Monday, April 19, 2010

Ernie in the House


The Eagles were part of a 3-way trade that brought WLB Ernie Sims to us.  I'd heard that the Eagles were talking to some teams about linebackers, but never got any specifics.  We all tended to focus on Derrick Johnson and more recently Rocky McIntosh.  Sims was overlooked because of the fact he plays for a minor league team, the Detroit Lions.  I kid, of course.  The Lions have been awful for a while, but I do think they are starting to get things right.  Sims was not an ideal fit in Jim Schwartz's defense and that made him expendable (right Rambo?).  The Lions got TE Tony Scheffler and a 7th from the Broncos.  We sent our 5th round pick to Denver.  Good deal for us and Detroit.  I'm not so sure about the Broncos. 

Here is the article

Here is his Lions bio.  

Sims is 6'0, 230.  He's only 25 years old, but has been in the league for 4 years.  He has over 50 career starts.  He has played WLB for them and will do the same for us.  Ernie was a Captain in 2007 and '08.  He hasn't made a ton of plays.  He has 1 career INT and 4 FFs.  He does have 2.5 sacks.  Ernie has yet to play on a good defense.  That will change when he gets here.  I know our D was off last year, but still finished 12th in yards allowed.  To Ernie that will be like playing on the '85 Bears.  The Lions best finish in his career was 28th in yards allowed back in 2006.  They've been dead last in points and yards the last 3 years. 

I'll watch tape of Ernie and write up a scouting report.  I know he runs really well.  Ernie is a good tackler and big hitter.  Physical player.  My question is how he deals with NFL blockers (FBs, TEs, and OL).  I'll let you know what I see.  For now we'll have to stick with basic facts and info. 

I do like the deal.  I wasn't enamored with the LB class in the draft.  There were a couple of targets I liked, but not many.  Having Ernie in place allows us to concentrate on CB, FS, DE, DT, etc.  This gives us some freedom.  We can trade up and losing the picks won't kill us.  We can sit tight and add a lot of good players.  I really like our options. 

Ernie will compete with Akeem Jordan for the WLB job.  Good.  We need competition there.  Sims has excellent potential.  Jordan has started for us and played well at times.  We got a good player at a very good price.  He's still young and could be a long term solution if things work well. 


RE:  Reshad Jones

I just happened to see his COD drill info this weekend myself.  Those are bad times.  That will hurt him and it may limit him to SS. 

RE:  QB targets

We brought Zac Robinson to Philly for a visit.  That shows serious interest.  I'd like him on the team.  I think a handful of guys will be drafted earlier than they should (Kafka for instance).  I don't love any of the QB prospects.  Take one late and see what you can do.  Armanti Edwards remains a guy that fascinates the heck out of me. 


Adam S. said...

What is COD?? I've always wondered that. It used to be in the scouting reports on Madden and could never figure it out. Haven't heard it since then.

D.A. said...

@ adam

...change of direction

Ben said...

Wow I actually LOVE this trade.

A 5th round pick (despite our recent success there) is nothing. Ernie was a top pick in his draft and an elite prospect coming out of high school. You've gotta think part of his lack of development can be contributed to the one and only Detroit Lions. I'm not saying he's a first round player, but he definitely has a good shot to win this job.

Take Sean Weatherspoon off your draft boards. It's one of the top 4 DBs we're after and I'd be willing to bet that we're gonna trade up to make it happen.

ZackISM said...

Fokou and Sims even with Bradley back - would be a pretty tiny LB corps?

Alex Hall and Fokou competing for SAM

Bradley and Gaither in the middle

Sims and Jordan competing for WILL

Not exactly a group that makes me forget last years awful LB play.

Adam S. said...

Wow how did I not think of that... thanks, I'm slightly embarrassed by that one.

Stephen said...

Good trade, I'm happy to see that we've got some competition coming in at the WILL spot. Good value for us though I would have prefered to trade a 4th considering how often we hit homeruns with our 5th rounders.

Cliff said...

This trade brings us back to where we were with Witherspoon at WILL, except we get 5 years younger. And Sims could develop further.

Good stuff. I wonder if we'll still target a LB. Maybe now we can draft a MLB/SLB to develop and for insurance.

em26jamie said...

As a big Michigan fan and a Delaware alumnus and former player, I hate Armanti Edwards, so he doesn't fascinate me. That's just personal though.

Mike said...

"Good value for us though I would have prefered to trade a 4th considering how often we hit homeruns with our 5th rounders."

I really hope that was a joke... ;)

Edward said...


Haha i kinda agree! We've nailed some 5th rounds recently.

Prem Prakash said...

This could be a major upgrade to the D. Ernie was a big prospect coming out of school and played very well for his first 3 years on an awful team. The Eagles may have just robbed the Lions.

Baloophi said...

I think the Eagles may have robbed the Broncos and the Lions were the lookout.

Scheffler and a 7th for a 5th?

Myron said...

This is a low-risk move (only giving up a 5th rounder) with a good degree of upside. It reminds me of the Marlin Jackson signing: give up very little and take a gamble on a former 1st round pick who may or may not flourish in our system.

I'm not going to get too excited about this - Sims was rated the worst OLB by profootballfocus for the past two years in a row. That's pretty shocking, but it could also be a product of playing for the Lions. Again, I hope this pans out, but I won't be surprised or upset if nothing comes of this, because at worst we just threw away a 5th round pick.

I still think they should target a LB like Sean Lee or AJ Edds in the 3rd/4th round.

bp said...

Based on the way Sims has played the last couple years, his injury history and impending free agent status, even if he really turns it on for us, I still don't think you could reasonably say we 'robbed' the Lions, as this seems to be fairly appropriate market value. That being said, I do think this is a trade that makes an awful lot of sense from our perspective.

For a 5th rounder in a draft in which we have a ton of picks, we just got a really talented (if limited) starter at WILL, who'll now have a yearlong trial to see how he fits into our system. From what I've read, it seems like at least some of Sims' recent issues might be a product of overuse, so it should be interesting to see how the snaps break down between him and Akeem. Will Akeem become a strict backup, or will we use him more consistently (across the board) in passing situations?

Tommy, I'm interested to hear your take on what this move might mean for the future at the position. We now have two very young and inexperienced options at SAM, and two slightly older impending FAs at WILL. You've mentioned previously that you didn't feel this class was super deep at linebacker, so I wonder whether you still think we'll draft one? Between the depth of the class, and our general take on its relative positional value, might we (similar to last year's selection of Fokou) take a late round flier on a more projectable WILL and groom him to potentially take over as a starter in 2011? Are there any late round targets you might have in mind along these lines? How seriously (or soon) do you think we'd look at locking up Sims long term (if at all)?

bthackra said...

Is this a new strategy for the Eagles? Swapping late round picks for proven vets? Hobbs, Witherspoon, Tapp, Sims. Interesting risk/reward and while they may not be 'home runs', I think they add valuable production to the team.

What would you have preferred? Sims for a 5th or DJohnson for a 3rd, if that was available?

Prem Prakash said...

I think Sims could be a steal because the Eagles gave up only a 5th for a guy who has a lot of potential. If he underperforms, we only lost a 5th. If he plays mediocre, it's fair market value. If he plays like the first round pick he was, now that he's away from Detroit, we got him very cheap.

eagles nut said...

I think people worry way too much about what sites like profootballfocus and footballoutsiders say about players. Those sites think they can watch film and assign success/blame for certain plays to specific players. That's impossible without knowing the play called by the coaching staff and what responsibilites each player had.

bp said...


I hear what you're saying. It's really just a quibble over semantics. I don't disagree with you on the possibility (let's hope probability) that Sims could significantly outperform the value established for him by the market, my only point was that for it to have truly been a 'steal' or for us to have 'robbed' them, we would have had to have significantly underpaid on his market value at the time of the trade.

Prem Prakash said...


Gottcha'. Your point is well made. Try to remember when you're talking to me you are talking to a guy who, now this is really embarassing, was pleased when they drafted Freddie Mitchell. Every opinion I hold is subject to, um, future review.

Go Ernie!

AD said...

@ Tommie

I am waiting with baited breath about your thoughts on Ernie Sims. I follow all the florida football teams and loved him at FSU, I have not been keeping up with his NFL career however I know he is fast and a sideline to sideline LB.

I am sure he can play here. I am sure his value just being behind our defensive line is much greater than at Detroit. I can see him breaking out this year, I think it's a great pickup for the Eagles, I am hoping you do

Michael said...

This might be a little too detailed scouting report, but I heard Sims was nicknamed "Cinnabon" because his winky is so long that he can roll it up like a cinnamon bun.

So, he's got that going for him.

Pitmanite said...

@ michael

i appreciate your diligence in working hard to provide us with some insight on ernie.

tommy, in your tape review, let us know if there is any validity to michael's claims? i damn sure don't want my starting WLB to be light in the pants.

Stephen said...

@ Myron

This is a high risk move actually, our 5th rounders are precious commodities and I'm a little surprised we gave away so much for a guy who hasn't produced much lately.

Myron said...

Wow. Tommy and everyone else here, you have to read this article:

The author talks about using metrics like vertical jump and short shuttle time to evaluate potential pass rushers.

His research is supported by the system's ability to successfully predict the careers of past pass-rushing specialists like Julius Peppers, Dwight Freeney and DeMarcus Ware.

According to this numbers, we need to draft Daniel Teo'Nesheim ASAP, and pass on all the other guys except maybe Jerry Hughes or Derrick Morgan.

I highly recommend reading the article.

Edward said...

Very interesting article. Makes me think (if its really any good) that Derrick Morgan is certainly not worth trading up for.