From draft buzz to 2014 projections, here’s a weekly roundup of national media links.
Chris Wesseling of NFL.com has some notes on how the Eagles were built:
Chip Kelly delved into free agency to find better fits for Billy Davis’ 3-4 defense, but this roster was built through two key trades (Jason Peters, DeMeco Ryans) and the draft. The pivotal year was 2012, which featured a draft class of DT Fletcher Cox, LB Mychal Kendricks, QB Nick Foles and CB Brandon Boykin.
Josh Norris of Rotoworld could see an Eagles-Giants trade in the first round making sense, with the Birds selecting UCLA edge rusher Anthony Barr:
Chip Kelly obviously took notes during his time at Oregon. That up close exposure likely aided in selecting Zach Ertz last season and continued into his implementation and use. Barr is not as far along in his development as we all thought his summer, but he still has plenty of upfield and chase down speed. If he starts using his hands and length more effectively, he can make a large impact.
Marc Sessler of NFL.com looks at the Eagles’ offseason forecast:
Along with the potential holes at safety, the defense also needs pass-rushing help. While Trent Cole finished with eight sacks, he’s on the wrong side of 30 for a team that lacks a true 3-4 edge rusher. You can’t have enough war-daddy quarterback killers in the NFC East, and Philly would be wise to stock up on potential difference-makers. Depending on what happens with Cooper and Maclin, Foles also might be short on targets in an offense that likes to overload opponents with three- and four-receiver sets. Back on the defensive side of the ball, Philly could use a big-bodied nose tackle to control the line of scrimmage, clog running lanes and set the pass rush free.
Charles Davis of NFL.com mocks Louisville safety Calvin Pryor to the Eagles:
Big hitter, but in today’s NFL, his ability to cover is what makes him a first-rounder.
Chase Stuart of Football Perspective uses DVOA to project 2014 wins. He’s got the Eagles at 9.5, behind only the Seahawks (10.5) and the Broncos (10):
The Eagles are projected for nearly one full win more using the DVOA projection (9.5) than Pythagenpat (8.6). That makes some sense, I think, because Philadelphia had excellent offensive pass and rush DVOA grades, and the below-average special teams grade doesn’t mean much. Philadelphia did rank 4th in points, but I think their DVOA grades are farther from the mean than their points scored number indicates.
Matthew Fairburn of SB Nation mocks USC WR Marquise Lee to the Eagles at No. 22:
If Jeremy Maclin leaves in free agency, the Eagles will need to find a receiver early in the draft. Marqise Lee wasn’t great in 2013, but he battled injuries and still flashed playmaking ability, on deep routes and after the catch. He’s worth a late first-round pick.
In the second round, he has the Birds landing BYU LB Kyle Van Noy:
Kyle Van Noy is a player who could play multiple positions across different schemes. The Eagles could certainly use some help on the edge, and while Van Noy has the ability to get after the passer, he can also be relied upon in coverage. He’s too good a value to pass up here.