What They’re Saying About the Eagles

Jake Locker. Jim Brown / USA Today

Jake Locker. Jim Brown / USA Today

Here’s the weekly roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles.

Greg A. Bedard of The MMQB ranks free agents 51 to 100. He has Jake Locker at No. 70 and thinks the Eagles could be a fit:

Another one who didn’t live up to his draft position (eighth overall in 2011), Locker constantly battled injuries. But he has shown glimpses of being a decent starter when healthy. Best fit: Eagles. Like Mark Sanchez, Locker could be another mobile veteran reclamation project.

Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com doesn’t think a big trade-up to land Marcus Mariota would be the smartest move:

“We talk about going up to No. 5, that is a big cost,” said NFL Media analyst and former Eagles scout Daniel Jeremiah. “If he gets by the Jets, then there are only a couple of other spots, like the Rams at No. 10, and then you can say, ‘Maybe this is a cost we can afford,’ if you’re the Eagles. I just don’t think you want to trade everything away for a quarterback who I don’t think is that Andrew Luck-type level.”

Mark Maske of The Washington Post has Jeremy Maclin as his eighth-best free agent:

Maclin returned from a knee injury and thrived in Philadelphia’s DeSean Jackson-less offense. He topped 1,300 receiving yards and demonstrated that he is capable of being a No. 1 wideout.

Maske made his list before yesterday’s tag deadline. Four of the seven players he ranked ahead of Maclin ended up getting tagged.

He has Brandon Graham ranked 16th:

He made only one start but had 5-1/2 sacks this past season, and his best pass-rushing years could be ahead of him.

NFL.com has Maclin ranked 13th:

He might not be as productive away from Chip Kelly’s system. We suspect Kelly won’t let him get away.

Graham comes in at No. 19:

Best suited as a defensive end in a 4-3 defense, Graham has been a highly effective rotational pass rusher as an outside linebacker in Philly’s 3-4 scheme. Wesseling prefers him to Worilds.

And Mark Sanchez makes the list at No. 63:

At one point last season, Sanchez had joined Andrew Luck, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning as the only quarterback overseeing an offense that averaged more than 30 points and 400 yards per game. Then he reverted into one of the game’s most mistake-prone signal-callers with the season on the line.

Chris Burke of SI.com names 10 players who hurt their free-agent value with their 2014 performances. Sanchez makes his list:

Chalk up the 2014 season as a significant missed opportunity for Sanchez, who ultimately failed to take advantage of his situation in Philadelphia. Working on a one-year deal, Sanchez found himself atop the Eagles’ quarterback depth chart by midseason, but the team slipped from a 6-2 start to a 10-6 final record, missing the playoffs. Sanchez struggled to take care of the football—he threw interceptions on 3.6% of his passes, third-worst in the league ahead of only Josh McCown and Blake Bortles.

So does Bradley Fletcher:

Not that he had any help in Philadelphia’s beleaguered secondary, but Fletcher endured a woeful 2014 season. He often found himself matched up with (and being torched by) the opposition’s No. 1 receiver. The Rams opted not to re-sign him after 2012. Philadelphia will do the same following the ’14 letdown, and Fletcher will be hard-pressed to find a guaranteed starting job.

Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com offers his take on the future of LeSean McCoy:

You know things are bad for running backs when there is talk a player of LeSean McCoy’s talents is mentioned as a possible released player if he doesn’t take less money. McCoy is scheduled to count $11.9 million against the cap next year, a big number for any player, let alone a back. McCoy likely would restructure his deal to lessen the cap hit, but it’s unlikely he would take less money. So what if the Eagles ask and he declines? Do they let him walk? Doubtful, but you never know in this league. Backs have to come to realization that the big-money deals they sign will almost never get to the end. That’s just the way of the league these days — even moreso for backs.

One scout’s take on Mariota, via Peter Bukowski of SI.com:

“I think Mariota is like Kaepernick in his athletic ability. I think he can run like the wind and I think he can do some of those things with the ball,” one scout told SI.com. “I think he’s a much better pocket passer potentially. He may not have as strong an arm as Kaepernick, but he’s much more accurate.”

A couple takes from writers who have covered new Eagles LB Brad Jones: