Eagles Wake-Up Call: Jon Gruden On QB Crop

Jon Gruden’s quarterback camp is in full swing. Another year, another crop of QB prospects awkwardly interacting with Chucky in a film room setting.

The Mothership is getting even more out of the popular series this year. ESPN.com is printing Gruden’s scouting reports on the men he is working with. First up is Geno Smith:

 Maybe the system [at West Virginia] is great, but I don’t know of a quarterback who has had as many decision-making opportunities as Smith had. And you know what? He made the right decisions. For instance: Every running play that was called, he had the option to hand the ball off, but he could also check out of the play and throw it. There were always options.

In this class, I definitely think he’s a guy you could take at No. 1, or at least in that range if it’s your top need. Sure, a lot of people say he’s not as good as Andrew Luck or Griffin. Well, last time I checked, those guys aren’t in this draft. It’s supply and demand. In this league, you need a quarterback, and if you’re a general manager or a coach you can’t just operate with the idea you’re content to wait until you’re in the perfect position to take a can’t-miss prospect. In this class, the closest thing to that is Smith. And if I needed a quarterback, I’d be willing to take him high.

Gruden talks about Arkansas’ Tyler Wilson here.

Seperately, in an interview with Peter King, Gruden sang the praises of Ryan Nassib and EJ Manuel.

“Here’s a guy [Nassib] who went 3-0 against Geno Smith,” Gruden said. “Imagine this pressure: Syracuse is expected to be pretty good last year, and they start 0-2, and they’ve losing to Stony Brook at home at halftime the next week. He brings them back there to win. They beat Louisville. They win at Missouri. They really handle West Virginia in the bowl game. Those are some good wins, now. And they do it after changing their offense two weeks before the start of the regular season. I like the way he plays. I like the way he handled his own people booing him.”

As for Manuel: “He’d be a fun guy to coach. Very fun. Can call any play. He can run any play. Upbeat. Powerful vibe around him. People just like him. They want to be around him. Loves the game. I really, really like this kid.”

Regarding Nassib and Manuel: “You want Nassib and Manuel on your team. You want to be around Nassib and Manuel. If you like those guys, you’re on the right track.”

In case you’re interested, a schedule of when Gruden’s QB camp episodes will air can be found here.


Greg Cosell gives us four players that seem like a fit with Chip Kelly.

Sheil reports that the Eagles have checked out running back Marcus Lattimore.

Our draft profiles continue with athletic defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson.

Kapadia offers three numbers that matter.

Why many of the holes on the current roster can be traced directly back to the 2011 draft.


Chris Steuber has released a two-round mock draft. He has the Eagles selecting Dion Jordan with the No. 4 pick, and Manuel at 35.

Tommy Lawlor makes the case for taking an outside linebacker with the No. 4 pick.

Let’s go back to the depth chart for a minute.  I’m sure a few of you could point out that the O-line and secondary also look like they could use some help.  I totally agree, but that’s where you need to understand the draft class.  Check out this recent tweet from Daniel Jeremiah:

“Not a lot of options for teams looking for a pass rusher in RD 2….Plenty of RD 2 options at every other defensive position.”

If you want a stud pass rusher, you need to go for him at pick #4.  CB, S, and OL are positions that are fairly deep this year.  You can address them in the 2nd, 3rd, or possibly even 4th rounds.  You might be able to find a pass rusher outside the 1st round, but there are no guarantees.

New Bill Kevin Kolb has set some lofty goals.

“I’m here to win a Super Bowl. Period,” Kolb said.

It’s a big goal, considering the Bills haven’t made the playoffs since the 1999 season. However, Kolb sees that as an advantage, “It’s good to come to an organization like this. They’re hungry,” Kolb said. “It’ll be nice to come out and surprise some people.”


We are now 16 days away from the draft.

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  • Geagle

    like I have been saying…don’t use the 4th pick in the draft on something you can find in the later rounds…The pick HAS to be Dion, although I’m not sure he will even be available at 4, which is why the fans who think he is a reach at 4 crack me up!!!

    Gruden is an idiot! He has no credibility, because he never says anything bad about anyone…Thank GOD Gruden wasn’t hired as our coach

    • jamesbondage

      he’s not gonna trash any qb prospect on camera so you just have to read between the lines. last year, he was salivating all over luck, rg3 and wilson more so than others (i remember he wasn’t crazy high on foles… he just said that foles had a decent arm and good work ethic). we’ll just have to wait and see which qbs he drools on more to get a sense of who he really likes.

      • GGeagle

        you are absoliutely right…but for those reason, I cant take Gruden serious when he talks…If you arent willing to tell me his flaws, then I dont need to be listening to you about his strengths…and he is the laughing stock of Monday night football. I mean, Im tired of his terrible commentary driven by his coaching agenda…Its like listening to a politician talk…I will not be watching his silly little QB school…although seeing cam Newton not be able to draw a single play on the blackboard was must see TV lol

    • Bebin Abraham

      Wait you can’t find a OLB later in the draft? :)

      • GGeagle

        Problem is in this draft, after round 1, you can either find an OLB who can rush the passer(slim pickins but there are some like Jamie Collins), or you can find a LB who can drop back and Cover….You cant find an OLB that can do both at a high level…Who the hell would you match up Jason Witten with? He cant always be covered by a safety or Nickle corner…Ask Demeco what Connar Barwin brings to the EAGLES and he will NEVER mention the ability to drop back and cover TE’s…There are OLB’s that I like, Jamie, Sio Moore, Jelanie Jenkins, but Jamie is the only one that I think has a shot to be a serious NFL pass rusher…We need atleast 1 friggin OLB that can Lineup and the defense NOT know if he is rushing or dropping back, and RIGHT now, WE HAVE NONE! Without that element that the defense doesnt know who is rushing, WTF was the point of switching defensive schemes?
        Dont think Dion’s naysayers understand how crucial his skills are to what we are trying to transition to…anyone see anything that resembled Dion Jordan in Free Agency? See a player in the 3rd round who you would compare to him?…He provides something very valuable to us(actually alot of shit thats valuable to us), and if you pass on him, it will be very difficult to find again….This makes me doubt that we would pass on him

  • GGeagle
    • GGeagle

      eagles interview of Ifaeny Momah

    • nicksaenz1

      Thanks. Knew nothing about this guy and seldom look at interviews. Seems to be a good character guy, hard worker, and determined to get on the field and prove his worth. His tape looks great. If he manages to actually get a little better with the lateral movement, his routes will be as sharp as you could imagine for a 6’7″ guy. His speed is deceiving since it’s all stride. Would love to see this guy pan out for us in this injury-prone-free-agent-signing frenzy we are on this offseason.

  • GW.Fisher

    If there’s a 10 year starter at OT in round 2 or 3 I’m all for Dion at #4. But I want my O-line set, so if not gime Fisher….

    • GGeagle

      there is even one in rd 4

    • If the Eagles use pick 4 to draft a defensive player, the player has to come in and make the pro bowl in year one. If not the chances are slim and none Kelly is in Philly coaching in 2015. Fletcher Cox was the 13 pick, and he greatly exceeded any expectations. So pick 4 can’t come here and achieve less than Fletcher Cox as a rookie on defense.

      • nicksaenz1

        2012 #4 pick… Matt Kalil made the pro bowl as a replacement to Trent Williams
        2011 #4 pick… AJ made the Pro Bowl
        2010 #4 pick… Trent Williams did not make the pro bowl in year 1. Replaced this year because of a “night club incident”, which would have been first
        2009 #4 pick Aaron Curry…. it’s well documented that he didn’t make it ever
        2008 #4 pick Darren McFadden… did not make pro bowl in year 1
        2007 #4 pick Gaines Adams… did not make pro bowl in year 1
        2006 #4 pick D’Brickashaw Ferguson…. did not make pro bowl in year 1
        2005 #4 pick Cedric Benson…. did not make pro bowl in year 1
        2004 #4 pick Philip Rivers…. did not make pro bowl in year 1 (as a side note, the Vagiants traded him to the Chargers for Eli, who also did not make the pro bowl as a #1 pick)
        2003 #4 pick Dewayne Robertson…. did not make pro bowl in year 1

        The point? One player, ONE PLAYER, selected at #4 in the last 10 years of draft history has made the pro bowl in year 1 without being a default selection as in the case of Matt Kalil, thus, rendering your requirement and assertion that “If the Eagles use pick 4 to draft a defensive player, the player has to come in and make the pro bowl in year one. If not the chances are slim and none Kelly is in Philly coaching in 2015” completely baseless and utterly idiotic. Not one of the 3 defensive players taken at #4 in the last years has made a pro bowl PERIOD! Even worse, only 1 offensive player has outright earned a fan voted trip to the pro bowl. Making this requirement even dumber is that the league is considering changing the format and having captains of some sort select the teams. As for the assertion regarding Kelly, he just can’t be a bust, and even if he is, it’s unlikely that it’s the sole decision that would have him ousted by 2015. It may be a sign of a larger problem, but certainly not the be all end all of his coaching tenure. All the player selected at 4, if they keep it, has to do is to come in, earn a starting spot, produce enough to keep the starting spot, and show improvement throughout the year. HOPEFULLY, this player will earn his trip to Hawaii, or, more importantly, All-Pro honors. Year 1 pro-bowler? It’d be nice, wouldn’t it? I’d rather have a playoff team in Chip’s year 1 while the #4 is a solid starter showing he’s only getting better than a #4 pick make the pro bowl while the team misses the playoffs.

  • Richard Colton

    Don’t take the best player available who also fills a need because hey, it’s a deep draft for O-line and you can (maybe) find one later. That doesn’t work for me. Using the same logic, we draft Geno Smith at #1 because we need a QB. I’ll take the sure(est) thing.

    • GGeagle

      This is the problem…there is NO BEST PLAYER! Everyone has their favorites, but the fact of the matter is there are a handful of similarly ranked prospects at the top of the draft..So need, and positional value, supply and demand of this draft class are what you need to factor in to break the tie! You might Love Fisher, and think he is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but the fact of the matter is there are about 4 guys ranked the same as him, if not a point lower…People also act like Fisher is this ready made prospect, which he isnt! He isnt half the technition at this point that Joekel is. If we drafted Fisher I dont even know what to do with him, because I do believe that he can be ready to start by day 1, but I think Herremans is a much better tackle than Guard… problem with Joekel is he doesnt have the physical attributes that Lane and Fisher have…If Fisher was a 98, and the next best player was a 92, you would see a handful of teams fighting with each other to trade up for him…THATS NOT THE CASE!
      There is so much parity at the top of this draft, that a guy like me, who is obssessed with BPA and adding talent on this team has to talk about positional value, team need, depth…if not, you might as well just put 5 guys name in a hat and pick one…because they are all flawed prospects………Take the one with the highest charecter, so we dont have to worry about him busting! Take something that we cant find anywhere else not in free agency, and not in the later rounds of the draft….How can I be Gung Ho about Fisher at 4, when I like Lane better, when I like our starting Tackles(probably my favorite players on this team), when I dont like Todd against DT’s, When there are so many prospects after round that provide a ton of flexability, being able to play multiple spots on the line….To each his own…I doubt we will change each others oppinion…2 weeks and we will find out….Dion Jordan probably wont even last til 4. Like how many teams are really going to pass on a kid that in 3 years could be the best pass rusher and coverbacker from this class? I HIGHLY DOUBT that we would, considering you cant even find a pass rusher after round 1 in this class…the problem is, Im sure the 3 teams ahead of us see the same high ceiling that I see……We would be FORTUNATE to have Dion fall to us at 4

      • Richard Colton

        I don’t fault the player selection, just the strategy. If the Eagles have them ranked 1) Dion 2) Fisher 3) Floyd – and Jordan falls to #4, I want them to pick Jordan. My issue is the myopia some people have with the draft – as if 2013 is the last season of professional football and the 2013 draft will be the last one in history. I tear my Mel Kiper-esque hair out when I read things like “draft all defense” or “take the best available safety in round 3.” Just because it’s a deep draft at one position doesn’t mean you build your draft plan around that assumption.

        • GGeagle

          see what you just said: “as if 2013 is the last season of professional football and the 2013 draft will be the last one in history”…………THATS EXACTLY WHAT I THINK TO MYSELF when I see everyone pounding the table for an OT at 4, when OT is just a depth need, and we have 3 capable tackles on our roster! Yet I dont see a single OLB that I wouldnt shit my pants watching drop back in coverage…or a single 5tec on the roster with any sort of confidence in being able to start next year!…..Im not even convinced that Brandon Graham or Cole will see 2014 in an Eagles jersey..I think the WORLD of Graham as a 4-3DE..OLB? I just dont know

  • knighn

    Jon Gruden fascinates me. The guy obviously has a lot of football knowledge and a has a fun, enthusiastic way of presenting it. You look at his time in the NFL and it is obvious that he did some pretty good coaching. After all: not every Head Coach gets to be a Super Bowl champion!

    I have often wondered why Gruden has been unable to get another Head Coaching job in the NFL. According to many accounts, including Jaworski’s, Gruden would have returned to coaching this season if the right opportunity presented itself. Sure: no other coach has ever won a Super Bowl for two different teams before, but that doesn’t mean that it will never happen. And sure: Gruden’s got an ego, but what good coach doesn’t? So why is this guy still in the broadcaster’s booth and not running a team?

    Then you look at Gruden’s last 6 seasons as a head coach: The Buccaneers only made it back to the playoffs twice and they lost in the first round both times. His biggest failure in his last 6 years was his ability to identify and develop a franchise QB. That is extremely ironic because the guy has a reputation for being a Guru on Offense and he runs a QB Camp! That’s when I think I get it: 6 years with one team and the guru didn’t identify, develop and stick with a single QB! You add that in with Gruden’s ego and the humongous paycheck that he would command and then you really can’t blame a team for going another direction. I wonder if Gruden will ever be a head coach again.

    • I’ve also heard the Chucky is pretty bad at developing a roster and would need a GM that would basically do it for him. He’s a rah-rah kind of guy but has terrible talent evaluation skill. He inherited a pretty good roster in TB.

      I’m not a fan of Gruden. I’m hoping some team hires him, preferably Dallas, Washington or NYG somehow. Mainly just so I stop having to listen to him on MNF.

      • knighn

        I don’t know about the rest of the roster, but Gruden was definitely bad a developing the most important part: the QB. Honestly I didn’t follow him all that closely when he was with the Raiders so I don’t know if he ever was able to develop a QB there. I’ll have to go back and check some time.

        If Gruden was truly terrible at developing a roster on top of his obvious issue of developing a QB then that could signal why teams would stay away from him. He’s got credentials and an ego, so he would probably want a big paycheck AND total control.

        I will tell you this, though: I don’t want him going to a division rival. I wouldn’t bet against Gruden. He’s not everyone’s favorite flavor (obviously) but the guy is incredibly well known and can inspire a football team. I’ve said this before: if you look at his total time in the NFL, Gruden demonstrated that he can be a very good coach. If he has actually learned from his mistakes while away from coaching: watch out – when he comes back he’ll be an even better coach with something to prove.

        I realize that I may come across as wishy washy. Summing it up:
        – Gruden was a good coach
        – He showed some serious flaws
        – I completely understand why teams haven’t hired him (if he was truly available)
        – I wouldn’t bet against him if he ever coaches again
        – The more time passes the more I doubt that he ever will

  • Sig

    This EJ Manuel talk needs to stop with the Eagles second round pick. If teams do not see him as a first round pick then I dont want him. I understand picking up a project QB in the 4th round or later, but not with a deep draft, and a lot of holes on the roster. The Eagles second round pick is one of the most valuable in the draft. The FO will have a full night to game plane with that pick. I think the first few picks in the 2ed round are more valuable then the last few picks in the first. Teams will have way more time to plane for that pick or potentially make a trade. Would not be happy about EJ Manuel that soon, if he drops and the Eagles take him in the 3ed or trade back into the second then im not going to cry about it.

    • Warhound

      ” I think the first few picks in the 2(n)d round are more valuable then the last few picks in the first.” This is only true for poorly run teams. Teams have already had months to plan for this moment; they should be ready.

      • Sig

        I am talking more about the value to move the picks around. I understand that teams should be prepared, but as every Eagles fan knows the FO loves moving around. The picks at the beginning of round 2 give teams options, and that can not be undervalued. Teams have an opportunity to reevaluate what other teams have done, not just themselves.

        • The Eagles strategy of drafting for need vs drafting the best player available on the board is why the team lacks sufficient depth throughout the roster. the Best player available with pick 4 may not be a quarterback, but by their second round pick, Manuel may very well be the best player available. If he is indeed the best available, you draft him.

          The last serviceable pick in the second round was Desean Jackson, Nate Allen was a second round pick, but I don’t consider him serviceable. Philly has wasted more second round picks than they have drafted a solid player. The concept of trading back, though it sounds reasonable, has been an absolute disaster for the Eagles.

        • Warhound

          Fair enough

    • GGeagle

      I hear you man…it drives me crazy! Like I cant even believe fans would suggest Geno or EJ with either of our 1st two picks…I dont even think I would want Geno at #35….I want NOTHING to do with him on my roster! IF YOU BELIEVE in a QB, than 4 should NEVER be too HIGH! If you arent considering EJ at #4, than I dont want him at 35! If you can pass on Geno at 4, then I dont want him at 35!….I cant ever recal a time where I watched FSU or WVU and thought to myself, man I wish the Eagles could get one of these guys…NEVER!!!

      • jabostick

        I get what you’re saying theoretically but Chip (assumedly) runs a fairly unique offense and (assumedly) has a unique perspective on what traits he values in a QB (relative to other teams). If you really believe in a guy but also expect him to be available later in the draft, it makes sense to wait (or trade back).

        Not advocating for EJ or Smith, by the way. Just sayin’…

        • GGeagle

          I will say that I actually do believe that EJ is a possibility for us, since Chip recruited him…Geno, I dont believe is an option for us AT ALL!… If I had to take a QB this year, I would probably want to take like a 4th-5th round flier on Drysert or Landri Jones…might as well, since the QB’s in the first two rounds will have about as much bust potential as the ones drafted in round 3-4 this year

        • Sig

          I get what you are saying, and I agree, just hoping Chip Kelly does not see EJ as his franchise QB. If he takes a QB in the first two rounds he is tying himself to that player much like Andy did with McNabb.

    • EJ won’t go in the 2nd.

  • JofreyRice

    I don’t see the point in even listening to this guy, he’s just going to dish out a bunch of attaboys and superlatives. Some of it might be true, but how can you see the forest for the trees?

  • Jason N.

    We haven’t had an amazing 2nd round pick since Lesean McCoy.

    2011 was such a horrible draft year.. Our first 2 rounds were busts.

    I don’t believe we should take EJ Manuel in the 2nd. He’s more of a 3rd round talent. He got all the skill to be a good QB but he’s too inconsistent in many area to be drafted that high.

    Now if Kelly think Manuel is the right guy to draft in the 2nd round then I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. I still might not like it but ill give it to him. Hopefully it won’t bite us in the ass Jaiquan Jarret style later.

    Because of Andy Reid horrible draft in 2010. We missed out on guys like Aaron Hernandez, Gronkowski, Geno Atkins.

    Unless Kelly is damn sure Manuel is our QB of the future. I rather draft someone else that is a better prospect than him and has a 2nd or borderline 1st round talent not a 3rd round guy who’s only in the 2nd cause of supply and demand.

  • Jason N.

    We need to draft Fisher or Lotulelei at 4th overall. Then draft a NT or OL or Safety or CB or DE in the 2nd. Our 2nd round depends on whether we draft Fisher or Lotulelei in the 1st.

    Fisher in the 1st, and a CB or DL would be great in the 2nd since you can still find amazing value in the 2nd round since this draft is so deep.