The Eagles have had a busy day. They claimed OL Nate Menkin, who was cut by the Texans. Quick, simple description…Menkins is the David Sims of T/G’s. For those who want more details, I took the time to watch him play. He was a LT in the game I watched. He is absolutely a Howard Mudd guy. I’m sure the Texans wanted to keep him. Menkin is quite good at times. He has one big problem…he isn’t good in standard pass pro. The Texans have their guys kick slide and take a vertical set. Menkin doesn’t do that well. He got beat off the edge a couple of times by speed rushers.
In the Mudd system, Menkin will have the chance to be more aggressive off the ball. He can use his good lateral agility to get wide and take on rushers. He can come off the ball and engage them. Menkin uses his hands well and is an active blocker. He’s going to do everything he can on a given play. There is nothing passive about him.
The reason I know Mudd loves Menkin (sounds like a bad novel) is the way he run blocks. Menkin fires off the ball. Can be very good on the 2nd level. Pulled on an outside run on 3rd / 2 and he dove to take out a DB. When he gets up on LBs, will pop them with his hands and work to sustain blocks. Menkin isn’t a gifted athlete, but he runs well and gets to the 2nd level quickly. He is effective when he slows down and plays under control. There are times when he’s going too hard. Great effort when blocking at the LOS. There was a play when he got on the DE and the guy got turned around on the play. The ball was already downfield, but Menkin shoved the DE to the ground anyway. He wanted to get his money’s worth on the block.
I think Menkin could play OG for us right away, if needed. I’m not sure about OT. Might need some time. While he should be a good fit for Mudd’s system, some guys do take time to adjust. Usually those guys are really good with vertical sets and changing is the hard part. Menkin isn’t natural with vertical sets so adjusting may be easier for him.
Menkin has good strength. He’s not going to overwhelm anyone, but he’s functional at the least. I didn’t get a good feel for his ability to anchor in pass pro.
Menkin is 6-4, 296. Went to Mary Hardin-Baylor. Until today, I wasn’t aware that Menkin shared space on the Earth with me, Nick Foles, Derek Landri, and Megan Fox. Now he’s one of us.
So why cut Steve Vallos, Julian Vandervelde, and DJ Jones and claim Menkin? Vallos came here as a C/G. He wasn’t good enough to win a roster spot. Good athlete, but sloppy blocker. Vandy was a pure OG that they tried to turn into the backup C as well. He really struggled at C and that affected his overall game. Menkin is a T/G. He can play those two spots. As for Jones, I think Menkin is better blocking in space and that is important on the WR screens and the draw plays we run. Menkin can help on those plays. Also, Jones looked lost at RT the other night. He was a pure backup LT. I don’t know if Menkin can play RT, but he’s got the skill set for G or LT at the least.
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In order to claim Menkin, the Eagles had to cut Trevard Lindley. Keeping him was a luxury. Didn’t need 6 CBs. It was good to have 6 CBs worth keeping.
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Ex-Eagles update. Keenan Clayton was claimed by the Raiders. Mike Kafka went unclaimed. Vandervelde was claimed by the Bucs. Chad Hall was given a chance at the practice squad, but passed. He’s hoping to make someone’s roster. Good luck to Chad.
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The Eagles practice squad isn’t finalized. Here’s what we know:
WR Marvin McNutt
TE Chase Ford
FB Emil Igwenagu
OC Chase Beeler
DT Frank Trotter
LB Ryan Rau
I will be very disappointed if the Eagles don’t add DE Monte Taylor. He really impressed me. I do wonder if anyone claimed him. Would also like S Phillip Thomas to make it.
There was a report about the Eagles adding WR B.J. Cunningham (cut by Miami), but that may be bogus. I was a big fan of his coming out of Michigan State.
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The Eagles are very young. Jimmy Bama put up a good post on the subject. Proving that we have some weird mental connection, I wrote my SB Nation Philly column on the Eagles going with young guys instead of veterans in some key backup roles.
Is this smart for a Super Bowl contender?
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Make sure to read FakeWIPCaller’s new column. Great stuff as always.