Eagles 6th and 7th Round Picks

Posted: May 1st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 28 Comments »

Draft Notes: 6th and 7th Round

6 – C Jason Kelce
6 – LB Brian Rolle
7 – ILB Greg Lloyd
7 – FB Stanley Havili

* * * * *

Jason Kelce is a player I should have talked more about during the season. The problem was that Cincinnati was so bad that I watched them very little. I also had concerns about Kelce’s size. He’s only 6’3, 280. I wasn’t sure if NFL teams would be able to get past that build. When you watch Kelce play you can’t help but like him. Typical undersized guy. Plays with a chip on his shoulder. Goes full speed on every snap. Maximum effort. I think Kelce is the kind of guy you take a chance on late in the draft. The coaches have to love the thought of seeing him in practice. Kelce will drive D-linemen crazy. He’ll start fights due to his tenacious blocking style. He’ll bring out the competitive side in everyone around him. There is no guarantee Kelce will be good enough for the NFL, but this is a guy you want in Training Camp. Give him a chance and see what he can do. Jason is a good fit for Howard Mudd’s style of O-line play.

Notes on Kelce:

Undersized, but very athletic player.  3-year starter.  First couple of years were at LG.  Moved to C as a Senior.  Did a good job with shotgun snaps.  Usually crisp, accurate.  Lean, athletic build.  Has good feet.  Natural pass blocker.  Sinks his hips and widens his feet so he can anchor. Lacks ideal bulk, so technique is crucial for him. Outstanding blocker in space.  Very good on screens. Athletic enough to get upfield and will then go and get big hits on defenders. Active blocker. Always finds someone to hit. Works hard to sustain blockers. Defender might get by him initially, but Kelce will keep his hands on the guy and move his feet so as not to let the defender go free in the backfield.  Lacks ideal bulk/strength. Isn’t going to get as much push on run plays as you want. What he will do is stick with a block and wear defenders down. Puts guys on the ground when he gets a chance. Plays with a lot of attitude.

Does he have the functional size and strength to start in the NFL? If not, could be a TE, FB, or H-back. Good player. Would be mid-round target if he were bigger.

* * * * *

LB Brian Rolle is one of my favorite players in the whole draft. I love watching him play. You put on an Ohio State game and he just jumps out at you. He’s smaller than you’d like, but this is a player I would take a chance on. He was tough and productive at OSU. If he’s unable to develop into a starter in the NFL, Rolle could be a good role player and great special teams player. He is athletic, plays hard, and tackles really well.

Notes:  Rolle is just under 5-10. He played at about 220 pounds for OSU, but is now up to 229. He knows he needs to be in the 230-pound range for the NFL. Rolle started at middle linebacker for the last two years (succeeding James Laurinaitis). Rolle might have been small, but he didn’t play like it. There was a play in the Wisconsin game when big Gabe Carimi came to block him and Rolle took him on. No problem. That’s the attitude you want in an undersized guy. Rolle has great closing speed. Get him near the ball and he’ll either make the play or hit the guy. He could be a great special teams player with his speed and tackling ability. Rolle was in on 10 tackles in the Iowa game, 3 of them were TFLs. I love watching him hit RBs and TEs as they go to release into pass routes. He put quite a few of those guys on the ground before they could even get going. Solid cover skills. Has great range over the middle. Runs like a S. Makes it tough to throw in the deep middle. Rolle is undersized, but he’s physical, tough, and athletic. Rolle went to the Shrine Game. No one mentioned to him it was a laid back all star setting. He was just as tough and physical in that game as he was the rest of the season. He absolutely killed TEs and RBs trying to run pass routes. No freebies from him. Had a terrific workout at the Combine.

Size will likely push him down around the fifth round, but it wouldn’t shock me for a coach to fall in love with him and take him higher.

Rolle comes to Philly to compete for a spot as a backup LB and STs player. I think Bobby April will love him. Rolle can become a starting LB down the road if things pan out, but at the least I expect him to succeed as a STer and role player. He is the kind of player who will embrace any role the coaches give him.

* * * * *

Greg Lloyd is a physical, inside run stuffer. He is a MLB. Rolle and Matthews played MLB, but each guy has a legit shot to move to WLB in the NFL. Lloyd suffered a really bad knee injury and that affected him in 2010. I watched him early in the season vs Michigan and he looked like a statue. Real shame. The coaches sat him down and let him get healthy. He only played in 7 games and didn’t have a solo tackle past mid-September. Andy Reid specifically mentioned how good Greg looked in the E-W Shrine Game. I’ll have to go back and study that tape, as well as a UConn game from 2009 to appreciate how good he really is.

Greg comes here to challenge for a backup spot. We’ve already got other MLBs so Greg isn’t close to being guaranteed a spot. He looked pretty healthy in the Shrine Game (watched a few plays after the draft). Eagles could try to “redshirt” him in 2011 and then have him push for a roster spot in 2012. At that point they should know what’s up with Stew, Chaney, Casey, and the LB crew.

* * * * *

The final pick was FB Stanley Havili. I have to give you some background on Havili. I first noticed him at USC back in 2007 or ’08. I looked up #31 to see how old the guy was and was shocked to see he wasn’t even a Junior. Havili was real impressive as a runner and receiver. I made a mental note to check that guy out in the future. 2010 rolls up and he’s finally a Senior. Instead of watching him casually I’m now studying him for the draft. Havili is still impressive with the ball in his hands, but his blocking is another issue. He’s simply not a consistently good lead blocker. I don’t question Havili’s toughness. He will block DE’s when they roll the pocket and send him to the backside. He will take on blitzers. Havili just doesn’t look comfortable when it comes to attacking LBs on run plays. You have to be part crazy to do that. Apparently he’s too sane.

With his receiving skills, I can see why Havili was an attractive target for the Eagles. Check out his career numbers: 116-1290-12. Those are not typical FB receiving stats. Havili isn’t just catching dump passes either. He is good on wheel routes. He can catch the ball downfield. Natural pass catcher. Havili doesn’t have to be a good blocker for the Eagles. He needs to be “good enough”. The last truly good lead blocker we had at FB was Jon Ritche back in 2003. We’ve run for a lot of yards and scored a lot of points since then.

Havili is here to push Owen Schmitt at the FB position. Schmitt did some good things last year, but wasn’t so good that he gets a free pass. We need good competition for him. Havili fits what we do and could give Schmitt a run for his money if he’ll work on his lead blocks. We don’t need him to be Moose Johnston, but we need better than what he did at USC.

28 Comments on “Eagles 6th and 7th Round Picks”

  1. 1 jernst said at 12:37 AM on May 1st, 2011:

    Thanks for all your write-ups, Tommy! Quick question…is it possible that Havili, besides being Reid’s token late round mormon, was drafted to push Eldra Buckley for the short yardage, 3rd RB and not so much as a FB to push Schmidt?

  2. 2 Cliff said at 12:59 AM on May 1st, 2011:

    I look at this draft class today and like everyone else can question almost every pick in terms of value, but I can see similarities in each player: they’re all high-character, high-motor guys.

    Leading up to the draft, we talked about being able to add a “questionable” guy like Jimmy Smith because of the guys we already have in place. In the end, I’m glad we didn’t take the risk on anyone with a list of character flaws and maturity issues. Winning games or not, I want to be able to *root* for the players in green.

  3. 3 Cliff said at 1:06 AM on May 1st, 2011:

    I also think it’s fun to go ahead and look back at the 2008 draft class since it’s often said you need at least 3 years before you can truly evaluate a class.

    We drafted quite a few good NFL players and bombed on a couple reaches. Believe it or not, the majority of those players are still starters in the NFL.

    Trevor Laws
    DeSean Jackson
    Bryan Smith
    Mike McGlynn
    Quintin Demps
    Jack Ikegwuonu
    Mike Gibson
    Joe Mays
    Andy Studebaker
    King Dunlap

  4. 4 bula said at 1:48 AM on May 1st, 2011:

    tommy, when you mentioned that havili would challenge owen scmitt, and I had to wonder if there was any news regarding leonard weaver. I know that there is a good chance that his career is over, but is he still under contract?

  5. 5 arby said at 8:55 AM on May 1st, 2011:

    I wasn’t able to spend as much time with the draft in “real” time as in the past but, Tommy, thanks once again for hosting the forum and all the great background info you provide on the players. You put us all ‘in the game’ of the draft.

    I feel better today about our picks than I did the past 2 days. We addressed the interior line in a big way, we picked up a couple of RB’s although I wish we’d taken one sooner. We got LB and ST help and help/possible future starters for the secondary. Maybe JJ (a new JJ?) starts at SS. The selection of a kicker was a bigger shocker than the “reach” of Jarrett. At least we knew the Eagles had interest in Jarrett. What an unceremonious end to the great Eagle career of David Akers – our best kicker ever! Although given that he never signed his tender, it should not be so unexpected – the Eagles had to protect themselves.

    Anyway, thanks again.

  6. 6 MikeD said at 9:13 AM on May 1st, 2011:

    Longtime listener, first time caller. I like the prospects on the OL. And something about reading that every guy is “tough, high motor, and plays past the whistle” makes me believe that we just drafted a BDawk prototype at every position. It’s spring, we can dream.

    Thanks for the analysis Tommy, truly the best around for us Eagles fans. Long live IgglesBlitz!

  7. 7 netherman said at 10:49 AM on May 1st, 2011:

    Ditto on the kudos Tommy…really appreciate your insight. I know it was not a sexy draft, but I am happy with it. I perceive one major area of weakness at RCB and have to believe the lack of urgency means they have a plan in place. Trading Kolb to AZ and getting DRC + pick(s) seems to make a lot of sense. I cannot believe they were that laid back if they were just betting the house on Nnamdi. I still hope they take a run at Nnamdi so we could use Kolb for picks or for another upgrade (LB?).

  8. 8 Mike said at 3:02 PM on May 1st, 2011:

    Tommy – Maybe Havarti is here to challenge Buckley as #3 RB? Would be nice to have another RB to come out of the backfield on screens and also take over Buckley’s role on special teams. Then you can keep schmitt to be your lead blocker (because he is not sane). Thoughts?

  9. 9 eagles nut said at 4:41 PM on May 1st, 2011:

    Tommy –

    I’ve read that Kelce actually played at around 290 with Cincinatti but measured in at 280 at the combine because he recently had an appendicitis.

  10. 10 deg0ey said at 7:59 PM on May 1st, 2011:

    As a Brit, I find Cliffs comment about character interesting. It’s something I’ve come across a few times before when reading forum/blog posts about American sports and it seems that some people struggle to ‘root’ for a guy that is perceived as a ‘bad apple’ away from the field of play. This is completely alien to me – I can’t imagine either rooting for a particular player, regardless of the team he plays for, or not supporting a player on my team for any reason. To use a soccer reference, I am a die-hard Chelsea fan and we have a couple of players (for example, a certain Mr Ashley Cole) whose behaviour away from the field reveals them to be less than stellar human beings. Having said that, I can’t think of a circumstance where I would not support said player in their efforts to provide a good

  11. 11 Anders said at 8:03 PM on May 1st, 2011:

    Just noticed that Kelce is just around the same size as Jeff Saturday

  12. 12 deg0ey said at 8:03 PM on May 1st, 2011:

    As a Brit, I find Cliffs comment about character interesting. It’s something I’ve come across a few times before when reading forum/blog posts about American sports and it seems that some people struggle to ‘root’ for a guy that is perceived as a ‘bad apple’ away from the field of play. This is completely alien to me – I can’t imagine either rooting for a particular player, regardless of the team he plays for, or not supporting a player on my team for any reason. To use a soccer reference, I am a die-hard Chelsea fan and we have a couple of players (for example, a certain Mr Ashley Cole) whose behaviour away from the field reveals them to be less than stellar human beings. Having said that, I can’t think of a circumstance where I would not support said player in their efforts to provide a good performance/result for the team that I love.

    I find it interesting that the personality of a player has such importance to fans in the US – obviously it will be an issue to the coaches to decide whether they can work with the guy, but as a fan, I don’t understand the issue that people may have with rooting for guys like Jimmy Smith or TO or anyone else. The attitude over here is more ‘he might be an ass, but he’s our ass and we will support him accordingly’

  13. 13 deg0ey said at 8:04 PM on May 1st, 2011:

    Ooo somehow managed a double post – not even sure how I did that

  14. 14 Matt said at 8:29 PM on May 1st, 2011:

    hey tommy i would like to watch the E-W Shrine game as well any ideas where i can watch it?

  15. 15 MoneyDavid said at 8:33 PM on May 1st, 2011:

    As always, thanks for all the great info Tommy. Sorry if it has been already covered, but I have not seen the following. 1) I have been thinking since Mudd came aboard that he would be a big help for whoever starts at FB. It sounds like if that is the case for new FB Havili, then he could be a major stud from the start … dare I say it, even better than Weaver b/c of Mudd’s assistance. Then again, how much practice is he going to get at the rate we are going. Stop the labor whining & get it going. Sounds like someone is having a baby !
    2) With everything I am hearing from Tommy & other smart folks, it seems that if Rolle were to go to safety he would bring the attitude and thump to the safety spot we have been missing since Dawkins. Even you said he has “solid cover skills ….. and great range over the middle.” Thoughts ? If there are LB injuries, then he could always be a stop gap and give the D even more flexibility.
    3) To Brit degoey – many will have a different opinion, but the character thing is not such a big issue while the jerk is playing on the field, especially if he is playing well. We don’t want them in the locker room disrupting the perfect continuity that is needed for a team to perform at its best every week. In Brit football, a couple guys can take over a game. That is next to impossible in our football … the ultimate team sport. We will still root for the jerk, but we don’t want him anywhere near our guys. The salary cap also makes it difficult to have premium depth at every position, especially at a key position like corner (i.e. J. Smith), so when things go bad with one jerk, there can been a huge ripple effect across many positions trying to fill the gap in talent when the jerk is suspended, etc. There is also a bigger impact b/c there are only 16 games. Sorry about the long rant.

  16. 16 ATG said at 10:17 PM on May 1st, 2011:

    @eagles nut

    I don’t know, it sounds fishy to me. I don’t think an appendix weighs 10 pounds.

    @degoey and MoneyDavid

    You make a good point, David, but there is more, for me at least. I like the fact that the Eagles are a team I can be proud of on and off the field. I like that players came to the aid of a kid that was being bullied. I like that they clean up playgrounds. I am even proud that Vick demonstrated what one can do if they stop messing around and focus on what is important. I am glad the team I support doesn’t have the character of the Cowboys, Bengals, or Ravens. Maybe it is because I work with teens and have young kids. When they ask me what team I follow, I don’t want any impression of condoning bad behavior.

    Huh, looks like rants are the flavor of the day.

  17. 17 Eric said at 11:21 PM on May 1st, 2011:

    I just noticed that Watkins wore #59? See ya later, Nick Cole. We need that jersey number for Danny!

  18. 18 Rex said at 12:17 AM on May 2nd, 2011:


    I think it’s a difference of sport things. I see soccer as more akin to basketball than football. I think both are sports were character is less of a concern than in football and I think there is a correlation. Basketball and Soccer are games you can dominate by simply just being better. Player for player, athletically. I’m not sure coaching is as much relied upon. The NFL is a coaches league. It’s also a league where you need incredible discipline. That is to say that during the course of a play 11 different players are doing 11 totally different things. When people see someone with character concerns it raises a discipline flag. “can this guy really be bothered once he get’s some money?” type of attitude.

    Yes some guys with bad character have made it but more often than not the real ass holes don’t make it.

    I think the “he’s our ass hole” exists in sports. Lebron James, Big Ben, a few other NFL players, but mostly I just think it raises red flags for people.

  19. 19 Name said at 1:05 AM on May 2nd, 2011:


    I would also add that Goodell tends to suspend people for their off the field antics and counting on a guy and then losing because the commish feels his behavior is detrimental to the brand makes it a much more bitter pill to swallow. In a 16 game season, losing a couple games because your CB (as an example) decided to be a knucklehead can cost you a playoff birth or homefield advantage, and we certainly know how CB play can drop off when your starter is not available. Hall of fame resumes are made on our backups 🙁

  20. 20 EdinburghEagle said at 6:13 AM on May 2nd, 2011:

    As regards the importance of character in sport, I’m not sure it is *that* different in soccer, although I agree it is magnified by the nature of football (huge squads, intricate play assignments, willingness to get nailed by a rampaging linebacker etc.). I should point out that the players on the Chelsea team that are less-than-universally-loved also have other things in common: an absolute burning desire to win and a tremendous work-rate. They might not be great human beings but they certainly don’t hold the team back when they’re on the field.

    On the other hand I can think of a good number of talented but immature, lazy or selfish soccer players who have more or less messed up their careers as a result (Robinho for example). There is definitely more room for a talented prima donna or two on a soccer team, but I can’t be the only one here that looked the other way when TO was our asshole rather than the other guy’s. Of course now I am more than a little embarrased that I ever cheered for him and we all know how badly TO turned out, but you get the point.

    I understand where ATG is coming from and I certainly prefer it when our team stands out as a set of great role models. When a player combines outstanding talent with great character he earns himself a special place in my heart (oh, how I miss thee B-Dawk…). My hypothetical question, though, is this. If a player came along with Dawkins skill-set and will to win, but acted like a jerk off the field (though not Roethlisberg level. That’s a whole different matter), would you not cheer for the guy? I’m pretty sure I would.

  21. 21 eagles nut said at 7:22 AM on May 2nd, 2011:

    The appendix may not weigh 10 pounds. But you may not feel like eating as much as normal after getting cut open.

  22. 22 ATG said at 7:41 AM on May 2nd, 2011:

    @eagles nut

    Yeah, my comment was intended (apparently unsuccessfully) as a joke. Otherwise I am going to start coaching our local HS wrestling team, institute elective appendectomies, and have everyone dominate by moving down two weight classes.

    Actually, I wonder how much an appendix, tonsils, and wisdom teeth weigh together…

  23. 23 Texasbart said at 10:06 AM on May 2nd, 2011:

    I would not say that we went with high character guys, per se, but with smart, physical players rather than knuckleheads who are fast. Not that these are mutually exclusive groupings, but I look forward to guys who love to play football and can apply a scheme at a high level. This can make up for limits in ideal size/speed – as long as there only a few on the field at one time. It actually reminds of the kind of guys that the Phillies have tried to bring in to great effect.

    Also, we got a lot smaller at offensive line. This, obviously fits Mudd. But, he is 69. We ought to be thinking about a replacement that values the same system if we are going to go to more of a light, athletic line.

  24. 24 Chris said at 3:02 PM on May 2nd, 2011:


    I feel like I’ve heard Tommy say that there is a offensive line coach that is moving through the ranks right now who is around 2-3 years away (correct me if I’m wrong). I would hope/assume that this coach will be shadowing Mudd and adopting his philosophy.

  25. 25 netherman said at 7:13 PM on May 2nd, 2011:


    are you referring to Chris or Bo?

  26. 26 Chris said at 8:16 PM on May 2nd, 2011:


    I’m not actually sure what you’re referring to (coaches names?). In reference to what I said, I’m pretty sure that Tommy said in a comment a few weeks ago that the Eagles have some hot shot OL coach that is like 2 years away from actually coaching.

  27. 27 eagles nut said at 9:51 PM on May 2nd, 2011:

    Reid never said who he was actually talking about as far as an assistant offensive line coach but it’s probably Eugene Chung. His official title is assistant to the strength and conditioning coach.

  28. 28 makarov said at 12:05 PM on May 3rd, 2011:

    Thanks for all the work and posts, Tommy.

    In summary, my most/least favorite picks are:

    Most – Alex Henery – going to be great having someone who can make kick a touchback after the inevitable excessive celebration penalty.

    Least – Dion Lewis – a version of Evan Royster who can’t block. Of course, Shady didn’t come to the Eagles with blocking skills and he certainly picked them up.

    The need the Eagles didn’t clearly fill yet:

    Finding someone to challenge Chad Hall to make sure he never suits up as an Eagle ever again. Maybe Havili is the new quirky offensive scheme guy. That could be interesting. Of course, I don’t think anyone we selected has kick return experience. Sadly, unless we pick up a FA receiver or return guy, I believe Hall will return.