The Theory Behind Picking Oregon Players

NCAA Football: Oregon at Stanford

Howie Roseman provided Chip Kelly with a guarantee.

The Eagles had identified Oregon defensive lineman Taylor Hart as a player they wanted to bring on board. They had a third-round grade on the 6-6, 281-pound defensive end. But the draft is about maximizing resources and properly assessing value. So the team’s decision-makers had to decide when to pull the trigger.


"We had him rated a lot higher," Kelly said. "I know I say that a lot, but that's true for us. We would have taken him in the third. We're fortunate. I think Howie did a great job of how we ordered it today. The other guy [Florida DB Jaylen Watkins] would be gone first, so let's take him. He guaranteed me Hart would be there in the fifth, and he was right."

The selection of two Oregon players is representative of a greater philosophy the Eagles have adopted. As one reporter phrased it in a question to Roseman: Limit the variables.

So what does that mean exactly? It's an evidence-based approach that de-emphasizes the idea of projecting how guys will fit.

Take the selection of Marcus Smith, for example. The Eagles could have drafted a prospect who played 4-3 defensive end in college and projected that he'd be a fit at 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL. But they didn't. They drafted a player who had already shown in college that he could rush the passer standing up, drop in coverage and set the edge against the run. Smith was a 3-4 OLB at Louisville who lined up in a variety of spots.

In the third round, the Eagles went with Oregon's Josh Huff. They could have taken a wide receiver with more upside like Ole Miss' Donte Moncrief or Clemson's Martavis Bryant. But they've already seen Huff exhibit the exact traits Kelly is looking for in a wide receiver.

In the fifth round, the Eagles drafted Stanford safety Ed Reynolds, and Kelly pretty much spelled out the Eagles' draft philosophy.

"Sometimes it's tough when you're evaluating some guys on film, because you see their athletic ability, but you're not sure how it's going to translate when you see people that run similar schemes to what are run at this level," Kelly said. "And what Stanford does, it helps in your evaluation because you're not guessing or projecting. You say, here's evidence that he's done it."

The philosophy extends to other areas as well. For example, you may have noticed that the Eagles have stayed away from small-school prospects the last two years. The reason? They require more of a projection because they're competing against lesser competition. The same can be said for guys with character red flags. You won't find any of those among the Eagles' picks the last two seasons.

Of course, this is not to say the organization has found the perfect way to approach the draft. They may miss out on players who have great upside, even if that potential has not been tapped fully at the college level. In essence, it shrinks the draft board, eliminating players who could be fits, but who present what the organization considers to be significant risk.

The chances of a bust are reduced. But in some instances, so are the chances of hitting a home run.

"You're trying to hit on as many guys as you can," Roseman said. "And so the more times you roll the dice because of some level of competition, character, mental, any of those things that factor in, you're decreasing your chances of hitting on a guy. I'm not telling you that we have a secret formula, certainly not, but I think that that's what we feel most comfortable with."

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  • Ben

    Love this concept. It’s actually the opposite of Andy’s “we see something that no one else sees” picks

    • Rahkem

      god li loved soem of these picks when they happened but its frustrating when you end up with danny watkins or Daniel Teo Nesheim

  • The Answer is Fo’ Fo’ Fo’

    In baseball, this would be the tools vs. ability debate. Some teams, like the Phillies, prefer prospects with athletic tools, others, like the A’s, tend to prefer prospects that have shown ability. Tools make for more superstars, ability for more starters.

  • Tom W

    Amazing approach. And I wouldn’t say we are limiting upside guys just taking guys w higher floors and less bust potential to find quality starters and better chance core guys and strong backups who for. Lane and Marcus are still be upside ceiling guys being fairly new to positions … Ertz Benny and Reynolds were babies w growth upside. The barkely huff hart are known quantities.

    I also see the theme of character, intelligence, leaders, work ethic …. Not just talking about it but practicing ..: a captain is a leader and we basically have like 28 of those guys and drafting more … Leaders who practice hard and stay even keel ,,, not eating Big Macs and sleeping late and bailing on the team in bad times and yelling at the qb and asking for touches and not buying into the offseason huls remake project … The army guy and chips and huls and chips obsession w the military and organization married w innovation… All leads through discipline.

    And the smart pkayers are key for practicing so fast and being able not to stop and instruct … Less reps guys and more guys like Marcus smith former qb who is calling out opponents plays, or Jordan Matthews delving into opponents tape and memorizing his routes and games and having jerry rice competitive obsession and then Ed Reynolds who is a genius and a future qb of the secondary and young in. Lots of this doesn’t jive w boards but even the experts quickly came around to eagles draft. Huff was a round or two early but I’m on board w Everythjng else

    Great article Btw. Whoever is asking these questions is killing it and I find the responses even from Kelly very enlightening

    • Token

      A 3rd rounder, Huff, will literally be battling for the 4th WR spot at best this year. I think you hope for a little more then that out of a top 3 pick. Those should be your core guys. Building blocks.

      Maybe they view him as a guy that could be a #3 or #2 should Maclin not perform this year and be gone?

      • SuM

        Or maybe they have to account for the possibility that if Foles and Maclin both have big seasons you may not be able to pay both. WR3 is an important piece of the CK offense, as well as a position which offers a hedge against injury. That pick was about 2015, and the 2014 special teams unit.

        • shady25

          I think Maclin extension will happen during the season. Probably 3 years I’m guessing with a lot of guaranteed money. The Eagles will still have plenty money to sign Foles, Kendricks, Cox, Boykin.. I also think Bradley Fletcher will be resigned. He’s not a star, but he’s solid.

          Desean Jackson is gone, Trent Cole will be released so that will save plenty of money in cap space. I think Demeco stays with a new contract.

          • anon

            Think they gotta ask cole what he wants to do. Think Cole is better than Meco, prefer he retired an eagle. Did we sign donovan to a 1 day or did he just retire after the vikings?

          • Eagles1018

            I agree. I’d like Cole to retire an eagle. But in this league it’s hard for guys to remain somewhere forever. Obviously more cuz of business than ability. Sort of on/off topic that makes London Fletcher’s career even more impressive. That no matter where he played that

            1. He never missed a game
            2. He consistently played at a ridiculously high level

          • Andy124

            1 day. He kept hoping for a job for a year or two after the Vikings and finally gave up and signed a 1-day with us, leading to the “#5 will always love you” quote.

          • Joe from Easton

            Damn it… Donovan was a favorite of mine for a long time, but that quote was horrendous.

          • http://www.idonthaveawebsite.com theedevilsadvocate

            oh wow he was your favorite for a while cool. lot of people just hate him on any of the eagle websites i think i can count on one hand how many people have defended mcnabb on these websites. other than that its. he was the grandmaster choke artist who detested worms and threw up in the super bowl lol… him and dawk my two fav’s sappy quotes or not.

        • Token

          Lets not start the cap talk. This team could pay 7 Nick Foles. Money is in no way a issue or a factor in any possible outcome.

          • Richard Colton

            7 was Mike Vick

      • JAMIN67

        My theory is that the WR we took are our “contingency” plan. Let’s say Maclin has a breakout year and someone breaks the bank for him next year (or God forbid he gets dinged this year, or doesn’t produce). Now you can slide Matthews to the outside opposite Coop, and Huff is your slot man. If Maclin stays, you have depth and maybe Mac and Matthews are outside, Riley steps inside and we see more 4 WR sets. Either way, Huff should be our #4 this year easily, unless and until Benn shows he can stay healthy.

        • Token

          I think it being a backup plan is the most likely scenario. Maclin could suck. Maclin could do great and leave. Cooper could fall back to earth. never know.

      • B-West

        I think the potential of Maclin not playing well is a way underrated story line. I don’t think you can just plug and play with guys coming off ACL injuries. Peterson was the exception, not the rule.

        ACL injuries have affected a lot of guys for 2 full years. They get the first year of rehab obviously. Then that that 2nd year (first year on the field), guys just don’t look quite right. Its not until the second full year of action that they are back to their old selves. That’s assuming they get back to their old selves.

        Hopefully, the combination of time, Chip’s sports science guys, and Mac’s work ethic get him back on the field and playing well right off the bat. Chip certainly talks about it with big time confidence.

        Either way, WR depth was a big time need in my opinion. We’ll see if the guys they drafted pan out.

        • Kev_H

          Not a Dr. or anything, but I think time is important and a month or so of recovery makes a big difference. If surgery is in October, a guy will struggle through the next season because he won’t be quite ready to go. Guys who have surgery in the summer seem to be much more prepared by the next season.

        • mtn_green

          Kelce, Peters…

        • NickS1

          When training camp starts, he’ll be a year out, with a better, stronger ACL graft. His first was cadaver graft. This one was his own patellar tendon. Less re-tear and generally stronger. Wouldn’t worry about it until he looks like he’s struggling. Have already heard he’s looking great.

      • Tom W

        Battling who? Brad smith? He is your wr4 and kickoff returner and potentially punt returner. Who also has a versatile quality of playing like a rback … You can line him up in slot and you could flare him in motion and actually pitch it to him unlike djax and run short flares and wr screens and have him run through contact. And if you my comment above I said I thought he was taken atleast a round early but the player himself I wanted in the late 4/early 5th. Nobody digged Logan in rd 3 and that worked out. He also offers maclin insurance in case he walks. And again his bust rate is minimal. He was oregons best wr in last 7 yrs on a team that runs the ball at will. Somehow he still had a 1000 yds and a shitload of tds. And he already knows the offense … You mean building blocks like that genius Andy Reid did in the third rd?? McMullen two Bryan smith marsh McCoy etc etc. I said the kid was taken a rd early, but everyone passed on martavius Bryant and Herron and Christian jones who I had as 3-4th rounders didn’t even get drafted. Same w mauro and deandre Coleman and Kerr — guys others wanted over hart and the Nebraska kid. I’m really just starting to think most draft experts have little clue outside the first rd and if the head coach loves then kid he is pretty smart and may be into something ….

        • peteike

          exactly right about the experts past round 1, Id maybe give them credit for round 2 but after that its anyones guess. When it comes to fans, they really mostly go by names theyve heard or highlight films.

        • Richard Colton

          Maclin only signed for one year. If Huff and Matthews can both play, there’s room.

          • NickS1

            That and Cooper is only guaranteed here for two years. There’s definitely room for the kid, if not this year or next, then definitely in two.

        • Token

          Jeff Maehl had 1100 yards and 12 TDs in a year at Oregon. Stats there are almost meaningless when trying to determine if a guy translates to the NFL.

          • Dustin C.

            Josh Huff is a much better player not even comparison 4 yr starter. The RB at Oregon get inflated but we run the ball up 50 pts usually so his catches are first half. Chip Kelly isnt pickin Ducks just because. They been a top 5 team for awhile. Plus they run same iffense. Philly fans are intelligent but theres a couple that are dumber than FOURSKINS GM. Chip loyal to the W period.

      • Kev_H

        Based on free agency, it looks like they are out to take care of special teams. I think that’s why Huff was picked.

        • jon h

          Hopefully Huff can do our kickoffs also.

          • Eagles1018

            Yes…as in kick the ball into the end zone

        • Token

          They did this same crap about ST last year. Ace after ace. It meant nothing. You need to focus on getting talented athletes first. That will have a trickle down effect on your ST units.

          Drafting for ST is just a dumb strategy. I would hope Howie would speak up in a situation like that. But he could be powerless at this point. I sense he is.

      • Dustin C.

        He had better numbers than almost all recievers. Compare him Odell Becham. You gonna eat ur words Josh Huff sets the tone. He will be unstoppable if not doubled and he wont be with all the returning stars. He was best reciever at senior bowl.

    • SuM

      I agree… many of the draftniks who took issue with the Smith pick, cited his upside, and how raw he was. I think the Eagles identified a guy who has a great deal of room for improvement, but is already a very productive football player.

      It sounds like a moderate risk/high reward scenario… which is why I was surprised by the backlash.

  • dislikedisqus

    All makes sense and it’s basically what SEA has done. The risk as you say is in being good and never great.

    • mtn_green

      Allows the advantage to be in the X and Os and the training.

  • peteike

    Its all gravy until its not. If they end up not panning out and later down the line the team isnt playing well then the chickens come home to roost. Otherwise ya, all is well but then so is everyones team today.

  • addicted2mula

    There will be more Oregon players drafted in the future. I really wanted to se DAT on the squad. McCoy, Sproles, Chris, DAT sheesh

    • TripSquadMonopoly

      before DAT there was LaMichael James. These players are easily replaced by Chip

      • addicted2mula

        Oh I know. I guess im just mad Ried drafted him.

        • guest

          And LaMichael James is about 10 minutes from being cut in San Fran (they just drafted Carlos Hyde to join Gore, Hunter, and Lattimore). So Chip will most likely end up with James anyway.

          Sheesh.

        • Brent E. Sulecki

          Reid knew better after losing dexter mccluster. he wanted that other play making rb. nice job by him.

    • Harry

      Chip knows Huff is BETTER than DeAnthony Thomas….that’s why Chip drafted Huff instead.

      • addicted2mula

        Looking at his tape I see why. Clearly a better catcher. And at least 1 20+ yrd catch each game sheesh

        • cliff henny

          he sold the screne block fake take off downfield masterfully.

      • OregonEagle

        Loved DAT at Oregon – he gave a lot of great moments, but he was also subject to dropping the ball and mental lapses at inopportune moments. Hope he does well at KC but if he plays a lot, he will cost them as many games as he wins.

  • PsychoPathetic1

    Chip got put in his place on day 3. He wanted to keep going with offense but Howie showed him who was in charge. The Taylor Hart pick was an attempt from Howie to makeup.

    • Harry

      Wrong….Chip wanted d-lineman Hart, and Roseman had to guarantee Chip that Hart would still be available if they selected Watkins first.

    • NickS1

      Did you even read the article?

      • cliff henny

        what’s the fun in that?

        • NickS1

          Good point. Trolling is way more fun.

          • cliff henny

            you are right, time to go troll cowboys boards

  • Harry

    Mel Kiper graded Eagles draft………B+

    Pete Prisco of CBSsports also graded Eagles draft……….B+

    • Johnny Domino

      Which means hooey today, and only maybe means something in three years.

  • SuM

    “The chances of a bust are reduced. But in some instances, so are the chances of hitting a home run.”

    I think this is where the sports science stuff comes into play. The Eagles look at physical traits like hand size, arm length, and frame and use that to project the physical development of the guys they pick at certain spots like OL, DL, and I’m guessing with a projected OLB like Marcus Smith.

    They are projecting what will happen with guys like this who will A) Do what the program prescribes – Sleep, Nutrition, Specialized Training and B) finally have access to unlimited resources and no restrictions on workouts, practices, and food like they face in college.

    They look at Bennie Logan, and see a guy that is a 6’1″ 335lbs third year pro, and well built with long arms, and a low center of gravity that anchors the middle of the line. Taylor Hart is a 6’6″ 310 3rd year DE who runs a sub 5.0 40 yard dash, and can hold the line, and makes plays in the backfield with technique, motor, and effort. Marcus Smith is a 6’3″ 255lbs. 3rd year pro and has versatility as a pass rusher, and in pass coverage and his size/strength helps him set the edge vs. the run.

    I think by picking guys that have physical traits that project growth that are also hard workers who will do what you ask of them, he is projecting growth and thinking that he’ll give them the tools to hit their own home runs.

    • anon

      they also need guys that will buy into all the extra stuff, that it’s more than just showing up for practice etc.

    • Kev_H

      NFL limits official practice time and most FBS programs have insanely advanced nutrition programs while many NFL teams feed their guys fried chicken, burgers, and tacos.

      • Andy124

        Can you source that? Because last I heard the FBS schools were forbidden from providing meals to their players up until this season.

        • Fred

          I don’t know but I went to Penn State in the 80, and the football team had their own cafeteria

          • anon

            that hasn;t changed if you’re at a good sports school.

        • Kev_H

          @Andy124:disqus , headcount scholarship athletes get their meals provided. If you haven’t been on a campus for a while, there is an arms race in campus dining and with the exception of a few hours per day athletes have access to that entirely paid for. Most big time programs have their own, special athletic dining halls with chefs, nutritionists, etc. that are open only for the evening meals. Here’s a profile of a typical one (http://uvamagazine.org/articles/whats_cooking).

          That nimrod basketball player who cried about going to bed hungry probably takes in 5,000 high quality calories per day and doesn’t know what hunger is. He had a late night craving for a pizza or something and didn’t have a chef on call to serve his needs. First world, 1 per-center problems.

          Back when I was a student-athlete in the 1980s, before dining halls became like fine restaurants- you don’t even have to make your own salad at the salad bar, just point and direct- a nutritionist studied our diets and we all were getting about 3,000- 5,000 percent of what we needed. Really too much of everything to be optimal (thus today’s smoothies). Any students on the typical college meal plan have access to nutritious food like they never will have in their lives unless they work for google.

      • Sum

        The NCAA only recently approved unlimited food for college athletes.

        You’re incredibly misinformed. Tons of former football players have said they used to think about stealing for food.

        • Kev_H

          Tons of former football players have trouble managing their lives while in college. See my other post- they have access to and are provided the finest food and dining experience virtually every waking hour. If they stay up late and want a snack after everything is closed, and have spent all of their walking around money (http://www.holyturf.com/2011/05/football-players-receive-17000-annually-in-cash-all-within-ncaa-rules/), then they have to wait until the morning to eat. Boo-hoo. They’ll never have it that good. I’ve lived it personally and have been around it working on campuses for the last 13 years.

        • Kev_H

          Football players in college have always had access to unlimited food since their meals are provided in all you can eat facilities. Here is a link to a typical FBS players lounge (http://saturdaydownsouth.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/osu2.jpg) where they can hang out when they aren’t practicing or studying. Notice the large refrigerator!

          Basically, the only sense that these players didn’t have access to unlimited food was that there wasn’t someone available to serve them food 24/7. Since a basketball player complained about being hungry, the NCAA made a change in semantics that was already in practice for PR purposes.

  • addicted2mula

    Off topic. But back to Matthews. I knew he was excited to become an Eagle by the way he hugged Goodell he smacked the ish out his back lol. And a 6’3 in the slot lol a lot of mismatch

    • addicted2mula

      And he was 49.93 % of Vanderbilt’s passing offense. Sheesh

      • cliff henny

        ever see them play? wondering why he wasnt 94.93%

        • addicted2mula

          Lol hell yea. Killing them with screens. Aaaah man I cant wait to see them practice

          • cliff henny

            yup, the 3 v 2 outside screne is serious threat now. lot of teams got away with it last year, particularly Dallas.

        • Richard Colton

          mediocre QB too. and every defensive coordinator knew where the ball was going. that accounts for so many screens, they just wanted to get the ball in his hands. I know I keep saying it, but I’m very excited about this pick.

          • cliff henny

            everyone should be. these highlights are nice, but dont do guy justice. wonder how many sat thru a Vandy game. mean everyone in the stadium knew where the ball was going, and he still produced against LSU, ‘Bama Georgia USC etc

          • anon

            That’s good to hear, i guess maybe he knows slot routes — question is can he beat on bubble screens with even numbers, and can he learn all routes — seeing more about his personality i think he can — i def was not into this pick before.

          • cliff henny

            i’ll bet he can run every route in the book. it’s probably not on tape cause he never played with a qb that can throw all the routes. Rodgers’ brother was just gawd awful.

          • RIP illa

            I have been a Matthews fan since the Senior Bowl, but since u watched him more than I have…what about his ability to go up (and I do mean up) and get it/come down with it? I’ve seen the bubble screens, the over the shoulder after beating his man down field, and the slants. But I haven’t really seen the use of his bigger body and catch radius, that separates a lot of the really good – great big WOs, from the average guys like Decker and Cooper.

          • cliff henny

            he can, very rarely was there a good throw to him down the field, he had to adjust to almost every throw. my guess also is that has a ton to do with his drop rate. fact that he went over middle with these chicken arms hanging him out to dry was amazing to me. bet he wont know what to do first time out with Foles hitting him in stride. RIP. certainly no expert of JM, but can tell there’s a huge difference for watching him live versus these films. watching him live, all i thought is how did he end up in Vandy, and as good as he looks with this garbage qb, what would he look like if he had half decent guy like Aaron Murray slinging it to him.

          • Eagles1018

            Over/Under on ROY for Matthews?

          • Joe from Easton

            9.5%

          • cliff henny

            definitely ROY for eagles, but my bet for 2nd best O rookie in yards and TDs, Joseph, this guy was made for Kelly’s offense. Huff will have to battle too many guys for touches

          • anon

            Maclin probably wished he signed a mult-year deal — can’t imagine he’s going to have over 1,000 yds this year.

          • cliff henny

            would you besurprised if they ended up with 8 guys between 500-999 yards? Celek, Ertz, Sproles, Maclin, Joseph, Mathews Huff and Cooper. shady having 2k again.

          • NickS1

            If that happens, I dread hearing all the bs that we still didn’t replace that guy we cut whose name will not be mentioned.

          • anon

            nah it’ll be fine, i think that’s the way CK wants the offense to run. Also better for the offense b/c no one will have the stats to justify $10mm/yr.

          • NickS1

            I 100% agree with your second part. I just don’t think the love for that guy will die easily because of all the SC highlights he generated will be gone and no one will generate that stat line again if it goes as Cliff said (even though it’s the only time he ever did that).

          • anon

            I loved him as a player. I loved the way he taunted teams, could easily break games, miracle in the meadowlands all that stuff he brought to the game. I can see why after this draft he’s not fit for this team, but you can’t tell me you aren’t going to miss his mock-salsa dance. RIP.

          • cliff henny

            yup, waves of guys. one week it’ll be 2 TE show, next be 4 wide. better be deep like Seattle to matchup acrossboard or have great d-line.

          • anon

            Seattle doesn’t defend the run well which is why i think we can beat them. I think we have the most diverse offense in the NFL — especially if polk develops as a power runner.

            The question will be whether we can stop anyone.

          • cliff henny

            should be better on defense, another year, MJ, Smith, no Roc or Chung. love to ask Chip, out of those 7 loses, how many he hangs on offense, bet answer is 4 or 5. KC, Dal, NYG, NO playoff, not SD or Minne, cant think of 7th loss off top of head. guy just looks at it differently than we do.

          • CTAZPA

            Denver = Ds fault

          • mtn_green

            I can see this. That is what Denver did last year. But Chip really keeps his best players on the field.

          • Richard Colton

            Huff catching 500 yards would surprise me. Barring injury there’s just not enough balls to go around. Sproles and Shady alone could catch 100. Maclin, Matthews, Cooper could catch 180-200. Ertz and Celek another 90. What’s left for the 4th WR?

            A good rookie season for him would be playing great ST and making Maclin nervous about keeping his job.

          • cliff henny

            helps i have Eagles (13-3) winning most of their game 56-38

          • Richard Colton

            True. Figure Foles with a full season will throw 53 TDs and 4 INTS.

          • NickS1

            You’re likely right, but I contend that if the defense improves its 3rd down efficiency along with Foles’ 9+Y/A drops to the low-mid 8s and we’re playing more of the tempo game, there might be. This pretty much coincides with Cliff’s dream of dropping 40/gm, too.

          • Joe from Easton

            I’m not saying that number as in very unlikely… I just think there’s so many rookies that saying he’s got a 50/50 shot is impossible to project.

          • Joe from Easton

            Actually, I think a 10% shot at being ROY is pretty solid.

          • cliff henny

            got what you meant. think it’s close to 0%, but that doesnt mean he wont be every bit as good as the winner, just way too many WRs spreading out catches. and kelly would be perfectly happy running it 50 times a game. guy like odb, he’ll get fed so many more balls, not a fair fight.

          • mtn_green

            One in seven. ;)

          • Richard Colton

            wow. from this draft? pretty crowded isn’t it? Ebron will see a ton of passes from Eli. Look out for 4 candidates from Jax: both WRs, Bortles, Storm Johnson. Johnny Football is the leader in the clubhouse. If nobody else plays lights out and he makes it through 16 games upright, have to figure he’ll be the guy.

          • NickS1

            Ebron is catching passes from Stafford. Either way, he’s gotta hope his QB is seeing the right colored jersey.

  • SuM

    I know one thing. If we keep taking all of these team captains we are absolutely going to DOMINATE the coin toss.

    Be warned.

    • Max Lightfoot

      It’s either the coin toss or the blanket party reserved for malcontents.

  • cliff henny

    2 teams that roll the dice on character the most, Oakland, who over last 20 yrs has become a running joke, and Dallas, who would be in a world of hurt if they didnt luck out on Romo. also, least Howie and Chip have a plan, see teams switching up every 2 or 3 yrs, again Dallas, and all that does is reset clock on have the picks made over last 3 or 4 yrs.
    .
    edit…3 teams, Cincy, congrats on Burfict, 1 for 100

    • RIP illa

      Oak has even changed that philosophy under McKenzie. But I’m not gonna lie, I’d risk it for one late rd pick, when the talent is that obvious, as in the cases of Burfict and Dez!

      • cliff henny

        yup, talent isnt always in the nice neat Sr college grad wrappings Chip and Howie are talking about. guess it comes down to when. when in the draft, Dez, probably not, but Burfict (or Jones…and has anyone found out what he did? maybe the dead hooker rolled in blow in trunk of car joke isnt a joke with this guy), in 7th, yeah, gotta make that move. also, when in terms of overall team. 10-6 was great, but still a roster in transition. maybe they’ll be more apt to take a guy earlier down the road here when roster is more set. could be case that kelly’s been around enough college kid headaches to think Dez’s ability + headaches and sucking energy from team doesnt outweigh Maclin. then, how many do you take? what’s the cutoff? if cutoff is zero, no arguements. imagine Burfict, Honeybadger and Dez on same team, other 50 guys would be so exhausted from dealing with guys/media monday-saturday, be flat for the game.

  • OldDocRoss

    I wonder if part of the reason there weren’t any high risk/reward picks this year was just down to a lack of ammo. Much easier to have a swing or two for the fences when you’re sitting on 10 picks at the start of the (stupidlyextendedEFFYOUNFL!) weekend than when you only have six.

    • anon

      I think it’s just not the way they operate, they want sure things, mentally, physically and scheme fit

    • mtn_green

      Get the starters, that love football, breath football, no injury history, be happy.

      Don’t swing for the fences on a player with injury(nix), lack of football interest (Watkins, Ricky Williams), or shoehorn a non-scheme-fit(Miami with Dion). Don’t need to take a chance on Vontaze Burfict, or C Jones or Lyerla.

      Get your Johnson, Ertz, Logan and move on.

      • 76mustang

        Exactly….Josh Gordon? Justin Blackmon? Great talents, greater risks – Super Bowls are won by TEAMS…

  • peteike

    Would love to see an article with a brief breakdown of the other NFC East team drafts. Im sure its been suggested or already in the works. Oh and add a little KC filler at the end, for you know, fun

  • mtn_green

    Watched Huff’s videos at draftbreakdown.com and he did a bunch of really successful option pitch outs from Mariota.
    I remember one from last year in raiders game with Cooper, might have been a forward toss but similar.

  • Maggie

    While everyone has an !different! opinion about the Eagles draft choices or what was done in different rounds, the fact is that current team management has a style, they had a plan, and a backup plan and FOLLOWED their plan. They have a long term plan also. They did not go off helter-skelter in every direction, like many people here do, and hopefully they won’t in the future. They came up with a list of UDFA’s almost immediately, which, again, speaks to planning ahead. In other words, they are doing what other successful teams do.

  • Maggie

    With all the film study, Matthews could be helpful to some teammates once he gets past the rookie label. He sounds like future coaching material.

  • Explorer51

    Josh Huff = Hines Ward, both around 6′/205 and nasty; though Huff is faster, Ward does have a slight edge in NFL experience, receptions, etc. It would be kinda cool if we got our own version of that HOF pain in the a**.

    • Uncle Wonder

      A ‘slight’ edge in NFL experience? Lol

      • Explorer51

        Just having fun; it’s hard to compare a 3rd draft pick to a thousand catch, 14 yr receiver but I did anyway! His size is similar, Ward was also a 3rd rounder, and his reported demeanor sounds like Ward…we’ll see what transpires over the next few years.

  • knighn

    Taylor Hart – he’s going to play, at least in a 3-4 DE / 4-2-5 DT rotation (and probably some STs too). If the Eagles can’t bring back Fletcher Cox or Cedrick Thornton next year, won’t be surpised to see him taking one of their places.
    Josh Huff – He’s already WR4, KR, ST coverage and will probably rotate in some on the inside and outside. I think he’s also some insurance for:
    - Injury to top 3 WRs
    - Maclin as a potentially poor fit (that whole Self-Tacklin’ Jeremy Maclin rep).
    - Maclin does really well and leaves next season.

    • cliff henny

      hope a camera is on kelly 1st time STJM shows up.

      • knighn

        I think the first time Kelly will be either puzzled or concerned. Thought bubble: “There was no one around him. Why did he go to the ground? Is he hurt? Can’t think of a reason why a guy that size would take a dive.”

    • NickS1

      We have Cox through 2015 season and Thornton is a RFA next offseason.

      • knighn

        Wow. I really was wrong on those guys. I totally mistook Cox’s contract year for his final year. Oh well, in that case: Hart is necessary depth. We can’t count on Kruger working out there.

        • NickS1

          The premise of your point is correct for next year. Needed depth now with time to grow, will be needed when we see if anyone matches our offer to Thornton, if we even do. Cox can get extended next year or he can ride out his deal and hope we don’t exercise the 5th year option.

          • knighn

            Unless Cox starts beasting out I just can’t see him wanting to stay here. His skill set is much more ideal for a 1-gap D-line. He’s going to want to go where he can prove himself and and make more money.

          • NickS1

            I agree. Just saying that we have some time with him, and hopefully can convince him to stay if he grows into the 3-4.

          • knighn

            Can’t wait to see all of this come together. They’ve now sharpened their sword (offense) and reinforced their shield (defense). September can’t get here soon enough!

    • mtn_green

      Agreed. Well said.

  • Ian Farley

    so the eagles are basically a guy who is trying to have a really high OBP, hits galore, extra base knocks, sprinkling in a few homers here and there if the stars align just right…. can we put this player in a Phillies uniform?

    I like the idea of a low bust strategy. its not sexy, its not going to get alot of awards, and it wont make the headlines on ESPN. but it will result is less wasted picks. i think this is a strategy that keeps you relevant before it nets you a ultra talented super bowl roster…. but it gives you more chances than 1-2 before you can’t sign any superstar players….

    • anon

      not held hostage in contract negotiations either. plus what happens when that superstar tears and acl?

    • poetx99

      low risk makes sense on offense when you believe that you have an inherent and significant advantage due to scheme. for as long as shady is shady (well, and jp is jp), you don’t need to have the rest of the offense stacked with incredibly individually talented guys. they have to do the stuff that they do well.

      the emphasis on blocking is big. ppl sleep on how many big plays are keyed by a well timed downfield block.

      its going to be interesting to watch.

      defense was decent last year even with some GLARING deficiencies. that defense with serviceable safeties and even a moderately improved pass rush should be better than avg.

  • reb

    Moneyball. Hope their metrics and algorithms are right.

  • daggolden

    It sure wasn’t Barney Rubbles recruiting philosophy. His little ass was all up in the hood in South Central LA looking for players. lol

  • EaglefaninAZ

    I think the philosophy is sound. You try to control what you can control. The rest is out of your hands.

  • DoctorRick

    High probability bets are always better that higher risk bets over time, if the price is right. I like the explanation and think we are on the right track. Time will tell us if we are right, but I am betting on it.

  • The Fourth Horsemen

    Love the draft. Kinda wish we got an OL, but we can pick up a free agent. Defense was key this draft

  • admin

    awesome strategy