Draft Buzz: Eagles Work Out Stanford TE Ertz

Several draft nuggets to get to from over the weekend…

The Eagles had new tight ends coach Ted Williams work out Stanford’s Zach Ertz, according to Adam Caplan. Ertz (6-5, 249) had 69 catches for 898 yards last season, scoring six touchdowns and averaging a healthy 13.01 yards per catch. He had 20 catches of 15+ yards and six catches of 20+ yards.

Not known as much of a blocker, Ertz is described by many as a “move” tight end, meaning he can line up in various places on offense.

“I think Jason Witten is somebody that I’ve kind of look towards the past couple of years,” Ertz said at the Combine. “He truly is a complete tight end. A very good run blocker and a very good pass catcher. I think that’s something that I kind of try and emulate.”

The Eagles currently have Brent Celek and Clay Harbor on the roster. They also added James Casey in free agency. But Harbor’s no lock to make the roster, and they could look to add another tight end in the draft. Analysts project Ertz as a Day 2 (second or third round) pick.


The Eagles are one of several teams to have worked out Syracuse offensive lineman Justin Pugh, according to NFL Draft Insider. The 6-4, 307-pounder from Council Rock South played tackle in college, but could be moved to guard since he doesn’t have the longest arms (32 inches).

“Well it’s actually crazy,” Pugh said at the Combine. “I played three years never knowing I had short arms. …It didn’t really hurt me then. I didn’t know I had short arms until I got to the Senior Bowl.”

Pugh’s draft projections range from the first to third rounds, likely depending on whether teams view him as a tackle or a guard.


* The Eagles will hold a private workout with Miami cornerback Brandon McGee (5-11, 193), according to Aaron Wilson. McGee was a top-100 recruit coming out of high school and started 25 games in four seasons with the Hurricanes. He’s expected to be a mid-round pick.

* The Birds also worked out another defensive back, Cal’s Josh Hill, according to Tony Pauline. Hill (5-10, 203) did not participate in the Combine and projects as a late-round pick. He showed versatility in four seasons at Cal, playing nickel corner, safety and special teams.

* Eagles player personnel executive Rick Mueller worked out Tulane quarterback Ryan Griffin (6-5, 216) per NOLA.com.

“I probably threw about 30 to 40 (passes) again,” Griffin said, comparing it to his workout with the Saints. “This was a little bit different. It was more just working me out, putting me through drills rather than just throwing to receivers.”

Griffin added: “(Mueller) didn’t really talk a lot — it went well. The feedback I did get said I did well.”

Draft analyst Matt Waldman describes Griffin as a “classic pocket passer” and says he lacks the mobility to make plays with his legs. Doesn’t sound like a Chip Kelly guy, but clearly the Eagles are doing their homework on all QB options (as usual). Griffin could be a late-round pick or undrafted free agent.

* USC center Khaled Holmes worked out for the Eagles on campus, per CBSSports.com. Holmes (6-3, 302) played right guard as a sophomore before switching to center in his final two seasons.

* And finally, the Eagles had a private workout with Princeton defensive end/outside linebacker Mike Catapano, according to Gil Brandt of NFL.com. Catapano (6-3, 271) projects as an outside linebacker in a 3-4. Brandt suggests Catapano could be a fourth- or fifth-round pick.

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  • JofreyRice

    Wow, I haven’t seen Catapano play at all, but a 270+ pounder at OLB? That sounds kinda big for a guy dropping back a good portion of the time. Kinda weird that they’d be projecting him there, but telling Curry he’s staying at DE. Hard to really speculate about anything concerning the front 7, being that Kelly’s playing it so close to the vest. Hopefully his vision for what the defense will look like is more cohesive than a mix-and-match of odd fits.

    Ertz better get better at blocking if he wants to be Jason Witten. Guy was basically just another receiver on the field for Stanford.

    • GGeagle21

      Yeah, I LOLed at Ertz having the nerve to even mention Witten, since right now he is more Jared Cook than anything

  • GGeagle21

    I really like Pugh! I believe in that kid, and I’m not convinced that he can’t play tackle. he handled Chandler Jones just fine, the little brother of UFC LHW champion Jon jOnes known for the longest reach in UFC history

    not sure why waste a workout on Ertz. like the kid a lot, but not in the range where he will be drafted. too many Olineman and DT’s, Safety and CB’s to be had in this draft to be taking a TE before the 4th

    • JofreyRice

      Agree with you about Pugh. I’m not an OL coach or anything, but I thought he looked pretty good at tackle. Doesn’t Joe Thomas have 32″ arms? People talk about moving Pugh to guard, but I think DJ Fluker is a better guard conversion project–could be a mauler at RG in an angle-blocking scheme. As a RT…eh, I dunno. He’s really slow in dealing with edge pressure, and more and more, NFL DC’s are using their best passrusher as a chess piece to put against the weakest spot in the protection; another reason why I’m not keen on taking a classic franchise LT in the top 5.

      Agreed about Ertz as well. There are a bunch of good TEs in this draft. With how lousy the roster is in other areas, I think you have to address other needs before TE.

      • Fluker knows nothing but right tackle, and Lane Johnson has the athletic ability and foot work to slide and kick with either foot as the lead in securing the right edge. I don’t have a doubt he’s swift enough to get out in front of Shady or Brown to lead down field. Joeckle is the cream of the crop, but at Texas A&M, Joeckle wasn’t by far the best Tackle there, his mate on the other side, Matthews. Casey’s cousin, he’s the rave of the country who decided to stay another year and not declare. Flukers line coach at Alabama is now the line coach in Philly.

        • GGeagle21

          Yeah Dutch, I absolutely adore Mathews…In a perfect world we significantly strengthen our Defense, and add some Oline depth in this draft…Then Nick Foles shocks us all, and takes a huge leap in year two, and proves he is someone who we want to build around…In this case, we would get to the 2014 Draft, and try to mortgage everything for Clowney. If we cant get him, we can fall back on Mathews, or the super TE Austin S Jenkins…..Of course, we would have to get extremely lucky for all of that to happen…but now is the time to dream…24 days left til REALITY!

      • GGeagle21

        I think Fluker will look alot like Andre smith…He will be bad the first couple of years, eventually get it together to become a good runblocker, who will always struggle in pass protection. RG might be interesting for him, never really thought about it…Yea Im pretty certan that Staley has short arms….Yeah man, I want no parts of taking a Tackle in the Top 5. I will be heartbroken if Dion Jordan isnt in Philly…who is the apple of your eye at #4(please dont tell me millner lol, If you like Millner, for my sake, Lie to me lol)…
        If we were to trade back, I would strongly consider Lane, but I think Lane doesnt make it past Arizona, and if we trade back, it will probably be behind zona…I would love to trade back to like 11 and get Chance or Cooper(who many believe is stylistically better suited for Kelly than Warmack)…Those two would be great starting guards, but I find it hard to value them at 10, higher than I would getting a guy like Pugh or Long in Rd2, who could be fine at RG for you, but also play emergency tackle for you…
        My wish list at #4:
        3)Dion lol
        4)Sharrif(if he and Cox can play in our scheme together?
        5)Ziggy (Take the talent, worry about the position later)
        my wishlist if we were to trade back to the 11-13 range:
        1)Star(could fall)
        2)Lane (doubt he makes it past 7)
        3)Sheldon Richardson (see Sharrif Floyd comments)
        Round 2, I got my eyes on(I wont list them in order since I cant possibly know what we did in round 1):
        Jonathon Hankins
        Kyle Long
        Tank Carradine
        Jonathon Cyprien(My Gut strongly tells me that Cyprien and EJ will be 49ers)
        Justin Pough
        Jesse Williams
        Jamar Taylor
        DJ Swearinger (reminds me alot of Dashon Goldson)
        Terron Armstead
        Menelek Watson

        • GGeagle21

          Guys I would target in rd 3:
          -Barrett Jones
          -Brandon Williams
          -Justin Hunter(if he falls)
          -JAMIE COLLINS(should get strong consideration if we cant land Dion, although I also like Michael Buchannon later in the draft)
          -Kiko Alonso
          -Jon Jenkins
          -Kaseem Green
          -Ryan Swope/Steadman Baily (if we trade avant,Maclin, or cooper)
          -Some mocks recently have both Barrett Jones and Brandon Williams falling to the 4th
          -Gavin Escobar/Travis Kelce (doubt they fall this far, but I would certainly pounce on either in the 4th)
          -Brennan Williams OT UNC. This kid is a round 2, maybe late round 1 talent, who can play tackle on both sides, who’s draft stock will fall due to injuries. Id certainly take a shot at him in the 4th
          -Brandon McGee CB Miami, can back up Fletcher’s two bad knees on the outside
          -Montari Hughes NT Tennesse-Martin (Big boy brings the beef)
          -Jelani Jenkins OLB florida
          -Devin Taylor DE South Florida (think of a poor mans Caleaus Cambell)
          Question: would you take Damontre Moore with your 2nd round pick….or is his stock completly destroyed(Not to mention too many predators)

          -TE Nick Kasa
          -David Quessenberry San Jose state OT/G/C like Barrett Jones, he can play them all
          -Chase Thomas 3-4OLB Stanford( Draft stock has fallen tremendously, but as a strictly 3-4 OLB, I think he will surprise people and be a solid player)
          -Luke Marquardt OT: Raw as it gets, converted basketball player, but not many men this big and this agile walking around on Earth. I think Stoutland could have a shot at molding him into something special
          -OLB Gerald Hodges Penn state/Sean Porter Texas AandM
          -Sanders Commings Georgia S/CB
          -QB Zac Drysert(Notice he is the only QB i listed)
          If the Eagles can find a way to draft 6-7 of these players(first 5 rounds) by aquiring extra picks(trading back, or flipping players) I will be absolutely thrilled. Like, I will feel like its the best draft we had in 15 years. I really believe in alot of these 3-5 round players, and I cant ever remember a draft where I loved the mid rounds as much as this one…Finding a diamond in the rough in the 7th, and one undrafted Gem…would make this my dream draft scenario…Of course this is one of those, only in your wildest immagination scenary…but we are running out of time to dream, the draft is around the corner. Time to get serious soon lol

          • Nick Marmarou

            Third round I want that massive DT from George (Jenkins)

          • GGeagle21

            Nice player…might even last til the 4th

        • JofreyRice

          I think the defense needs an interchangeable safety that can set the tone and affect games. For that reason, I’d take Kenny Vaccaro at #4. Maybe they could trade back and get him later, but that’s the player I want in the first round. If they can’t trade back and get him, I’d be cool with taking him at 4. I think he’s better than Mark Barron, who went in the top 10 last year.

          If they don’t take safety, I’d take a guy to play the 5T with upside as a passrusher in nickel packages. I think Sheldon Richardson would be the best complement to Cox, but I think Star or Floyd could be really good players as well. That’s my order of preference. If they don’t go 5 Tech, and go OLB, I like Barkevious Mingo the best of the bunch. Jordan is more versatile, but I like Mingo’s passrush more; I’m not as focused on the upside of Jordan’s coverage ability with that kind of pick, I want to see the upside as a passrusher. It’s a shame Carradine was hurt, I think it would have been intriguing to see how he reacted as an OLB in drills–he’s got that “shot out of a cannon” look to his rush.

          I don’t really see elite outside coverage guys in this draft, but I’d be OK with Milliner, if they went that route. I don’t think he’s “worth” the #4 pick, but I don’t think he’s a bum either. They need to have a backup plan in case the oft-injured Bradley Fletcher is not able to get it together, or shows the Eagles why he was riding the bench in SL.

          I wouldn’t be “mad” if they took either of the top 2 tackles, they are both good players, that will contribute–I just don’t see the “bang for your buck” in picking one in the top 5. I think the sweet spot for those guys is around 11-31. Lane Johnson needs time to develop, but that’s the guy I’d be targeting, if I was looking for a tackle–but not in the top 10.

          • GGeagle21

            I honestly hate Vaccaro. I wouldnt take him over Cyprien. reminds me way too much of Nate Allen…Can’t be dickin around with the secondary in the top 10 when you aren’t set in the trenches and front 7…Let me tell you something about Dion that most people probably don’t know. Right now, he is the same size as Jason Taylor was coming out of college..JT had 7 sacks per season his 3 years starting at Akron…Dions first year starting on defense he had 7 sacks..the next year he tore his labrum and still had 5.5…I’m not exactly sure Dions doubters grasp the concept of trying to play 6 games with a torn labrum..He managed to accumulate close to JT’s sacks per year, yet Dion got those stats having gotten significantly less pass rushing attempts than Mingo or any other DE prospect that he is competing with…Dion can do anything any other pass rusher can do…let’s see them do what he does in coverage..I have literally never seen a pass rusher subtly fake his rush inside of a OT, and then fluidly bounce it outside that way Dion is able to do. How do you stop that? An OT has to be able to come off the ball fast enough to get in the proper position on a rusher and get his hands on him…I have a hard time seeing how OTs are going to get off the line fast enough to be in position to stop him..Once he gains experience, fills into his body, learns counter moves and how to really use his huge hands..he will be unstoppable. Mingo? mingo’s hips and body is still…one of Dions best assets are his FLEXABLE hips, body control, ability to bend under and around Ot’s…..Jason Taylor with freak speed? Yes please! Everyone is entitled to their oppinion, my oppinion is Dion will become unstoppable in a few years…No other prospect can offer our DC as much ability to disguise his defense as Dion Jordan can…I mean, if he can actually stop a slot RECIEVER for a play or two..then he will have the credibility to blitz him from the slot. He can spy RG3…what other player will combine with Kendrick’s for a bett Nickle coverage package? I will be heartbroken if he isn’t an eagle…It’s rare hat we get to pick 4, so let’s go grab a rare special player

  • ICDogg

    Zac Ertz made me wonder how many Eagles players I could think of with 2 “Z”s in their name. I came up with William Frizzell and Doug Brzezinski. There might be more.

    • FinsterBaby

      Mike Zordich.

      • ICDogg

        He’s only got 1 “Z”

        • FinsterBaby

          OK misread your post – how about Jerry Mazzanti.

          • ICDogg

            I had to look him up… but he qualifies!

  • Brent E. Sulecki

    Eagles putting in work to for this years draft. so glad for a fresh approach. no ones job is safe

  • Jwalkyn

    I think everyone needs to just relax and realize the Eagles under thus new management will take a different non conventional approach. They haven’t tipped their hand so far with much of anything. I woukld really approach this draft as a fan with an open mind. They ciuld draft anybody in the first round. I believe they are looking for the best player available. So while all of you have your wish list. Chip not telling until the last minute.

  • jaran riley

    Ertz and Reid only two players that will make me second think about taking Ej in the 2nd.

  • Nick Marmarou

    I would even like Stanfords second tight end,Levine Toilolo.He is 6’8″ and if he is a TE at Stanford, I am sure he is pretty good. Could be a good under the radar late round pick.

    • ggeagle21