Draft Wrap

Posted: May 3rd, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 524 Comments »

I’ll be writing a lot more about the Eagles picks in the coming weeks. For now, let’s talk about some general points.

No QB

The Eagles didn’t land Marcus Mariota, but also passed on mid-round QBs. They didn’t even sign an undrafted QB. This is good news for Matt Barkley and Tim Tebow. They are battling for the #3 job. There is no QB of the future to push them out.

I really thought Kelly would want someone to develop behind Sam Bradford. It sure seems that Matt Barkley isn’t part of the long terms plans anymore.

Bradford is the present and future for now.

While that is a scary statement, this is a situation of Chip Kelly’s  choosing. He is going to do everything in his power to make this work.

No Oregon Players

I did a few Eagles-only mock drafts and never had Chip taking an Oregon player. That always brought out the smart-ass comments. “Well we know this won’t happen. No Oregon players.”

Chip didn’t draft anyone from Oregon. He didn’t even sign any UDFAs from Oregon. Is this a sign of the apocalypse?

Listen, there is no denying that Chip has brought Oregon guys in here. But it isn’t as if he’s done it to a level that hurts the Eagles or is out of line. In his first 2 years, Kelly drafted 2 Oregon players. Both were highly rated Seniors. they were college stars and each was invited to the Senior Bowl (Hart missed due to injury).

Kelly has put guys at the bottom of the roster. I don’t like Will Murphy being on the practice squad, but let’s not act as if that is a huge deal. Back in 2010 Andy Reid had some guy named Jeremy Williams as a WR on the practice squad. I don’t remember him at all. There have been some bigger names (BJ Cunningham for instance), but even those guys rarely pan out.

Chip likes his Oregon guys because they played well for him and  he knows them. But he showed this weekend that he’s not going to force the issue.

Draft Theme – Fix the Passing Game

The Eagles needed a WR to replace Jeremy Maclin. They took care of that right off the bat, drafting Nelson Agholor with pick 20. Agholor, like all rookies, is unproven, but he has the potential to be just as good as Maclin. They have similar sizes and skill sets. I think Maclin was the better route runner. I think Agholor has better RAC skills.

It used to be that rookie WRs needed time to fit into the NFL. Freddie Mitchell was a backup. Todd Pinkston caught 10 passes as a rookie. That has changed in recent years. DeSean Jackson had 10 passes thrown his way in his first ever NFL game. Maclin started as a rookie. Jordan Matthews was highly productive last year. There is every reason to believe that Agholor can contribute right away.

The secondary needed a ton of help. Someone asked me on Twitter why the Eagles didn’t just draft one CB and get it right, allowing them to focus on other spots after that. If only things were that easy.

The Eagles did what I call saturation drafting. You don’t fix the secondary with one CB. You load up on them. This way if Eric Rowe tears his ACL, struggles to adjust to the NFL or is abducted by aliens, you have other options. This is simple math. You have better odds is you use more resources to solve a problem.

This draft class was deep at CB, but light on Safeties. I don’t know if Kelly and Ed Marynowitz came up with this strategy or things just turned out this way, but they drafted CBs, giving them the freedom to move tweeners already on the roster over to S.

Who is more likely to help at S this year, Jaylen Watkins or Adrian Amos? Watkins has been in the NFL for a year and has some idea of what’s going on. Amos has more S experience, but would have to adjust to the NFL. EJ Biggers and Nolan Carroll could potentially move to S. I think it is more likely with Biggers. Carroll offers depth outside and in the slot, plus playing the role of Dime LB.

There is no question that the Eagles wanted a Safety. There just weren’t many choices who fit what the Eagles like and the right player wasn’t available at the right time.

I hoped the team would at least make a strong push for someone like Kurtis Drummond as a UDFA, but that either didn’t happen or the Eagles felt the players available late and in the UDFA market would not have been upgrades on guys like Jerome Couplin, Ed Reynolds and Chris Prosinski.

I don’t think anyone would dispute that the Eagles secondary is better. The team didn’t stop there. Jordan Hicks was drafted because the Eagles wanted a 3-down LB. Mychal Kendricks is a 3-down LB. DeMeco Ryans is smart enough to have his moments in coverage, but he’s not a guy you want on the field in the passing game on a regular basis.

Hicks has the athletic ability and cover skills to play on passing downs. The middle of the field has been a huge problem on pass defense the last 2 years. The Eagles now have Kendricks, Hicks and Kiko Alonso. That should help them to better control the middle of the field.

Lastly, Brian Mihalik can help. He is a more natural pass rusher than Cedric Thornton or Brandon Bair. He has great height and length, which can be useful for batting passes or at least getting into the passing lanes and forcing the QB to adjust. There are no guarantees Mihalik will make the 53-man roster, let alone be active on gamedays, but he has the potential to help with the pass rush, this year or in the future.

* * * * *

I’ll post UDFA notes later tonight.

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The Final Pick is the Biggest of Them All

Posted: May 2nd, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 377 Comments »

The 2015 draft is over for the Eagles. In the 7th round, they drafted Boston College DE Brian Mihalik.

This kid is huge at 6-9, 302. He is surprisingly athletic. Check out these numbers:

40 – 4.89
BP – 23
VJ – 35.5
BJ – 10’2
SS – 4.37
3C – 7.23

Wow. I don’t know if you realize how good that is. Here is JJ Watt’s Combine workout at 6-5, 290:

40 – 4.84
BP – 34
VJ – 37
BJ – 10’0
SS – 4.23
3C – 6.88

Mihalik is a gifted athlete.

I am not comparing him to Watt as a player. Watt went early because he was dominant on the field. Mihalik had 4.5 sacks last year and is talented, but is nowhere close to Watt in terms of football ability or potential.

Mihalik played RDE, LDE and DT for BC. They mostly ran 4-man lines, but occasionally went to a 3-4 look. He lined up as a 3-4 DE vs Penn State and had a beautiful sack of Christian Hackenberg. Mihalik just threw the RG out of his way and engulfed the QB. Really impressive.

He is talented, but was awkward at 4-3 DE. I think he is best suited to play in the 3-4.

Taking a chance on a guy like this in the 7th round is smart. Ray Rhodes used a 1st round pick on a similar player back in 1997 and it was a disaster. Jon Harris was a complete bust in the NFL. Mihalik is a better scheme fit and is going to work with a terrific DL coach. I think he can definitely play in the NFL.

The Eagles wanted help for the DL. They looked at a variety of players from a variety of schools. In the end, they seemed to go with the biggest athlete they found.

Solid pick with good potential.

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Doubling Down on DBs

Posted: May 2nd, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 243 Comments »

Forget the OL for now. Chip Kelly spent both of his 6th round picks on DBs.

CB JaCorey Shepherd – Kansas

CB Randall Evans – Kansas State

I didn’t anticipate the Eagles doing this, but I like it. Think about what Seattle did in recent years. They built up the best secondary in football by pumping resources into it. You don’t go get 4 or 5 players and then sit tight. You know some guys aren’t going to pan out so you overload to make sure you can build up a talented and deep group.

Shepherd (5-11, 199) ran slow at his Pro Day, but he reportedly had an injury. His tape sure doesn’t show any issues with speed. He broke up 31 passes over the last 2 years. He can be physical at the line or play off and react to receivers.

Evans has great measurables. He is 6-0, 190 and ran 4.44 at his Pro Day. KSU had him play CB, S and in the slot. He spent a lot of time in the slot and the Eagles could look at him as the replacement for Brandon Boykin. The Eagles brought him to the NovaCare for a visit so he’s clearly a player they had interest in.

The Eagles pass defense was awful at times in 2014. The team brought in Byron Maxwell, Walter Thurmond, EJ Biggers, Eric Rowe, Shepherd and Evans to try and fix that. The secondary needed a makeover so this was a smart series of moves by Chip Kelly.

More on these picks later.

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6th Round Preview

Posted: May 2nd, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 300 Comments »

The Eagles traded their 4th round pick on Saturday, after having dealt both 5th round picks on Friday. That made the early part of today awfully boring.

The talk now is that the Eagles made a huge mistake by not drafting an OL in the 4th. They didn’t add any last year and this is now bordering on them being irresponsible.

That is stretching things just a bit.

The Eagles didn’t pass on anyone in the 4th that seemed like a great fit. My favorite OG prospect, Mark Glowinski, went in the late 4th. The Eagles may have had some interest, but taking him at 113 must have felt too early. It is possible they didn’t have him on their draft board.

In return for sending the 4th round pick to the Lions, the Eagles got back Detroit’s 3rd round pick next year. That is especially important since the Eagles don’t have a 2nd rounder (traded for Sam Bradford). The Eagles will now have a pair of 3rd round picks.

There should still be some interesting OL prospects still on the board when the Eagles do pick at 191. As of now:

Big school, but not ideal fits

OL Tyrus Thompson
OL Austin Shepherd
OL Josue Matias

Guys from big schools who have the right measurables

OL Laurence Gibson
OL Takoby Cofield
OL Sean Hickey
OL Darryl Baldwin
OL Cody Wichmann

Small School guys

OL Cole Manhart – 6-4, 298
OL Jake Rodgers – 6-6, 315
OG Chad Hamilton – 6-2, 292
OL Mike Coccia – 6-3, 301

* * * * *

What about Safety prospects?

Kurtis Drummond
Cody Prewitt
Ryan Murphy
Anthony Jefferson
Dean Marlowe

None of those guys is compelling. Drummond is the best FS of the group. Murphy might be the best scheme fit. Oregon State had him drop down and cover the slot on a regular basis. Jefferson originally committed to play for Kelly at Oregon, but went to UCLA to be closer to a sick relative.

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Day 3

Posted: May 2nd, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 634 Comments »

The Eagles have had a good draft so far.

1 – WR Nelson Agholor – USC
2 – CB Eric Rowe – Utah
3 – ILB Jordan Hicks – Texas

Today the Eagles have 4 picks.

4th Rd
6th Rd
6th Rd
7th Rd

That’s not ideal. Using both 5th rounders yesterday hurts. To me, there is a big cut-off from the 5th to the 6th round in most drafts. I expect 5th round picks to make the roster. 6th and 7th round picks I hope make the roster, but can live with them as practice squad players to develop.

The Eagles need OL help and a Safety. They’ll have a tough choice to make today. Do they grab OL T.J. Clemmings if he is still on the board? He has a stress fracture in his foot that is obviously scaring teams away. The 4th round might be a good spot for risk/reward.

The Eagles also think highly of Penn State DB Adrian Amos. While he’s not my cup of tea, Amos has great measurables and fits the Eagles scheme. He is solid value at this point so I could live with that pick.

My favorite OG in the draft is still on the board. I had Mark Glowinski pegged as probably a 5th round pick, but taking him in the mid-4th would be just fine with me. I think he’s an ideal fit for the Eagles. I was happy today to learn that the Eagles have shown interest in him.

There are still some interesting OL on the board. The Eagles went to Oklahoma to check out Williams, Shead and Thompson. None of those guys are good athletes. I struggle to see them in the Eagles offense. I don’t like the FSU star Jackson. I think his teammate Matias is actually the better player.

Jeff Stoutland coached Kouandjio at Bama so that is something to keep in mind. Gibson played LT for Virginia Tech. He is a terrific athlete, but needs a lot of work. I think he would be an excellent fit for the Eagles offense and he could be on the board in the 6th round.

OL TJ Clemmings
OG Mark Glowinski
OL Laurence Gibson
OG Darryl Williams
OG Adam Shead
OG Tyrus Thompson
OG Arie Kouandjio
OG Tre Jackson
OG Josue Matias
OG Jamil Douglas
OL Takoby Cofield
OL Terry Poole
OL Chaz Green
OL Sean Hickey
OL Darryl Baldwin
OL Max Garcia

Small school players of possible interest

OL Cole Manhart – 6-4, 298
OL Jacob Rodgers – 6-6, 315
OG Chad Hamilton – 6-2, 292
OL Mike Coccia – 6-3, 301
OL Ross Hall – 6-4, 294

The Eagles could go for the DB in the 4th and still have some interesting OL choices in the 6th. They obviously wouldn’t be ideal prospects, but there is logic to that strategy since there is more depth at OL than at Safety.

We also have QBs Bryce Petty and Brett Hundley still on the board. Does Chip Kelly like either guy?

* * * * *

Here are some possible Eagles draft targets.

QB

Bryce Petty
Brett Hundley

TE

Jesse James
Ben Koyack
Blake Bell
Nick Boyle
CJ Uzomah
Brian Parker

WR

Rashad Greene
Tre McBride
Kenny Bell
Tony Lippett
Dres Anderson
Vince Mayle
Geremy Davis

OL

TJ Clemmings
Mark Glowinski
Arie Kouandjio
Darryl Williams
Tyrus Thompson
Jamil Douglas
Josue Matias
Laurence Gibson
Terry Poole
Sean Hickey

DL

Corey Crawford
Gabe Wright
Jordan Williams
Travis Raciti
David Parry
BJ McBryde
Caushad Lyons

OLB

Alani Fua
Max Valles
Shaq Riddick
Obum Gwacham
Deion Barnes
Tony Washington

S

Adrian Amos
Ibraheim Campbell
Cody Prewitt
Kurtis Drummond
James Sample
Cedric Thompson

CB

Doran Grant
Darryl Roberts
Garry Peters
Damian Swann
Randall Evans
Justin Coleman
Cam Thomas

* * * * *

Find a way to get Mark Glowinski and I’ll be a happy man.

Add Glowinski and Clemmings and I’ll be ecstatic.

There is no Safety that I covet. I think Ibraheim Campbell is the guy I like the most of the available players (that make sense for the Eagles).

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