More On the Eagles And Tavon Austin

Tavon Austin had only carried the ball 14 times over the first nine games heading into West Virginia’s matchup up against nationally-ranked Oklahoma, which boasted one of the top defenses in college football last season.

On this day the decision was made to move the diminutive receiver to running back. Austin responded with a school-record 344 rushing yards and finished with a staggering 572 all-purpose yards, seven shy of the NCAA record.

“Our plan was off against Tavon Austin, they kind of caught us with our pants down,” said Sooners head coach Bob Stoops, “and we didn’t have really an answer.”

As we mentioned a couple weeks back, Chip Kelly has to be intrigued by Austin. How could an offensive junkie not be drawn to a playmaker who has caught over 100 balls each of the last two seasons, and finished his senior year with almost 2,000 all-purpose yards and 15 touchdowns? Kelly wants versatile players. Austin lines up all over the field, and returns kicks and punts as well. Kelly wants guys that can create matchup problems. Austin, as Stoops can attest, can do just that.

The question is: Would the new Eagles coach use his first-ever draft pick on the 5-8 wideout?

This is what Sal Paolantonio had to say on 97.5 The Fanatic this week:

“Here is what a general manager told me [on Monday]: ‘I know the Eagles want a tackle.’ And if those are all gone, he said, ‘Don’t be shocked if Chip Kelly takes Tavon Austin No. 4,’” said Paolantonio.

“He’s a little guy but the NFL now is a spatial relations league. Open space. What are you doing with a lot of space and how are you filling it? Which to me is the way to go right now because you can’t touch these wide receivers between the hash marks.”

The Eagles had not visited with Austin as of last week, from what we understand. But they were apparently in contact with him recently.

So what does it all mean?

Kelly is a complete wild card. He is unconventional in a lot of respects, and he has no history on this level to reference when looking for guidance. Could he see Austin as a perfect match for his offense? Sure.

If Austin is the selection, it likely won’t be at 4. One league insider we spoke with predicted that he will go somewhere between picks eight and 12. Some project him to be taken later than that.

There has been a good deal of buzz about the Eagles looking to move back in the first round. That could certainly be the case if the top tackles are off the board when they go on the clock. Would they slide back a few spots and roll the bones on Austin?

It’s a new dawn. It’s a new day. And this is not your ordinary coach. We don’t know enough yet to rule it out completely.

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  • Capt. Undapants

    Thanks to this offseason alone, whenever I see that Ian Rapoport has reported a story, I know the exact opposite of that story is probably the truth. See: the search for a head coach and free agency sagas.

  • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

    If Austin doesn’t have character issues why would a team who believes he can come and make an impact not use their position to select Austin, even if that selection is one of the top picks in the draft? Austin is a multiple purpose threat all that matters is getting him the ball.

    There is chatter about Austin’s size, however, Steve Smith of the Panthers has never been precluded by his lack of height. Smith at 5’9 has the heart of a giant and the production to validate his skills and impact in the NFL out preforming receivers much bigger.

    • bournegreen

      Agree w you if they like him take him @ 4, why risk missing him by moving back

    • JofreyRice

      This reminds me of when people threw out comparisons to Steve Smith for Desean.

      No way Austin’s as tough as Steve Smith–did you see that TD catch Smith made a couple years back where the defender came over and broke his forearm as he caught it, and he held on? Steve Smith is a psychopath. Austin is just not in his league, but even if he is Steve Smith, you’d spend our first rounder on a guy that gives you an average of 1100 yards and 7 rushing/receiving/returning TDs per year? With all the other needs?

      • Sb2bowl

        Did you see that massive hit that Desean took last year from Reed, and before he got up was doing push-ups on the sideline? Desean isn’t “big” or thick like Smith, but dude can take a hit.

        • cliff henny

          was it play calling that had him running wind-sprints down sidelined 75% of time, or did he have little desire to go over middle and reid knew it was waste to call it. but dj likes to return punts, i cant see how that can be for faint of heart. the play he hurt his ribs on didnt look like much. just tough to tell with him…not maclin though

        • JofreyRice

          Doing it once and doing it consistently are different things. Smith is consistently tough. Desean is not. He wins with speed & elusiveness.

          • Sb2bowl

            Okay, so name other hits that he’s not consistently tough on? Breaking ribs when someone falls on you happens; look at McNabb in the championship game against the Panthers. McNabb had 50 lbs on Desean, and it happened to him. And before you say McNabb couldn’t take a hit, save your breath.

  • Capt. Undapants

    Thanks to this offseason alone, whenever I see that Ian Rapoport has reported a story, I know the exact opposite is probably true. See: the free agency and search-for-a-coach sagas.

    • GEagle

      laconfora says Eagles are leaning towards Mingo over Jordan….tell me that the opposite isn’t the TRUTH!! In what world does, Laconfora who trashed Howie BAD Nationally, get accurate inside Info from the eagles? If someone on Howie’s staff leaks real intel to that Hack Laconfora, I expect to see that Eagles employees head mounted on a spike at the Novacare complex, Ned Stark style

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

    Austin pick is extremely intriguing.,, I’ve mentioned in a few times already, but the idea of Chip Kelly having his De’Anthony Thomas in the NFL is very interesting. For me to be completely on board with an Austin pick there are a few things I’d need to see:

    1. Jordan, and Joeckel off the board (these are my 2 guys at 4)

    2. Trade back. If we were to get another 2nd or 3rd to move pack say 8 spots with Miami, who would probably want Fisher and/or Johnson in the scenario I mentioned in 1. It would allow us to pick up someone at a position we may have missed in the first round.

    First major complaint is that we already have DeSean. I get that, but I believe these two guys are different types of players. DeSean can get you big yards running posts, flys, end arounds, and bubble screens, but I would never want to see him in the back field running between the tackles, or lined up in the slot coming across the middle.Austin is much more all purpose whereas DeSean is a homerun receiver. Not to mention what he brings on special teams, returning kicks and punts which has been lacking big time. With the focus Chip has been putting on special teams, a guy like this will not be overlooked.

    Second one is size. If we have DeSean, Maclin, and Austin on the field you’re looking at like 5’10, 6’0, and like 5’8. As Tommy Lawlor pointed on his blog, 6’0 is average receiver size. DeSean is a little on the small side, and Austin is just flat out small. Guys like Megatron and Fitz are freaks. But with Chip, it’s not going to be like Andy where it’s always some variation of Celek, DeSean, Maclin, and Avant on the field. He’s going to get some size out there, with Casey or Benn, or perhaps another big TE and WR we add in the draft. It’s tough to think outside the box now, but we gotta realize that it’s not Big Red and Marty calling plays now.

    He’s got SPEED and VERSATILITY, two of the biggest things Chip looks for. He might not have size, but we’ve seen with guys like Barner and Thomas that he can live without size if other intangibles are that good.

    I know a lot of you will say that this is not a good pick, or that you don’t like the pick.. but at the same time, for reasons I’ve stated above, it’s a definite possibility.

    • B-West

      Wholeheartedly agree with your two points. It would have to be a perfect storm. But, if the top targets come off the board in the top 3 picks, they can pull off a trade back, AND then get Austin, I would love that outcome.

      Seems like we had some luck on our side last year in the draft, matching BPA with a need area and working some trades as well. We’ll see if it happens again.

    • JofreyRice

      I’d say Desean is more than “a little” on the small side. He’s skinny, and plays small. Maclin plays small as well–you’d never know that guy was around 200 pounds if you couldn’t readily google it.

      I’d say even though Austin is smaller, he plays tougher than either of those guys–though nowhere near the toughness of his most often compared pro counterpart, Percy Harvin.

      I agree it’s a definite possibility, but I think it’s a mistake, and an inefficient use of resources. There are other more pressing needs on this team, and so many other good wide receivers available. I’m not even a proponent of drafting a T that high, but I’d rather see any of the big 3 drafted before Austin.

      • B-West

        Drafting the best player available is not an inefficient use of resources. Use free agency to fill needs…. Needs should only factor into the draft as a tiebreaker between two similarly ranked players.

        If Kelly thinks Austin is a perfect fit for his offense, and hes their highest rated player when they pick, I’d love to see what Chip can do with him.

        • JofreyRice

          I disagree. You have to have 22 viable NFL starters to play the game. Someone recently posted something by former GM Ted Sundquist talking about this. You have to account for need. The Eagles have major holes in trying to field a squad, and a WR corps featuring a former 1st and 2nd rounder that have been moderately productive in the NFL. Bolstering that one unit is an inefficient way to build the team as a whole.

          I’m sure Kelly could find exciting and creative ways to get Austin the ball, but do you really see him putting up more than 6-8 TDs as a rookie? Is that really worth the #4 pick, overall? or even #12?

          • B-West

            I always default to the Eagle’s draft board, which always kind of kills my discussion because we don’t know what it looks like. However, the history of the draft shows that there is a finite amount of studs in the draft every year. If they have Austin ranked as the top player on their board, I do not think they should alter the pick due to need.

            I understand your point about roster building, but I disagree with it. We just have differing view points. I think you take BPA in the draft, despite your current roster. Its the same reason I don’t mind them taking one of the tackles, despite the fact that we seem to be ok there (much discussed health caveat, yada yada).

            Also, we have a new coach with a roster full of players picked by the old coach. I think the Birds are destined for some overlap as we transition. I don’t think Chip will discard useful players, but I do think he will move toward his own brand of player. We already seeing it happen in the defensive front seven.

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

            How is it not effective use of resources when, with 1 pick, you can have a slot receiver, RB, wide out, KOR and PR? That seems like a pretty darn good use of resources to me, actually. Versatility my friend.. one of the most valuable traits to Chip Kelly.

            Plus I said I’d have to trade back, so I wouldn’t be using the 4th pick on him.

          • JofreyRice

            Unless he’s versatile enough to play S, CB, DE, G or T, I wouldn’t draft him with #12, because depending on scheme changes and how the free agents adjust, those are all the positions that might be sucking black holes of poor play that plague the team throughout the season.

            They have a great RB in a stable of good runners, and good enough starting WR’s with plenty of draftable talent available later. You don’t draft in the first round for ST’s help, IMO.

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

            Like I said above, it’s going to be a pick that people may not like, but it’s a big possibility considering who our head coach is.The value Chip puts on guys who can fill many roles and score from anywhere cannot be understated.

            I believe all those positions you stated above can be addressed later in the draft, especially if you get extra picks for moving back.

          • JofreyRice

            Well, you can definitely count me as one of the people that will not like that pick. I watched quite a bit of WVU, and I like Austin, but not in the top 15.

            We can talk about how Kelly is unorthodox and that’s valid, and great, but the proof will be in the W-L column. If he can go the unorthodox route and pick guys at spots higher than they were prognosticated, to help his team win games, he’ll be “Pete Carroll” unorthodox. If he falls in love with someone and they turn out to be a mediocre contributor, then he’ll be “Josh McDaniels” unorthodox. I honestly don’t know how it’s going to go, but I am fascinated to find out.

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

            See now you’re making a different argument. I fully understand where you’re coming from when you say there are spots with more need, and that he’s too similar to what we have already. But by no means is drafting a guy who put up almost 1000 special team yards, another 650 rushing yards, and 1200 receiving yards would not be over drafting or unorthodox, especially with the top of this drafting lacking skill players. Between 10-20 overall would not be a stretch by any means, as many experts already agree. You may not like the player or the pick, but he is most definitely a mid first round talent worthy of the 12th overall pick.

          • JofreyRice

            Which argument am I making?

            I think time will tell whether or not he’s worth the #12 overall pick, but whoever selects him that high is going to be setting a precedent. Guys that small do not usually go that high. The conventional wisdom at the moment says he’s a mid first rounder, but 2 months ago, very few people had him there. Football is still a very physical game, and Austin is tiny; hard for me to get around that. Jeremy Maclin had tons of yards from scrimmage & touchdowns at Missouri, but couldn’t even hold onto the starting KR job through training camp; my point is, it doesn’t always translate.

          • Tommy McCabe Jr

            All of those areas on D were addressed in FA, BPA will give us depth/possible replacements in those areas. G/T could also be addressed in later rounds with BPA. OL in later rounds are hungrier anyway, got more to prove. I mean you could get OL Barrett Jones ALA or Brian Winter KENT ST. in 3-4 rd area or Baca UCLA 6-7 range. Sweringer S SCAR, Slay/Banks CB MISS ST. in 2nd or Rontez Miles S CAL PA. in 5-6 rd. This draft is so deep BPA works in every round. especially if the pull some trades for extra picks. A far as DE I guarantee Cole and Curry could still be DEs as this isn’t going to be a traditional 3-4 requiring 300+ pound DEs. Just look at the Texans they run a hybrid 3-4/4-3/5-2 and they’re DEs avg 285. Curry is 280, Cole is 270, and the recently acquired Clifton Geathers is the heavy hitter at 325. The team isn’t as hard up as u may think, just needed an infusion of new coaching style.

          • JofreyRice

            Bradley Fletcher – Benched in STL, injury history
            Cary Williams – average Starter
            Patrick Chung – Benched in New England
            Kenny Phillips – Injury history
            Sopoaga – Played about 30% of San Fran’s snaps, yanked off the field in passing situations in favor of better passrushers. Old.
            Connor Barwin – 3 sacks last year.

            Hopefully, some of those guys are going to contribute, but I think the chances of them all coming in and filling a void, which is what you expect from a FA pickup–they are not developmental players that you’re bringing in to contribute 2 or 3 years down the line–is slim to none. I’m OK with them taking some chances on guys like Phillips to see if they can keep him healthy enough to play, but they have to plan for the possibility his career continues the way it has gone so far.

            Mosher explained that they aren’t even sure where they are playing Curry yet, putting him at 3-4 DE one day, and LB the next. They got Clifton Geathers for a bag of golf balls, I wouldn’t be so sure that “heavy hitter” is even going to make the final roster.

          • Sb2bowl

            You do realize that this is an extremely deep draft, and we can get a starting saftey, cb, and de in rounds 2-4?

          • JofreyRice

            I didn’t even realize there were rounds after #1. Well, I guess this just puts my whole argument on its head!

            If only there were somewhere else we could get an explosive reciever, but as everyone knows, if you don’t get your 5’8 slot receiver in the top 10, you’re never going to get him…

          • Sb2bowl

            Duurrrr…. good job sweetie. I love your sarcasm, it really adds to the conversation.
            That’s about all the conversation you’ll get out of me; nice to have an intelligent converstation with you…….. wait, nevermind.

          • Sb2bowl

            Trade back indeed; maybe number 8? Has to be before the Jets, because I can see them picking him up

          • Sb2bowl

            Moderately successful? You know Maclin is number 4 all time for receptions and yards in the NFL before a players 25th birthday? How about Desean two years ago? Defenses HAVE to account for him, every play. So, how would this be a waste if we would have Desean, Maclin, and Austin all lined up at the same time?

          • JofreyRice

            Yeah, Maclin’s just amazing, that’s why we’re talking about adding another 1st rounder at WR. Are you kidding? Desean is a nice deep threat, but neither of these guys are top 15 in the league at their position.

            They may not be as awesome as you think they are, but they’re OK, and far from the biggest issue on this team. The defense is a shambles, they cannot sink another 1st rounder into the WR corps.

          • Sb2bowl

            Not saying awesome, I’m saying better than most believe. No, Maclin isn’t top 10 in the league; and I would argue that he’s been a disappointment to us Eagles fans. But, look at his stats. He’s consistent. 3,454 yards in 4 years. 26 td’s. 258 receptions in 59 games played.
            Desean last year is not top 10; but then again, nothing on the Eagles was top 10 (except defense, top 10 bad). But overall, yes, I would say he’s in the 10-15 range. It’ll be interesting to see how he is used this year, in a different offense. Reid and Marty got stuck in a rut; maybe we’ll get the 09-10 Desean back this year.

        • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

          I agree on both accounts, although I wouldn’t expect Austin to be the best available player at pick 4 in this draft, but if the Eagles by some unfortunate measure trade back a few places, I would say Austin’s definitely an option in adhering to those philosophies and could have a positive impact on this team.

          Choosing the best player available is an asset and down right sensible as a strategy simply because the Eagles lack sufficient talent and depth across this entire roster.

          • B-West

            Agree on the current state of team emphasizing the idea of drafting BPA. This team in under regime change, unsettled at the QB position, and thus a couple years away from true contention.

            Stack up the talent for now and sort out the needs later when its time to make a run.

      • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

        You make a compelling argument but in the end it amounts to drafting for need and reaching which has not served the Eagles well over the years.

        That strategy has resulted in wasted opportunities. Of all the Eagles top picks in the draft running back 5 years, those have produced a disappointing few Starters, and not many playing meaningful minutes and almost no depth to depend on in cases of injuries.

        • JofreyRice

          That’s bad scouting and decision making in player selection, not bad strategy. No way to convince me that if the scouting was right, and they truly understood the talent delta between Earl Thomas and Nate Allen, they would have still selected Allen.

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

        Drafting for “more pressing needs” gets us Jaiqwan Jarrett and Danny Watkins. I think that philosophy needs to be thrown out the window. Not to mention the fact that Chip Kelly is an offensive guru, who lives for scoring as many points as fast as possible, from anywhere on the field, relentlessly. Tavon Austin definitely helps make that happen.

        • JofreyRice

          The Jarrett pick was a product of horrible player evaluation. You don’t just stop selecting players at positions you need because you’re not good at evaluating talent at those positions, you change the evaluation process somehow. During the predraft process, they expressed interest in California’s Chris Conte, who ended up being drafted by the Bears in the third. Ultimately, they felt Jarrett was the better of the two. They got it wrong. That’s not a failure in strategy, it’s a failure in execution. Watkins was just a stupid pick. To spend a first rounder on a 36 year old guard is laughable.

          See, I think the “BPA every round” philosophy has a lot more gravity in fans’ minds than it does on draft day. If you look at what teams actually do on draft day, they pick the “BPA” in a very qualified way: amongst candidates that fit their schemes, and positions they need filled.

          • Richard Colton

            That is, of course, true, which is why you never see a team come out of the draft with 5 defensive tackles and 4 WRs and nothing else. It’s tacit admission that some of your draftees won’t make the squad. That’s an OK admission in August, PR suicide in April.

            Good news/Bad news for the Eagles: there isn’t a position on the team that’s so strong that multiple players would upset me.

          • GEagle

            Allegedly the jarret pick was all Andy…I heard the scouts practically begged Andy not to pull the trigger….who knows what the truth is, but that’s what I heard a few times

          • southy

            The problem with drafting for need is that it distorts your evaluations and leads you to misjudge talent, taking someone higher than they should go. On the other hand, it’s better to get a great player at a position of need than to just get a great player. At 4, there are plenty of very strong players at any number of positions, I don’t see a reason you don’t consider need at that spot. Unless it convinces you that Geno is better than he is.

          • JofreyRice

            Still sounds like a problem with execution as opposed to strategy. If you raise your grade on a player by a round or two just because you need them, then that’s a failure of the evaluation process.

            I’m not advocating they reach, I’m advocating they trust the personnel department to give them the info to draft the right players in the right rounds at positions they need.

            If in 2011, they couldn’t trust the personnel department to do that, then something was/is broken. If the personnel department provided the right grade, but was overruled, then something else was/is broken. The only thing that was working with inarguable precision and logic in those drafts was the thought process that told them they had a screaming need at safety.

          • Sb2bowl

            I assume you meant to say 26 year old guard, but I understand what you are saying. But, Jimmy Smith (who most of us wanted) hasn’t done squat in Baltimore as a player.

          • Richard Colton

            He meant 36, although I have it on good authority that Danny “Almonte” Watkins is actually a lot older. It’s common for Canadian Firemen to fake their ages. All the great ones do it.

          • JofreyRice

            I actually meant 41.

        • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

          Sheil highlighted an observation that bares mentioning, Kelly gets bored with the redundancies of discussing the draft scenarios.

          It sounds pretty clear he’d rather be devising plays.

          I don’t see that Kelly is a guy to play by conventional wisdom when it comes to the draft. The pieces he covets were Speed, Length, and Intelligence. Austin fits that bill with speed and Kelly’s not immune to using smallish players.

          He’s sounding to me like a guy that likes to use his time developing plays with the weapons he can acquire which fits his criteria to gain any advantage on NFL sophisticated defenses.

          Austin’s size may not be as much a deterrent as some here are making it out to be.

        • FMWarner

          True, but there is a difference between drafting for a specific need position and choosing not to draft at a position of strength when your roster has few positions of strength.

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

            You’re making the assumption that Chip believes our current receivers are a position of strength. Maclin and Avant are two guys I can see him not liking. Plus, like I’ve said before, he’s more than just a receiver.

  • Geagle

    not gonna happen..
    where do people think he will be drafted? Im thinking 17-25

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

      Don’t think he’ll make it past St. Louis at 16. Jets could use their 2nd 1st round pick (13) on him, which is why I think you could only go back as far as 12 if you wanted him.

    • Token

      I think hes probably the guy this year that goes way higher than youd think.

      • Geagle

        Very well could be…but I could also see teams valuing Eifert,Cordarlle, Hopkins more causing Austin to fall

        • Richard Colton

          If it were me, and I wanted a receiver in the top 15 – I’d look at Eifert 1st. I’d really think hard about Patterson though.

          • GEagle

            See while I agree(because of value)….My gut says Eifert and Ertz could be good reliable Greg Olsen types, while Esco and Ielce become the superstars…so I can’t get excited about Ertz and Eifert(although, wtf does my guy know? inert could easily turn into a horse!!!)

    • Richard Colton

      Austin? I have him flying up the boards. I mocked him at 10 to Tennessee. If he drops to 25, I seriously hope the Eagles are in the conversation to jump up 10 spots.

      • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

        If Austin drops to 25 there would be a scramble to trade up like nothing we’ve ever seen. Despite his size he is very much a multiple purpose threat with the numbers to prove his worth.

  • Slick Harrison

    I hope not. they have other needs that need to be met

  • GFeable

    The Eagles do not make a selection for the #4 pick because time runs out while the team is trying to make a deal to move back.

    • GEagle

      Geez man….way to rain in everyone’s parade. could you imagine the F’in nightmare that would be?

  • JofreyRice

    I do think that the legislated protection of WRs greatly increases the chances of Tavon Austin making a mark in the NFL, at his size.

    If right now, the over/under for TDs in his first year is 6. I’d take the under. He might not have the versatility, or the same jaw-dropping moves in the open field, but I think Markus Wheaton could produce about the same amount of TDs, and you could get him in the late first or early 2nd.

    • Token

      You dont draft Austin and keep Jackson do you? Im assuming Austin wont be working on the outside? But still, how small of a WR corp do you want to throw out there. I view Austin as a more versatile DeSean.

      Id view Austin as their speedy chess piece that CK wants. A role Jackson doesnt fill. So do you then find a bigger guy for the outside?

      • JofreyRice

        Drafting a 5’8″ <180 pound WR at #4 would be a mistake. If you really want a versatile moving chess piece, why not take Cordarelle Patterson? Much less of a polished WR right now, but you can use him in a lot of the same ways–flys, end arounds, and handoffs from the backfield while he develops a better route tree–and I wouldn't draft him with #4 EITHER!

        • Token

          O, I dont think hes actually on their radar at 4. Well, id hope not anyway. But if they trade back with a team like Miami then id say its a possibility.

          I think CK probably wants to make sure he can run his offense right out of the gate. So it would make some sense for him to be interested in Austin.

          If they take him at 4 it would be a disaster. Because im still convinced they love Manuel with their second pick. The first two picks being Austin and Manuel would be depressing.

          • JofreyRice

            Ugh, yes it would. That might be the nail in the coffin for Howie, even though he had the most amazing draft ever 12 months ago.

            I like Austin where he was sort of originally predicted to go before his crazy combine, in the mid-to-late first, which I believe is pretty rich for a guy for his size. He’s a really nice fit on a team that’s got other stuff in place, IMO. If they go back to 12 and Vaccaro is still on the board while they take Austin, I’m going to be really disappointed. I’d take Sheldon, Mingo, Star, Cyprien, Milliner, Cooper, Warmack, Dion, and Ansah all before Austin.

          • GEagle

            Howie isn’t even remotely close to having the nail in the coffin…Chip is hear because he likes working with Howie. howie, Gamble, Chip, these aren’t separate entities…these 3 will be given time to build this franchise together..a botched number 1 pick is NEVER a good look, but NO MATTER WHAT, Howie is ATleast here for 3years….They would have to have made very little progress in 2 or 3 years to even consider getting AXED…you guys gotta understand Lurie isn’t the impulsive type…he is more like the STEADY Rooney Family. he doesn’t interfer and he understands the mistakes that are made when you lack patience…He will give Gamble,Chip and Howie enough time and resources to have a fair shot to succeed…NO ONE IN OUR FRONT OFFICE IS IN JEOPARDY!!!

            Howie would have to not get his pick in on time, losing the 4th pick, to even consider being in trouble with Lurie…I actually do believe that Lurie did chart thru the years, Howie’s oppinions during the times, when Howie didn’t even have close to the final say in personel…and when it was time to decide who was going to be part of the new age birds, I believe that howie went back and looked at Howies oppinions thru the years(that weren’t implemented), and he had to see that Howie was growing, and seeing the game well, for Howie to have full control over this franchise

          • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

            You feel better about Howie then I do because I see Gamble playing the role Howie did under Banner, and that’s Howie’s replacement in wait.

          • GEagle

            Why wouldn’t I feel comfortable with Howie? chip is a smart guy with a world of options at his feet…do you actually think he would have signed on to a team, if he thought the GM was a DOPE?

            I think the franchise guy is already on the roster, so Howie alady hit that Homerun, and from here on out, will just be looking for our future backup

          • JofreyRice

            I don’t think that’s true. I think the big pick for Howie will be franchise QB. I don’t think they’ll force his hand this year, but if he spends a 1st or second rounder on a QB of the future that busts, I think the gig will be up.

            I know there are a lot of Pro-Howie folks on this board, but if you look at the direction this franchise has taken since he began his tenure as GM, it’s mostly been downhill, and that’s just the way it is; less regular season wins, no playoff wins, a winnowing of talented players on the roster–including pro bowl and all-pro players–, a lot of bad money thrown at free agents, and very little chance at title contention. I think Chip is here because he wants the challenge of coaching in the NFL, got a lucrative deal, and was facing NCAA sanctions. Maybe he does like working with Howie, and maybe it will end up being a good working relationship, but to say he enjoys working with him and that’s his reasoning for coming to Philly is something you’ve got no facts to support.

            The Gamble angle doesn’t do much for me. He’s a good personnel guy, and I like that he’s here, but the Eagles had Phil Savage in the front office during the awful drafts of 2010 & 2011. He’s got a much more impressive track record than Gamble.

            They flattered to deceive in 2010, and even Lurie knew it. That was a 5-6 win team that got very lucky by facing backup quarterbacks for the last quarter of the season. The free agency spending splurges were a direct result of poor drafts from previous years.

            I actually think what you’re saying about Lurie is a little outdated. I think slow and steady was his business model for the Eagles for a long, long time, but I think he began to run out of patience, and began looking to be more aggressive in capturing a Superbowl. I think Howie’s ascension from amateur draftnik & salary cap wonk up to GM, and subsequent retention through the regime change is a direct reflection of that. I think the hiring of Kelly reflects that as well.

          • Geagle

            only way I can be ok with this is if they trade Maclin…there just isn’t room for for Taon right now. our offense will feature 3TE’s..we have Mac and Desean, Arrelius Benn if he stays healthy could become our best RECIEVER, and I think we like Riley Cooper because he can block….so WTF are we going to do with Tavon, if they don’t trade Maclin? I don’t see it

          • GEagle

            Keep In mind we are throwing the ball 50 times a game anymore…Running the ball will be a big part of what we do…so how many recievers do we really need?

          • Token

            Its jackson that would be traded if Tavon is the pick IMO. I think Tavon is what CK wishes Jackson was. Jackson has speed but isnt much of a playmaker. But really, Are they going to put two 5’3 WRs on the field together? I cant picture that.

            Benn? I dont see how he is a factor in anything.

          • Geagle

            Benn doesn’t factor into anything because his knee can’t be counted on…but if he doesn’t suffer any knee set backs, watch out!!! NO WAY that Desean would be traded instead of Maclin. I give it a 0% chance of happening in my mind..you do not eat a ton of dead money, trade away the guy under contract, and hold onto the guy you haven’t even started to negotiating an extension with. I don’t see how that’s even a possibility

          • Token

            Id say there is 0% chance Jackson sees the 12.5 mil hes due next season. He is due 35 mil in the last three years of his deal. Never will he see that.

          • Richard Colton

            I wouldn’t hate Patterson at 15-20 range. I’d hate trading down, but I like the pick.

        • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

          Wasn’t Kelly’s primary weapon on offense in Oregon a similar sized Back/Receiver he moved around to gain a strategic advantage?

          I don’t think Austin’s size is a factor if Kelly sees him as a corner stone for schemes he could devise using Austin’s talents to match with currently in place pieces on the Eagles offense.

          Austin is definitely a quick strike threat from any place on the field. Watching Oregon, Austin’s characteristics would seem to fit into what Shady described as a track meet.

          • JofreyRice

            I think Chip is all about the running backs, and Austin is not that, primarily. His “primary weapon” was really Kenjon Barner, and was LaMichael James before that. We have a very nice running back in place, and a backup that’s shown some NFL talent, as well.

            I do think Austin will be a fine pro, but I don’t see it as a good use of resources for this Eagles squad to spend a first rounder on him, considering how bad they are at so many spots, and all the players that could help them to get better that will be available.

  • pkatz

    Here’s the thing that nobody has mentioned yet: Sheil has been saying how CK has specific measurables for each position. I get that Austin is versatile and doesn’t fit into any one position exclusively, but how do his measurables stack up against what CK wants, and how does that impact where we think he’ll get drafted. Also, everyone’s talking about DeSean and the receivers. Don’t forget that we already have LeSean in the backfield who is also a stud and pretty versatile.

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

      De’Anthony Thomas 5’9 180lbs. Like I said below, Chip can look past his lack of size if his other intangibles are that good.

      • GEagle

        or we can get a Kerwyn Williams in round 7

        • southy

          no. I will think of paint every time I hear the sports media mention his name.

      • pkatz

        Sure, I get that Chip can look past his size if Chip thinks other things make up for it, but how much does that drop him on their board vs. (a theoretical) someone that does have the size Chip wants?

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

          I guess we’ll find out. My guess would be the versatility on special teams and where you line him in the offense would put him above other receivers that may be bigger than him, but aren’t as versatile. But this is all speculation, obviously.

          • pkatz

            It sure is. After we know in a few days we’ll get to speculate how all of the pieces will be used/how everything will be implemented. It’s exciting before the start of the season and there are endless possibilities.

          • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

            You’re very correct, however it’s fact that Kelly isn’t divorced from using smallish receivers if they can key his attack, and De’ Anthony Thomas is very much a weapon in Oregon’s attack.

            If Kelly’s able to duplicate what Oregon does here and we see obvious improvement I’m 150% behind any move he makes on Austin.

            I can’t imagine the anticipation in Philly if the Eagles were to somehow get Austin.

  • Beavis

    The last thing this team needs is a flashy skill player who scored a whopping 7 on his Wonderlic test.

    • cliff henny

      those scores are always shocking. if you’ve ever seen the questions or taken it, how can you not get at least 20? mcnabb’s 15 still surprises me

      • GEagle

        I’m sure McNabb refused to answer a few questions because he felt he was being unjustly persecuted by the wonderlic test, thus lowering his score

        • cliff henny

          must admit, i use it when hiring, if you cant score a 20, you better crush the interview.

          • Richard Colton

            you make your future employees take the Wonderlic? HR is ok with that? Are they unionized? Have you ever gotten grief for it?

          • cliff henny

            lol, i am HR. run my own commercial lending brokerage…in SC. can do whatever i want. can fire you for no cause if i dont like your shoes down here. i use it cause it’s easy, free, gives people time to relax. it’s not the end all be all test,but in my eyes, if you cant score a 20,there’s something wrong with you, i have to dig. or you didnt take test seriously, and that pisses me off. if i give it to you in interview, i think it’s serious, so you should…you want my money, right?

          • GEagle

            Hahahahaha, if I’m ever in SC for vacation, I’m going to troll you, and come apply for a job!!…and give you the most insane responses the wonderlic has ever seen

          • cliff henny

            lol, it’s standardized test. my asst gives me scores. funny part is, score in 40′s, that makes me as nervous as in low 20′s. you can be too smart for sales. i call it the mamula effect.

          • GEagle

            It’s always great to encounter an Eagles fan as Maniacle as me..I make my relatives in Italy watch silver Linings Playbook just to get a glimpse of what Eagles fandom is like

          • GEagle

            Hahaha dude, I love it! This man is running his business in the image and likeness of the Philadelpia Eagles. now that’s a darn good Fan!!! Do your employees know what an Eagles Maniac you are? I swear I will troll you if I’m ever in SC. you won’t know it’s me, and You will leave our interview thinking I’m the craziest sociopathic Cowboys fan ever to walk into your office. I will wear a cowboys tie, and have a suit tailor made, Navy blue, with the Dallas Stars on the shoulders of my suit…I might do the entire interview in a cowboys suit, wearing a cowboys helmet…lol you better hope I never get down to SC!!!

          • cliff henny

            i have football in the office, so i’ll start making ex o-linemen looking guys w/ northern accents throw a couple.

          • GEagle

            Hahaha, there is actually a former Giants TE working in my office…I’m a pretty big guy, and our CEO is like the coolest dude in the world, so every Tuesday, he takes us away from work for 3 hours, rents a Gym and we play 5-5 full court basketball….of course I have to be the one that is always matched up against the former Giant..(a LOAD TO HANDLE)….I also grew up with Kyle Eckle, and the gang still gets together on thanksgiving, playing no pads tackle football with a bunch of out of shape 28-32 year olds…I have flashbacks of Kyle Eckle Violently stiff arming us in the dirt with no pads on lol and I’m talking about those stiff arms wear you get your head forcefully pushed into the dirt…lol good times

          • cliff henny

            and yes, they all do. when eagles play on MNF i throw office happy hour and bring my german shepherd in for the afternoon and he wears his Mcnabb Jersey. have old little football that he catches, when it hits his mouth the eagles fight song goes off

          • Geagle

            hahahahahahaha awesome man! Way to reps us all the way down in SOUTH CACKALACKIN…your fandom is certainly on par with me finding random Eagles fans in the most famous plaza’s of Rome starting a 15 man Fly Eagles Fly chant with a group of strangers lol

          • Richard Colton

            that’s really funny. hope it’s better at predicting success at commercial lending than predicting QB success.

          • cliff henny

            probably not, but at this point everyone has taken it, so it’s almost a right of passage. mean, we have office pools for test scores. as i said, gambling makes everything better.

          • GEagle

            Thats awesome!!! can I take the wonderlic? Lol

  • 85

    Interesting thought, for sure. My first thought is to pick whichever of Joeckel or Fisher is left, assuming one is. But it’s sounding more and more like there’s a market developing for that pick, and if dropping into the 8-10 range can net some real value, I’m OK with the idea of drafting Austin. It would, one would think, provide the ammo to move back into the later end of the round with the extra picks if they saw a must-have.

    Haven’t seen much on this, but I have to wonder if picking Austin would mean Maclin is on his way out, either as soon as the draft or after this season. Kelly seems to like the TE hybrid types, they’ve extended Benn already at a reasonable number, and at some point there’s just not enough resources (in both footballs and money) to keep all of them.
    I can’t decide if having absolutely no idea how Chip thinks is awesome or completely frustrating.

    • GEagle

      I’m not even concerned with the resources because I don’t even see how there is room on the field for Austin. we are going to run the ball a lot, believe it or not, if Benn stays Healthy he has the potential to be our best RECIEVER in 2014-2015 That kid has tremendous Talent. For a guy his size to be in the top 10 in Yac(yes I know he was 11th one year)…That’s impressive, and potentially a SERIOUS weapon. our offense will feature 3TE..I’m sure we like Riley Cooper as a blocker. Desen isn’t going to get traded…so I don’t even see how you could consider drafting Tavon without trading Maclin

      • knighn

        Yeah – I have thought about this. Maclin has only one year left on his contract and hasn’t seemed to fit what Chip Kelly wanted out of his Offensive skill players which was:
        - Faster than everyone else
        or
        - Bigger / tougher than everyone else
        or
        - Some combination of the above two

        The upside with Maclin is that he’s contributed a fair number of TDs while in the NFL, including a large number in the Red Zone. The downside with Maclin is that he has earned the moniker “Self-Tacklin’ Jeremy Maclin” from guys like Jimmy Kempski for his penchant to play small in many situations (avoids contact, doesn’t block well). You throw that in with his single year remaining on his contract and the Eagles could be looking to move him.

        On the other hand… I could see Chip Kelly throwing out different “packages” for his offense: sometimes going with size and sometimes going with speed.

        • GEagle

          I agree, and I will raise you this…the financial side of it. Desen got paid, we have NEVER seen Howie, or any of his mentors ever pay big money to two WR’s…wouldn’t be surprised to get away from Maclin, and get a guy who will play for 2nd or 3rd round money for the next 5years

          • knighn

            In the “packages” scenario I was trying to say that I could see a “speed package” that would could hypothetically still include Jeremy Maclin plus DeSean Jackson, Tavon Austin, LeSean McCoy and another speedy player to be named later (could be a RB like Bryce Brown or Casey James or a fast WR to be named later).

            How would you like to be an opposing defensive player facing that lineup knowing that those fast guys are going to play no-huddle/uptempo too!?

          • GEagle

            Certainly would make us tough to defend, but that’s a lot of resources allocated for a package. A RECIEVER drafted at 4 better be on the field at all times, and I just don’t see how that could happen with Maclin and Desean on the team…but it would certainly be intriguing..

            Wow Baldi just said how limited Joekel and Fisher are and sAyng in 3 years Kyle Long and Terron will probably be better pro’s….Baldi is saying athletically Joekel and Fisher are going to have. Very difficult time handling Demarcus Ware, Aldon smith, and JPP one on one…and it will take athleticism and hand placement that Long and Terron have to deal with guys like that at the next level…He also thinks that right when Joekel would be about to get beat, Johnny football would bail him out..finally I get to hear a football guy with the same concerns and oppinion as me…instead of the Kipers who are clueless just parroting oppinions like Fisher and Joekel are these can’t miss Mega Lineman…they are can’t miss in that they will be good solid starters…but I think it’s far from a lock that those guys become great

          • knighn

            I don’t like Tavon Austin in the top 9. He’s only in play for me if the Eagle trade back to pick 10 or lower.

            Interesting stuff there on Joekel and Fisher. Wonder if the Eagles will pick up one of those guys.

  • Geagle

    wish I could take a Qailude and sleep thru the next 32 hours, and wake up just in time for the first pick….I thought I was antsy leading up to this draft, but it relly just hit me…a day away from ANSWERS!! So tiiired of speculating and sorting thru erroneous BS. the media allows themselves to be used as puppets casting the smoke screens, while getting about 5% real intel…and we hang on to the every word, every single day, for MONTHS…I can’t take it anymore man. I need this draft to get here..so I can start listening to Dion Jordan interviews after he is drafted by the birds….round 2 and 3 is what will ally excite me. if the draft falls the way I think it will, I’m not crazy about round 4….but I love rounds 5,6,7…if that makes any sense whatsoever lol

    It’s unfathonable how media members like Kiper, make. Drn good living, being the puppet to 32 GM’s, providing soooo many oppinions that are correct about 3% of the time…Misanelli asked me yesterday, How I allow that punk McShay to have the national spotlight…lol

  • h

    a slightly better version of desean jackson….pointless….
    what the eagles need most is a big wide receiver. out of any of the WRs in this class, justin hunter is the best fit for the eagles. i would be willing to trade back into round 1 to get him. i honestly think AJ Green when i see him. he is a freak athlete, likely the top WR if he did not tear his ACL sophomore year. he was in a funk with his catching ability at times this past season, but he will get over that Ive been watching him for 6 years now and this was the first time questions about his hands have shown up.

    • cliff henny

      between maclin being so similar to d-jax and final year of contract, think he should be moved for hopefully 2-3, use that to get a guy like you’re discussing. my same theory holds for avant, draft a goodwyn in 5-7th, maybe we can get a 6th. 3rd guy on that list is celek. draft kelse or escobar, another guy i like, but time to get a pick and give playing time to younger guy. non of these 3 guys will be here in ’15, give PT to the guys who will. and dont think these moves would greatly effect this year’s overall record, either.

      • h

        i like brent celek. with him, casey, and harbor i do not see them using any picks at TE

  • jon h

    If he’s the guy Kelly wants, pick him. Doesn’t matter we pick him 4 or 9 – if he’s the guy that doesn’t matter. Of course, if we can snooker another pick from another team, I’m all for it, but if he’s the guy we want, why would we pick someone else with the 4 pick if we’re not able to trade down?

  • Max Lightfoot

    Tim, I agree: Chip’s (and Howie’s) pick will surprise people (hopefully in a GOOD way). I don’t think anyone, including the “experts”, have Kelly figured out. Keep up the fine work!

  • BirdsPhan20

    Guys, Austin is not going at 4 to the Eagles. The Bills and Jets are both said to be drooling over him. This is a ploy to get one of those teams to trade up. Eagles have WAY bigger holes to fill than adding another Smurf at WR.

    • BirdsPhan20

      With no RG3 type of talent around at pick 4, I think you trade down and get another 2nd or 3rd rounder. It’s a deep draft and the Birds have many needs to fill.

      If they stay at 4, I like Joeckel or Fisher best. Jordan has the talent but has been labeled a project at the moment. Eagles need locks right now. If neither of those guys are there, take Star. He and Fletcher Cox on the front line = havoc.

  • Justin

    I’m wondering if the whole Tavon Austin thing is a smokescreen to move back. The Bills and Jets have both been linked to him at 8 and 9, respectively.

  • Tom W

    They aren’t taking Tavon at 4. SALPAL has a horrendous track record and is NOT plugged into the eagles. He is getting used. The eagles want to trade back …best way to do that is trick tackle-hungry (LIONS/CARDS/DOLPHINS) or tavon hungry teams (BIll/JETS). Based on SALPAL, I would now guarantee Jordan is our number 1 target, and we prefer to trade down rather than take Johnson or Austin at 4. Maybe later, but not at 4.

    • cliff henny

      Sal used to be good years ago, but now he’s firmly entrenched in the espn national hype machine.

    • GEagle

      Completely agree Tom….Sal used to be soooo good. Now he is a complete Joke. it’s crazy when such famous guys like McShay, Kiper, and SalPal, are soooo bad, and sooo clueless. just yesterday, Kiper is still predicting Geno to the Eagles at 4..It’s insane to be a fan, thirsty for knowledge, listen to all these idiots…like I find myself anxiously waiting for interviews, and them I listen to them, I’m baffled as to how they have a platform…It’s crazy. The lack of knowledge is baffling..I’m far from a draft guru, but Im not dumb enough to say Geno Smith. tavon Austin or anyone who has ever played for West Virginia is going to get drafted 4th overall…I can’t wait til this damn draft is over, so all these worthless experts can go away for 8months…how does a guy like Kiper or McShay even have the balls to show their face after the draft…I would rather listen to Dutch talk about the draft than Mel Kiper

  • Kuney

    This would be a huge mistake. I think it’s fair enough to say we have more than a few playmakers on offense. The line could use one more guy to make it really solid and gurd gainst injury. Other than that CKs offensive mind should gives all the advantage we need.
    He needs to have a defense and should use as much as he can on those picks. And this draft is deep at a lot of places on the defensive side of the ball.