The Case for OLB

Posted: April 8th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 92 Comments »

Every now and then I take a look at the Eagles depth chart to see what sticks out.  I did that last night and something go my attention.  I’ll explain this with a series of numbers:  3, 3, and 12.  That is Trent Cole’s sack total from last year, Connor Barwin’s sack total from last year, and the number of games that Brandon Graham has started in his 3-year career.

Right now the Eagles are planning for Barwin and Graham/Cole to be the starting OLBs.  You have a pair of veterans coming off disappointing seasons.  Graham played well last year, but only started 6 games.  The Eagles could look at this situation in a couple of ways.  They could expect bounce-back years from Barwin and Cole.  They could expect Graham to get even better.  Or the Eagles could see 3 question marks at the key spots on defense…the pass rushers.

The Eagles tried to sign Victor Butler a couple of weeks back so that showed some interest in beefing up the pass rushers.  At the same time, they “only” made him a reasonable offer so that didn’t show any kind of desperation.

The question now is whether Howie Roseman, Chip Kelly, and Bill Davis see LB as a solid situation that could be upgraded or if they see a situation that must be addressed.  Roseman has focused on pass rushers in his time as GM.  Kelly had good pass rushers at Oregon.  Davis, like all defensive coaches, will absolutely value pass rushers.

Let’s go back to the depth chart for a minute.  I’m sure a few of you could point out that the O-line and secondary also look like they could use some help.  I totally agree, but that’s where you need to understand the draft class.  Check out this recent tweet from Daniel Jeremiah:

“Not a lot of options for teams looking for a pass rusher in RD 2….Plenty of RD 2 options at every other defensive position.”

If you want a stud pass rusher, you need to go for him at pick #4.  CB, S, and OL are positions that are fairly deep this year.  You can address them in the 2nd, 3rd, or possibly even 4th rounds.  You might be able to find a pass rusher outside the 1st round, but there are no guarantees.

As for Jordan himself, we’ve discussed him quite a bit.  Not everyone is sold on him, but he does make a lot of sense.  Jordan has the length that Kelly loves in his players.  Jordan is a terrific athlete.  He offers great versatility.  There is no question that Jordan needs some work, but he has big time potential.  If the Eagles feel he is an elite prospect, there is a very good chance he’ll be the pick.  We just don’t know if the Eagles see him as special or simply a very good prospect.

There is no guarantee that Jordan will be on the board.  A lot of people now seem to think that the Jaguars could go for Jordan.  Coach Gus Bradley had Chris Clemons in Seattle and just last year saw the team draft Bruce Irvin in the 1st round.  Bradley knows the value in speed rushers and that is something the Jags don’t have right now.

The Eagles have met with Jordan and are showing public interest.  The team has also checked out some other pass rushers.  Chip Kelly was at LSU for their Pro Day and you can bet he took a close look at Barkevious Mingo.  Kelly was at Georgia’s Pro Day and took a look at Jarvis Jones.  The Eagles brought Tank Carradine in for a visit.  I think these guys would be targets if the Eagles are able to move back.

Mingo is a special athlete, but didn’t post great numbers at LSU.  Strength is a major question for him.  He never did the bench press test for NFL teams, which is a red flag.  He’d rather have teams not know the answer than to actually do it.  The reason you want Mingo is because of his speed and movement skills.  He does some freaky things.  Jones is just the opposite.  Limited athlete, but great production.  Doesn’t have ideal size, but he is a good football player.  He’d be more likely to offer an immediate impact.  Carradine tore his ACL in November, but was having a great season prior to that.  He has huge potential, if his knee checks out.

Another x-factor in all of this is having Cole and Graham adjust to being OLBs.  Barwin has played that position and knows what he’s doing.  How much do the Eagles trust Cole and Graham as LBs?  Jordan and Jones played LB in college.  Mingo was technically a DE, but LSU used him creatively and he’s got a fair amount of experience playing in space.

We’ll find out in a couple of weeks just what the Eagles think of the LB situation, as well as the LB prospects.

* * * * *

You guys asked quite a few questions in the last few posts.  I’ll address them in a post later today.


92 Comments on “The Case for OLB”

  1. 1 Iskar36 said at 11:20 AM on April 8th, 2013:

    One thing that should be kept in mind though about “limited” options in RD 2 for pass rushers is that if there are any, since we have such a high draft pick, we would have a good shot at drafting them. So the issue really is are there “not a lot of options” or are there “no options”. To me, that is a significant difference.

  2. 2 Anders said at 11:33 AM on April 8th, 2013:

    a few OLBs like Mingo, Moore, Werner, Montgomery, Tank Carridine and Okarfor all has potential to drop based on the mock drafts I have seen around the net. Some of these are of course better suited as 4-3 DE

  3. 3 TommyLawlor said at 12:18 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    Mingo won’t get anywhere close to pick 35.

    Montgomery is probably a 3rd or 4th rounder. Werner is more of a DE than LB. Moore is good, but has serious athletic limitations.

    Carradine is a wildcard. Could go high, could slide.

  4. 4 Anders said at 12:36 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    I have seen Mingo go in the 2nd round in some mock drafts, but I agree the chance is slim he falls to the 2nd round.

    Didnt knew Mongomery was such a low round pick.

    Agree Werner is more of DE than OLB.

  5. 5 TommyLawlor said at 1:12 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    Montgomery admitted to teams that he played hard in big games, but coasted against some lesser teams. That scared people. Also, he’s a bit stiff. I don’t see him as a LB.

  6. 6 D3FB said at 1:15 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    Plus there is the now infamous “The following players don’t play hard or care” list that Montgomery made it on.

  7. 7 D3FB said at 1:15 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    Jamie Collins may also be there.

  8. 8 RC5000 said at 6:22 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    I can’t see Moore, Werner, Montgomery, Okafor. With Graham, Cole, Barwin, Curry – I can’t see those guys unless they really fall far and even then they could go in other directions. They are more 4-3 DEs and they are either looking at the best prospects like Jordan or maybe Mingo. Jones is hard to see. I totally agree he has the best chance of making an immediate impact as a pass rusher but he’s not long so they’d really have to be high on his skillset.
    Not big on these guys but I could see it some
    2nd – Collins (sort of a wildcard as to exactly where he goes)
    4th – Buchanan
    7th/UDFA – Travises (Long and Johnson) who would be flyers.
    UDFA – Catapano – though he doesn’t look like an OLB or DE in this system but they spent time with him so they may see something they think they can coach up.
    Long and Johnson may not be at the specific spots in the 7th they would take them and it’s hard to project that late exactly. Could sneak into the 6th round or fall out of the draft. I think Johnson will go 6/7 though as a guess.

  9. 9 Marty said at 11:35 AM on April 8th, 2013:

    While a speed rusher is a need, I always go back to how our O Line collapsed last year. I think taking a sure thing offensive lineman…..either Joeckel or Fisher should be available…..makes more sense.

  10. 10 TommyLawlor said at 12:16 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    Remember what I wrote…the OL would be addressed, but just not at #4.

  11. 11 Marty said at 12:47 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    I get that. I just don’t know that anyone would be as good as Joeckel or Fisher in the other rounds.

  12. 12 TommyLawlor said at 1:11 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    They wouldn’t be as good. Remember that we’re not looking for a LT, though. We’re looking for a RT and potential future LT.

  13. 13 ezgreene said at 1:51 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    Why potential future LT? Peters WILL NOT be here long-term.

  14. 14 austinfan said at 2:36 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    IF Peters comes back, and especially if he gets down to 320 lbs, he can play at a high level until age 35, you’ll know how they feel if they extend his contract. At worst, you can move him inside at age 33, he has the perfect body for OG.

  15. 15 Ark87 said at 3:32 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    Moving an aging star LT to guard is a lot like moving the aging star CB to safety.

    It involves:
    A) the star admitting they are aging and have lost a step
    B) taking the pay cut that comes with the position change

    Often the star player’s pride results in leaving the team by various methods. So while I agree he can do that move as he ages, “at worst” would likely be him being an unhappy camper and forcing us to cut him….scratch that, at worst he doesn’t come back healthy and is terrible…..and fire rains from the sky….and they start singing “Call Me Maybe” in place of the national anthem at all major sporting events….

  16. 16 Tom Watkinson said at 11:08 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    I think what Jeremiah, tommy, and others have realized is u can’t draft in a vacuum by rd … Since b4 free agency I have been pushing Jordan at 4 bc of position scarcity, passrush importance (sack differential) , tiering, and value based drafting. There was little at edge rusher in free agency but strength at db and safety and dt. In the draft, very thin at edge rusher and especially sams or 3-4 rushers. Deep at otackle, dt, corner and safety — some deepest in years. We also have general consensus that these 3 tackles ARENOT elite to prospects — they aren’t joe Thomas Trent Williams boselli okung etc. they are closer to long, whit worth, load holt, bulaga … Solid starters only.

    Second, history shows starting otackles and pro bowlers can be found easiest at otackle in later rds— eagles rewind confirms otackles who start can be drafted at a very high rate (over 70) in second and over 55 in 3d. Edge rushers not so much.

    With those principles and if u agree joeckel, Floyd, fisher, Jordan are similar great prospects ( if u don’t like Jordan don’t apply but I will defer to what his head coach thinks), then Jordan is the pick over the otackles bc we can draft a very good otackle who has an extremely high chance of being a starter in rd 2 or 3 and not a great chance of finding a ware or anyone like Jordan after top 15 picks in this draft if at all. There is serious questions w the rushers — a very weak pass rusher draft —- plus edge rusher harder to hit on in later rds per history — so don’t draft from weakness by looking for a Sam or dware in rd 2 or 3 or 4.

    If there is small drop off at otackle in rds 1-3 or its deep, but a large drop at edge rusher or shallow, u take the great edge rusher at 4 and the good otackle in the 2d or preferably 3d or 4th especially since defenses are focusing on disguising the rush now not loading right side.
    Finally, peters and herramins can play till 35. Why draft a kid at 4 to be peters successor in 4yrs. We aren’t cutting peters if he is fine which is all we can assume. If u want a stud right tackle, okay, but u don’t draft r tackles in top 5. To assume peters is a risk, is to assume our 3 new DBS, herramins, Kielce, graham are all injury concerns. I assume eagles doctors know this info, if not then I still go otackle later based on high hit rate at that position. No reason we can’t take 2 ol men in first 5 picks just not first.

  17. 17 deg0ey said at 5:26 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    We need an RT and potential future LT because he’s not going to start at LT right away, so the ability to play RT is important. He only needs to be a ‘potential future LT’ because there’s always the option of drafting another guy to be the LT of the future when JP eventually calls it a day.

  18. 18 Geagle said at 6:20 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    Why not a guy like Kyle Long, who can start at RG, while also backing up Herremans at RT in case of an emergency?maybe even being able to trade back in round 2, get him, and an extra pick(you can always fall back on Pugh)….So many ways in this draft to improve Oline depth without taking a playmaker away from the defense at number 4….Take something we can’t find later in the draft at 4

  19. 19 deg0ey said at 6:38 PM on April 8th, 2013:


    I get the feeling that BPA at #35 is likely to be a 5-tech type. Star, Sheldon Richardson, Sylvester Williams, Johnathan Hankins, Jesse Williams, Ziggy Ansah, Tank Carradine, Margus Hunt and Kawann Short could all play the position and are all arguably first-round talents. Don’t see all 9 of them coming off the board early and there’s a good chance one of them will be the best guy available when the Eagles pick in the second.

    Whilst that shouldn’t necessarily have an impact on the first pick, if the Eagles have the OTs ranked pretty much evenly with the DTs then they’d likely be better off taking Fisher/Joeckel/Johnson at #4.

  20. 20 Sifter said at 7:49 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    Yes definitely. There seems to be a glut of these 5-tech types around 20-50 on big boards. Seems like a can’t miss than a few of them will be available at #35. On the other hand, I don’t think there is an OT I like in the 2nd round, whereas there are 3 good ones at the top of the draft. Seems obvious to go OT, then 5-tech just given the depth of talent at each pick.

  21. 21 T_S_O_P said at 11:38 AM on April 8th, 2013:

    Ansah may be able to play one of the OLB roles or as you have mentioned play the 5 on neutral downs. When we look at the depth chart, the 5 looks far worse than 3, 3, and 12

  22. 22 Arby1 said at 11:48 AM on April 8th, 2013:

    That’s an interesting idea and would certainly fit the versatility requirement. Hmmm.

  23. 23 Anders said at 11:59 AM on April 8th, 2013:

    Im really warming up to Ansah at 4th overall. Play him 5 tech on early downs and then in your nickel (most likely a 4-2-5 look) you can have him play DE opposite either Cole, Graham or Curry or switch him inside so you could have a line of Graham-Ansah-Cox-Barwin/Cole/Curry

  24. 24 ACViking said at 12:02 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    If you’re Jeff Lurie (not “Laurie”), how do you feel about an Ansah pick?

    “Nightmare on Watkins Street II”?

    If there’s any player in the draft I’d run away from it’s this guy.

    The seduction factor is way to high, given his age and experience.

  25. 25 Anders said at 12:26 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    I know his experience is low, but how is his age any problem? He is will be 24 this season.

  26. 26 ACViking said at 1:37 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    essentially 2 years of football and he’s 2 years older than most draft-eligible college players with 8 years experience.

    If he were graduating at age 20, maybe a late 1st. Even then, he’s so much to learn.

    I’d love to be wrong, given his innate athletic skills.

    But while a guy like Tank Carradine’s been’s learning to use his hands to loose from an OT for nearly a decade, Ziggy’s just getting a sniff.

    I guess I suffer from PTWD.

    I mean, Watkins — with 4 years’ experience as a LT in a pass-happy offense — was maybe worse than Jon Harris. (Is that possible?)

    It’s just me. I’d have a heart-attack if we spent a premium pick on Ziggy. (Trading back into Rd 1 at 26 or so, maybe. Not 4-10.)

    This team is so lacking in *football players* that we don’t need an athlete betting on the come. If that’s the case, take Jordan.

  27. 27 Anders said at 4:02 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    So you dont want Star or Jones either? or is it a combination of age and experience?

    “I mean, Watkins — with 4 years’ experience as a LT in a pass-happy offense — was maybe worse than Jon Harris. (Is that possible?)”

    Isnt that a little to harsh consider Watkins at to shift both from tackles to guard and from left to right? Both are things that not all can do right away.

    Regarding Jordan, he has played OLB the same amount of time Ziggy has played DE and Jordan is 1 year younger only.

  28. 28 ACViking said at 6:35 PM on April 8th, 2013:


    My hesitancy with Ziggy is his lack of experience playing football. Not his lack of experience at a particular position.

    I love the guy’s numbers — except his age, but only because of his lack of experience playing “America’s Game.”

    Too bad he’s not 21 with another 2 years of eligibility left.

    The Eagles are hurting for football players. Ziggy’s now more athlete than player.

    If I’m the Birds’ GM and had to pick between J-Jones or Ziggy, I’d take Jones. It’s the more conservative decision to be sure.

    But, health issue aside, Jones projects as the kind of kid whose heart can’t be measured. (Ziggy, too, probably. But Jones has a bunch more experience.)

    As for Star . . . if Floyd’s gone, I’d be okay with him. I’d rather get a younger player, though. Star has plenty of experience.

    Combining Ziggy’s age and minimal experience, along with the Eagles’ need for football players (even John Bunting-types), I’d go with J-Jones over Ziggy as long as health’s not an issue of Jones.

    If this were the 2005 draft, though, and Ziggy slid to No. 20 — and the Eagles were coming of a SB — I’d grab him.

  29. 29 Iskar36 said at 4:38 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    I guess the way I see it, Watkins was certainly older as a prospect and that was a mark against him, but the issue with him has not been primarily his age; it has been his inability to be a solid guard or come close to living up to being a 1st round draft pick. If Watkins had succeeded in the NFL and become a stable part of our offensive line, I’m not sure any of us would look back at his age and be too upset.

  30. 30 T_S_O_P said at 1:27 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    Imagine if Ray Rhodes was our coach, he may even take my British compatriot Okoye in round 2 to follow!

  31. 31 brza said at 4:13 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    If Rhodes was coach he’d trade all our picks to move up to pick #1 so he could draft Margus Hunt. Actually I think Rhodes created hunt in a lab from dna samples he scraped off of Mike mamula and Jon Harris. Somewhere right now Rhodes is looking at Hunt’s measurables with the combine tape rolling in the background and just salivating.

  32. 32 Ben Hert said at 2:16 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    Couldn’t agree more. I took away from Tommy’s article that we don’t have holes at OLB, we have question marks. Drafting Ansah with a #4 is adding a huge question mark for a very high price.

  33. 33 TommyLawlor said at 12:15 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    This all depends on what the coaches think of the 5-tech spot. Do they want a run defender or pass rusher? Ced Thornton can be a solid run defender. Ansah would be a guy that can do both, but might not be worth investing a super high pick in depending on how they see the situation.

  34. 34 Geagle said at 6:23 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    in a 4-3U it would be a run defender, No? Or could we also use a pass rusher in a 4-3U? I expected them to want someone to eat up bodies to help out Demeco, and keep Kendrick’s free……Then again, I would love to see Tank Carradine(any chance he makes it to round 2?)

  35. 35 Arby1 said at 11:38 AM on April 8th, 2013:

    I wouldn’t doubt that Jordan would be better at OLB than Graham, just as I don’t doubt that Fisher would be better at RT than Herremans or Kelly. Given the difference in age between Herremans/Peters and Graham, I think you’ve got to give Graham a year to see if he can make the adjustment. Graham had an ascending year; Herremans a descending one; Peters just got a year older; Kelly is a question mark but seems like the first back-up to me.

  36. 36 Ark87 said at 11:50 AM on April 8th, 2013:

    I keep forgetting Kelly in this discussion. It may be that if we draft a tackle at 4, we put him at RT until Peters retires or moves on, swing #4 over to LT, by then we will know if Kelly can take over at RT or if we need to draft another tackle.

    Our O-line is aging quickly. I’m really hoping Kelce works out in a non-Mudd system. I suspect we will be taking O-linemen in later rounds for the next few drafts, because a pretty big turn-over is on the horizon.

  37. 37 D3FB said at 1:13 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    I am personally hoping for a tackle at 4. It gives us a future replacement to Peters, I think Kelly will be fine to start full time in another year or two, and Kelce should be ok in the new system. That leaves us needing one or two new guards in a couple of years, by that point we should know if Menkins, or a handful of mid to late round project guys in the next few years are capable starters or if we need to address the position relatively high.

  38. 38 Sb2bowl said at 3:07 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    Are you previously D3Keith?

  39. 39 TommyLawlor said at 3:55 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    Nah, diff guys. D3 is that powerful.

  40. 40 D3FB said at 4:27 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    Correct I am not D3Keith, however D3Center has the misfortune of being my roommate.

  41. 41 D3FB said at 4:30 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    No unfortunately I am not. Keith played CB at one of the VA (Hampden Sydney?) schools like 10ish years ago, I am currently a junior who plays guard at Dickinson College, and D3Center is my moronic roommate, ignore him he knows not of what he speaks. Think of me as Mathis and him as Dallas Reynolds.

  42. 42 D3Center said at 4:51 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    Wow Dallas Reynolds? I couldn’t get Kelce? Did you forget I know where you sleep?

  43. 43 deg0ey said at 5:28 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    Hey, you’re just lucky he didn’t call you McGlynn

  44. 44 Ark87 said at 11:38 AM on April 8th, 2013:

    Good article. Without a strong secondary, we will need a solid pass rush. As you reviewed, none of our guys are proven to be potent pass rushers at the position.

    I’m thinking they go OT. Chip’s got no franchise QB, but he has some awesome RB’s. If he can make the O-line very good, a potent running game and a strong O-line can make any QB look good.

  45. 45 Kushan Patel said at 4:27 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    And indirectly support a porous defense.

  46. 46 Ark87 said at 5:03 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    Tommy mused on this a bit. Chip very well may. Many good teams sort of go for dominance on one side of the ball while sort of just getting by on the other. No one would ever admit to it of course.

    Like for me, the offense looks pretty solid for a pretty long time outside of the QB position, which I don’t advise trying to force-fix this year. It’s clear we can get the most improvement bang for our buck by going heavy on defense this draft. But maybe Chip is looking to add another elite piece to the offense, and be the flagship unit of the team.

  47. 47 Geagle said at 6:16 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    chip Kelly’s Oregon defense led the nation in takeaways…His special team units were elite…This man values every phase of the game

  48. 48 ACViking said at 11:55 AM on April 8th, 2013:


    Whatever the new scheme is, a look at the D-depth chart makes me think there’s only one spot filled by a Pro Bowl-type player. And that’s whatever position the Eagles put Fletcher Cox.

    Otherwise, the players on this defense bring back memories older than nearly all your readers . . . when the Eagles had the likes of All Pro S Bill Bradley, and Pro Bowl DE (later MLB) Tim Rossevich. The rest of the cupboard was bare most weeks.

    Right now, players like Graham and Cole are huge question marks — at least until we see the new D-scheme. (And Cole may well be Hugh Douglas – Circa ’03.) It could be a pure 3-4, a 4-3 under, or “The Amoeba” defense. Who knows.

    As you’ve said, there’s more personnel work to be done on the defensive side than on the O-side . . . assuming the Eagles find a QB.

    The D-free agents were okay. But no team’s marched to the SB with a defense built around free agents.

  49. 49 TommyLawlor said at 12:08 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    Great point.

  50. 50 Steven Dileo said at 12:00 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    Victor Butler signed a 2 year deal worth $3 million and only $1.5 million guaranteed. I’m surprised that the Eagles didn’t offer him more.

    If the Eagles were to trade down a few picks and Jarvis Jones was available, would you still go after him? How would you rank him among Jordan, Ansah, and DeMontre Moore?

  51. 51 TheRogerPodacter said at 12:47 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    i’m sure we sold it as a job he would have to come in and fight to win playing time. he might has looked at what we had on the roster and felt he might be able to get a more ‘sure thing’ elsewhere.

  52. 52 austinfan said at 2:38 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    They may have, Butler may have wanted to go to a place where he’d get more PT, put up bigger numbers and have a shot at a big contract in two years.

  53. 53 Mike Flick said at 12:32 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    Remember last training camp? We were so deep at d-line. We were arguing which ones we would keep. We kept 12. Pro-bowl Talent and depth galore. Cole, Babin and Jenkins went to recent pro bowls. Cox was a top DT. Graham, Tapp, Dixon were all playing well. Potential guys like Thornton, Hunt, Curry.

    Too many pass rushers to all play, rotations were loaded. Seems like they are all gone or not part of the plans. (Except Cox)

    Amazing how one crappy season can change all of our perspectives.

    This is after a season where we had too many all-star CBs. The amount of turnover is mind boggling.

  54. 54 livingonapear said at 1:10 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    Well it certainly turned out to be a good year to limit rookie contracts. There would be a lot of over paying for first round talent.

    Jordon leaves me cold. I don’t see the explosiveness that I’ve hear about, and nothing about him screamed first round.

  55. 55 deg0ey said at 1:42 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    I’m hoping that the Eagles don’t consider their question marks at OLB at all. If they think Jordan is an impact player then fine, but don’t take him just because you’re not convinced by Cole, Graham, Barwin and Curry.

    I’d rather have the Eagles lack pass rush in 2013 and address it in the next draft when there should be more options available (off the top of my head, Clowney, Van Noy, Tuitt, Barr, Murphy and presumably many more).

    The depth at pretty much every other defensive position means that they can fix the rest of the D such that (assuming the OLBs we have now don’t work out) they only need to add a pass rusher or two to have a top-shelf defense.

  56. 56 TommyLawlor said at 3:04 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    The Eagles won’t take anyone at #4 that they don’t consider to be an outstanding prospect. Need can factor into things, but they’ll choose the best player. Need can be a tiebreaker when you have the same or similar grades on a few guys.

  57. 57 Iskar36 said at 4:09 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    The concern becomes an issue “when you have similar grades.” How close is “similar”? The Eagles did a great job last year picking the BPA, but they have definitely made the mistake of reaching for a need in the past, so I don’t think it is a given that they will avoid it this year. I’m sure they will not be picking a guy they don’t like, but deg0ey’s point still holds true. Draft a guy you strongly believe can become a difference maker, regardless of whether or not Cole, Graham, Barwin, and Curry have question marks.

    Your point about there being less pass rush talent later in the draft has potential to undermine that logic. If for example you like one of the OTs better than one of the pass rushers, you are passing on the better player by drafting the pass rusher for the marginal benefit of having a 2nd (or later) round OT that can be serviceable. If instead, you draft the OT, and end up not finding a pass rusher later in the draft, you already have serviceable players for this year and you can worry about getting an impact pass rusher later. At the end of the day though, you have your highest rated player plus presumably another player you like (whether he is at pass rusher or a different position) in the second round. I think factoring what is available later in the draft is valuable, but it is also dangerous in terms of getting you away from the mindset of BPA.

    EDIT: Oops, this was intended to be in reply to Tommy.

  58. 58 deg0ey said at 5:32 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    That’s pretty much what I was getting at…

    I get that if guys are rated roughly the same then you’re better off taking the guy that fills a need, but if (hypothetically speaking) they consider Star BPA at #4 and Hankins is BPA at #35 then I’d rather they take both and have a stacked DL than ‘do a Watkins’ and pick a guy that is clearly not as good because he happens to play OLB (Jarvis Jones stands out as the likely guy in that scenario).

  59. 59 GvilleEagleFan said at 9:43 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    I think their opinion of Barwin and Graham should matter. Right now they’ve got a guy locked into a three (possibly six) year deal and a former first round pick. You don’t let the first rounder play just because of his draft status, but the guy is basically going into his first year as a penciled-in starter. If he proves himself, it would be a huge luxury to draft someone at the same position at #4 overall when you’d like to get a difference maker at CB or DL or OT. You don’t want your #4 overall guy to be in a position where you struggle to get playing time for him.

    Similarly with Barwin, if Davis and Kelly see him as a starting SOLB/SAM that can cover and has great pass rush skills as a bonus drafting Jordan makes a lot less sense. You don’t want to hand Barwin the job, but giving him three years and a good sum of guarantees and incentives means that you expect him to see playing time. In this situation you’d rather wait to the later rounds to find a guy to fill in the bottom of the rotation and get a difference maker at a position where he can become an instant contributor.

  60. 60 GvilleEagleFan said at 9:48 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    However, I personally pray that Jordan is the pick if we can’t trade back. I’ve posted before about how much I love his physical ability to matchup with Graham and Gronk types in coverage and chase down RGIII and Kaepernick when he rushes the passer. Plus I think that puts Barwin in a role of near constant pass rusher with bonus cover skills and the capacity to play SAM if Jordan takes a series off and have Graham come on the field as the primary Predator sub.

    Like Tommy pointed out awhile ago, if Kelly’s offense is working correctly the defense is gonna see a ton more snaps. Having a deep stable of pass rushers is incredibly important, as that position requires the most exertion per play and the defense as a unit suffers most when that position is ineffective.

  61. 61 Dan Mats said at 1:53 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    I think one of the things that isn’t addressed as much is the fact most people are looking at immediate needs for the 2013 roster but now how the contracts/salaries affect us in the future. Not only is Peters coming off a major injury, but they can save 10m if they cut him next year – so if his play doesn’t match his pay he could be gone. For Herremans, it would be hard to take him off the books for a few years but as other people said he could be slotted inside and might have to with getting up there in age and losing a step. I think most people want the shiny new toy, but a lot of people fail to look at the situation beyond this year. I’m all for getting a sure fire pass rusher but I don’t see any of them this year while there are three cornerstone tackles.

  62. 62 TommyLawlor said at 3:06 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    This would be a great point, but the Eagles don’t have any cap concerns right now and shouldn’t have any next year.

  63. 63 Sifter said at 7:53 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    I wanted to mention money too, and it’s that Cole and Barwin are the 2 defenders with the most money left on their contracts going into the future. That’s a pretty good reason not to spend a lot more money at the OLB spot. And it’s why signing a guy like Victor Butler for ‘sensible’ money would have been a great move. I think that is certainly a factor against Jordan at #4, so perhaps someone cheaper in the 3rd or 4th that is initially slated as a backup, but could step in if both Cole and Graham fail to transition.

  64. 64 Phils Goodman said at 2:28 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    I think Mingo played stronger than Jordan in college.

    I wonder if Kendricks is gonna blitz more up the middle in this new scheme. He did at Cal.

    I don’t think there’s much consensus on the pass-rushers in this class. The one they like could fall.

  65. 65 austinfan said at 2:34 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    I wouldn’t touch Jones. Go look at the LTs he faced in college, how many are starting or will start in the NFL. Perfect example of a “college player,” able to dominate inferior talent, but will struggle against the better quality athletes he’ll face in the NFL. Now Hali and Dumervil didn’t work out well, but both were bigger than Jones, yet they’re still second tier behind guys like Ware, Freeney and Wake as 3-4 OLB type speed rushers. Or true DEs like Allen, Cole or Abraham. In other words, really not worthy of a top 20 pick. Jones will be a tier below them.

    Mingo’s future is as a 4-3 SLB, he’s not strong enough for 3-4 OLB, and the fact that after two months of working out he’s not willing to lift says it all – he just lacks the genetics to develop his upper body.

    Jordan is tough, wish he’d been healthy and weighed in at 260 lbs and did 20 lifts, then we’d have a good comparison with Kearse. Instead you have to project how much speed and quickness he’ll lose when he adds the 15 lbs he needs with his frame to play 3-4 OLB (taller guy needs more bulk because of high center of gravity, Graham at 260 lbs may lack length, but has no problem anchoring).

    I think they’ll go late round/UDFA this year, see how the players on the roster perform, and make it a priority next year. For one thing, safety and DL are higher priority (all 3 safeties may not start in 2014, “5” is a question and Sopoaga is 32). Of course, if Chip is in love with Jordan, he could go with him, DL 2nd round, then snatch up a bunch of safeties later – there is certainly more depth there than at DT or rush LB.

  66. 66 TommyLawlor said at 3:07 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    I think you’re too harsh on Jones, but I agree that he’s got NFL concerns. I don’t know why Kiper had him #1 overall so long. Never saw that.

  67. 67 austinfan said at 4:45 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    The 40 time doesn’t really bother me if he’s in a predator role, the awful short shuttle, cone drill and a poor 30″ vertical at 249 lbs really concern me – he’s either a lousy athlete or lazy, both red flags.

    Cole didn’t have a great 40 time, but very good short shuttle, cone drill and a 40″ vertical, a classic edge pass rusher where the first step is more important than long speed.

    The problem is that college pass rushers rarely face NFL caliber LTs, so you’re projecting what they show on film (think about NFL Europe sack leaders) to the next level – and athleticism is part of that projection. You can teach technique, hand use, etc., you can’t teach athleticism.

  68. 68 mark_in_jax said at 5:26 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    Add to that who he played with (Ogletree, Jenkins, Washington, Commings, Rambo, Williams, Geathers, etc). Don’t get me wrong because I have seen him in enough games to know he is a very good player but he’s nowhere near #4.

  69. 69 mark_in_jax said at 4:55 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    Think at #4 we should spend more time eliminating downside risk than projecting upside potential so my choice would be Johnson or Fisher or Joeckel rather than any of the above “edge rushers”. It appears that the only question about any of those 3 OTs is whether they are “franchise LEFT tackles”. So I’m wondering why it would be so bad to draft “Runyan” instead of “Thomas” or “Sizemore” instead of “Walters”. Probably not a coincidence that our only 2 SB appearances were during those years.

  70. 70 Phils Goodman said at 1:16 AM on April 9th, 2013:

    Dumervil had a league-leading 17 sacks and an all-pro bid in 2009. He missed 2010 with a pectoral tear and hasn’t been quite the same since. But I would still call that pick a definite “hit” based on talent evaluation. Sometimes you can nail your talent evaluation and not reap the full rewards because of unpredictable factors.

  71. 71 Tom Watkinson said at 2:55 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    Thanks for pointing out the lack of passrushers in the draft beyond rd 1 … glad Jeremiah picked up on this too. Fairly certain eagles already have as well. Big reason I have been pulling for Jordan since late January …. you can get a really nice otackle, corner, safety, 5-tech, te in later rounds. Question gets sticky if they trade down w the dolphins or chargers. Maybe Ansah or Star falls that far. Mingo would be there but I am not a fan.

  72. 72 Geagle said at 6:12 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    yeah, Jordan is a unique talent, that’s what we should be looking for in the top 5, a player we can’t get anywhere else…So many ways of fixing the Oline in this draft…You could theoretically trade down in rd 2, pick up a 4th round pick, Grab Kyle Long or Justin Pugh(2 guys that can compete with Watkins for starting RG, and also slide over to RT in case of an emergency)…Then with the extra pick we AQUIRE, you could land a top OT talent that can play both sides like Brennan Williams who will fall because of injuries or a Quessenberry who can back up every position on the line…That’s a ton of value to get out of a 2nd round pick…allowing us to grab Jordan in rd1…we need ATleast 1 OLB that can drop back in coverage as well as he can rush the passer…we need that to disguise our defense

  73. 73 Ian Patrick said at 3:15 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    Tommy do you see the Eagles showing any interest in Alec Ogletree? i see him as a STUD LB and i think he would be a great trade back option. if Dion the OL and Geno are overvalued…i think either him, Mingo, or Jarvis would make great sense with anyone we could trade down with at the 11-15 spot. thoughts? i think he has the intangibles that are hard to measure. he has a special football awareness to deflect passes and great sideline to sideline quickness. also saw a sudden burst to get into he backfield. right now if i am Kelly i look at the possibility of Jordan being overvalued and i trade back if him and Lane and Geno are off the board.

  74. 74 Arby1 said at 4:44 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    The Eagles have shown interest in Ogletree and I think he’s a potential 2nd round target if he drops due to conduct issues, assuming they think he’s not trouble.

  75. 75 Ian Patrick said at 7:29 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    my honest concern with this new regime is that Chip is obsessed on tangibles not intangibles. he wants size and speed and it seems like he might be willing to pass on a player simply for what they lack rather than giving doing due diligence. i literally thought this over while taking a shit. IMO the O line class goes Fisher Johnson Joeckel Warmack.there is a chance that both 2 or 3 of them will be gone by the 4th pick. im thinking it will be Dion and 2 OL and if thats the case i would either draft Geno for the sheer fact he is the BPA and head and heels over EJ. Im a fan of his. my big board looks like this based on scenarios(not top 100) for the Eagles:

    1) Dion Jordan
    2)Lane Johnson
    3) Ezekiel Ansah.
    4) Star L.(not even gonna try to spell it lol)
    5) Geno Smith

    my best case scenario is that there is run on OT and DL and DIon gets over drafted. that would leave 1 or 2 big OT left on the board and we could trade down into the top 7-15 and acquire an extra 2nd. i think there is a way we could trade down 1 spot or 2 and still land Geno. i would love to walk out with a franchise QB and Olgetree or Jarvis Jones. as others have said…i love their athleticism but DIon and Ansah scare me. i want someone who has a football history…not a freak athlete with little experience.

  76. 76 Geagle said at 6:06 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    ID rather see Alec lose 12lbs to get down to Kam Chancellors size and be a deathbacker

  77. 77 A_T_G said at 7:53 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    A deathbacker? I’m not sure what that is, but I know I want to switch to a 1-9-1 defense to get as many of them on the field as possible.

  78. 78 Anders said at 8:00 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    A deathback is hybrid LB/safety

  79. 79 Geagle said at 5:26 AM on April 9th, 2013:

    Like Kam Chancellor

  80. 80 TK said at 3:36 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    Do you have any information on Ifeanyi Momah?

  81. 81 Iskar36 said at 5:54 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    Starting with how the heck do you pronounce his name?

  82. 82 Neil said at 6:49 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    if-ON-ee MOH-mah

  83. 83 RC5000 said at 7:11 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    lol I think this will clear it up haha…E-feind-ee whatever that is…according to

    ee-FAW-nee according to

  84. 84 A_T_G said at 7:50 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    I thought it was iFadeYe (the d is invisible, a less used variation of the silent letter technique). According the team technical literature the iFadeYe is “…faster than the iMaclin, sleeker than the iCoop, and features the SoftHands Touch sensitivity of the beloved but limited iVant model.”

    Now, those team technical releases are notorious for being propaganda, but if he is as effective in the red zone as his name implies…

  85. 85 Anders said at 8:53 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    Well played. Just be careful, Apple might sue because apparently they got pattern on the fade pass.

  86. 86 RC5000 said at 9:43 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    and the longevity of IBennzzzzzz

  87. 87 Ark87 said at 4:37 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    Anybody else intrigued with this Ifeanya Momah. 6’7, 4.4 40. Jesus. Saw some clips from his workout. Seemed to track the ball well and showed good hands. I do wonder if he is strong enough to get off the line and if he plays big. But man, what a weapon he could be.

  88. 88 Geagle said at 6:06 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    if we can’t land Jordan, we better find away to get Jamie Collins, Jelanie Jenkins or Sio Moore

  89. 89 Mac said at 6:27 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    Sorry to go all “morton” on you but… I really like what’s been going on over at Eagles Rewind, and I think a strong case can be made for not drafting a LB in round 1. I don’t have time to link all the articles (obviously) but here’s one that is an attention getter.

  90. 90 ACViking said at 6:36 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    Some great info over there.

    And when in doubt, build up your defense.

  91. 91 Mac said at 7:23 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    Also true.

    I can’t help but think that our O-line needs some young talented and “more violence” blood. I’m o.k. going D on our first pick, but I can’t shake the feeling that Lane Johnson may be the most “special” player in this draft class. He had the intelligence to play QB, the athleticism to play TE, and is repudiated as having a nasty streak as an OL who has played successfully on the right and left sides.

    I’m not saying he makes the offense instantly wonderful, but I am saying Todd and Jason aren’t getting any younger or less injured. And while Dennis may be serviceable at RT I don’t have any confidence in him as a long term solution at LT. It remains to be seen if we have a G or OT in Menkin… the only young o-line I’m psyched about is Kelce and I pray over and over he comes back healthy.

    Are you willing to roll out the M*A*S*H unit again this year?

  92. 92 Anders said at 8:51 PM on April 8th, 2013:

    Actually according to the info on that site, draft offense first because you need a statistical better offense then defense to win the Super Bowl