Three Eagles Numbers That Matter

It’s been awhile since we’ve rolled this feature out, so without further ado, here are three Eagles-related numbers that matter.

640 – The number of pass-rushing opportunities (snaps) Connor Barwin had for the Texans in 2012, per Pro Football Focus. In 2011, that number was 598.

“We had to drop more, we had problems at inside linebacker, we had to cover up certain things on the outside,” Barwin told reporters on Friday. “The year before we rushed every time. Last year we had to bump the tight end before we could rush, and anyone that rushes the passer knows that’s going to slow down your rush.”

Barwin was addressing the question of why his sack totals fell from 11.5 in 2011 to 3 in 2011.

The theory that he had to drop in coverage more in 2012 doesn’t hold up. In 2011, he rushed the passer 87.1 percent of the time. In 2012, it was 86.4 percent. Nearly identical.

The idea that he had to “bump the tight end” on his way to the quarterback very well could be true. In fact, that was the explanation general manager Howie Roseman gave when he said Barwin played more on the open side in 2011. We’ll take a look at the All-22 this week to see if we can sort things out.

0 – The amount of guaranteed money safety Kenny Phillips got from the Eagles, according to Reuben Frank of CSNPhilly.com. There’s good news and bad news here. The good news is that if Phillips isn’t healthy and the Eagles have to cut ties with him, they didn’t make much of a financial commitment.

The bad news is it probably says a lot about Phillips’ health that he was forced to settle for such a deal.

Even if Phillips is only 75 percent of the player he once was, he’d be the Eagles’ best safety since Brian Dawkins. But as the contract shows, that’s a big IF. Phillips had major surgery on his left knee in 2009 and dealt with an MCL injury in his right knee last season, missing nine games.

Because of Phillips’ injury history, I don’t think the Eagles are done at safety. Mike Mayock and Roseman have both talked about what a strong safety class this is in the draft. Don’t be surprised if the Eagles add another body as early as the second round.

With Patrick Chung now in the fold, Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman should expect to be competing for roster spots this summer.

2 – The number of cornerbacks that have been selected in the top five in the last 10 drafts. The Cardinals took Patrick Peterson fifth in 2011, and the Cowboys took Terence Newman fifth in 2003.

Yesterday, we rounded up a bunch of mock drafts, and a popular pick for the Eagles at No. 4 was Alabama’s Dee Milliner. It’s certainly a strange year in that the draft isn’t as top-heavy as usual, but I wonder if Roseman and Chip Kelly will really be willing to go with Milliner. Most agree that Milliner is the best CB available and should be a solid pro. But I haven’t heard anyone predict that he’ll be a true game-changer like Darrelle Revis.

And as friend of the blog @Noah_Becker pointed out, Peterson and Newman both could be used on special teams as returners. That’s not the case with Milliner.

The more I think about it, the more I tend to believe offensive tackles Luke Joeckel (Texas A&M) and Eric Fisher (Central Michigan) are probably at the top of the Eagles’ board. Of the nine offensive tackles who made the Pro Bowl last year, seven were first-round picks.

It’s possible that both Joeckel and Fisher are gone by the time the Eagles pick, but if not, they could plug one of them in at right tackle and move Todd Herremans inside in 2013. It would also provide a nice option to back up Jason Peters at left tackle and get younger at a key spot.

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  • PaoliBulldog

    Also of note: Star Lotuleilei has been cleared by a heart specialist to resume working out. The Eagles’ top priority has got to be shoring up their offensive and defensive fronts. I just don’t sense that Milliner is going to be an all-world, Revis/Sanders-ish corner.

    • ICDogg

      If they conclude that Star’s heart problem was something acute, and not likely to recur, that puts him back in the top 8 guys. He’d be a great fit for the Eagles in a position of need.

      • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

        Sharrif Floyd DT Florida Jr 6-3 297
        Star Lotulele iDT Utah Sr6-3 311
        Sheldon Richardson DT Missourir Jr 6-3 294
        Johnathan Hankins DT Ohio State Jr 6-3 320
        Kawann Short DT Purduer Sr 6-3 299
        Jesse Williams DT Alabama Sr 6-4 323
        Sylvester Williams DT North Carolina Sr 6-3 313
        John Jenkins DT Georgia Sr 6-4 346

        Anyone of these kids would fill the bill inside for the Eagles.

        • Richard Colton

          I like Jesse Williams in round #2 or Hankins in round #3

      • Smegga

        I like Star but he’s 24. With a potential heart problem and being a couple of years older than his draftmates, it makes me nervous.
        Great kid though and has talent, but his age and health may see him slide.

  • ICDogg

    Yeah, I have a hard time believing they would take Milliner at 4.

    • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

      it’s historically very uncommon to pick a defensive back with one of the top 10 picks, and Milliiner isn’t per sue the golden standard, he may be the best coming out this year but he is no game changer.

      For any DB to be successful in Philly the Eagles is going to have to shore up their pass rush first.

      • ICDogg

        I agree… the guy I like is Ziggy, but that idea isn’t getting a lot of popular support

  • ICDogg

    By the way it is taken as an act of faith by a lot of people lately that Herremans is a better guard than he is a tackle. I don’t agree with that, other than that tackle as a position has more responsibility than guard.

    • Rohan Patel

      Herremans was always a great guard when he had an amazing tackle at his side and a sturdy center. With a first round pick OT, he could be in that position again. I think that’s why people have faith in him at guard, rather than tackle, a position where he’s never shown promise, and where he would mostly be on his own.

  • ErickW

    0? Kenny’s knee must be that bad. I need to taper down my expectations for him even making the team. Maybe he’ll push and mentor the young guys at camp, and that’s alright, but his MRI must show some serious damage to take this deal.

    • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

      That’s a shame considering the job AP of the Vikings had done on his knee. I still hold out hope for Phillips. I’ve been watching the kid from South Carolina, Lattiermore rehab from his knee injury. IMO, it’s a miracle he’s walking and running again no less ready to carry a football. When he got hit his leg was snapped at a 45 degree angle.

  • Mikeq

    I know there was a lot of O-line discussion in the early post from today, but I fully agree with Sheil that OT is the #4 pick- as it stands now. People don’t think the defense is there yet- and I agree- but it seems kind of a “triage” situation. They stabilized a very sick patient (the defense) with the free agency injections but look at the O-line backups- Kelly, Koppa, Tennant, Menkin, and Reynolds. And that’s with Watkins as the starting RG, and 3 other starters coming off serious injury with 2 of those guys over 30. Yuck! That’s a lineup that needs serious attention.

    Kelly is an offensive guy. He might have gritted his teeth and accepted he had to go defense heavy in free agency just to make them competent, but he’s going to want to start the offensive makeover sooner rather than later. Of course I’m just speculating, but I think first round and either 2nd or 3rd picks are O-linemen. The 3rd pick of that grouping maybe BPA for the defense.

    • Richard Colton

      So many issues on the O-line right now. You hit on most of them. I know this move would get Howie pilloried – but I’d love to see a repeat of the 2002 draft with O-linemen instead of DBs.

      How would you feel if the best player available approach every GM lies about following netted us this:

      Round 1: Eric Fisher OT
      Round 2: Terron Armstead OT

      Round 3: Barrett Jones OG/C
      Round 4: Honey Badger DB

      • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

        Likes very much the Armstead kid, big raw talent at Tackle, from a small school in a tucked away conference. Fastest 40 time at the combines with good footwork and kicked butt at the senior bowl practices. However, he’s still considered a project with tons of upside. I’m loving Barret Jones a little more for the versatility he provides on the oline, switchable in a pinch to play center or guard has experience in both positions at Alabama.

        The Eagles have 3 of the first 67 picks, I don’t see a reason we can’t pick up 3 impact players and skip over the project kids. I don’t believe Honey Badger will last to round 4, I had him pegged in round 3.

        • Richard Colton

          Yea, you’re probably right. Honey Badger went from “do not draft” to “3rd round pick” with two or three combine interviews. He needs to send Vontaze Burfict a fruit basket.

          • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

            I’d hoped that Armstead remained unnoticeable, but that’s wishful thinking. During the first few days at the senior bowl he was just another body, but by midweek, this kid was catching on and turning heads against well established players from major conferences. He’s not sneaking through this draft, I was hoping he’s last to maybe round 5 but that wish seems canceled.

          • Johnny Domino

            Fruit basket.

            Nice.

          • Ryan

            It might contain something more than fruit…

      • Mikeq

        Sounds good to me- especially Barrett Jones. What’s the one word nearly everyone uses to describe “Chip guys”? Versatility. Jones I believe started at all 5 positions on the Oline at Alabama. Of course, his college line coach now with Eagles as well. He has to be a target- at minimum probably he’s immediate competent back-up at both guard spots and center. Haven’t read much about the draft, but thought he was considered a 2nd rounder in what I have read. Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

  • dislikedisqus

    I can’t imagine they’d take Milliner at 4. To me, a top 5 pick has to be a Pro Bowl lock. Need should not be a factor. I think the OT’s you mention, and also the guard from Ala are the best fits for my criteria. Jordan obviously a dark horse.

    • Jack Waggoner

      Some guys fit a lot better than other guys, and you can’t ignore that. No one mentions Bjorn Werner as a possible pick for us even though he’s highly ranked, because he’s not thought of as a good fit.

    • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

      As much as I like Chance, I have my doubts about taking a guard that high when there are a number of serviceable guards in this draft. Chance is the best among them without a doubt and probably will be a main stay for 10 to 12 years once settled in, but there are equally talented guards comparable the Eagles can draft in later rounds.

      • bentheimmigrant

        I’d be more than happy with Warmack. I don’t think there’s a QB in the league who can just handle a successful blitz up the middle (as opposed to stepping up to avoid an edge rush, etc.). To me, it’s underrated. The edge rushers get all the glory, but I think that distracts from the importance of disrupting the middle of the line.

    • Ryan

      not in this draft

  • Matt Broad

    When Kurt Coleman is done competing for a safety job, he’ll start work on competing to be a greeter at Chickie’s and Pete’s.

    • bentheimmigrant

      He’s not a starter, but he’s a workable backup and plays his heart out. I want him at least reminding the starters how to put everything into the game, even if he’s only on STs. Allen on the other hand… Jimmy Kemski over on Blogging the Beast asked if anyone could remember a big hit by Allen in however many thousand snaps he’s played. I don’t think there is one.

      • Matt Broad

        I feel bad picking on Coleman, because you’re absolutely correct. Probably should have saved that joke for a more worthy target. Reno Mahe, where you at?!!

  • theycallmerob

    Sheil, my real question for you is not who is likely at #4, but will the Eagles draft at #4? Are either of those tackles that much better (compared to their peers) than the best OLB or DB, who may be available at #8 or 9? As in, are Fisher/Joeckel in a separate class from Fluker/Johnson/Armstead, who could be had later? Or is it worth a 1st rd pick on Vaccaro when Thomas/Cyprien/Rambo could be had later?
    In a class that seems to lack truly transcendent players, it might be that quantity of picks is the best course.

    • bentheimmigrant

      The argument works both ways, though… Will they find trading partners to get those extra picks? Better hope someone’s desperate for a QB….

      • ICDogg

        There’s almost always someone to trade down with, but the question is always at what price. In a year like this, the trade-up cost is probably not as high as the charts would show.

  • thefadd

    unless they’re that in love with the Oregan LB Jordan or Geno Smith, I just don’t see how they take anything but an OT at #4.

  • Ryan

    “Most agree that Milliner is the best CB available and should be a solid pro. But I haven’t heard anyone predict that he’ll be a true game-changer like Darrelle Revis.” No one knew that Darrelle Revis would be Darrelle Revis or he wouldn’t have lasted until the 14th pick in the draft.

  • http://www.facebook.com/enjoi.huff Enjoi Huff

    We do not need.more olineman. Our o line was injured last season. If they rnt injured we will be fine with the line. We need to trade our first round drafr pick for darelle revis

  • Iain

    I agree that its hard to take Milliner at #4…and its always possible to trade back and still get a player you want…but I would personally be very disappointed if the eagles don’t take one of the three defensive “game changers” of Dee Milliner, Jarvis Jones, or Dion Jordan in the first and take a safety second, either in round 2 or by trading up into 1, if necessary.
    Why not O-Line? Its a SAFER picks…yes…but I see Sebastian Vollmer, Andre Smith, and Eric Winston on the street…and I know each of them can play RT and then we have insurance for Peters and can slide Herremans in. Really don’t have THAT many holes. Maybe another CB in Milliner isn’t the pick in 1. Other players for depth, ect.