Some Draft Lessons

Posted: April 30th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 82 Comments »

Let’s take a look at some things that we learned from the Eagles 2013 draft.

The Eagles were interested in players, not positions. Chip Kelly made it clear the Eagles had serious interest in Dion Jordan. Peter King mentioned today in a casual blurb the Eagles weren’t going to pick him, but it is impossible to know if that’s true or exactly what King was told. Since Chip went on the record as saying the Eagles liked Jordan, I’m assuming the interest was legit.  When the Eagles didn’t get the dynamic edge rushing LB, you would think they would feel the need to find another one somewhere else. Never happened. They didn’t even add a UDFA LB.

The Eagles have LBs in Connor Barwin, Brandon Graham, and Trent Cole. What they were interested in was a player with big time ability and athleticism. When they didn’t get Jordan, they passed on LBs altogether.

Versatility is a crucial trait.  Lane Johnson can play RT or LT.  Zach Ertz can line up all over the place. Bennie Logan too. Earl Wolff can play FS or SS. David King can move around. Joe Kruger lined up all over at Utah.  Kelly isn’t looking for static players that will sit in one spot and do the same thing over and over. He wants to be multiple on offense and defense. That means he needs players who can line up in multiple spots and fill a variety of roles.

The Eagles will run the 4-3 Under. I don’t think you draft Bennie Logan in the early 3rd round if you want to run a 3-4 with guys playing 2-gap. That’s just not an ideal fit for a high pick. Logan is ideal for NT in the 4-3 Under. That role requires a player that can anchor against the run at times and shoot gaps on other plays. Logan is that kind of a player. The Eagles have already talked to him about playing in the 315 to 320 pound range. Logan does have 34-inch arms and could slide out to DE if needed, but he’s a limited athlete that is meant to be a 1-tech NT. Over time he’ll develop the ability to be a 3-4 NT, but he’s not a guy that is meant to be a block-eater.

Joe Kruger can play in any scheme. David King is best suited for the 4-3 Under. He lacks the size to be a 2-gap player, but could be a solid 5-tech in the 4-3 U. Heck, it would not shock me if he bulked up enough that he could even be a backup NT, playing the 1-gap technique. King is in the 6-4, 280 range. Bill Davis’ NT in Arizona was Bryan Robinson, who was about 6-4, 305. Damion Square is another player that is best suited for the 4-3 U. He could be a backup DE or NT.

Character mattered.  Kelly said that the two most impressive interviews the Eagles had at the Combine were Matt Barkley and Bennie Logan. Those were players that those of us on the outside didn’t expect the team to take, but clearly the Eagles liked what they saw on tape, but also felt were the kind of guys they wanted on the team.

Earl Wolff, Jordan Poyer, and David King were also considered major team leaders.

Chip Kelly likes Cajun food. Kelly went to Georgia’s Pro Day. No Dawgs ended up being drafted or signed. Kelly went to LSU’s Pro Day. The team drafted Bennie Logan and then signed UDFAs Brad Wing and Russell Shepard all from LSU.

Plans can change. For a long time, I thought the Eagles wanted a QB in the draft. My hope was for a mid-round pick, but there was lots of chatter about Geno Smith at #4 and EJ Manuel in the 2nd round. The day before and the day of the draft Dave Spadaro and Adam Caplan started laying hints that the Eagles might not take a QB at all.

My guess…and it is strictly a guess…is that the Eagles were going to take a QB late or not at all.  The Eagles passed on Geno at 4 and 35. They passed on Manuel at 4. Think about the other QBs that the Eagles showed the most interest in.  Matt Scott was a UDFA. Zac Dysert went in the 7th round. Ryan Griffin and Jeff Tuel were UDFAs.

So what happened? Matt Barkley happened. He was simply too good to pass up. The Eagles had him rated as a Top 50 player. They probably figured he would go in the 3rd round. When Barkley was sitting there on the board to open the 4th round, the was just too good not to go get. Barkley can be a starting QB in the NFL. Worst case scenario he’s a backup. Think about this…Matt Barkley was a 4th round pick. So was Mike Kafka. Which guy would you rather have?

I don’t want to get into a “what does this mean” discussion in this post. Let’s save that for strictly a Barkley discussion. The point is that good QBs are too important to pass on. Barkley has the potential to be a good QB. There is no guarantee that Barkley will pan out, but he was absolutely worth the risk of a 4th round pick.

The Eagles can stay put. Over the years, the Eagles did a lot of wheeling and dealing in the draft. This year the team stayed put, with the exception of moving up a couple of spots for Barkley. Can we take any lesson from this?  Not really. We need to see at least one more draft before we can start to see if there is going to be a change in terms of moving up/down in the draft.

I know many people think that all the moving in previous years was not a good sign. The Eagles were trying to be too smart. Or too cute. Or something else.

I am a believer that sitting still in the draft is every bit as crazy as moving too much. I think you identify the players you want and you go get them. That can mean moving around. There is no absolute way of doing things that is better than the other. The Eagles traded up for Fletcher Cox, Shawn Andrews, and Todd Herremans. Good moves. Trading up for Jerome McDougle was a major failure. Brandon Graham remains a mystery.

The Eagles have made some mistakes in the past when they didn’t appreciate the impact of a key player. Having extra picks is nice, but don’t get caught up in the numbers game. Value isn’t as important as good players.

That said, there are times when you need a lot of picks. When Jimmy Johnson rebuilt the Cowboys, he loaded up on picks.  The draft was 12 rounds back then.

1989 – 15 picks

1991 – 18 picks

1992 – 15 picks

48 picks in 3 years…that is like 4 drafts. Obviously the Herschel Walker trade is where a lot of the extra picks came from, but trust me…Johnson moved up and down quite a bit. He wanted volume.

Johnson did the same thing in Miami in 1996 and 1997 and the volume drafting delivered strong results. It needed to be done since Johnson was trying to re-make the roster.

If Howie Roseman and Chip Kelly hadn’t been so active in free agency, the Eagles would have needed to do something similar in the draft. Since the Eagles did bring in a lot of new bodies, they were free to sit tight in the draft and take the players they wanted.

The real key to drafting…identify good players, draft them and have a good coaching staff that can develop them. It doesn’t really matter whether you move up, sit tight, or move back.  Choose wisely.


82 Comments on “Some Draft Lessons”

  1. 1 SleepingDuck said at 2:50 AM on April 30th, 2013:

    Interesting note about Barkley being a 50 player on the Eagles’ board: Caplan said on the WIP tonight that the Eagles actually had him exactly at number 50.

  2. 2 Brett Smith said at 11:25 AM on April 30th, 2013:

    Best case for Barkley is he is the starting QB for 10 years, makes pro-bowls and kills no worms, doesn’t puke, or fumble in the process.

    Worst case with Barkley is he becomes the backup, plays in a game, looks good and we trade him for a 2nd round pick. Not like we haven’t done it before…

  3. 3 Neil said at 2:18 PM on April 30th, 2013:

    Worst case is his arm turns out to be that noodly and he’s one of the most ineffective QBs in the league throwing more than five yards out, especially on third and long. Considering how good he is in every other phase, it’s worth the risk though.

  4. 4 A_T_G said at 9:46 PM on April 30th, 2013:

    Replace pro bowls with Super Bowls and I’m on board.

  5. 5 SteveH said at 6:34 PM on April 30th, 2013:

    I’ll take the #50 rated player on our board at the 98th pick, especially when all it cost to move up is a 7th rounder. Hopefully he ends up justifying the effort we spent in getting him, even if it just means trading him for a 2nd or 3rd rounder sometime in the future.

    The way we flip quarterbacks I’m surprised we don’t just stockpile them for future draft picks.

  6. 6 Patrick said at 3:08 AM on April 30th, 2013:

    Someone in the previous post mention a depth chart. I gave it a go:

    Some notes:
    In terms of positions where we will see camp competition(QB, OLB, DT), i just listed the players who is likely to make the team.
    Do we count on Chris Polk to be the 3rd pure RB or will we add a player?
    Does Clay Harbor make the team?
    I listed 6 WR, I think we might see Benn/Cooper battle for a spot, which brings us down to 5. Do we go with 4 and just cut Avant/Damaris Johnson, since Ertz and Casey are so versatile? I think you could make a case for pretty much all of the WRs not making it, taking a spot from Johnson, Cooper, Benn or Avant.
    The 5 OL starters seem fairly obvious, Dennis Kelly will make the team. How many and who will be the backups is 100 % up in the air. I have listen 9, since Herremans and Johnson, both played LT before.

    I have Antonio Dixon making the team…? Really?
    Where does Bennie Logan and Vinnie Curry play? They make the team, but where will be interesting.
    Do we sign a passrusher in FA?
    After Fletcher, Williams and Boykin, which CBs make the team?
    With Kenny Phillips being a walking knee injury, how many safeties do we carry, will Wolff and Allen make it if Colt Anderson does as a ST ace?
    JimmyK didn’t think Dorenbos had a very good season last year, do we keep Andy’s Long snapper?

    Notable players not on the team: Everette Brown, Casey Matthews, Kurt Coleman, Emmanuel Acho, Clifton Geathers, David Sims, Julian Vandervelde

  7. 7 Matthew Verhoog said at 9:42 AM on April 30th, 2013:

    I mentioned it before, but after this draft I’m sure, Avant makes the team, Chip is looking for High-Character guys.

  8. 8 Patrick said at 10:15 AM on April 30th, 2013:

    I do too, not only a high character, but a leader and a willing blocker. I think Chip will value his hands this year, and sacrifice that he isn’t a playmaker. But I still wouldn’t be surprised if we only carried 4 WRs and Harbor made the team and thus having 4 TEs. DeSean is in for sure, Maclin too unless he gets traded. I tend to think Aurelius Benn will make it since we traded for him, but i wouldnt be surprised if Cooper, Damaris and Avant all made it or none of them did.

  9. 9 Brandon Gleklen said at 9:50 AM on April 30th, 2013:

    I don’t think Hunt has a shot.

  10. 10 Patrick said at 10:22 AM on April 30th, 2013:

    I should have elaborated more on the passrushers. Even if Vinny Curry will be a OLB/Predator/Passrusher alongside Barwin, Cole and Graham, i think one more will make the team, and compared to Everette Brown, Emmanuel Acho and Chris McCoy i think Hunt is the best player. He isnt really on there because he is the best player not making the team, but because he is the best pass rusher.

  11. 11 Calderone said at 10:42 AM on April 30th, 2013:

    When did Hunt change his # from 76 to 56? I guess we know where they want him to play. He won’t make the team I just find the number change interesting.

  12. 12 T_S_O_P said at 12:49 PM on April 30th, 2013:

    When Akeem Jordan left

  13. 13 FrenchEagles said at 3:19 AM on April 30th, 2013:

    One comment I had on Twitter on the Eagles trading tradition: it was the first time since 2002 that the Eagles traded at their original spot in the first 3 rounds…

  14. 14 the midatlantic said at 11:14 AM on April 30th, 2013:

    I imagine you mean “drafted at their original spot”, and yeah that’s nuts

  15. 15 Reagles said at 3:32 PM on April 30th, 2013:

    I found this interesting, so I looked up the last time every team drafted in their original slot for the first 3 rounds:



    2010 – NO

    2009 – JAX HOU ATL MIN

    2008 –

    2007 –

    2006 – OAK CAR

    2005 – SF CLE

    2004 – NE SEA CHI

    2003 –

    2002 – PHI NYJ

    2001 – BAL

    2000 –

    1999 – DEN

    1998 –

    1997 – WSH

    There is a mix of perennially good and bad teams that have both done this recently and haven’t done it recently. Interestingly (possibly), 6 teams have done it most recently after winning the SB (NYG, GB, NO, NE, BAL, DEN).

    Not sure what the point of this is, but the Eagles are not an outlier in this respect, and are in decent company with NE and BAL, as well as with some poor company (WSH).

    And finally, the teams to do it this year: JAX, PHI, DET, NYJ, PIT, NYG, CIN, HOU, DEN. So 3 of the 5 teams that hadn’t done it for the longest time did it this year.

  16. 16 SuPaFrO said at 4:01 AM on April 30th, 2013:

    Are there any chances of taking a vet FA? There were talks of Winston but obviously thats highly improbable now. I don’t know the current list of FA out there, so i can’t really say if who may have a chance to make the team.

  17. 17 deg0ey said at 8:04 AM on April 30th, 2013:

    Before the draft, Caplan said (repeatedly) that the Eagles had interest in one of the FA ILBs but that nothing would happen until after the draft. Presumably they were waiting to see if they found their man elsewhere. Remains to be seen if anything actually comes of it.

  18. 18 SuPaFrO said at 11:56 AM on April 30th, 2013:

    But are there any iLB with potential out there? But like i said before im not too familiar with who’s out there currently . Besides K.Dansby n Erlacher( sorry just waking up n drawing a blank lol)

  19. 19 deg0ey said at 12:17 PM on April 30th, 2013:

    I have no idea who they might be targeting, only that a pretty reliable source tells us that they were targeting someone. If I had to guess, it’d be Dansby, but Bradie James is also on the market and has extensive experience playing behind Wade Phillips’s 4-3 under if that’s the way they intend to go. Maybe they intend to bring him in primarily to teach the system to the other guys or something?

  20. 20 westerndistrict said at 4:17 AM on April 30th, 2013:

    Does the 4-3 Under personel acquisitions mean they’ll implement it immediately, or transition from 3-4 to the 4-3 under? And secondly what does it mean for Sopoaga, is he able to play NT in both schemes?

    On Chip’s first draft, I’ve heard a lot about it being a real example of a BPA available draft, yet i also hear a lot about how Chip has very specific physical requirements for certain positions, wouldn’t this rule out some prospects in the drafting process even if they are the BPA when the eagles are on the clock? For example would they have drafted a huge OL with concerns about athleticism just because he was the BPA, or would such prospects just be taken off the board?

    First draft i’ve followed intently, seemed to be a very interesting one, thanks for all the work Tommy, as an Australian fan blogs like yours are great to learn more about the game then what the announcers/talking heads share. Hope Brad Wing can pull his head in and be a decent punter!

  21. 21 D3FB said at 4:39 AM on April 30th, 2013:

    The players who do not meet the physical specification would simply be not on the board. Most teams only have 120-150 players on their board anyways. So BPA simply means of the players on the board not all the prospects in general.

  22. 22 Matthew Verhoog said at 9:43 AM on April 30th, 2013:

    This is were to learn about football.

  23. 23 K_Dilkington said at 12:36 PM on April 30th, 2013:

    great name, if it is a “Wire” reference like I assume it is.

  24. 24 westerndistrict said at 12:48 AM on May 1st, 2013:

    indeed it is, the western district way

  25. 25 austinfan said at 6:04 AM on April 30th, 2013:

    We learned a lot from this offseason:

    OL: everyone brought in was 6’4 or taller, 300-315 lbs. That seems to be the mold, not Mudd small, not Juan blobs, but mobile linemen big enough to battle on the LOS, nifty enough to hit targets on the second level.

    WR/TE – bring in Benn and Momah, draft Ertz, other than DeSean and D Johnson, everyone is 6’0 or bigger, 200 lbs or heavier, while the H-backs are 240 lbs or so and run in the 4-6 to 4.7 range. Celek is now the slow white guy, running 4.8.

    DL: Inside guys are 6-2 with long arms (34″ for Sopoaga and Logan) or taller and 310-320 lbs, no small quick “3”s or squat NTs. However they also are loading up on “Jokers”, Curry, Kruger and King are 266-275 lbs but have the frames 6’3 to 6’6 to probably play at around 285-290 lbs. These are guys who can play inside or move out to LDE in a 4-2-5.

  26. 26 Ark87 said at 10:55 AM on April 30th, 2013:

    What’s your take on Mychal Kendricks? According to google he is closing in on 240 (but not quite), and is about 5-11 (generously I’ve heard).

  27. 27 Ig_l said at 12:31 PM on April 30th, 2013:

    5ft 11-1/8″ at the combine.

  28. 28 Ark87 said at 1:35 PM on April 30th, 2013:

    I stand corrected

  29. 29 austinfan said at 4:44 PM on April 30th, 2013:

    241 lbs at the combine and still ran a 4.5.
    Think he’s fine at WLB, in the 4-3 Under he’ll be protected to run to the ball. In a 3-4, he’d be the ILB you want to pair with a bigger, block eater.

  30. 30 brza said at 6:13 AM on April 30th, 2013:

    Just wanted to add that Barkley is one of only two QBs in this class that met all 4 of the requirements in the Tuna Rules that I posted in a comment before the draft. The other was Geno Smith.

    Barkley (Yes, meets all of the Tuna Rules)
    He must be a senior. – Yes
    He must have a degree. – Yes on course.
    He must be a three-year starter. – Yes. 4 years.
    He must have at least 23 wins. – Yes. 34-17 as starter

  31. 31 Patrick said at 9:42 AM on April 30th, 2013:

    Actually, this is the full formula:

    The candidate must be a senior.
    The candidate must be a college graduate, and he must hold a 4 year degree.
    The candidate must have a B average or better in school.
    The candidate must have been a 3 year starter in college.
    The candidate must have made 30 starts in college.
    The candidate must have 23 victories in college.
    The candidate must impress us as a strong leadership figure
    The candidate must be strongly recommended by his head coach.
    The candidate cannot have a rap-sheet, or run-ins with the law.

    As you mentioned, he is a senior with a degree coming and he has the years, the wins and the starts.
    A quick google search told me Barkley had a 3.23 GPA and have never been in trouble with the law. We will never truly know if he was strongly recommended, but as far as I know, everyone at USC loved him,and so did Pete Carroll. Since we took him, i’d give him that he highly impressed Chip and Howie with his leadership, as all reports say he does to all the teams. Barkley passes the Tunas formula.

    It is important to know that this isn’t a full test, its a test of the intangibles that you had to pass for Bill Parcells to look at you on the field (accuracy, armstrength etc.) and football knowledge (reading a defense, learning the playbook etc).

  32. 32 xeynon said at 7:02 AM on April 30th, 2013:

    Brad Wing sounds like he could be more trouble than he’s worth. Do we have to worry about him doing sit-ups in his driveway or showing up his long snapper when he doesn’t get a snap exactly where he wants it?

    From looking at your scouting report it sounds like Maysonet has a little Shady in him. RB is a position at which instincts matter a great deal and you see guys with average athletic ability but a good knack for reading blocks, making the right cut, etc. succeed all the time, McCoy being a prime example. If this guy shows something in the preseason I could see him making the team.

  33. 33 D3FB said at 7:20 AM on April 30th, 2013:

    I’m not sure the Shady comparison is appropriate. McCoy’s elite ability is his ability to cut on a dime. He also possesses good vision, shiftiness, and above average hands for the position. Maysonet on is more of a N-S runner who runs hard behind his pads and does not shy away from contact. I think the one similarity they both share would be good acceleration but lack of elite long speed. My major concern with Maysonet is he played behind an offensive line and within a scheme that gave him holes at the first level. Anyone looks good when you don’t run into a defender for at least four yards. It’s similar to how people were wary of Lacy.

  34. 34 deg0ey said at 8:15 AM on April 30th, 2013:

    I managed to dig up a few pre-draft profiles of Maysonet and more than one of them pointed to his lack of ability to improvise. His coach would tell him which gap to run through and he would try to force his body through that gap whether the OL had made a hole or not. He kinda sounds like the exact opposite of Shady in that respect who (if I had to find a criticism) can sometimes dance around in the backfield too much rather than just trusting his blocks.

  35. 35 D3FB said at 8:26 AM on April 30th, 2013:

    Exactly. That’s what I was trying to point out. Maysonet will make some moves, but not until he’s on the second level. Very different stylistically from Shady.

  36. 36 xeynon said at 8:30 AM on April 30th, 2013:

    I should clarify: I’ve never seen Maysonet play, and in fact until a few days ago had never even heard of him. I’m basing the McCoy suggestion purely off what Tommy said, namely that he is patient and reads his blocks well, knows when to hit the hole, and has good balance.

    If he doesn’t actually have those attributes, then obviously it’s not a valid comparison. We’ll have to wait and see how he looks in TC. Regardless, since he was an UFA and is a 4th or 5th string RB right now it’s not a big deal one way or the other.

  37. 37 Matthew Verhoog said at 9:51 AM on April 30th, 2013:

    RE Brad Wing – How many specialists are jerks? shape up or get out, we can always get a guy to kick the ball who isn’t an idiot.

  38. 38 Leonard Tose said at 8:55 AM on April 30th, 2013:

    I don’t think the Howie wheeling and dealing over the past 3 drafts was terribly productive and I’m glad to see that calmness prevailed this year. I’m not saying they should do that every year, but you see teams like the Steelers who know the kind of players they want and pretty much sit tight and take those guys year after year. They seem to do pretty well in the draft.
    I get that some years you want more picks and volume and all that. But when you get into that kind of trading frenzy and end up with a Teo’Nesheim in the third round, something has gone awry. Either you lost track of your board or got so wrapped up in value picks that you forgot to pay attention to finding a true difference-making player.

  39. 39 austinfan said at 4:45 PM on April 30th, 2013:

    The only thing wrong with Teo in the 3rd round was hiring Washburn.
    Teo is a solid rotational DE with Tampa Bay, which is about what you expect from a DE drafted late in the 3rd round.

  40. 40 Davesbeard said at 9:06 AM on April 30th, 2013:

    Posting another video but it gives a great overview of Earl Wolff our fifth rounder.

    Touted as a great-wrap up tackler with brilliant closing speed, both of which you can clearly see in the video. Has more pop to his hits/tackles than I thought too.

    He does look slightly strange in coverage, his backpedal/strafe seem almost off-balance and quite stiff. Maybe it’s poor technique or he’s just naturally a bit awkward. Could be the reason he lasted until the 5th.

  41. 41 Anders said at 9:44 AM on April 30th, 2013:

    He seems like a better fit at SS than FS.

  42. 42 RC5000 said at 10:54 AM on April 30th, 2013:

    Wolff’s biggest issue is reading plays quickly and taking good angles but that was the case with a lot of the safeties after the top ones.
    He’s more of a strong safety but he has great range especially if he is at strong safety. I heard a talking head say his biggest issue was range after he was drafted and that was one of the things I loved most about him. You can see him cover ground from sideline to sideline in that video.
    He has everything we are looking for skillset wise As much as I like Cyprien and Swearinger I like getting Ertz and Wolff. Wolff is potentially versatile.

  43. 43 new coach said at 10:18 AM on April 30th, 2013:

    Bill Barnwell on Matt Barkley- comparing him to Joe Montana!! (in a way)

  44. 44 ACViking said at 10:44 AM on April 30th, 2013:

    Re: If the Unthinkable Happens . . .

    Chip Kelly’s come east with some provocative, cutting-edge football and training theories and a penchant for clouded and vague answers to direct questions. So the media says, at least.

    42 years ago, another coach came to Philadelphia possessed of some of the same traits.

    That was Fred Shero.

    Shero, and his Flyers (and they were his Flyers), owned Philadelphia. From outside Philadelphia, all people wrote or read about were the Flyers’ nightly fight card sporting Schultz, Dupont, Kelly, and Saleski. But there was much more to Shero: The first coach to bring a “system” to the NHL; his strange training methods; and his open interest in the Soviet style.

    Kelly’s so different from what we’re used to. New system. Milkshakes. Big guys beat up little guys.

    If he can get his team to the mountaintop, Kelly can own Philadelphia.

  45. 45 NoDecaf said at 11:33 AM on April 30th, 2013:

    On an unrelated note, Rob Zombie’s first non-horror film he is directing is “Broad Street Bullies.” Out next year I think.

  46. 46 TommyLawlor said at 12:32 PM on April 30th, 2013:

    If Fred was “The Fog”…what will Chip be?

    Interesting comparison. I’ve not read anything on Shero in years. My Flyers knowledge dips a little every year as I shift those brain cells onto another NFL draft class.

  47. 47 Flyin said at 2:23 PM on April 30th, 2013:

    “Win today and we walk together forever.”

  48. 48 Ender1241 said at 10:57 AM on April 30th, 2013:

    Tommy, I know we all like Mychal Kendricks and Brandon Boykin, but don’t you think that with the new template for Chip-type players (esp. on defense) that they don’t really fit in with what he’s looking for? It would explain the rumors RE: looking for an ILB in free agency. And with Poyer, if he can take over as the slot guy with Marsh as the 4th CB, Boykin seems like the odd man out. I for one would not surprised to see Boykin playing for a different team, especially by 2014.

    RE Kendricks, maybe Chip wouldn’t mind him if the rest of the defense was big/long and he was the only smaller player, but I don’t think he fits Chip’s ideal.

  49. 49 Anders said at 10:58 AM on April 30th, 2013:

    Both fit what Kelly wants. Both are extremely athletic.

  50. 50 Ender1241 said at 3:13 PM on April 30th, 2013:

    Kelly wants big and long defenders. “Big guys beat up little guys.” The corners he signed/drafted are all in the 6’0, 6’1, 190-200 range. Boykin is 5’7, 175 soaking wet. He’s a good young slot corner, but he is not big by any stretch of the imagination. Kendricks is 5’11, 235-240. He’s not long and definitely not particularly big. Compare to an ILB with the build of, say, a Rolando McLain, who is 6’4 260. Completely different builds and I’m sure Kelly prefers the latter.

    I think Boykin could definitely be relegated to dime corner this year if Poyer shows up in camp, and would not be surprised to see him traded to a team who needs CB help.

  51. 51 ACViking said at 3:30 PM on April 30th, 2013:

    McClain would be nearly 265 lbs if he had a brain, too.

  52. 52 Mac said at 3:31 PM on April 30th, 2013:


  53. 53 Mac said at 3:33 PM on April 30th, 2013:

    I think Boykin would be in trouble if he displayed a lack of willingness to make tackles. I think he’ll be ok because he is athletically gifted and willing to hit his target.

  54. 54 RC5000 said at 4:05 PM on April 30th, 2013:

    I think you’re confused in that you think Kelly is only concerned about size. It is similar to everyone thinking he only wanted running QBs. Preference is one thing. Whether he also looks at speed, coverage ability and if a guy is a football player at corner is another. You see Tavon Austin in the slot, I’m sure Kelly won’t be thinking he needs to get a giant on him.
    And his assistant coaches may have input as well.
    I give Boykin the edge over Poyer in man to man coverage skills right now. Does it mean there isn’t an open competition? No. Does it mean Boykin is gone? I’d be pretty surprised since he is our best slot corner right now.

  55. 55 Anders said at 5:02 PM on April 30th, 2013:

    Rolando McLain is also one of the best built ILBs to come out in a long time.
    Patrick Willis is 6’1″ and around 240 pounds, you think Kelly wouldnt want him?

    My point is that if a guy does not have optimal height etc. look for him to either be extremely athletic or have long arms. We all know Chip prefers length, but he still took a “short” DT in Logan.

  56. 56 Insomniac said at 6:12 PM on April 30th, 2013:

    The more I look into the draft, the more I doubt this mold that Chip wants. My thoughts are that if they’re average size but play big then Chip will favor that guy over the big guy that plays small. Sure Kendricks is shorter than what Chip likes but he’s athletic and versatile. That would be 2/3 things that Chip likes. Boykin might just get a free pass this year unless Chip thinks the other CBs can play in the slot.

  57. 57 RC5000 said at 11:13 AM on April 30th, 2013:

    I think you have 4 decent cornerbacks if Poyer steps up quickly and shows he can compete right away especially covering the slot. One of them is not named Marsh. You might get to a point where Boykin can cover the smaller slot WRs with Poyer handling the bigger ones.

  58. 58 D3FB said at 12:08 PM on April 30th, 2013:

    Plus in the dime defense you have two corners that are playing against slot recievers.

  59. 59 Mac said at 3:28 PM on April 30th, 2013:

    I still get mildly ill when I think about Kendricks v Dalton.

  60. 60 A_T_G said at 4:20 PM on April 30th, 2013:

    I think Boykin and Kendricks have as good of a chance as anyone. Nothing is gaurenteed, but neither of them are being challenged by a new player that took substantial resources to acquire.

  61. 61 Neil said at 4:24 PM on April 30th, 2013:

    I think Chip doesn’t mind having a minority of players who are extremely athletic but undersized. It’s like he said in a press conference, you only run into problems when the undersized DL is backed up by undersized LBs is backed up by undersized safeties. If it turns out that Boykin and Kendricks can’t play in this system because of their size or something else, they will be gone though.

  62. 62 RC5000 said at 11:20 AM on April 30th, 2013:

    Re: Trading down. I heard Kelly said in his Barkann interview they got no phone calls for the 1st and 2nd round picks.

  63. 63 ACViking said at 11:23 AM on April 30th, 2013:

    I thought T-Law expressed some skepticism with that story. Maybe I misunderstood.

    Also, look carefully at Kelly’s choice of words. No one called the Eagles.

    What Kelly’s not answered is, did the Eagles call anyone themselves to measure interest in the pick.

  64. 64 RC5000 said at 11:31 AM on April 30th, 2013:

    Sure. Just stating what Kelly said. Whether you choose to believe it is up to you. As far as Eagles calling other teams, that most likely would have happened prior to the clock so there wouldn’t have been anything substantial to it.

  65. 65 NoDecaf said at 11:36 AM on April 30th, 2013:

    Tommy, I would love to hear your opinion on the “State of the Secondary.”

  66. 66 Matthew Donaldson said at 12:45 PM on April 30th, 2013:

    Now that we have the draft completed, it would be interesting to hear from Tommy exactly where he would speculate guys would play on defense (in the base formation) and what exactly their roles would be.

    Also, I really appreciate all the hard work this past draft weekend Tommy. It makes the draft a lot more interesting for people like myself that do not really follow college football avidly to have access to information on the players that can be seen as reliable.

  67. 67 Cliff said at 12:52 PM on April 30th, 2013:

    OK… who wins this year’s Nate Ilaoa Award?

    Poyer seems to be the leading candidate so far. Most fans are already projecting the 7th round pick to be a significant piece to our secondary.

  68. 68 RC5000 said at 1:39 PM on April 30th, 2013:

    Well when you have Curtis Marsh and Brandon Hughes and a new regime it’s not hard to project anyone as the dime CB.

  69. 69 Cliff said at 7:38 PM on April 30th, 2013:

    Good point.

  70. 70 ShadyCrockett said at 7:34 PM on April 30th, 2013:

    Poyer is definitely the lead candidate, but it’s not just fans projecting him to pan out. Almost every analyst I’ve heard regarding this year’s draft steals has mentioned Poyer.

  71. 71 A_T_G said at 9:25 PM on April 30th, 2013:

    I will be rooting for Shepard. He seems to have the character and honesty, from a few interviews anyway, that makes him easy to cheer for.

  72. 72 Brett Smith said at 2:06 PM on April 30th, 2013:

    Couple of quick hits for thought.

    I like the Ertz pick. I really thought MM got AR away from the tight end and in the early AR days we used the TE. I look forward to seeing every TE on the roster on the field at the same time. Nothing better than 6′ 5″ vs 5′ 10″ on every play. Looking forward to more hard nose football.

    I am concerned about OLB. It sure looks like a mess.

    Does the 4-3 Under scheme allow us to have less important OLBs? Because when I think of traditional successful 3-4 defenses they have super star OLBs.

  73. 73 Mac said at 3:20 PM on April 30th, 2013:

    I would be willing to bet that we’ll see some type of predator/sam arrangement. Barwin has some experience in coverage, so I would think our worst case scenario is splitting time between Cole and Graham at predator.

    The more I think about this topic the more I’m convinced that it might not be as big of a problem due to the prevalence of sub-packages on defense. The other positive is that Chip seems to think he has guys who can play multiple roles within the front 7.

    I definitely agree that if we were going to line up in a traditional 3-4 defense we’d be in trouble. To me the answer seems to be that we’re not going to be in a traditional 3-4 (or at least that it would be very rare).

  74. 74 Mac said at 2:34 PM on April 30th, 2013:

    Tommy, I must need more lasik surgery… I’m looking for an article on Tim Tebow in the “Recent Posts” section and can’t seem to find one.

  75. 75 Patrick said at 2:40 PM on April 30th, 2013:

    The horror.oh the horror!

  76. 76 Mac said at 2:52 PM on April 30th, 2013:

    I know right? haha… I do honestly wonder though, if the inverse of the argument for loving the Lane Johnson pick would hold true (i.e. Johnson was a good pick made better by lack of OT talent in 2nd round). If the Barkley pick is somewhat devalued knowing (with the benefit of hindsight) that would could have just nabbed Matt Scott in the 7th.

  77. 77 GvilleEagleFan said at 4:14 PM on April 30th, 2013:

    QBs are a different evaluation process. Barkley is a leagues better passer than Scott at this stage of their careers, and that’s much more difficult to teach (generally) than additional blocking or pass rushing techniques for example.

  78. 78 Patrick said at 4:30 PM on April 30th, 2013:

    But I think Mac would say the same about the OTs. Lane Johnson was far more athletic than any of the OTs besides Terron Armstead, and athleticism isnt difficult to teach, its impossible, and about 50 % of playing LT in the NFL, where as its only what, 10 % of playing QB. Mac has a point, if Lane was an even better pick because the OTs went of the board before we picked, and more athletic than any other OL in the draft, was Barkley a slightly worse pick since a lot of them were available in the 7th(Dysert).

    It is an interesting thought, but there is just something about QBs, I agree. Maybe its because QB projects work out so little, yet several late round OL players are capable starters.

    And just to clarify. NO, BAD TEBOW! STAY BACK FOUL BEAST!!!

  79. 79 ACViking said at 3:27 PM on April 30th, 2013:

    T-Law writes only about NFL players.

  80. 80 Mac said at 3:31 PM on April 30th, 2013:

    99% true… I submit: Megan Fox 😉

  81. 81 Mortong said at 4:58 PM on April 30th, 2013:

    “What they were interested in was a player with big time ability and athleticism. ”

    Brandon Graham has more ability and athleticism than Dion Jordan…

    Thank God they didn’t have the chance to take Jordan. That kid will bust hard.

  82. 82 Matt Roberts said at 11:42 PM on April 30th, 2013:

    Tommy- we all know Barkley’s floor (Brady Quinn) but what is his ceiling?