Thursday, April 30, 2009

More Draft Follow-up

I did another podcast with the guys at EaglesFanCast. We discussed the new players and how they'll fit in, as well as the Sheldon situation and some other stuff. I managed to sneak in a reference to the bald chick from the original Star Trek movie. The actress was Persis Khambatta, but no one would no that name.

My newest article is also up. More draft thoughts and some additional UDFA info. RB Walter Mendenhall really is an interesting guy.

More Moves?

It doesn't sound like anything else significant is going to happen any time soon. The Eagles will tweak the roster here and there based on how guys look in this weekend's mini-camp and the passing camps. We're talking more about the fringe players than anyone who will be close to a starting or key role.

LB Josh Maugua is scheduled to meet with the team in a few days. He played ILB at Nevada this year and was a solid prospect, but went unpicked because of some medical concerns (chest muscle & bulging disc). If he checks out, Josh could be a solid guy to add to the roster. He could fit in at SLB or MLB.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tuesday Thoughts

I'm working on the lengthy draft review. Right now I'm re-watching some tape on the early picks to offer more detailed thoughts. I'm also watching tape of the UDFAs. RB Walter Mendendhall is a really interesting kid. He is someone to keep an eye on. FB Marcus Mailei actually made a pre-draft visit to Philly. They didn't draft him, but he was a targeted player.


* TE Bo Scaife

He was a player the Eagles targeted in FA. The Titans drafted a quality TE named Jared Cook. That gives them 4 good bodies at that spot. They can deal Scaife or they could cut veteran Alge Crumpler late in the summer. If Scaife becomes available, you can bet Heckert or Reid will be calling Jeff Fisher.

* CB Rod Hood

He was cut today by the Cardinals. The Eagles could have interest in picking him up if they intend to deal Sheldon. I'm still not clear on what they want to do with Brown. He's saying all the right things this week. There is a mini-camp over the weekend. We'll see what he does and says at that point.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Draft Summary

Sorry for the lack of posts yesterday. The Eagles moved around so much that there was little time to write. By the time the draft was over I was exhausted and wanted to relax away from the computer.

Overall, the Eagles had a good weekend.

1 - WR Jeremy Maclin
2 - RB LeSean McCoy
5 - TE Cornelius Ingram
5 - DB Macho Harris
5 - OT Fenuki Tupou
6 - WR Brandon Gibson
7 - OG Paul Fanaika
7 - LB Moise Fokou

PFA - SS Reshard Langford
PFA - FB Marcus Mailei
PFA - C Dallas Reynolds

UFA - RB Marcus Thigpen
UFA - RB Walter Mendenhall
UFA - DE Josh Gaines
UFA - CB Courtney Robinson
UFA - WR Brandon Robinson
UFA - PK Sam Swank

They also traded for CB Ellis Hobbs.

I'm going to write out a lengthy summary in the next day or so, but I wanted to give a quick overview of everything.

The Eagles added a pair of dynamic playmakers with the first two picks. Maclin and McCoy both delivered a ton of big plays and TDs in college. They will bring that same ability to the Eagles offense. I'm sure Andy will mix both players into things as aggressively as he feels he can. Maclin has to adjust to a conventional offense, but is reportedly a very bright kid. That should help his transition. McCoy has to fine tune his game to the NFL. He can't bust every run out wide. He can't swing the ball when he runs. Those are coachable things.

Cornelius Ingram can be a dynamic addition to the offense. The question with him is the status of his knee. Mike Mayock reported that he heard some teams had serious concerns that Ingram might need another ACL surgery. The Eagles have taken medical risks over the years. Some have panned out (Mike Lewis, Shawn Barber), but not all. Ingram does have big time talent. On the field, the main problem with him will be blocking. He'll be a step behind Brent Celek. That's not good. Ingram spent a lot of his college career in the slot or flexed out wide. He'll have to adjust to a conventional TE spot.

I was a big fan of Macho Harris...this year. I hated him in 2006. He grew on me a bit in 2007, but he still seemed like an overrated player. He declared for the draft, then pulled his name out a day or two later. Harris then had a big time Senior season. I loved watching him this fall. Harris made a ton of plays. He made them at crucial points in the game. He accepted the pressure of being the leader of a young secondary and thrived. He played on offense and was used as the PR some of the time. He then went to the Senior Bowl and played very well. He fell to the 5th for a couple of reasons. He doesn't have ideal speed and there are some character concerns. I have no problem with taking a chance on him. Harris might not be a track star, but he was a playmaker. I put a lot of value in that. As for the character stuff, he was a 4-year player at Va Tech and he showed a lot of leadership and maturity as a Senior. Hopefully that's the guy we're getting.

I'm not a huge fan of the two OL picks. Tupou played LT at Oregon, but is meant to play G or RT in the NFL. He just doesn't have the feet for the left side. We don't have a good backup RT at this point. Chris Patrick is in that spot for now. Tupou provides competition for him. Forget about Winston Justice. I think he's on the way out. Fanaika is a run blocker. He'd be a solid fit on a team that...hmmm...what is the phrase I'm looking for ... runs the ball?!?! Andy loves to draft run blockers so that he can team them how to pass block 42 times a game. This is one part of Andy Reid that drives me insane.

WR Brandon Gibson is made for the WCO. He's about 210 pounds, runs good routes, works the middle of the field, and has terrific hands. He's faster than Jason Avant, but not as quick. Solid pick. He has the experience that you want in a receiver so that he can make a quicker adjustment to the pros.

LB Moise Fokou is a player that stood out to me last summer when I started doing draft prep. I loved his versatility and athletic ability. He could line up like an ILB or go out and play over a WR in the slot. Productive kid. He's coming here to play WLB I'm sure. He looks a bit raw, but there is a lot of potential.

I listed Reshard Langford, Marcus Mailei, and Dallas Reynolds as Priority Free Agents. The other guys are "just" Undrafted Free Agents. Langford has the abiity and experience to challenge for a roster spot at SS. Mailei is a FB who can block and catch. Reynolds has played LT and C. He has good size and experience.

You can find draft profiles on all the picks and PFAs here:

Just click on the position, then find the player in the rankings and click on his name.


Arguably the most important move all weekend was trading for CB Ellis Hobbs. I know some people have the mentality that "why would the Patriots let him go if he's any good?". That's over-simplifying things. NE has a young CB named Terrance Wheatley. They signed a FA named Leigh Bodden. They drafted a guy in the early 2nd this year named Darius Butler. They signed FA Shawn Springs. That is a good top 4 CBs. Hobbs is scheduled to be a Free Agent at the end of the 2009 season. Belichick felt he could trade him right now and help his team immediately. It wasn't a slight at Hobbs.

Ellis has started for a couple of seasons. He has been productive. He's got more INTs in the last 3 years than Sheldon Brown (6 to 5). He has good playmaking ability. He is a very talented KOR. The Eagles bring him in either as insurance in case Sheldon really goes off the deep end or they pencil him in as the starting RCB and deal Sheldon.

I've been of the belief that Brown wasn't getting dealt, but I'm hearing that the team may in fact see what is being offered.

All in all, a very good weekend.


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday Update

Weird day. The Eagles moved back. They loaded up with 5th rounders. They still have a 6th and a pair of 7ths.

Then we traded the early 5ths for CB Ellis Hobbs. I'll talk about him more in detail later, but he is a starting caliber CB. We needed that (thanks Sheldon).

Here is a look at some 5th round targets:

TE Cornelius Ingram
TE James Casey

OT Gerald Cadogan
OT Xavier Fulton

RB Rashad Jennings
RB Cedric Peerman
RB Javon Ringer
RB Kory Sheets

FB Quin Johnson
FB Brannan Southerland

DE Michael Bennett
DE Will Davis

S Otis Wiley
S Michael Hamlin

CB Macho Harris
CB Mike Mickens
CB Joe Burnett

SLB Mike Rivera
SLB Brandon Long
SLB Russell Allen
SLB Brad Jones
SLB Mortty Ivy

WLB Zack Follet
WLB Marcus Freeman

Let's hope they use the 4 picks and add some player.


Sunday Morning Thoughts

The Eagles have:

3rd Rder

5th Rder
5th Rder
5th Rder
5th Rder

6th Rder

7th Rder

That is plenty of ammo. Let's talk about 3rd round targets.

TE Jared Cook
TE Shawn Nelson
TE Cornelius Ingram
TE Travis Beckum
TE Chase Coffman
OG Kraig Urbik
OT Jamon Meredith

DE Lawrence Sidbury
DT Alex Magee
ILB Jason Phillips (could play WLB for us)
LB Marcus Freeman
LB Zack Follett
LB Jason Williams
S Rashad Johnson
CB Mike Mickens
CB Kevin Barnes
CB Bradley Fletcher
CB Asher Allen
CB Macho Harris
CB DJ Moore

I hope we're able to land a good TE in the 3rd. My preference is Shawn Nelson. He can block and catch. Senior player. Not a project.

The one guy I don't want is Chase Coffman. Finesse guy, but not a great athlete.

I'm told the Eagles like Cornelius Ingram, but there are questions about his knee.

CB could also be a good fit in the 3rd.

I bet they'd love Lawrence Sidbury, but I doubt he slides down to our pick.

I'll be posting about picks over in the forums section at . You don't have to register to read comments.

Let's hope for a great Eagles day.


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Shady Time

LeSean McCoy is an Eagle. Here is my writeup on him:

McCoy is extremely talented. He has the kind of ability to be a good starter in the NFL. Can he handle the business side of football and stay focused and prepared? He did play for a former NFL coach in Wannstedt. That should help the transition. Also, he's coming in with Westy entrenched as the starter. That takes pressure off McCoy. He also never got to play on a dynamic offense at Pitt. He was far and away the best player.

The Eagles add someone who can be a terrific backup and who can start for the game or two that Westy inevitably will miss. He catches the ball well and is very dangerous in the screen game. He has a nose for the endzone, although he's not the kind of guy who will force his way in. He just finds his way in there. Ran for 35 TDs in two seasons.

McCoy is good value at pick 53.


Mr. Maclin Comes to Philly

Jeremy Maclin it is. The Eagles moved up from 21 to 19 to nab the playmaking WR and RS from the University of Missouri. I had him ranked as the #2 WR. When you get a guy like that to slide down you are getting good value.

Maclin is the X-receiver of the future. He has the size and speed to be a star at that spot. He has great RAC ability (the best of the entire draft). He is a playmaker and he's also a high character guy. He'll need time to adjust from the spread to the NFL. Crabtree is also a spread receiver, but is a more physical player. Maclin is the playmaker. He's the guy that can score anytime he touches the ball.

This is a good pick for the Eagles because you add an explosive guy who can give you impact on offense and STs. I would have preferred the Eagles to land a more physical receiver who would offer major impact in the Red Zone and on 3rd downs. My worry is that this give Andy Reid another "toy" to work with instead of the kind of meat and potatoes player the offense lacks.

We'll see what they do with the other picks. Give me a quality RB and TE who can block and I'll be fine with things.


Update #2

Oh no, Knowshon Moreno is gone. And then, depression set in.

I was shocked to see him go to the Broncos. They need D. And more D. I just wasn't of the belief they could go for a RB.

The Eagles still have targets on the board.

DE Robert Ayers
CB Darius Butler
CB Vontae Davis
CB Alphonso Smith
TE Brandon Pettigrew (maybe)

RB Donald Brown is in play if they trade back.


Update #1

The rumor in the Philly media is that the Eagles want Vontae Davis.

Not exactly. The Eagles prefer Knowshon Moreno or a DE. I think Ayers and Maybin are the 2 DEs they have interest in. If none of those guys makes it to pick 21, then CB is on the table.

I don't know their pecking order between Darius Butler, Vontae Davis, and Alphonso Smith. Butler is the most complete. Davis has the best upside. Smith is the most productive and has the "it" factor you like in players.

I like Smith quite a bit, but he's only 5'9, 190. Would that make us too small at CB? Maybe. The flip side of that is that Smith is a big time playmaker. How many picks did Hanson and Sheldon drop last year? You shouldn't see that with Smith. He had 21 picks at Wake Forest and also was a PR. He can catch the ball. While he is small, he's not soft. Smith is a good tackler and run defender.

Alphonso Smith would be my preference.

The Eagles could also deal back from 21. There is definite logic in dropping back.

Stay tuned.

Draft Day is Here

No action so far.

I wrote a lengthy Eagles Draft Preview. It is too long for this format so I posted it on the EMB and at scoutsnotebook. Here's a link to SNB:

I'll be posting updates here as I get info or stories break.

There was a report yesterday that the Raiders were shopping Derrick Burgess. I'd certainly be interested in him if the price was right. Derrick could come here and battle Abiamiri for the LDE job. I would not trade as much as a 3rd for him. We don't have a 4th. Could we add him for a 5th?

Friday, April 24, 2009

More WR Talk

We know the Eagles have talked to Arizona about Anquan Boldin. There have been reports that the team has checked with the Bengals about Chad Johnson. The Eagles have been linked with draft prospects like Darrius Heyward-Bey and Hakeem Nicks.

All of these guys are big WRs. DHB has tremendous speed. The other guys are thick, strong, possession type WRs. There is another player in the draft that sorta fits this description...Michael Crabtree of Texas Tech.

In my final mock I had him fall out of the Top Ten. Let's say that happens. Should the Eagles consider moving up? Would the Eagles consider moving up?

We know trading up doesn't have the usual cost this year. I wonder if we could move up with Jacksonville for 21, Reggie Brown, and a lesser pick. Should Crabtree fall to the Saints spot at 14, they could be a partner. The Saints are hoping to pick up extra draft choices.

Crabtree has his warts, but could be an interesting target if he truly does slide like we're hearing he might.

My Ideal Scenario

This is what I'd love to have happen.

1st Round - RB Donald Brown, UConn

We trade back with Pittsburgh. They give us pick 32 (one day maybe we'll get that on our own...or not), their 3rd rounder, and a late rounder in 2010. The Steelers are interested in DE Jarron Gilbert and don't want to risk some other 3-4 getting him.

Brown is the most NFL-ready of the RBs in this draft. He can run, catch, and block. He has great feet. Size is okay, especially with his athletic ability. Led the nation in rushing. He also reminds me of Matt Forte in the sense that he's from a non-football school, but had a great season and is ready for pro football.

2nd Round - WR Hakeem Nicks, UNC

We trade up. This time we send Reggie Brown and pick 53 to the Jaguars for their 2nd rounder. They just signed Torry Holt the other day. Wanna see the rest of their WR corps?

Dennis Northcutt
Mike Walker
Troy Williamson
D'Juan Woods
Nate Hughes

And people complain about the Eagles WRs??? Reggie gives them a starter. Northcutt slides to the slot. They still have a 2nd round pick. All is well.

Nicks slides because of some character issues. So did DeSean Jackson last year. Hakeem can only hope he works out as well as DeSean. Hakeem gives us a tough, physical WR with great RAC ability. He also has big hands and can make tough catches. If things pan out, he could develop into a Boldin type of WR.

3rd Round - DE David Veikune, Hawaii

I wasn't sure if the Birds wanted him more as a LDE or SAM. After some further research, Veikune is a LDE. He's only 6'2, 257, but did 35 reps at the Combine and he plays the run well. Rugged guy. Good STs player. You bring him in to back up Abiamiri and that allows you to trade Juqua Parker at some point.

3rd Round - TE Travis Beckum, Wisconsin

This pick came over from the earlier deal with the Steelers. I love Beckum as a receiver. I know there are some concerns with his blocking. He's only 6'3, 240. Travis did play at Wisconsin, a running school. He lined up out wide at times, but also knows how to get on the line and block. He needs to get a lot better in that area, but there is potential. Terrific receiver. Has great hands and he can make spectacular grabs.

4th Round - CB/RS Joe Burnett, UCF

We trade 2 of our 5th round picks (141, 153) to move up into the 4th. Joe is a very experienced player that can step in immediately if needed. He has excellent ball skills (16 career INTs). He also is very good on KOs and punts. Joe doesn't have great size or speed, but he is very productive as a CB. I value those guys. He also would take pressure off Demps and DeSean in the return game.

5th Round - TE Dan Gronkowski, Maryland

We now have a quality #3 TE prospect. Dan can catch and block. Had a great workout at the Combine, but needs to show that athletic ability on the field more often. Unlike Schobel, Dan could be a good STer.

5th Round - S Deangelo Smith, Cincinnati

Played mostly CB at Cincy. Might not last this long, but he isn't the most agile guy and I can easily see him sliding down. Did play some FS as a Senior. He is an excellent hitter and tackler. Also has good hands.

6th Round - FB Quin Johnson, LSU

Will he last this long? I'm not sure, but we'll be optimistic for the purposes of this exercise. Quin is the best lead blocker in the draft. Enough said as far as I'm concerned.

6th Round - LB Mike Rivera, Kansas

We need someone as a backup at SAM. Mike played WLB in college, but he has a SAM build and skill set. Covers well. Good tackler.

7th Round - CB Derek Cox, William and Mary

Cox would be a big, talented, athletic CB prospect. Imagine Rashad Barksdale, but with football skills. Don't let the Willian and Mary tag fool ya. This kid can play.

Off topic note. I'm reminded of a great football quote. Lou Holtz used to coach at W&M. He was asked about a loss and responded that the team had too many Marys and not enough Williams.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thursday Update


Shawn Andrews is not being shopped, from what I am told. The Eagles have him penciled in at RG and look forward to him playing like his old self. As for the notion that he might be wanting a new deal, Shawn understands the situation. He has to prove to the Eagles that he can stay healthy and play at a high level. Down the road? He might talk to the team about a new deal. He's fine with the way things are at this time.


The Eagles will send Sheldon, Shawn, and #21 to the Browns for Braylon and #5. I've checked and it is 100% bogus.

I know a lot of Eagles fans are excited, or at least interested, in Braylon Edwards. I don't think the Eagles are. I get the feeling they love his talent, but are scared by his inconsistency. Is he going to thrive on a new team after you hand him a big, new contract? Maybe, but he could easily remain one of those guys that teases you with his potential, but doesn't deliver regularly enough. WR is an incredibly tricky position.

Pre-Draft Article for

I took a look at possible targets for each of the first 3 rounds.

Things always get crazy beyond that. I'm writing a length pre-draft post that I'll put up on the EMB and SNB as well. It will center on the Birds and the draft, of course.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tony Gonzalez News

I haven't heard much about Gonzo to the Eagles this offseason. Until now. Don Banks of has a blurb up about the situation:

• The buzz about the Chiefs resuming their attempts to trade veteran tight end Tony Gonzalez has restarted, and it sounds as if the Eagles might have nosed ahead of the Falcons as the most likely trade partner. Philly is thought to be willing to give up a third-rounder for Gonzalez. But Kansas City is seeking at least a second-round pick for a player it considers a future Hall of Famer, and may not be willing to bear the brunt of any criticism that could come if it's perceived to have given away Gonzalez too cheaply.

I can tell you right now that the Eagles will not deal a 2nd rounder for Tony. Just won't happen. Honestly, I'm surprised they are offering a 3rd. I like the idea. Gonzo would be a great addition to the offense. He would also give us a quality veteran presence and RZ threat. This is a deep, talented TE class, but none of them is a Hall of Famer. I'd take Tony for a 3rd.

The Eagles are talking to teams about acquiring veteran players. The fit has to be right and the cost has to be right. Let's hope we can work something out with KC.

Listen Up...

I did a podcast last night with the guys from EaglesFanCast. Chuck, Todd, and Eric are pretty good guys (at least that is what they tell me...the word on the street is a whole other story).

We talked about Peters, Sheldon, and the draft. It goes on for about 45 minutes, but it may feel like 2 days in Guantanamo. I only got in one reference to Apocalypse Now, but hopefully it is pretty entertaining anyway.

Here is a link to their site:

You can download it or listen on the site.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Shelled In

How is that for awful post title of the month? I'm referring, of course, to Sheldon Brown. He made it known recently that he wants a raise or he wants to be dealt. This somewhat caught me off guard. I knew Sheldon wasn't happy with his deal, but I hoped to get one more season out of him before push came to shove.


My hope was that he'd play this year and we'd get a feel for Jack Ikegwuonu before knowing what had to be done for the future. We could deal Sheldon and then make a move of our own, depending on what had to be done.

The Eagles weren't real thrilled with Sheldon's comments. They put out a statement that was very aggressive. Rather than do the normal "this is an internal issue", the team called him out publicly saying Brown's actions were "unfortunate and counter-productive". They also said he will not be traded. Wow. Line in the sand time.

Les Bowen has a good post up about the situation.

I have really mixed feelings on the issue. Sheldon is a class guy and good teammate. I love the way he tackles and plays aggressively. He also just turned 30 and has a total of 5 INTs in the last 3 years. He's not exactly a playmaker. I had concerns about whether he was losing a step. I know he didn't give up a TD pass last year, but that stat can be flawed. Domenik Hixon had him beat for an 85-yd bomb, but dropped the ball.

Is Sheldon underpaid? Yes. Did the Eagles treat him fairly? Not if you believe his account of the situation. However, that is looking at things from his perspective. Let's consider things from the team's perspective.

Let's say that they decide that Sheldon has been a good leader and player and deserves some more money. He's not a star player, but is above average. What do you do if Trent Cole wants a raise? He's our best defensive lineman. Todd Herremans was our best offensive lineman last year. Do you give him a raise? Sheldon was our 2nd best CB.

He is underpaid, but don't you open Pandora's Box if you give him the deal he wants? If he performed at a star level, you could make the argument. He's a notch below that. And that is the unfortunate part. You feel bad for saying no to the guy, but you have to be careful about setting a precedent.

It sounds like the Eagles have dug in their heels on this one and won't budge. I don't know how Sheldon will handle it. He's always been a stand-up guy, but a situation like this will bother him all year long. We know it won't make him drop INTs. He did that the last couple of years when the issue wasn't front and center. Heck, maybe Sheldon will go out and actually catch the ball. That could force the Eagles to re-think the situation or at least boost his trade value for the future.

The more immediate question is if the Eagles now go after a CB aggressively in the draft. I have given them CBs in a few mocks over the last several months. That had more to do with Sheldon getting older than any potential contract dispute. I think the team will take a CB if they really like the player, but I'm figuring they go for more of a mid-round guy at this point.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Let's Talk About the New LT

Jason Peters is now our starting LT. Great move by the Eagles. They got a potential stud LT at a reasonable trade price. They did give him a monster deal, but you don't mind putting big money in a LT in his prime.

I was busy with doing draft preparation this weekend and only got to watch a little Buffalo tape. I watched parts of several games from several seasons. I wanted to get a good feel for our new player.

JASON PETERS -- Very good feet. Looks natural with his kick slide. Keeps his feet active when needed. Does a good job of mirroring the rusher. Moves to get into blocking position so he doesn't have to reach or lunge. Keeps his feet under him. Doesn't get off balance. Able to re-direct when rushers try a hard inside move. Uses his hands well. Has good pop when he lands a shot on the rusher. Shows good awareness.

Good run blocker. Engages the defender and is able to sustain his blocks. Has good power. Can drive DL off the ball. Can really mash on LBs. Gets into proper position. Able to get out in space. Not a watcher. Finds someone to block.

Needs to work on sustaining pass blocks. Sometimes has trouble with spin moves. Rushers who take a really deep angle can be tough on him. Generally the defender takes himself out of the play by doing that, but if the QB holds the ball the guy can get back into the play.

I know a lot of people are concerned by the 11.5 sacks Jason gave up in 2008. That number has to be taken in context. Jason held out for the entire summer last year. He didn't go to Training Camp. He didn't play in the preseason. He reported to the Bills on the Saturday prior to the season opener. He sat out that game and then played the next week at JAX.

Buffalo coach Dick Jauron believes in light practices. He likes to keep his players fresh for games. That means that Jason's only preparation for the Jaguars was a couple of days of light practice. It should be no surprise that he struggled mightily in that game. Heck, he was rusty for the first month. He gave up 5 sacks in his first 4 games.

Jason simply wasn't in football shape. You cannot simulate football while working out on your own. You must get some game action or go through heavy practices. That is the only way to get ready for the tough grind of an NFL game. Jason was dumb to hold out the way he did and the Bills were dumb to play him so quickly.

He got much better as the season wore on. He was elected to the Pro Bowl, but that was a joke. No way he deserved that. Jason didn't have a good season. Some of the sacks were plays where he just flat out got beat. There were some other plays where he was a victim of bad circumstances.

* A Safety blitzed off his side in the Jets game and Jason wasn't able to get hand on him.
* A Dolphin rusher took a hard inside move. Jason was protecting the edge and didn't know the QB had stepped up. The rusher nailed the QB.
* Against the Cardinals the QB took too deep a drop and Jason rode the rusher deep, which pushed him right to the QB.

This move has tremendous upside. It also does involve some risk. Jason was 6'4, 336 and very athletic coming out of Arkansas. He did play TE in college, but you could see his talent. For some reason, he went unpicked. Teams either had character questions or intelligence questions in regard to him. Guys that big and athletic don't go unpicked just because they need coaching.

You also wonder if Jason will stay motivated. We've seen plenty of guys over the years who got their big payday and let up. That's just human nature. Can Peters maintain his edge and work as hard as he needs to in order to be a true Pro Bowl player (like he was in 2007).

On the plus side, Jason no longer has to worry about his contract. He can focus on just playing. That has to be a big relief to him. He also is entering a winning environment. Jason isn't used to playing with guys like McNabb and Westbrook. He's never been on a playoff team and a legit Super Bowl contender (feel free to insert joke at this point). Reid is an infinitely better coach than Jauron. There is good structure in Philly. That can help players.

Let's move back to the field. Jason isn't the polished pass blocker that Tra Thomas was (in his heyday). Jason is a much better run blocker than Tra ever was. Nothing against the big man, but he wasn't a good run blocker, even at FSU. Jason gives us a powerful presence on the left side. He and Todd Herremans form a really good 1-2 punch. That should make us that much more effective running to that side.

Tra struggled as a run blocker against 3-4 DEs and when he was in space. Peters should will be an upgrade in both areas. There were several games last year when Tra was out in space and didn't get a hand on anyone. Westy got to the 2nd level, but couldn't break the run into a big play. With Peters out there, Westy will have one less defender to worry about. Tra's height worked against him in those situations. He was too upright and missed blocks on DBs and some LBs. Jason's more compact build will help him.

3-4 DEs gave Tra problems because they normally go in the 300-pound range. He just didn't have the kind of power needed to move those guys off the ball with any consistency. Jason has plenty of experience against the 3-4 defense and is better suited to take on those DEs. We don't face a ton of 3-4 defenses, but it is becoming more prevalent.


RE: Eagles trading up with 2nd & 3rd Rders

Very possible. This is not a good draft. If there is a player the Eagles really like, go get him.

The flip side is that they could trade down from 21 to the 27-30 range and add a 3rd or 4th. The Eagles may not see good value at 21 and may want to recoup the pick given up in the Peters deal.


The Eagles draft for the future. Curtis is about 30. I could easily see his replacement taken this year. The guy may sit for a year or two, but you always like to get a player ahead of time. That way you can develop him at your own pace and not just throw him into the fire.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Jason Peters to the Eagles?

Jay Glazer of Fox is reporting the deal is done.

Jay is very good with his sources and stories. I trust him above all the info guys. Assuming there are no last minute complications, this is great news.

The Eagles could have moved Todd or Shawn to LT, but that would have created a new hole on the OL. Peters has proven to be a very good LT in the NFL. You get a Pro Bowl caliber player at a key position.

That gives you the Andrews brothers on the right side. Todd is entrenched at LG. Jamaal is the man in the middle (isn't that a Michael Jackson song?). Mike McGlynn and Nick Cole are the top backups. That's 7 quality players. Max, when he gets healthy, gives you an 8th guy. King Dunlap, Chris Patrick, and Mike Gibson will battle for backup spots.

Glazer reports the deal is #28 and a 2nd day pick this year, as well as a late rounder next year. That is good value for both sides. The Eagles get a LT. The Bills get a couple of extra picks. They can possibly land a replacement at #11 or can use the extra 2nd day pick to move into the Top 10 and get the LT they want. Plus, the Bills don't have to worry about paying Peters a big contract.

Great news.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

New Mock Draft

I posted a new mock for the Eagles in my article.

Here's the Reader's Digest version:

1 - 8 - OT Eugene Monroe, Virginia
1 - 28 - RB Donald Brown, UConn
2 - TE Shawn Nelson, So Miss
4 - CB Bradley Fletcher, Iowa
5 - WR Brian Hartline, Ohio State
5 - FB Quinn Johnson, LSU
5 - DT Terrance Knighton, Temple
5 - SS Otis Wiley, Michigan State
6 - LB Victor Butler, Oregon State
6 - WR Brooks Foster, UNC
7 - TE John Nalbone, Monmouth

I had the Eagles trade 21 and 53 to get pick 8. Monroe could slide that far and JAX would like to move back.

I had the Eagles trade their 3rd Rd pick + Reggie Brown to the Jets for a mid-2nd to get Shawn Nelson.

The rest of the picks I left as is. Too complicated to do a lot of moving around.

The biggest flaw is the lack of a top WR, but you can't have everything. We must get a RB early. There is no backup to Westy right now. We must get a quality TE. If Celek got hurt we'd be up the creek. I had them trade up for the LT because I think that is what AR would like to do. I'm still intrigued by the thought of sliding Todd outside and just adding a mid-round player for depth.


The team is talking to other clubs about veteran players. I didn't factor in a trade for an established player, but that doesn't mean those deals won't happen. I wanted to take a look at what is available if you strictly focus on using the picks.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

21 and 28

Will the Eagles stay put? Move up? Move back?

We've talked about this quite a bit in the last 6 or so weeks. There's no way to really know what the Eagles will do. A lot of people assume the Eagles will look to move because of the last 2 years when the Birds moved back.

The goal heading into the draft is almost never "Let's trade back". Go back to 2007. I've heard that the Eagles had a pair of key targets. They liked CB Aaron Ross quite a bit. He was a key target. Unfortunately the Giants snagged him at pick 20. The Eagles sat at pick 26. Their next target was Miami FS Brandon Meriweather. He got taken by the Patriots at pick 24.

The Eagles next key target was Kevin Kolb. They decided to move back and take him. He would be ideal value in the 2nd and they would add an extra pick.

Along comes the 2008 draft. The Eagles have one player they are really excited by, OL Branden Albert. He slides down to pick 15. The Lions are on the clock. Both KC and the Eagles want Albert. The Chiefs made a better offer, partially because their pick was a few spots ahead of the Eagles. When pick 19 rolled around the Eagles decided moving back was good value based on the offer they got.

As for this year...I think the Eagles would love to stay put and land good players. The problem is that they need the right guys to be on the board. We have no idea at this point how things will pan out.

I still think the team would love to deal #21 for Jason Peters. Nothing is likely to happen on that front until draft week. For some reason, teams like to wait even though there isn't a whole lot happening right now.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

New article is posted

I answered some regular questions.

As for some additional subjects...

RE: Anquan Boldin

I don't have a good read on what the Cardinals want to do with him. They're either being very secretive or haven't made up their own minds. On one hand, I don't think they like him dictating action to them. That would lead them to keep him another year. At the same time, he's got excellent value at this point and Larry Fitzgerald clearly showed he was the better player last year. You keep Fitz and build around him. They've got some young guys already in place...Steve Breaston and

RE: Hidden Gems

Solid list by Don Banks. DT Brigham Harwell is a solid player. LB Russell Allen is a guy I wrote about at Scoutsnotebook recently. He could be a SAM target. I haven't paid much attention to Butler. I need to do some study on him. Biggers is a quality player. I didn't get to see Toler play, but he's of interest. I'll be putting together my own list in the next week or so.

RE: Chad Johnson

I'm sure the Eagles are checking into him. They might be interested if the price was right. I'm not so sure, but the situation is worth looking into. At the same time, you also want to know what the asking price is for figuring out how that might affect you on draft day. Knowledge is power.

Too often fans and the media think that checking a player out means showing positive interest. Sometimes you are being thorough in regard to the player. Other times you are just on a fact finding mission for how the situation might play out involving other teams.

The notion that the Eagles would deal a 1st rounder for Chad is ludicrous. He is very talented, but he's got major baggage. Chad has been a huge sideshow in Cincinnati. In Philly he'd be an overwhelming media force, good and bad. I don't know if Reid wants any part of that. Plus, we are talking about a guy who got into a fist fight with his coach at halftime of a playoff game. Where's Buddy Ryan when you need him?

RE: more on Peters

There is an absolute downside to his situation. I totally get that. He's coming off a bad season. He wants mega-money. He held out all summer long and that affected his play. Jason didn't handle his situation well last year.

I don't think bringing any of that stuff up is being unreasonable at all. You always have to look at every side of a situation. There is always a risk. The only safe move in NFL history is the Eagles drafting FB Dan Lawlor. With a name like that, how can you go wrong?

Back to reality for a second. Peters vs Lito is an interesting comparison. Lito signed a big deal back in 2004 and was one of the best paid CBs in the league. The CB market exploded in the next couple of years and Lito decided he wasn't fairly paid. Unfortunately, he wasn't in top form in that period. Lito played well in 2006, but really struggled in 2005. He was up and down in 2007. He wasn't out-performing his contract. The market changed and he was unhappy.

Peters signed a 5-year, $15M deal in the summer of 2006. He played well at LT that year. He made the Pro Bowl in 2007. Pro Bowl LTs are worth triple what he was getting. The Bills exasperated the situation by signing two marginal veterans, Derrick Dockery and Langston Walker, to big deals. Peters outplayed both the new guys, but was making less money. That led to him asking Buffalo for more money. They were reluctant to pay him and that's when we got the holdout.

The situations are similar, but also very different. I find it a lot easier to side with Jason because he out-performed his contract. Lito just wanted more money. That's a key difference in my mind.

Never apologize for disagreeing. Dissent leads to good discussion.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Answering Questions

RE: Peters and his contract

You have to examine the whole situation. Peters was a UDFA. He got on the field a bit in 2004, but not much. BUF knew they had a steal, though. He started 10 games in 2005 and has been a fixture at LT ever since.

Not only was Jason a LT, but he was good. Now this guy was was making beans because he was undrafted. The Bills gave him an extension. They paid him better, but still not great money. Then the Bills went and signed some FA OL to huge deals (Dockery, L. Walker). They were making more money than Jason, but not playing LT and not playing as well.

Jason legitimately made the Pro Bowl in 2007. His ego went on red alert and he wanted a new deal. From his point of view there is some sense. He's the best OL playing the most critical position. Yet, he's making half or 2/3 of what a couple of overpaid veterans are getting.

Jason sat out all summer in 2008. He missed the opener. Jason returned after that (didn't have much choice). His play was all over the place. He wasn't necessarily fat and out of shape, but he was out of football shape. That led to the sacks and mediocre season. He did get voted to the PB, but that was a joke. When Jason is ready to go, he is a terrific OT.

This isn't a case where TO got a very good deal in 2004 and then wanted a great deal 12 months later. Jason signed a 5-year, $15M deal in the summer of 2006. A year later the Bills gave Derrick Dockery a 7-year, $49M deal. Clearly Dockery wasn't going to get all of that, but I think you can see why Jason would be ticked off to a certain extent.

Jason does have some crazy salary demands, but you wonder if those aren't in part to get out of Buffalo. We'll find out soon enough.

RE: OL roster spots

We've carried 9 and 10 OL in the past. Either 7 or 8 will suit up on gameday. There is no set amount of players that have to be kept. You can go light at RB and heavy at WR or reverse that. You can keep a lot of OL or go with as few as 8 if you keep a couple on the Practice Squad. I tend to plan on the Eagles keeping 9 OL.

There are 3 STs spots. That leaves 50 spots for offense and defense. Sometimes it is 26-24, but other times will be 25-25. Keep the best 53 players.

RE: Paying Peters

I think the Eagles would pay good money to a LT they like. Go back to the decade of 1988-1997. That was a dark set of days for us at LT. We had some tough guys who played hard, but we didn't have good players out there. Bernard Williams offered hope in 1994, but decided smoking weed and playing basketball in Georgia was more fun. Tra Thomas showed up in 1998 and has given us stability ever since. The thought of adding a guy who would man LT for 5-7 years is very enticing. We have the money to spend.

RE: DL and roster spots

I'll write about that stuff between now and the draft.

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Look at the O-line

Someone wondered if the OL was getting too crowded. I don't think so at all. Let's take a look at the group as it would likely play out right now:

LT Todd Herremans ... King Dunlap
LG Nick Cole .......... Mike McGlynn
OC Jamaal Jackson ... Mike Gibson
RG Shawn Andrews ....
RT Stacy Andrews .... Chris Patrick

We also have:

RT/G Winston Justice
G Max Jean-Gilles

I don't think Justice has much of a chance to make the team. I think they'll try to deal him on draft weekend. Obviously they won't get much for him, but maybe you can move up 10 spots in a late round or something like that.

Max is off the top group because we don't know what kind of medical shape he's in. He could be forced to start the year on the PUP list. I know Stacy is also coming off an injury. Clearly the team expects him back for the opener or something like that. I'm still skeptical. Let's hope they're right. I want him on the field and ready to go.

Dunlap, Patrick and Gibson aren't locks to make the team. There are only 6 guys I feel strongly about. Now, I am optimistic about Gibson. I thought he looked good last summer. Dunlap and Patrick I'm hopeful with, but can't say anything more than that.

There is room for new players. Think about the addition of Peters.

LT Jason Peters ....... King Dunlap
LG Todd Herremans ... Mike McGlynn
OC Jamaal Jackson ... Mike Gibson
RG Shawn Andrews .... Nick Cole
RT Stacy Andrews .... Chris Patrick

Add Max to that group and you have a good group of OL. The backups still need to prove themselves, but the key is the starters. That would be a really good set of blockers.

We don't need Jason Peters, but he would be a very good addition. If we do pass on him, then I think we need to find a good OT/OG prospect in the mid-rounds.

We could still sign Jon Runyan if he gets healthy and Stacy is going to miss part of the season. That would cover us at RT and keep us from getting spread too thin.

If McGlynn and Dunlap are able to show improvement, we could have a deep, talented group of OL.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Old Notes on Jason Peters

I stumbled across this recently and thought it might be of interest. Here are some pre-draft notes I had on Peters.

* Jason Peters, TE - ARK - Jason is mammoth. 6'4, 336. He is a good athlete. Light on his feet. Soft hands. I watched him in a game vs. South Carolina. He caught a few balls. On one catch, he made the grab and then juked a LB and got upfield to gain extra yards. On another catch he tip-toed down the sideline. He won't be a great TE, but could be a real specialized weapon. Has the potential to be a good OT. He's a good pass blocker, but isn't as good a drive blocker as I expected.

* TE Jason Peters is a guy I've mentioned before. Goes 6'4 , 336. Could very well be a LT. The previous game I took in left me with the impression that he was a bit on the passive side. Glad I watched some more tape. He was a good aggressive blocker vs LSU. He drove SLB Eric Alexander about 8 yds downfield. Eric had to spin to get off the block (and to his credit made the tackle). On a passing play Jason was lined up beside the LT. The LSU DE took an inside slant on the LT. Peters stepped forward and shoved him from the side. The DE went down and also took out the DT beside him. They looked like bowling pins. Would've taken out the other DT, but he was just out of the way. Hilarious play. One block and half the pass rush was gone.

Don't be fooled by Jason's size. He is very light on his feet and looks pretty agile for a guy with that size body. Could be a backup TE for a year or two before moving to OT.

I am hoping the Bills do look to deal him in the next few weeks. Jason would be a great addition at LT.

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Eagles and the Draft

Over on the EMB we track which players the Eagles show interest in. The list doesn't always mesh with what happens on draft day, but there are more than a few guys that do match up every year.

Here is the list as of 4/2/09:


OT Eugene Monroe - Virginia ... likely top 5 pick

TE Brandon Pettigrew - Oklahoma State ... 1st rounder

RB Donald Brown - UConn ... likely late 1st rounder

RB LeSean McCoy - Pitt ... 2nd rounder

OT Andre Smith - Alabama ... top 20 pick

DE Lawrence Sidbury - Richmond ...2nd rounder

S Patrick Chung - Oregon ... 2nd, maybe 3rd rounder

DE Robert Ayers - Tennessee ... mid 1st to early 2nd

Special Comments of Interest

* Knowshon Moreno said that the Chargers and Eagles showed the most interest in him at the Combine.

* Hakeem Nicks..."Among the coaches I met today were Bill Belichik and Andy Reid, who said I would look good with some wings on my helmet."

* William Moore continues to say the Eagles showed him a lot of interest and that he thinks he'd be a great fit here and wants to play for the Eagles.



QB Graham Harrell - Texas Tech ... met with him at Senior Bowl
QB Rhett Bomar - Sam Houston State ... met with him at Senior Bowl
QB Nathan Brown - Central Arkansas ... met with him at Senior Bowl
QB John White - Bentley (also a P) ... college visit

FB Eric Kettani - Navy ... met with him at Senior Bowl
FB Maurice Manley - Mesa State ... talked to his coach
FB Tony Fiametta - Syracuse ... Eagles reportedly looking hard at him
FB Chris Pressley - Wisconsin ... private workout

RB Knowshon Moreno - Georgia .... met with him at the Combine
RB Devin Moore - Wyoming ... attended private workout in Indy (outside of Combine)
RB LeSean McCoy - Pitt ... met him at the Combine ... RB coach was at Pro Day, private workout
RB Donald Brown - UConn ... private workout, visit
RB Rashad Jennings - Liberty ... private workout

WR Hakeem Nicks - UNC ... met with him at the Combine
WR Kenny Britt - Rutgers ... met Andy at a banquet & has private workout set up with team
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey - Maryland... attended his Pro Day ... private workout is set up
WR Quinten Lawrence - McNeese State ... attended his Pro Day
WR Deon Butler - Penn State .... said Eagles were showing interest, also a private workout
WR Johnny Knox - Abilene Christian ... private workout
WR Louis Murphy - Florida ... private workout
WR Derrick Williams - Penn State ... private workout
WR Jordan Norwood - Penn State ... private workout
WR DJ Boldin - Wake Forest ... private workout

TE Brandon Pettigrew - Oklahoma State - 6'5, 263 ... met with him at Senior Bowl ... coming to Philly
TE Zach Miller - Nebraska-Omaha
TE Jared Cook - South Carolina ... "showing interest", met with him at Combine...private workout
TE Jared Bronson - Central Washington ... private workout
TE Cornelius Ingram - Florida ... private workout
TE John Nalbone - Monmouth ... private workout
TE Robby Agnone - Delaware ... showing interest

T Phil Loadholt - Oklahoma ... met with him at the Combine
T Chris Rutledge - Miami ... Eagles attended his Pro Day, showed interest
T Andre Smith - Alabama ... private meeting
T Dallas Reynolds - BYU ... showing interest ... could play G or C
T Kyle Link - McNeese State ... attended his Pro Day
T Jason Watkins - Florida ... showing interest
T Jamon Meredith - South Carolina ... showing interest
T Eben Britton - Arizona ... private workout
T Gerald Cadogan - Penn State ... private workout
T Joel Bell - Furman ... attended his Pro Day
T Robert Brewster - Ball State ... private workout

G/C Anthony Parker - Tennessee ... met with him at Senior Bowl
G Andy Levitre - Oregon State ... met with him at the Combine
G Andy Kemp - Wisconsin ... met with Eagles coaches
G Greg Isdaner - West Va ... private workout
G Louis Vasquez - Texas Tech ... private workout
G Rich Ohrnberger - Penn State ... private workout
G Lawrence Lovell - Stony Brook ... private workout (played LT in college)
G Paul Fanaika - Arizona State ... private workout

C Juan Garcia - Washington ... met with him at the Combine
C Max Unger - Oregon ... met with him at the Combine
C AQ Shipley - Penn State ... private workout or visit. not sure which
C Eric Wood - Louisville ... private workout
C Alex Derenthal - Temple ... private workout



DE Larry English - Northern Illinois - 6'2, 254
DE Everette Brown - Florida State ... met with him at the Combine
DE Robert Ayers - Tennessee ... private workout / meeting
DE J.D. Skolnitsky - James Madison .... attended his Pro Day
DE Lawrence Sidbury - Richmond ... private visit
DE David Veikune - Hawaii ... private workout

DT Vance Walker - Georgia Tech ... met with him at the Combine
DT Dorell Scott - Clemson ... private workout
DT Everette Pedescleaux - Northern Iowa ... private visit before his Pro Day
DT Sammie Lee Hill - Stillman ... private visit
NT Lonnie Harvey - Morgan State ... attended his Pro Day

MLB Rey Maualuga - USC ... met with him at Senior Bowl
MLB Frantz Joseph - Fla. Atlantic ... Eagles attended his Pro Day (might be WLB in our system)
MLB Scott McKillop - Pitt ... LB coach was at his Pro Day

LB Clint Sintim - Virginia - 6'2, 254 ... met with him at Senior Bowl
LB Tyrone McKenzie - USF - 6'2, 235 ... met with him at Senior Bowl
LB Clay Matthews - USC - 6'2, 247 ... met with him at Senior Bowl and Combine
LB Cody Brown - UConn - 6'2, 246 ... met him at Senior Bowl(played DE, but we looked at him as SAM)
LB Jason Williams - Western Illinois ... met with him at his Pro Day & have a private workout scheduled
LB Andy Schantz - Portland State ... private workout

S/LB Nic Harris - Oklahoma - 6'2, 233 ... met with him at Senior Bowl and Combine
S William Moore - Missouri - ... met with him at Senior Bowl
S Chris Clemons - Clemson ... private workout
S Patrick Chung - Oregon ... private workout
S Louis Delmas - Western Michigan ... private workout
S K.J. Gerard - Northern Arizona ... showing interest

CB Alphonso Smith - Wake Forest - 5'9, 193 ... met with him at Senior Bowl
CB Kevin Barnes - Maryland ... private workout
CB/RS Reggie Jones - Portland State ... private workout
CB Vontae Davis - Illinois ... met with him at Combine
CB Mike Mickens - Cincinnati ... private visit set up
CB DeAngelo Willingham - Tennessee ... private workout
CB/S Sean Smith - Utah ... private workout/visit set up

LS Jake Ingram - Hawaii ... met with him at Senior Bowl

P Kevin Huber - Cincinnati ... private workout

Special Ties To

WR Austin Collie - BYU ... his brother was a camp player for us a couple of years back


Misc Stuff

* attened La-Lafayette Pro Day
* had LB coach at Florida State Pro Day


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Some Trade Talk


Nothing groundbreaking, but just some thoughts on potential targets and deals. Things remain pretty quiet right now around the Eagles. I'm doing my snooping, but there just isn't much to report. This is the calm before the storm.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Follow-up Stuff

Here are some responses to questions and comments.

RE: Matt Jones

With the emergence of DeSean Jackson as a star and Hank and Jason as good role players, I don't have a lot of interest in Jones. He is very talented. There are times when he can do some special things. My problem is that I'm not sure where he'd fit in.

DeSean and Curtis are the starters. Avant is the slot guy. Is Matt good enough to come in here and unseat Curtis? I doubt it. He's not as good a blocker as Avant or Hank. I doubt he'd play STs the way they do.

When you combine Jones awkward fit and his off-field troubles, I'm not sure he's a guy you want to bring in. The counter argument is that he could be a "diamond in the rough". Jones hasn't had great QB play during his career in JAX. Maybe he could flourish, even as just a role player, in a high quality passing attack like ours.

I think the Eagles will look to add someone in the draft. If that doesn't work out and Jones is still available...maybe he gets a call. Don't count on it, though.

RE: Peppers being a "confusing" player

Amen. There are times when he looks like one of the greatest athletes in the history of the NFL. There are other times when he looks lost. I think Julius is at his best on the run. He's always looked like a giant LB to me.

If he didn't cost a pick I'd be more interested in him, but I don't like the thought of trading for him and then handing him a big contract when I'm not sure what to expect.

RE: Jay Cutler

I hope smart Eagles fans don't want this guy. Jay is incredibly talented, but is this the guy you want leading your franchise? He got mad in Denver when he didn't get his way and forced his way out of town.

How the heck would Cutler handle the pressure of Philly? How would he handle the media scrutiny? Is this a guy you trust as the heart and soul of your franchise?