What They’re Saying About the Eagles

NFL: NFC Wildcard Playoff-New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles

Here’s this week’s roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles.

Peter King of The MMQB has the Eagles ninth in his power rankings:

Normally, entering the offseason in the NFC East, the outlook would be pretty even for the four teams, seeing as though they knock each other off so regularly. But I think the Eagles have separated themselves from the pack—Dallas’ 5-1 division record notwithstanding.

ESPN.com’s Mike Sando writes about a couple free-agent wide receivers: Seattle’s Golden Tate and the Eagles’ Riley Cooper:

This GM also thought the Philadelphia Eagles needed to re-sign Riley Cooper. The other GM made it clear other teams wouldn’t necessarily value those players the same way. “Tate will be seen with the slot-type guys and people in my position feel they can come up with those guys,” this GM said. “People will not say, ‘I have to have Golden Tate.’ People will say the system made Cooper, not the other way around.” There are other wide receivers to consider. Denver’s Eric Decker and New England’s Julian Edelman are among them, but the feeling here is that Peyton Manning and Tom Brady will be fine with or without them.

Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com mocks Michigan State CB Darqueze Dennard to the Eagles:

Dennard is one of the more consistent players in this draft class. He has good size and is physical in press coverage. If he does get beat off the line, he has enough speed to recover. He does have a little stiffness when he flips his hips but it’s not glaring. In off-coverage, he has a fluid pedal and he is quick to key/read/drive on throws in front of him. He made plays on the ball in every game I viewed. He is also a very aggressive run-defender. He works through blockers and is a very reliable tackler.

Bucky Brooks of NFL.com has the Eagles taking Louisville safety Calvin Pryor:

The Eagles’ secondary hasn’t been right since the departure of Brian Dawkins. Pryor is a firecracker with the skills to shine as a run or pass defender in the Eagles’ scheme.

Peter Schrager of FoxSports.com likes Pryor to the Eagles as well:

Though Charlie Strong’s other big prospect, Bridgewater, will get the bulk of the media attention, I think Pryor’s a first-round pick, as well. The Eagles’ defensive backfield played a lot better than many expected in 2014, but there’s room for upgrades all over. Pryor had 69 tackles, three interceptions, and was all over the field for Louisville in 2013.

Think the Eagles had real interest in Oregon’s Dion Jordan last season?

Salguero went even further:

Tim linked to this earlier, but in case you missed it, ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. released his first mock draft. He's got the Eagles taking Florida State WR Kelvin Benjamin at No. 22:

I'd consider this more of a "best player available" pick than an outright need, but Benjamin would fill a distinctive role for the Eagles. Riley Cooper has decent size, but doesn't create separation with speed (and is a free agent), and DeSean Jackson is exceptionally quick still, but lacks a physical presence. Benjamin combines some of both, with a huge frame for a wide receiver at near 6-5 and a lean 230-plus pounds. He possesses not just speed, but a lot of change-of-direction burst. He can simply overwhelm defenders and make plays, and would be a nice weapon for Chip Kelly.

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  • Tikkit

    I think any mock that has the Eagles taking a S is lazy. Look at the other teams that have to draft based on need then look for BPA. If a stud S is there? You picked correctly.

    • Ark87

      most mock drafts are guys playing match maker. They tend to have a decent idea of player value, but a pretty weak grasp of how each individual team operates, or vice versa. Point is, most guys are predicting on, to use your word, pretty lazy presumptions.

      • Tikkit

        Well, I can do that! Where do I pick up my check?

        • Ark87

          I say that every damn day that I watch espn. I will do a better job for a lot less money than that guy!

  • Token

    Geez….. now 2 years in a row I have to worry about them wasting a 1st round pick on Dion Jordan.

    • Ark87

      If I have 1 concern about Chip Kelly, it’s that he seems to have a Duck bias. I give him the benefit of the doubt that year 1 it aided in establishing the Chip way. As long as every year doesn’t turn into a wild duck chase.

      • jabostick

        Chip does seem to be the type of person that makes decisions based on the best information available and, right now, that is probably on players he’s coached/recruited. I’d guess the Oregon bias will disappear in a year or two, when his database is a little less discriminate

        • Ark87

          agreed

      • aub32

        Did he really have a Duck bias? I don’t remember us drafting a single Duck last year. Too big a deal was made of him keeping a few Ducks on the roster as STers.

        • bentheimmigrant

          Yeah, I don’t think counting Chung or Matthews is fair, either – Obviously Matthews was already here, and Chung was brought in as one of the few viable safety options.

          The only real roster addition from Oregon was Maehl, and I think that was very much because he was a known quantity. The others were camp bodies brought in to help establish the Chip Kelly atmosphere.

        • Ark87

          our camp roster was Duck heavy in my opinion, I’d prefer we load up with some unknown quantities. That’s when you take a chance on some small school kids and what not.

          To clarify, I’m not not trying to outright accuse Chip of anything, or criticize. It’s just something I’m wary of for the time being.

      • CJ

        Are you going to call it Duck bias when the Eagles sign Byrd or Ward??? Or is that just BPA.

        Where are all these Ducks on the roster that arrived since Kelly? Backend depth and ST guys he could count on to help instill culture and his program without jeopardizing the talent level of the roster. Nothing to see here, move on already.

    • macadood

      agreed. he hasn’t done much in Miami. Dolphins don’t trust him to play the run. sounds familiar. would be ridiculous to trade away the 22nd pick for him

      • Chippah

        He hasn’t done well in Miami because he’s not a fit for the 4-3. They forced him into being a DE when he doesn’t have the body type or experience. That’s not putting players in a position to succeed. He has serious potential to be an impact 3-4 OLB.

    • JofreyRice

      Like him better at 22 than 4, but I don’t think he’s the edge threat we need. More like a solid drop linebacker with suspect passrush skills; sorta what we have in Barwin.

      • Clamdigger

        Speaking of physical freaks, what’s up with Momah? He supposedly ran in the 4.4 range, but from what I’ve seen, it doesn’t translate to the field. He’s OK off the line, but insanely sluggish coming out of his breaks.

        They brought him back, though. So they must see potential for him to improve…

        • JofreyRice

          I don’t really know. I was never big on Momah. Those really tall guys have a lot of trouble transitioning out of their breaks quickly, and his hands, in particular, are suspect IIRC. If you can’t catch, and you can’t get open, it’s pretty tough to make it. The Giants had one of those guys in Ramses Barden. 6’6″, ran a 4.6 40, good vertical jump. He could just never put everything together.

          Freaks exist, like Calvin Johnson, but as a rule of thumb, if you’re over 6’4, I think you have to be really, really good at catching the ball contested, because it’s hard to get the separation smaller guys can get with their route-running. Somebody like Mike Evans is one of those, “when he’s covered, he’s open” dudes, kinda because he has to be.

          • Clamdigger

            Yep. That’s why I thought it was odd that they brought him back. I get that they’re enamored with his size, but if he’s body catching everything and not getting seperation, DB’s are going to have no problem getting their hands in the way.

          • JofreyRice

            Like you said, maybe they saw him make a lot of progress. He was pretty raw.

        • anon

          his big an athlete that can’t play football. combo of toughness and skill.

    • Andy

      Yeah, we’ve already got Vinny Curry on the roster.

  • jabostick

    Brandon Graham for Dion straight up (kidding)

  • Scott J

    How did putting Pinkston and Thrash in a pass happy offense work out for them? But look what happened when we added T.O.

  • jabostick

    It will be interesting to see what the market is for Cooper. I bet you’ll get a lot of similarly split opinions.

    I’d be interested to know what Chip and Howie’s take are on how easy it is to find WR’s that will block well and are willing to do it regularly. That is sort of the one X-factor in Cooper’s favour (in this offense anyway).

  • Dominik

    I don’t even want to know what kind of physical reaction a trade 22nd pick vs. Jordan would cause for GEagle. :D

    • Andy124

      JOrdan.

      • Dominik

        That’s how you manage to see who his homies are. ;)

      • BleedGreenJames

        Did he ever explain that capitalization of ‘FOles’? Always wondered what it was when I saw his posts

        • Andy124

          autocorrect. Typed it wrong one time, autocorrect changes it every time now. At this point, it’s just kind of a thing, no longer wants to fix it.

  • Scott J

    Hmm…just like Dennard, I have stiffness when I flip my hips.

    • Dominik

      Don’t we all have, at some point in our life?

    • Chippah

      Outside of football I refer to that as “White Guy Hips”

      • Scott J

        That explains why I can’t jump.

        • Chippah

          It’s a scourge on our people at dance halls everywhere

  • bentheimmigrant

    Don’t the Dolphins have to eat a boatload of dead money if they trade Jordan?

    • cliff henny

      yes, 16m.

      • bentheimmigrant

        Looks like they can split 10M this year and 6 next… seems like it’s worth 10M to see if he can pan out in the 4-3 and trade him next year if not.

        • Chippah

          Ouch, didn’t know about the cap hit. Definitely makes this less viable. The new GM will probably do what you say and give him a year. If he’s not working out though his value will go down significantly. After next year we might be able to get Dion Jordan for a 3rd and a Kit Kat Bar.

          • cliff henny

            to like 12m. not every team sets up cap like eagles. alot do it like JJ in Dallas. reid funny money’d KC too. that sal cap is ready to explode. they pay guy min base, put it all in signing bonus and yearly bonuses, which means dead money drops very slowly. howie pays larger than norm salaries so cap hit is higher, but dead money goes down very quickly, why when guys plays declines, eagles can get out so easily.

    • Tom w

      Yes ain’t happening and this clown reporter is just speculating like me and you.

  • George

    I’d do a first for jordan…or a second and ghram

    • ceedubya9

      2nd and Graham is what I was thinking. no way for that 1st.

      • Chippah

        A second and Graham would be ideal. But I would be alright with a first. More than likely we would have taken him at number 4 overall if he’d been there last year. Basically taking him at #22 overall? Yes please.

        • Broadcasting Wisdom

          Seriously, #22 and Graham for Jordan would be a steal for us. Dolphins will never do it though.

    • Average__Joseph

      I’d do a 1st for Jordan…or a 2nd and Curry; I don’t think Graham has enough value.

      Just An Average Joseph

  • EaglePete

    Dennard sounds decent, Id like a safety or CB in first. That being said, I dont know squat about college ball or players. I only read the blurbs and around draft time see some of the footage. Im all for taking best talent and its nice to not have to reach for need although its also nice to get a player early that fits a need but is also considered tops at his position. All speculation really except for guys like Earl Thomas, we all new he’d be great.

    • JofreyRice

      check out his cousin, Alfonzo. Plays CB for the Patriots. they play a really similar game, strong press CBs, hardnosed, good in run support, a little limited, athletically.

      • EaglePete

        will do, they sound similar to Sconces then? unless they are better cover corners. Of course remains to be seen with Dennard.

  • David

    I say stick to what worked last time and that was Best Player Available, I would love to get Gilbert, Dennard, Clinton-Dix or Pryor IF THEY ARE the best player available. We’ve all wantes a big WR before and Kelvin Benjamin is there at 22 and is BPA?? The oh happy day!!! We got a WR duo that will compete with the best of them. In Gamble we trust, In Chip we believe, FLY EAGLES FLY!!!

  • bill

    Sando’s GM’s thinking is similar to mine: Cooper is much more valuable to the Eagles than he is to other teams, primarily due to the “bird in hand” effect. He’s a known quantity that they’ll have to be sure they can replace before letting him walk. And given how this team hates going into the draft with a “need,” they’d have to sign that replacement big WR before the draft, or else be pretty much locked into drafting WR in the 1st or 2nd round.