Offseason Outlook: Outside Linebackers

Trent Cole had one sack in the Eagles’ first 10 games. He has seven in the last five, including three against the Bears.

This week, we’ll continue to offer offseason outlooks for the Eagles, position-by-position. Each day, we’ll answer a pressing question and rank the position on the priority scale. First up was quarterback. We covered running backswide receiverstight endsoffensive line and defensive line. Now let’s talk outside linebackers.

PRESSING QUESTION: Will there be a new starter on the outside in 2014?


McManus: I will say no, at least to start the year.

Connor Barwin may not be an elite pass-rusher but there is great value in his versatility. I think his starting job is secure. Trent Cole's spot really is the one to focus on. Cole is extremely well-respected within the organization and was regularly lauded by Chip Kelly and Billy Davis during the season, both noting that the numbers don't tell the whole story when it comes to Cole's impact on the game. And the numbers weren't bad. Despite playing OLB for the first time in his nine-year career, he finished with eight sacks, 15 hurries and 10 tackles for a loss.

Still, Cole is 31, his pass-rushing production wasn't consistent and the Eagles absolutely need to bolster this position. Brandon Graham contributed three sacks this season, but it's still questionable whether he's a fit for this team.

The ideal scenario may be to bring in bona fide OLB to start opposite Barwin and have Cole as a down lineman in specialty packages. There's no question the Eagles will bring in competition but I'll say Cole wins out and starts the year at OLB. Not sure he finishes there, though.

Kapadia: This is a tough question for a couple reasons. On one hand, I absolutely believe the Eagles would like to bring in a young stud pass-rusher to play ROLB opposite Barwin. On the other hand, finding one of those this offseason may prove difficult.

Take a look at the free agency list. You want someone who has upside, presents value, is young and matches Kelly's measurables. I'm not sure if a guy like that is available. Don't get me wrong. I think they'll add competition. I'm just not sure if those players will be better than Cole.

Then you move on to the draft, but there are so many variables. If the Eagles stick to their board - and based on the last couple years, they will - a great pass-rusher might not be in the cards in the first couple rounds.

Cole is not the perfect answer, but he finished with eight sacks and eight hurries in the final seven games (playoffs included). Plus, his contract suggests that he'll be on the roster. The Eagles will look for a younger solution, but I'm not sure they find one. I'll say Cole starts in Week 1 as well.

PRIORITY SCALE: FROM 1 TO 5

* 1 indicates there is no need at all to address the position in free agency or the draft. 5 means it’s of the highest priority that the Eagles focus on the position in the coming months.

McManus: Put me down for a four. The Eagles were very fortunate that they didn't suffer any significant  injuries at outside linebacker this past season. They essentially had one true OLB on the roster (Barwin), and two defensive ends in Cole and Graham that were learning on the fly. That was pretty well it. (They signed former Oregon LB Josh Kaddu to a futures contract after the season.)

I'm sure they would love to get their hands on at least one outside linebacker in the draft but you never know how it's going to play out, so look for them to address the position in free agency as a safeguard. Brian Orakpo is considered by some to be the top free-agent outside linebacker, though it's a safe bet that he returns to Washington. Pittsburghs's Jason Worilds (25), Denver's Shaun Phillips (32) and Green Bay's Mike Neal (26) are the next best options according to Rotoworld's rankings.

I think everything -- draft, free agency, trade -- is on the table.

Kapadia: I've got it at a four as well. I think searching far and wide for a big-time pass rusher at outside linebacker is a big priority. Think about it: Upgrade at OLB and safety, and all of a sudden this defense has a chance to make a nice leap.

Many readers often bring up Graham when we talk about potential OLB solutions. He's certainly had some nice moments as a pass-rusher. I've just seen/heard nothing from this coaching staff that indicates it views Graham as anything more than a rotational player in this current scheme.

Barwin played well last year, but this is the spot that is supposed to generate the pass-rush in a 3-4. Howie Roseman and company need to make moves to upgrade the talent.

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  • NickS1

    Maybe I’m going out on a limb here, but I’m at a 5 with this. Likely starter is 31 who puts out average production, backup is a first round bust who the franchise hates (fanbase, too, since the guy who should have been picked just won a SB), and we generate limited pass rush from the position that is supposed to crush QBs. Since this and S are both the two biggest positions of need, they should be at 5.

    • Richard Colton

      Maybe a bit harsh calling Graham a bust. Not his fault they drafted him ahead of Thomas, not his fault they switched from 4-3 to 3-4. I’m willing to give him the McDougle Mulligan.

      • anon

        Gotta get rid of him i think.

      • NickS1

        Bust may be harsh, and also may be filled with anger given that the guy we all thought they were going to draft just won a SB. That said, he’s done very little to push himself away from that label. Crappy circumstances? Absolutely, but, at some point, you have to prove why you were a 1st round pick. He has yet to show anything with any consistency, just flashes.

      • GEAGLE

        I don’t even think it’s his fault or the front office, Graham was a really solid prospect coming out. Put it to you this way, he was a better prospect than Dee ford will be(and a lot of smart people have said that)….I don’t really know who you can blame for him having microfracture surgery. I’m not sure has ever been the same since. he was no where near as stiff as he is now when he was a college prospect…Now If Graham still has the athletic ability today that he did when we drafted him, then he absolutely is a horrible pick for where we got him…IF THE INjury robbed him of his explosion, I’m not really sure who to blame

      • jesse

        What do you think the chance are we can package Graham and our 22 and move up and get someone like khalil Mack?

        • Richard Colton

          Might have to throw Chung in too, just to sweeten the pot.

          • JReamer

            I hope that is sarcasm.

          • Richard Colton

            have to love the Philly optimism. reminds me of this guy that always called WIP suggesting Phillies trades – Steve Jeltz for Frank Thomas was my favorite.

      • Weapon Y

        I still love Graham and think he would dominate in a 4-3 Under base defense. He reminds me a lot of Chris Clemons for Seattle (incidentally a guy who was cut by the Eagles because they thought they had someone better, but turned out to be a beast. A fate I foresee for Graham). He just isn’t cut out to be a starting 3-4 OLB though. It’s not his system. He got screwed over by Andy, Washburn, Davis, and even some bad luck, but it’s time to do what’s right for both sides and go our separate ways. The ideal Davis 3-4 OLB is a tall, fast freak who can put pressure on the edge and cover. Basically a clone of Dion Jordan. Let’s get a square peg for a square hole.

    • JofreyRice

      Yep. Chicago thought so little of Cole’s ability to get after the QB that they tried to use Matt Forte to try and block him. He beat Forte 2 times for a sack in that game, against a lead-footed and very poor Jay Cutler. Arizona found someone at the local Greyhound station named “Bradley Sowell” to suit up for them at Left Tackle. I seriously doubt he’s a starter in 2014. Cole racked up 2 of his sacks and a bunch of his pressures against him.

      He flatters to deceive with those sack numbers.

      • Token

        If Coles a starter next year they are in trouble. And No Geagle I dont care how he ranked against the run. The guys job in this system is to wreak havoc on QBs. All season he failed to accomplish that. I dont expect a guy who is 32 next season to improve.

        btw. I watched a bit of Ebron. Other than being kind of lazy blocking sometimes, he looks like he could be a interesting piece to the offense. Actually looked to block real well against Cincy. Hands catcher. I do still prefer a big outside WR tho.

        • GEAGLE

          Prepare to be in trouble then… I can assure you we won’t find a rookie ready to set the edge better than Cole next year and beat him out in our base defense, but fans might not realize it, but I can assure you our coaches really value Cole next year when their rookie OLB has to spend the year adding weight..you can talk shit all you want, but I guarentee Cole won’t be beat out by a rookie in our base defense..but that’s not even important. What’s IMPORTANT is the rookie is ready to beat out Cole in our Nickle defense, and that in YEAR TWO, when Coles money balloons to an ungodly amount we can’t pay, that the OLB we draft this year is ready to be a 3down linemen in 2015.

          I would love to play dream land with you where Khalil Mack falls to 22 and is ready to beat out Cole on all 3 downs, but reality would then be dissapointing..so I prefer to look at it realistically, and in reality, the rookie you draft play as Nickle pass rushers as rookies because they need to add weight to play the run…

          • GEAGLE

            Doubt anyone wants an OLB to replace Cole on all 3 downs more then me..you may want theta as much as me, but you can’t possibly want it more. but the kid we draft simply won’t be ready to be that in September, and that’s fine…we just need someone who can grow into a 3down OLB by 2015, because that’s when we can’t justify paying Cole the money owed to him just to set the edge in the run game…that’s the realistic few of the Cole situation…but don’t let me ruin your dreamland scenario where you get OLBs who are ready to play all 3 downs at 22. I’m actually a shady Cole hater, even his best years I never really went crazy over him…I just prefer trying to project reality instead of playing fantasy

  • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

    Any chance Kaddu or Travis Long make some noise this year?

    • JofreyRice

      I might have mentioned this before, but I really liked Kaddu at Oregon. He is a pretty good athlete with a good frame, and did not appear out of his league against the competition in ’12′s E-W Shrine game. From what I’ve seen, he looks more like a longterm replacement for Barwin (at best), though. Violent against the run, and had some potential in coverage, but not much of a natural passrusher, IMO.

      • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

        With regard to your last sentence, I think that’s the case for Long as well. As far as rushers go, I really hope we end up with at least 1 of Barr/Mack/Attaboy/Ford

        • JofreyRice

          I’ll co-sign that, but this is what it looks like for me, in terms of preference:

          Barr
          Mack
          .
          .
          Ford
          .
          .
          .
          .
          Attaochou

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

            curious why so low on Attaboy? he looked the best in coverage of those 4, but did well getting after the QB as a 43 DE

          • JofreyRice

            From the cutups I watched, he’s on the ground a lot. He also looks much more comfortable trying to beat the T inside, rather than flattening out around the edge. For a guy that’s supposedly a really good athlete, he looks a little stiff–nothing like Dee Ford’s impression of Gumby, or when UCLA’s OLB becomes a “MiniBarr” around the edge.

            Inside moves are important, and I am looking for an Aldon Smith type that that can loop inside while Cox/Curry goes outside, but you need to have a viable outside passrush to make that technique effective.

            I didn’t watch any of Georgia Tech’s games live, these are just my impressions of the stuff available from the draft cutup folks.

          • Jarrod

            I had this same impression watching his tape from 2013. But in 2013 GT was a 4-3 defense. Before that they were a 3-4 defense and he played OLB. I liked him more in some of the 2012 film I saw.

          • JofreyRice

            I haven’t gone back and watched the 2012 stuff that’s available.

          • GEAGLE

            avoid watching Attaboy vs. Morgan Moses… Not a pretty game for attaboy

          • GEAGLE

            I probably put Kony Ealy between Mack and Ford..and Attaboy I suspect will be closer to Ford, then his round 3 projection…isn’t the combine next week?

          • Eagles4Life

            You’re sold on Ealy as an OLB right now?

    • RIP illa

      Define noise???

      • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

        noise
        noiz/
        noun
        1.
        a sound, esp. one that is loud or unpleasant or that causes disturbance.
        “making a noise like a pig in a trough”
        synonyms:sound, din, hubbub, clamor, racket, uproar, tumult, commotion,pandemonium, babel; More

        2.
        technical
        irregular fluctuations that accompany a transmitted electrical signal but are not part of it and tend to obscure it.

        • RIP illa

          Ha!!! See I had a whole different definition…glad I asked.

          Noise:
          Just being good enough so that the team can finally break ties w/ Casey Matthews!!!

          Edit: I like my definition way more than yours :-)

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

            I like yours better

          • Richard Colton

            I endorse Illa’s definition. As does my wine glass…wherever he went.

          • NickS1

            Think #7, I mean, your wine glass, left.

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

            we’ll see him again when Vick signs somewhere for some more racist, homophobic, idiotic ranting

  • JofreyRice

    haha, has Sheil ever ranked anything lower than a 3?

    That being said, as a fellow Alarmo, I’d rank it as a 5. You simply cannot run a two gap 3-4 at a high level without an edge terror. The linemen are all doing their job specifically to free up that guy to disrupt the QB. We know Barwin’s not that. Cole was productive in the back half of the season, but you kind of have to hope he gets matched up against running backs at this point in his career.

    I keep seeing Barr falling lower and lower in mock drafts. I have no idea what it means to real NFL teams, but Barr is legit. I think his “fall?” is the same bored rearrangement that leads to people picking a prospect apart after projecting them in the top 5 since the beginning of the season. It’s happening to Bridgewater, and it even happened to Luck, to a degree. I have a suspicion that Barr’s “stock” will jump up again after he runs a <4.6 40 at the combine. I get that he's still raw, but he switched from running back 2 years ago. Mack has been an OLB his entire career, and is playing against DeVry and ITT Tech. If Barr somehow makes it out of the top 5, go up and get him.

    • anon

      We run a lot of A Gap blitzes that never get home — I think that’s b/c of the lack of a NT. The DL has to get better. We shouldn’t have to blitz the whole team to get pressure on the QB.

      • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

        that’s pretty traditional for the LeBeau-inspired 2gap/fire blitz scheme. I’d say it was more an inability of our ILB to get home on the blitz, the DL did ok. Davis gets creative bringing the pressure, which I’m ok with, but those blitzes need to get home (especially on 3rd down when he’s sacrificing a coverage player).
        Also, Brandon Boykin, OLB, needs to become a thing of the past.

        • anon

          I’ve seen that blitz work sometimes. Slot corner is the right one to do it because he’s closest to the QB. Need better coverage to make the blitz work.

        • Brandon Boykin, OLB

          Whatcha trying to get at, bud?

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

            go back to CB, damnit!

      • JofreyRice

        PFF blames DeMeco for not getting home on those blitzes, for whatever it’s worth. They have him down for 148 pass rush opportunities generating just 3 hurries, a hit, and 4 sacks. Compare that to Kendricks, who in 134 rushes had 12 hurries, 6 hits, 4 sacks and a forced holding penalty. That’s the strong part of Kendricks’ game, IMO, and I think PFF’s grade on him reflects what I see on the field. I think PFF underrates Ryans a little, overall, but I can’t say I saw him terrorizing QB’s regularly.

        Another good reason to get DeMeco off the field in Nickel.

        • anon

          Thanks for the info good to have PFF put some numbers behind things. You think any of our backups are faster than Meco?

          • JofreyRice

            I’d take either Acho or Goode in a footrace against Meco. I don’t know if it’s just about speed though. Disengaging from blockers, knowing where holes are opening up in the protection; Seems like there’s a lot to it. I’m anxious to see if Knott can develop as a longterm backup at ILB, but I don’t think he’s going to be a dynamic passrusher.

        • Maggie

          The latest super Bowl winner has no problem rotating guys in or out depending on their strengths.

        • Eagles4Life

          Seems like DeMeco inevitably slips or somehow trips whenever he comes up the a gap. It’s almost comical sometimes lol.

    • Richard Colton

      DeVry has some great O-linemen. Absolute technicians at LT/RT.

      • NickS1

        Genius.

    • NickS1

      I have a hard time advocating trading up for anyone, at this point. So, I’ll say if he falls out of the top 10, preferably top 15.

      • GEAGLE

        If you can trade up for a special pass rusher you do it. But if we trade up in round 1, I would hope we replenish the picks we lost by trading back in rounds 2 and 3…

        Wonder if there is a 27yr old OLB version of Demeco on a cap strapped team to trade a 5th round pick to aquire?

        we need a young rookie Pass rusher for McGovern and Azz to start grooming, but on top of that we could still use a 27-28yr old to trade for. This time next year Graham will be getting ready to leave in FA and Cole would have to take a serious pay cut to stay, and I’m not talking about restructuring, I’m talking flat out pay cut. I expect good soldiers to restructure, but I can’t fault any for not wanting to take pay cuts…If we keep Graham And let him walk next year, then we can get away with only adding 1OLB this offseason. But this time next year we will probably have to replace both Cole and Graham so if you can get more then one of our future OLBs this year, you do it, but it’s easier to get that second OLB if it’s a versatile OLB who can also play ILB

        • GEAGLE

          Who are the teams that are switching from a 3-4 to a 4-3 this year?

        • NickS1

          I don’t disagree with trading up for a special pass rusher, who’s special now. I have a more reserved stance on trading up for a pass rusher who’s GOING to be special after a couple seasons of coaching him up. If I trade assets to move up for a guy, I’d prefer that the player we’re giving up a few picks for to be ready Day 1 to push Cole into nickel situation only, as opposed to a guy who’s going to come in on 3rd down. We can draft and coach a guy who can do that w/o trading up, I would think. Obviously there’s no guarantees, but I think you get my point.

    • GEAGLE

      I probably talked about Barr falling before that was ever reflected in any Mocks..and I absolutely Love the kid, his fall isn’t a reflection of any short coming, it’s just that I think NFL FO value guys like Kony Ealy more than the mock community thinks.

      I think the world of the kid, and he is probably number 1 on my somewhat plausible wish list, but I can see how other teams picking in the top 15 would rather draft someone more NFL ready. Barr has all the talent you can ask for in a prospect but he is raw as hell. Everything he accomplished came off an explosive first step. he has no moves, counter moves just beasts his way being a superior athlete. Like Dion Jordan, he won’t be more than a Nickle pass rusher his rookie year as he learns moves and adds weight, but with Cole being ELITE at setting edge on our base defense, we are really well equipped to take a kid that can only pass rush as a rookie. Barr is hurt by being in a draft with similar athletes who happen to be more 3down ready like Mack and Clowney…Last year, if you didn’t want Dion, your next best choice was the equally Raw Ziggy..

      I just don’t see a team calling his name with Clowney and Mack still on the board! and if he isn’t drafted in the top 10, he could drop simply because the teams drafting need a 4-3DE not an OLB. He won’t be ready his first year to play OLB, so how can teams like the Titans and Giants draft him? The Rams have no use for pass rushers, Cowboys probably stick with a 4-3 for one more year. Pitt would probably Love him but they already need to figure out their love triangle of Woodley,Worlids and Jarvis? Ben is desperate for OTs and WR especially since they probably lose Sanders in FA…I think because teams after the top 10 mostly use 4 man line, Ealy should come off the board before Barr…It’s also a really nice OT draft especially 10-20range, and many teams in that range are pretty darn desperate for OL help. Figure a corner is always drafted in the 9-12 range, so that pushes Barr back a spot..
      ….
      His fall Isn’t a reflection of any flaws, just a deep draft, and I suspect we over mocked him to begin with. If you are strongly considering drafting an OLB/DE then unless there is someone really special at another position, then only way you probably pass on that pass rusher is if you like a OT or QB as much. OT and DE are valued above everything else in the draft, fortunately for us it happens to be really strong with OTs…And I expect more OTs to sneak into that round then we are mocking right now, like Morgan Moses. I think he will have a good combine and when teams look at the tape they will see he shut down 3 big name pass rusher this year, Attachou and I can’t think of the other two..

      Badically. I think a team either LOVES him and takes him top 10, or he will take a star LATULULIE type of fall into the 16-20′range and that’s the type of special athlete we probably give a lot of thought to trading up for….

      for us, Barr would be our wet dream. Supreme athlete and stylistically we don’t have to compromise anything because he will grow into a Von Miller type of pass rusher without having to compromise Coverage ability, so he provides the disguise paired with Barwin to where teams don’t know which one is dropping…Its really not that far fetched that a guy we today think of as a top 6 guy, falls to like 17…

      Not really sure which one, but I have a feeling either Barr or Ealy fall to ATleast 17, which can’t be that expensive to trade up for

      • JofreyRice

        See, besides a really nice first step, I don’t see a lot of similarity between Barr and Dion. The outside move is much more direct with Barr–Dion let himself get pushed past the pocket. Barr has shown a feel for looping inside and beating guards. And I think Barr is just a much more naturally violent player. I’m not sure I see that with Dion. He can do some fantastic things from a versatility standpoint, but I think Barr is a much better passrusher, even with how raw he is. Just has better traits for that job.

    • jesse

      So ill put it to you also,what do think the chances of packaging our22 and Graham to a 4-3 team and moving up high enough to get a Barr or Mack? If not Graham who could you see us packaging to move up

      • JofreyRice

        I think it’s all about picks–that we’d have to give up 2nd or 3rd rounders to make it happen. I think Graham is essentially worth about a 5th or 6th rounder at this point. We value him because we see him as a former first, but he just doesn’t have the resume or tape to show that he’s anyone’s immediate answer. The guy is looking up at Mike Mamula on the Eagles all-time sack list.

        Another factor that may affect Barr’s fall is his size. I don’t think he’s a legit 6’4, 255. I’m really curious to see just how far off he is from those numbers. If he ends up at 6’2″ 238–combined with the raw way he plays, he may tumble down to where moving up wouldn’t cost as much. And I don’t think it would matter one bit.

  • Andy124
    • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

      I bet this is Howie’s alarm clock music

      • Andy124

        Editing with reason for posting that. Refresh in a bit. Oddly enough, it involve Howie, ya damn psychic.

        • Jarrod

          Truly Awesome!

          • Andy124

            Thank you.

    • NickS1

      I will chew it up and leave.

  • Richard Colton

    The only thing I want more than finding one stud OLB early in the draft is finding two.

    How does #22 Van Noy with #54 Attaochu sound?

    • anon

      like i REALLY want a WR.

    • cliff henny

      i cant get there (it’s fun to think about) in reality, because somewhere have to get ryans replacement, and backup who can get to qb on 3rd downs. barwin can still play 2 more yrs, and get dline better, get inside pressure and olb that can get home, he’ll do more damage.

      • Richard Colton

        I drafted you ryan’s replacement – Van Noy. It’s a bit of a pipe dream because I have both going a little (not a lot) lower than expected. Low enough to justify both being selected. Imagine (LOLB to ROLB) Barwin-KVN-Kendricks-Attaochu.

        • cliff henny

          kvn ryans or barwin’s, cause picture him more as jack? i’m so confused on grades, if you asked me how eagles get both, i’d say atta-guy at 22 and kvn at 54.

          • Richard Colton

            ‘Cause we’re in the silly season. I’ve seen KVN mocked as high as 9 and as low as bottom of round #2. Attaochu all over the place. He’s a candidate for post combine first round if someone falls in love with him. I feel confident with where I have it because I think Dee Ford’s Senior Bowl moved him ahead of one or both.

            To answer your question – both. Ryan’s replacement sooner…Barwin’s later. Versatility is this kid’s middle name.

          • cliff henny

            guess kvn depends on which tape you watch, ’12-he’s top 10, ’13-top 50. well then forget atta-guy, take cristian jones in 3rd. he start out pushing cole, moves inside to replace kvn when he moves over to jack. and get mike evans in 1st still. since we’re in silly season. Eagles do need to walk with 2 lbr this draft. got away with ryans cole and barwin playing 1000 snaps, that wont happen in ’14.

          • JofreyRice

            From what I’ve seen, I’d prefer Christian Jones. Looks like a much better athlete than Van Noy. Makes me nervous that people are projecting Van Noy inside–that’s a referendum on his lack of athletic ability, IMO. Conversely, Christian Jones is a guy that I’ve seen some project as an outside rusher–a testament to his untapped potential.

          • cliff henny

            sounds like he needs to start outside due to weight, and move inside on obvious passing downs. thought he blitzed well from inside too. thought of him kendricks barwin being lbs in 3-3-5, with or kendrick and cj in 4-2-5 works for me. somehow joyner falls to 4th-he really is small, can go 3-2-6 w/ cole and barwin as d-ends standing up, cox NT, after ward/byrd signing, good luck. and he wont prevent going wr/olb in 1/2. think he fits eagles and fits well into draft rankings. why i watched landry. guy should be 1 of 3 or 4 guys there in 2nd if evans, lee or benjamin arent taken in 1st.

          • JofreyRice

            I feel like Benjamin is way overrated. He’s really not a dominating player, and those hands are suspect. I look at him like a second round guy. Lee’s hand’s are a little suspect, too, and I just don’t think he’s a good fit for this squad.

            Mike Evans, Allen Robinson, Eric Ebron, Jordan Matthews–I want a BIG receiver that can move.

          • cliff henny

            KB is soo physically gifted, his ceiling might be too much, have to take risk he’ll get hands. heard they really like Lee, i cant stand USC so didnt watch him but saw he had the drops too. for me, the guy is mike evans by wide margin.
            .
            you know Eagles arent going to take any of these guys. draft weekend is going to be maddening

          • Andy124

            WR is one position where I actually care about 40 time. Not a ton, but it will definitely make a big difference for KB.

          • cliff henny

            not me with Evans. he could walk backwards smoking a J, i’d still want him

          • Andy124

            Agree. I wonder if it’s wrong that it matters to me for some guys and not so much for others. I guess guys that I’m less sure about, I care more about the measurables and vice versa.

          • cliff henny

            evans played in SEC and showed his speed. KB played in ACC, they dont have the overall speed on field, so there is a difference. i never saw evans get caught from behind, and even when cbs got the angle, still didnt get him to ground. think barr is only guy i’d accept eagles taking over evans. 0 chance both will be there, but who knows.

          • JofreyRice

            I think it depends on the player, and how they “win” against their opponent. For me, Evans wins by bodying up the DB at the catch point, and coming down with the ball. He’s already got NFL size, and shows he can catch in contested situations, so his 40 time is not as important.

            Someone like Sammy Watkins, I think needs that elite speed to be successful. If he runs over a 4.5, it would be a concern, for me–not that I want him in the draft.

          • Andy124

            Yeah, that definitely plays a major role.

          • GEAGLE

            I could see KB fall to like 40..I could also see him run faster then we think and climb into top 20

          • RIP illa

            What do you think of Martavis Bryant? Tall, but slender, but can run better than almost all of the Bigs and has an insane catch radius and knack for coming down with the ball. Should be a late day 2 pick…at least for now.

          • JofreyRice

            I’m down with that. Nice size, good raw material to work with. I think Rob mentioned something about Kelly doing for offensive players what Carroll did for defenders. I’d love for that to be true, and I think highly enough of Chip that I might believe it’s possible.

          • Mitchell

            Posted below.

          • GEAGLE

            Actually think he is a better pass rusher then people think, and you are right that inside talk makes people think he can’t rush the passer, but in his case i think it’s just a testament to his versatility. I watched him play next to super athlete Ziggy all of last year, and he played just as fast. I never viewed him as not athletic enough, it’s just his size, ability to shed blocks and cover make me absolutely love him at Meco’s replacement, but we can defininetly work him into OLB pass rush Rotation….gotta go back to last years tape you will see him asked to handle a sexier role draft wise

          • RIP illa

            I have a strong feeling Jones won’t be there for us no matter what round it is. I love the kid and want him on our squad bad. He’s a beast. 2nd year in a row that FSU has put out a quality MLB that goes goes hard and has the physicality that’s not expected out of too many college MLBs, save for a few. However this is the 1st year that they put out a MLB that has that physicality but is a really great athlete to go along w/ it, in awhile. And like you mentioned, that’s where the versatility to play OLB comes in. Yet, since I really want us to draft him badly, we won’t. That’s iLLadelphia Certified!!! :-) Seems like that’s always the case for me going back several drafts, save for Boykin.

            And while I’m talking about FSU LBs…Damn I wish Telvin Smith would and could put in weight w/o sacrificing his speed and agility. Or if we still played a 4-3, I would love him as our WILL. Thought he was all speed and flash, but he showed some good hitting and tackling during Senior Bowl week and the game. Got his ass kicked during one on ones when trying to block shed, but not a lot of college LBs are good at shedding anyway.

          • Eagles4Life

            Telvin is going to be a baller on the right defense. He just needs a squad with a big dline to keep OLs off him. You think Jones is gone before round 3 though?

          • GEAGLE

            I’d rather have Telvin as a safety

          • RIP illa

            Thought about it, but would have to see how fast he is exactly. I don’t like the idea of 4.6 safeties, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he pulled off a 4.5 something. Either way, he has refused to give way to the transition, adamantly.

          • RIP illa

            Yup. Going off of the last couple of drafts, MLBs that can be or that are usually mocked in the 3rd get picked up quick in the 2nd. Teams don’t like using a 1st on MLBs, unless they’re LK special, so the run starts in the 2nd. Plus I think he’s only 2nd to Mosely.

          • GEAGLE

            Yeah I heard, which I thought was a mistake for him, then again Dion Baily is probably the Telvin version who has already been playing safety, if that’s what we fancy

          • JofreyRice

            Yeah, Smith looks like a nice player that’s just a little too light in the ass. I wonder if they could use him in that robber/prowler role in the box? Like a Kam Chancellor type?

    • GEAGLE

      Love it…but I’m fond of Ealy and Dee ford! not to mention i can’t sneak the suspicion that Barr is in for a star LATULULIE, possibly Shariff fLoyd type of fall

  • Maggie

    I know everybody loves sacks, they make great highlights, but how many times was Peyton sacked in the Super Bowl, compared to how many times he was just hurried, ball stripped, confused, etc. Sacks didn’t matter.

    • Richard Colton

      Berwin led the league in Forced Confusions

      • Maggie

        Maybe we invented a new statistical category!

  • Coatesvillain

    If the Eagles do go FA for OLB I think Worilds is a possibility. 25 years old, had his best season yet as a pro. Already familiar with the defense having played in Pittsburgh. Ultimately it depends on how much he’ll cost but he’s leaving Pittsburgh unless they guarantee him a starting job.

    • Chippah

      If they could get him on the Barwin contract I’d be pretty happy. It’d open up a lot of possibilities in the draft

  • Vet Linc

    Graham was a ridiculously stupid draft pick in a long line of terrible selections by Reid and Company. You look back on our last five or so drafts in utter dismay. This organization got pummeled in observing, idnetifying, selecting, acquiring and coaching talent. It’s amazing no one on a national level has the fortitude to really examine just what happened here on Reid’s watch and how fast Kelly turned it in the right direction.

    Before all is said and done, Kelly will make Reid look like a buffoon.

    • RIP illa

      Did you see Graham while he played at Michigan or coming out??? Kid was an absolute beast!!! Yet he still had flaws like every prospect. I wasn’t a fan if the pick, cuz of the obvious safety need, but still I can understand why they did it. They really needed and were trying to get Cole some help on the opposite side, so we could have a more effective pass rush and to prevent Cole from “wearing down”. It’s not the fact that he was picked, just somewhere along the lines things got F’d up w/ him. McDermott, injury, Graham himself, Reid, Juan, Wash, etc. to me that’s more of failed coaching and development than being a bad pick! Still, he is a bust (sorry RC). 3 years and nothing much to show for it equals bust, despite whatever reasons there are.

      • Vet Linc

        They had a need at both DE and S. They took the DE because they valued the position more. So they took an average (at best) prospect instead of a sure-fire stud because they, not surprisingly, incorrectly evaluated their own evaluation skills.

        It’s another example of Reid’s crew trying to outsmart a room and failing.

        Many times that cost us games. This one cost us a player and a draft pick as they traded assets to make a mistake.

  • papa

    Dee Ford I think has a better 1st step than curry. 22 is too early for him & 54 too late a trade back would be nice then Buchanan maybe the extra pick gets someone like jean-Baptist later

    • GEAGLE

      22 may not end up being all that high for him….If Barr!Mack!Clowney,Ealy are all off the board then 22-27 could turn out to be Dee Ford range..

      He isn’t that 6’6 long freak we would like(that would be Kony), but if he has the arm length, I think he could really apeal to us..

      Former Eagle Scout said..If I’m desperate for a 3rd down stop from an Edge rusher in this draft, I’m starting to think Dee Ford would be my best bet(paraphrasing but you can find it on Eaglesblog(tommys junior site)

      I think Ford answered questions about whether he play OLB instead of just DE. If he has a good combine, and has long arms, he could be a real option at 22

  • GEAGLE

    while we are so set at positions like DL to where it’s easy to predict what we will do at that position this offseason, OLB is a major major question mark and easily one of our top 3′priorities. Cole isn’t the Longterm answer, but next year he is so much more valuable then a lot of fans realize. Our Base defense was better then people probably realize and few rookies will ever set the edge at the level Cole will next year which is great because most college pass rushers have to spend their rookie year adding weight and starting off as 3rd down pass rushers. Just so happens that 3rd down is our REAL ISSUE. fans talk that silly NT crap but fact of the matter is we were pretty darn stout on first and second down, problem was our Nickle defense couldn’t get off the field often blowing the great work our base defense did getting teams into 3rd and long situations, so while we ain’t finding a NFL ready 3down OLB at #22, just getting a situational Nickle pass rusher would be absolutely HUGE for our defense next year. Basically Cole can’t rush the passer well enough, but the rookie won’t be able to play the run well enough, put them together, and you should get some pretty solid production out of the ROLB next year.

    Teams picking 11-15 mostly need a 4-3DE not OLB, the OT depth in round 1′should help push quality pass rushers down to 22. Hopefully some of the DTs have BIGTIME combines, and the strong WR class should produce a few top 20 WRs..

    I would be pretty surprised if we didn’t see one of these names onthe board when we pick: Barr, Ealy, Dee ford. If one isn’t on the board at 22,’one will undoubtably be there at 18 which wouldn’t cost much to go get…unless we think a super athlete at like WR who we really like is on the board at 22, i think we would have to strongly consider trading up 5-8 spots to get an OLB…but you ain’t trading up for OLBs who can Cover. if you trade up, you do so because you are convinced you are getting someone you can grow into a disruptive pass rusher

    I adore KVN, I just don’t think we can take him with the athletes I expect to be n the board at 22, but I really believe he is someone Chip would really really want for his brains and versatility. can Blitz,shed blockers and cover enough to be Meco’s eventual replacement, while also playing some legit OLB snaps, not fake OLB snaps like Casey..Even if we were to take a pass rusher at 22, I think We would love to see KVN fall within two or three spots of our second round pick

    Btw,,can any Ducks fans talk to me about Terrence Mitchell? Projects in rounds 3-5 and is said to be that versatile CB/S so he is someone we should probably get around to watching some tape on.
    ..
    Chip Kelly Draft picks:
    1) Must be top notch athletes (Chip really believe in athletic youth)
    2) Must fit measurable or be close
    3) Must be versatile. Just look at our first 3 picks last year, they are all capable of wearing multiple hats. Lane can play both sides and split out wide. Ertz can line up all over the place. Benny can play 3-4NT and DE, as well as play DT and provide some pressure when we go to our 4man front

  • peteike

    I just saw Shanahan hired by Browns as OC, haha. Nice Banner. Im sure everyone knows this already.

  • GEAGLE

    OLB is a major need. We only have 1 OLB of the new age eagles on the roster. Technically we can get away with only adding one rookie to be our Nickle pass rusher this year(technically replacing Mathews roster spot), but this time next year you are going to have to replace both Cole and Graham….so while we can get away with adding only 1 pass rushing OLB this offseason, reality is that before the 2015 season starts, we will have had to get 3 new OLBs with Barwin being the 4th. If you don’t want to have to get two this offseason, you will have to get two next offseason. By the Time the 2015 season starts, we will need 3 OLBs who aren’t on this roster today

  • GEAGLE

    Eagles future TE Rico Gaethers in on ESPN 2 right now playing for baylors basketball team against Andrew wiggins…check out this monster athlete

  • TOm W

    5 – we play a 3-4 and name of the game is putting pressure on the qb to win the big games consistely. In a 3-4 its the olb who do that typically (jj watt, seymour, chandler jones)
    Part ways w graham after june 1st
    Assume we land Byrd, Ward, Clemons or Whitner
    Keep Cole for another year and groom 1 or 2 olbs behind him and Barwin
    1) Barr (would trade up to 11)
    2) Mack
    At or near 22
    3) Ealy (doubt he makes it past cowboys or packers)
    4) Ford (see first and second round grades after senior bowl — is he tall/big enough?)
    5) Atta-Boy (seen mostly second and even third round even after senior bowl – probably doesn’t get to 54 but who knows yet)
    6) Marcus Smith (second-third round — dont sleep on him)
    7) Jeffcoat — don’t sleep on him (2-3)
    8) Demarcus Lawrence (4th)
    Others — Christian Jones and Van Noy – could only see us taking KVN in second or Jones second or third as one year edge rushers and year two replacement for Demeco. Doesn’t answer question of edge rusher long term whatsoever.
    Preferably Give me Evans/Benjamin, Atta-Boy, and Christian Jones … Or Benjamin/Evans, Van Noy, Marcus Smith OR Ealy/Ford, Davanta Adams/Robinson/Beckham, Christian Jones OR Ealy/Ford, Van Noy, Martavius Bryant OR Pryor, Atta-Boy, Martavius Bryant

    • TOm W

      meant the 3 d ends watt, seymour, chandler are exceptions — but maybe tuitt or shede could provide that for us.

  • Eagles4Life

    Call me crazy, but aside from an OLB at 22…I’d take Louis Nix if he’s sitting there. He’d be a steal at that spot.

    • Tom W

      Injury Concerns and nd players are typically overrated and underperform in pros

      • Eagles4Life

        Injury concerns, yes. But that was only this year. He’s still a legit player inside.

  • GEAGLE

    GEAGLE EYE: want an Eagles sleeper splash? Screw the OLB FA market! Keep an eye on Eagles signing FA DE Micheal Johnson! Bengals won’t retain him, down year, could possibly get him to sign a Barwin type deal that will pay him well if he pans out, but has out clauses that would make it a much cheaper deal if we aren’t happy with him! or we could get him on a 1yr Micheal Bennett prove it deal if he doesn’t like his Longterm offers and wants to gamble on himself having a rebound year like Talib and Bennett did in last years free agent.
    ….
    Johnson is 6’7, 270lbs, LONG ARMS, Explosive First step. I think we could view him as the type of DE who can make the OLB transition Graham has fallen short of. While he is a DE for the Bengals, he is the prototype for OLBs that Chip NAND Azzinaro value
    ..
    Keep an eye on eagles and Micheal Johnson…my sleeper FA play!

    • GEAGLE

      I’m not sure if 4-3DEs Bennett and hardy can do it, but I really think transitioning to OLB would be fine for MJ

  • Giorgos Kassakos

    Cole and Barwin look like the 2014 starters. Eagles wil probably bring at least one young guy (maybe a rookie) to play in a rotation, hoping that he will become the starter late in the season or after the season. If Graham is traded/cut, then the Eagles will be looking for two or three OLBs.

  • Anders

    I think Jason Worilds is the guy we will get. He is a bit small, but he comes from the Steelers and Davis’ vision for his defense is the Steelers (he learned the 3-4 2 gap from Lebeua).
    Worilds wont cost a ton (similar deal to Barwin) and at worst becomes a good depth player.

    • usmcnole

      I agree. We need to basically replace Graham with worilds. He was under utilized as a steeler and has shone some great pass rushing skillz when given opportunity

  • Rick H

    Dont be misled by combines & stats. Look at the game tapes. Take best player available. Do not trade up but if they dont like what they see at # 22 they can / should down for mor picks but no too far. Worilds would be a nice free agent along with a front 2 year loaded contract for Byrd. I still like CB Dennard!