Still Looking For Mr. Right

Posted: June 29th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Tags: , , , | 24 Comments »

I have already shared thoughts on RCB targets Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Jonathan Joseph.  There are still more guys for the Eagles to consider.  Here is my Top 5 RCB targets as of now:

1. Nnamdi Asomugha

2. DRC

3. Ike Taylor

4. Carlos Rogers

5. Josh Wilson

Asomugha is pretty obvious.  Best RCB in the NFL and he’s available.  Downside is age and cost.

DRC has big time potential.  His situation is complicated because we’d have to trade for him and there is no guarantee that the Cardinals are willing to deal him.

I watched a few game tapes of Ike Taylor, 2009 and 2010.  I came away impressed.  He can play both sides, but is primarily at RCB.  Good build at 6’2, 195.  Can press or play off.  Physical player.  Good hitter and tackler.  Dick LeBeau trusts him and that is a good endorsement.  Taylor stays on the field when PIT goes to a 1-CB set.  In a 2009 game vs the Bengals, LeBeau had Taylor shadow Chad Johnson all over the field.  As a bonus, he can also blitz and get to the QB.

Taylor isn’t a great player.  He’s nowhere close to Nnamdi.  Heck, he’s not as physically gifted as DRC.  Taylor turned 31 in early May.  That age doesn’t help.  Taylor isn’t a great playmaker.  He has 11 career INTs (since 2003).  That would only take Asante 5 games vs either of the Manning brothers.

The case for Taylor is that while he’ll be expensive, he won’t be Nnamdi or even Asante expensive.  He is a high quality veteran player with experience as part of an elite defense and plenty of big games.  He would bring toughness to the CB group.  Taylor would be a very good influence on Curtis Marsh and Trevard Lindley.  He could teach Marsh how to play like a big CB and teach Lindley how to play like a tough CB.  Taylor would fit in well opposite of Asante.

Carlos Rogers is also a veteran.  He’ll turn 30 on Sat. July 2nd.  He has good size at 6’0, 189.  Rogers is versatile.  He can play RCB, LCB, or even in the slot.  The Skins seemed to move DBs around quite a bit.  I wasn’t as impressed by him as I was Taylor.  I do wonder how much of that is Rogers and how much is the dysfunctional Skins team.

Rogers had a terrific season in 2008.  He had 56 tackles, 24 passes defensed, and 2 INTs.  Since then he’s totaled 2 INTs and 24 PDs.  I didn’t see people avoiding him on tape.  Has his play slipped or is being a Skin just having a negative effect on Rogers?  He’s openly expressed frustration with the organization.

Rogers could come to Philly and be the RCB.  He has good size, skills, and athletic ability.  He has bad hands.  Not just “he’s not a WR for a reason” bad, but bad.  Rogers drops a lot of potential picks.  He’s only got 8 INTs in 6 years.  We could live with a RCB who doesn’t have great hands as long as he can play both man and zone and has some size.  Rogers fits the bill.  He can also hit and tackle.  It is possible he could come to Philly and thrive, but I’d see him as just a solid player to bridge the gap until Marsh is ready or we make a big move.

I watched 2010 tape of Josh Wilson.  He looked good.  Wilson played RCB.  He mostly pressed, but did show that he could play off and be effective.  Wilson isn’t the most disruptive player when it comes to jamming receivers off the ball, but he can get better at that.  He has the speed and skill to run with receivers down the field.

The downside to Wilson is that he’s short at 5’9.  He does weigh 192 pounds so he’s got a bit of thickness to his build.  Wilson is an aggressive tackler and solid run defender.  He has a good vertical leap so only being 5’9 is somewhat lessened by that.

Wilson might move up the list if I had studied him more.  He’s posted good numbers over the last 3 years, with 9 INTs (4 for TDs) and 36 PDs.  I am curious about his playing time.  He started 12 of 16 games played in 2008.  He was 12 for 12 in 2009.  He only started 9 of 14 games in 2010.  Wilson played in 42 of 48 possible games.  He started 33 of 42 games played.  What kind of durability issues does he have?

Wilson is 26 and shouldn’t cost a huge deal.  He has good KOR ability.  In some ways he is a better version of Ellis Hobbs.  They are similar in build and skill set.  I think Wilson is more athletic and a better cover guy.

* * * * *

I’ve gotten questions about other CBs.  As far as I can tell, Atlanta’s Brent Grimes is going to be a Restricted Free Agent.  He’s only got 3 accrued seasons of experience.  Good player, but not worth giving up picks for.

Chris Carr isn’t of interest to me.  He was a nickel back up until last year when he started in Baltimore.  He looks best in the slot.  Not a guy I’d go for as a starting RCB.

Antonio Cromartie…no thanks.  I’ve said good things about a turd like Big Al, but won’t take AC.  What’s the deal?  Cro is outstanding in man-to-man.  He can shadow receivers all over.  He’s not as good in zone.  Lousy tackler.  Likely to cost a few bucks.  Has definite character issues.  This just isn’t a guy I want to give money to.  Might be a good fit for the Texans and Wade Phillips if they pass on Asomugha.

I didn’t get to watch tape of Richard Marshall.  My opinion going in is that he would be an effective complementary corner, but he’s not someone I’ve got targeted.