Saturday, March 27, 2010

Draft Talk


It is a quiet Saturday so I thought we'd talk a little NFL draft.  I'm just going to address various players and/or topics. 

* Top 10 targets --- It the Eagles do somehow land a high pick, who are we going after?  S Eric Berry is the obvious answer.  Macho, Marlin, and Demps notwithstanding, we do have a hole at FS.  Berry is a great prospect.  The Eagles may have some other ideas.  We could also go after:

DT Dan Williams
DE Derrick Morgan
CB Joe Haden
FS Earl Thomas

Williams would be brought here to give us a big, athletic DT.  Morgan is a good pass rusher who has excellent potential.  Haden is the top CB.  Thomas is a rare ballhawk. 

Forget about Rolando McClain.  That won't happen.  The Eagles love Stewart MLB.  There is virtually no chance of moving him.  A wildcard target could be OL Mike Iupati. 

Back to Berry for a second.  The Eagles are bringing him to Philly for a visit.  This could be a sign of significant interest.  If so, the Eagles could try to move up after him even if the McNabb trade doesn't help us with resources.  One of the reasons you spend a lot of time with certain guys is to find out just how much you like them.  Is this a guy we covet and go after even with a high price tag?  This is a deep draft.  If you are going to use up multiple resources on a player he better be someone you think is absolutely worth the price. 

* WLB --- We all are curious about LB.  Moise Fokou will be the starter at SAM.  Stew is the man in the middle.  Akeem Jordan has the lead at WIL, but I've heard that the team would ideally like him to be the backup.  Reid said at his breakfast that Joe Mays was the backup inside and that Gaither would be the backup WIL.  The team must really feel that the light went on for Mays last year with his development on STs.  He was terrific for us.  Gaither is coming off an injury and can't be counted on.  We need a WIL. 

My preference is Sean Lee of Penn State.  He played inside and outside at PSU.  He is a physical player with good instincts.  He has no problem with shedding blocks.  Sean isn't a great athlete, but he's good enough.  I also like Navorro Bowman of PSU.  I don't think we'll spend pick 24 on a LB so forget about Weatherspoon and Washington.  I'm still watching tape on Perry Riley of LSU and Dekoda Watson of FSU. 

* CJ Spiller --- Is there a chance the Eagles could take him, whether trading up or if he somehow slides?  I haven't heard a word about whether the Eagles have any interest.  Spiller is our type of RB.  He is a big play guy with tremendous receiving skills.  He's also a dynamic return specialist.  Back in 2006 the Eagles had Reggie Bush #1 on the overall draft board.  Spiller is a similar player.  CJ is the better straight-line runner.  Bush was a more dynamic guy.  His moves had moves.  It would be hard to pass on a talent like Spiller, but that would also be a big investment for a team that doesn't run the ball enough and has a couple of RBs already in place.  I certainly wouldn't be mad at them for taking Spiller.  I think CJ is a tremendous player.  Just don't count on that happening. 

* Targets at 24 --- Tom Heckert always said the Eagles liked to have 5 names in place when their pick was coming up.  Sometimes there would be an obvious choice, but other times guys had similar grades and there might be some discussion.  We're still weeks away, but here is my preliminary list of 5 names for pick 24:

CB Kyle Wilson
OG Mike Iupati
DE Jerry Hughes
DE Brandon Graham
FS Earl Thomas

Wilson is the only CB I think that will be available and is worth the pick.  Iupati might be available at 24.  He's the kind of big, dominant run blocker we love to grab and then turn into a pass blocker.  Hughes is a guy that I can't get a read on.  Will he go in the Top 20 or last to the 2nd round?  I like Jerry a lot and think he'd be a good target for us.  Graham doesn't seem likely to make it to 24, but if he does we could use a pass rusher like him coming off the bench.  I feel pretty certain that Earl Thomas will be long gone by 24, but there is a hint of doubt.  He's not a strong tackler.  He only played 2 years.  The draft is pretty deep at Safety so teams may pass on him and focus on the lines.  There is still a bias against Safeties by NFL coaches, GMs and scouts.  We'll see if that changes this year. 

Back to the grindstone now.  I've got to watch more tape so that I can find us some good mid and late round targets. 


Dan said...

Don't wanna derail the draft talk, but there was an interesting tidbit over at PFT... basically that other teams are making offers for McNabb but specifically asked not to be named publicly. Hard to imagine teams like the Cards or Niners not having some interest.

Tommy Lawlor said...

I think JAX is one of the teams that really fit that description.

You guys can talk about the QB stuff if you like. I wanted to go elsewhere with the main post. I'm still digging for info. I'll post what I'm hearing on Sunday or Monday.

Cliff said...

I'm really curious about how we approach QB in the Draft. If we trade McNabb, we have a need. If we trade Vick, we have a need. If we trade both, we have a major need. If we keep all three with their expiring contracts, we have a need. Am I being clear? Haha.

I think we've all sort of identified Jarrett Brown as a prospect. There were earlier reports of the Eagles brass traveling to Fordham to check out John Skelton. I'm not sure about what's special with Skelton.

How early do we want to draft a QB? I think we're looking for someone to develop, but how soon? If we trade McNabb, we have plenty of time to spare as we bask in the glory of the Kolb Era for the next decade. If we decide to keep McNabb (could happen, I guess), we'll need to draft someone ready to go in the next 2 or 3 seasons.

So obviously we'll be looking more at guys like Brown (for his wildcat potential) and Skelton or Max Hall(because we have plenty of time to develop him).

But we could always take a chance on Tim Tebow. The horror! The horror!

Tommy Lawlor said...

I have notes up on Skelton on ScoutsNotebook's front page. Scroll down to 3-18-10. Kyle Wilson notes are up for today.

Jarrett Brown could be a target. Reminds me of McNabb at times (in a good way).

We'll likely take one QB.

bonez said...

I've heard a lot of chatter about what position Earl Thomas will play at the NFL level. Because of his size, and questionable tackling, it seems that everyone is projecting him as a CB now. It seems you still trust him as a safety prospect, Tommy. Any way you could elaborate on how you project Thomas?

bp said...

hey Tommy, great work on here and around the interwebs (months time listener, first time caller).

Regarding the draft, I was wondering if your list of targets are those you'd expect the front office to have, or those which you'd personally have? Specifically - your reasoning for discounting a LB at 24? Is it just the relative positional value that the Eagles place there, or not liking the available options? Do you think Weatherspoon would be a good fit as a WILL in our defense? Also, having seen Daryl Washington slipping to the back end of the 2nd round in at least a couple mocks, do you think he'd be a potential target for us there, should he fall that far? Will we still seriously consider a DE in the first even after the Tapp acquisition, with all of our needs in the secondary? What's your take on Pierre-Paul? And is there a chance McCourty fits into the picture?

Lastly, something I just thought of on the McNabb front, RE the Rayduhs... with the potential for labor strife, Al's increasing decrepitude, and having already traded away their 2011 1st in the Seymour deal, why not make a decent investment (even if it's just a short-term one, without a guaranteed extension) in someone like McNabb? Even if it's just to make a run at losing in the first round of the playoffs, what's the value in a truly long-term rebuilding plan when every 2010 loss is an investment in Bill Belichick's future?

Stephen said...

If we draft Tim Tebow I'm becoming a Jets fan and converting to Hindu.

eagles nut said...

Tommy, have you heard any whispers of Tennessee maybe being a surprise team? I could see them not being convinced that Young has it turned around.

Tommy Lawlor said...

Earl Thomas reminds me a lot of Asante Samuel when he's in man coverage. He could easily play CB.

Thomas could be a good CB, but he looks like he could be a special FS. Take the chance on him being special and use him there. This draft is deep at CB. You can find good corners in rounds 2-4, at least.


I like Weatherspoon and Washington, but don't love either guy so much that I covet them at 24. I am willing to spend a 1st rounder on a LB, but I think the Eagles prefer to wait until the middle rounds.

We got good LB play in 2008. Stewart Bradley was the key guy. I think his absence in '09 made the LB problem look bigger than it is. That could be faulty thinking, but I really believe his return will make a huge difference.

I certainly won't be upset if the Eagles do catch us off guard and take a LB at 24.

RE: JPP / McCourty

I don't think we'll move up for JPP. He's most likely gone in the Top 15 or 20. Think about defense. We have our best luck with Seniors, not athletic underclassmen or projects.

McCourty isn't worth 24 to me, but the Eagles could love him. I think he could go in the late 1st or early 2nd. Real good player.

RE: McNabb to OAK

You don't have to sell me on that idea. I think the Raiders should be all over it. Think of some recent 1st Rders for them: Gallery, McFadden, JaMarcus, DHB. They could offer us all 4 guys for McNabb and we'd say no. Oakland should take the proven veteran QB that is high character, low maintenance, and who knows how to win.

RE: Titans?

Not a word. I think Fisher is sold on Vince Young...for now.

Myron said...

I have a dream...

that the Eagles will get Eric Berry in the 2010 draft...

and the Sixers will get John Wall.

And all will be Good in Philadelphia.

T_S_O_P said...

Tommy, if the Eagles go DT in the first, does that make a statement re Bunkley? His contract is soon up and the Eagles have other big negotiations to make (Stew, Kolb or McNabb, Jackson, maybe even McCoy within a year). Bunk hasn't shown himself to be the asbsolute stud that we can't do without, and I was a big advocate of drafting him.

T_S_O_P said...

I've got to watch more tape so that I can find us some good mid and late round targets.

Just some OL I thnik the Eagles (Reid/Castillo) will be interested in:

Robert Okeafor Florida A&M, played RT, LT and RG. We got to use that 7th round complimentary on someone.
J'Marcus Webb Texas A&I ;) He's big big big and played for Castillo's alma mater.
Chris DeGeare Wake Forest LT in '09 and RG in '06 & '07 (I think you have already mentioned him as someone we maybe interested in? Will he get past the 5th?

Edward said...

I really want to know what we're gonna have to play with in the draft so we can start truly dreaming.

Have you posted much about Fokou Tommy? I'm finding it hard to gauge how much potential he has at the position and how urgently we may need an upgrade. I like the energy he played with and he seemed to be around the ball more than Gocong.

Tommy Lawlor said...

The Eagles are fine with Bunk and Patt. If they draft a DT it will be someone to add to the mix. The guy could possibly take Patt's job in 2011 or 2012. Our DTs are good, but we could stand to get better. Also, I only think we'd draft someone they thought could help get more push/penetration on pass plays.

Edward said...

I think we have much bigger needs than DT and with Antonio Dixon showing so much potential it may well not be a need at all. I'll be upset if we go DT in round one unless its Suh or McCoy

Tommy Lawlor said...


Don't misunderstand me. The Eagles aren't likely to go into the draft thinking that they must get a DT early. The point is that they may have a real high grade on Dan Williams, Jared Odrick, or Brian Price. If so, one of those guys could be the highest rated player when our pick comes up. If so, you take him.

You have to be careful about passing on talent in the draft, especially at a position where you rotate guys. You're always one play away from a torn ACL and a hole on the depth chart.

Netherman said...

If we were able to parlay McNabb into a high first and Berry isn't there, I hope we snag Haden. I really want a good CB. I doubt Wilson would fall to us at 24 and I doubt McCourtey would fall to our #2. I would still rather have Nnamdi and a mid rounder though.

T_S_O_P said...

Tommy, in a scenario where we at 24 have missed on Thomas, Iupatu (sp) and Wilson and the only players of value are those DTs you are talking about, how likely a tradeback? Reid has stated that #33 is a great pick to have and Spags may just want a DT if he has passed on Suh.

Eric said...

I've been saying it on other blogs, but unless someone drops wildly; if Iupati is there at 24, the Eagles are taking him. MJG just doesn't cut it.

I'm not too big on Graham either. He's the same size as Tapp with roughly the same skill set. Drafting him at 24 just to be a rotational guy just doesn't make much sense.

Tommy Lawlor said...

@ TSOP...

I think a trade back is a definite possibility. If we could add a 3rd this year or maybe a 2nd next year...that would be great. We could then grab Devin McCourty or some other DB who is good value in the early 2nd.

Myron said...

Eric: Graham's a much more explosive pass-rusher than Tapp though. I firmly believe that Graham will be a 10+ sack / year guy in the NFL beginning in his rookie year if given the opportunity to start @ 4-3 DE.

As far as I'm concerned, the flow chart for the #24 pick goes like this, in descending order of importance (assuming that big names like Eric Berry and Joe Haden are off the board):

1. Derrick Morgan / Brandon Graham
2. Earl Thomas / Kyle Wilson
4a. Sean Weatherspoon / Jerry Hughes
4b. Mike Iupati / Maurkice Pouncey
5. Trade Down

eagles nut said...

Tommy, did you ever get to the bottom of the one-gap or two-gap controversy? From what I've watched it seems we've run predominately two gap on 1st and 2nd down.

Cliff said...

Myron, you'd still put DE first?

Cliff said...

I think I'd swap Myron's 1 and 2. If Earl Thomas and Brandon Graham were there, I'd pick Thomas because he fills a need and still qualifies as "taking the BPA."

Whereas Myron feels like Graham can be a 10 sacks/season guy, Thomas has the potential to be a big time ballhawk (I won't put a number on it, haha). I think Tapp and Parker will be effective enough that taking a DE 1st would be just too much. Although, there is the question of who subs Cole at RDE, but that seems to be better answered elsewhere in the draft. A 1st round pick would require more PT than that role would provide.

Edward said...

Thats a good point, we don't really have a good backup RDE.
We only have 4 DEs on the roster (4! How things change) Tapp, Abiamiri, Parker and Cole. We're set at LDE but now lacking some depth at RDE.

Any thoughts on mid round RDE's Tommy?

Myron said...

Cliff: You know, that's a good question. Will you guys weigh in on this?

Let's say, for the sake of argument, that we have two players: a free safety and a defensive end. Let's assume that both will become premier players at their respective positions. The safety will be an Ed Reed type of player, and the defensive end will be a player of the caliber of Dwight Freeney.

If you had to choose one of the two players to have on your team, notwithstanding any holes on your roster (let's pretend the roster is mostly evenly balanced - no clear deficiencies), which player would give you more impact and help you win more games, all other things being equal: the stud safety or the stud defensive end?

Also, one thing you have to consider regarding taking a DE in the first round if you think he is a great prospect: the Giants showed in 2007 that you can really never have too much depth at the position. Not only are you always an ACL tear away from a mediocre line if you depend on a single DE (Trent Cole), but there's something ot be said for keeping your defensive line fresh in games.

Cliff said...

To answer your question, if our roster was balanced and we didn't have a hole at safety, I would always lean towards the pass rusher. Although, I feel like premier DE's (and 3-4 OLB's) are easier to come by than ball-hawking free safeties like Ed Reed.

Obviously, having consistent pass rush creates a lot of opportunities for the rest of your defense, but it also comes at a cost - Dwight Freeney isn't exactly an amazing run defender. In other words, premier pass rushers can be neutralized to some extent - double teams and running the ball.

It's more difficult to take a guy like Ed Reed out of the play. That sort of comes down to the QB and his ability to fool the safety or extend a play long enough that a DB simply can't stay with it.

Tom Ballman said...

In your opinion, are we to wait with respect to QB(s) roster movement:

a.) 'til draft day.

b.) sooner or later.

c.) impending.

Which would be preferable from the FO perspective. We all know every possible contingency plan is/are already in place for them or at the very least being cemented with private workouts and the such.

Does the element of surprise get mitigated on account of the three day draft process...

Edward said...

Quintin Demps just made my blacklist. Chris Mcphereson asked him on Eagles Live "How can the free safety position, whether its you or Macho or whoever. How can it improve on the field?" He threw all the blame on the front seven and said free safety could get better if the front seven was better. Cut him.

Edward said...

Also i feel famous, they were discussing my 1-gap question for Adam Caplan on Eagles Live!

I'm assumming they meant my question.. haha

So Cal EaglesFan said...

do you think that if we were to acquire a top ten pick and berry were to fall that we could use it on him and our original pick on kyle wilson?

Carson's said...

When does training camp start? I'm planning a trip to Philly and want to go to training camp for the first time

Edward said...

Any thoughts on Daniel Te'o-Nesheim as a later rounds RDE prospect Tommy? No one has much bad to say about him but he's viewed as a 4th to 5th rounder :s

Carson's said...

Tommy I keep reading these "reports" of Eagles only getting a 2nd rd pick for McNabb-how confdent are you that the compensation will be better than that? whether its a 1st or a later pick plus a player.

So Cal EaglesFan said...

don't know if it will help but this article made me feel a little bit better about the suffering we are going through with the eagles situation. . .