Posted: April 26th, 2013 | Author: Tommy Lawlor | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | No Comments »
The 1st round is in the books. The Eagles added OT Lane Johnson and got the draft off to a great start. The 2nd and 3rd rounds are tonight. The Eagles have a chance to add another couple of outstanding talents. Let’s talk about some candidates.
QB Geno Smith – West Virginia- 6-2, 218
DL Tank Carradine – Florida State – 6-4, 273
FS Jonathan Cyprien – FIU – 6-0, 217
TE Zach Ertz – Stanford – 6-5, 249
ILB Arthur Brown – Kansas State – 6-0, 241
DE Margus Hunt – SMU – 6-8, 277
LB Damontre Moore – Texas A&M – 6-4, 250
WR Keenan Allen – 6-1, 200
WR Robert Woods – USC – 6-0, 201
WR Justin Hunter – Tennessee – 6-4, 196
DL Jesse Williams – Alabama – 6-3, 324
CB Darius Slay – Miss State – 6-0, 192
CB Jamar Taylor – Boise State – 5-11, 192
CB Johnthan Banks – Miss State – 6-3, 185
ILB Kevin Minter – LSU – 6-0, 246
ILB Manti Te’o – Notre Dame – 6-1, 241
This is a combination of players I think the Eagles do have interest in and some names I’ve been asked about. There is no order to the list beyond the first few names. I was just making sure to get everyone covered.
I split the names into tiers. First off is the QB and the pass rusher, the most critical positions in football. The Eagles know what they think of these two guys. We can only guess. If they think Smith can be a good starter in Chip Kelly’s system, take him. If they have serious doubts, forget it. Too many people think of QBs as the lottery. Keep taking ‘em and eventually you’ll find one. WRONG. You must take guys you believe in and that you feel strongly about. QBs need the right circumstances to succeed. Phil Simms knew how to deal with a bully like Bill Parcells. Joe Montana knew how to deal with a perfectionist like Bill Walsh. Change the QBs and there is no guarantee either one of them is anywhere close to as successful as they were.
Jimmy Bama made a great point about Geno while we were on the phone last night: “Should have gone to the Senior Bowl.” I rarely acknowledge Jimmy being right about anything (I’m Parcells to his Simms), but that is dead on the money. By not going to Mobile Geno was telling NFL teams and the draft world that I’m the #1 QB and don’t think I need to prove that. Clearly NFL teams disagreed. Geno led the nation in passes thrown at or behind the LOS. That won’t fly in the NFL. You must be able to read defenses and throw the ball short, intermediate, and deep. Geno had a golden opportunity to go to Mobile and do just that. Instead, he went to his Combine prep school and worked on QB skills for his workouts. Teams already knew Geno could throw the ball. They wanted to see him run an NFL offense. They never got that chance.
Recently Geno got defensive on Twitter when dealing with some idiot fans. I don’t blame him for wanting to defend himself, but you just can’t do that. I mean, if you let some idiots on Twitter get to you, how the heck are you going to deal with a rowdy crowd at an away game? Heck, how are you going to deal with boos raining down from the stands at a home game after your 3rd INT in a tough loss? QBs must have thick skin. Really thick skin. I have serious questions about whether Geno can handle Philly fans and/or the Philly media.
I think we’ve all heard the rumors that Geno said critical things about the WV coaching staff to teams at the Combine. That is a huge red flag, if true. It makes you look uncoachable and suggests you’re more interested in playing the blame game than acknowledging mistakes and fixing them.
Compare this to EJ Manuel. He went to the Senior Bowl. He showed his warts. I ripped him all week long. I wasn’t alone. He got plenty of criticism. But then he played well in the game. That helped him out. Teams were able to interview him down there and get to know him. Mobile is more relaxed than the Combine. Better setting. I was on the field and listened to Manuel. He carried himself like an NFL QB. He was smart and engaging. He had a good presence. I wanted no part of Manuel to the Eagles, but I’ve said all along there is a case to be made for him and he seems like a good kid. I wish him the best, I just don’t believe in him as an NFL QB.
Manuel didn’t prove himself at the Senior Bowl, but he showed that he is physically gifted, will compete, can be coached, and will do whatever he can to succeed. Geno is a more proven QB and much better passer, but NFL teams probably came away from things seeing him as a bit of a prima donna. Somebody will take a chance on the young man, but I just don’t think it will be the Eagles. If Chip Kelly wants Geno, take him. Maybe this huge dose of humble pie is just what he needed. I don’t question Geno’s physical ability. I am a bit concerned about him adjusting to the NFL game and the business side of pro football. For whatever reason, I get the vibe that the Eagles will wait a round or two before looking at a QB.
Carradine is a complex subject. If he is completely healthy, I’m not sure what to make of him. He feels like a 4-3 DE. Can he shed a few pounds and play 3-4 OLB or would you add a few and have him be your 5-tech DE? Now mix in the fact he’s coming off a torn ACL. I am confused.
I re-watched some tape on him. I would pass if I were the Eagles. Really talented, but I’m not comfortable projecting him to the 3-4. That said, I’ve never scouted for the 3-4 before so this is all new to me. I am learning on the fly. If the Eagles like him and the doctors give him good marks, then he should absolutely be the pick. You need pass rushers.
Now that we’ve discussed the two special cases, let’s move on to the “normal” players.
Jonathan Cyprien is my top target. I don’t know that he’ll be a special Safety in the NFL, but he feels like a guy that could be outstanding. He plays the game with a certain urgency. He wants to make every tackle. And he’s athletic enough to do that. I know a few of you wonder if he’s the next Nate Allen or Jaiquawn Jarrett. Cyprien is a very different player.
Nate, to me, was a classic centerfielder type. I thought he was physical enough, but it wasn’t a strength of him. JaiJar was physical at his level of football, but it was assumed he would get bigger and stronger for the NFL. That never happened. His lone good NFL hit came on teammate Vinny Curry.
Cyprien, as Dawk would say, has some dog to him. He plays with an edge. He got warned at Senior Bowl practices about being too physical in thud drills. Cyprien has a hard time dialing it down. He likes to hit. To quote the great Ronnie Lott, he doesn’t run to his targets, he goes through his targets.
I know Cyprien played at a small school, but he is 217 pounds. There is a play in the Louisville game when the LG pulls to be a lead blocker on a goal line play and Cyprien stops him. The G eventually puts Cyp on the ground, but the play was already blown up. Who is the last Eagles DB you remember taking on a pulling OG?
As for production, Allen and JaiJar combined for 316 solo tackles in 97 games. Cyprien played in 50 and had 213 by himself. Allen and JaiJar combined for 4 FFs. Cyprien had 6 by himself. Allen and JaiJar combined for 30 pass break-ups. Cyp had 22 by himself. Allen and JaiJar combined for 11.5 TFLs. Cyprien had 13.5 by himself. There are moments of explosiveness to Cyprien’s game. He had a 38.5-inch VJ at 217 pounds. Nate Allen did 34.5 at 207. JaiJar did 30 inches at 198.
In the new NFL you need Safeties that can do it all. Cyprien can cover, hit, tackle, and play the run. He occasionally will miss tackles. It isn’t due to a lack of physicality, but rather that he’s playing too fast and hoping for the big hit. Cyprien takes good angles to the ball, whether chasing down a runner or going to break up a pass. He can play deep or in the box.
You cannot win a Super Bowl without a playmaking Safety (Reed, Rolle, Woodson, Sharper, Polamalu, etc.). I don’t know if Cyprien is that guy, but he’s got the potential to be that guy. I’d take him.
I’ve already written a ton about Zach Ertz. Here’s something from PE.com the other day:
“Chip Kelly is going to make the tight ends more a part of the offense than Andy Reid did. That means he needs depth and talent. Brent Celek is a good starter, but Kelly will want someone good behind him.
Ertz is a very good prospect. He was the featured receiver for Stanford and led the team with 69 catches for 898 yards. I think he’d be an ideal fit in Kelly’s offense. Ertz can line up as a traditional tight end and work the short and underneath routes, but he can also split out wide and catch passes down the field. He has very good hands. He runs well. Ertz looks like a big wide receiver. His ability to move around and create mismatches is something Kelly would love. He will give linebackers fits. He’ll get open against most safeties. In college, Ertz even beat some cornerbacks. He runs very good routes and sells his fakes well. He does this at full speed and it gets him open.
Stanford is a running team. You don’t play if you don’t block. Ertz isn’t going to overwhelm anyone, but he gives good effort and is willing to do the dirty work. Kelly knows all about Stanford and Ertz. Back in November, Stanford ran for 200 yards against Oregon and Ertz caught 11 passes for 106 yards and a touchdown in a big upset. ”
If the Eagles took Ertz, my PE.com mock would be 2 for 2.
I have no idea how much the Eagles like Arthur Brown. I think he’s a darn good ILB and should be good value at this point. I’d rather not take an ILB here, but if he is the highest rated player on the board, I won’t complain.
As for the next cluster of players…this is a group that I’ve either mentioned or been asked about. Hunt could be a great 5-tech because of his size and athleticism, but he’s going to turn 26 this year. That might be too old for a Top 40 pick. Moore has a great motor and was very productive, but lacks the speed I think Kelly would prefer.
There are several good WRs to choose from. We just don’t know if the Eagles want one that early. Hunter has big time talent. Allen might be the best fit. He has some size, but can play the slot.
Jesse Williams had 1st round potential, but there are reports that he may have knee issues. If true, he’s not a likely target. The argument for him is that he can play DE or NT. And he’s a good athlete at 324 pounds.
Banks is the slowest of the CBs listed, but my favorite. There are rumors from Gil Brandt that the Jags may take him with pick 33. I rated Banks as going in the 3rd round due to his poor speed, but he is the kind of instinctive playmaker that teams will sometimes make an exception for. I have no idea how the Eagles feel about him. What do I mean by playmaker? 16 career INTs, 26 PBUs, 5 FFs, and 11. 5 TFLs.
Minter and Te’o are guys I do not want at 35. Bad value. Minter is the kind of phyiscal player that could replace Ryans in a year and thrive, but he’s a bit slow and is more of a 45 to 60 pick. Te’o is similar, except he’s not as good at shedding blocks.
There are rumors that the Jets want to move up from 39 to take a QB, presumably Geno Smith.
I would gladly move back with them for a 4th round pick. You would still have a good chance to get Zach Ertz or Cyprien at that spot. If both are somehow gone, you could see about moving back again or take one of the players listed. The Eagles could have other targets in mind. I wanted to focus on guys that I get asked about the most. There are other good Safeties and one of them could be of interest at 39. It is also possible the Eagles could go for TE Travis Kelce there.
To me, the risk is worth it.
I don’t want a QB, but other than that, I’m okay.
GENERAL DRAFT INFO
2nd round – Pick 35
3rd round – Pick 67
4th round – Pick 101
5th round – Pick 136
7th round – Pick 210
7th round – Pick 212 … from Cleveland (David Sims deal)
7th round – Pick 218… from Tampa ( A Benn deal)
7th round – Pick 239 … Comp pick
VISITS TO PHILLY (most important)
* QB Matt Scott – Arizona … also scheduled to work him out in Arizona
* QB Tyler Bray – Tennessee
* QB E.J. Manuel – Florida State
* QB Geno Smith – West Virginia
* OT Eric Fisher – Central Michigan
* OT Dallas Thomas – Tennessee
* OT Lane Johnson – Oklahoma
* OT Luke Joeckel – Texas A&M
* TE Gavin Escobar – San Diego State
* TE Travis Kelce – Cincinnati
* TE Dion Sims – Michigan State
* WR Robert Woods – USC
* RB Marcus Lattimore – South Carolina (medical issues)
* RB Spencer Ware – LSU
* LB Tank Carradine – Florida State (medical issues)
* LB Quanterus Smith – Western Kentucky (medical issues)
* LB Dion Jordan – Oregon
* DL Star Lotulelei – Utah (medical issues)
* DL Shariff Floyd – Florida
* DE/LB Ziggy Ansah – BYU
* DE Joe Kruger – Utah
* DE Quinton Dial – Alabama
* CB Darius Slay – Mississippi State
Visits / Private Workouts
* QB Geno Smith – West Virginia
* QB EJ Manuel – Florida State
* QB Zac Dysert – Miami OH
* QB Ryan Griffin – Tulane
* QB B.J. Daniels – South Florida
* RB Kerwynn Williams – Utah State
* RB Knile Davis – Arkansas
* WR Tavon Austin – West Virginia (also had video call with him on Wednesday 4/24)
* TE Zach Ertz – Stanford
* TE Vance McDonald – Rice
* TE Luke Willson – Rice
* TE Matt Furstenburg – Maryland
* TE Chris Gragg – Arkansas
* TE Demetrius Harris – Wisconsin-Milwaukee (basketball player)
* OT Justin Pugh – Syracuse
* OT Lane Johnson – Oklahoma
* LaAdrian Waddle – Texas Tech
* OT Patrick Ford – Eastern Kentucky
* C Khaled Holmes – USC
* LS Kevin McDermott – UCLA
* LS Billy Johnson – Tulane
* P Bobby Cowan – Idaho
* DE Abry Jones – Georgia
* DL Ziggy Ansah – BYU
* DE Jake McDonough – Iowa State
* Stefan Charles – Regina … met with him at Super Regional Combine
* NT Kwame Geathers – Georgia
* LB Mike Catapano – Princeton
* LB Jarvis Jones – Georgia
* ILB Arthur Brown – Kansas State
* ILB Kevin Reddick – UNC
* ILB Alec Ogletree – Georgia
* ILB Kiko Alonso – Oregon
* ILB Michael Clay – Oregon
* ILB A.J. Klein – Iowa State
* ILB Jake Knott – Iowa State
* FS Phillip Thomas – Fresno State
* FS Don Jones – Arkansas State
* FS Josh Hill – Cal
* CB Sanders Commings – Georgia
* CB Brandon McGee – Miami
* Chip Kelly attended the Pro Day for Georgia and LSU … multiple defensive prospects on each team
* QB Jeff Tuel – Washington State …. Eagles are one of teams showing the most interest
* WR Marquise Goodwin – Texas … scouts or coaches attended Pro Day, focused on Goodwin
* WR Aaron Dobson – Marshall … WR coach Bob Bicknell was at his Pro Day
* WR Ryan Swope – Texas A&M … WR coach Bob Bicknell was at his Pro Day
* WR Damian Ford – Stillman College … showing interest
* WR Josh Boyce – TCU … WR coach Bob Bicknell was at his Pro Day
* WR Sky Dawson – TCU … WR coach Bob Bicknell was at his Pro Day
* TE Gavin Escobar – San Diego State … team sent TEs coach to his Pro Day
* TE Lucas Reed – New Mexico … showing interest
* TE Murphy Holloway – Ole Miss … basketball player
* DE Earl Okine – Florida … Eagles showing interest
* NT Byron Jerideau – South Carolina … showing interest
* LB Paul Hazel – Western Michigan … showing interest
* LB Zach Anderson – Northern Michigan … showing interest
* LB Steven Means – Buffalo … showing interest
* LB Kentrell Harris – Virginia Union – showing interest
* ILB Jake Knott – Iowa State … Eagles scout attended Pro Day, focused on ILBs
* ILB A.J. Klein – Iowa State … Eagles scout attended Pro Day, focused on ILBs
* CB Blidi Breh-Wilson – UConn … DBs coach at his Pro Day
* CB David James – Weber State … showing interest
* CB Dwayne Gratz – UConn … DBs coach at his Pro Day
* CB D.J. Hayden – Houston … DBs coach was at his workout
* LS P.J. Mangieri – Nebraska … scout closely watched him at Pro Day
Small School/non-BCS Pro Days attended by Eagles scouts
* New Hampshire (DL Jared Smith)
* CaPa (FS Rontez Miles, C Eric Kush)
* Eastern Kentucky (WR Tyrone Goard)
* Arkansas State
* Lehigh (WR Ryan Spadola)
* Penn (LB Brandon Copeland)
ILB: Arthur Brown
S: Jonathan Cyprien
QB: Geno Smith
RB: Eddie Lacy, Jonathan Franklin, Gio Bernard
TE: Zach Ertz, Gavin Escobar
WR: Justin Hunter, Robert Woods, Keenan Allen, Da’Rick Rogers, Markus Wheaton, Quinton Patton
OT: Terron Armstead
DE: Margus Hunt, Jesse Williams, Jonathan Hankins
LB: Damontre Moore, Tank Carradine (or DE)
ILB: Kevin Minter, Alec Ogletree, Manti Te’o,
CB: Jamar Taylor, Darius Slay, Robert Alford, Dwayne Gratz, Blidi Wreh-Wilson
QB: Zac Dysert, Matt Scott
RB: Le’Veon Bell
TE: Vance McDonald, Travis Kelce, Jordan Reed
WR: Marquise Goodwin, Aaron Dobson, Ryan Swope, Chris Harper
OT: Dallas Thomas, Reid Fragel
OG/C: Barrett Jones, Brian Schwenke, David Quessenberry
DE: John Jenkins
NT: Brandon Williams
LB: Jamie Collins, Corey Lemonier
ILB: Kiko Alonso, Kevin Reddick
S: DJ Swearinger, Bacarri Rambo, Phillip Thomas, JJ Wilcox
CB: Johnthan Banks, Jordan Poyer, Leon McFadden, David Amerson