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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 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.

If you enjoyed the article, please share. As always, go Birds!

 

 

Introducing Joe Douglas

Introducing Joe Douglas

Joe Douglas is no stranger to success. Spending 15 years under genius GM Ozzie Newsome’s watchful eye in Baltimore, Douglas was awarded the opportunity to learn from the best in the business. His career began as a Player Personnel Assistant in 2000, the same year the Ravens won their first Super Bowl. Hard Knocks enthusiasts might even recall watching Douglas take on the difficult task of informing players that they were going to be cut by the team.

By 2003, he had been allocated the responsibility of scouting in the Northeast area; a position he held for five seasons. After transitioning to the East Coast (Douglas played a major role in the Ravens’ selection of franchise quarterback and Super Bowl XLVII MVP, Joe Flacco) in 2008 and Southeast region from 2009 through 2011, Douglas was named the team’s National Scout in 2012. As a National Scout, some of his responsibilities included coordinating the signing of undrafted free agents and overseeing the evaluation of potential prospects across the nation.

Considering Baltimore’s penchant for front office stability in an unforgiving and impatient NFL world, it came as somewhat of a surprise when Douglas accepted a position to become the College Scouting Director for the Chicago Bears in 2015. In his one season with Chicago, Douglas’s fingerprints were all over a critically acclaimed draft that saw the Bears select OLB Leonard Floyd, G Cody Whitehair, and DT Jonathan Bullard. Still, for reasons unknown, Chicago GM Ryan Pace allowed Douglas to interview for Philadelphia’s “personnel head” opening despite his relative success in his lone season with the Bears. After an interview with the Eagles that, per Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer, was believed to be a mere formality, it looks as if Douglas will indeed be named Philadelphia’s new personnel chief.

One long-standing blemish on the Eagles de-facto General Manager Howie Roseman’s career is that he doesn’t necessarily have the best eye for talent. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone better at wheeling and dealing, negotiating contracts, or landing sought after, big name free agents, but his ability to identify and evaluate perennial All Pro players has been splotchy to say the least.

While it’s likely that Roseman will retain final control over personnel, the addition and presence of Joe Douglas should not be overlooked. Throughout the league, Douglas has been regarded as a high character “football guy” with a strong ability to communicate and unify staff. One NFL personnel man even went as far as to call Douglas a future GM, per ESN’s Geoff Mosher. NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah has referred to him as “one of the best talent evaluators I’ve ever been around.”

So, yes, Eagles fans should be excited about this move. Joe Douglas’s resume and ringing endorsements speak for themselves. He’s proven to be a bright, young mind that continues to succeed with each rise in the ranks of NFL hierarchy. Whether or not he can co-exist with the often prickly Roseman remains to be seen but the Eagles certainly appear to have hit a home run with this hire.

UPDATE: Per Neil Stratton, Douglas’s former colleague in Baltimore, Andy Weidl, has agreed to join the Eagles as Assistant Director of Player Personnel. Daniel Jeremiah then echoed what many in the league feel about the abilities of both Douglas and Weidl.

Although there was understandable concern when the Eagles initially suspended their search for Roseman’s second-in-command, things now seem to be shaping up nicely in the city of Brotherly Love.

Film Room: Isaac Seumalo

Film Room: Isaac Seumalo

I’ll be honest, I had no idea who Isaac Seumalo was when the Eagles picked him. So watching him for this piece was the first I had ever seen of him. Considering a lot of people had never heard of him, the reaction to the pick on my timeline was actually pretty good as I think people knew how badly we needed offensive line help.

I watched the two games of Seumalo on Draft Breakdown and a couple of other YouTube clips I could find, he’s playing right guard in all the clips below. Seumalo will be competing for the left guard spot this year and if you want an in-depth look at the Eagles right guard click here to view my film piece on Brandon Brooks! How’s that for a plug?

PFF had Seumalo as one of the best pass blockers and to be honest, in the two games I watched he spent a lot more time run blocking than pass blocking in one on one situations. So I focused on his run blocking for the majority of the piece.

Anyway, let’s just get to the film. I’ll do what I normally do with my film pieces, I’ll post a few clips from games I watched and then summarize everything I saw at the end. Obviously I can’t post clips of every play, so I normally post an example of something that I see routinely.

Let’s start with the basics, his run blocking.

I love this play. He initially creates a running lane by double teaming the defensive tackle and he shows great feet to quickly change direction and take out the linebacker which creates a huge hole. This play doesn’t just show good athleticism but it shows good spatial awareness and a smart football player which can’t be underrated.

Here’s your standard nasty Guardy McBeef block. He creates a nice lane and stops the defensive tackle from making a play on the ball carrier.

Here’s another Guardy McBeef block. I like the aggressive finish here too, he isn’t mucking around.  He doesn’t always finish blocks aggressively but he does here which is good to see.

Here’s another one of those runs where he double teams the defensive tackle then gets to the linebacker to create a hole. This is pretty impressive, I really didn’t expect to see these kind of blocks so much.

He was pretty impressive when he was asked to pull and kick out too which is good to see as he’ll be asked to do this a lot by Pederson I imagine. You can tell he’s pretty athletic, which I guess he should be considering he’s not a big guy so it would be pretty worrying if he wasn’t. Seeing as he is undersized as a guard, I expect Pederson attempt will get him pulling and blocking at the second level a lot.

Here’s another example of him pulling across, I liked this play just because of how he finished. The guy was already being blocked so it wasn’t that impressive but it’s always nice to see a lineman put a defender on the ground.

As I mentioned above, considering he’s undersized you would expect him to get to the second level quickly. Although this is true, he doesn’t always finish his blocks when he actually gets to the defender. You can see that here, where he gets to the guy but it’s a sort of weak block. He needs to be more aggressive and he gets brushed aside really easily here.

It’s a similar story here, he gets to the linebacker at the second level but he can’t really do enough to block him out of the play. Admittedly this is a hard angle to make a block at but I guess he deserves some criticism for taking the angle that he does.

Here is sadly another example of him being pretty bad in space. This is on a screen pass and I’m not quite sure what he is doing here. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think he’s bad in space. I just think he can improve a lot. He’s certainly athletic and he can definitely get to the second level and locate the defender he just needs to work on finishing his blocks and using his hands quicker to prevent the linebacker from getting off his block.

His run blocking for the most part was really good, I was impressed overall. I’m being picky here because the block is good enough on this play but sometimes I’ve noticed he lunges into blocks and this is when he can struggle to sustain the block. You can see him kind of lunge here as he’s making the block, you don’t want to see your guard end up on the floor.

I was critical of his blocking at the second level earlier but that was mainly me just pointing out some flaws. For the most part, he’s good in space and can pull and kick out well. Here’s an example of him getting to the second level and preventing the linebacker from making a play. You can see that he doesn’t really provide the dominant ‘mauler’ type blocks that we love to see in big offensive lineman. If he’s still making the play though, I can live with that. At his size he’ll never be a mauler.

To finish, I’ll show a couple of clips of him in pass coverage. I won’t show many examples because just trust me, his pass blocking is really good and I don’t want the post to be any longer! He gets a good punch here and maintains his blocks, he looks very calm and controlled here. He frequently wins early in the snap which is crucial.

He gets beat here similarly to how he did earlier, he has problems when he lunges. When he lunges he doesn’t keep his feet moving and he becomes static and because he’s undersized it’s easy for the defender to toss him aside. This is also a weird play because he doesn’t need to be so aggressive, the defense are only rushing three and he could have double teamed the defender with the center. I didn’t see many faults in his pass protection overall.

I keep ending on negatives plays with my film room pieces so let’s end on a high for a change! The defensive tackle tries to bull rush him but Seumalo anchors well and uses his hands effectively. He’s got a really good base when pass blocking, he doesn’t always initiate contact and dominate his opponent like Brandon Brooks does but he’s effective at stopping the rusher getting past him which at the end of the day is his main job.

Overall

I’m pretty impressed with Seumalo and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s the day one starter at left guard. I really recommend you watch the Brandon Brooks piece again because you can see the different styles of both guards. Brooks initiates contact and simply dominates his opponent on a frequent basis which is why he just got paid a ton of money.

Seumalo isn’t like that, he’s not a mauler and he isn’t particularly flash but he gets the job done. I can see why he fell to the third round though. He has had injury problems in the past and he is undersized for a guard which means some analysts saw him better suited as a center. Also, he sometimes struggles to sustain blocks and needs to use his hands better. I think he’s good enough to play guard in the NFL though and I’m assuming he’ll attempt to put on some weight when he gets here too.

I don’t think Seumalo has the ability to ever be an all-pro at guard but I think he should be a reliable starter for a number of years. He’s very technically sound, rarely gets beat and is an intelligent player. He obviously has flaws otherwise he would have been an earlier pick but his flaws are minor and I wonder if he was overlooked because he isn’t your classic ‘mauler’ type guard that everyone loves. Some may be concerned that really big defensive tackles will be able to bull rush him back into the quarterback as he’s undersized and although that’s a legitimate concern, it didn’t happen in the games I watched.

He might not be the sexiest pick in the world but Seumalo is a good player who will hopefully be protecting Wentz for years to come. If the worst comes to the worst and he really struggles at guard, he’s a versatile backup to have and he could even push Kelce for a starting job at center in a couple of years which isn’t awful for a third round pick. I don’t envision that happening though and as long as he’s healthy he should be starting at left guard as early as this year.

Eagles new DB Jalen Mills is a Day 3 Steal

Eagles new DB Jalen Mills is a Day 3 Steal

It’s not very often that a talented early-to-mid-round prospect falls to the tail end of the 7th round. In fact, there are really only a few circumstances that would justify such a slip: either (A) the prospect suffered an injury that has teams weary of banking a more valuable pick on someone that might not see the field for the foreseeable future, or (B) said prospect has had an off-the-field incident (or incidents) that has caused his stock to drop, as most franchises are understandably skeptical of investing in a player with character concerns.

Unfortunately, Philadelphia’s 7th round selection, Jalen Mills, is associated with both the former and the latter. He missed a handful of games in 2015 after fracturing his fibula and tearing ligaments in his ankle during a preseason practice. Although Mills did return to finish the season, starting the final 5 games, the fairly significant injury did occur less than a year ago. Still, the promising four-year starter’s production on the field was largely overshadowed by an accusation of battery against a woman in 2014. Despite the charge being dropped as a result of his completing a pretrial diversion program (a program that required Mills to pay the victim’s medical bills, among other things), that type of baggage sticks around, especially when considering the number of domestic violence-related issues the league has encountered over the past few years.

Given these glaring red flags, drafting Mills seems like an unlikely gamble for an Eagles team that has managed to avoid off-the-field drama, right? Well, not exactly. You see, ‘Captain Culture’ himself (aka ex-Eagles coach/GM Charles Kelly) is no longer around to dictate the personality of the team. Kelly, to a fault, seemed to value a player’s propensity to follow rules and never question authority almost more than he valued a player’s talent. The selection of Jalen Mills, along with Alex McCalister and Wendell Smallwood, however, are indicative of a clear shift in the front office’s philosophy on building a winning team. Guys with warning labels plastered all over their resumes are not entirely off limits, provided both executive VP of football operations, Howie Roseman, and first-year head coach, Doug Pederson, believe they can handle themselves in a professional manner going forward.

Adding Mills, purely based on potential, is a no-brainer. What the Eagles have acquired is a versatile defensive back that has experience outside, in the slot and at safety. The 6’0”, 191 lb. former LSU Tiger is a consistent and sound tackler that finished his college career with 216 total tackles, 6 interceptions and 11 pass breakups. He should add immediate depth to an Eagles secondary that is currently comprised of two sure-starters at safety, a promising second-year outside CB and a whole lot of uncertainty. Mills will have the opportunity to compete for the primary nickel spot, along with a host of others, and as a backup to Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod. Ironically enough, his build reminds me of former Eagle Walter Thurmond (who, as a career slot corner showed he was more than capable of playing safety last season).

While the 2014 accusation against him is as unfortunate as it is uncomfortable, it is important to remember that there was no definitive proof of guilt. Assuming Mills is not the monster various members of the media have made him out to be, the Eagles might have just unearthed a diamond in the rough that can contribute to this team for years to come.

Eagles Fans Must Be Patient With Carson Wentz

Eagles Fans Must Be Patient With Carson Wentz

Let’s jump straight to it. The Eagles traded the Cleveland Browns for the 2nd overall pick in the 2016 draft. The Eagles also received the Browns’ 4th round pick in exchange for a 1st, 3rd and 4th in 2016, a 1st in 2017, and a 2nd in 2018. It’s a hefty price, but for the Eagles, they see this as a rare opportunity to not sacrifice too much of your future and land a potential franchise quarterback.

I had someone tell me yesterday that Jared Goff has informed friends close to him that the Rams will be picking him with the 1st overall pick. So I’ll go on and assume the Eagles will take Carson Wentz, who Doug Pederson has loved since he started scouting him, according to multiple reports.

A little background on Wentz: He’s 23 years old, stands in at 6’5, 240 pounds. He ran a 4.78 40-yard dash at the combine. He’s big, athletic and very competitive. He comes from North Dakota State where the level of competition was nothing like he’ll face in the NFL. Wentz is going to take some time adjusting to the speed of the NFL. Expect a lot of interceptions, lack-of-timing with receivers and happy-feet from him early on. Yes, he will be taken number two overall, but understand he is somewhat a project.

Because Wentz needs time, the Eagles picking him makes a ton of sense. Normally, a team picking in the top-five let alone, number two overall has an awfully bad roster. The Eagles don’t, though. Remember, the Eagles were originally picking 13th in the draft. Of course that isn’t great either, but a roster for a team picking 13th is much more talented with less holes than a team picking 2nd.

“Sam Bradford is our starting quarterback,” Howie Roseman said at his press conference, just minutes after the trade between the Eagles and Browns was announced.

The Eagles will not look into trading Bradford, as the Eagles plan is to start him, and let Wentz learn the NFL ropes behind Chase Daniel and Bradford. Again, a quarterback coming from North Dakota State, playing against FCS competition, having less pressure and more than a year to sit back and learn is ideal. So many great QB prospects are drafted high, and pressure is on them to turn the franchise around. Normally with bad offensive lines, piss poor defenses and awful coaching.

Wentz enters a situation where he can learn. He’s not being drafted by a team that doesn’t have talent. The Eagles have a core of players they want to build around, hence all the re-signings done in the off-season. The coaching staff the Eagles put together on the offensive side of the ball heavily favors the quarterback position. John DeFilippo, who was the Browns offensive coordinator in 2015, somehow managed to get 20 TD’s, 12 INT’s, and 4,156 yards out of Johnny Manziel, Josh McCown and Austin Davis playing quarterback. Frank Reich, the Eagles offensive coordinator came from San Diego where he was the offensive coordinator and coached Phillip Rivers. Lastly, Doug Pederson, the Head Coach of the Eagles, from the Andy Reid coaching tree, is a former quarterback who knows a thing or two about the position. Carson Wentz will benefit greatly from this staff.

Fans must go into this situation with patience. Wentz more than likely won’t see the field in 2016, and may not even in 2017. Remember, Aaron Rodgers threw 59 passes in his first three seasons after being drafted by the Packers. Finding a franchise quarterback is one of the toughest things to do in sports. 2-3 years from now, we may look back and say the Eagles didn’t give up enough for Wentz. Time will tell, but patience is needed.

The Eagles should not be afraid to trade up for Carson Wentz

The Eagles should not be afraid to trade up for Carson Wentz

Remember the 2014 draft? That was a fun draft. The Texans needed a quarterback. However, there was this generational talent available to them in Jadeveon Clowney. So they took him instead of reaching for a quarterback who probably wasn’t worth the first pick. Smart right?

The Jaguars on the other hand, reached for a QB at pick number 3 who wasn’t even considered to be the best QB in the draft by most analysts, Blake Bortles. Draft twitter erupted. I was watching the draft with my best friend who happens to be a Jaguars fan, he looked so depressed. He kept checking twitter and everyone was just killing the Jags. Most of draft twitter, and many analysts had Bridgewater and even Manziel ahead of Bortles.

Not only that, the Jags passed on some unbelievable talent on both defense and offense. Khalil Mack. Sammy Watkins. Mike Evans. Odell Beckham. The list goes on and on. That was such a talented draft and the Jaguars had to go and screw it up and take a QB at number 3 who just simply wasn’t that good. What were the Jaguars thinking? Bortles had so many flaws and the other guys were just better players.

Guess what? The Jaguars made the right pick. Would the Texans trade Clowney for Bortles right now? Of course they would. The whole of twitter basically had Bridgewater rated higher than Bortles. He was more pro-ready, a better decision maker, more accurate. Bortles had upside though, huge upside. It’s why I had him ranked in my top 15 players, I just thought he could be great.

But I hear you say, why reach for a QB this year when we can just take one next year in the first who will be better? It’s not that simple. Have you seen the Eagles defense right now? With Bradford at quarterback, the Eagles will win a decent amount of games. I’d be stunned if they are picking inside the top 10 next year, so it won’t be easy for them to get one of the top 1 or 2 QBs next year either. Roseman and Pederson will know this too.

Looking back at last year, Winston and Mariota weren’t the consensus 1/2 best players on everyone’s draft board. I find it funny how because Winston and Mariota were so great last year, everyone now just assumes like it was obvious. Go and look at draft analysts draft boards from last year. Loads of them had Winston around 5 and Mariota just after or vice versa. I saw Leonard Williams, Kevin White, Amari Cooper and Dante Fowler constantly ranked above Winston and Mariota.

I remember draft twitter being worried about Winston’s decision making. Lots of people in the media where worried about Mariota’s offense at Oregon and how he would translate. But hey guess what, there is no perfect QB prospect. They all have flaws.

So should the Bucs have taken Leonard Williams last year at 1 because technically he may have been BPA? No. If you like the QB you take him, simple.

So where does this leave the Eagles? I haven’t mentioned Bradford yet and I like Bradford but he should not impact who you draft though. Nothing against Ben Natan of BGN because I like him a lot, but when I hear takes like this I just do not get it. At all.

Who cares if we draft a QB and he sits for 2 years if he turns out to be a true franchise quarterback?! Don’t forget, Roseman didn’t bring in Bradford at first. Pederson didn’t trade for him. He was signed because he makes you competitive for the next couple of the years. He does give you a chance to win. I honestly believe Bradford can be a very good QB but that still shouldn’t impact you in the draft. I also think, if they got Wentz, he would sit for one year and start next year.

Look at the staff Pederson has here with Reich and DeFilippo, you know that they are confident they can develop a guy who has talent. They are going to want a guy with huge upside because they will think that they can make him something special. Yes, loads of coaches lose their jobs because they believe this. But they will always want the guy with more talent because they believe in their coaching abilities. That’s just the way it is.

Which leads me on to the QB class this year. I think Goff is the best QB in the draft right now. However, I think Wentz has an extremely high ceiling. He could be really good. Is he perfect? No. Could he be a bust? Yes. But he has talent. Bridgewater was better than Bortles coming out of College but Bortles had more upside. So did Derek Carr. Both Carr and Bortles are better than Bridgewater at this point and I can’t see that changing. Wentz just reminds me of Bortles in a lot of ways.

Personally, I have Wentz as about the 8th best player or so in this years class. Some people really don’t rate him. I don’t pretend to be an expert though. Analysts that I trust a lot, such as Mike Mayock, Daniel Jeremiah and Greg Cosell have Wentz as there number one quarterback this year. Cosell compares Wentz to Luck here.

The Eagles may never pick this high again and they may not ever have a better chance of taking such a talented QB. I’m not going to be ecstatic if the Eagles trade up for Wentz and I’m not going to go crazy if they don’t. My opinion doesn’t matter really. I do think Wentz could be a perfect fit with that Pederson wants to do on offense.

If Pederson believes Wentz is ‘his guy’. Then go and get him. Trade away a 3rd round pick. Trade away next years 1st. If you think he’s that good and you believe in him, then do it. Do I think he’s worth it? I’m not sure. But I understand the reasoning. Obviously don’t trade away elite players like Fletcher Cox because giving away draft picks is totally different to giving away established players.

The same thing applies for Paxton Lynch. Maybe the whole Wentz thing is a smokescreen and the Eagles really want Lynch at 8. I prefer Wentz to Lynch but if Pederson believes Lynch can be a franchise QB and he can coach him in to something great. Then go for it. Shoot for the stars. You have to do what you have to do.