What They’re Saying About the Eagles

Here’s a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles this week.

Khaled Elsayed ranks Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie as his No. 48 free agent in this ESPN.com article:

Much like Talib, Rodgers-Cromartie has all the talent in the world. Yet all too frequently we see the negative aspects of his game. This year looked to be different with him making a fine start, but much like his time in Arizona, he seemed to lose interest and his performance fell off a cliff. He represents a big gamble on big talent.

Steve Muench of ESPN.com thinks the Eagles might have to wait for the 2014 draft to find a quarterback:

Problem is, the 2013 class is weak, with no one in the top 10 built to run Kelly’s system. West Virginia’s Geno Smith, NC State’s Mike Glennon and Arkansas’ Tyler Wilson are pocket passers. There isn’t an intriguing sleeper further down the board either, so the Eagles are best served waiting to fill this need and keeping an eye on 2014 prospect Tajh Boyd (Clemson). Yes, it’s early to talk about next year’s draft class, but Boyd’s athleticism and quick release are too intriguing not to mention.

SI.com’s Don Banks has a 2012 re-draft out. In it, Fletcher Cox goes No. 11 to the Chiefs, leaving the Eagles with linebacker Lavonte David:

The Eagles need play-makers in their defensive front seven, and David proved to be a second-round find for Tampa Bay. His 139 tackles led the Bucs, and he had 19 tackles for loss, with two sacks, one interception and five passes defensed. Taken 12 spots after Cal outside linebacker Mychal Kendricks by the Eagles in the second round, David out-performed Kendricks on the weak side.

In a separate piece, Banks writes that the Eagles must figure out what to do with Nnamdi Asomugha:

If the Eagles don’t opt to release Asomugha, who still has three seasons left on the five-year, $60-million free-agent deal he signed in 2011, they have to make the task of rebuilding his confidence job one one for new defensive coordinator Billy Davis. Asomugha will have to agree to a significant pay cut to remain on the roster, but perhaps he’ll be eager to stay and take part in Philly’s fresh start, believing that the Kelly era will help him regain what once were shutdown corner skills.

In his latest mock draft for NFL.com, Josh Norris has the Eagles taking Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel:

Obviously, if Chip Kelly has full confidence that Jason Peters will return to form, this pick might not happen. Joeckel showed a few rough edges against Florida, but he fits the style of offense Kelly ran at Oregon — if that is indeed the direction he intends to go.

Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com projects Utah’s Star Lotulelei to the Birds:

The Eagles are focused on getting bigger on defense as they adjust their scheme with a new coaching staff. Lotulelei would form an excellent tandem with last year’s first-round pick, Fletcher Cox.

Rob Rang of CBSSports.com also has the Eagles taking Lotulelei:

When Chip Kelly’s offense struggled at Oregon it was usually due to the presence of a dominant interior defensive lineman (as in former Auburn standout Nick Fairley in the 2010-11 BCS Championship Game). As such, expect Kelly to push for a premium defensive tackle if in position to land one. Adding the versatile Lotulelei would give the Eagles a fearsome duo inside, considering the investment made a year ago in Fletcher Cox.

ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. has the Eagles taking Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner:

I noted in the previous mock that on a per-play basis, rookie Brandon Boykin might have been the best player in the Eagles secondary toward the end of the season. The Eagles could see a number of personnel changes with the new regime, but they can’t afford to fall off significantly in the secondary in a division with Eli Manning, Robert Griffin III and Tony Romo. You might expect Chip Kelly to score points, but he’s always put a great emphasis on his defense too. Milliner has elite grades in terms of awareness and ball skills, and he’s a physical corner who can push wideouts off routes. And he can flat-out tackle.

ESPN’s Todd McShay has the Eagles getting Joeckel:

West Virginia QB Geno Smith is a possibility here, but Joeckel is one of the top three overall prospects in this class and would be tough to pass up. New head coach Chip Kelly favors smaller, more athletic linemen like Joeckel, who would take care of a desperate need for an overall talent and depth upgrade along the offensive line. The question is whether the Eagles would feel comfortable moving Joeckel to the right side to accommodate returning LT Jason Peters.

Chris Wesseling of NFL.com takes a look at what’s in store for the Eagles this offseason:

Highly regarded new vice president of player personnel Tom Gamble will be a busy man in March. The Eagles will field offers for quarterback Nick Foles, with a trade to the Kansas City Chiefs as a likely scenario. Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha is expected to be a cap casualty after a disastrous two-year stint in Philadelphia. Gamble and Kelly could use the No. 4 overall pick on Utah’s Star Lotulelei to fill the nose-tackle void while targeting a developmental quarterback in the second or third round.

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