What They’re Saying About the Eagles

Eagles rookies get some love. Draft analysts look at who the Birds might target with the fourth pick. And an explanation of why the Eagles selected Daniel Te’o-Nesheim in the third round of the 2010 draft. Here’s a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles this week.

ESPN.com’s Mel Kiper predicts that Brandon Boykin could break out in his second season:

He made his mark as a kick returner, but the rookie also found his way onto the field in a crowded secondary. Anticipating some turnover there, you could see him working his way into a starting job in 2013. I like the moxie of the former Georgia star, and I think there’s room for development.

Dan Pompei of the National Football Post focused his column on Moneyball coming to the NFL and used Daniel Te’o-Nesheim as an example:

Another front office man believes there is a benefit to analytics regarding player evaluation, but he said you can’t allow numbers to override what your eyes tell you. “It can help if used properly,” he said. “But you have to be careful because there are not a lot of absolutes in football. When a guy gets 12 sacks, you better figure out how he got those sacks. You have to study film to validate production.”

Case in point: a source said in 2010, the Eagles relied heavily on analytics to select Washington defensive end Daniel Te’o-Nesheim in the third round of the draft. Many were stunned he was chosen so high, and the Eagles cut him before the start of the 2011 season.

Dane Brugler of CBSSports.com has the Eagles taking Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel with the fourth pick:

Just like other positions on the Eagles depth chart, offensive tackle looked to be a strength, but injuries have really taken a toll on this team. Although Jason Peters injury situation will be a factor in Philadelphia choosing a tackle, Joeckel has the chance to grow into one of the NFL’s best.

Rob Rang of CBSSports.com has the Eagles going with West Virginia QB Geno Smith:

Nick Foles finished 1-5 in six games as a starter for the Eagles, providing scant evidence that the franchise should put their future in his hands. A quarterback with Smith’s intriguing skill set will certainly catch the attention of Andy Reid’s replacement. The perception is that Smith struggled mightily down the stretch but take that with a grain of salt — he threw for 42 touchdowns and six interceptions.

Peter Schrager of FoxSports.com tabs Alabama cornberback Dee Milliner for the Eagles:

Nnamdi Asomugha’s best days are behind him, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie can’t tackle, and the rest of the corners are just “guys.” Milliner isn’t just a “guy.” He’s the next in a long line of great Alabama corners to enter the NFL Draft. He’ll be a good fit in Philly — playing for whomever’s coaching them next season.

In his final QB rankings, Ron Jaworski has Michael Vick 25th:

Vick started the last game for the Eagles, and I think too many people are discounting him going into next season. Let me spell it out: He can play. There is no doubt in my mind that in the right system, with the right staff and a good run game, Vick is a contributor. Everyone’s talking about Chip Kelly. Well, if Kelly comes to Philadelphia, I see how he could use Vick. It all depends on the coach. The turnovers remain a bugaboo, but there’s still plenty of skill left in Vick’s game.

Fletcher Cox made Kiper’s All-Rookie Team:

As he got more comfortable, the first-rounder out of Mississippi State became a lot more disruptive. He finished the season with 4.5 sacks over the final seven games and should be a fixture for the Eagles going forward. Cox has a chance to become a Pro Bowl-level interior lineman.

Clay Harbor and Evan Moore were two of the league’s least productive tight ends, according to Football Outsiders:

Harbor averaged 7.4 yards per catch, worst of any tight end with at least 25 receptions. He went on injured reserve in December and his replacement was much, much worse.

SI.com’s Peter King offers his take on Chip Kelly’s decision to stay at Oregon:

Until told otherwise, I’ll believe this was about Kelly’s trepidation about the difficulty of building a consistent winner in Cleveland (which is on the verge of hiring its seventh coach in 13 years), or rebuilding one in Philadelphia. We’ll see. But good for Kelly in not taking the $6 million a year (or more) in Cleveland or Buffalo if his heart wasn’t in it. That’s an honest decision to make now.

And as for those who believe Kelly has blown his last shot to coach in the NFL, that’s ridiculous. Sure, he’s going to have to convince an owner and GM, someday, he finally wants the gig and is all-in. But he’s 49, he’s the most intelligent offensive innovator in the college game, and smart people like Tony Dungy (who has a son in the Oregon program) swear by him. “The level of detail in their program is incredible,” Dungy said over the weekend, “and his teams will out-pace, out-hustle and out-think you.” When Kelly’s ready, the NFL will be. And if he never is, God bless him.

Evan Mathis made CBSSports.com’s All-Pro Team.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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