Thursday, May 28, 2009

Some Actual News

Sorry for the quiet week. I was busy fighting crime, saving babies, and working on the unified theory. Now that I'm done with those minor tasks, let's talk about the Eagles.

There are a few things actually going on right now:

* DT Amon Gordon ruptured his Achilles and is done for the year. To replace him the Eagles signed UDFA Trevor Jenkins from MTSU. He's 6'1, 287. Had a so-so Senior season, but put up good numbers earlier in his career. Jenkins finished with 26 TFLs.

I hate losing Gordon. He was a longshot to make the team, but I liked him as a practice player. We need guys that will make the players across from them better. Gordon has started in the NFL. Young OL would have learned while playing against him.

* P/K Sam Swank is gone. That's too bad. He was a terrific PK at Wake Forest. Ken Parrish has taken his place. He's a punter.

* TE Cornelius Ingram suffered a knee contusion the other day, but hopefully will be back on the field by Friday. According to Dave Spadaro and what I'm hearing from others, Ingram has looked terrific so far.



This was not a good year for us, to put it mildly. The overall draft wasn't great, but there were some players I coveted. I loved DL Kevin Williams of Oklahoma State. Seeing him in orange/white reminded me of Reggie White in college. I loved the thought of getting Williams to be the LDE of the future. I thought DE Michael Haynes of Penn State was a very good prospect and would make a good Eagle. I had mixed feelings on Jerome McDougle. The first time I ever saw him play was against Penn State early in 2001. He was so quick off the ball that PSU could not deal with him. I was blown away. As good as he was, his sack numbers weren't great. That bugged me. I thought of him as a mid-1st, but wasn't a huge fan.

I loved TE Jason Witten. I thought he was vastly underrated and wasn't sure why. He could block, run, and catch. What else does he need to do? Obviously I didn't know that he was a despicable person who would go behind a quiet, humble WR's back and say mean things just to get more catches.

My favorite player in the whole class was a slow WR named Anquan Boldin. He just blew me away with his performance in the bowl game. Florida State QB Chris Rix was suspended for missing an exam. His backup didn't play very well. Bobby Bowden put Boldin at QB in the middle of the game. Anquan did everything in his power to keep FSU in the game, but they lost 26-13.

Boldin finished the game with 13 runs for 34 yards. As a passer he was 6 of 14 for 78 yards, including a 40-yd TD. He also caught 3 passes for 34 yards, including a TD. There was something about his athletic ability, toughness, competitive spirit, and leadership that just got to me. I put a 1st round grade on Boldin. He ran a 4.7 at the Combine. I didn't care. He was a 1st rounder to me. Great player.

The Eagles lost Hugh Douglas in FA that offseason. We needed a DE. They signed Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila to an offer sheet. That would have cost us our 1st rounder. Unfortunately the offer was matched by GB and he stayed up there. Reportedly the Eagles really wanted Haynes. When the Bears took him in the middle of Round 1, the Eagles decided to get aggressive. We used one of our 2nd round picks to move up to the middle of the round and grab McDougle. The trade was very good value. McDougle was good value at that spot. Unfortunately, things just never worked out.

We used our 2nd round pick on LJ Smith. I was not a fan of this move at all. He never impressed me nearly the way that Witten did. I hated passing on Jason to go for LJ. I kept hoping that Boldin would fall to our 2nd round pick. Anquan went 7 spots ahead of us. If only we'd moved up...

WR Billy McMullen in the 3rd and DE Jamaal Green in the 4th were solid picks. I thought McMullen had a lot of potential. OG Jeremy Bridges and SS Norman LeJeune were the final picks. I liked Bridges and he's been in the league since he was picked.

One player I really liked late in the draft was DE/LB Tully Banta-Cain. I thought he was a really good edge rusher and was shocked to see him fall to the 7th round. With McDougle and Green on board there was no way we'd take him. TBC has proven to be a solid role player over the years.



Cliff said...

So, about Ingram's knee...

What do we know? Is it the same knee that cost him a season at Florida? Is this just a minor thing?

Tommy Lawlor said...

Apparently it is just a bruise. They had an ice-wrap on it and kept him involved in practice in a very limited way. He got "mental reps" by watching the plays and talking to the coach about what should be done and that kind of thing.

Doesn't sound like a serious issue at all. It certainly scared everyone when they saw him hit the ground initially on Wednesday.

shlynch said...

One consistent theme so far in these draft reviews is that you had a total blind spot for Penn State players. You seem to have shed that problem in recent years.

Tommy Lawlor said...

I'm pretty darn unbiased these days.

In fairness, Haynes was taken in the top 15. Courtney and Lavar were 1 and 2. These players were highly rated by everyone.

James Boyd I loved because I am biased toward Strong Safeties that crush people. That still is a problem for me at times. I used to really overrate SSs that were big hitters. I've learned to separate guys I love to watch from guys who will be good pros.

Cliff said...

So it's YOUR fault we drafted Michael Lewis?