Eagles Select RB Dion Lewis & G Julian Vandervelde

Posted: April 30th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 5 Comments »

The Eagles added a highly productive RB, but it wasn’t a player that I expected.  Dion Lewis did some really good things in his 2 years at Pitt, but he didn’t seem like an Eagles kind of player. We need guys who can handle touches here and there, but can still find ways to contribute. I question whether Lewis can do this. I hope he can because I like him as a runner quite a bit.  Let’s hope he embraces STs and shows he can get the job done.

Here are some notes:

Only a RS-Soph.  Had a phenomenal season in 2009.  Ran for 1,799 yards and 17 TDs.  Workhorse runner. Showed good instincts.  Ran with vision and patience.  Quick, elusive.  Only one problem.  Lacked top speed.  Only ran 4.57 at the Combine, and that lack of speed showed up on game tape. Broke into the open, but would get run down. Numbers went down in 2010. Got off to a slow start and had to share carries.  Still ran for 1,061 yards.  Caught 52 career passes.  Doesn’t have RS experience.

I love instinctive runners with vision, but I do question how Lewis will handle the NFL where he won’t be fed the football 20 times a game.  Can he contribute as a backup and role player?  Good ability, but must show he can fit in.

There are some bigger backs who will be available late and as UDFAs.  The Eagles can add one of those players if they do want a guy with some size to challenge for a roster spot.

* * * * *

With pick 161 the Eagles went for G Julian Vandervelde from Iowa.  I liked him quite a bit.  Caught my eye when watching DL from Big Ten teams.  Julian more than held his own when going against good competition.  That impressed me and I studied him closely.  Here are some notes:

Lacks ideal size, but a good athlete and blocker.  Anchors well. Able to re-set. Can drive block well when he uses good leverage. Good feet. Excellent balance.Able to re-set in pass pro when initially driven back.  Picks up stunts easily. Excellent awareness. Fires off the ball and can get to the 2nd level.  Good on LBs. Gets to them and sustains blocks. Very underrated player.

Vandervelde is a bit short at 6017.  He rounds up to 6’2.  Good athlete.  Check out the numbers from his Combine workout and you see a guy who is as athletic as almost any Guard in the draft.

Vandervelde can come in to challenge for a backup G spot.  He might also be able to play C.  Should be an ideal fit for Howard Mudd’s style of OL play.

5 Comments on “Eagles Select RB Dion Lewis & G Julian Vandervelde”

  1. 1 bsencore said at 3:28 PM on April 30th, 2011:

    Looks like the Eagles decided to clean house on the interior line.

  2. 2 Tommy Lawlor said at 3:30 PM on April 30th, 2011:

    Nick is gone.

    Max will compete for a job. Julian might be a P-Squad guy if he can’t win a spot. We needed competition and guys that fit Mudd’s system.

  3. 3 makarov said at 4:22 PM on April 30th, 2011:

    Not happy with the Lewis pick, pretty much for same reasons as Tommy. Undersized, 4.6 RB who can’t pass block? Sign me up.

    I don’t know what they see in him. They would have had greater value in Evan Royster, who went in the 6th pretty much as expected. Royster, at least, has some pass blocking experience.

  4. 4 ATG said at 4:33 PM on April 30th, 2011:

    Great Scott, our Hunt for the next miscast back-up runner is over!

  5. 5 nicolajNN said at 5:07 PM on April 30th, 2011:

    Tommy how much similarity is there between Shady and Lewis? Also how often does it happen that starter and back-up(if he makes the team) played together in college?