Eagles Weekend Reading: A New CB To Consider
Here are some Eagles-related links to check out this weekend.
Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com has the Eagles taking UConn cornerback Byron Jones at No. 20:
Jones put on a show in Indy, but he’s much more than a workout warrior. He was a four-year starter at UConn with toughness and smarts. That fits the Chip Kelly profile.
Jeremiah has Marcus Mariota dropping all the way down to the Rams at No. 10.
Tommy Lawlor of Iggles Blitz looks back at the development of Todd Herremans:
I went up to training camp at Lehigh a few months later to watch the team practice. I looked out on the field and was shocked to see Herremans at left tackle with the starters. To quote the great Vince Lombardi, “What the hell is going on out there?” Tra Thomas wasn’t healthy so Juan Castillo had to put a backup on the field. He decided that Herremans was the next best fit. That really blew me away. Herremans got beat a few times, but held his own for the most part. How was it that the guy who gave up sacks in the Cactus Bowl could now function as a left tackle in the NFL?
Herremans had the raw tools. He was big and pretty athletic. He did have good feet. He was experienced, so he had a solid understanding of blocking concepts. Herremans was smart and coachable. Castillo was able to teach Herremans the Eagles’ blocking system and the specific techniques needed to make it work. I learned a valuable lesson that day up at Lehigh. Don’t underestimate the importance of coaching.
Crazy note about Herremans from friend of the blog Sam Lynch:
The NFL is strange sometimes. @toddherremans was paid $27.5m for his 10 years in Philly. King Dunlap just got a deal from SD for $28m over 4
— Sam Lynch (@shlynch) February 26, 2015
Pete Prisco of CBS Sports believes Chip Kelly needs to do whatever it takes to get Mariota:
Make the deal.
We all know the value of the franchise quarterback in the NFL. Sustainable success comes with one. It’s why Tom Brady won a Super Bowl 13 years ago, and was able to win another this season without one offensive player on the roster from that first ring-winning team.
I am not saying Mariota is Brady. They aren’t close to being alike. One is a pure pocket passer who was taken in the sixth round. The other is a spread quarterback who will need transitioning to the NFL if he winds up anywhere other than Philadelphia — and is a sure-fire first-round pick.
Mariota is a dual-threat quarterback, the kind Kelly needs to make his offense really go. Kelly has said all the right things about Foles and others running his system for the Eagles, but anybody who watched Kelly’s Oregon teams knows they aren’t good fits. They don’t have the ability to run off the read-option plays. That limits the offense.
Meanwhile, Todd McShay has the Eagles taking Alabama safety Landon Collins in his latest mock draft:
I know from talking to Chip Kelly previously how highly he thinks of Mariota, his former quarterback at Oregon, but I don’t know whether he’d be willing to pay a really high price in terms of draft picks and other assets to move up to draft him. Regardless, we don’t project trades in these mock drafts anyway, and Collins would fill a need at safety, with strong safety Nate Allen a free agent this offseason. Collins has weakside linebacker size (6-0, 228 pounds) and impressive straight-line speed (4.53 40), and while he has some limitations in man-to-man coverage, he’s got good range in deep zone coverage and he fills hard in run support. Washington cornerback Marcus Peters is another possibility here, since the Eagles need help at corner.
Brandon Lee Gowton of Bleeding Green Nation looks at Antonio Cromartie as a potential free agent target:
Cromartie turns 31 in April so age is a concern. It also might be a good thing, in a way. The thinking is that maybe the Birds would be able to get Cromartie on a short-term deal to serve as a quality stop-gap option for a year or two. Cromartie might not require the kind of financial commitment that a top free agent cornerback like Byron Maxwell would.
The Eagles could have interest in Cromartie due to Chip Kelly’s knack for acquiring players that have performed well against his teams. The Eagles’ 2013 NFL Draft class was an example of this strategy with picks like Zach Ertz, Matt Barkley, and Jordan Poyer. Then during the 2014 free agency period the Eagles acquired two players from the team that beat him in the playoffs: Malcolm Jenkins and Darren Sproles from the New Orleans Saints. Cromartie recorded two interceptions during the Eagles’ 24-20 loss in Week 8 last season. That performance just may have caught Kelly’s eye.
Tucker Bagley is a Temple student and an intern at Birds 24/7
Sheil Kapadia contributed to this post.