Wake-Up Call: Big Corners To Consider

USATSI_7473104_168380503_lowres
Chip Kelly
‘s emphasis on measurables really seems to show up at the cornerback position.

The Eagles moved quickly last March to give Kelly a pair of big, physical corners by signing Cary Williams (6-1, 190) and Bradley Fletcher (6-0, 200) in free agency. This offseason they added Nolan Carroll (6-1, 205)  to the mix. It’s hard to miss the similarities there. And even though Brandon Boykin (5-9, 185) played just over 50 percent of the snaps last season as the slot corner, the head coach doesn’t sound interested in moving the playmaker outside.

“It’s a matchup game. The bigger receivers are on the outside. The smaller receivers are on the inside. So you’ve got two longer guys in Fletch and Cary that really fit in terms of getting matched up,” said Kelly. “When most people, if they’re gonna be in ’21′ personnel, then they’re not small outside. They’re big outside. So when they’re big, we’re big. I think when you bring in the Wes Welkers and the great slot receivers in this league, you need to have someone that has the ability to cover them. And I think that’s what Brandon’s strength really is. That’s the way we’ve always looked at it.”


The Eagles' scouting department is given specific measurables to look for when searching for players. That doesn't mean they will ignore every talent who fails to check a box, but there are guideline that they try to follow pretty closely. And Howie Roseman indicated last year that there are "deal-breakers."

“Maybe it’s at a particular position that size is a particular function that you need there, or a certain speed," he said. "I think there are limiting factors at certain positions that for some staffs are more important than others.”

All of this is to say that size matters to Kelly when it comes to outside corners. That should be remembered as we try and project who they might target in the upcoming draft. With that in mind, here are five cornerbacks that could fit the bill.

Kyle Fuller (6-0, 190), Virginia Tech
Projected round (via CBS Sports): 1-2

Fuller has size to go along with speed (4.47) and length (33” arms). He also has excellent feet and quickness. He lines up on the short side of the field and can play press, off and zone. He is very aware and instinctive, with very good closing and ball skills. He is an aggressive player who plays the run almost as well as [Darqueze] Dennard. He is a consistent tackler and has been a valuable special teams' player throughout his career. -- Greg Gabriel, National Football Post

Tony Pauline wrote that Bill Davis was "all over" Fuller at Virginia Tech's pro day.

Keith McGill (6-3, 211), Utah
Projected round (via CBS Sports): 2-3

Rare size with extremely long arms and large hands -- looks every bit the part. Very good athletic ability. Explosive -- recorded 39-inch vertical jump and 10-foot, 9-inch broad jump. Versatile and can play safety or corner. -- NFL.com

McGill, who is 25 years old, missed part of the 2011 season and all of 2012 with a shoulder injury.

Stanley Jean-Baptiste (6-3, 218), Nebraska
Projected round (via CBS Sports): 2-3

A converted receiver, Jean-Baptiste possesses intriguing ball skills, rare leaping ability and clear upside, though he lacks ideal speed and flexibility, is smoother than he is sudden and does not consistently play to his size. Warrants developmental consideration from teams employing press or Cover-2, and will be in demand given the league's trend toward bigger defensive backs. -- Nolan Nawrocki

Gil Brandt said Jean-Baptiste "looks like a clone of Richard Sherman."

Pierre Desir (6-1, 198), Lindenwood
Projected round (via CBS Sports): 3

Desir started his college career at Washburn and then transferred to Lindenwood for his final two years. He has excellent size with long arms. He is a good athlete with rare jumping ability (11’1" LJ, 35” VJ). He is very smooth with loose hips and turns well. He can get a little tall in his pedal but still shows he can flip his hips and has a burst out of his turn. He possesses quick feet and can move in transition very well. He dominates at a very low level of competition (Div. II) and rarely goes up against a receiver with any kind of speed...Desir has talent but is very raw. It will take some time for him to develop, but I can see him as a starter by the end of his second year or beginning of his third year.  -- Gabriel

Mel Kiper has Desir being taken by the Eagles in the second round.

Phillip Gaines (6-0, 193), Rice
Projected round (via CBS Sports): 2

The 6-0 Gaines broke a Rice school record with 38 pass break-ups during the season and he flashed top-end speed [at the combine], running a 4.38 40 time — just one one-hundredth of a second off Justin Gilbert’s DB-best time. He also hit over 10 feet in the broad jump and posted a 36 1/2-inch vertical.

“For a guy that’s going to be a mid- to late-[round], developmental corner,” the NFL Network’s Mike Mayock said, “I’m not sure you’re going to get any better value than Phillip Gaines.” --Chris Burke, SI.com

NFL.com has Gaines going in the fourth or fifth round.

WHAT YOU MISSED

Brandon Boykin jabs at Giants defensive back Walter Thurmond, who called himself the best slot corner in the game.

Dan Snyder talks DeSean Jackson while the Eagles check out yet another receiver prospect.

In the latest Draft Daily, Sheil shows why Brandin Cooks might just be a perfect fit for Kelly.

A round-up of the latest Eagles draft predictions.

Sheil looks at how Nick Foles can improve in Year 2 under Kelly.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

Mike Mayock believes the Eagles need to be thinking defense in the first round. From Domo.

"Why is everybody so gung-ho on the Eagles taking a wideout [in the first round]?" the respected NFL Network draft analyst said.

"From my perspective, they almost have to look at the best-rated defensive player on their board at [No. 22]. I think they [need to take] their highest-rated player between an edge rusher, a corner and a safety. And then, if the entire defensive board is wiped out by the time they're on the clock, then you look at the offensive side.

Derrick Gunn caught up with Earl Wolff, who is eager to learn from Malcolm Jenkins.

“I didn’t know a lot about him, but I knew of him. It’s a great move by the organization. I can learn a lot from him," Wolff said. "Actually I kind of sat behind him in the meeting today. He was taking notes, so I was kinda looking at how he was taking notes, and honestly I think I’m going to start sitting beside him. I know he wouldn’t mind helping me out. It’s great having a veteran player, a team leader. He knows the game like the back of his hand."

COMING UP

The 2014 regular-season schedule will be announced tonight at 8.

Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.

  • Bullwinkle

    There seems to be a lot more big receivers than big corners. It’s odd to me that a 6′-0″ receiver is considered average size, while a 6′-0″ corner is considered tall.

    • Stuart Philp

      Corners are failed receivers :p

      • knighn

        As they always say when a CB fails to secure an interception, “If he had better hands he’d already be a WR”.

        • John E. Zang

          I get that but it’s worth noting that catching a ball not meant for your path is a bit different and more difficult. Sometimes it’s awareness and just lack of repetition at catching balls. Hard to recreate the circumstances of an interception repeadetly .

      • JofreyRice

        failing all the way to the bank, nowadays!

      • Richard Colton

        Right Tackles are failed QBs

    • miketd1

      CB’s need to have superior agility because they don’t have the luxury of knowing the WR’s wroute (unless you’re on the Patriots circa 2004…). Think about when you were a kid playing tag. Who were the better players? The tall, lanky guys or the medium sized ones?

      • Bullwinkle

        I think Bobby Taylor and Troy Vincent were the best corners the Eagles had over the past couple of decades. Both were well over 6 feet. Also, the Seahawks corners are well of 6 feet and they are pretty good.

  • Scott J

    With all these talented receivers entering the NFL this year, we need to upgrade our secondary and pass rush.

  • WEUer

    Can we get both Fuller and Gaines, please?

    • Richard Colton

      depends. how are you getting them? #22 & #54? not sure i’d like that. Round 2 & 3? Don’t think they’ll be there.

      • Eagles1018

        Reading this article I like Gaines the best (size, measurables, talent and projected round).

        • Richard Colton

          At #54? OK. I guess if they have him rated that high. Not a sexy 2nd round pick IMO.

          • Eagles1018

            Maybe not at 54. I honestly think CB is not as pressing as OLB so Attaochu projected in round 2 is more important. I also like Desir. He’s growing on me

          • Richard Colton

            same here

      • WEUer

        Trade back from #22 to get Fuller early 2nd and Gaines early 3rd?

        • Richard Colton

          Yeah. I can live with that.

  • oreofestar

    Fuller! Fuller! Fuller! I am glad I was one of the first to love him can’t say that often I think in 5 years he is the best corner in this draft

    • cliff henny

      if he can be had in the 30-40 range, comes with 3rd or 4th/6th combo, Eags can take a punter with 1st pick for all I care. need more picks

    • Wiztopher

      Dennards’s game film says otherwise. Dude will be a lock stud game changing CB per his film.

    • Tom W

      Dunno i watched four games of his and I saw a corner w good but not great athleticim who got beat deep twice in man (long speed concerns) and a kid who was horrible at press coverage …. something the eagles want their corners to do. if davis can teach him okay, but he cant teach long speed. I like gilbert alot more and aaron colvin before he got hurt.

      • oreofestar

        Well Gilbert is not happening and I actually like Colvin too would not mind putting him on IR for a season

  • Wiztopher

    I’m always seeing different heights for Nolan Carroll. This article lists him at 6-1 but I’ve seen numerous times him being listed at 5-11. What’s his legit height?

    • Average__Joseph

      His height depends on which 7-11 he is walking out of.

      Just An Average Joseph

  • anon

    “It’s great having a veteran player, a team leader. He knows the game like the back of his hand.” — Poor Avant — wonder if Sproles will be the same type of leader

  • Tom W

    Somebody tell mayock to stick to scouting players and leave the general managing and team building to the pros. He has no more expertise identifying what’s best for a team than I do. And drafting for pure need like he suggests is what landed us the fireman and Jaquan Jarrett.

    • Richard Colton

      He was in the Daily News advocating that the Eagles should cut their draft board in half and draft the best available OLB or DB. I’m seriously scratching my head at that one.

      • Tom W

        Exactly. Now Charlie casserly has and knows how to construct a team. Polian too. Parcels alike. While they may not be best scouts, they understand how to construct a team properly. Forcing picks and ignoring offense isn’t one of them.

        • JofreyRice

          Right, but if you can’t do specific things you need to do because you lack the players, you lose games. What are Casserly & Polian’s opinions on filling needs? I mean, certainly they must agree that there are specific “needs” a football team must address, right? If you’re not doing it in Free Agency–which the Eagles really didn’t in terms of trying to add top guys; no OLB, a marginal S that hangs his hat more on athletic ability and versatility than NFL production–then you’re going to have to try and do it in the draft. It’s great to have these abstract notions of guys developing on the back end of your roster, and contributing to the football team at some point in the future, but there are 16 games to be won or lost in 2014.

          • Richard Colton

            2013 draft move that suggests you’re right: Earl Wolff
            2013 draft move that suggests you’re wrong: no OLB

          • Tom W

            I’m not cutting my draft board in half. that is my first and only point in this entire thread. and I’m not reaching for a player a round early or a non-premium position in the first round on a giant red flag 27 yr old even if I have a need.

            You can keep prophesizing about need and BPA but I am not arguing about that … so you are just making arguments and knocking down strawmen.

            You look at the best player at a position where you think there is a need …. not necessarily the greatest need (bc that is subjective or one injury away) but you look at this year AND two three years down the road. Howie and chip aren’t playing a one year game like you seem to think (“16 Games to be won or lost in 2014″). They are on the record as they are trying to build something that will win for the long term … a program … so they are taking into account needs this year and next and next. olb, wr, ilb, s, corner, guard … these are all freaking needs this year, and the next … so lets not be naive like Mayock and pigeon hole ourselfves by saying we are a great defense away from winning the SB this year and the offense is perfect and we should only draft defense. Cause you are better than hat.

          • myeaglescantwin

            there was a chart i saw that based our team’s rating on depth for 3-5 years down the road. Took into account contracts and all that. When put into perspective, it’s scary how thin the Eagles are.

          • Tom W

            YEa .. its on birds rewind. we aren’t in bad spots .. but we gotta get young at a couple spots in the next two years … olb, ilb, g, corner kinda.

          • Eagles1018

            Link to that site please?

          • Tom W

            eaglesrewind.com couple months ago.

          • JofreyRice

            I don’t know I’m better than Mayock, but thanks for the compliment. Mayock was making the point that defense is a bigger need than offense, with the way that the current roster is configured. I don’t disagree, but have said that if they’re going to let the defense just kind of float around in mediocrity, they should go balls to the wall on offense. However, it’s not like they’ve neglected it, they spent solid coin to re-sign Maclin and Cooper, and traded a pick for Sproles. Now, obviously, they let Desean go for nothing, which may have opened up a hole they now have to fill. It’s a tremendously deep draft at the position.

            It’s great to have a 2 or 3 or 4 year plan, but let’s not forget, we’ve got plenty of experience of watching that come up short, along with the more recent “get rick quick” scheme Reid and Howie adopted. The NFC East is open for the taking right now.

          • Tom W

            I’m done w being happy w a weak division crown. I want a parade. better chance of getting a parade is all we should care about. i’m not 12 anymore. i don’t really care if the eagles win 6 games this year but land a von miller type olb and bolden type wr and future starter at ilb and maybe future starter in secondary …. if that gets us a parade….this year, next year, or in 2016. I’m only 35….i can wait …. im thinking long term .. best possible chance of getting a ring. not just 2014 which if you told me when chip got hired … that he need at least 3-4 yrs to get SB ready. we are in a weak division … same thing happened w andy … and we built things the correct way and got to 4 deep playoff runs in 4 years ….. give those odds again and I’m in. its chip’s second year …. he doesn’t even have his own players. give him a break.

            if he wants to get wr in rd 1 he loves, go for it. while wrs are deep in this draft, every team knows that. so its very possible (as howie has said) that the best laid plans on waiting for a wr blow up in your face if 8 wrs go off the board before you pick at 54 or 14 wrs by the time you pick in rd 3. eagles do not do not draft w positional scarcity in need. howie has said that on more than one occasion and in practice.

            and i’m glad he doesn’t bc this isn’t fantasy football. the eagles like certain players (not every player). they like certain wrs, not every wr that mayock had ranked in the top 10 wrs. their draft board is only around 150 players and several positions don’t have a player graded in each round. hence why we can’t necessarily say hey go corner, safety, olb in first 3 rounds … bc maybe they don’t have an olb rated w a third round grade … or you can’t just say wrs are deep we can get one in rd 3 0r 4 …. bc they may not have a wr graded in rd 4 OR an awesome value may drop to you in rd 3 or 4 like a vinny curry or boykin.

            and that is a nother reason you DONT reach for players and log positions into rounds without taking into account the player and who you have him ranked … bc the best laid drafting plans blow up later in the draft (rd 3 lets say) for wr if a monster drops to you unexpectedly at nother position like vinny curry or boykin did … if you still have needs later then you may not be able to take those guys

          • Eagles1018

            Agree 100%

          • peteike

            ya I cant disagree with your points on drafting, I think you guys are all just parsing words based on Mayock. He would probably agree with you also, but is making that point solely based on all the WR talk, as if its a no brainer they go that way at 22.

          • myeaglescantwin

            would you agree, that outside of safety and possibly OG given the Mathis issue, anyone we draft in rd-1 will be a reserve player for the most part??

            WR, OLB, DT, DE, CB.
            all the starters are locks and the players will be situation and rotational at best.

          • Tom W

            No that wr is going to get a lot of work if he is wr3 …. like atleast 50 percent of snaps … olb will probably come in on nickel to replace demeco …. and if they replace graham … thats 50 percent of snaps …. corner yes I agree. de probably get thirty percent of snaps if they beat out krueger … same w dt if they beat out square. safety yes probably unless they start and can beat out allen or wolfe which I dont think any safety in this draft will do in year one. maybe year two.

          • myeaglescantwin

            I’d like to see if Wolfe can come in and make an impact.
            wouldn’t mind throwing Bucannon into the mix back there either

          • Warhound

            That 3rd WR may not see that many snaps depending on how Ertz and Sproles are used.

          • JofreyRice

            Not necessarily. I think it’s possible one of these top WRs could beat out Maclin or Cooper for a “starting role”. I think a situational passrusher that contributes 7-9 sacks in specific packages could be incredibly valuable. I think a guy like Kyle Fuller could turn Fletcher into competent depth (even though I’d prefer they sit Cary).

          • Tom W

            I’m not arguing BPA. I’m arguing you dont reach for players to fill a need or ignore a gift horse in the mount OR ignore that we don’t have needs on offense like at 2 wr positions, and guard. So i am not cutting my draft board in half like mayock who never gm’d a day in his life keeps touting. hence why I referenced gms who understand how to construct a team properly for today and next season and beyond. not
            just staring at game 1.

            And last time I checked we have capable starters at olb, corner, one safety ATLEAST for this year. we just
            lost our wr1 and have no wr 3, 4, or 5. we need to upgrade on olb for astarter in 2015 not this year. we need a new corner maybe for 2015. we need a new ilb for 2015 maybe. we need a new guard for 2015 maybe. so arguably safety or wr is our biggest need this year …. so going wr in the first isnt crazy …. and if the eagles aren’t in love w haha (who will be gone surely) and don’t like pryor (who i dont and have a second round grade on), why force a safety pick. lets
            say they like buchanon alot and have a second round grade on him …. You are proposing reaching for the second round safety there over a first round graded wr like ODB or LEE??? cmon bro. or forcing a dee ford pick there even if they have ford graded similarly as attaboy and marcus smith … guys they can get at 54. cmon bro. or taking corey fuller who will sit on the bench for a year ….hey he isn’t helping us win 16 games this year like you said. That is what Mayock and I guess you are proposing by cutting your draft board in half in the first round and it seems completely shortsided, irresponsible, and dangerous to me.

            So with all of that I would trade down unless a great value falls like a barr (oLB), ebron, evans, gilbert (corner), maybe odb …… its not hard to figure out. but you
            don’t cut your draft board in half..

          • JofreyRice

            I’d argue that improving the passrush is a bigger issue this year, and in the future, than a #3 or #4 wide receiver. And that may not be in the form of a day one starter that does everything you want in an OLB–probably wouldn’t be, in fact. But what about a guy that you know can beat T’s more often than not on 3rd downs, when everyone in the stadium knows the opponent is passing? To me, coming out on top in those situations is more important than a #3 WR.

            You add a guy like that and you have an eventual every down replacement for Trent Cole that can contribute in important packages right away.

            And to me, we didn’t “lose” our WR#1, we prioritized signing Cooper and Maclin over paying Desean to be the WR#1, and released him. If the thought process was that those two guys would be good enough, then why would we prioritize replacing him?

          • Richard Colton

            We’re all going to have egg on our face when Mohmah becomes a legitimate #1 WR and Kruger gets 18 sacks.

          • Tom W

            So you only want eagles to take an olb in rd 1 got it. well last I checked mack and clowney and probably barr will be gone. I don’t even think the eagles have dee ford on their draft board and if they do he is equally ranked w atta-boy and marcus smith in rd2 …. so whatdya want to do …. bc saying passrush is only thing we can do in rd 1 is as bad as mayock saying we should cut our draft board in half.

            IF there isn’t a quality pass rusher (first round graded) pass rusher in rd 1 that fits our scheme (and I would argue ford doesn’t bc he is short, short arms, and will take 2-3 yrs to ever set the edge if it all, and isn’t versatile), why would you want to take ford there … that is a pure need at its worst.

            I’d rather trade back, or take ODB or Ebron or Gilbert if they fall there … ideally Barr is there …and then one of our needs hits w BPA and scheme fit and its best of both worlds.

            And I don’t know anyone who drafts based on pure BPA … when people say that they don’t know what they are talking about or mean something else like best upgrade available.

            and while they may be a wr3 this year, they be wr 2 or 1 next year. just like your olb isn’t starting over cole or barwin, they are a olb3 at best and get twenty snaps. the wr3 is gonna get more playing time and ODB could be a worldclass returner. point being olb or wr could be starter next year … maclin is a free agent and cole is getting paid too much. but both will atleast contribute this year …hence why I dont wanna corner in the first rd bc we aren’t good enough to be letting our first round pick sit on the bench all year and play special teams. young corners suck anyway.

            why is it so hard to like a draft like:
            1) ODB
            2) Atta-boy
            3) Christian Jones
            4) Antone Exum
            5) Colt Lyeria
            7) Deandre Coleman/Kyri Thorton
            your way we get:
            1) attaboy
            2) best safety or corner
            3) best safety or corner
            4) wr – josh huff
            problem is attaboy isn’t a first rounder and the safety class sucks and safeties getting pushed up too far and the corner isn’t gonna play all year.

          • JofreyRice

            haha, you’re accusing me of strawmen and begin your response with that? By the way, you seem to be fixated on this “cutting our draft board in half” comment by Mayock. First off, I seriously doubt he meant it in the way you’re receiving it–it was more for effect–and secondly, what fraction have you cut the draft board into, by excluding players based on fractions of an inch in height, or hand size? thirty-seconds? sixty-fourths? a few tenths of an inch should mean more than the team being able to get off the field on third downs?

            I’d be fine with that draft. I don’t think Attaochu is a first round guy, but I think he could develop from the second. I do think ODB is a fantastic player, and I think they NEED a speedy wide receiver, because they let Jackson go. So now it just comes down to the individual player evaluations–I never advocated reaching a full round ahead of where a player was ranked, just because of need.

          • Warhound

            You must be thinkin’ of the old adage that “you don’t look a gift horse in the mouth”. Yes?

        • myeaglescantwin

          last year proved we are a defense away from a championship.

          we have about , maybe another two years of this offense remaining in tact and performing at Chips record setting pace.

          The defense OL and DL are the biggest needs for this team.
          Any team that boast being strictly BPA is lying. Teams are BPA by need.

          With this being the deepest draft for WR in recent years, using a 1st rounder on the 4th best person at a position is a dumb move.
          Personally, I believe if their #1 rated players aren’t available at 22, they should drop back. Let the late run on QB and WR get you some more pics while letting you address all your needs on D with the BPA according to your board.

          • Richard Colton

            “drop back” is becoming my buzzword of the 2014 draft. Yes – we all want to do it if Barr or Evans or Lewan isn’t there. Got it.

            I’m not going to pillory Howie for it, ’cause we won’t know what the best deal was unless they do it. It’s a deep draft for the other 31 teams as well. Say the “chart” says dropping back 9 picks should net you a 3rd – and our best offer is a 5th? No way I’m making that trade.

          • myeaglescantwin

            true story..

            it really depends who falls down the boards. The whole situation is nothing but if’s if’s if’s..

            But lets thing to the year where we were so ready to add a playmaker in the later round, but we shipped our #1 to Carolina for a #1 in the following year.., but then moved that for the best rated LT in the game.

            i wouldn’t be surprised if Chip moved out of rd-1 for a future first rounder. Especially, considering the QB class ready to roll out in 2015.

          • Richard Colton

            Trading for picks next year in a draft this deep? Tell you what…#1 – it would blow people’s minds, b/c when you do that, you passed on everybody.
            #2 – it would tell us a lot about how stable Chip/Howie feel in their position. Guys on the “hot seat” don’t look two years ahead.

          • myeaglescantwin

            disagree with that one about looking ahead.

            Chip, OK yeah.

            but it is Howies fundamental role to do exactly that.

            again, i feel that anyone that we draft outside of Safety and OG (depending on mathis), will be a role player with situational packages. G & S are the only positions i would see a player coming in and competing as a day one starter.
            Anywhere else is a rotational player building their skills for the future. They will have an impact in 2014, but won’t beat out Ryans, Cole, Maclin, Cooper for a starting job this year.

          • Richard Colton

            Mathis is going to be fine – he reported for OTA. The guy I’m concerned about is Herremans.

      • JofreyRice

        I’m not. It’s a screaming need. Once again, this gets back to the whole BPA thing. OK, it’s great to have that in the back of your mind, but you have to line up with 11 players on Sunday. If you can’t get to the QB, teams with good QB’s are going to beat you. I’m no Mayock acolyte, but he’s not a dummy–he can see an aging Trent Cole and a drop linebacker in Barwin, along with the fact that our linemen are two gapping and note that there isn’t anyone to do that. He can see that our secondary benefitted more from facing backups or marginal QBs than it made huge strides from the previous year.

        I happened to listen to Greg Cosell on the Eagle’s “Path to the Draft” podcast, and he agrees with me–and says most NFL franchises do, as well–that this whole “strictly BPA” thing is mostly bunk. I mean it doesn’t require much mental effort to blow the theory to bits. What if a RB was the BPA for us at #22, do we take him? What if we do, and then at the 2nd round pick, another running back is the “BPA”, depending on how they’ve got prospects ranked? Do we take another running back? Absurd. “Strictly BPA” also disregards scheme fit; should we take Aaron Donald at #22, if he’s there, even though he probably projects as a 3 technique DT?

        Cosell does put a finer point on it and says that you can’t do it egregiously, like maybe they did with Jarrett. I think there was one report that they knew they were reaching by a full round or more, however, none of us will truly know what their actual “board” looked like. Cosell’s paraphrased quote is something like, “if you’re sitting there at 9, and you need a linebacker for your defense, and the best linebacker is the 17th or 18th player on your board, NFL teams are going to take the linebacker”. It’s a good listen on the whole, but obviously I was kind of fixated on that part, because it’s an opinion that I’ve always had. I think it’s easy to overreact to the missteps of draft’s past.

        • Richard Colton

          Going to assume they factor scheme fit and position into their board. So Donald – while incredibly athletic, probably doesn’t get a 1st round grade from them. As much as I like Louis Nix, I don’t think he does either. That big OT from Baylor – I think he goes in the 2nd or 3rd, but based on the expectations they have of their O-line, I don’t see them taking him before the 4th.

          RB, generally speaking, isn’t a first round position anymore – so we can throw that one away. QB (in today’s NFL) is a position so important and unique that it really defies slotting in the traditional way.

          So here’s where we disagree – if the Eagles have a WR or ILB or OT rated really highly vs. a OLB or S they like less, my preference would be to trust the process and take the player they like more. Pretty sure that’s how they see it too.

          • JofreyRice

            Right, like I said before, the BPA thing is either disregarded, or qualified down by: scheme fit, physical dimensions, player personality, and any other number of factors such that the term becomes meaningless as some kind of objective way to judge a player as “best”. It becomes an exercise in subjectivity; e.g. “who is the best player available for our team?”, which you’d have to think would fold in need, implicitly.

          • Richard Colton

            I imagine they’re probably having similar conversations. If we’re sitting there at #22, no one’s making an offer to move up and we’re looking at: Dee Ford, Lee, Bridgewater, Pryor, Cooks, Kony…what do we do? Only so many different scenarios in the first round.

          • JofreyRice

            With those options…my preference: 1) Lee 2) Ford 3) Cooks 4) Pryor 5) Ealy (I see him as a 4-3 DE/DT Justin Tuck type) 6) Bridgewater (my favorite QB in the draft, but we do not need a starting QB, and can’t afford to invest a pick in a position we don’t need to fill).

          • jabostick

            Agreed. I think it’s BPA, with a host of qualifications. Otherwise, you could end up drafting 3 straight QB’s or something.

          • Uncle Wonder

            Bingo…there is no such thing as pure, unadulterated BPA…need always factors into the equation somewhere. At least for the first 4-5 rds

        • DLRJ

          You make a great point as to why “pure” BPA is bogus. My understanding, though, is that their definition of “best” is a bit different from yours in that it takes scheme into account rather than being a more general “best.” Your point still basically stands, but I don’t think they have ever argued that, for example, they’d take a pure fullback if he were objectively the BPA.

          • Richard Colton

            How do you know the NFL draft is WAY too late? We’re parsing words like “best” and “pure.”

            Is it May yet?

          • JofreyRice

            It depends upon what the meaning of the word “is” is.

          • Richard Colton

            That guy had a pure needs based approach. Nice 15 y/o reference though.

          • JofreyRice

            hahaha, true. God, it’s been that long? Wow.

          • DLRJ

            Ha! Fair enough.

    • dnabrice

      Was fireman drafted based on need??? I thought they sincerely thought he was going to be awesome.

      • Tom W

        I believe Howie or someone in front office said publicly in the last few months that Andy said that we are taking the best guard in rd 1 and best safety in rd2 irregardless of them being the best value at that time. So he probably was the best guard at that pick but certainly not the best value or pick being a position of less importance and cost. That starting corner from the ravens was sitting right there too. Torrey smith a round later etx. Probably coulda traded back 10-15 picks and got Watkins cause he was so old. That was another giant red flag. He was 27. McGill is 25.

        • JofreyRice

          You can sharpshoot any pick with hindsight, I don’t think there’s anything unique about better guys being available later. They had to have a guard–now you can argue they put themselves in that position through poor management of the situation, or by not investing enough in developing guys in previous years, sure, but at that point, Watkins was regarded as a first round talent.

          • myeaglescantwin

            yeah man.

            but not to be a ‘nitpicker’ but that was fully an instance of Andy’s arrogance. He took an aging Canadian with very little football experience in rd-1 and changed his position in the NFL..

            How can that brass get two consecutive picks so very wrong, and then have Howie come in and have starters found in rds 1-5?

            it’s all about the mentality of the staff and the scouting divisions being accurate.. Andy Reid would have a few trophies if he delegated the personnel decisions to someone that had a clue.

          • JofreyRice

            ah, I’ll agree that Reid was arrogant, but I think there are much better examples than Watkins. Moving him to guard was everyone’s plan, and plenty of NFL pundits connected to NFL Front Offices had Watkins right in that latter first, early 2nd range. Like you said, I kill them for the eval, but I don’t kill them for the thought process.

          • myeaglescantwin

            See, I kind of do though. For one reason only.

            in the NFL, the talent of DE is going to be head and shoulders about what they face in college. However, the interior OL in the NFL is a far more mentally demanding position.

            I think watkins did well because his duties were basically limited to “don’t let anyone get around your outside shoulder”
            moving him to the inside made him deal with all the calls, movements and stunts that a good DL throws at you. It is less of the 1-on-1 matchup tackles get on the outside.

          • Tom W

            You can find guards anywhere … you don’t draft them in the first round its the easiest position other than center to find starters and probowlers later in the draft …. facts are facts … versus a position like wr where most probowlers are taken in first two rounds.

        • Richard Colton

          I don’t know that he would have lasted that long. Just about every scouting report had “can’t miss pro bowler at Guard.” Peter King successfully mocked him to the Eagles – during that period where he was slurping every move Joe Banner made.

        • myeaglescantwin

          makes me sick..

          i just looked at our 2010 & 2011 drafts … cut me a break.
          everyone was a reach.

          • Tom W

            HuH? we reached for watkins bc guard is a non-premium position and he was 27. we reached for jarret bc he had a third round grade at best.
            that draft aside from first 15 picks and about another 10 players was one of the worst after the first 20 picks in nfl history. there was a ton of busts …the great majority of picks in rd2-7 were busts aside from another 10-15 picks. Kelce turns out to be one of the best picks in that draft … if redone he probably goes later first round over watkins lmao.

      • JofreyRice

        Like most picks in the draft, it was a combo of need and their ranking of the player. From what came out, Jarrett was probably the total “reach” pick–where they knew they were taking him maybe a full round earlier than where they had them rated, but couldn’t afford to miss him.

      • Richard Colton

        They were both need picks. Watkins was considered the most pro-ready player in the draft – the quintessential “high floor” guy. We had a hole at OG – you can plug him in for 4 years and never have to worry about the position again.

        • Amar (India)

          Did you mean ‘high ceiling’ ? Does high floor translate to – very little downside ?

          • Warhound

            Yeah, a “high-floor” pick should maximize your minimum.

      • Maggie

        That was the general consensus around the whole league!

    • Uncle Wonder

      He made no such suggestion to make a pick based on pure need. Pure need would require you to pick for a specific position despite the fact that there are better players available. He just spoke on choosing the BPA on defense per their draft board which is nowhere near the same thing.

      • Tom W

        What if the best player on the eagles board at 22 is a ot, wr, wr, wr, g. Mayock is saying draft for need and take the best defensive player even though he may be just the 6th best player on our board. and last time I checked I love our dline so adding a Nix or Hageman in rd 1 would be silly to me bc our dlinemen are young and good. That is poor drafting and reaching for a defensive player to fill a need (a better defense) over taking the best player on offense (when we have needs at wr and guard). Mayock wants to ignore the offense … that is drafting for need cause he is eliminating 11 positions from consideration. seems absolutely idiotic to me.

        • Uncle Wonder

          You could play the what if game all you want. What if the best players on their board are QB, QB, QB, QB, QB? Should they take a QB? Of course not, cuz that would be taking BPA in a vacuum which makes no sense.

          The scenario you just brought up isn’t what Mayock said anyway cuz he stated if defense is wiped out THEN look at offense and imo if that scenario arises they should look to trade back. He isnt advocating ignoring offense, the draft has more than one round. If this draft is so deep w WR then it can be addressed later more easily than other positions.

          • Warhound

            What are the odds of that? Your argument has some merit; you don’t need to suggest a scenario that’s not going to happen.

          • Uncle Wonder

            I brought up that scenario in response to the comment i was responding to. I dont genuinely believe that would happen, it was hyperbolic. I was just saying its pointless to play ‘what if?’

          • Warhound

            OK

        • Warhound

          Also, at the top of the draft, reaching is must more egregious. If your picking at 121 and you reach a bit for a player who may be there at 137….eh..not so bad. Much worse if at 22 you get a guy who should go around 38 or so.

        • Maggie

          Saying draft the BPA, no matter what your team needs, is the same as saying draft a 5’9″ corner, no matter how much your head coach does not WANT a 5’9″ corner. There have to be some parameters to set an overall plan.

  • Robert Perri

    Wolff’s comments really make me realize how bad the Safeties must have been last year. I mean the guy is thrilled to have someone to learn from, I am guessing the players last year didn’t impress him

  • Explorer51

    I noticed a few comments below about our 2010 and 2011 drafts; not only were they, arguably, the worst in our history but here’s a real “throw up in your mouth” realization: in 2010 we had 13 picks and 2011 we had 11. Can you imagine if we had either of those bounties this year? Yikes.

  • Maggie

    Besides the BPA/need argument, which I explained a couple of days ago, lol, I have trouble calling a 6-foot, 190-pound man “big”. I see several males 6 feet or more every time I walk down the street.