After giving the new draft class a chance to simmer, we spoke to our friends from 3D Philly Sports (who you can find on Facebook and Twitter) to see how they feel about the new haul of picks. This time, we get the low down from 3D’s Dave Bennett. If you’re looking for my answers, then check it out over here!
Who was your favorite draft pick?
My favorite pick is 5th rounder Earl Wolff. He has all of the “unteachables” you could ask for; the size, speed, and athleticism to be a solid safety at the next level. The best part is he can sit and develop for a year, which no other safety’s really had the chance to do while Andy Reid and Company were running the show. Nate Allen was a second rounder but should have been given a year to learn the game and develop physically with a full year of a pro workout regiment. Wolff will get this opportunity and a player who is over 6 feet tall and runs in the low 4.4 range, I’m happy with that. Other players will clearly have more immediate benefit but long term he has the opportunity to become a key piece in this defense for a number of years.
What late round pick/unrestricted free agent pushes for playing time? (Rd 4-7)
Jordan Poyer was a 7th rounder who fell out of favor because of ONE off the field citation. Long and short of it he was at a bar and wasn’t supposed to be there, got kicked out and went back. This was a few years ago and not having a single issue since then is telling that he learned his lesson and isn’t walking down the wrong path. Poyer is 6 feet even and was over 190 lbs at the combine, aka he fits the mold of the corners Chip is looking for. Not to mention this kid improved his game year over year at Oregon State. If he hadn’t had his ONE off field issue he probably goes in round 3 or 4 easily. Another player who can benefit from learning/growing for a year but also could be a great special teamer this season with the ability to come in for injury relief. However he has the ability to push for starting snaps, especially if/when Carey Williams has nuclear mental breakdown this season.
If you could have taken someone else outside of the first round who would it have been?
About a week ago, the Eagles brought former Cowboys (yuck) running back Felix Jones in for a workout. Jones, who had worked out with the Bengals and was reportedly talking with the Patriots, will now compete for carries behind LeSean McCoy.
Jones, who was a first round pick of the Cowboys in 2008, has been underwhelming thus far in his career. His first two seasons were promising as a change of pace back with Marion “The Barbarian” Barber. He averaged 8.9 and 5.9 yards per carry respectively in those two years. However, Jones failed to bloom when given half of the load and ended his career with only 11 touchdowns in five years.
While Jones isn’t a stud, he’s only 26 years old, is a solid receiver (at least 25 catches the last three years), and has experience as a kick returner. All of which points to him landing a role on this team. As we now know, versatility is the key word around town and Jones fits the mold.
In exchange for Jones, the Eagles released former 6th round receiver Marvin McNutt. Though I hope he can continue a career and do some ads with this guy.
The fans and media alike were thrilled for the beginning of the Eagles first stint of organized team activities (OTAs). It was the first time during his tenure that new head coach Chip Kelly allowed the media to view a practice.
It seems they got more insight than they bargained for.
“He looked into a crystal ball and said I have three weeks to live,” said a despondent Ray Didinger before skulking to his car “I need to think for a while.”
Reports indicate that Didinger was one of hundreds of media members that suffered through deeply scarring trauma at the hands of Chip Kelly, who allegedly turned a circus of fun into a horror show of black magic.
An unnamed source who attended the practice from hell claims that reporters were greeted with gift bags containing assorted bird feathers, herbs, and a human ear. Afterward, the media was ushered out to the practice field where 7th round pick David King lay tied upon an altar on the 50 yard line.
The source then goes on to say that Kelly “cackled uncontrollably” as he set the altar on fire and “prayed for the football gods to deliver victory to the chosen people while playing ‘Hero’ from NAS.”
At that point most media members left the facility screaming and defecating mid-run, while other simply stated, “Well, at least it’s not Andy Reid.”
Chip Kelly was asked about the ordeal after practice.
“You know, about this whole ‘sacrifice thing’, it was a complete mix up. I didn’t realize the last names were listed first on my sheet, so I thought David King was King David. Normally we sign undrafted free agents for that type of thing, but I thought the opportunity was too good to pass up. Remember it’s not just the players that are rookies here.”
The media will not be able to view practice again until next Monday…if they dare.
***This story was obviously fictional in ways that you make you palm yourself in the face and say “I can’t believe I didn’t realize that earlier!” (Feel free to palm yourself in the face at this juncture if need be.) It was all solely for entertainment and has no factual value. None.
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Since Hank posted his recap of mock drafters the other day, I decided that it’s time to revisit the draft grades for the Eagles after the 2010 draft. It’s always fun to grade draft classes, and given that 2010 has had enough time to develop, it’s a fine time to see how they stacked up.
The grades (via Bleeding Green Nation):
Pete Prisco: A+
NFL Draft Insider: A-
Paul Domowich: A-
Mel Kiper: B+
Sporting News: B+
Rob Rang: B
Fox Sports: B
USA Today: B-
Rick Gosselin: C
Overall, the grades for the class come out as an A-/B+. Also, if you can recall, this was a bit of a wild class from Andy and Co. that included the curveball picks of Daniel Te’o-Nesheim, Ricky Sapp, and Clay Harbor. Hell, even Brandon Graham was a surprise. The Eagles were expected to draft Earl Thomas when they traded up. As a sum, 2010 had an intriguing level of upside at the time with 13 players selected. How has it panned out so far? Let’s take a look:
There has been a ton of speculation regarding the changes that would inevitably take place once Big Balls Chip Kelly was hired as the head coach of the Eagles. So far, most of the analysis has been fairly shallow.
He’s not a bore at his press conferences, he plays music at practices, he talks a mean game about having a mean team. That’s fantastic, however, still only a few crumbs of food from a king’s feast. The draft finally provided an opportunity to develop a sincere understanding of Chip’s philosophy and the general direction of the franchise.
The key word at the center of this draft is the word versatility. Every player that the Eagles drafted this year (Barkley excluded) has the ability to be used in multiple looks. Lane Johnson can play left and right tackle, Zach Ertz could feasibly be four different positions on the field on any given play, and guys like Jordan Poyer played safety and corner in college. All of this plays to Chip Kelly’s favor and supports his notion of putting players in the position to succeed.
Many times that sentiment is lip service from coaches. Andy Reid had a square peg (Michael Vick) and bludgeoned it to smithereens with a hammer (passed 45 times a game). This attitude of fitting players into a scheme rather than catering to their talents is a disservice to the team, the organization, and the fans.
The Eagles will not draft Geno Smith.
There. I said it.
Despite all of the hoopla and rumors and the need for a quality signal caller, Geno Smith will not be the guy selected at #4. The reason is simple: he will not be the best player available.
A number of quarterbacks go in the first round every year, but that doesn’t mean it’s because they deserve to. Oftentimes these guys are selected early because of what we’ll call the “quarterback premium.” This means that the importance of the position alone makes an above average QB more valuable then any other guy on the field. As a result, teams will reach on guys like Mark Sanchez, Blaine Gabbert, or Jake Locker because they desire to have a franchise quarterback (whatever that means). Read the rest of this entry
During this offseason Victor Cruz has been a restricted free agent. However, not a single team in the NFL attempted to acquire his services. Not one.
ARE YOU F%&*@$# SERIOUS!
This is Victor Cruz we’re talking here! The 26 year-old Pro Bowl wide receiver that causes nightmares in the slot was available…and no one was interested.
Given his stats, it’s impossible to imagine why. Let’s take a look.
From the numbers, it’s obvious that Cruz is a playmaker (check some highlights here)—and a consistent one at that. In two seasons of play (he was developing his first year and recorded no stats) Cruz has managed 168 catches, 2,628 yards and 19 touchdowns while earning a Super Bowl ring. That’s a pretty damn good resume. In addition, his average of 18.7 yards per catch in 2011 was the best in the entire league for anyone with more than 45 catches and he had nearly double that number.
Simply put, Cruz is an explosive weapon and has already proven that he can be a vital cog on a championship caliber team.
As we discussed Around the Cooler this week, the Eagles could feasibly take a number of prospects in this year’s draft. However, I don’t feel like waiting for the draft to take place. So, I’m going to sift through the sands of confusion to find the
Ark of the Covenant Eagles’ draft choice at number four.
Let’s begin by examining the list of candidates that the Eagles have worked out:
Geno Smith, QB West Virginia
E.J. Manuel, QB Florida State
Luke Joeckel, OT Texas A&M
Eric Fisher, OT Central Michigan
Sharrif Floyd, DL Florida
Star Lotulelei, DL Utah
Dee Milliner, CB Alabama
Ziggy Ansah, DL Brigham Young
Dion Jordan, LB Oregon
From this list, you can immediately cross out Geno Smith and E.J. Manuel. I recently explained why the Eagles will not take Smith. Manuel is universally considered a second-round graded prospect so there’s no chance that he goes at the top of the draft. He could be the Eagles’ choice at the top of the second round or perhaps a player that they jump into the late first round to grab, but don’t expect a quarterback at four. NEXT!