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Month: March 2016

Top five options for the Eagles at pick 8

Top five options for the Eagles at pick 8

This draft feels quite weird in comparison to previous years as we knew exactly what Chip Kelly liked in a player. I predicted 2 of the last 3 first round picks correctly, guessing we would draft Lane Johnson and Nelson Agholor when we did. I didn’t predict Marcus Smith but hey, who did?

This year feels really open, the Eagles could do a number of different things. By the time we pick, it’s pretty much guaranteed in my opinion that Laremy Tunsil, Jalen Ramsey, Myles Jack, Joey Bosa and DeForest Buckner will all be gone. I wouldn’t be interested in Buckner if he’s there anyway as I don’t think he fits in this scheme.

Anyway seeing as I can’t really predict what will happen, here are my top 5 options for pick 8 if I was Howie Roseman.

  1. Myles Jack

I know I just said he would be gone by our pick but I think Jack is the one player I’d have absolutely no problem with us trading up for. I have him as the best player in the draft and I just think he will be a special player. His athleticism really is off the charts. I’m not sure if trading up for him is feasible, maybe you need to give up a 3rd and a late round pick to move up say 3/4 spots? If a team comes calling wanting to move down though, I would certainly go up and take Jack.

  1. Vernon Hargreaves III

Hargreaves is slightly undersized for an ideal number 1 cornerback, but he’s extremely athletic, is really fluid, has solid ball skills and is competitive as hell. I can just imagine Schwartz banging the table all night for Hargreaves, I just see him as a perfect fit for Schwartz and his defense. Hargreaves could sit and learn behind Rowe and Carroll for a bit too like Rowe did last year which would help him develop. Cory Undlin done a fantastic job with Rowe and Carroll last year and I think he could turn Hargreaves into a great cornerback.

  1. Ronnie Stanley

Stanley has come under a fair amount of criticism recently on Eagles twitter as many seem to be concerned with his ability to play guard this upcoming season. Honestly, I don’t care if he can play guard this year. We would be drafting him as a future starting tackle, not to play guard this year. If he plays his whole career at right tackle after Lane Johnson moves to left tackle, I’m okay with that. Many teams have elite pass rushers on both sides now so your right tackle better be very good too. I think Stanley could be a fantastic tackle in the NFL, his pass blocking particularly impressed me on tape. Also, Jason Peters only played 65.5% of the Eagles snaps last year. Assuming that trend continues, Stanley will probably play at least 30% of the snaps next year, if not more. With Peters health such a huge question mark, the Eagles backup tackle better be good.

  1. Ezekiel Elliot

Who wouldn’t be excited by Zeke at 8? I mean, he’s a stud and would immediately contribute in year 1. I do think RB is a position that you shouldn’t normally draft in the high first round. However, I try to focus on the player and not the position in general. I would have taken Gurley in the top 5 last year because I thought he was a generational talent. I had Gurley as the 3rd best player in last years draft. I don’t think Zeke is on that level, although he is excellent. If we don’t get Zeke, there are plenty of running back prospects we can look at in the third round or later that can contribute next year. Kenneth Dixon is someone who I’d love us to grab.

  1. Corey Coleman

If you’re okay with drafting Zeke at 8, what’s wrong with Coleman? Coleman is the best and most explosive wide receiver in this years class in my opinion. Coleman, Agholor, Matthews, Ertz and Sproles would give Bradford some really good weapons. I’m so bored of seeing Bradford play with mediocre talent, I just want to finally see him in a good offense. If he still plays average, then it makes it much easier to move on from him at the end of the year.

This is where I stand at the moment anyway. I’ll watch more tape as the draft approaches and my thoughts may change on some of these prospects but it’s unlikely to change dramatically.

Film Room: Brandon Brooks, the guard we’ve been waiting for

Film Room: Brandon Brooks, the guard we’ve been waiting for

Brandon Brooks, aka Guardy McBeef, is an impressive human being. When I first saw the Eagles signed Brooks, I knew nothing about him and I’ve been so busy recently I’ve had no time to watch him. By now, you’ve all read loads about him so I don’t want to discuss him loads. However, I’ll post a load of all22 clips of him here and I’ll comment on what I like/dislike about him.

I’ve read quite a lot about him and he seems to have a reputation as a wrecking ball in the run game but average/below average in the passing game. I didn’t really see that at all. I thought his pass protection was very good. Most of the clips against the Falcons are from the two minute warning at the end of the half because I wanted to see him deal with pass rushers snap after snap.

He handled himself really well in everything I watched. The best thing about him though is his physicality and his nastiness. He really does move guys. Even when pass blocking, he often tries to dominate the opponent and doesn’t let him get the upper-hand. Let’s have a look at some plays, he’s the Right Guard and he’s number 79 by the way. Also, if any of you have problems watching the GIF, click on it and copy and paste the link in the middle of the GIF to another tab and it will load there.

This what I mean about him initiating contact. If you pause the clip exactly when he makes contact with the defender, none of the other offensive lineman have made contact yet. Occasionally this might mean that he gets beat but it also means he can give the QB a fantastic pocket to work from.

Here’s another great bit of pass protection. I love how he keeps him at arms length at all times and doesn’t budge. You can see he’s just naturally a big strong powerful guard, this rusher isn’t even getting near the QB.

I said I’d focus on passing plays more early on but I thought this was a great play to post to clear up some worries you may have. Yes he’s big, but you can see he has the ability to reach the second level. Which is impressive for a guy his size. He’s a lot more agile than I expected, after pushing the second defender it’s really impressive how a guy his size can change his direction and push the linebacker back with ease too.

Right, back to pass blocking inside the two minutes. Here he gets pushed back slightly and the defensive lineman tries a swim move but Brooks has good hand movement. Even if you get the upper-hand on Brooks, you can tell that he is going to be extremely hard to beat by simply powering through him. He keeps his balance well for a big guy and doesn’t get pushed back into the QB like the center does.

This play is just awesome. He literally moves the defensive tackle with a great initial push and then elegantly slides to take care of the defensive end. Look how quickly he shifts his weight in balance.

I like this play because it shows he’s clever. Once he realises the center is picking up his guy, he quickly adjusts and helps out his right tackle.

Yet another one showing off his strength. He just will not get pushed back, it must be so nice for a quarterback to have that vision and such a good pocket. Makes it really easy for a QB to step up like Mallett does here.

I had some people on twitter ask me to put some clips of him against a strong defensive line. So here he is against the Panthers. In particular watch him against number 99, Kawann Short, who is a stud. He ranked as PFF’s 5th best interior defender in terms of pass rush grade.

Here he is taking out Short, just pure strength and physicality, gives Mallett a wonderful pocket to throw from.

Lovely again, takes out the first guy and slides back across to take out the other defensive tackle.

This is interesting. The Panthers confuse the Texans line and he appears to be blocking nobody. This shows how great athleticism and strength can get you out of trouble though as he basically forces Short back with one hand. Not many guys could cover after making the initial mistake.

Right enough pass blocking, let’s take a look at some running plays.

This is awesome. Check out the one handed shove as he’s moving forward that pushes the defensive end back. For a guy that big to get to the second level that easily is really impressive.

I love the part where he’s blocking two guys with one hand each basically. Gives loads of help to his center and finishes the block well.

As I’ve been saying, for such a big guy he is really good in space.

Another good play at the second level, this time against Thomas Davis who can’t shake him.

Just another solid play highlighting his strength. The Texans poor running game wasn’t because of him, that’s for sure.

Let’s end on a high. It’s 3rd and 1. The Panthers are stacking for line of scrimmage. This is where you need Guardy McBeef. It’s a difficult block to make as the defender is on his inside shoulder but he shoves him back and forces him to the ground and the running back picks up 4 yards. This is Guardy McBeef at his very finest.

Hope you enjoyed the film piece, I’ll try get some more out when I have time. Comment/tweet me if you want me to take a look at anyone else.

Howie Roseman Deserves Your Vote in the Presidential Election

Howie Roseman Deserves Your Vote in the Presidential Election

When Chip Kelly was fired and Philadelphia Eagles’ owner Jeffrey Lurie made it clear Howie Roseman was in control of the roster, most fans were terrified. He’s too hands on, he can’t nail a draft, he’s not, dare I say, a football guy.

Doug Pederson was hired, fans continued to flip out. Then Jim Schwartz was hired as the defensive doordinator and fans flipped out aga.. Wait, almost every single Eagles fan was thrilled. Jim Schwartz is known for his attacking 4-3 defense. Flecther Cox, Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry in a wide-9? We like this move. Then Browns QB coach John Defilippo was hired as QB coach, and Chargers ex-offensive coordinator Frank Reich was hired as offensive coordinator. A strong staff around a rookie head coach is what you want. It started to make sense. Fans felt better. Okay let’s roll.

After the staff was in place, Howie then focused on the roster, and he’s done nothing short of a superb job. He started off by re-signing from within, Zach Ertz got a deal, Lane Johnson got a deal, Vinny Curry got a deal. All players that are entering their prime, all under 27 years old, and all at bargain prices because they didn’t hit free agency. Extending Brent Celek and Malcolm Jenkins were just cherries on top of the cake. The moves made fans feel better about the situation. The Eagles seemed to have a plan and they were executing it.

Free agency comes around and Howie Roseman somehow, some freaking way pulls off a trade to send Byron Maxwell and his contract along with Kiko Alonso to the Miami Dolphins. I can’t explain how ridiculous this trade was. There wasn’t a single beat writer or fan that thought the Eagles would get any type of compensation back for Maxwell and his contract. This isn’t the NBA, players with large contracts aren’t just traded away. It’s a rarity in the NFL. Oh, and the fact that the Eagles moved up 5 spots in the 1st round of this year’s draft while getting rid of Maxwell’s contract is absolute robbery. Thanks, Dolphins.

Howie wasn’t done, though. He then somehow, some freaking way (x2) found a trading partner to take on DeMarco Murray and his large contract. The Tennessee Titans decided to flop 4th round picks with the Eagles. The true compensation for Philadelphia wasn’t moving up in the 4th round, it was getting rid of Murray’s contract. Thanks, Titans.

To put things into perspective, the Eagles getting rid of DeMarco Murray and Byron Maxwell relieved $84.25 million off the contract books. Factor in the Eagles moved up in the 1st and 4th rounds while doing that. Unreal. Credit Howie Roseman. He deserves your vote in this year’s presidential election. Thanks again, Dolphins and Titans.

Heading into the offseason, everyone knew the Eagles’ biggest need was their offensive line. When free agency opened up, the Eagles made a few splashes. Brandon Brooks, the right guard from the Houston Texans was the top guard in free agency, says head coach Doug Pederson. Eagles landed him.

Other than Brooks, the Eagles have focused on defense and I absolutely love it. Rodney McLeod will be the free safety for the Eagles and Malcolm Jenkins will stay at strong safety. This move is my favorite. Malcolm Jenkins was the NFL’s best safety last year, and it was because he found his niche in playing close to the line of scrimmage. Signing McLeod keeps Jenkins in that similar role. Another thing I loved about the McLeod signing is that Eric Rowe will stay put at cornerback. There was talk he may move to safety, that won’t be the case. Rowe showed a ton of promise in his 1st year at cornerback and I can’t wait to see him in year 2.

Nigel Bradham, Leodis McKelvin and Ron Brooks, all former Buffalo Bills were signed. Nigel Bradham was the biggest signing of the three. The Eagles needed depth and a potential starting OLB for their new 4-3 scheme. Bradham is just that and played at his highest level when Jim Schwartz was the defensive coordinator of Buffalo. Expect Brooks and McKelvin to compete for starting DB jobs, whether it’s on the outside or at nickel, the depth and having players familiar with the scheme is most important.

Of all the great moves Howie Roseman has made this offseason. The re-signings, the free agent signings, his biggest test is in April. The NFL draft. To Howie’s credit, he has set the Eagles up nicely in the sense that there is not a pressing need the Eagles have to fill. Yes they need a starting guard, yes they need a starting cornerback, but sitting at #8 overall, and also having 9 total picks in the draft, Howie Roseman can enter the draft with a balanced approach, and take the best player available, something he hasn’t been able to do  in the past.

The draft is less than two months away and all eyes are on Howie Roseman. He’s passed his mid-terms, but the question is will he pass his final exam? Time will tell.