Back for the third consecutive year is the Eagles’ first-round draft cheat sheet.
Below is a look at prospects who could hear their names called tonight. Will there be one or two surprises? Of course. But we’ll do the best we can with these 37 names.
They are split up into four categories:
Don’t count on it - These are the real longshots. The test is: Would I be legitimately surprised to see the Eagles land this player? If the answer is yes, they qualify.
If they trade up - These are players I could certainly see the Eagles having interest in, but only if they trade up.
The targets – These are the most likely candidates for the Eagles if they stay at No. 22.
Wild cards – These are players who didn’t fit into any of the first three categories for a variety of reasons.
Without further ado… Read more »
As we count down to Thursday, Tim and Sheil give their takes on how the Eagles will approach the 2014 draft.
In case you missed yesterday’s installment, they each gave their three most likely targets for the Birds at No. 22.
Today’s question: Will the Eagles spend one of their draft picks on a quarterback?
Read more »
Howie Roseman was asked for a number.
The Eagles’ GM has said time and again that the organization is aiming for long-term success. The goal is to put together a product that can compete for a Super Bowl on an annual basis. It’s not about “going for it” one specific year. It’s about consistently having a shot and eventually bringing home the Lombardi trophy.
But how long might it take to build a roster that can get to that level? Read more »
Howie Roseman estimates that he has spoken to two-thirds of the league about possible trade scenarios to date, and will have touched base with all 31 clubs prior to Thursday at 8 o’clock when the draft kicks off.
“It’s calls about moving up, calls about moving back. I think that’s the nature of what we do right now, this time of the year. A lot of it’s going to be determined by who’s on the board, and really, who’s off the board,” he said.
An example: Roseman and Seattle general manager John Schneider talked prior to the 2012 draft and hammered out a deal that would send the 12th overall pick to Philly in exchange for the Eagles’ first (15th overall), fourth and sixth-round selections. The trade was contingent on the Eagles’ desired target — Fletcher Cox — still being on the board. Cox was, and the deal was executed.
It’s possible the Eagles have similar arrangements set up for this Thursday. Whether a trade ever materializes depends on how the draft unfolds in front them. Read more »
Chip Kelly doesn’t see what the big deal is.
His team has six opportunities to add quality football players in this year’s draft, and he wants to make them count. That’s why he traveled across the country to attend Pro Days in the past couple of months. Gil Brandt of NFL.com noted that he’d never seen a head coach attend so many.
Last week, Kelly downplayed the idea that he’s set a “world record” for Pro Day attendances.
“I just think there’s a lot more overblown about world record of Pro Day attendances,” Kelly said. “I’ve seen Mike Zimmer at a ton of them. I’ve seen Mike Tomlin at a ton of them. I’ve seen Gus Bradley at a ton of them. I’ve seen Marvin Lewis at a ton of them. There’s certain guys you see every week at different places. Read more »
When it comes to safety, there’s a decent chance the players you see now on the Eagles’ roster are the same ones that are going to show up when the team opens its season in September against the Jaguars.
According to general manager Howie Roseman, the draft is unlikely to provide much of a boost.
“In terms of the safety class, I don’t think it’s a good group overall,” Roseman said Thursday afternoon. “I think you’re talking about a dropoff certainly when you get into Saturday.” Read more »
Howie Roseman explained a facet of the Eagles’ grading system during his hour-long pre-draft sitdown with reporters Thursday. The Eagles take a longer-view approach to prospects, he said, projecting what they will be a couple years down the road as opposed to what they are now. With that in mind, they label the players as potential Pro Bowlers, really good starters, solid starters, etc.
In this draft class, the general manager says there are double-digit wide receivers that they consider top-tier.
“When you look at that first tier group of guys — and there is some variation in that first tier — I think you’re probably going to look at 10 guys who will end up being drafted at least in the first two rounds,” said Roseman. “And then there is that next level group of solid starters where I think you can be sitting there in the fourth round and get a guy who is going to be, by our pro definition, a red starter in this league, and usually that’s hard to find in the fourth and fifth round.” Read more »
Earlier this week, a reporter asked Chip Kelly if he thought anyone could be plugged into his system and catch 50 balls.
“No,” Kelly joked. “You couldn’t.”
It was a light moment during an otherwise tension-filled session about DeSean Jackson’s release. But it also leads to another discussion about the way the Eagles plan on allocating their resources under Kelly.
Howie Roseman has said the organization projects specific amounts of money it would like to spend at each position. These are guidelines only, as there are always exceptions. But the guidelines are different under Kelly than they were under the previous regime. Read more »
The timing was curious, to say the least.
At 12:05 p.m. on March 28, NJ.com published a story saying the Eagles were concerned with DeSean Jackson’s alleged ties to gang members. At 12:40, the Eagles sent out a 25-word statement saying they had released the wide receiver.
And then silence. For 30 days.
The strategy seemed obvious. Use the gang affiliation story as cover for what would be deemed a peculiar and unpopular decision by many. Yet the way the team’s brass explains it, the Eagles were actually doing Jackson a favor by releasing him when they did. Read more »
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.” Read more »