What They’re Saying About the Eagles

Photo Courtesy of USA Today

Photo Courtesy of USA Today

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

Mel Kiper unveiled his first mock draft of the 2015 offseason. He has Washington cornerback Marcus Peters (5-11, 193) going to the Eagles at 20.

I wouldn’t say the Eagles were a total mess at cornerback last season, but Brandon Boykin was arguably the best performer for them, though that was in a little more than 500 snaps. They really need to add talent at the position, and, in that regard, Peters is arguably the best cornerback in the entire draft. He’s strong, can press, has outstanding awareness and has big-time ball skills. His footwork can be sloppy, but that’s a symptom of a guy with the talent to make up for it. Peters has question marks when it comes to coachability, as he was dismissed from the team at Washington. The draft process will tell us whether that’s construed as “competitive” or “hard to deal with,” but there’s no question the kid can play.

Kiper believes Marcus Mariota will go No. 2 to the Titans.

Chris Burke of SI.com has Mariota going first overall, and projects that the Eagles will select West Virginia wide receiver Kevin White.

Let’s go ahead and assume the Eagles re-sign Jeremy Maclin, one way or another. He and Jordan Matthews form a solid 1-2 punch in the passing game. White could push the WR unit over the top. Standing 6-3 and possessing the talent to win at any level of the field, White would be the outside threat Philadelphia thought it had in Riley Cooper.

Nick Fierro of the Allentown Morning Call believes Chip Kelly needs a quarterback like Mariota to fit his system.

After two seasons of witnessing either the reluctance or inability to add a power running game, limit the shotgun and slow it down at times — which is what they need for their offense to perform best under quarterbacks like Foles and Sanchez and Matt Barkley — the answer is obvious: Getting the right quarterback for this system is the only way Kelly will have a chance to win in the playoffs, regardless of how many games his team might win in the four previous months.

If you’re not willing to adjust the system, you’d better adjust the personnel, lest you become an adjustment yourself.

Mariota obviously is the best suited, and if his value was reduced at all by Monday’s sub-standard performance (and possible shoulder injury), that’s all the better for the Eagles, who need every break they can get leading up to the draft to have a snowball’s chance of landing him in a trade to move up from their current position of No. 20.

Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net (via PhiladelphiaEagles.com) lists some defensive backs that have impressed at the East-West Shrine Game practices.

Fritz Etienne/S/Memphis – Like his teammate, Etienne finished Shrine practices on a high note. He looked more like a cornerback than safety in coverage and made a beautiful interception during scrimmage which was roundly applauded. All week Etienne, who was barely noticed by scouts entering the season, showed next-level potential patrolling centerfield.

Damian Swann/CB/Georgia – Swann had been steady during the initial practices then really stepped up his play Wednesday. He made very few errors at the start of the week and on Wednesday he had several nice break-ups including one pick in the short field. Swann showed consistent ball skills all day.

Craig Mager/CB/Texas State – The small-school corner had his moments in practice on Wednesday. He’s a feisty cornerback with a terrific burst as well as anticipatory skills. He made several nice plays on the football and did just enough for scouts to stamp him with a late-round grade on him.

Phil Sheridan on the chances of Mark Sanchez actually joining Rex Ryan in Buffalo.

At the end of the season, Sanchez was in an awkward position. He enjoyed his time with the Eagles, he said, but Sanchez also didn’t want to create any tension between himself and Foles. Foles said he expected to be the Eagles’ starting quarterback in 2015. Sanchez said he would talk with his agent as well as coach Chip Kelly before making any decisions.

“We’ll figure things out,” Sanchez said. “I really enjoyed my time here and I hope it’s not over.”

Sanchez would like to find an opportunity to be a starter again. He is still only 28 years old. Buffalo is one of a handful of teams with no clear No. 1 quarterback. EJ Manuel, the Bills’ first-round pick in 2013, lost the job last season. Kyle Orton, who started the last 12 games of the 2014 season, announced his retirement after the season.

The Bills hired former San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman to run their offense. Roman adjusted his offense to fit Alex Smith and then Colin Kaepernick. He may be more interested in working with Manuel than with a veteran such as Sanchez. If Sanchez is going to sign a new deal to be a backup, though, he might as well do that with the Eagles.