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Month: April 2017

FILM ROOM: Derek Barnett

FILM ROOM: Derek Barnett

I first want to start by saying this: I am in no way shape or form a scout. I don’t get paid to do any of this. I don’t expect you to hold my opinions on draft prospects to a higher standard than yours or anyone else’s. I’ll never comment or offer my opinion on anything I don’t feel I am educated about. I trust my eyes more than most, but I will never ever be the guy that thinks he is 100% right on a prospect because I’ve watched countless hours on them. The draft is a crapshoot and scouts who get paid a lot of money miss annually on prospects so I don’t expect to be right all the time. Honestly I, and everyone else are wrong more than we are right, which is fine! I simply love talking the draft, it’s one of my favorite times of the year.

The Eagles selected Derek Barnett, the defensive end from Tennessee in the first round of the 2017 NFL draft. My initial reaction was anger. To me, with guys like Rebuen Foster, OJ Howard, and Jonathan Allen on the board, Barnett was not the best player available. With how much Howie Roseman preaches that sentiment, I was bothered.

After a couple of hours, I realized a few things. One, like offensive lineman, you can never have enough pass rushers. Two, Derek Barnett is just 20 years old with a ton of upside. The tough thing about evaluating prospects is you want to see them dominate in college with production, but you also want to project how their style of play translates to the NFL. Some players have major success in college and it simply doesn’t translate to the NFL. See Tim Tebow. Derek Barnett had lots of success in college including breaking Reggie White’s sack record at Tennessee. Will Barnett’s success continue at the next level? You be the judge.

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Let’s take a look at some of Barnett’s success and struggles in college.

The first thing you notice when watching Derek Barnett is his timing of the snap. Barnett is almost always the first player to react to the ball being snapped. Here, he doesn’t get the sack, but it’s crazy Barnett was able to even get close with how fast the ball got out of the quarterback’s hands.

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Again, speed. Soon as the ball is snapped, Barnett fires away. This probably stood out to Jim Schwartz who preaches to his DEs to get off the line quickly.

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Speed kills.

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Something else I like about Barnett is he doesn’t just play with his head down. Here he sniffs out the WR screen and gets his hand on the pass. Love this awareness.

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Set the edge.. 

Something Derek Barnett will need to work on is his ability to set the edge. Too many times when watching Barnett you see him lose containment and allow the RB or QB to get outside of him for big runs.

Exhibit A.

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Exhibit B.

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Exhibit C.

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Let’s get back to the good.. 

Often times you see Barnett win with speed and blowing by. When he sees tackles thinking he’s going speed, he has a nice swim move to win inside. Love this play here.

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Hand usage. Good DEs use their hands. Barnett never stops using his hands. Love his bend here, too.

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Doesn’t get the sack here, but does draw a holding penalty. Again, you’re seeing the bend and hand usage.

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Probably my favorite play from Barnett. Absolutely kills the QB. My goodness.

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Derek Barnett is entering a situation similar to to Carson Wentz last year. When drafted, Wentz entered a QB room with Sam Bradford, Chase Daniel, and had a strong set of coaches to depend on. Barnett gets to learn from Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham and Chris Long, with no pressure to start day one. As far as scheme, Jim Schwartz’ wide-9 should benefit Barnett, as well. Barnett’s ability to win off the snap and use his speed, he should be a productive pass rusher on passing downs. If Barnett wants to become a full-time starter, he must improve in the run game.

 

 

 

FILM ROOM: Corey Davis, the best wide receiver in the draft

FILM ROOM: Corey Davis, the best wide receiver in the draft

I first want to start by saying this: I am in no way shape or form a scout. I don’t get paid to do any of this. I don’t expect you to hold my opinions on draft prospects to a higher standard than yours or anyone else’s. I’ll never comment or offer my opinion on anything I don’t feel I am educated about. I trust my eyes more than most, but I will never ever be the guy that thinks he is 100% right on a prospect because I’ve watched countless hours on them. The draft is a crapshoot and scouts who get paid a lot of money miss annually on prospects so I don’t expect to be right all the time. Honestly I, and everyone else are wrong more than we are right, which is fine! I simply love talking the draft, it’s one of my favorite times of the year.

I’ve covered Marlon Humphrey here and Christian McCaffrey here if you want to check out those film room pieces out.

The third prospect I’ll be reviewing is my favorite prospect in the draft. That is..

Dec 2, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Western Michigan Broncos wide receiver Corey Davis (84) rushes in the first half against the Ohio Bobcats at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Corey Davis – WR – Western Michigan: Corey Davis, to me is the best offensive player in this draft. He’s as skilled as it gets at the wide receiver position. He has good size at 6’2, 210 lbs. He didn’t run at the combine, or at a pro day due to an ankle injury, but he has very good speed. I’d guess he’d run somewhere around a 4.4-4.5 40 yard dash. It’s not just the physical things Davis has, though. Davis is incredibly fundamental as well. He uses his hands well when being pressed, he runs good routes. Some say Davis’ competition was a reason he dominated in college, but he looked like the best player on the field even when he played bigger schools.

Some view Mike Williams as the best wide receiver in the draft. Everyone views each prospect differently, but I don’t see how anyone can watch both Mike Williams and Corey Davis and not think Davis is the best receiver in the country. I’ll show you what I mean on what separates (no pun intended) Corey Davis from Mike Williams as wide receiver one.

Alright, the good stuff..

First play is from the slot, which is another thing I love about Davis’ game. He lines up all over, which indicates he knows the playbook in and out. Good luck to #2 here, he has no chance. Love the toe tap at the end as well.

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See this a lot from Davis.. Gets off press and literally says “get off me,” then turns around, shakes the defender and hits a quick extra gear. Phew.

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Little hitch here. Davis does a good job coming back to the ball and hits that B button and turns the play outside.

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Corey Davis making a defender his son here.

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Can you run fast, Corey? “Say no more, fam.” – Corey Davis, probably.

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Redzone? Davis creates separation, great catch, and gets feet down. It’s all so natural, man.

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Nice one handed catch here from Davis.

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Alright, 3rd and 23 here. Just throw a screen and Corey Davis will do the rest. THE STIFF ARM.

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Corey Davis’ stiff arm is something else. He uses it so well.

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This play sums up Corey Davis. He can score from anywhere on the field. Love the extra gear he has. Goodbye!

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Corey Davis is special. To me, he has potential to be a top 5 wide receiver in the NFL within 3 years. What separates him is he has size, speed and good hands. The one knock I have on Davis is he drops more passes than he should. He showcases natural hands, but at times can lose focus and drop a few, which can be frustrating. Overall, Davis is my top offensive player in the draft, and if he is available anywhere near where the Eagles pick, I’d expect Howie Roseman to be on the phones looking to trade up.

FILM ROOM: Why the Eagles should be interested in Christian McCaffrey

FILM ROOM: Why the Eagles should be interested in Christian McCaffrey

I first want to start by saying this: I am in no way shape or form a scout. I don’t get paid to do any of this. I don’t expect you to hold my opinions on draft prospects to a higher standard than yours or anyone else’s. I’ll never comment or offer my opinion on anything I don’t feel I am educated about. I trust my eyes more than most, but I will never ever be the guy that thinks he is 100% right on a prospect because I’ve watched countless hours on them. The draft is a crapshoot and scouts who get paid a lot of money miss annually on prospects so I don’t expect to be right all the time. Honestly I, and everyone else are wrong more than we are right, which is fine! I simply love talking the draft, it’s one of my favorite times of the year.

If you’ve been following along you’ll know that Marlon Humphrey was the first prospect I talked about who could interest the Eagles in round 1. You can check that out here.

The next prospect I think could interest the Eagles in the first round is..

Christian McCaffrey – RB – Stanford: If you were to draw up a prototypical running back that fits Doug Pederson’s offense, it’s hard to imagine anyone coming up with a better fit than Christian McCaffrey. Some say McCaffrey is undersized, I have a hard time accepting that narrative. Christian McCaffrey at the combine weighed in at 202 lbs at 5’11. Compare that to LeSean McCoy at the combine in 2009: 204 lbs at 5’10. Obviously everyone has different body types but on paper, that’s eerily similar in height and weight.

Christian McCaffrey does it all at the running back position. He is extremely good at running in between the tackles as well as bouncing runs outside. He’s one of the most gifted at his position when it comes to running precise routes and catching the football. It’s hard to find a weakness in McCaffrey’s game. He wasn’t asked to pass block at Stanford much because he was utilized in the passing game so often. McCaffrey was also utilized as a punt returner and he was very good as well.

Alright enough of me talking. Let’s get to the good stuff.

First play… I mentioned above how similar Christian McCaffrey was to LeSean McCoy when it comes to size. Check out this cutback by McCaffrey. If you’re an Eagles fan, this has to bring back memories of Shady.

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The next few plays are in a single game. A bowl game.

McCaffrey against a linebacker is absolutely unfair. Theo Roddick making Mychal Kendricks look lost on Thanksgiving, anyone? Just one example of how you could use McCaffrey to create mismatches.

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Patience. Jump cut. More patience. Stiff arm.

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Did I mention that McCaffrey can return punts, too? It’s pretty amazing how many guys he can make look dumb on a single play.

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Another one. *DJ Khaled voice* Hits hole, one on one against a safety, think you know how that goes.

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How about from wildcat? Again, McCaffrey shows off his patience running in between tackles.

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Overall McCaffrey is an incredible fit in Doug Pederson’s offense. I think the thing that stands out most is McCaffrey running from so many different sets. He’s comfortable running behind a fullback, he’s taken snaps directly in wildcat, and also has a  ton of work in shotgun. Doesn’t seem like a huge deal but anyone remember DeMarco Murray looking lost at times when taking snaps from shotgun in Chip Kelly’s system? Rhetorical question but my point is it can matter when evaluating a prospect. The ONE thing that I don’t love about McCaffrey’s game is he doesn’t fall forward. He isn’t a big back and often uses elusiveness to force missed tackles. If McCaffrey is there when the Eagles are on the clock, I’d assume Howie Roseman and Joe Douglas would think long and hard about taking him.

Film Room: Why the Eagles should be interested in Marlon Humphrey

Film Room: Why the Eagles should be interested in Marlon Humphrey

I first want to start by saying this: I am in no way shape or form a scout. I don’t get paid to do any of this. I don’t expect you to hold my opinions on draft prospects to a higher standard than yours or anyone else’s. I’ll never comment or offer my opinion on anything I don’t feel I am educated about. I trust my eyes more than most, but I will never ever be the guy that thinks he is 100% right on a prospect because I’ve watched countless hours on them. The draft is a crapshoot and scouts who get paid a lot of money miss annually on prospects so I don’t expect to be right all the time. Honestly I, and everyone else are wrong more than we are right, which is fine! I simply love talking the draft, it’s one of my favorite times of the year.

So without further ado, here is the first prospect I think the Eagles will be interested in if he is available when the Eagles are on the clock.

 

Oct 8, 2016; Fayetteville, AR, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks wide receiver Keon Hatcher (4) catches a pass for a touchdown as Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Marlon Humphrey (26) defends during the second quarter at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Marlon Humphrey – CB – Alabama: Yes, an Alabama cornerback. I’ve heard it. He was surrounded by a great pass rush, he can’t cover downfield, he has no ball skills. Thing is, I think one of those three things are true about Humphrey. The Alabama defense as a whole was stacked. The defensive line is filled with tons of talent, Rueben Foster is a near lock to go in round 1, but that does’t mean Marlon Humphrey is this average cornerback who was hidden by talent around him. He was rarely asked to cover very long because Alabama’s defense got to the QB very fast, but when he did I think he did it well. Humpohrey’s ball skills are not great, but I think they’re underrated. The narrative seems to be he looks lost when the ball is in the air, I disagree and I’ll show why.

Let’s talk about the fit.

Jim Schwartz preaches competition. He loves player’s on his defense who fight on every play. Marlon Humphrey is that guy. Whether it’s in coverage or helping out in the run game, Humphrey competes on every single play.

My favorite part of Marlon Humphrey’s game is his ability to come up and tackle in the run game. Whether it’s a wide receiver screen on his side, or a running back cuts outside towards him, Humphrey is always involved.

Now the fun part. Let’s look at a few plays that sum up Humphrey’s game.

Example 1..

What you don’t see on this play is Humphrey completely man handle his man and shed a block, then he fires into the running back like a missile. Love it.

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Wide receiver screens don’t work either. Love the fact Humphrey doesn’t think twice, he sees the play develop and reacts.

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This play doesn’t seem like much, but watch Humphrey press John Ross, one of the best wide receiver’s in the draft class. Humphrey plays mean and has confidence which the Eagles secondary desperately needs. John Ross’ stats vs Alabama? 5 catches for 28 yards and 0 touchdowns. Humphrey had a lot to do with that.

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Now let’s look at some coverage from Marlon Humphrey. His strengths are jamming receivers and jumping short routes. Here is Humphrey in zone coverage, looks like cover-2. He reads the QB’s eyes, steps toward the flat, then breaks back to pick off the corner route. Ball skills don’t look bad to me here.

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Next play. Let’s talk about recovery. Humphrey is typically really good at getting his hands on receivers and jamming at the line. It doesn’t always workout, though. Here, he gets beat at the line, catches up to the receiver, locates the ball and gets a nice pass deflection. Again, showing solid ball skills.

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Although Humphrey is aggressive, he shows something here. Top of the screen, Arkansas runs a “sluggo” on Humphrey, and he doesn’t even bite. Sticks on his man and knows a double move is coming.

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Obviously Marlon Humphrey isn’t a perfect prospect, he has stiff hips and isn’t great at locating the ball. Despite that, I think he can turn into a really good cornerback because of how quick his feet are and how good he is at using his arms and size is press. If Marlon Humophrey is there at pick 14, I expect the Eagles (with heavy influence from Jim Schwartz) to think long and hard about selecting him.

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