SAM Update, Vol. 59

Posted: April 24th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 102 Comments »

Sam is fine.  SAM still needs help.  How’s that for clever?

The Eagles don’t have to draft a SAM that can take the job the minute he’s picked.  That would be great, but they key is to add a player that is talented enough to be a good starter in the NFL and seriously challenge for the job.  Depending on how high you draft a SAM, you may expect him to win the job immediately.

Luke Kuechly – I still believe that Luke Kuechwalker is very much in the mix.  Mock drafts more and more have him going to CAR, KC, or SEA so it is possible he gets picked ahead of us.  If he does reach 15, Kuechly will give us the ultimate litmus test.  Will Andy Reid spend a 1st round pick on a LB?  If Reid passes on Kuechly, that would tell us that the notion of Reid going for a LB in the 1st is borderline impossible.  I don’t think you’ll find a higher rated, safer LB that Luke.

As much as I like Kuechly, I don’t think you trade up for him.  Take him if he makes it to 15, but I’m not spending multiple resources for a SAM LB.  That just doesn’t seem wise.

Some people still wonder about the wisdom of taking him and playing him “out of position” at SAM.  That is a move, but I must stress that the way we play SAM isn’t like most teams.  He is more like an ILB in our scheme.  The spot where the SAM lines up is where Luke lined up many times when BC faced a spread offense.  Plus, Luke spent part of a year at OLB in college.  This isn’t like converting Chris Gocong to SAM.  Luke would have an adjustment to make, but it wouldn’t be completely foreign.  I think he could handle SAM for us.  Luke would be expected to win the job right away due to being picked so high.

Bobby Wagner – The Eagles have checked Wagner out thoroughly.  He would be a target at pick 46.  Wagner doesn’t have the ideal frame at just 6-0, but he is a terrific SAM prospect in every other way.  He’s got the strength and bulk.  He’s athletic enough.  He can play the run.  He can cover.  He can blitz.  Very good college player.  Senior Bowl MVP.  Pro Day stud.  The question with Wagner is whether he lasts to pick 46.  The Eagles brought him to the NovaCare so I take that to mean they really like him.

Lavonte David – Somewhat of a mystery man.  Do the Eagles like him?  My only hesitation here is that our SAM must be able to deal with blockers.  David struggled with blockers while at Nebraska.  They mainly played 2-gap up front, which kept him clean.  When blockers did get to him, David did a poor job of shedding blocks.  He spent a lot of time at the Senior Bowl working with Mike Singletary on how to shed blocks and made significant improvement.  David then played really well in the game.  David is light at 228 pounds.  That may bother the Eagles.  I’m sure the team loves David’s production and style of play.  He is relentless and a tackling machine.  Has good cover skills.

Zach Brown – How the mighty have fallen.  Not even a lock for the 2nd round anymore.  If Juan Castillo feels that a cover guy is needed, he may push for the team to pick Brown.  Zach has fallen because teams kept hoping for some sign of life.  He never showed it.  His game tape was highly inconsistent.  He failed to stand out at the Senior Bowl.  His Combine showing wasn’t as impressive as we all expected.  He is a gifted athlete, cover guy, and playmaker, but you wonder if he’s got the toughness to thrive at LB in the NFL.  Putting him around men and a tough coach might be the best thing for him.  Zach does have top shelf physical skills.

Demario Davis – Played more of a MLB role at Arkansas State, but has the size and athleticism to thrive at SAM for the Eagles.  Davis is the opposite of Zach Brown in that he has opened eyes every time the NFL gave him a chance.  Late add to the Senior Bowl and the played well down there.  Went to the Combine and lit the place up.  Gifted athlete.  Good player.  Doesn’t have the skill set to ideally fit any one spot.  I don’t know if the Eagles like him as a SAM target, but I think they should.  3rd round.

Keenan Robinson – The fall back plan.  K-Rob has the size and skill set to be a good SAM for us.  He was good at the Senior Bowl.  Then disappointed me at the Combine.  Only ran 4.8.  Didn’t see that coming.  At his very best, can be a darn good LB.  Problem is that he’s too inconsistent.  I think he’s a 4th round target.

Miles Burris – Played OLB at San Diego State in their 3-4 attack.  Rushed the passer most of the time.  Did a good job of that, finishing his career with 19 sacks and 47 TFLs.  Can be a very impressive player at times.  I don’t like him for the Eagles.  Burris looks most comfortable when playing up on the LOS and then attacking upfield at the snap.  We would play him off the ball and have him read plays before attacking.  Burris could do this, but it isn’t his strength.  I have no idea if the Eagles like him or see him as a SAM candidate.  I think Burris is ideally suited for 3-4 rush LB.  He lacks ideal size for that, but could bulk up.  He’s 6-2, 246.  Is it possible the Eagles could try him at DE?  Sure.  Watch Burris at SDSU and he lined up out wide quite a bit.  I think he’s more LB than DE, but Jim Washburn does like his players light and fast.  Burris is both of those.  I think he probably goes in the 4th round.

Burris wasn’t able to do a full workout at the Combine, but had a great showing at his Pro Day.

6015, 246
37.5 VJ
4.20 SS
6.81 3-cone
31 reps

* I personally don’t see Nigel Bradham as a SAM target for us, but some people do.  I don’t think he is physical enough to play the way we want our LBs to do.

* * * * *

Some people have asked me about trading out of 15 into the 2nd round and adding a 1st rounder for next year.  The thought is that you would then have enough ammo to move up for an elite QB in 2013 if you wanted.  I could live with this.  It wouldn’t be ideal, but I do think next year’s QB class looks good so having that extra pick could be a big help.  Not a likely scenario, but possible.

* * * * *

Asante update…good news.  Jay Glazer reports that the Falcons are now involved and there have been talks over the last 2 days.  Glazer doesn’t report it unless he knows it for a fact so this is good.  Atlanta needs help, but has limited draft resources because of the Julio Jones trade.  Maybe we could get a 2013 4th or 5th out of them.  Fingers crossed.

Couple of tidbits of interest…Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff knows Samuel from their time together in NE.  And Samuel picked off a Matt Ryan pass in the PHI/ATL game last year.


102 Comments on “SAM Update, Vol. 59”

  1. 1 nopain23 said at 10:12 AM on April 24th, 2012:

    I keep reading that Cox is more of a difference maker than Luke.With regards to the iggles I disagree.the DL was the sole bright spot of the defense last season.Our LBs were atrocious.If cox came in and got us more sacks..let say 8..would that make much of a difference on a team that excels at rushing the QB?..on the other hand if Luke came in and shined at SAM..covering tight ends..actually tackling..let say 100 tackles…eliminating big runs..that would make more of a difference on this iggles our LBs play from last year…and there is no way you can disagree…out of position…failing to wrap up… was just ugly.having to experience this again this year would be excruciating!!!!

  2. 2 Jason said at 4:42 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    I agree with this! The other point I would add is that Kuech would be on the field A LOT, where Cox might only play 50% of the snaps since he will be behind Cullen Jenkins in the UT depth chart. Both could play on 3rd downs I guess. But anyway, Kuechly as a true 3 down LB would be pretty valuable in my eyes. I don’t buy the ‘he’s only a SAM argument’. And as you’ve pointed out, the DL was pretty good last year it was the back 7 who failed most often. So if Eagles are looking for the ‘biggest improvement available’, it HAS to be Kuechly IMHO.

    Last point to add is that Washburn is more likely to make something of a lesser talent than Caldwell, so give Washburn a later round DT, but give Caldwell a more talented LB.

  3. 3 Donald Kalinowski said at 5:37 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    Cox potential > Kuechly’s potential

    You’re only seeing this in the perspective of who will help the Eagles the most next year. Cox has the size and athleticism to be a great UT for the Eagles and ultimately take over for Jenkins. Kuechly is just a MIKE, and while it is an important position, he’s not the type of player who is a difference maker like Clay Matthews or Brian Cushing.

  4. 4 Aaron Yang said at 5:50 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    what? i dont believe this is true at all. cox might have more potential but only because LK is already so polished. and LK is going to be a difference maker like clay and cushing…to say otherwise is just outrageous. they arent calling LK the safest defensive player for nothing…let alone a top10 draft pick. if a LB of any sort is being considered a top10 draft pick…that speaks volumes in itself because i would say that the LB position is the least drafted that early out of all the positions…well maybe besides fullback and positions of that nature. and im sorry but LK also had a lot better of a collegiate career over mathews and cushing.

  5. 5 bridgecoach said at 7:20 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    But there will be plenty more players like Cox in future drafts, a player with Luke Kuechly’s skill-set is really rare.

  6. 6 bridgecoach said at 7:18 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    What he said…

  7. 7 iskar36 said at 10:25 AM on April 24th, 2012:

    “Some people still wonder about the wisdom of taking him and playing him “out of position” at SAM. That is a move, but I must stress that the way we play SAM isn’t like most teams.”

    I hate to be pessimistic, but I still have little faith in Castillo. If he does continue to struggle as DC and we make a change (therefore changing the SAM to a more traditional SAM role), how would Kuechly fit in at SAM? Would he be OK making the adjustment to a more traditional SAM LBer role? I know I am sort of looking at this in a hypothetical scenario that may never happen, but considering the circumstances (coach that was basically given a win or go home ultimatum, a DC who is still trying to establish himself, a top 15 1st round draft pick being put at a position that is not ideal), I don’t think it is unreasonable to consider the scenario.

  8. 8 TommyLawlor said at 10:55 AM on April 24th, 2012:

    Kuechly could possibly play WLB if the Eagles shifted to another system. Anyway, I don’t think you can think too much about Castillo/the future. You need to load up on good players and give Juan a chance to succeed.

  9. 9 iskar36 said at 11:17 AM on April 24th, 2012:

    I fully agree that you need to load up on good players, but it’s not a question of getting a good player vs. getting a bad player. We are still talking about a top 15 pick either way. So the question becomes who helps the Eagles best long term. If Kuechly can play in a traditional 4-3 at an outside LBer position (SAM or WLB) then he adds versatility which is a bonus. If he can only play MLB in a traditional 4-3, that reduces his value, regardless of if Castillo is here or not. The hope is that a 1st round player can be a key part of your defense long term, and schemes tend to change over time. Again, I’m saying reduced value vs. added value in the context of the talent at the top of the draft, so it’s not like I’m saying he should drop out of the top 15 (plus, you pointed out that he could play elsewhere in a traditional 4-3, so to me that adds to his value anyway), but with Ryans here at MLB and Castillo on shaky ground, it is good to know that if Castillo fails, Kuechly would not be a wasted pick.

  10. 10 Aaron Yang said at 2:34 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    i dont think kuechly would be a wasted pick at 15..hell…probably one of my only disagreements i will ever have with tommy but i would even move up to maybe 10-11 in the first to secure luke if he was still there. everyone says that this kid is a complete hit and the safest pick to succeed in the nfl on defense. of course those same people said the same thing about b. graham when he got drafted. but after following LK for so long…i am a believer in him and really do believe that he will be a star LB in the NFL no matter where he goes and what position he is faced with. and if you want to talk about added value…i dont think he would give more value to any other team than the birds. he is more than capable of playing OLB like he did in college…he is definitely a traditional 4-3 MLB but im sure he would still do better than average on the outside…and without a doubt do it better than what he have at those positions anyways…he can slide in the middle for insurance that DeMeco goes down. cause really…everybody wants to act like everything is okay after we aquired Ryans. but what if he goes down? who will fill in for him then? its going to be the same group that played that position last year and did GOD AWEFUL!!! and if you want to look to the future…LK can replace DeMeco after his contract is up or when his play begins to decline and he wouldnt be a downgrade. the addition of LK would only solidify our LB unit as a whole and turn our weakest point of last season to one of our strengths for the upcoming season. picking him up would mean that the core and middle of our defense would be set for the next decade and Reid can go back to neglecting the position like he so infamously does. cause his mentality on LBers never made sense…lets just make shit band aid that position forever and hope we get by with exceptional pass rushing ability and coverage from our db’s. it would be a lot smarter to take one full off season to beef up that unit with top notch talent and then go back to neglecting it. hopefully the FO goes the latter route rather than stubbornly sticking with the first route that hasnt worked yet…

  11. 11 nopain23 said at 3:01 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    Nice to see that I’m not the only one who notices what a joke the LB core is behind Ryans.I fail to see why the iggles wouldn’t move up to draft a stud LB..(if the price is right of course)…to solidify that unit.Luke is a legit top 10 prospect.Who does everything we need a SAM to do..tackle and cover…plus has uncanny he’s a leader…has NO injury history or character issues…I guess It’s too obvious a pick for the iggles to make..that’s why it won’t happen… selecting earl Thomas

  12. 12 iskar36 said at 3:11 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    The point of my question was to make sure he could play OLB regardless of how we use our SAM vs. how a traditional 4-3 team would use a SAM (or WLB). The reason for the question is, hypothetically, if we draft Kuechly, then part way through the season, Castillo struggles and we end up needing a new DC (either this season or next), the LBs that are effectively locks would be Ryans and LK. If LK is not capable of playing a traditional OLB role, you effectively drafted a rotational bench player for the life of Ryans’ contract with the Eagles in the top 15 of the draft. Regardless of how talented LK may be, that is a wasted picked. You can get quality backups later in the draft. Your first round pick needs to be capable of stepping on to the field, particularly at a position other than QB, and making an impact within the first three years.

    All that being said, as Tommy pointed out, LK would be able to find a role as an OLB in a traditional 4-3, so it eliminates that concern. I just don’t buy the argument that a 1st round pick has value as a backup MLB. He needs to have a role as a starting player.

  13. 13 Aaron Yang said at 5:21 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    yeah…LK is definitely proficient enough to play an outside role with us whoever the DC is. i understand what your trying to say and your concern in taking a player with our first pick that wouldnt get on the field much. but i really see and value LK as something special…that could really one of the last pieces to solidify our defense. and i really dont see any other player that could impact and upgrade our team as much as him. to me…he is the surest pick there is in the draft for the eagles with the least risk.

  14. 14 Jason said at 5:51 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    I think my very simplistic view would be: forget designations – just keep Ryans and Kuechly on the field and work out the best scheme for them to play together. And if a 3rd LB is needed just use Rolle/Cheney depending on what type of down it is.

  15. 15 Thunder_lips said at 11:19 AM on April 24th, 2012:

    If Howie is serious about taking BPA, I think you’d have to take Luke, even if he’s meant to be a MLB.

  16. 16 TheRogerPodacter said at 12:30 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    agreed. i would also imagine him moving to the middle after ryans is done. would also be the #1 backup MLB to me as i’d rather have the top run stopper in the middle and bring in Jordan or someone else as the backup SAM.

  17. 17 miked718 said at 1:21 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    I really hope they keep Juan out of the “war room” on draft day. He strikes me as an emotional ( as opposed to factual) draft-er.

  18. 18 Aaron Yang said at 2:40 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    yeah…that is definitely a legitimate statement after the jarrett pick.

  19. 19 iskar36 said at 3:16 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    On one hand I have the same concern, but on the other hand, if they don’t have Juan helping out in the “war room” why do they have him as DC? Either trust him to know what he is doing or don’t have him as DC. Let him have a say in how to best run his defense.

  20. 20 D3Keith said at 5:49 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    That’s actually a pretty good counterpoint.

  21. 21 bebin abraham said at 10:30 AM on April 24th, 2012:

    I don’t understand why people get so caught up with height for lb’s when willis, timmons, lofton, tulloch, timmons and bowman are all 6’1 or below and 242 lbs or below…sure they are elite players but it just gets to me when “analyst” eagles fans disregard talent just bc of height it just pisses me off sorry for the rant Tommy and everyone else

    Oh and I finally saw some tape and highlight reel of the honey badger…it was a revelation…my body did things that shouldn’t be mentioned

  22. 22 TommyLawlor said at 10:54 AM on April 24th, 2012:

    ILB vs OLB … big difference.

    OLBs cover TEs so you want a certain amount of height. ILBs can be short. London Fletcher is 5-9 and kicks plenty of butt.

    An NFL scout gave me a sheet years ago with minimum Ht and Wt requirements for each spot. Teams used to be more strict about that stuff. Now you see more of a variety of shapes and sizes with players.

  23. 23 Eric Weaver said at 11:59 AM on April 24th, 2012:


    It kind of reminds me of the scene in Moneyball where all the scouts are telling Brad Pitt how they like a certain kid cause he has a nice face and that means he’s confident because he can get girls to like him or something like that. How his butt is tight. Stupid stuff like that that would “make” him a good baseball player.

  24. 24 Maurice Woodley said at 10:31 AM on April 24th, 2012:

    I fully agree with your opinion. Like you said, D line was one of our bright spots last season. We were tied for 1st IN THE NFL FOR SACKS. I just can’t see drafting a DL in the first round, LBs were atrocious lasts season. We did upgrade our MLB with Ryans but still have holes and bringing in more competition always improves your players. The DL is very deep in this draft and I feel we can still get good value in the second round if we choose to draft a DT or DE. I think DT is more important right now than DE but I would be fine with either one. I really want Kuechy, I think he can come in here and compete immediately. Adding Kuechly and Ryans to our LB core will improve our D tremendously. Of course we have other holes to address later but LB to me is the number one priority in round 1 unless another player rated higher than Kuechly is available. Will see what happens thursday.

    Go Eagles!!!!

  25. 25 TommyLawlor said at 10:50 AM on April 24th, 2012:

    The Giants would tell you that mediocre LBs and elite DL play can work.

    Always go DL over LB, if the players are rated evenly. Ryans will stabilize the middle. Rolle should get better at WLB. Give Chaney competition at SAM and you’ve got the makings of a solid set of LBs. Adding Kuechly would be great, but it isn’t life or death to get him.

  26. 26 bridgecoach said at 7:13 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    They’d sing a different tune if they switched to a wide-9 and their mediocre LBs were suddenly responsible for plugging key gaps, stopping the run AND covering more receivers in space while OL freely get to the 2nd level.

  27. 27 JRO91 said at 10:40 AM on April 24th, 2012:

    If Cox/Luke are gone at 15 trade back into the 20’s…maybe get another 2nd for this year. I would all on the Fleener train at the end of the first. We could then address slot corner/SAM/DT in the second…possible with any combo of Jenkins/Boykin/Best DT on the board/Wagner/David That would be a hell of a draft….would leave the 3rd for possible an OT or WR or RB. 4-6ths for BPA…..

  28. 28 TommyLawlor said at 10:48 AM on April 24th, 2012:

    There is a lot to like about moving back.

  29. 29 JRO91 said at 12:18 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    Or trade back for Curry….Cole/Babin arent getting any younger. They could then deal Tapp for a mid rounder next year. Cole/Babin/Curry/Graham/Hunt…now that is a rotation. Could then target DT/Sanu/Boykin or Jenkins in the second.

  30. 30 Patrick Clausen said at 1:04 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    I think if we trade back for a DE, it will be Chandler Jones. He might not have the burst of JPP, but damn he’s an interesting prospect.

    Jones, Wagner, Boykin, Wolfe and A couple of Mudd OL Gems to go along with another second round pick or a first next year. I would be happy.

  31. 31 JRO91 said at 10:43 AM on April 24th, 2012:

    I am a little nervous about sending Asante to a team that has a strong possibility of someone we would see in the playoffs….I’d rather burry him in Tenn or Denver. Also, I hate the idea of a pick next year for a player this year…but I see the reasoning. Instead of a 6th this year, we could get a 4th out of them next year. Man I wish Howie pulled the trigger on this last year, when we could have gotten two second day picks out of the Lions.

  32. 32 TommyLawlor said at 10:47 AM on April 24th, 2012:

    Howie should have dealt Asante last summer. No question. Big mistake.

  33. 33 Kevin_Slates said at 10:56 AM on April 24th, 2012:

    In hindsight yes, but at the time the thought of Nnamdi, DRC, and Asante against the likes of the Packers gave us a great matchup.

  34. 34 JRO91 said at 12:16 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    Yeah, but we would have been no worse having Brandon Hughes in the slot last year…..than DRC being so out of place.

  35. 35 Kevin_Slates said at 1:03 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    But did anyone foresee that being as big of a problem as it really was? I don’t remember reading that anywhere if there was.

  36. 36 D3Keith said at 6:52 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    No you’re exactly right. We were tickled pink about this last year, and thinking we’d need those guys to stop the Packers.

    I don’t think many people foresaw none of them being able to adjust to the slot, although in hindsight perhaps we should have.

  37. 37 GeorgeFleep said at 3:56 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    Arent you putting to much responsibility on Howie. You know there is another team involved right. And that team is a horribly managed team with a high salary cap.

  38. 38 D3Keith said at 6:58 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    Agree on not wanting to see Asante on the Falcons or Lions. Here’s hoping those teams are being used to bid an AFC team up.

  39. 39 NoDecaf said at 11:22 AM on April 24th, 2012:

    I’m shutting my eyes and jamming my ears to a first round without either Cox or Kuechly. I will relax when a combination of Wagner, D.Wolfe and Boykin follow soon thereafter.

  40. 40 nopain23 said at 11:31 AM on April 24th, 2012:

    I love that combo!!!!

  41. 41 TheRogerPodacter said at 12:32 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    same here. i’d be very happy to get wagner, wolfe, & boykin if we can’t grab cox or kuechly!

  42. 42 Thunder_lips said at 11:32 AM on April 24th, 2012:

    I’ve gone into full spite mode with Asante. I’d be more than happy to swap 7th round picks with the Jags and ship Asante to Jacksonville. Have fun being blacked out every week with Blaine Gabbert. Also, (baring a Superbowl match-up) we don’t face the AFC South until 2014.

    As Danny Glover would say, Asante can go spit.

  43. 43 TommyLawlor said at 12:11 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    Spite can be such a fun companion.

  44. 44 JRO91 said at 12:19 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    Tommy – Im curious about your thoughts on Reyes as a 2nd round or later first round target if they whiff on Cox? He seems to fit the mold of what Washburn looks for. High Motor, can play both DT/DE……

  45. 45 TommyLawlor said at 3:04 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    Reyes played mostly NT at UConn. Not sure what kind of a pass rusher he is. Certainly has the athletic ability to get the job done. I’m sure the Eagles are interested in him.

  46. 46 NoDecaf said at 11:40 AM on April 24th, 2012:

    Tommy, hypothetically of course, who could be most interested in our 15th pick behind us? Sorry if this was already asked.

  47. 47 TommyLawlor said at 12:13 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    Great question. Saw a NE draftnik today talking about moving up for Coples if he fell far enough. That’s an interesting thought.

    Could be any number of teams interested in Barron if he falls.

    If Tannehill gets to 15, would CLE call with an offer?

    Key is to focus on players who could fall and which teams might want those players.

  48. 48 Jason said at 5:48 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    Rams have an extra 1st rounder in 2013 that I’d love to have…maybe they move back into the 1st round again.
    Titans, Lions and Broncos are all interested in Asante and if trading back with them gets us better value for him, that would be worth pursuing.
    Titans and Lions would probably love Barron, probably Broncos too.

    Actually the Broncos look like the team I would try to deal with, they will be in win now mode with Manning on board, and might be be looking to move up. They may even be willing to give up their 1st rounder next year… They might be targeting Barron, or DeCastro, or one of the CBs, one of the DTs – someone they like will surely be at #15. I think my dream trade down scenario right now is: #15 + #88 + Asante for #25 plus 2013 1st rounder – worked out the values from trade chart so Asante around 4th rd value. That way we could move Asante, still have 3 picks between 25-51 and get an extra 1st next year.

  49. 49 Mr_electric10 said at 9:15 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    If Tannehill gets to 15 I dont think Reid could pass on him.

  50. 50 Thunder_lips said at 11:48 AM on April 24th, 2012:

    This outpouring of support and adoration for Dawk is going to be super awkward when McNabb retires “on his own terms” in three months.

  51. 51 Thunder_lips said at 11:48 AM on April 24th, 2012:

    This outpouring of support and adoration for Dawk is going to be super awkward when McNabb retires “on his own terms” in three months.

  52. 52 TommyLawlor said at 12:15 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    Lurie on McNabb: “Yeah, I remember him. Played for us early on in the Reid era. Quality QB as I recall. Does anyone know whatever happened to that guy?”

  53. 53 JRO91 said at 12:14 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    Grimes just signed the franchise tag….not sure how the falcons could afford two corners at 10mil….unless asante took a major pay cut. I think they used him as leverage to get grimes to sign before they took asante and pulled the tag out from underneith him.

  54. 54 Thunder_lips said at 12:23 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    They also have Dunta Robinson

  55. 55 D3FB said at 12:52 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    That punk…

  56. 56 Mark Sitko said at 1:18 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    In the ESPN Superfan draft I was able to get Cox, Lavonte David and Boykin, and now I am about to pick in the 3rd round. Wagner is still available – should I take him, or a big WR like McNutt?

  57. 57 JRO91 said at 1:52 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    Wagner….all day.

    Mcnutt has trouble getting separation from corners and/or off jams at the line…I don’t like him in Eagles green.

  58. 58 TommyLawlor said at 3:03 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    Wagner would be my pick over McNutt.

  59. 59 D3Keith said at 7:01 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    In this scenario, then, rostered LBs would be Ryans, Wagner, David, Chaney, Mathews, Rolle, Jordan, Clayton. That’s eight and I might have forgottens somebody, like the guy they signed from the 49ers.

    Somebody would definitely be out of a job.

  60. 60 Mark Sitko said at 1:50 AM on April 25th, 2012:

    Thanks – I will take Wagner – major upgrades to the LB group, but we should be set for a few years…

  61. 61 M0rton said at 2:17 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    Do you really want to see Asante remain in the NFC?

    If he goes to the Falcons, he will come back to haunt the Eagles. He’s still a very dangerous CB and could mean the difference between beating the Falcons in the playoffs or losing to them.

  62. 62 TommyLawlor said at 3:02 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    I’d prefer him in the AFC, but at this point we have to take the best offer we can get.

  63. 63 D3Keith said at 7:19 PM on April 24th, 2012:


    The preference has to be to send him to the AFC or a bad NFC team, but how much do you shortchange your own haul to do that? The Eagles proved with the McNabb trade (unless you believe they believed he was done) that they don’t care about that like we do.

  64. 64 bdbd20 said at 8:13 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    He could also be the target of Vick, DJax, and Maclin.

    One of the reasons we’re getting rid of his is his Maverick mentality.

  65. 65 GermanEagle said at 2:28 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    Don’t be surprised if the Eagles will pick chandler jones at #15…

  66. 66 D3Keith said at 7:20 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    Well since 23 players have been mocked to the Eagles at 15, it should be pretty hard to be surprised.

    I do not think I would like that pick though.

  67. 67 izzylangfan said at 3:09 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    Like so many Eagles fans and football fans I am eagerly looking forward to the NFL draft on thursday night. While I am hoping for Fletcher Cox I’m sure I will be filled alternatively with joy and anguish as the auction proceeds one pick at a time.

    Overall, however, I expect to have a fun experience notwithstanding that the Eagles may well come up with another baffling choice. One of the big reasons I expect to enjoy myself is because thanks to Igglesblitz I am fully prepared to understand events as they unfold.

    Like many of your readers I am passionate about the Eagles and eager to learn about the game. Your column is a unique refuge where fans like me can find exactly what we are looking for and satisfy our craving for a high quality high level discussion about the Eagles.

    Thanks Tommy. What a wonderful job you do!!!

  68. 68 tball_man said at 4:00 PM on April 24th, 2012:


  69. 69 metaReign said at 12:37 AM on April 25th, 2012:

    It’s true for the quality that both, Matt Alkire and Tommy Lawlor brings to this site, some knowledge of the team and players that could fit in. There are some fans as well, that gives invaluable insights about the team and game plan. Both Matt and Tommy have knowledge in game plan tools, understanding the X’s and O’s in both the defensive and offensive side of the ball. Although, it’s not always wise to lay out game plan scenarios, which is always a fun way to learn and understand the aspect of the game, because we don’t want someone from another team to get any ideas. From a reader’s perspective, I’ve enjoy it, because I had to relearned positional jargons that I was used to, back in the 70’s, especially positions on defense. When I saw the abbreviation OLB, kept wondering what is an offensive linebacker, the more I keep seeing it as time went by, realizes that the position was on the defense side, found out from reading a certain article that it was outside linebacker. It was simply OL and DL and DB. WR were WO, TE were SLOT BACK, and RB were HB and FB. Things changes as the 80’s merged into the 90’s and so on. Even the style of the game has change, internet has change how we see things.

  70. 70 Joe Taylor said at 3:34 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    If Chandler Jones is as good a football player (or will be) as his brother is a UFC fighter, then I’ll be happy if we take him…BUT if he turns out to be a bum like his brother Arthur Jones who is on the Ravens, then god help me. Arthur Jones is a 3-4 DE who is close to 300 lbs so they are quite different though. Jon Jones is a monster, I saw him beat the **** outta Rashad Evans last weekend.

  71. 71 D3Keith said at 7:50 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    All those dudes are related?

    If I was woman, I’d like to meet that Daddy so I could birth me a pro athlete.

    Eiw. Thank God I’m not.

  72. 72 Anders Jensen said at 3:54 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    Tommy Im 100 sure you have answered this already, but would you take Michael Floyd if he is BPA when the Eagles pick?

  73. 73 TommyLawlor said at 4:05 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    No. Trade back.

  74. 74 Anders Jensen said at 4:13 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    care to explain to a noob like me? 🙂

  75. 75 TommyLawlor said at 5:05 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    You have 2 young WRs in Mac and DJax. You cannot spend pick 15 on another WR. That’s overkill. The Eagles are committed long term to DJax. I’m assuming they intend to keep Mac. Now, if they don’t intend to keep Mac, then using 15 on a WR makes a bit more sense.

    Pick 15 should be somewhat of an impact pick. Using that on a #3 WR just isn’t a wise use of resources. I have no problem with a 2nd or 3rd round pick going to a WR. I might be open to using pick 15 if the guy had RS ability and would help us in that way, but Floyd is just a WR.

  76. 76 Anders Jensen said at 6:14 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    thx for the answer 🙂 Is there a target in the later rounds? like does he need to have size or need to a RS/KR ability?

  77. 77 Jason said at 5:33 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    Haha – well the general idea is that if the players you’ve targeted are gone, then you try and trade back. But I personally don’t really agree – well fully agree anyway, the concept is OK. If you can get good value for a trade back then sure, but it’s WAY easier said than done. Oh just trade back…simple…lol

    Anyway, I think a good team like the Eagles is better off taking the BPA. I don’t think we need more draft picks, as the roster is already pretty young and it’s already pretty full. I’d rather take BETTER players than MORE players. I think Floyd absolutely has value to us, because it means Avant, Harbor and a FB won’t be needed as much. A 5 man combo of DeSean, Maclin, Floyd, Celek and Shady would be pretty impressive and scary for defenses. As much as I like Avant’s reliability, I would prefer someone better at WR3.

  78. 78 GeorgeFleep said at 3:56 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    The faclcons have at CB fro 2012: (the head hunter)Dunta Robinson, Brett Grimes and trade talk for Asante Samuel???? Do the falcons want to have the eagles situation of last year at corner? Now Grimes is only franchised as of now so he could be gone after the year. Asante would still be on a team that always contends for the playoffs. At first it seems like the talks were very early with the Falcons but i just think that Samuel’s opinion about a restructuring has not been cared about thus far in the discussions because he would most likely ruin it once again. Maybe the pay cut would occur because Samuel knows Thomas Dimitroff.

    Samuel is one of the least versatile CBs because he cant tackle, cant play well in tight space(redzone), but he is good at giving up on plays. Samuel is a good playmaking CB but not not the these days when Jim Johnson is not around.

    Who or what would the eagles want from the falcons? Im still not happy unless if it is a mid round pick. The eagles have at least 2 teams interested in Samuels so it is appearing they have at least some advantage.

    Geoff Mosher:

  79. 79 TommyLawlor said at 4:06 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    I’m not sure how much the Falcons like Dunta Robinson. Doesn’t seem like he’s earning the big deal they gave him. Maybe they cut him after trading for Asante. Or maybe Dunta can play in the slot.

    ATL does face Brees, Freeman, and Cam twice each year. That’s a tough set of QBs.

  80. 80 ACViking said at 4:12 PM on April 24th, 2012:


    Draft-related (though not LB-related) question prompted by a post over at from 4/20 about the Eagles’ drafting mistakes in the Roseman era.

    Last year, the Eagles drafted an O-lineman who would be turning 27 (and playing guard to boot) during the season — and had played only 4 years of football in his life.

    How much did Watkins’ age affect his draft value? For example, if Watkins was 22, would have have gone any higher? Stanford’s DeCastro — “the best college guard since Hutchison” (it’s said) — may not get picked until the 20s . . . and he’ll be 6 years younger than Watkins at the end of 2012.

    So, borrowing the conventional wisdom about age and his draft value, why wasn’t Watkins graded as a 2nd-round guy given his age — and inexperience?

  81. 81 TommyLawlor said at 6:48 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    I did have Watkins rated as a 2nd rounder due to his age. I specifically said the Eagles would not target him at 23 despite being a good fit. If younger, I’d have definitely said he was a serious fit at 23. I was shocked when we picked him. Eagles felt OG was a need and overlooked the age. We’ll see if that was a mistake.

  82. 82 dislikedisqus said at 5:07 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    You don’t include Audie Cole? JMJ or Travis Lewis or McLellin? I thought some of them could play SAM.

  83. 83 TommyLawlor said at 6:46 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    Audie Cole is a guy that I think of as a MLB. Greg Cosell sees him as a SAM.
    JMJ could play there, but I think he’s best suited for MLB.
    Lewis had a bad set of workouts and looks like a pure MLB.
    McClellin would be great, but he will go in the 20-30 range to some team.

  84. 84 D3Keith said at 5:15 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    just read your small school guys item from a few posts ago. Interesting that you ding those guys for not having to compete for their jobs every week, because I’ve always seen it the opposite way. They *know* they don’t belong in the NFL off experience or raw talent, so you can count on them to do everything they are asked, and to go hard every play, because they always have that “I wasn’t good enough” chip on their shoulder to drive them.

    The Eagles had success drafting Andy Studebaker out of Wheaton and Joe Mays out of N. Dakota State, but both players went on to have their success with other teams.

  85. 85 TommyLawlor said at 6:45 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    Glad you spoke up, Keith. Figured you would have an opinion.

    I think the problem with some small school guys is when they have success in the NFL. They lose the edge that got them here. It isn’t a case that the players came here cocky or laid back.

    I remember reading an interview with Tank Daniels a few years back where he talked about his offseason and how he was basically like a king in his hometown. He only played in a few games. That was still enough for him to be a big deal. And I think Tank lost his edge because of that.

    Heck, it isn’t just small school guys. OT Calvin Armstrong from Washington State got married after his rookie season (don’t think he played at all). Being a rich (by normal standards) newlywed made him soft and he was cut in his 2nd summer.

    It is hard to play in the NFL. Tom Brady tells himself every summer “You’re just a 6th round pick and don’t you forget that”. That edge is what keeps him at the top of the mountain. Donovan McNabb doesn’t have it. He’s made his money and loves his family. He can’t get himself fired up for football anymore.

    Omar Gaither was angry when the Eagles wanted him to play STs in 2008 after his demotion from starting LB. He felt that was beneath him. He changed his tune when the team got to the playoffs and he realized it was a way to stay on the field.

    It is easy for all players to let up, relax, or develop a sense of entitlement. Small school guys have it rough because they normally are such overachievers that they have less fudge room in terms of athleticism/pure talent. Any let up from them can really affect their level of play and job status.

  86. 86 D3Keith said at 9:42 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    I found the remarks interesting not because I’m personally insulted, it’s just different from the things I’ve usually heard about small school guys. I formed my opinion from things like Todd Haley bringing Jerheme Urban (Trinity, Tex.) along with him from Dallas to Arizona to the Chiefs because he needed a go-hard guy to set the tone for the super-talented WRs. Or Mangini going from New York to Cleveland and trading for Jason Trusnik (Ohio Northern), who was basically a special teamer and backup LB.

    Here’s a couple grafs from a piece I wrote about those guys:
    “Trusnik says that when coach Dean Paul’s staff at Ohio Northern identified the pro potential in him, they never let him rely solely on his talent, instead pushing him to improve and never allowing him to take a play off. Stacey Hairston, an ONU grad and coach who had spent two seasons as a defensive back for the Browns, “knew what it took” and let Trusnik know he was good enough.

    Urban had a similar experience with Mike Burton, a Trinity quarterback who’d had a shot with the San Diego Chargers before returning to his alma mater to coach. “He was always in my ear, ‘you’ve got the talent to do it,’ Urban said. “Always calling scouts that he had known in the CFL, trying to get them to take a look at me.” ”

    (Not my best writing by the way. More of an empty-the-notebook column because those guys gave me so much good stuff)

    Anyway, the perception I’d had is that small-school guys, even drafted ones, were like UDFAs — they wore that like a scarlet letter and always felt they needed to prove they belonged. Hence they never took a play off, etc.

    It makes sense though, especially when you consider the adage that small-school guys must dominate on their level, that some would not be accustomed to needing to go full-go every play against dominant competition.

    In the end, every player is different. Some guys are wired to never take a play off no matter if its practice or a game, if they’re third-string or a superstar. Some guys aren’t. And some guys will be in awe of the big stage, or get overwhelmed by the demands or the competition. And others crave it and thrive on it. And some guys, I believe, are wired right but don’t have the talent, or get drafted or signed into situations where they don’t have the chance to shine. Some guys get their chance and wilt.

    Pierre Garcon is a guy who, because he was a bit of a showboat in D3, I thought might not take the NFL seriously. But he’s proven to be more of a worker and more mature than I ever took him for in our few times meeting. Proof you can’t judge by a short chat alone. Cecil Shorts III on the other hand, I felt was wired to be a star or a bit-part player and play just as hard either way. I was fairly confident he’d make it, or if not, only because he wasn’t talented enough, not because he didn’t work.

    Interesting theory. Sorry to hijack a comments thread three days later but clearly I felt it was worth discussing.

  87. 87 TommyLawlor said at 9:59 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    Glad you spoke up. I always appreciate your insight and perspective on things.

  88. 88 Mr. Jones said at 5:22 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    Someone on bleeding green nation made a good point that the eagles almost never pick who the media projects or many of the people that they bring in to visit in the first round. Just wanted your thoughts on that Tommy and who this mystery guy probably will be?

  89. 89 GeorgeFleep said at 5:45 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    yeah but the eagles meet with every player someway or somehow along the draft process or so Howie says.

  90. 90 Kevin_aka_RC said at 5:51 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    The media was pretty spot-on with Broderick Bunkley in 2006. Most of us agreed it was the way to go. It’s a lot easier to project draft picks the closer you are to the top 10.

  91. 91 Donald Kalinowski said at 6:01 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    There’s a method to Andy’s madness:

    Round 1: Draft a guy who hasn’t been mention in depth at an Eagles blog (Watkins, Graham, Maclin)

    Round 2:
    a. Draft a 3rd round prospect (Abiamiri, Jarrett, Laws)
    b. Draft a 1st round prospect who fell for some reason (McCoy, DeSean, Justice)

    Round 3:
    a. Draft an obscure DE prospect (DTO, Bryan Smith, Gocong)
    b. Draft a RB (Wesbtrook, Moats, Hunt)

    Round 4-5:
    a. Draft 2nd round prospects who fell because of injury: (Iguana, Ingram, Macho)
    b. Draft big receivers: (Avant, Cooper)
    c. Draft OTs and convert them to OGs (McGlynn, Herremans, MJG)

    Round 5-6:
    b. Draft guys based on athleticism (Studebaker, Gaddis, Bloom, Barksdale)

    Round 6-7:
    a. Make these guys your starting LBs the following season (Chaney, Fouku, Rolle, Gaither)

  92. 92 Ben Hessel said at 7:11 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    “It’s funny because it’s true!”

  93. 93 T_S_O_P said at 2:32 AM on April 25th, 2012:

    You missed:

    Round 4-6:
    d: draft guys from Cincinatti (Cole, Celek and Kelce)

  94. 94 Donald Kalinowski said at 5:35 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    The idea of trading out for a future 1st may be extremely frustrating. All this excitement and anticipation for the draft after a crappy season, only to have it extended another day.

  95. 95 D3Keith said at 9:56 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    Yeah that would be rough. It’s enough delayed gratification as it is.

  96. 96 jayanglada said at 5:53 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    Tommy —
    You’ve given us all such tremendous insight during this run-up to the draft. I hope that during the actual draft process you’ll be able to share real-time perspective, analysis, and projections. We need you. Would you tell us again where we can view your insights during the three draft days.

  97. 97 Thunder_lips said at 7:32 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    I think he’s said he’ll be commenting here and on twitter (@lawlornfl).

  98. 98 Gary said at 8:26 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    “Sam is fine. SAM still needs help.”

    Mind = blown.

  99. 99 Alex Karklins said at 9:03 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    Tommy, the problem with Vontaze Burfict isn’t his performance on the field or the combine, it’s that you don’t understand the REAL Vontaze! Seems like a great kid who treats his lap dogs really well, bakes and is into interior decorating:

    This article is a truly bizarre PR job, but I’ll bet it works somehow.

  100. 100 TommyLawlor said at 9:57 PM on April 24th, 2012:

    Now that’s funny stuff.

  101. 101 Mr_electric10 said at 9:20 PM on April 24th, 2012:


    The more I watch Bobby Wagner the more I want the eagles to draft him. My “Perfect” draft is getting Cox in the first and then Boykin and Wagner in the second. My question for you is what do you think the Eagles like and dislike about Wagner and how likely is it in your opinion that we draft him. Thanks

  102. 102 metaReign said at 4:19 AM on April 25th, 2012:

    As a junior, Luke Kuechly became the most “DECORATED DEFENSIVE PLAYER” in college history. He earned more than than any position-skilled defensive players ever receive as seniors during their college careers. He’s a very young intelligent player who is a tackling phenomenon, from Freshman to Junior of his college career. He also wasn’t held down to one part of the LB position, he played all three position at the college level. U’ll see him move from one side of the field to the other, following the ball on the run play. Reposition himself on a fake hand-off to cover short pass play. I think the best thing about Luke, of all the time he’s played in college, he never had any major injuries.

    As much as I’d love for him to be there at pick 15, all that he’s accomplished from his first play to his last in college to the combine and his pro day, he’s easily recognize for teams in need for a top LB of the draft’s 1st Round pick. Even if he could be a nice upgrade for out LB’s unit, we can only hope he falls to our pick #15, but because it’s not a need, we shouldn’t reach for him, there are adequate LB’s in this draft that can fit into our defense and give coaches something to work on.

    Pick #15 isn’t a bad place to be, it’s such a headache for us fans because of what we perceive the FO could do, except for those in the top 10 picks. Some of those in the top 10 may be looking to move out to get into a better position, which could change the Draft Chart, dramatically. We can’t say that the hundreds of mock drafts, will fold out come draft night, but only watch and see what our FO will do accordingly to what teams ahead of us do. This interesting thing is how players are chosen that drops other players down the chart. We’re counting down to the Draft Opening night, there’ll be heads shaking, head scratching and eye-popping going on.