.

Worley should have taken his trade as a huge warning sign that something was up. Teams just don’t give up young starting corners for the heck of it. He should have been on his best behavior. Instead, he had a fun Saturday night and he’s now out of a job.

Some team will pick Worley up, but he will be on a very short leash.

This doesn’t hurt the Eagles too much.

CB – Ronald Darby, Jalen Mills, Sidney Jones, Rasul Douglas

That is a deep set of corners. And young. There has been talk of the Eagles dealing Darby. Maybe the team backs off that idea. There are a couple of other players in the mix. Doug Pederson has mentioned D.J. Killings and De’Vante Bausby by name a few times this year.

The Eagles have some hope for Killings. They weren’t keeping him around just because he makes great potato salad.

It is almost a certainty that the Eagles will add a DB in the draft, likely someone who can play in the slot. If so, that leaves plenty of depth on the outside.

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In case you had any doubts, Cris Carter could not block Reggie White.

https://twitter.com/thecheckdown/status/985247076106682368

Wow.

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O vs D

Posted: April 14th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | No Comments »

It will be interesting to see what happens at pick 32. We all wonder who the team will choose.

Beyond the specific player, it will be interesting to see which side of the ball the Eagles go with. The team will go with their draft board, which means taking the highest rated player available. But often there are a group of players with the same or similar grades.

That is when position and need become factors.

I wonder if the Eagles would lean toward taking an offensive player. My thinking is that the team may want to surround Carson Wentz with as much offensive talent as possible. The Eagles have a good defense. They have a potentially special offense.

Minnesota had the #1 defense in the league in 2017. The Eagles, playing with their backup QB, piled up 456 yards and scored 31 offensive points on them. That shows you that this offense isn’t just a good unit. It has tremendous potential.

You could add a stud RB to give the offense another playmaker.

You could add a talented TE to pair with Zach Ertz. If the TE can block and catch, he would help the running game and the passing game.

You could pick a WR to give Wentz another target. We only need to look back to 2016 to see how an offense can be crippled by crappy receivers.

You could add an O-lineman to help protect Wentz.

These picks would be more about the future than 2018. The player might make an immediate impact, but there wouldn’t be pressure for them to come in and start. The goal would be to add a talented piece to pair with Wentz. The player would be on a rookie contract for four or five years, giving the Eagles reasonably priced, young talent. That’s important when you consider that Wentz will be getting a mega-deal in the near future.

If a stud defender that the Eagles love is somehow on the board, all this talk goes out the window. The Eagles aren’t going to force a pick on offense.

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From Dave Spadaro’s latest post.

Look for the NFL schedule to be announced this week and with it, the most-anticipated dates for Eagles fans – the official word on who the Eagles will play in the opener on, presumably, Thursday, September 6 and when the Eagles will play Jacksonville in London, England. I can’t tell you how many fans have expressed an interest in going to the game in London. While Jacksonville has established a home-away-from-home base there, it’s likely to be an Eagles-flavored fan base that weekend.

Some of you really love the schedule so this will be huge.

I don’t get as excited, but it will be interesting because of the Eagles opening the season on a Thursday and having the London game.

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Dez?

Posted: April 13th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 1 Comment »

Dez Bryant is no longer a Cowboy.

Jerry Jones cut his beloved WR on Friday. The Cowboys really did Dez a dis-service by keeping him this long. Teams have made their major moves for 2018. Most of the cap space has been used on free agents. Dez is now out there on the market and I don’t think he’s going to like what he finds.

I think they were right to cut him. Dez didn’t have good chemistry with Dak Prescott. Dez is also older and declining. They did the right thing, but should have done it a while ago, to be fair to Dez. Other players pay attention to stuff like this. Agents sure do.

Should the Eagles have any interest in the newest free agent receiver?

While Brewer might be able to help with Dez, the Eagles should say “No thank you”. The 2017 team had great chemistry. I cannot see how the addition of Bryant would be good for chemistry. Eagles skill players were great last year at putting the success of the team ahead of their personal production. Dez is used to being a number one receiver and having the ball fed to him.

Just as importantly, Dez just isn’t the same player he was. From 2012-2014, Dez caught 41 TDs. He was so big and physical that even when he was covered, he was open.

The Eagles have a good trio of veteran receivers in Alshon Jeffery, Mike Wallace and Nelson Agholor. They have young guys they like in Mack Hollins and Shelton Gibson. Dez just doesn’t make sense for the Eagles.

Is it possible the Eagles could throw us a curve ball? Sure. Howie Roseman loves acquiring talent. Dez might sign a cheap, one-year deal to get to play against Dallas. He would certainly be on his best behavior. I just don’t know how Dez would fit in. Is he coming off the bench? Is Wallace?

It would be fun to see him in green because it would drive Cowboys fans so nuts, but barring an injury, the move doesn’t make sense.

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Dez would love to play in the NFC East, but so far no one is showing any interest.

It will be interesting to see where he ends up and how he plays.

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The Eagles apparently do have some interest in another big WR from the state of Texas.

Sutton is very talented. You can certainly see why the Eagles would have interest.

After seeing the team pay Jeffery big money, draft Hollins and looking closely at Sutton, it certainly appears that the Eagles prefer big receivers. They spent a late round pick on a speedster last year (Gibson), but it seems like they want the key guys to be bigger.

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