What They’re Saying: Draft Roundup

With the draft less than three weeks away, here’s what the national media are saying related to the Eagles and the No. 4 pick:

NFL Films Executive Producer Greg Cosell sees this quarterback class different than most.

Cosell made waves when he labeled USC’s Matt Barkley a third- or fourth-round talent. He then called Syracuse’s Ryan Nassib a better prospect than West Virginia’s Geno Smith. After hundreds of hours of tape-watching, Cosell continues to see the signal-caller hierarchy in a different light than the masses.

Cosell on Friday said he would “rather have” N.C. State’s Mike Glennon than Smith.

“I would argue that, in my opinion, Glennon could (go) late in the first round and I wouldn’t have a problem with that at all,” Cosell told NFL Network’s ‘Path to the Draft’ on Friday. “As I talked about his attributes, I think he has probably — of the quarterbacks in this class — more of the attributes that you look for than maybe any other quarterback in this class.”

Chris Mortensen joined Mike Missanelli Friday and gave some insight into the Smith-Eagles dynamic:

“I know the Eagles had a really good private session with him. And I know when they showed him a tape of one of his worst games he handled it well and had the right answers, even if he didn’t make the right decisions on that. He certainly impressed.

“Would I be shocked if they take Geno? No. Do I know that they are going to take Geno? No, I don’t.”

Later in the interview, Mortensen predicted that the Eagles draft Ziggy Ansah. 

Sal Paolantonio thinks Eric Fisher is the pick at No. 4 if the tackle is available.

“Eric Fisher is without a doubt my top player in the draft. Can’t miss with Eric Fisher. He’ll be productive, mature, intelligent, an absolute starter for 10 years at the tackle position. He will anchor your offensive line for a half a generation.”

Sal rolled out his top 5, which consisted of Fisher, Chance Warmack, Sharrif Floyd, Tavon Austin and Dion Jordan, assuming his shoulder is OK.

Mike Mayock now has Fisher ranked ahead of Luke Joeckel.

“This is no way an indictment of Luke Joeckel, I think he’s going to be an All-Pro three years from now,” Mayock told NFL Network’s “Path to the Draft” on Friday. “It’s more an indication of my belief that there’s just a little bit more upside with Eric Fisher. He’s a little bit longer, I think he has better feet and he’s a little bit more athletic.”

Todd McShay had the Eagles selecting Fisher at No. 4, but in his most recent mock-up changed the pick to Star Lotulelei.

You may have noticed that the Eagles are working out or setting up visits with every prospect under the sun. Dan Graziano tries to make sense of it all.

 The last time the Eagles had a pick this high, they used it on Donovan McNabb. Largely because of the way that pick worked out, the Eagles aren’t used to picking in the top five, and their hope is that it’ll be a very long time before they have to again. To that end, the Eagles need to make as certain as possible that they find a franchise building-block type of player at No. 4. And while certainty with regard to draft picks is unattainable, they need to be thinking less about immediate need and raw potential and more about reliability. They need someone with low “bust” potential. That’s why I kind of doubt they’ll take Smith, the West Virginia quarterback, at No. 4. The book on Smith is that he has the tools to be a franchise guy but that he was inconsistent in college from game to game and has too much “bad tape.” Someone like that feels more risky than the Eagles need to be at No. 4, in my personal opinion. Which is, I believe, what you come here to read.

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  • theycallmerob

    It’s funny that, after the good article about Lane Johnson yesterday, and seemingly general consensus that he at least has the athletic ability to play in a “Kelly scheme”, few people have linked his name to the Eagles. He seems just as physically gifted as Joeckel and Fisher, has that coveted mean streak, had great combine numbers, and is extremely bright; I guess the biggest knock is his lack of playing experience at the position.
    Anyone see things differently? Again, not knocking Joeckel or Fisher, but I don’t see either as step above Johnson.

    • cliff henny

      sounds like reading reviews/posts over and and over, none of the 3 OTs are no doubt great (say, an Orlando Pace) but just splitting hairs degrees of very good. and since it’s a draft, simply just have to rank them. each has a strength over the other, just depends on what a team values the most. the beauty of Johnson is the assumption that he can be nabbed at 7-9, so we’ve traded down and rec’d an additional pick. regardless of players choosen (as long as it’s an impact player-a bust f’s up the whole theory) whether its johnson jordan ziggy etc, seems like the best of all worlds. guess one good thing from having 7 holes still easily filled, we arent pigeon-holed with pick.

      • That is the benefit of Johnson, being able to get him a few picks later. We’ll see what happens.

        • GGeagle21

          In fairness, we really have no clue what any of these guys are rated! The grades a GM gives a prospect can be drastically different than the grade the mock experts give a prospect..Take for example Millner, some experts have him as like a 95…there is seriously no shot in hell that I think any NFL FO person has him rated that high…For all we really know, Lane could be looked at as a top 5 pick…we think we know, and the mock community kind of formulates these consensus views, some end up right, some end up being so far removed from reality….Thats why I laugh, when people will scoff at like Dion at 4, Im like really? Cause he most likely is getting a TON of LEGIT interest as the number 1 or number 2 pick…I think Lane comes off the board before Millner does, and very few draft experts see it that way…All of the sudden the draft community, has decided that Star is going to slip to the 9-14 range…Maybe they are right…but would anyone really be surprised if he was getting heavy consideration as a toop 5 pick right now? NFL teams do so much due dilligence, and its still no where near an exact science..I find it funny, that these experts try to act like they know what a team is going to do, and often times pass it off like they have inside info…when reality, teams draft boards and draft intentions are held so darn close to the vest, why would a team tell a guy like Mort, or Glazier or laconfotra who they want to draft? Us fans, and mock experts can think we know so much…sometimes we do, sometimes we are in fact, clueless!

          • Richard Colton

            Very true. Except in most cases they’ll have it mostly right. There’s a consensus brewing around the top 11 players in this draft. Of those 11, odds are 8 or 9 will be taken in the first 11 picks. That means two or three teams in the top twelve do something unpredictable. That’s the fun of draft night, watching Kiper/McShay go apoplectic when Seattle takes a guy like Bruce Irvin at 15. Someone is going to do something unpredictable in the first round – Buffalo might not want to wait for round #2 to get Nassib. Jacksonville might love Tavon Austin at two. Geno Smith could fall to 22.

          • GGeagle21

            very true…3 more weeks men, and we get all our anwers! If I had to guess what the teams in the top 10 are looking for:
            1)KC OT
            2)Predator(Ziggy), QB(Geno), SAM(Dion), OT
            4)SAM, DT, OT depth
            5)OT,DE…no they arent taking a corner!
            8)Guard to replace Levitre, QB
            9)Defense(they need everything), WR

          • GGeagle21

            I really wonder If deep down, chip would like to make Barwin the predator since he had so much success on the open side as opposed to his 3sack effort on the TE side last season…I wonder if chip doesn’t seriously think about a future with Barwin and Dion as the OLB’s….what that means for Cole,Graham and Vinny…I have no idea..A few weeks, and we will start to get some real clues…What I do know is if Cole/Bgrizzle/Curry want a future as OLB’s on the Eagles they better be ready to show some OLB agility at the predraft camp, or they might find themselves on the trading block….not saying this is really the case, just something to keep an eye on…I do think this predraft camp is much more important than the normal mini camp

      • Richard Colton

        You have to go back a long time to find an offensive tackle rated as high as both Fisher and Joeckal coming out of college. Orlando Pace in ’97 and Tony Mandrarich in ’89. Pace was one of 3 key players on one of the greatest scoring machines of all time. Mandarich…ummm caveat emptor. If Fisher is the next Tony Boselli, and we get him at 4???!!!??? – we made the right pick.

    • JofreyRice

      Lane Johnson is going to have some ups and downs, I think. Jockel and Fisher are going to be much more consistent starters on a per snap basis, Day 1. Johnson was a different player throughout the season for Oklahoma–improving every week. I didn’t watch Fisher much, but Joeckel started the season as a very rehearsed and comfortable LT, and finished that way. He’s like a robot, in a good way. Just very few mistakes. Down the road? Who knows who turns out the best?

  • GGeagle21

    I agree that Nassib is probably the best QB prospect. I dont like EJ, but I would take him before Geno…I think Glennon is the Foles of this draft(the kid that played with a crap sorrounding cast, but has a chance to make it at the next level)….
    I dont understand how these experts are coming to these Conclusions..Joek is an absolute technician, who’s father was a former tackle in college, and has been instilling technique, hand position, since Joekel was in Pee Wee, football and its obvious because he is ridiculously refined as a tackle, and proved it week in and week out against the very best….Now People are saying Fisher is a better prospect, he might be…but the argument is that he is a better athlete with a beter body, thus has a greater upside…Well if that is the criteria for who is the best OT, would that make Lane Johnson the number 1 OT in the draft? He has every single thing you like about fisher, the body, the athleticism…and probably more!….Im not saying which one is better than other, Im just questioning the methodology used for deciding that Fisher is now the better prospect.

    • Richard Colton

      NFL post has Nassib as the #1 overall prospect at any position.

      • Geagle21

        wow…really? I laugh at the Eagles Geno/Manuel talk…I dont think we are takling a QB in rd 1 or 2, but if we do, I would expect that it happened because we liked Nassib…Of course, plenty of people still think QB’s get dratfed because of their legs lol………..Speed is nothing more than a BONUS or Tie breaker, when deciding on QB’s! Leadership,Toughness, ability to read defense, decision making, arm strength, all the intangibles, and most importantly ACCURACY are how you decide on a QB

  • Honest_T

    I have no knowledge of how to scout/evaluate players, but I think it’s interesting that the Birds have done so much due diligence on Smith and expressed zero overt interest in Nassib. I doubt that’s the case behind closed doors. Everyone knows Buffalo wants Nassib, and the Eagles expressing a public interest in the guy increases the likelihood Buffalo trade up to nab him in front of the Eagles.

    If QB is the most important position, and Kelly requires his QB to make quick, smart decisions, I would not be surprised if the Eagles take a QB at 4 if that guy is there, and that could just as easily be Nassib as Smith.

    • ICDogg

      If the Eagles really like Nassib that much it would be to their advantage to keep it very secret.

      • GGeagle21

        yup! Lurie tipped his hand TOO much and ruined the Geno Smoke screen(then again, if you watched all the bad tape of Geno, that alone makes him a smokescreen lol)…and we have shown alot of interest in EJ….Nassib on the other hand, our FO acts like he isnt even being considered….When I see the Eagles, making ZERO effort to hide their affections for Geno and EJ…yet, they havent said a single PEEP out of a 1st-2nd round Talent like Nassib who happens to be a local kid, and DIE HARD eagles fan(see VINNY CURRY)…That SCREAMS at me more than anything they have said about Geno/EJ……….When in fact,if they had no interest in Nassib, they should be creating the Illusion that they do, make the Bills NERVOUS, and the day of the draft offer them the option of moving up to aquire our 2nd round pick…
        we wouldnt be falling back that many spots, and it would still probably get us an extra 3rd in return, and be in the position to still draft a guy like Kyle Long,Pugh,Hankins,Tank(maybe, because if it werent for the injuries he would be a top 10 pick), Sly-dub(Sylvester Williams)….Heck, if Cyprien comes off the board before we pick, which is what I expect, I wouldnt be mad if the Eagles traded all the way down to the end of round 2, accumulated an extra 3rd, 4th, and probably a pick in the following draft and come away with DJ Swearinger type tone setter to compete with Chung

        • ICDogg

          I like the way Nassib dances away from pressure in the pocket, and his short delivery. But I find it especially hard to evaluate college QBs against one another.

  • Eaglesnoles05

    Here, watch… I’m a draft pundit. Pay me lots of money. “I think that certain players may be better than other players, maybe. But I wouldn’t be surprised if it were the other way around.”

    Can I get a job at espn or nfl network now please? I have a good camera face too, so I got that AND my “expert” analysis going for me

    • Richard Colton

      you wish you had Mel Kiper’s hair

  • Mr. Magee

    Good analysis and sound logic from Graziano… Agree that eagles need a building block on either OL or DL with this pick – especially if Kelly expects to be around a while. (Kudos, btw, to the eagles on the mcnabb pick from yesteryear.)

    The trade down option maybe the way to go… Would love to be a fly on the wall in the eagles draft room as the offer(s) are coming in and the guys are weighing the relative trade-offs

  • zbone95

    Lets say we were going to go pure 3-4. What is the point of taking Shariff Floyd if we already have a similar young player in Fletcher Cox. No point in drafting another 3-tech when we already have one. If they wanted to go D, Just based on fit, Star Lotelelei would be the choice. I still want Eric Fisher at pick 4 just because of his athleticism and his anchor plus our OT’s are over 30 and you don’t know how Jason Peters will play after his Achilles.

    • GGeagle21

      Sharrif Floyd tho is a scary talent when you consider his age. he really could be the next Warren Sapp…but I can’t dispute that Star stylistically is more suited for what I assume our defensive will be. Star is much better suited to anchore the defense against the run game. He gives you everything you want from a NT/5tec, but his true value is that for a man his size, he stays on the field on 3rd down, and can anchore an extremely disruptive interior pass rush on 3rd down with Cox in a 4-2-5…Then again, Sharrif would also be pretty scary on a 4man line next to Cox….The only reason I’m hesitant about Sharrif is, When people argue to me that we can easily make Cox a 5tec, I always say “Yes it’s true, Cox can play 5tec for us at a high level, but it would be a waste of his talents”….well, I could say the same exact thing about Sharrif Floyd. However, If we are truly just looking to draft the guy that will be the best player and go on to have the best career, Than you HAVE to give Sharrif some SERIOUS consideration…

  • If they are truly rebuilding this team, then I think they need to go tackle with
    their 1st round if Joeckel or Fisher are there at 4. After that Jordan
    if his shoulder is okay. Having Peters out last year really hurt Vick’s
    game. Even with Peters back he is in his 30’s. Lets get a new guy up to
    snuff so we can eventually get two studs like we had in Tra Thomas and
    Jon Runyan. Guys like that in their prime can make an average QB look
    good. I still think Vick is an above average QB. Lets let him mentor a
    young QB. It doesn’t need to be Geno Smith. So far I have really been
    pleasantly surprised in their offseason. They will be an interesting
    team to watch this year.

  • Mostel

    What is funny that if Taylor Lewan and Jake Matthews both came out, we’d be looking at a draft with 5 OTs taken in the first 12 picks or so.

  • GGeagle21

    As someone with such a strong belief in Dion Jordan…the only player, that if is still available at 4, makes me seriously stop and think about passing up on Dion Jordan is, Sharrif Floyd(just because of his talent)…However, in the end, I think the fact that Dion was born to play SAM in a 4-3Under, when compared to the fact that Ideally Floyd would be a 3tec, but we will probably have to use him as a 5tec makes me give the Nod to Dion, in my mind ATleast