Twitter Mailbag: On Geno, Cason And Safety Strategy

 Every Thursday we select a few of your Twitter questions and provide the long-form answers they deserve. For a chance to have your question published on Birds 24/7, send it to @Tim_McManus.

From @JohnBarchard: If the Eagles take Geno Smith at 4, how many boos will we hear on draft day? Does that send a more ‘we can win now’ message?

It would be a hotly-debated selection for sure. I think the only message it would send is that the Eagles believe Geno Smith can be a franchise quarterback. You don’t burn a pick that high if you are not thoroughly convinced of this.

It all comes down to what Chip Kelly thinks of him. It doesn’t matter whether pundits believe the West Virginia product deserves to be selected at No. 4. If Kelly thinks he will shore up the most important position in football, then he makes the move. You don’t pick this  high in the draft very often. If you can get your hands on a franchise QB, you do it.

There will be boos and there will be disagreement if the Eagles select Smith. But then, there were boos back in ’99 as well. You do what you think is right for the organization.

From @estberg_jamie: What are the Eagles plans for safety and cornerbacks because they seem pretty weak in free agency?

My best guess is that they will wait for the draft to net another safety. Howie Roseman told us that there are more safeties with draftable grades in the upcoming NFL Draft than there have been in recent years. They added Patrick Chung to the safety mix already to go with the likes of Nate Allen, Kurt Coleman and Colt Anderson. Add a safety on the first day of the draft, and the position looks a little brighter.

I’m still thinking that the Eagles grab another corner off the free-agent market. Antoine Cason  (6-1/195/26) is one name to at least keep half-an-eye on. He is visiting Arizona today. If he gets out of the desert, Philly could be in play if the price is right.

From@BilHughes10: If the Eagles fail to get another CB during free agency, does that solidify Milliner as our pick in the 1st round of the draft?

This is part of the reason I believe the Eagles will add another corner before we get to the draft. Right now you have Brandon Boykin, Bradley Fletcher, Chris Hawkins, Brandon Hughes, Trevard Lindley, Curtis Marsh and Eddie Whitley under contract. If you go into the draft with this group, there’s a risk that the Eagles will reach for need.

And even if Milliner is the man you want regardless, it’s no sure thing that he is there at No. 4. It is too important of a position for the Eagles to leave to chance.

We end with an exchange between Sheil and a less-than-optimistic Eagles fan, for comedy purposes.

There is nothing not to love about this exchange. The Philly fan’s sense of impending doom; the even-keeled Kapadia being driven to CAPS. Classic. The passion (and the pessimism) runs deep, even in March.

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  • ohitsdom

    Not to nitpick, but the only way the Eagles should draft Geno at 4 is if they KNOW he’ll be a franchise QB. Top 5 picks can’t rely on hopeful beliefs. Obviously, even sure-picks can be a bust sometimes. But you can’t think there’s a good chance of that when you’re making your pick, because that’s a sign he’s not worth a top 5 pick.

    • Reyco

      This is why I prefer lineman this high. The carryover from college to the NFL along the lines is pretty straight forward as long as the physical attributes and basic technique are already there. For Quarterbacks and defensive secondary, it is much more steep and I think this is why you see busts there more often. Linebackers, running backs, and receivers are between the two extremes. this is why I’d like to see us grab a pass rushing OLB (sorta a mix between classic linebacker and d-line) or an offensive lineman if they’re near the top of the board at that point. It would fill a need while being relatively low risk.

      • http://www.facebook.com/finis.casby Finis Casby

        Watkins……….

      • Joethomas215

        But your drafting scared if you only go with linemen, you can miss out on a game changing player just to say hey he was a good pick, played our line ten years. Sometimes you gotta take a chance and pick the guy u believe in

      • mac

        Robert Gallery and Jason Smith? Face it any pick is a risk. Thats why i am a proponent of trading down to reduce the odds (more picks better cahnce one hits)

        • Reyco

          Not saying there’s no risk, just saying it’s lower.

    • morgan c

      Stay away from Geno Smith at #4 pleeeeeeeeeeease!

  • peteike

    There is pleny of pessimism to go around for this team, no doubt. Keeping Vick brought that up, if he drafts Geno it will go up yet another notch. Just the way it is, not that anyone really knows if Geno will be a legit starter in this league. I still think they need another 2 CBs and another 2 safeties for plenty of competition in camp. I want Dumervil from the donkeys, they cant afford him after pu Welker and they may be in the hunt for Freeney. He was a beast as a 3-4 lb. Im curious to see where Greg Jennings ends up, imagine if Pats land him, they wont miss Welker thats for sure, doubt that happens though.

  • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

    I think we absolutely MUST get another free agent corner, and SAM OLB before the draft. Both these spots could be addressed at #4 but there’s no guarantees that they’ll be available there. We have no outside linebacker that can cover. We have one potential starting corner in Fletcher but other than that we’ve got zip. Boykin is our slot guy and I don’t think Marsh is there yet.

    Another safety for competition and a potential starter at RT would be nice, but not as absolutely necessary as CB and SAM.

    • nicksaenz1

      I agree with acquiring another free agent CB and S. The odds of a SAM OLB not being available at #4 are slim to none. From what I can tell, there appear to be three main prospects: Mingo, Ansah, and Jordan. One will be there. However, for depth, it wouldn’t hurt to bring someone in on a low risk deal.

    • JofreyRice

      agreed it would be nice to get a SAM, but that’s a hard position to fill. I don’t see a lot of guys in free agency that are really all that great a fit…Nick Roach from Chicago, maybe?

      I’m kinda thinking Kelly is targeting his SAM with that #4 pick, and we’re going to see Dion Jordan in Midnight Green. I’d prefer Kenny Vaccaro, but I just don’t think they care about, or value safety enough to draft him there.

      • Token

        If its Jordan at 4 you could say the Oregon connection is a little ridiculous already. Did Pete Carrol and Harbaugh go out of the way to get players from USC and Stanford?

        • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

          We shouldn’t take him at 4. Too many question marks for top 5. You trade back with a team looking for Geno or Milliner (Cardinals, Bills, Lions etc) and pick up another 2nd or 3rd rounder, I’m not looking much into the Oregon connection yet. Jordan is a good prospect at a position of need. If we take any more Oregon guys like Kyle Long I might start getting worried.

          • Token

            Too high for Jordan. The guy didnt produce. He didnt play top competition and still didnt produce. Im very intrigued by him. But I think the top 5 is for guys who were the best players at their positions. Not guys who seem like projects and didnt even know they were a defensive player until a couple years ago.

          • JofreyRice

            haha! Yeah, some truth to what you’re saying here.

          • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

            Agree to disagree I suppose. With his connections and to the team, his skill set, and our current needs, don’t be too shocked to see him in midnight green at the end of April. A lot of experts seem to think pretty highly of this guy. His numbers aren’t great, but he was used in space and coverage last year. Heck they even lined him as a slot corner some times. Lets face it, we’re not gonna be a SB contender for a year or two anyways, and I think he’s only a year or two away from being great in the right hands.

            Lets just remember, Brandon Graham was a better prospect than JPP coming out of college. He had a better college career. JPP college stats and demensions aren’t far off from Dion’s. And we all know how that turned out.

          • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

            Graham played himself into a knee injury his rookie year that required surgery and rehabbing into his second year. I still think Graham is a better prospect than JPP given the circumstances, JPP grades out only because of the Knee Injury to Graham.

  • Tom W

    More like stupidity from typical uninformed impatient eagles “fan”. We are all of 3 days into free agency. Don’t break your ankles jumping off the Ben Franklin Bridge. This is a buyer’s free agent market with all the starting midlevel veteran cuts because of the stagnant growth of the salary cap. Why would the eagles jump in and overpay for less than elite talent (see Chiefs, Cards, Lions, Browns, Dolphins). This is a 2-3 year rebuilding process. The signings so far are all low-risk, mid-level guys w front loaded contracts who we could essentially cut next year if things dont work out w no cap leaving flexibility next year as well.

    I count several good young tall corners left we good grab (Cason, Lewis, Talib, Smith, Williams), and a couple older players available to keep the market full (grimes, NA, winfield, hall). And the draft is deepest at safety, tackle, corner. We need another corner, safety, SAM, 5-tech DE, and otackle. Lots of opportunity and time to fill those holes wisely.

    • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

      Impatient Philly sports fans?! Well I never..!

  • Eaglesfan73

    Not sure if anyone remembers but we solidified the RB position with an undrafted player w/ almost zero playing time the previous year. Relax, the team will come together in due time.

  • Joethomas215

    I like that chip is building depth rather then reaching for stars. No one knows how well any move will work out. Most fans are already proving they.don’t know what they are talking about already. Let’s face it our fan base don’t have no room to judge prior then on fails results, remember you guys hated McNabb but loves nnamdi, so STOP IT! GO EAGLES

    • Joethomas215

      On field results

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=508479001 Richaud Jeaffreson

    The only way I am happy is if the Eagles draft one of these players. Dion Jordan, Jarvis Jones, Ziggy Ansah, Star, or Floyd. CB is pretty deep this year. Decent players can be had later in the draft.

    • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

      I don’t think they would pass on Joeckel or Fisher if they’re available.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=508479001 Richaud Jeaffreson

        I honestly think that neither of those guys makes it to 4. You know Andy is taking a lineman.

        • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

          Tough to say. One of them will be definitely gone. If I was a betting man I’d say Jax and Oak go pass rush but they could both definitely use some lineman. Someone will have to jump into the top 5 to get Milliner or Geno as well.

  • Joey

    Unlike most fans, I am a DIE HARD EAGLES FAN! I believe if Geno Smith is Chip Kelly’s guy moving forward, then you take him at #4. If you don’t have a franchise QB, then your going no where. This evaluation process is so crucial for the Eagles to make sure they get this pick right; because you don’t want to be picking at this spot again. You can have all the right pieces in place, but if you don’t have QB, this city will not win a Super Bowl.
    –Spaghetti

  • http://twitter.com/JerryP2375 Jerry Pomroy

    Agree 100% on all three points. I think the Eagles are taking Smith seriously. Haven’t drafted this high since ’99, Kelly doesn’t have his QB to lead his charge into the NFL. Waiting until later rds is a bigger gamble than Smith. Not just on the player in a later rd, but whether they’ll be there. Waiting until next year’s crop of QBs is also a gamble. You’ve got injuries, QB play could plummet, etc. Not to mention if the Eagles don’t secure a high enough pick next year in first rd based solely on record, they’ll be competing with the other teams hungry for a QB and have to mortgage their future in picks. Kind of goes against the premise of what we believe the Eagles to be doing, which is strengthening this team for years to come, not just next year. You need drat picks to do that and if you trade them all away to get your QB for the future, you’ve got the QB, but it cost you dearly. So if Kelly likes Smith, the smartest move they could make is to grab him and not run the risk of having to sell the farm next year, IF they even could.

    • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

      If Kelly has learned anything from Andy, I hope it’s to pay the Eagles fans no attention and draft the player who gives his regime the best possible chance at winning.

      Had Andy listened to Eagles fans in 99, McNabb would never have been the Best Quarterback in Eagles History nor he the best Coach to wear Eagles green.

  • TheAsshole

    ” The passion (and the pessimism) runs deep, even in March.”

    Or maybe there’s something to the notion of the average Eagle fan not being very smart.

  • Thakm77

    Who is on the geno smith bandwagon ? Don’t worry boo like you guys did mcnabb!!!!!! 5nfc championship games and 1 Super Bowl appearanc… Yeah please BOO!!!!!!! Oh and for all you Kevin KLob( I know it’s spelled kolb) fans(you know who you are) GUess who just got released …..

  • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

    The Fear is that the Eagles did draft Safeties in the most recent drafts that have not panned out, I’d rather see them go after an established Safety in free agency, the issue isn’t finding a safety it’s not wanting to spend the money required to attract the absolute best talent.

    I’d like to know what are the weaknesses either of you see that are glowing in Geno Smith’s game? I’ve watched this kid play tough competition and perform exceptionally well. I can’t find an analysis who can pin point the defects in Geno’s Game. Why are the pundits so cool on this kid but yet can not label his supposed weaknesses?

    I think teams are blowing smoke as to not tip their hand when it comes to Geno Smith. This kid is far ahead of the other talented QBs in the draft with the stats to back up his claim. I’ve even seen where pundits try to minimize his completion percentage, but he has a 8.1 Average, that’s nothing to sneeze at and probably one of the best in a couple years coming out of college, especially in his conference.