What They’re Saying About the Eagles

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

Evan Silva of Rotoworld unveiled his list of the top 150 free agents. He’s got Jeremy Maclin at No. 35:

Turns 26 in May. Tore right ACL last July. Has some big-play ability, but not a physical receiver. Had best season (70-964-10) in 2010. Wants to stay in Philly.

It’s worth noting that the only wide receiver Silva has ahead of Maclin is Denver’s Eric Decker at No. 15.

He has Michael Vick at No. 65 and Riley Cooper at No. 80:

Ran 4.53 at 6-foot-3, 222 coming out of Florida. Field stretcher (16.3 career YPR) and touchdown scorer (eight in ’13). Solid complementary No. 2 receiver to a 1A. 26 years old. Some teams may write him off after last year’s Kenny Chesney concert incident.

Silva has Nate Allen at 101 and Donnie Jones at 133.

Peter King of The MMQB notes that the Eagles were one of the teams Johnny Manziel met with at the combine:

But it’s known from reports in various places that Manziel met with Houston, Jacksonville, Cleveland, Dallas, Tampa Bay and Philadelphia coaches and team officials, and very likely Oakland, this weekend before flying back to Texas late Sunday afternoon.

It’s worth pointing out that prospects meet with a bunch of teams at the combine. That’s the purpose of the event in Indy. Having said that, expect the national media to continue to make some kind of Manziel-Chip Kelly connection in the months ahead. We just heard Bill Polian do so earlier this week.

Pat Kirwan of CBSSports.com passed along an interesting nugget about Joe Banner:

Ousted Cleveland CEO Joe Banner — who is transitioning out of his role in Cleveland after being not asked back along with GM Mike Lombardi — had the new offensive and defensive coordinators reporting directly to him, CBS Sports NFL Insider Pat Kirwan reports.

Kirwan spoke to a league source at the NFL combine in Indianapolis who told him Banner was a bit of a control freak and structured the coaching staff so that the new coordinators would answer directly to him.

The Seahawks are expected to release defensive lineman Red Bryant, per Alex Marvez of FoxSports.com:

Bryant turns 30 in April, but at 6-4, 329, he fits the “big people” mold. The Eagles’ potential interest would likely depend on his market/asking price.

Dan Kadar of SB Nation has the Eagles taking Oklahoma State CB Justin Gilbert in the first round:

The run on cornerbacks should start with Green Bay. Gilbert has some flaws on tape, but they’re all coachable points. He’s a better athlete than the other top cornerbacks in the draft this year.

Bucky Brooks of NFL.com offers a new name for the Eagles at No. 22: Oregon State WR Brandin Cooks:

Coach Chip Kelly’s explosive offense is built around speedy playmakers on the outside. Cooks is a big play artist with the speed and quickness to excel as a vertical threat or “catch and run” specialist.

And finally, one local note. Paul Domowitch of the Daily News passes along an interesting nugget about the 2011 draft:

“That whole draft was about need,” said a personnel executive who was with the team during that draft. “We didn’t have a guard on the depth chart, so we drafted a guard in the first round [Danny Watkins]. We didn’t have a safety, so we pushed the safeties up a round and took Jarrett.

“We didn’t say, ‘OK, this isn’t a good safety group, so let’s pass and find a stopgap and get by.’ Every team has weaknesses. But [Reid decided] that we were going to take the next safety and go from there.”