Ten Thoughts On the Eagles Draft

Eagles Draft 2015
Kirby Lee / USA TODAY Sports

Kirby Lee / USA TODAY Sports

The NFL draft kicked off with a wild 30 minutes of anticipation, but after that (from an Eagles perspective, at least), felt a bit uneventful.

In the end, the Birds added six new players – five on the defensive side of the ball and three in the secondary.

Below are 10 thoughts on the Eagles selections. Read more »

Eagles Wake Up Call: A Focus On Defense

Chris Nicoll / USA TODAY Sports

Chris Nicoll / USA TODAY Sports

Chip Kelly recognized the imbalance. To try and correct it, the offensive mind has spent the bulk of his first offseason as head of personnel addressing the defensive side of the ball.

He traded away his most formidable offensive weapon for a middle linebacker. Signed Byron Maxwell to a six-year, $63 million deal. Made a big push to steal safety Devin McCourty away from the Patriots.

“We were inadequate in terms of the money allocated defensively to offensively,” he said at the owners meetings back in March, “and we’re trying to balance that out. I think it showed in our play.”

 In 2014, the Eagles ranked fifth in cash spending on offense and 14th on defense, according to Over The Cap. Perhaps an example of you get what you pay for, the offense finished fifth in the NFL and the defense 28th. The correction won’t be made in one season — especially in a year when the Eagles added Sam Bradford‘s $13 million to the books — but over time, you should see the two sides of the ball coming closer together financially assuming Kelly stays the course. (The Eagles’ spending on defense has gone from about $55 million in ’14 to over $63 million so far this season.)

The concentration on defense continued in the draft. Kelly went with wide receiver Nelson Agholor in Round 1, then spent the next five picks on ‘D’. Was that a conscious decision coming in?

Read more »

Eagles Fire Three From Personnel Department

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

The day after the regular season ends is known as Black Monday as teams around the league waste no time in firing their head coaches.

As Daniel Jeremiah has explained, the Monday after the draft serves the same purpose for scouts. Teams don’t want to get rid of people in their personnel department earlier because those guys have information pertaining to the draft. But once the final pick is made, organizations move forward.

To that end, the Eagles have let director of college scouting Anthony Patch, director of pro personnel Rick Mueller and Southwest area scout Brad Obee go, according to Les Bowen of the Daily News. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: ‘We’re All On the Same Side’

Eagles Draft 2015
Chip Kelly (right). Mark J. Rebilas / USA TODAY

Chip Kelly (right). Mark J. Rebilas / USA TODAY

As Chip Kelly finished up his final interview and headed out of the NovaCare Complex auditorium Saturday, a TV reporter half-jokingly asked him to offer up access to the Eagles’ draft room next year.

“I’m telling you, it’s boring up there,” Kelly replied, as he made his way towards the exit.

This was Kelly’s third time in the draft room, but his first as the singular voice in charge. Howie Roseman was in the room, but he’d been stripped of any kind of say on personnel matters. There’s no grey area anymore. Kelly has final say, and Ed Marynowitz is his right-hand man.

“It was very orderly,” Kelly said. “I think we spent a lot of time in the last whatever couple of months so that really we’re not making decisions when you get to the draft. The decisions have been made before. Read more »

Kelly, Mathis And the O-line Situation

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

A back-and-forth between Chip Kelly and the media about the state of the offensive line eventually landed on Evan Mathis. The All-Pro guard is unhappy with his contract and has chosen to stay away for the beginning of voluntary workouts.

Does Chip Kelly expect him back eventually?

“That’s a question for Evan,” Kelly replied.

If there is uncertainty about Mathis’ intentions, how do you decide whether trading him is the answer?

“We have never had an offer for Evan so there is nothing to take,” Kelly replied. “Evan has been available to trade for two years now and we have never had an offer for him. That’s through his agent [Drew Rosenhaus] and him. They’ve asked us if he can renegotiate a contract and see what he can get and we’ve obliged them with that, but we’ve never had an offer on him.” Read more »

Kelly: Kendricks Not On the Trade Block

Photo by Jeff Fusco.

Photo by Jeff Fusco.

When the Eagles used their third-round pick on Texas inside linebacker Jordan Hicks, many observers immediately considered the impact the selection might have on Mychal Kendricks.

Kendricks has been mentioned in various trade rumors, and it’s easy to connect the dots. The Eagles added Kiko Alonso in the LeSean McCoy trade and also gave DeMeco Ryans an extension.

Asked if he’s received any calls from other teams about Kendricks, Kelly said, “No, not at all.”

Does he expect Kendricks to be a part of this team going forward?

“Yeah, I really do,” Kelly said. “We’re excited to get him back here. I know he spent the draft with his brother, which we understand. He said he should be back here next week, but I think you’re always gonna draft players, and when you bring ‘em in here, the one thing you want is you want competition at positions. We knew going in at the end of last year that with just Mychal and DeMeco that we really had to shore up the inside linebacker spot. ” Read more »

Draft Daily: Utah DB Rowe Will Intrigue Eagles

Eagles Draft 2015
Utah DB Eric Rowe. Glenn Andrews / USA TODAY

Utah DB Eric Rowe. Glenn Andrews / USA TODAY

THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON APRIL 8.

Between now and the draft, we’ll zero in on one prospect a day with an Eagles slant. If you have a player you want covered, let us know on the Birds 24/7 Facebook page.

THE BACK STORY

When the Eagles finalize their draft board in the coming weeks, they will have certain players ranked higher than many other teams around the league.

And one of those guys very well could be Utah defensive back Eric Rowe.

Rowe was a four-year starter, appearing in 45 games for the Utes. He was a safety his first three years before transitioning to cornerback as a senior.

Rowe has very good size, athleticism and versatility. He was a Pac-12 All-Academic second-team selection last season and graduated with a degree in business.

In other words, he checks off a lot of the boxes that Chip Kelly seems to find valuable. Read more »

Agholor: Football Broke the Culture Barrier

Eagles Draft 2015
Jake Roth / USA TODAY Sports

Jake Roth / USA TODAY Sports

As Nelson Agholor fielded questions in the NovaCare Complex auditorium, Chip Kelly stood off to the side and observed his newest pupil.

Perhaps Kelly wanted to show support for the Eagles’ first-round pick, or maybe he was just killing time before the start of the second round. But with each response, it became clearer why Agholor was a player Kelly targeted.

The USC product moved with his family to America from Nigeria when he was 5. They started out in New York before moving down to Tampa. Read more »

What They’re Saying About the Eagles

Eagles Draft 2015
Kevin Jairaj / USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Jairaj / USA TODAY Sports

Here’s what the media are saying about the Eagles after an interesting Day 1 of the NFL Draft:

According to Pro Football Talk, Chip Kelly made a pretty sizable offer to the Bucs for the No. 1 overall pick.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Eagles offered the following to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the first pick in the draft:  the 20th pick in this year’s draft; Philly’s first-round pick in 2016; quarterback Sam Bradford; and another player on the roster.

It’s unclear who the other player would have been.  Possibly linebacker Mychal Kendricks.  Possibly Lane Johnson or Fletcher Cox, but the Eagles were expressing reluctance to include either of those pieces.

It’s unknown whether that same offer was made to the Titans, who held the No. 2 pick and ultimately used it on Mariota.  It’s reasonable to assume something similar to that was placed on the table.

In that same post, Florio brings up the idea of Kelly eventually jumping to Tennessee to reunite with his former quarterback. Read more »

No Mariota? No Hope.

NCAA Football: Fiesta Bowl-Oregon vs Kansas State

For Philadelphia fans, the most nerve-racking 10-minute waiting period of any professional sports draft ended with a figurative hot knife to the belly.

After months of anticipation coupled with downright obsession that the Eagles would land Marcus Mariota and everything would be right for the world, the Tennessee Titans took Mariota with the No. 2 pick in the draft. And if that weren’t enough, minutes later, the Titans general manager popped out of his war room to say that they were not trading him ANYWHERE. Ouch.

Does it really matter that the Eagles tried hard to get Mariota? Perhaps reports are true that the Birds offered two starting defensive players and three draft picks in an attempt to move into the No. 2 drafting spot. Chip Kelly can never admit that because if he does, he tells the quarterback who now must start for him this year, Sam Bradford, that he wasn’t adequate enough. Bradford’s a big enough boy to understand what was going on this whole time, but still.

I’ve said that if the Eagles didn’t acquire Marcus Mariota, it would haunt this city’s fan base forever. So let the haunting begin. Read more »

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