Eagles Finish with DT, Start on UDFAs

Posted: April 30th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 326 Comments »

The Eagles spent their final draft pick on DT Elijah Qualls, a player they had shown interest in for a while. He is 6-1, 313, but don’t think of him as a fat, run-stuffer. Qualls is surprisingly athletic and a terrific fit for the Eagles scheme.

Jim Schwartz wants DL who get to the QB. Qualls had 7.5 sacks over the last 2 years, a solid total for a big DT who wasn’t allowed to attack up the field on a regular basis. Schwartz will turn him loose in Philly.

Qualls offers depth. Beau Allen is rehabbing from an injury, but we don’t know for a fact he’ll be ready to go this season. He’s scheduled to be back in early September, but you cannot count on him. Destiny Vaeao flashed as a rookie, but the  team needed depth and competition. Qualls helps in this area. If he isn’t good enough to make the team, Qualls could spend a year on the practice squad and push for a spot in 2018.

Good pick, in terms of need, value and talent.


UDFA signings

RB Corey Clement – Wisconsin
C Tyler Orlosky – West Virginia
WR Greg Ward – Houston
DT Winston Craig – Richmond
LB Marcus Oliver – Indiana
CB Jomal Wiltz – Iowa State
TE Billy Brown – Sheperd
CB Tre Sullivan – Sheperd
P Cameron Johnston – Ohio State

Clement is the key addition. He ran for 1,375 yards and 15 TDs this year for the Badgers. Clement is 5-10, 220 and has the potential to be a good NFL RB. The problem is that he’s not special in any way. Ran 4.68, which is average speed for his size. Had a 28.5 VJ, which shows a lack of explosiveness. Was better at his Pro Day, running 4.59 and jumping 32 inches.

There are some character concerns and some durability issues that affected his value, but he is a terrific UDFA signing. Clement gives the Eagles a talented RB who was highly productive in one of the best conferences in college football.

Clement might get cut or he might make the roster and show the Eagles that he deserves reps, not just a roster spot.

Ward is an interesting addition. He had a great season playing QB for the Cougars, but will move to WR in the NFL. Ward is a high character player who did everything in his power to get his team to the national title game. Ward is a good athlete, and is the kind of competitive, athletic player Joe Douglas wants fighting for a roster spot.

I’ll write more on the UDFAs on Sunday.


Another WR and a LB

Posted: April 29th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 421 Comments »

The Eagles used their 5th round pick on WR Shelton Gibson, a 5-11, 191 speedster from West Virginia. He “only” ran 4.50 at the Combine, but was faster at his Pro Day with a 4.42. That is the kind of speed he showed on game tape. Gibson averaged 23 yards a catch for his career. He had 17 TD receptions over the last 2 years. Carson Wentz just got another weapon.

Gibson can be a downfield threat, but is also dangerous after the catch. The Eagles want to throw deep and Gibson helps there, but he also is a guy you can get the ball to on screens. He can turn a short catch into a big gain.

Gibson has added value as a RS. He averaged 24 yards per KOR in his career, with 1 TD. Good value pick in the 5th round.

DGB and Nelson Agholor have to be nervous after seeing the Eagles take Mack Hollins and Shelton Gibson. There will be a lot of competition for roster spots and playing time. Keep this in mind…the Eagles brought both Gibson and Hollins to Philly for visits. These are players they targeted. Both help the team  on offense, but also on STs.


With the final pick in the 5th round, the Eagles added Nate Gerry from Nebraska. He was a SS in college, but will move to LB in the NFL.

Gerry is 6-2, 218. Ran 4.58 at the Combine. That’s a solid size/speed combination. He didn’t have the cover skills to be a starting S in the NFL, but has good athleticism for a LB. He was a good box defender in college and played the run very well. Gerry still managed to have 13 INTs so he continues the trend of these draft picks being highly productive.

We don’t know what Mychal Kendricks future is so Gerry gives the Eagles a body at that spot for them to develop for the future. Gerry also has a chance to be an outstanding STer. Keep in mind that LB Bryan Braman wasn’t re-signed so the team could use a LB to take his spot.

Good pick.


4th Round – Eagles Add WR and RB

Posted: April 29th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 276 Comments »

The picks are in.

118- WR Mack Hollins – UNC – 6-4, 221

132 – RB Donnel Pumphrey – SDSU – 5-9, 176

Let’s start with Hollins.

Good WR, great STer. Some of you hear that and focus on STs. Do you spend a 4th to get someone who can cover kicks? Hollins does a great job of that and will make Dave Fipp a very happy man. But don’t overlook him as a receiver.

Hollins has a big body and long arms (33 inches). He ran 4.53 at the Combine. That isn’t great speed, but he is a terrific downfield receiver. He uses his long gait to eat up ground and get by CBs. He averaged 21 yards per catch for his career. Hollins wasn’t a volume receiver, only catching 81 career passes. He did miss half of his Senior year and that cost him about 20 grabs. He was an impact receiver. He had 20 TD catches.

I don’t see Hollins as a starter, but he can be a very good role player because of his ability to stretch the field and offer impact in the Red Zone. He’s a big guy with good hands and he will go up and get the ball.

The Eagles needed a player like Hollins. He helps on offense because the teams wants to throw the ball downfield and that’s his specialty. He also helps because the teams needs WRs to play on STs. Nelson Agholor might try some of that this year. DGB is in big trouble with this pick. He better play so well the Eagles have to keep him in the mix.

Hollins also fits what the team wants in terms of intangibles. This is exactly the kind of player Joe Douglas wants.


Mixed feelings on this pick.

Pumphrey had an amazing season for the Aztecs. He ran for 2,133 yards and averaged 6.1 yards per carry. That is insane production, whether mid-level competition or not. His size is a serious issue for me. He is only 176 pounds. He did 5 reps on the bench at the Combine. That went up to 8 at his Pro Day, but that’s not good either. He has short arms and small hands.

The talk is that Pumphrey will replace Darren Sproles. I think that is a major projection. Sproles was an outstanding returner in college. Pumphrey returned 5 KOs and no punts. He has to learn how to do that in the NFL.

Pumphrey was very durable in college. He got a ton of carries and didn’t get hurt. That does tell you this kid is tough and does play bigger than his size. The Eagles wanted playmakers on offense. Pumphrey does have the potential to deliver some big plays. He has 4.48 speed, runs well and can catch.

I’ll have to trust Joe Douglas, Doug Pederson, Duce Staley and Dave Fipp on this one.

The Eagles need to add another RB, whether in the draft or as a primary UDFA. It is also possible they could add a veteran free agent after the draft.


2017 Eagles Draft Guide – Day 3

Posted: April 29th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 114 Comments »


The Eagles focused on defense in the first 2 days. Expect some offensive playmakers today. There is a need for a RB and WR. It is possible the team could add a pair of RBs. TE could be a target if the right player is available.

The Eagles aren’t done on defense. They could add depth pieces up front, in the middle or on the back end.

Will there be any trades? Mychal Kendricks and Jason Kelce are potential pieces that could be moved.


The picks:

1 – 14 – DE Derek Barnett
2 – 43 – CB Sidney Jones
3 – 99 – CB Rasul Douglas
4 -118
4 – 139
5 – 155
6 – 194
7 – 230

The needs:


RB is obvious. Ryan Mathews will be cut when he’s healthy enough to pass a physical. Darren Sproles is in his final year. The Eagles just moved Byron Marshall to WR so this position is pretty wide open. I would actually like the team to spend a couple of picks on RBs, or to draft one and target one as a primary UDFA. They need a couple of bodies to add to the mix.

WR is set for 2017, but Alshon Jeffery is here on a 1-year deal. Jordan Matthews is in a contract year. Nelson Agholor and DGB are both question marks for the future. As Howie Roseman has pointed out, you want to draft WRs a year early. They don’t tend to play well as rookies. If you need someone for 2018, you draft that guy in 2017. Things could change with Jeffery and Matthews and you could see Agholor and DGB play much better. Again…you can’t count on these things.

Rodney McLeod and Malcolm Jenkins give the team a good FS/SS combo, but as we saw last year, there is a need for a good 3rd Safety. Jaylen Watkins had his best season, but was still erratic. It would be good to bring in competiton for him at the very least. The Eagles could add a S as early as the 1st round or wait to the bottom of the draft.

DT should be good with Tim Jernigan on board and Beau Allen returning in September. But both are projected to be free agents after that. Destiny Vaeao showed promise last year and it will be interesting to see if Aziz Shittu can take a big step forward. Still, this is an area where the Eagles would like to add a player.  Read the rest of this entry »

The New Corners

Posted: April 29th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 86 Comments »

Let’s talk more about the new guys.

Sidney Jones – 6-0, 186 – Washington

3-year starter for the Huskies. Complete corner. Can cover, blitz, hit, tackle and make plays. Press corner who can be very physical with receivers. Smooth, fluid corner who can mirror receivers. Has good ball skills. Explosive when coming forward, whether to break on the ball or to tackle a runner/receiver. Good blitzer. Mostly played LCB. Jones is the latest in a line of good UW DBs. Marcus Peters and Desmond Trufant are outstanding NFL corners from Washington in recent years.

The only real concern with Jones is his Achilles tear. The Eagles had their medical staff check this out thoroughly. They feel strongly that he will make a complete recovery. Howie Roseman said they studied recoveries from Achilles injuries and there was a high rate of success. Jones is just 20-years old and is in great shape so that should help him.

Very good fit for the Eagles. Jim Schwartz likes to mix tough man coverage with some zone. Jones can excel at both. He has the cover skills to blanket receivers all over the field. He can also play off and break on the ball when it comes his way. He has outstanding hands and is able to make some impressive INTs. Has the size/speed/athleticism combination you want in a corner who will cover top WRs.


Rasul Douglas – 6-2, 209 – West Virginia

Former junior college player who was a backup for the Mountaineers in 2015. Became a starter in 2016 and had a great season. Tied for national lead with 8 INTs. Very aggressive corner. Loves to jump routes. Has an uncanny knack for getting to the ball. Uses his hands, his helmet…whatever he can get to try and knock the ball out. Solid tackler. Very good at times, but there are plays when he will reach and grab and be sloppy. Only ran 4.59 at the Combine. The Eagles aren’t overly concerned by that because he had a good 10-yard split and uses his size (6-2) and length (32-inch arms) to help make up for a lack of ideal speed.

Douglas can be effective pressing or playing off, but he is vulnerable as well. His speed could be an issue when trying to press top receivers in the NFL. When he plays off, there are times when Douglas is too handsy, grabbing receivers as they break inside or out. That’s something he has to cut down on in the NFL. Douglas does a great job of reading receivers and routes, which enables him to jump routes and play the ball.

I thought Douglas would be a player Jim Schwartz would love because of his aggressiveness and ball skills. Seems like that was correct. Douglas had a great showing at the Senior Bowl and that got the Eagles attention. He seems like a Joe Douglas player because of his production and effort. Watch him chase a runner or receiver and he sure looks faster than 4.59. He’s got a real competitive spirit.

Douglas can come in and compete for a starting job right away. He doesn’t have a ton of experience, but he is a smart, instinctive player who is going to fight to get on the field. The Eagles need someone with his size and ball skills on the field.