May 08, 2014

Eagles Draft Day

So it is FINALLY here. The draft is today and here are my initial feelings:

The Eagles favorite player is probably WR Mike Evans. Given that his stock has risen through the roof, unless the Eagles are willing to mortgage part of the farm and move up to the #5 position (trade with the Raiders) this is not happening. If by some bizarre reason WR Sammy Watkins falls to #5 the Eagles might entertain the idea of moving up that high to nab him. Chances of this happening? Pretty much zero since the Eagles prefer to get more picks through the draft and have a hard time cracking the top 10.

Some players the Eagles would love to have: LB Anthony Barr, S Haha Clinton Dix and WR Odell Beckham Jr. The only problem is that each of these players (even if one is starting to slide) might be JUST out of reach. The question is, would the Eagles be willing to part with a 4th round pick in order to move up and select a player they really desire? Or take the best player available and be happy with say CB Kyle Fuller, CB Darqueze Dennard, WR Marquise Lee, or WR Brandon Cooks?

If the Eagles decide that moving up to select a higher rated player is not good "value" (in the overall scheme of the draft) I think they might be willing to slide DOWN the draft board. Especially if the quarterbacks go earlier than anticipated and there is a panic for one of the top QB prospects. Teams will be willing to trade back into the 1st round in order to leap frog the Browns at pick #26. The Browns might even entertain trading with the Eagles if they want to solidify their starting QB of the future (I'm anticipating the Browns selecting WR Sammy Watkins with their 1st selection and hoping Teddy Bridgewater is there at pick #26). Depending what the Jaguars do at pick #3 (conventional wisdom says they select LB Kahlil Mack or T Jake Matthews) they could also be players in moving up back into the 1st round. Yes, I know most of you are screaming: Noooooo!!! But this is an unusual draft, and there is literally 1st round value mid way through the second round. Overall this would probably make the Eagles a better team in 2 years, but I'm not sure the Eagles would be willing to sacrifice pick #22 and move out of the 1st round to do so. But they might...

One of the biggest surprises of the draft might be the under valued player ILB C.J. Mosely. While many people might think this isn't a "need" at this point, keep in mind that Demeco Ryans is getting older and isn't getting any faster. Mosely is a 3 down linebacker and will vastly improve our interior defense. LB Ryan Shazier might also be another viable target in that he is a 3 down LB and EXCELLENT in pass defense. The Eagles were next to LAST in passing defense last year, so don't think for a second the Eagles won't look to "non conventional" ways to improve the pass defense. Especially when the CB and S class are actually pretty deep this year and could get a viable starter in the 2nd round (one of my favorite safeties in this years draft is Florida St. S Lamarcus Joyner). Youtube this kid.

He's like a mini Brian Dawkins (yes the #20 also gives me flashbacks). While undersized at 5'8 and average 40 yard dash, he plays faster than his 40 time and is a playmaker as both a defender and returner (think Cardinals S Tyrann Mathieu ..aka The Honey Badger) but with better tackling skills/harder hitter.

For those who think that WR is our MAIN priority, I believe the Eagles can get a good WR in the 2nd round as well. While not one of the top playmakers, they will be a serviceable WR in the Chip Kelly system. The question at #22 will be: Is the 3rd or 4th rated WR better than the TOP rated defensive player on our board? If not, the Eagles will draft a WR, but I don't think it will be a priority (esp since Maclin is coming back from injury and they already have Sproles to make up for some of the lost production of DeSean being cut). If the Eagles go defense with their first two picks, do not be shocked if they decide to draft former Duck RB/WR D'Anthony Thomas in the 3rd round. While he does fit the "Darren Sproles" role, he could be a match up nightmare in the slot and also a dynamic returner. He has excellent game speed and one of the fastest/quickest players in the draft. Fits our scheme perfectly and would be an exciting addition.

Only a few more hours until the draft. Looking forward to how everything unfolds!

  • Ha Ha still there so far. I hope it all works out.

    Update: May 08, 2014
  • That pick was a reach and a half. Not even close to BPA.
  • Lots of problems here. First Kelly mentioned there were six guys he wanted at 22, but were all gone. Well maybe if Kelly and Howie weren't constantly trading away their picks they would have some to move up when they need to. Maybe if instead of simply letting their best receiver simply walk away they hold him as a trade option for the draft. So instead of doing the right thing, they end up making a knee jerk reaction and reach for a guy. It's been this way all offseason. The FO has been making several reactionary moves instead of proactive moves. They really need to get it together, cause right now they seem lost to me.
  • Not thrilled with the pick at all. I haven't seen anyone have more than a 2nd round grade on Smith and many have a 3rd round grade on him. Tired of the Eagles insisting they go after the best player available when their history proves otherwise. Roseman almost admitted that they wanted a pass rusher and he was afraid the players they liked would be be gone if they waited. I'm always open to giving any Eagle player an opportunity to prove to me he can play and Smith seems like he can rush the quarterback and that is a need but I wouldn't be honest if I stated I was happy right now. Hopefully they can make something happen tonight.
  • I don't know why, but I'm getting the feeling the Eagles really like DT Louis Nix III (Notre Dame). A true run stuffing DT which could be a viable target. Which I'm sure would be another Eagles fan "Crowd Pleaser" of a pick lol
  • If they do like Nix that much he would have been a smarter pick in the 1st in my opinion but they obviously drafted for need (Graham over the best safety in football is an example of drafting for need over the best player on the board). Listening to Roseman in past interviews I get the feeling that they love Bennie Logan so I'll be shocked if they draft a DT that high.
  • Even though we didn't select Nix, it's interesting that we traded our 3rd round pick (83 overall for a 4th and additional 5th round pick) and Nix was the pick at 83.
  • I had a feeling that the Eagles would move back if the players they wanted weren't available at #22. Of course the last person whom I felt the Eagles would draft was JUST out of reach (Dix). The Eagles were in a strange spot this year and given that it's a DEEP draft, they did an excellent job of grabbing an additional 3rd round pick. So the pink elephant in the room is why Marcus Smith?

    I knew he was on their radar but felt that he was a 2nd round talent. I felt he wouldn't last until the Eagles second round pick, so in order to fill the OLB need, I think the Eagles did reach a bit (but not as much as many think). Why did they do this? The draft is deep at WR/CB/S positions (depending on what flavor you want) and the Eagles grades for these players are probably very similar in terms of value in the 2nd/3rd round. Mike Mayock (NFL draft guru) had Marcus Smith as the 2nd best available LB left in his top 100 players. Keep in mind this kid is a converted quarterback and is still learning the position (but has steadily improved and led the Nation in sacks per game last season). He's a good pass rusher and sets the edge well vs the run. He is more athletic than you think and will grow into the position as a versatile player the Eagles covet. So what now?

    The Eagles have the flexibility in moving Brandon Graham if they chose to. If I am GM I would be giving the Dolphins a call and offering him and our 2nd round pick for OLB Dion Jordan (if they wanted to move him since he wasn't really utilized/might not fit their scheme). If this is not an option, we could still get a late round pick for Graham (which could get back the 5th round pick we used on Sproles). Chiefs cornerback Brandon Flowers is said to be on the trading block, so why not swap Graham for Flowers? (since this was an Andy Reid pick to begin with). I'm sure the phones have been working since early this morning, so leave no stone unturned.

    If we don't make any player trades for picks, I think with the remaining 3 picks in the 2nd and 3rd round the Eagles go S/WR/CB. There are plenty of good WR's that fit our scheme and would be productive in our offense if we grab one in the 2nd:

    Marguise Lee (whom EVERYONE in the 1st round passed on along with 8 other players still left in the green room)
    Cody Latimer
    Davante Adams
    Jarvis Landry (this guy reminds me a of a mixture of Avant/Chris Carter with his ability to catch the ball)
    Jordan Matthews
    Allen Robinson
    Paul Richardson

    Pick your flavor.

    Most of the highly rated safety's are off the board. I felt that Deone Bucannon and Jimmie Ward were also early 2nd round talents but were drafted in the late 1st. Right now as it stands, my earlier mention of Florida State S Lamarcus Joyner is still on the board (and ironically Mike Mayocks best available S remaining). If he is there when we pick, I would have a really hard time passing on the kid given we could still get a solid WR in the 3rd round (which in most drafts would be mid 2nd round talent).

    While most everyone is crying for DeSean's replacement, I think the Eagles feel confident that Maclin will be more than a serviceable replacement (he was actually our most productive WR even when DeSean was on the team and is more of a "Chip" receiver). Our BIGGEST need is on defense. Chip Kelly has proven he can put players in positions to succeed on offense. So I am not as worried about it as I am transitioning a 4-3 defense left by Reid to a formidable 3-4 defense. So do not be surprised if the Eagles draft yet another LB in round 2 or throw in a DT. Our pass rush and run defense was atrocious the first 3/4 of last season and the only way to improve it is to get better in the front 7 or the back half of the defense.

    We should come away with some solid players with our 3 picks today. Defense should remain our focus, so it will be interesting to see whom we select. Stay tuned!
  • I'll give Smith a chance... I always let a draft choice have a chance to show me he can play the position...just think at the very least the Eagles could have traded back again and still would have had the opportunity to draft Smith. Definitely a reach. As for your Jordan potential trade the Eagles reportedly tried that exact scenario and the Dolphins weren't interested and I'm not so sure that Graham has any trade value at all. He's been a borderline bust and will be a free agent next year...if he isn't released by the Eagles this year which is a huge possibility. I'm just hoping the Eagles make some smart choices tonight.
  • Considering how far the timer ran down when they were at 26, it seems obvious they were trying to trade back again but they didn't have any takers. To be honest, everybody that would've been a good value from 22 on back was pretty much off the board by that point. That hurt seeing the Saints leapfrog us for Cooks. He would've been great here. That and then HaHa going off the board right in front of us.
  • I think the Eagles did have an opportunity to move back again, but this would have taken them completely out of the 1st round (and they were paranoid someone would snag Smith if they moved back that far). He's a former QB who is just now learning how to play OLB. Every year he's gotten better and better, so hopefully that will continue to be the case. He's compared to a "Poor Man's Anthony Barr" (slightly blow his skill level anyway) so not a bad pick for the Eagles. Overall, I give the selection a "B" grade with potential. The most important thing is the extra 3rd round pick. This will help us shore up our "needs" and we will get quality players in doing so. I can assure you that if we didn't get Smith, there would probably not be a good rush OLB left on the board for us to draft this year. The quality of players at the other positions are pretty similar, and we should be fine moving fwd. If you haven't already, check out Florida State Safety Lamarcus Joyner on youtube. I really like this kid and think he would be an excellent addition.
  • Other than the add of Sproles, which was a preemptive move on the Jackson debacle , the Eagles are bargain hunting as usual.
  • LOL why is it so hard for you to understand that rookie salaries are capped? It doesn't matter who they picked at this slot. He will make the same money.
  • Capped or not there is a contract process. If there want why would rookies holdout? So dont fool yourself into thinking that even "reach" picks arent a way to reduce a payroll. The owners and coaches are very much aware of which players are more likely to cost more even as a rookie. sometimes you are naive about business. I just dont get it.
  • You're failing to understand the fact where the player is selected keeps him at a certain price. Despite what happens he will make more than the guy drafted behind him and less than the ones in front of him. If anything the Eagles are overpaying this kid who wasn't expected to get drafted until at least the 2nd round.
  • The Eagles move up and select WR Matthews. Everyone happy now? Haha He was one of the guys left in the green room yesterday and many thought he would go in the 1st round. So, we got one of the better OLB pass rushers in the 1st with a minor "reach" and a 1st round talent in the 2nd who slipped a bit. All in all, the first 2 picks combined were excellent. The only bummer is the player I really liked (S Joyner) went one pick ahead of the Eagles (to the Rams) Ha! Now time to shore up our defense with value in the 3rd round.
  • Two WR's in a row?

    I feel like Howie is mocking us.
  • Mocking how about desperate. The Eagles even to date cant offer a real explantion for Jacksons release. Team chemistry? Now they have the option everytime they want to dump a salary to claim its based on the undefineable "team chemistry". The Eagle version of conduct detrimental to the team. Just think if all the picks could have been used on defense and depth . Thats the difference between contenders and pretenders. i see this years draft as a wash. Lurie is making off with the cash.
  • This draft lacked any true impact players. It seems they added a lot of guys who can play in multiple spots. I can't say they are closer to a bowl now than they were prior to the draft.
  • I dont think the Eagles appreciated the seperation that jackson can get. The new receivers look good on film vs college DBs but Foles job will be more difficult. Not to mention that the second reciever is an insurance policy on Maclin. The Eagle WR situation could take a major turn in the wrong direction. Sproles was the best addition this off season and he probably he has two years tops left in the tank. They kept talking about the quickness of Marquise Lee but he is a two plus steps slower than Jackson. Jackson had gifted speed. No one we drafted will replace that this year.
  • Jackson was also 178lbs soaking wet. Apparently you missed the part where Chip said "We are moving in a different direction at the WR position". Chip wants bigger receivers who can beat press coverage/win contested balls in man on man coverage, and WR's who love to RUN BLOCK. Also, there was only one WR in this years draft that had Desean type speed/quickness (WR Brandon Cooks) and he was gone by the time the Eagles draft pick came up. Thinking the Eagles wasted a draft pick by selecting two WR's is also false. Did you forget we also lost WR Jason Avant? We needed depth and drafted two WR's who fit our scheme which makes a ton of sense. Were you even paying attention to whom the Eagles drafted this week? Outside of the two WR's, the rest of the picks were ALL defense (OLB, CB, DE, S, DT). Also, are you forgetting that WR Maclin is back? Again, he was our BEST receiver until he got hurt and has the size/speed Chip likes. While DeSean's speed/play-making ability will be missed, his diva attitude, difficulty dealing with press coverage, and ability to be more than a willing "blocker" won't be missed. I trust that Kelly will put our offense in a position to succeed at the highest level. Chip drafted players he thinks will run his offense most efficiently. I have ZERO concerns about maintaining the same production we had on offense last season (it should be even better now that we have players who are experienced in his type of offense).

    The 3-4 defense we have implemented is also a "work in progress". It takes roughly 2-3 seasons to implement a full transition from a 4-3 to a 3-4. Given the pieces we added in free agency last season, and the depth we added this year at OLB, I think we are moving in the right direction. Also, as a team defense, the Eagles steadily improved over the year (with a ton of players adjusting to new positions). Rome wasn't built in a day, but going from 4-12 to 10-6 and breaking all our scoring/yardage records the first season, I would think we are moving in the right direction. The Eagles have one of the smartest coaches in the NFL, so trust that he will right the ship. Brighter days are ahead.

    Can't wait for training camp!
  • All front office propaganda. Im glad you are an expert at regurgitating it. Its always two to three years away. a pipe dream a bunch of garbage. They dumped a marquee player to save money. Say it Latin. It had nothing to do with anything else but money. You can talk gangs, diva, chemistry, direction ...etc all the things the Eagles slung against the wall. It doesnt stick. Money Money Money. Now lets move on and stop burying the truth. Its been done and we all know why.
  • Money.
  • Thank you EZ. Businesses cut costs everyday. Its not a crime. But in this instance it is peculiar.
  • Culture and not buying into the coach's way of thinking. Like I've stated before...there is NO way this wasn't Kelly's decision and he isn't the money guy. If Kelly wanted Jackson on his team I'm absolutely sure he'd still be on the roster...even at 12.5 million.
  • ^^Exactly. Kelly wants to win. And Kelly wants to win with HIS type of player. Jackson did not fit the role of what Kelly wants at WR so he's gone. No use crying over spilled milk at this point. Also the NFL is a business, so I'm sure there were numerous factors why DeSean was cut. If Foles plays out of his mind this year he will definitely get a massive contract, so say goodbye to his cheap rookie 3rd round contract. Also, DeSean's 10 million dollar contract isn't worth it (considering Megatron gets 7 million and Jackson is not a better 3 million dollars more per year).

    The Eagles were slowed down with press/man coverage with some of the better defenses this year. Our offense was anemic at best during the 1st half of the Saints playoff game due to this. We play the NFC North this year, and they have probably the top 3 (out of 5) defenses in the ENTIRE NFL (Seattle, SF, Cards). They will implement strategies to slow down our offense like the other teams did last season, and we needed guys who can win 1 on 1 match ups in man/press situations. So Roseman and Kelly provided some extra guys in the draft (plus added some guys via FA). Benn is also coming back from injury and he is good at beating press/excellent blocker. We know who the starters will be in Cooper and Maclin. But outside of that, we will have to figure out who best fits our scheme, and it's better to have similar guys who fit the mold of what Kelly wants, than someone who can take the top off a defense, but had limited capabilities when it came to beating man/red zone target.

    Kelly wants players who are interchangeable and have versatility. He wants to keep teams off balance due to them not knowing what we are going to do, and make it even more difficult to defend since they can't "Key" on one player. I think our offense will be even better this season (baring injury) so I'm excited to see where it goes. Also think that some of the players we added on defense will eventually start to work their way into being productive. Our 3-4 defense transition is on it's way, so they should play MUCH better than last season. Which will equal more wins. If Kelly can turn a team from a 4-12 laughing stock to a 10-6 playoff team in his FIRST year as coach, I have faith he will be even better in the following years.
  • Hollywood cries money no matter what the Eagles do and you have a few fans who are so blinded by their anger they are agreeing with him. I'm not thrilled they let Jackson go and got nothing for him but I'm an Eagles fan first and foremost and that will never change...their receiver corps looks like it will still be a strength even without Jackson! I was going to post this after your Nix comment to me but I'll post it here:

    Did find that a bit ironic about the 83 pick and was actually hoping they would draft Nix at that point. Overall I think they did a good job...definitely filled some needs and the players they drafted should help this team improve eventually. They got their two down NT in the 7th which could allow Logan to pop out to DE from time to time...which could be a strength with the addition of Hart, last year draft pick Kruger and some of the free agents they brought in. Thought Huff was a reach but after watching highlights and reading up on him I think he has a chance to be a solid receiver in this league. Love the Matthews pick...a player I've had my eyes on for months. Watkins and Reynolds are guys that should add some depth this year with solid shots at starting eventually. Nice draft overall.
  • Cries? Not really . Its a fact that its about money. Always is and always will be. But gtd , you never have claimed the Eagles are cutting costs.The Eagles still have nearly the most money left to spend in the league and you praise them as big spenders. It makes no sense. At least admit they are saving money and far below the salary cap. You want to blame it on a projected payroll next year fine but right now they arent spending. I will be suprised if Maclin cracks 700 yds this season. The field will look alot smaller this year. Foles wont have the luxury of slow deliveries without balls being intercepted. Our recievers can be stopped.
  • You forgot about the Rams, Latin. That D-Line is going to be a nightmare for opposing offenses. Right now the NFC West is the best division in football BY FAR. If you were to drop St. Louis into another division I think there's a very good chance they could take it.
  • You are right. I did forget the Rams. And with the addition of DT Donald (to an already solid defensive line) along with the addition of the guy I wanted us to draft (S Joyner) we could be in for a dog fight with them as well. We have a tough schedule this year, so a 10-6 repeat might be our best case scenario.
  • Money, and I'm cool with all that. The problem is how they failed to obtain any compensation for him, because they took too long to make something happen. They should have released him before free agency or tried to trade him then. At least teams would have had money and they could have used that money to be more active in free agency. Their indecisiveness cause them a chance to get real value for any movement of Jackson.
  • Again, there is no way Roseman and Lurie do everything they can to bring Kelly in and then dictate his roster to and for him...No freakin' way! It was Kelly's decision and Roseman and Lurie went along with the coach's move and whether we agree with it or not that's the way it should be. If it was all about the money why not Peters or McCoy? Why not cut Trent Cole and James Casey and look to replace them? It would have been a hell of a lot less controversial...and with a large fan base you want to keep happy that would have been a smarter front office choice. The answers simple... It was a Kelly decision not a front office one...there were reasons Jackson was cut and money wasn't the number 1 reason at all. Hollywood, go look at the Eagles cap situation. I've explained this to you numerous times and you keep ignoring it. The Eagles aren't 25 million under the cap...they have around 20 million to spend because of carry over. If they spend it all they will have to make cuts next year to get below. Why would they spend it all just to make drastic cuts next year? Get a clue!
  • The first three picks in this draft are replacement picks. Brandon Graham has one foot out the door. You can say that Graham would be better suited for a 4-3 and all the rest of it but the fact remains he is a solid veteran and replacing him with a rookie isnt adding depth or making the team better. The Eagles did nothing to set themselves apart. Unless this crop of rookies turns out to be a the best draft in Eagle history you should only expect modest contributions this year from these draft picks. Foles btter be prepared to step his game up or the eagles are going to be finger pointing real quick.
  • Loving this:

    5/5/14: In a draft that lacks pass-rushing talent, Smith has had a late rise. Some feel he could go late in the first round.
  • We also got their 11th ranked DE prospect in the 5th round (who many had a 3rd/4th round grade):

    Taylor Hart, DE, Oregon
    Height: 6-6. Weight: 281.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.04.
    Projected Round (2014): 3-4.
    5/5/14: Hart recorded 75 tackles, six tackles for a loss and 3.5 sacks in 2013. Early in the year, he had limited playing time because the Ducks blew out so many opponents. Hart had an excellent game against Oregon State to close out the regular season. He didn't work out at the Combine due to an injury.

    8/12/13: Hart led the Ducks in sacks last year with eight. He also chipped in 36 tackles with 11 tackles for a loss, three passes batted and a forced fumble. It was his second season as a starter.Hart totaled 44 tackles with 2.5 sacks, three tackles for a loss, two passes broken up and a forced fumble in 2011. He registered 18 tackles and two sacks as a freshman backup.

    Personal: Son of Doug and Kathy Hart.
  • I love how the Philly Radio hosts are pumping both of the picks up as "Reaches" Totally get's annoying.

    WIP & 97.5 have basically gotten rid of the intelligent analysts for these dopes.
  • LOL Cataldi has been their dope for decades now.
  • I live in New York now and I gotta say, Mike Francesa is probably more knowledgable than all of Philly's radio personalities put together.
  • Sonny Hill - Has more basketball knowledge than almost anyone in the world. Grew up playing around Wilt & was one of first black guys recruited. Awesome stories and amazing knowledge of the game.

    Glen Macnow - Had to dumb himself down quite a bit working w/ Gorgano, but he has the knowledge if people want to listen.

    Ray Didinger - really only on a few hours a week, but he is top knowledge in football. Very respected guy.

    Philly get's Mike Mayock on the radio more than any other radio station. Why? Cause he is a Philadelphian. He loves the Eagles.

    So we have some great people here.. Just gotta search for them to actually hear quality analysis.
  • is a great site for fans who like to make up their own minds and talk about what's going on, instead of just what the Eagles allow the media (more radio than TV) to discuss.
    BTW: Those radio guys hate when you do anything besides repeat what they've at some point said.
  • LOL Nice self plug flip.
  • It's the only site I go on Flip. Has Spottie found it yet bro? She always had a thing for you.
  • Oh look! Somebody created yet ANOTHER ID to use on YB. Congrats lil fellah. You have finally created more cryboys IDs to prowl this site than the actual amount of Eagles fans left here. Look in the mirror and give one of your many ID's a kiss.
  • Get a job H.P.
  • Stop obsessing over teenaged wizards HomoTools.
  • So the death of the YB Forum is here. RIP.
  • It was a fun couple of years. Any alternative suggestions?
  • Yes.

    Check it out. Look at the tone of the comments that people make there. You'll see it's much like it was here back in 2008-2009.
    You can also write posts there not just comment, but like here you have to sign up first.

    Hope to see you there!
  • Nice site flip. Just keep the stalkers away.
  • comment below viewing threshold

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  • At least I know I don't see stalker IDs on flip's site.
  • comment below viewing threshold

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  • This past off season has paced the Eagles further than any team in the division. That's why Cryboys fans are so envious. They supposed to be fans of their team, but they are absolutely obsessed with ours. They just can't stop talking about us. Those sad pathetic people.
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  • The last days of the Cryboys fan. His voice will never be heard again.... Except to the many, many, many fake IDs in his head. Later chump.
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