How’s He Doing?

Posted: May 17th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Tags: | 10 Comments »

For my new SB Nation Philly column I took a look at the first two drafts of Howie Roseman.

The point wasn’t to focus on how much I liked/disliked the individual players so much as to review how Roseman handled the drafts.  Too often we judge teams based on what we like and that’s not fair.  You should try to understand what the team is doing and whether they do it well.  I learned this lesson from Bill Polian.  The Colts used to make picks every year that were so far off in value that it was ridiculous.  At some point it hit me that Polian doesn’t care about the other 31 teams.  He’s focused on the players he wants.  He goes and gets them and that’s that.  Polian has had his share of misses, but has also had plenty of hits.  I learned to judge the Colts based on how they think and not how I see their drafts.


* Roseman has taken 13 and 11 players in the two drafts.  Last year we needed a big class.  This year we didn’t need as big a group, but may have gone big due to the questions regarding the signing of UDFAs.  I don’t think taking 10 or more players will be an annual trend, but that’s just a guess on my part.

* Roseman has focused on high character players.  Most of his 24 picks were team captains.  This seems like a trend that will continue.  I’m all for this trend.  Roseman will take a character risk at some point.

* Someone made an interesting point to me about the drafts.  The person told me that Roseman took a lot of players who had real good seasons the year before we drafted them.  I analyzed this notion and there is some truth.  Early in the draft we take players coming off strong seasons.  In the middle and late rounds Roseman has taken players that he feel slipped due to an off final season or a medical concern.

Trevard Lindley – fell to the 4th round after so-so Senior year.  Some thought could have gone as early as 2nd round after Junior year.

Ricky Sapp – fell to the 5th round due to medical concerns about his knee.

Charles Scott – fell to the 6th round after up and down Senior season.  Ran for 1174 yards and 18 TDs the previous year.

Jamar Chaney – fell to the 7th round due to concerns about whether his ankle was damaged or not.

Greg Lloyd – fell to the 7th round after knee injury ruined his Senior year.

There is definite logic to doing this.  All of these players have NFL ability.  They all can play in the NFL.  The question is whether they have come all the way back from their injuries or have the durability to hold up.  We’ll see how these players do this year before we get a feel for how the strategy worked.

* Roseman has also spent mid and late round picks on smaller players.

Kurt Coleman – fell to the 7th round because teams weren’t sure he was big enough for Safety in the NFL.

Dion Lewis – fell to the 5th round because he is only 5’6, 196.

Julian Vandervelde – fell to the 5th round because he’s just under 6’2 (6017).   Small frame for an O-lineman.

Jason Kelce – fell to the 6th round because he was only 280 pounds.

Brian Rolle – fell to the 6th round becasue he was a MLB at 5’9, 218.  Bulked up to 229, but still short.

I don’t think anyone would question the skills of these players or their overall talent level.  If they were a few inches taller, all might have gone in the middle of the draft.  Instead, they fell toward the bottom.  I loved a lot of these players when I studied their game tape so I’m definitely curious to see how they pan out.  Coleman got this trend off to a good start with his play in 2010.

With a couple of drafts under his belt, we can at least figure out what Howie is thinking.  We can’t judge him as an overall GM until we have an offseason this year.  Even then, I’m not sure it’s fair to judge him yet.  The man hasn’t had one normal offseason of full free agency.  Fair or not, we’ll do it so let’s hope Howie makes the right moves.

Sunday Stuff

Posted: May 15th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Tags: | 13 Comments »

My new column is about how the lockout will affect the first 5 picks and their ability to contribute right away.  It really is hard to quantify the importance of good coaching by the positional coaches in the NFL.  They can have a huge impact on young players.

If you’ll scroll down in the comments section of the article you’ll see that one of our Eagles brethren has put together some highlight videos for Brian Rolle and Casey Matthews.  It’s always fun to watch the young guys in action and try to imagine what they’ll do when they put on the Eagles uniforms and play in the NFL.

* * * * *

There is still a great deal of angst about RCB.  I understand the worries.  The Eagles haven’t developed a young corner since…Rod Hood?  They did hit a home run when they signed stud free agent Asante Samuel back in 2008.  He has provided the Eagles with a playmaking force at LCB.  Now the hole at RCB must be filled aggressively.

The Eagles passed on CB Jimmy Smith in the 1st round.  He was as NFL ready as it gets.  That is a sign that the Eagles have another player targeted.  They have a plan that they’re confident in.  There are no guarantees, of course.  You can’t make a player sign with you.  You can’t make another team trade with you.  I do think that the fact the Eagles took a CB in the 3rd round that everyone sees as a project is a sign that the team feels confident in their plan for RCB.  There isn’t much of a safety net in place.

The one good thing about this situation is that Howie Roseman has proven to be an aggressive GM.  He will go all out to get his target.  Howie isn’t as value oriented as Joe Banner and Tom Heckert.  It will be interesting to see who Roseman has targeted and how quickly he gets the ball rolling on making the deal.  Howie was very disappointed the Eagles weren’t able to get Julius Peppers last year.  He will do whatever he can to make sure that scenario doesn’t repeat itself.

The Eagles want a stud at RCB.  They will not give the job to Trevard Lindley or Dimitri Patterson or some low level player from another team.  I can’t promise you Howie will land Nnamdi Asomugha or a Pro Bowl player, but we won’t go after a project.  We’ve already got projects of our own.  The goal is to get a player you can plug in immediately and expect to play at a reasonably high level.

People have asked me about who some targets might be, aside from Nnamdi.  It really is hard to say because of the uncertainty with the rules of free agency.  Let’s wait until we find out who will actually be available before we get into who fits and how they fit.