More DL Talk

Posted: December 17th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 38 Comments »

Sheil Kapadia has a good post today on the DL.  He’s better with numbers and charts than I am and does a good job of showing you which players are the best pass rushers overall and in terms of playing time.  Good stuff.

He makes a point at the end that the DL is good now and should be next season as well.  I touched on this recently and talked somewhat about it in an appearance on Eagles Live yesterday.

Let’s take a look at the projected depth chart for 2012:

RDE – Trent Cole ………. Darryl Tapp

RDT – Mike Patterson … Antonio Dixon

LDT – Cullen Jenkins …. x

LDE – Jason Babin …….. Brandon Graham ….. Phillip Hunt

I think Trevor Laws will leave in free agency.  I think Juqua Parker will be cut or will retire.  It appears that age has finally caught up with him.

I left the 4th DT spot open.  We have Cedric Thornton on the roster now.  The team would love him to play so well that he’s able to join the rotation next season.  I also think Derek Landri should be re-signed.  He has shown that he’s perfect for this scheme and the role we have for him.

We do need a balance of youth and age.  That’s one area to keep an eye on.  Cole will turn 30 in October.  Babin is 31.  Tapp is 27, still in his prime.  We’ve got young guys in Hunt and Graham.  That’s a good balance.  While Babin is 31, he’s got tread left on the tire from not playing so much for years.  Plus, he’s a health freak and isn’t the same kind of 31 as other guys.

At DT, Patt is 28.  Jenkins is 30.  Landri is 28.  Then you have Dixon in his prime and Thornton as a young guy.  That would be okay.  In a fantasy world you’d let Landri go and add a younger guy for his spot.  But the Eagles did that this year when they kept Laws over him and that didn’t work out.  The Eagles chose youth, potential over a guy who outplayed the kid.  I understand the logic, but you have to be careful about that.

I’ve mentioned that the Eagles could spend a draft pick on a DT, even a high one.  You always want to upgrade a position if you can.  Don’t let “good enough” be good enough.  That said, there doesn’t appear to be a stud DT in this class.  There are some talented prospects, but no one that you just covet.  I do hope the Eagles add a late rounder for Washburn to develop.

* * * * *

Bowl games start today.  I’ll put up a post at ScoutsNotebook in a short while with some players to watch.

38 Comments on “More DL Talk”

  1. 1 Steve H said at 12:26 PM on December 17th, 2011:

    You gotta feel for Brandon Graham, he’s landed in the perfect shit storm. Unable to play because of injury, with a rival teams comparable draft pick tearing it up, playing for a fanbase that is all too willing to bash you mercilessly for underperforming (despite not even being able to be on the field).

  2. 2 Anonymous said at 4:36 PM on December 17th, 2011:

    Agreed. Although nobody ever said Eagles fans were fair. Passionate – yes. Fair? – not so much.

  3. 3 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee said at 5:07 PM on December 17th, 2011:

    I am so anxious to see Graham next year! Before the ACL I would say he had 80 % chance of succes – know, maybe it’s down to 50 %… His explosive first step is his biggest attribute, if that’s gone, he’s in trouble…

  4. 4 Anonymous said at 1:06 PM on December 17th, 2011:


    Would you mind posting when you’ll be on Eagles Live?


  5. 5 Anonymous said at 3:46 PM on December 17th, 2011:

    It is archived from yesterday.

    Go to the episode from 12/16. I go on about 31 mins in and talk for 10 or so mins. Audio for me is real low.

  6. 6 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee said at 5:10 PM on December 17th, 2011:

    That sound is sooo bad. Bad work by! But great info, Tommy!

  7. 7 Kammich said at 3:12 PM on December 17th, 2011:

    “At DT, Patt is 28.”

    It still baffles me every time I read that. It feels like Baby Sapp has been here forever.

  8. 8 Anonymous said at 3:27 PM on December 17th, 2011:

    We got him straight out of a Kathy Lee Gifford sweatshop.

  9. 9 Kammich said at 3:20 PM on December 17th, 2011:

    By the way Tommy, the ramping up of the ScoutsNotebook coverage has been great. This time of year always has me salivating.

  10. 10 Sjampen said at 3:37 PM on December 17th, 2011:

    Yeah, its great. Now i pretty must just need to have the Eagles either play good to bring back a little Playoff hope, or just have us eliminated 100 % and start looking at the draft.

    I am already dreaming of RG3 AND Kuechly with our high picks.

  11. 11 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee said at 5:13 PM on December 17th, 2011:

    I actually have trouble sleeping at night these days, because I worry about the future (a.k.a the draft) of this franchise! It is so important that we hit on some diamonds, especially on the defensive side of the ball. We can’t keep on drafting average to good players – we need some studs! If we somehow could get two 1st round picks and get our MLB for the next decade in Kuechly AND our future franchise QB in RG3 I would literally become the happiest guy on earth!!

    I blame you for getting my hopes up! 😉

  12. 12 Anonymous said at 4:42 PM on December 17th, 2011:


    CSNPhilly reporting that Laws downgraded to doubtful.

    Does that mean Thornton get on the field at DT?

    Jeez, I’d love to see him and Hunt out there making some plays.

  13. 13 Anonymous said at 5:26 PM on December 17th, 2011:

    Trevor was downgraded to Questionable earlier today. Not sure if that’s what you’re referring to. Questionable players often play. Doubtful guys are the ones that sit.

    If Laws does sit, they’ve got to have Thornton active. It would be interesting to see how ready or raw he is.

  14. 14 Anonymous said at 11:11 PM on December 17th, 2011:

    Given the Cowboys have won, I’d get Thorton on the field for some serious snaps. Next year has already begun.

  15. 15 Anonymous said at 4:48 PM on December 17th, 2011:

    And right behind the DL is our favorite subject: LB. Tommy, in the event that we don’t snag Mr. Kuechly (remember Sean Lee, Hakeem Nicks, etc. ? – sorry, ouch), who else could fill that position in the draft? Too early to talk about Jerry Franklin, Korey Williams, Emmanual Acho or Audie Cole? Also, who might be some SAM targets in the draft? Acho?

  16. 16 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee said at 5:21 PM on December 17th, 2011:

    No one! I don’t think there’s an immediate starting MLB in this draft besides Kuechly! I actually think he’s the only one with a 1st round grade. Burfict has the potential, but doesn’t seem to play up to it. Besides that, there’s rumblings that he’s not liked in the locker room, he’s difficult to work with etc. I wouldn’t touch him in the first! Then there’s a major drop off to other MLB’s like Franklin, Cole, Carder etc. In my opinion they wouldn’t be an upgrade over Casey – now, should we draft one of them then? I don’t think so. If you don’t want Kuechly you either go after a FA (which I wouldn’t do because of the weak FA MLBs) or trade for a veteran a la DeMeco Ryans.

    Imagine if Tommy would have gotten his will in the last couple of drafts… Morton would be thrilled! Speaking of which – where is he??

  17. 17 Anonymous said at 5:29 PM on December 17th, 2011:

    I like Audie Cole at SAM.

    Jerry Franklin and the other guys you listed are interesting, but I’m not so sure I’d be confident in counting on them. We need to address MLB aggressively. We need an answer, not a project. Kuechly would be an answer. I’m still looking for another prospect that I totally trust. Haven’t found one yet.

  18. 18 Anonymous said at 11:45 PM on December 19th, 2011:

    AMEN! re: “We need an answer, not a project.”

    I honestly believe this team is one draft, maybe one coordinator and some tweaks from being really good.

  19. 19 Anonymous said at 6:17 PM on December 17th, 2011:


    Yes . . . Laws NOT doubtful. Sorry, I misread the headline . . . hope interfering w/ perception.

    Thanks for clearing that up.

  20. 20 Anonymous said at 8:00 PM on December 17th, 2011:

    Yeah, yeah, blah blah blah. We all know that we need a LB in the draft, and we should be looking high in the draft. There is plenty of time for that discussion.

    What we need to be doing now is maximizing the impact of early draft discussions. Let’s talk about PK prospects in the first round. That way we can find out how Henery deals with pressure. Wouldn’t it be better to know now than in the playoffs?

    Of course, you were talking about neither the draft nor the LBs in this post…

  21. 21 Anonymous said at 8:05 PM on December 17th, 2011:

    I think we should draft Matt Prater, the PK for the Broncos. He’s really good.

  22. 22 Anonymous said at 8:27 PM on December 17th, 2011:

    The Tebow effect.

  23. 23 Anonymous said at 12:46 AM on December 18th, 2011:

    So says the Grinch who stole spontaneity…

  24. 24 Anonymous said at 9:22 PM on December 17th, 2011:

    Dallas is up 14-0, but I’m thinking Romo is just preparing to blow the game later on.

  25. 25 Anonymous said at 9:26 PM on December 17th, 2011:

    Tampa just looks outmatched. Almost like Dallas is playing a college team

  26. 26 Anonymous said at 9:36 PM on December 17th, 2011:

    Tampa looks awful.

  27. 27 Anonymous said at 9:50 PM on December 17th, 2011:

    Dallas now up 28-0. Romo and Garrett are going to have to really work hard to blow this game. And I’m willing to challenge them to do just that.

  28. 28 Anonymous said at 9:54 PM on December 17th, 2011:

    I admire your dedication. I turned it off in the 1st Qtr.

  29. 29 Anonymous said at 10:02 PM on December 17th, 2011:

    I have the heart of a champion. A champion with a very bad diet, mind you.

  30. 30 Anonymous said at 10:11 PM on December 17th, 2011:

    Strip-sack of Romo leads to defensive TD. Tampa now down 28-7.

  31. 31 Kammich said at 10:25 PM on December 17th, 2011:

    Is there a realistic chance that Raheem Morris loses his job? I’ll admit, I was on the Tampa hype train this off-season.

    I think it may have been a case of “too much, too soon.” Young head coach, one of the youngest teams in the NFL, a bunch of unheralded players(udfa Blount, 4th rounder Mike Williams, Donald Penn at LT, etc) going out there and exceeding all expectations and winning 10 games. Where some veteran teams may have fed off of that success and driven it forward to the next season, it appears that Tampa just rested on their laurels and packed their bags.

    The downward spiral in play by Josh Freeman surely has a lot to do with it, too. I’m hoping Freeman has a bounce-back year next year. I like the kid.

  32. 32 Anonymous said at 11:25 PM on December 17th, 2011:

    I didn’t think Morris was ready to be a HC. Very good Asst coach, but seemed too young and emotional. Coaches now have to be CEOs. They’re running a billion dollar business. I would fire him because there is too much “stuff” going on with this team. Lots of young talent in place, but I’d like more of a structure guy/disciplinarian in place.

    I do think Morris could be terrific HC in time.

  33. 33 Anonymous said at 11:15 PM on December 17th, 2011:

    Dixon is an interesting case. By far the worst pass rusher among the DTs, almost zero pressure before he got hurt, seemed to be out of shape. Which has been the problem in college.

    Do you want to try to fit the square peg into the round hole, keep him around for short yardage, or showcase him in TC and try and get a late round pick?

    Thorton needs to get PT, because he’s a pretty big boy who’s a better fit to this system than Dixon. If he shows promise, Dixon and Law may be the odd men out if they bring back Landri and save the fifth spot for a developmental project.

    DE is fine unless Graham’s career is cooked, which is possible, microfracture surgery is a lot more serious than ACL, though not the guaranteed career killer it was a decade ago. But with Tapp and Hunt, even if Graham is finished, you don’t have to go 1st or 2nd rd.

  34. 34 Anonymous said at 11:26 PM on December 17th, 2011:

    Thanks for nothing, Tampa. Jerks.

  35. 35 the guy said at 11:33 PM on December 17th, 2011:

    Any weekend in which we are relying on help from the Buccaneers and/or the Redskins is probably one worth sleeping through.

    After drinking heavily.

  36. 36 Anonymous said at 11:58 PM on December 17th, 2011:

    Meh, thinking the Eagles had a shot after the Seattle game is like thinking you had a realistic chance of wrestling Megan Fox in a vat of chocolate pudding.

    One can dream, but . . .

  37. 37 Gary said at 12:25 AM on December 18th, 2011:

    They might be playing worse than any team right now. I honestly think the Rams could beat them. Maybe not the Colts, but wow are they bad.

  38. 38 Anonymous said at 7:51 AM on December 18th, 2011:

    What’s up with all the DeMeco talk? He had a major injury last year and they brought him back slowly. Give all the injuries they’ve had a LB, he’s had to come back a little quicker than they anticipated. I haven’t seen anywhere that they are unhappy with him or looking to move him. Can someone provide some information that makes us think DeMeco is a legit trade option? Thanks.