GET IN LINE MAN!

Posted February 20, 2013

PROVIDED the Eagles don’t draft a NT (ostensibly Star Lotulelei) to help them transition to a 3-4, talk around the Yard seems centered on OT Luke Joeckel as the non-DT way to go.

A moment if I could.

When I read scouting reports the FIRST place I look is Weakness. If you look at Strengths first, it’s too easy to fall in love with terms like “dominated”, “mauler”, “to the echo of the whistle”, or “locks out and seals”. In fact, if you combine all 4 of these terms into one player, you get a wet dream. And there’s the problem. You follow that up with Weaknesses, often you start glazing over bad stuff because you want to keep all that good stuff.

If you start at Weakness, you get an honest picture of whether or not the guy will or won’t fit you system. If he has bad habits you coach away, or if there is an underlying fundamental tendency to take shortcuts and get by on athleticism. Get a hard worker who fits what you do, and everything else you can teach. That said…

 

Joeckel as the 4th overall is fine if he’s starting at RT (Vick is left -handed) this year, but I just don’t see this pick as the Eagles currently have 7.5 OT’s on the roster and only 3.5 OG’s only 1 of which has been any good these last 2 years. Besides, it seems half the mocks have Joeckle going 1st. If he’s still there at 4 (and they start him) I won’t moan about the pick:

http://www.nfl.com/combine/profiles/luke-joeckel?id=2540139

and

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1737240/luke-joeckel

 

If they don’t get Joeckel they can still find value in Kyle Long late in the 2nd or early in the 3rd. While QB Dixon and Chip Kelly may have to find that old groove again, Long was starting for Kelly just a few weeks ago in a bowl game, so they should still be able to communicate on a similar wavelength. Long could be both depth and a mentor during system installation:

http://www.nfl.com/combine/profiles/luke-joeckel?id=2540139

and

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1996164/kyle-long

 

As for drafting an O-lineman early, I see them going a long way to upgrading the QB’s ability to stand in the pocket. Especially with the Pistol being shallower than the Shotgun. If we pick a Guard he’ll start this year. Guard is not the Eagles strong suit and they’re thin there with little quality likely to hit the open market. Goodbye Watkins, hello Chance Warmack:

http://www.nfl.com/combine/profiles/chance-warmack?id=2539194

and

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1664459/chance-warmack

 

Hey, just for a giggle, have a look at Watkins NFL.com Combine profile:

http://www.nfl.com/player/dannywatkins/2495360/combine

and Draft analysis

http://www.nfl.com/player/dannywatkins/2495360/draft

 

So to recap: I like Warmack over Joeckel, but if we get Joeckel, I’m not crying about it. We can still get Chip Kelly a security blanket on his bench in the form of Kyle Long. Long won’t have to learn the system (besides some adaptations) and may in fact be able to mentor it. Hard to beat a two-fer. 

 

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