What They’re Saying About The Eagles

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Here is what the national media have to say about Chip Kelly’s squad this week.

FoxSports.com lists Marcus Smith as one of the second-year players who needs to make a huge leap:

Projected as an outside linebacker, Smith struggled so badly that he was moved inside by season’s end. Smith has added 15 pounds this offseason in hopes the added bulk and strength will help get him snaps at a deep position for the Eagles.

Rob Rang of CBS Sports released his first 2016 mock draft and has the Eagles taking USC offensive lineman Max Tuerk:

Recruited to play tackle and flashing first-round talent at center in 2014, Tuerk offers great versatility and athleticism — traits Chip Kelly requires on his O-line.

Much has been made about Kelly’s PAC-12 bias when it comes to the draft, but Will Laws of SI.com believes the conference may be under-appreciated by the rest of the league:

NFL GMs obviously hold a clear preference for SEC players, despite the fact that the conference doesn’t spawn more stars on a per-capita basis. The SEC, and its players, have unquestionably benefited from the prestige that comes with winning seven straight BCS title games.

This isn’t to say that the SEC doesn’t have immensely talented players. Even on the per-capita Pro Bowl basis, it ranks third among all FBS conferences. But these findings do make you wonder if players from the Pac-12 and Big 12 are undervalued throughout the NFL scouting process.

ESPN.com ranks the Eagles 11th in their post-draft power rankings, five slots behind the Cowboys:

The offensive additions made headlines for Chip Kelly, but the Eagles signed or drafted a combined six cornerbacks this offseason. Only three teams allowed more passing touchdowns than Philly in 2014.

Nate Davis of USA Today ranks the Eagles’ 2015 draft class 21st in the NFL:

Didn’t make anything close to the splashdown people anticipated a week ago — even coach Chip Kelly seemed to feel that way. But first-round WR Nelson Agholor and second-round DB Eric Rowe should end up right in the fairway in terms of being productive picks from the jump.

Darren Sproles writes about his draft experience for The Players’ Tribune:

Going into the NFL Combine, I knew my height was gonna be something I’d have to overcome, but I knew I’d ace the Combine drills, and I hoped that my performance along with my college resume would be enough to make scouts look past my size. I was definitely wrong. Even at the Combine, my size was all anyone talked about when my name came up.

When they measure height at the NFL Combine, they use a laminated sheet of paper taped on the wall at about head level — well, the average player’s head level. When it was my turn to get measured, they had to un-tape the chart from the wall and move it down just so I could reach it. I heard giggles throughout the room. It was just one more reminder to scouts of what they already had written next to my name on their clipboards.

Chris Wesseling of NFL.com re-watched all of the rookie wide receivers and compared Jordan Matthews to Marques Colston:

Although Matthews ran a league-high 92.4 percent of his routes from the slot last season, there’s reason to believe his role will be expanded this year. The Eagles neglected to sign a replacement for top receiver Jeremy Maclin, leaving Matthews as the obvious fill-in. More to the point, Chip Kelly has explained that he just wanted Matthews to learn one position as a rookie, allowing him to learn more assignments as his career evolves. If Matthews proves capable of succeeding Maclin and DeSean Jackson as the top target in Kelly’s offense, his numbers will skyrocket.

Adam Levitan of Rotoworld lists Josh Huff as one of his “veteran losers” after the draft:

Jordan Matthews is locked into the slot and first-rounder Nelson Agholor is going to play the Jeremy Maclin role. Zach Ertz is going to have his volume increased as the “move” tight end. That leaves Josh Huff with a very narrow path to playing time and targets, as he’ll have to beat out Riley Cooper for an outside role – while also understanding that the Eagles say they’ll be giving Matthews more outside responsibilities this year. Add it all up and Huff has gone from a breakout candidate to a player from Oregon that Chip Kelly likes but doesn’t have much use for. We’ve seen time and again that no matter how badly Cooper struggles as a receiver, Chip keeps him on the field (presumably for his blocking and jump-ball ability).