Be On Guard For A Guard

Posted: April 27th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 22 Comments »

Jeff Stoutland has been a busy man this spring. The Eagles have sent their OL coach all over the country to workout OL prospects at their Pro Day. This isn’t casual. The Eagles are looking for a OG to draft, possibly as high as the 2nd round.

Stoutland hasn’t just been to big Pro Days like USC, Clemson and Tennessee. He went down to Furman and worked out OG prospect Dakota Dozier. Actually, the Eagles sent Stoutland and Asst OL coach Greg Austin to workout Dozier. Here is Dozier playing for Furman.

Dozier is 6-4, 313. He has 33 7/8 arms, which is good length. He’s not as athletic as Chip Kelly normally prefers his OGs to be, but they obviously have serious interest in him. Dozier played LT for Furman, but projects to OG in the NFL. He was a dominant run blocker at the FCS level. He’s got a mean streak, which you always want in a run blocker.

Dozier went to the Shrine Game and showed that he could handle good competition. He played LG in that game and looked right at home. Dozier was the starting LT at Furman for 4 years (redshirted in 2009) so that makes his performance in the Shrine Game all the more impressive. He is a good run blocker at G or T. He’s strong enough to anchor well in pass pro. He uses his hands well. Dozier could be a good OG in the NFL.

I tend to think of him as a 3rd round prospect.

Why are the Eagles so interested in finding an OG? Neither Evan Mathis nor Todd Herremans is getting any younger. Mathis remains a top player, but Herremans play dipped in 2013. The Eagles have some guys on the roster that might be able to win a role, but none of them feels likely to be a starter at this point so there is a need for a quality prospect to develop.

One interesting part of this is that the Eagles sent Greg Austin to Texas to check out their OL and Stoutland to USC to check out their line. The Eagles then brought Trey Hopkins/Texas and Marcus Martin/USC to Philly for a visit. Were they doing medical checks or was there some other area the Eagles wanted to explore more in-depth?

The Eagles might not take an OG until late, but they will certainly try to find one somewhere in the upcoming draft.


22 Comments on “Be On Guard For A Guard”

  1. 1 PK_NZ said at 11:53 PM on April 27th, 2014:

    CB, OLB, OG would work for me from the first 3 rounds… Fuller, Attouchu, Dozier? I personally don’t think we need a WR from the early rounds…

  2. 2 Finlay Jones said at 7:31 AM on April 28th, 2014:

    presuming year 2 ertz, maclin and sproles can pick up Desean’s slack (I think they can), I’d be down with that. Although a WR for the future would be nice too.

  3. 3 Ashley Fox said at 11:59 PM on April 27th, 2014:

    Howie Roseman talks Eagles Draft strategy
    by Ashley Fox, ESPN

    In an interview yesterday, Eagles GM Howie Roseman re-affirmed that the team would pursue a BPA(Best Player Available) approach in the upcoming 2014 NFL Draft. Howie explained his thoughts:

    “Yes, we’re definitely using BPA with all of our picks this year. The NFL is a very competitive league, so every team is always looking for a little edge over the competition. We’ve found that when you try to think outside of the box and outsmart the rest of the league, a lot of the time you just end up outsmarting yourselves.”

    When asked for an example, Howie pointed at the Eagles selection of safety Jaiquawn Jarrett in the second round of the 2011 Draft:

    “A lot of people think that Jarrett’s selection was just us reaching for a need, but nothing could be further from the truth. We realized that even when you pick the BPA, more than 50% of the time you end up being wrong. So we thought we could flip those odds. By choosing the WPA(Worst Player Available), we figured that we had more than a 50% chance of being wrong and actually getting a good player. But no…we were right about him being awful.”

    Roseman went on to explain that the Eagles unorthodox strategies were not universally failures, with the selection of Jason Kelce in the 6th round of the 2012 Draft:

    “We were sitting there in the 6th round, trying to figure out who to pick with the clock counting down. Finally, I just told everyone to stop what they were doing and find the BBA, Best Beard Available. 30 seconds later, Kelce was the pick. Worked out, didn’t it?

    Howie also revealed some of the strategies behind the selection of several players from the team’s last few draft classes:

    Jeremy Maclin – BTA – Best Tackler Available
    Cornelius Ingram – BKIA – Best Knee Injury Available
    Brandon Graham – BNETA – Best Not Earl Thomas Available
    Nate Allen – BAAGAETA – Best Almost As Good As Earl Thomas Available
    Daniel Te’O’Nesheim – BSSNLA – Best SackSeer Never Lies Available
    Riley Cooper – BKCFA – Best Kenny Chesney Fan Available
    Kurt Coleman – BASWIETA – Best Another Safety Who Isn’t Earl Thomas Available
    Danny Watkins – BFFA – Best Fire Fighter Available
    Curtis Mash – BGWHPDLSHCOGBRA – Best Guy WHo Hasn’t Played Defense Long So He Can Only Get Better, Right? Available
    Casey Mathews – BFDCA – Best Family Dinner Conversation Available
    Julian Vandervelde – BSA – Best Singer Available
    Greg Lloyd – BWTHWAHDA – Best We Thought He Was Actually His Dad Available
    Mychal Kendricks – BOPFTAA – Best Overruns Plays Faster Than Anyone Available
    Vinny Curry – BEFA – Best Eagles Fan Available
    Nick Foles – BNDIA – Best Napolean Dynamite Impersonator Available
    Brandon Boykin – BAPWWRTPFA – Best Awesome Player Who We Refuse To Play Fulltime Available
    Bryce Brown – BBJCA – Best Bo Jackson Clone Available
    Lane Johnson – BICBMTUFDJA – Best I Can’t Believe Miami Traded Up For Dion Jordan Available
    Zach Ertz – BHAGGACKOA – Best Had A Good Game Against Chip Kelly Once Available
    Matt Barkley – BSHCOAYEA – Best Should Have Come Out a Year Earlier Available
    Earl Wolff – BHSNAETA – Best Has Same Name As Earl Thomas Available
    Joe Kruger – BLHTWOBTCMA – Best Let’s Hope This Works Out Better Than Casey Mathews Available
    David King – BATIBKWIODCA – Best Accidentally Turned In Burger King Wrapper Instead Of Draft Card Available

  4. 4 A_T_G said at 7:33 AM on April 28th, 2014:

    I am hoping we don’t go with the Best Interesting Giant, Discounting Inability Catching (BIGDIC) this year.

  5. 5 bsuperfi said at 12:01 AM on April 28th, 2014:

    I wonder how Kelly weights his o-line vs. his running backs. He relied on shady like crazy but I also had the sense that he was willing to run shady into the ground like a dirty shanahan. A top shelf guard certainly lasts longer than a top shelf rb.

    RBs probably fall off the cliff faster and more suddenly than ILBs. Longetivity and continuity on a line are no joke.

    Being unafraid to pull the trigger on top lineman two drafts in a row may reflect that this is where Kelly believes he can gain his real advantage on offense. But even with the devaluing of the RB in today’s game, I hope it’s not Kelly’s hubris (kind of like how Reid thought he could scheme his way around WRs at first).

  6. 6 SteveH said at 2:29 AM on April 28th, 2014:

    Roger Goodell: With the 22nd selection of the first round, the Philadelphia Eagles select… Xavier Su’a-Filo, guard, UCLA.

    *later that day*

    Local CBS anchor Nicole Brewer: It is a scene of unspeakable horror and bedlam here at the Novacare complex as broken and battered bodies litter the streets. As we speak I am witnessing a man with shoulder pads and a Desean Jackson jersey beating Eagles General Manager Howie Roseman senseless with a street sign. Riot police have just begun firing tear gas…

  7. 7 A_T_G said at 7:25 AM on April 28th, 2014:

    Ironically, there was no one to guard against the fires being set.

  8. 8 pkeagle said at 8:35 AM on April 28th, 2014:

    Nice Danny Watkins segue there A_T_G !

  9. 9 GEAGLE said at 9:23 AM on April 28th, 2014:

    Is you know who still a dolphin, or is he out of the league already?

  10. 10 A_T_G said at 10:04 AM on April 28th, 2014:

    There is only one player on the Dolphin’s roster to whom I am really paying attention…

    By the way, why did GEagle become GEAGLE?

  11. 11 GEAGLE said at 12:30 PM on April 28th, 2014:

    Always have a problem logging into Disque, so when you see me change to a different variation, probably mean I forgot my password 🙂

  12. 12 mtn_green said at 2:08 PM on April 28th, 2014:

    Just always use ‘password’

  13. 13 Media Mike said at 5:56 AM on April 28th, 2014:

    Great post / analysis. Herremans is a vastly declined football player vs. his salary. 4 years of an equivalently talented (or better / ascending) player on a rookie level deal makes a ton of sense for 2015-17.

  14. 14 GEAGLE said at 9:23 AM on April 28th, 2014:

    Really really want Oregons G/C Grasu in the 2015 draft…

  15. 15 A_T_G said at 7:50 AM on April 28th, 2014:

    I think the lineman position is particularly interesting from a projecting standpoint because it is a position that must be able to perform offensive and defensive skills.

    On a run play, the offensive line takes on a offensive mindset and the defensive line a defensive set, but if the next play is a pass their roles are essentially reversed.

    When you add in the factors of the importance of continuity on the OL and that the DL doesn’t get to pick which role they will be filling, I can see why finding the right guy is so critical.

  16. 16 GEAGLE said at 8:36 AM on April 28th, 2014:

    I struggle talking about OL Needs…not sure how you identify a need. If we have no idea what we have…when was the last time any of us got to see Tobin, Bamiro or Kelly? Maybe the progressing nicely and we see starting potential, maybe they aren’t the answer and we need a OG…

    We can take a 5th round pick away from the defense and get a OG, that’s fine…but if we are going to draft a OG late to develop, why not just use this draft to solidify the front 7 and skill position weapons, and in next years draft, take a OG high? You draft a OG in round 1 or 2 and he needs to start day one…we can draft an OG now who won’t start til 2015, or we can use that pick now, and draft a OG early next year who will start in 2015…going into the 2015 season will be lanes 3rd year, we should be fine sticking a rookie between him and Kelce…

    Then again, I suspect we will see a much better TODDfather this year..and wouldn’t be surprised if this starting OL remain in tact through 2015

  17. 17 A_T_G said at 8:46 AM on April 28th, 2014:

    I agree that the premium placed on continuity makes the backups hard to evaluate from the outside.

    The thinking of waiting until next year and drafting a guy high, though, seems to be the equivalent of trading a 2015 first or second rounder for a 5th this year. If I can spend a 5th this year or a 1st next year and, either way, have a guy ready to go a year from now, I’m spending the 5th.

  18. 18 GEAGLE said at 12:29 PM on April 28th, 2014:

    Fair point….we can also go the route of getting a 2nd round talent like Brandon Thomas in the 4th who needs to be IR for a year

  19. 19 GEAGLE said at 9:23 AM on April 28th, 2014:

    If I hear BPA one more time I will snap…BPA is just the cute way GMs figured out how to say “No Comment”…. BPA is a bunch of crap! If the draft board was a ranking system, than sure you just take the player sitting at the top of your board regardless of position, but it isn’t a ranking system, it’s a grading system…When it’s the eagles turn to pick in the early rounds they will be choosing between similarly graded prospect, and it’s laughable to suggest that the Eagles would take a RB that’s graded a 8.7 over an OLB that’s graded 8.5..

    First few rounds are usually broken down into tiers of similarly graded players…you will take the best fit for your team out of the players in the top tier of your board….Now when you get to rounds 4 and 5, that’s when BPA becomes real…if you are drafting in round 5 and you see a RB you have a rd 3 grade on, that’s when you take the significantly higher graded player no matter what position he plays…

    BPA is a term GMs came up with to say NO COMMENT and to justify drafting whoever the hell they want regardless of the position…
    Don’t believe we Will keep the 22nd pick

  20. 20 austinfan said at 3:30 PM on April 28th, 2014:

    Everyone was up in arms over MeSean being released, but the key to Chip’s offense, besides a QB who doesn’t kill worms and can actually anticipate when a receiver is going to be open, is the OL. The offense is build around the zone running game, which in turns, is dependent on the OL. If you can block the running plays, then the opposing team has to bring their SS into the box, which sets up favorable matchups all over the field for receivers.

    Mathis and Herremans are long in the tooth, and Peters is essentially a three year deal. So we may need to find 3 starting caliber OL in the next two years.

    No one on the bench could be considered a sure fire starter, Barbre looked good at LT, but he turns 30, and is a better OT than OG. Tobin is athletic, but unknown, Vandervelde is undersized, Bamiro is a work in progress, and Kelly seems fit only for RT. If Martin is on the board he’s a high probability pick, otherwise I expect an OG in the first 4 rounds.

  21. 21 Sifter said at 3:49 PM on April 28th, 2014:

    Mathis’ potential contract squabbles could be a factor in any selection. An early guard may be a sign that all is not well at NovaCare. After all, we’ve been burned already this year by thinking situations were fine when they really weren’t…

    I personally don’t think we need a guard just yet. Herremans may be the weakest link, but he’s the weakest link on a good line. In my experience when you tinker with O-lines too much you risk blunting their edge. Age wise, I think O-linemen can play longer than the twitch positions as well so Herremans, Mathis and Peters being past 30 isn’t so dangerous as other positions. Given that, I like the idea of drafting Brandon Thomas later in the draft. Wouldn’t be needed this year, but it’s still adding more talent to the position.

  22. 22 KeithPetres said at 9:21 PM on April 28th, 2014:

    For what it’s worth, OG is my prediction for their 1st round pick. Specifically RG, and for the same reason they drafted OL last year – their OL is getting old. Draft an RG and (1) they get younger on the line, and (2) suddenly they have a very capable backup (Todd H.) for any position on the line other than center. They got very lucky last year with no oline injuries.