Weekend Reading: Eagles With 8th-Best Roster?

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Some weekend links to pass along…

Evan Silva of Rotoworld recently released his rankings of all 32 NFL rosters. And he’s pretty high on the Eagles, slotting them at No. 8. Here’s what Silva says about the Eagles’ defense:

Billy Davis deserves credit for coordinating a defense that stayed competitive throughout 2013 despite a below-average assembly of players, particularly excelling versus the run. The unit still needs upgrades at all three levels. Cole is no longer a franchise pass rusher going on age 32, while Barwin is a better cover guy and edge setter than threat to enemy quarterbacks. The secondary played well as a unit last year, but lacks a high-end starter. The Eagles could use a bulkier nose tackle to take snaps off undersized Logan’s plate. I think this defense remains a work in progress, and I expect Philly’s draft approach to confirm they agree.

I agree with much of Silva’s assessment. The good with the Eagles’ defense is that it got significantly better from Week 1 to Week 17. The players showed great effort, the tackling got better, and I can’t really think of a player that underachieved.




Having said that, they are still in need of a talent upgrade. The only new starter added through free agency was safety Malcolm Jenkins. It's reasonable to think that the Eagles should be able to do more with less on offense because of Chip Kelly. While I don't expect them to force picks on defense, it will be interesting to see if the draft slants towards that side of the ball.

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Former Eagles scout Daniel Jeremiah Tweeted out his notes from Nick Foles' Pro Day. I thought this was pretty cool:

Hopefully that Tweet makes its way to Teddy Bridgewater.

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Bob McGinn of the Journal Sentinel has some of the best draft coverage in the country. He polled 17 personnel people and got their rankings of the top wide receivers in the class.

The results? Sammy Watkins was first, followed by Mike Evans, Odell Beckham Jr., Brandin Cooks, Marqise Lee, Jordan Matthews, Kelvin Benjamin, Cody Latimer and Paul Richardson.

The guess here is that Watkins, Evans and Beckham are the first three to go off the board. I think boards could vary on the next group of receivers. As I've said before, I think Cooks and Lee are the most likely receivers to be options for the Eagles at No. 22.

Meanwhile, one scout ripped Benjamin to McGinn.

Dismissing Benjamin, another scout said: "He's stiff and lazy. Can't separate. Inconsistent catcher. I don't think he has off the field what it takes to be great on field.

"Other than that he'll be fine."

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  • Adam

    Interesting point from another Eagles blogger over at Eagles Scout.. even though the Eagles are short on picks in the 2014 draft, they have 3 guys from the ’13 class that didn’t see any action but can possibly contribute next year. They’re essentially 3 more rookies in Michael Bamiro (freak athlete with size and reach), Joe Kruger (could have been a 2nd or 3rd round pick if he stayed in school last year) and Travis Long (20.5 sacks and 42 TFL’s in 47 starts). That’ll help make our roster more competitive this year.

    (h/t http://eaglesscout.blogspot.ca/2014/05/2014-eagles-draft-class-equipped-with.html)

    • Reasonableeaglefan

      It’s so hard to know what those 3 will give us if anything at all. You figure every year teams draft a handful of developmental guys like this, some produce most don’t. At least the team should have an idea by now what they have and it gives us something to ponder as we slog towards this ridiculously late draft.

      • Adam

        It’s hard to know what any player will give you, this whole draft thing is a crap shoot. But you hope they picked/signed these players for a reason, and that their research proves true.

        • G_WallyHunter

          After that article this week about Kruger, I don’t think any of us aren’t excited about what he might bring. I mentioned it, look at him like our 7th pick of the draft, he’s put on like 25 lbs of muscle, hoping he really impresses us all when they start showing what they got.. he’s been Huls’ big experiment all off-season..

        • Reasonableeaglefan

          Yes I think we can all agree the draft is a crapshoot. My point was more that we usually don’t take into these type of speculative, hopeful evaluations of guys deeper on our roster this early. I’m having flashbacks of the Russell Shepard versus Greg Salas camp battle from last summer

          • Adam

            Ahh, sorry. Perhaps mock draft #678981 is more appropriate for this time of year.

          • Reasonableeaglefan

            I prefer to # my mocks 1.0, 2.0, etc. That’s such a cutting edge way to talk now that it’s the year 2000

        • Tom W

          See that’s the thing I don’t think it’s a crapshoot at all. For fat Andy it was the last five years. But ravens niners pack … They draft well almost every year. I think we did well two yrs in a row and have a scouting advantage for another two yrs. need more picks for that reason … Get it in while the gettings good.

          • Adam G

            Stats say otherwise. Apparently drafting success has been proven to be random across years and teams except for one exception, the Detroit Lions.

            http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/2014/2/25/5430150/nfl-draft-history-worst-picks

          • Tom W

            That half ass study tells me nothing about the draft … It studied one five year segment out of forty years and reached barely any conclusions except a lot of teams suck at drafting especially teams w poor records. Chargers had one of the most talented rosters for 5-8 years and hence they drafted the best.

          • Dan

            THANK YOU! I’ve written a number of sports analytics papers and this point is basically an accepted fact about teams across sports.

            its important to note though that its not “random” in the sense that it doesn’t matter who you pick, but rather means that no team consistently outperforms. people generally underestimate randomness in sports and try to claim everything has a cause, but its important to value good process over good results. kelly gets this, and does his homework. he’ll miss sometimes but not because he didn’t do his diligence and know what he was capable of knowing.

    • Joe L

      Looking at this draft, I don’t really see how Kruger could’ve gone in the first 3 rounds.

      • oreofestar

        If he had stayed healthy he has enough upside that if he stayed in school he would have been much better and possibly a 4th round pick

    • Tom W

      Yes we have mentioned them a lot over here but thinking any of them will be good depth going into the season is wishful thinking at this point Ideally Krueger backs up Thornton, bamiro replaced Kelly as our swing tackle or right tackle in two years, and long backs up Barwin. Eagles really like Tobin too

  • Reasonableeaglefan

    I read that piece from Rotoworld, which I like as a quick reference. I also saw their list of top 150 prospects. A lot of them are really all over the place(Bridgewater is their top rated prospect). I give them credit for sticking to their guns and making it clear this is how they rank them, not where they will be drafted. It would be nice to look back in a year or 2 and see if they got some of these outliers right, but honestly I’ll forget by then.

  • myeaglescantwin

    hahaha // ” other than what’s important, He’ got it all “

  • Warhound

    So, at which channel should I watch the draft?

    • oreofestar

      personally I like NFL Network because ESPN annoys me

      • Warhound

        That’s how I was leaning…

  • Tom W

    I think if Mosley, Barr, and odb are off the board, I think it’s very likely the eagles trade back. If forced to pick I wouldn’t be suprised if the eagles select latimer or Jeremiah attouchi at 22

    • bj

      I agree wit the moving back part but y take Latimer or JT in first when u could get both in the second. Would be reaching

      • Tom W

        Not a reach. Latimer and attaboy have been mocked in the first round for a couple weeks and if eagles like them better to take them then see someone else take them at 40. Why take bums like dee ford and marquis lee and hageman and ward and Matthews when our scouts and coaches have attaboy and latimer ranked higher? If you within 10-15 picks of where someone mocked to go, and you can’t trade back, why wouldn’t you take someone you like rather than someone who kiper and draft pundits rank higher.

  • Michael Myers

    I would not be surprised to see my eagles draft an offensive tackle in the first round. Just sayin…there are some gems there. I could see taking beckham or one of the top two corners but if they aren’t there and barr hasn’t fallen to within reach…
    …tackle.

    • oreofestar

      Lewan who is the 3rd tackle being there is about as likely as Barr being there anyway I mean can Miami actually pass nah…

  • Neanderthal

    Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the show?

  • NickS1

    Jeremiah’s notes are interesting in light of the article that came out in December about the Eagles scouting process of Foles.

  • Bullwinkle

    I think Daniel Jerimiah’s assessment of Nick Foles is one of the reasons Kelly goes to the Pro Days to personally check out the players. I feel that sometimes the scouts get caught up in a cookie cutter approach to determining a prospect’s potential and miss some of the important intangible qualities a player brings to the table.