Some Rookie Talk

Posted: July 15th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 12 Comments »

It has been a while since the draft.  That made me think it might be interesting to talk about some of the rookies a bit.  We’ll start with the top pick, DT Fletcher Cox. has a video piece up that combines an interview and some highlights.  The exciting thing about Fletch is that he’ll be put in a good position this year.

The Eagles are deep at DT.  There is no pressure on him to deliver right away.  Jim Washburn believes in a rotation so that means that there will be reps if Fletch earns them.  That’s about as ideal a situation as a rookie could ask for.  You get the chance to play, but you don’t have the pressure to be a star right off the bat.

Fletch also gets to learn from some good veterans.  Mike Patterson knows how to get the job done.  He’s talented, but also knows the tricks of the trade.  He’s not the biggest guy or greatest athlete.  Those are the kind of veterans you want to learn from.  Cullen Jenkins can offer advice from the perspective of an athletic DT.  And of course Derek Landri can teach him about awesomeness.

It doesn’t hurt that Fletch will have the best DL coach in the NFL teaching him.  Jim Washburn has a terrific track record.  The system he’ll be teaching Fletch is a perfect fit for his game.

I don’t know how good Fletcher Cox will be this year, but he’s in the right situation.  If he stays healthy, I think he’ll be a solid contributor, at the very least.

* * * * *

WR Marvin McNutt did not have a good spring.  He is a big (6-3, 216) receiver with natural skills and solid athletic ability.  The non-contact mini-camps are not the ideal setting for a guy like him.  The guy who flashed was Damaris Johnson.  He’s a tiny WR with excellent quickness and agility.  He is tailor made for mini-camps.

McNutt is built for contact.  Take a look at his highlights and notice how many times he fights through contact:

You see that McNutt isn’t a super-physical player, but he uses his natural size and strength to play through contact when trying to make catches and then to run through tackles once he does have the ball.  He’s still learning how to play WR.  As he gets stronger and learns the subtleties of the postion, he’ll become a more physical player.

What he’s got to show the Eagles is that he’s ready to play at the NFL level.  McNutt had some issues this year when teams put top CBs against him.  I’m not sure what to make of that in regard to the NFL.  No team at this level will make him the focus of anything.  At the same time, he’ll be facing top talent on a regular basis.  The one thing that should help him is that NFL corners aren’t allowed to be as physical.  There is no illegal contact rule in college.  DBs are allowed to stay all over receivers.  Pass interference only comes into play when the ball is in the air.

McNutt was a late pick so he is guaranteed nothing.  He’ll need to show up to Lehigh ready to fight for a job.  McNutt got better each year at Iowa so that would lead you to believe he understands what needs to be done.  You must learn.  You must practice well.  You must work hard and get better.  Of course, knowing that and then doing it at the NFL level is a whole other story.  I’m really interested to see if McNutt rises to the challenge or if he’s in over his head.  We’ll start to get some answers in just about a week.


12 Comments on “Some Rookie Talk”

  1. 1 Randy Jobst said at 4:08 PM on July 15th, 2012:

    Marvin McNutt and Keenan Clayton are the two Eagles that I am struggling to see how they make the team. I just don’t think the Eagles will keep 6 WRs or 7LBs. I live 90 mins away from Iowa City so I have seen a lot of McNutt. His game is perfect for what we need at the position but is he better than Riley? Will the Eagles give the 5th WR to Damaris Johnson? Can McNutt contribute in the red zone in year one? He has to answer those questions before we can expect him to make the roster.

  2. 2 TommyLawlor said at 4:17 PM on July 15th, 2012:

    Marvin can win a job, but one won’t be given to him.

    Clayton needs some luck, especially with the spring injury he had to deal with.

  3. 3 Jack Waggoner said at 4:58 PM on July 15th, 2012:

    A lot to like on that McNutt tape.

  4. 4 teltschikfakeout88 said at 12:46 AM on July 16th, 2012:

    Its a highlight tape so I would hope there are plays that make the guy look good……guys like McNutt are a dime a dozen. I am not saying that he can’t make the team or be a great player, but he struggled against better Big 10 CB…..again Big 10 CB. That is a bit concerning.

  5. 5 austinfan said at 6:41 PM on July 15th, 2012:

    The most interesting thing about Fletcher Cox is his age, many college DTs make a huge transition between age 20 and 22, see Suh’s college career, for example. They’re going against OL who are mostly red shirts who are 22-23 years old, and they need to add strength to excel.

    While Cox’s 40 time is great (and no fluke, he put up a 4.80 in junior testing), what’s really impressive is 30 reps with 34 1/2 arms. Compare to Brockers, who’s the same age but 20 lbs bigger, 19 reps with 35 inch arms. The fact that Cox only added 3 lbs the last year suggests he’s going to max out around 300-305 lbs, but should get even stronger as he matures.

    Compare to say Curry, who was 23 years old as a senior, there what you see is close to what you’ll get. Which ain’t bad, but in his case, improvement will come coaching, but not from growing into his body. McNutt’s another 23 year old player who seems to have maxed out. Brandon Washington is a 24 year old junior, in his case conditioning may be the issue.

    Kelly is only 22 and added 17 lbs since his junior pro day, slowed down a little, but he may have some upside in terms of filling out and learning to use his new body. Thing I don’t like is his 33″ arms, for OT, that means he can’t get too heavy, unlike Tra, he doesn’t have those meat hooks that compensate for average feet.

    Boykin’s another guy who’s probably maxed out, while he doesn’t turn 22 until this month, he’s been at the same weight over a year, so it’s doubtful he’s able to carry much more than 181-83 lbs or so without slowing down, that limits him in the NFL, you’d like him to be 190 lbs or more to press and to tackle inside.

    Kendricks is interesting, he ran a 4.7 40 as a 237 lbs junior, then a year later 4.47 as a 239 lb senior, even if you assume the junior time was a slow track, he’s obviously getting stronger and faster, that suggests he may be able to bulk up a little more as he matures without slowing down. He doesn’t turn 22 until September.

    Brown is only 21, and could easily add a few more lbs to his 223, given he ran 4.49 on his pro day, he could still be explosive at 230 lbs. Chris Polk on the other hand probably needs to keep his weight down to 210-215 lbs.

  6. 6 P_P_K said at 11:31 AM on July 16th, 2012:

    Good post. Thanks.

  7. 7 Mac said at 12:27 PM on July 16th, 2012:

    That was really good stuff to think about… I haven’t thought about how much hidden potential these kids may or may not have in terms of raw physical attributes.

    My only concern with Boykin is the injury history. I actually think he has the athleticism to play outside CB in a pinch, but I will be very happy with him covering the slot this year. I definitely wouldn’t want him to lose a step, because his natural quickness is a big part of what makes him an interesting prospect.

  8. 8 wee2424 said at 12:27 AM on July 16th, 2012:

    Random. Saw it on PFT. Eagles currently have 15.74 mil in cap space. That ranks 6th best in league right now. Pretty damn good. Now let’s extend shady.

  9. 9 CaliEaglesFan said at 3:15 AM on July 16th, 2012:

    Shady is already extended

  10. 10 wee2424 said at 8:27 AM on July 16th, 2012:

    Lol thank you. Glad to hear. I was at a place where I couldn’t have my cell for 50 days, and there was no TV. So I may be behind on some things. From what I can gather, the shady extension and Otogwe are the only things I really missed. If anything else happened on between May 12th and July 2nd can someone Plz update me lol.

  11. 11 Scott J said at 10:53 AM on July 16th, 2012:

    I hope they bring back the old Alley-oop play with McNutt, like the great Harold Carmichael used to do.

  12. 12 wee2424 said at 11:54 PM on July 16th, 2012:

    Tommy, from what you know about the two players who would you say has the most upside. Cooper or Mcnutt?