Eagles Wake-Up Call: A Maclin Draft What-If
Today’s question comes from loyal B247 reader and Iraq War vet (thanks for your service!) Rich Colton:
— Rich Colton (@richcolton) May 4, 2015
It would have had an interesting domino effect, Rich. If the Eagles had re-signed Jeremy Maclin, it seems reasonable to assume they wouldn’t have signed DeMarco Murray. And wide receiver would not have been a priority in the early rounds. A long-term contract for Maclin, in addition to Jordan Matthews and Josh Huff being on their rookie deals, would have meant the Eagles were pretty much set at wide receiver.
In other words, they would not have drafted Nelson Agholor in the first round. So who would they have taken, assuming they stayed at No. 20?
I’ll say UConn CB Byron Jones. Chip Kelly said Jones and Eric Rowe were two of the defensive backs they targeted. There’s a chance the Eagles might have even liked Rowe better. Who knows? Others who might have been in the conversation: Kentucky OLB Bud Dupree and Florida OT D.J. Humphries.
Outside linebacker is not an immediate need, but Dupree might have been good value there. And Humphries is an athletic tackle. However, given the overall emphasis on rebuilding the secondary, my guess is they’d have still taken a cornerback.
In the second round, they could have still traded up, but with a CB in hand, the Eagles could have grabbed Oregon OL Jake Fisher. Had they stayed put, guys like Colorado State’s Ty Sambrallo or Hobart’s Ali Marpet might have interested them. The Eagles might have been able to hang on to their two fifth-round picks and still come away with an offensive lineman.
So they could have conceivably had Maclin, Jones (or Rowe) and Fisher, but Ryan Mathews would have been the starting RB.
Instead, they have Agholor and Rowe with both Murray and Mathews in the backfield, but no offensive line help.
I completely understood not re-signing Maclin to the big number, but regular readers know I wasn’t on board with the massive investment at the RB spot. Playing the what-if game here, I think I prefer the first scenario with Maclin instead of Murray/Agholor, along with a young offensive lineman in the fold.
WHAT YOU MISSED
The Eagles made a roster move and announced 11 players who will get tryouts.
Some thoughts on LeSean McCoy, Chip Kelly, the Eagles and race.
The Eagles have agreed to terms with Agholor, while La’el Collins signed with the Cowboys.
“Those two dudes will be dealt.” Trade buzz, Vegas on the Eagles and more.
“Tell me how this roster isn’t better.” Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay appear bullish on Kelly and the Eagles.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Geoff Mosher of CSN Philly talked to personnel people around the league about the Eagles’ draft. Here’s what one scout said about Jordan Hicks:
“We had a [rookie] free-agent grade. Everyone is different. I just don’t understand it. I just thought he was a good, solid college football player. I didn’t think he was that good. He can play the run, plays with good range but I just think he was a thick, stout guy that can take on and shed but didn’t think he was a good athlete. His change of direction is not that great. If he came out into the league I thought he’d be a good, solid guy who can play special teams. I didn’t think he’s going to have anything to do with defense. Every year a team would be trying to get rid of him.”
Bob Ford of the Inquirer weighs in on McCoy/Chip:
All of that is true, but something else is true as well. The Eagles have an image issue right now and it is of their own making. Perception isn’t reality, but it is close enough to cause problems. The perception is that African American players, even good ones, are easily cut loose, but a 6-foot-4 white lunkhead from Florida gets a pass after throwing down a racial slur at – where else? – a country music concert also attended by the head coach and a posse of white teammates.
You can like it, or you can not like it, but that right there is an image issue and there is no one to blame but Kelly and the rest of the organization. Riley Cooper did some drive-through counseling, came back after four days, and everything was supposed to be fine. Sorry, doesn’t work that way.
We’ll have rookie camp covered later this afternoon.