What They’re Saying About the Eagles
Here is what the national media have to say about the Eagles this week.
Dan Hanzus of NFL.com named Nelson Agholor as a prime candidate to be the top rookie receiver in 2015:
This is all about location, location, location. Guys like Amari Cooper and Kevin White might end up having better careers, but USC wideout Nelson Agholor has the best chance to make an immediate splash. A polished route-runner with serious YAC ability, Agholor is a perfect fit for a Chip Kelly offense that’s thin at wide receiver after Jeremy Maclin defected for Kansas City in free agency. Agholor’s pro-ready tools should allow him to see the field quickly, and Kelly’s high-volume approach will put Agholor in a great position to dwarf the production of some of his first-round contemporaries. Jordan Matthews dropped a 67/872/8 as a rookie in Philly’s scheme last year. Agholor can be even better.
Patrick Daugherty of Rotoworld looks at the quarterback situations for all 32 teams, focusing on the next three to five years. He has the Eagles at No. 27:
If you think this is too low for the Eagles’ quarterback situation, I can tell you someone who doesn’t: Chip Kelly. The league’s first 30-minutes-or-less general manager spent the spring trying to redecorate his quarterback room, culminating in an extraordinarily-public pursuit of Marcus Mariota. Chip never came close to landing his college signal caller, leaving him with Sam Bradford, Mark Sanchez and figment-of-your-imagination Tim Tebow. Bradford will start Week 1 … if his twice-torn left ACL is healthy. That won’t even be the hard part. Bradford is a 58.6 percent passer, with an equally uninspiring 6.29 YPA and 79.3 QB rating to boot. Bradford was never set up for success in St. Louis, but those are troubling numbers for any quarterback with 1,760 career throws. There’s still untapped potential in the No. 1 overall pick of the 2010 draft, but we don’t know if he’s the answer in Philly any more than Kelly does. Kelly’s actions are louder than any words when it comes to evaluating the Eagles’ quarterback situation.
Kevin Weidl of ESPN.com listed Agholor second on his Offensive Rookie of the Year candidates list, behind only Jameis Winston:
Eagles head coach Chip Kelly has seen firsthand what Agholor can bring to the table, as the USC receiver toasted his defense to the tune of six catches for 162 yards and a touchdown as a freshman during Kelly’s last season at Oregon (2012). Now Kelly will get to turn him loose in his own offense, and there are several reasons Agholor’s impact could be immediate.
Agholor is one of the more well-rounded receivers in this class. He has great feel and savvy as a route runner, can manufacture yards after the catch (he isn’t a burner but has very good quickness and vision in the open field) and has the versatility to line up in multiple spots. Agholor has a chance to quickly flourish in Kelly’s up-tempo system, as Kelly has the creativity to utilize his versatility and playmaking ability, and the Eagles will be looking to replace the production lost by free-agent departure Jeremy Maclin (85 catches, 1,318 yards, 10 TDs).
Lastly, Agholor graded well in terms of his intangibles in our scouting report of him, so that’s another reason to believe he could see the field quickly as a rookie.
Marc Sessler of NFL.com tries to project the Eagles’ Week 1 starters and offers some predictions about what could happen over the course of the year:
» Sam Bradford is a candidate for Comeback Player of the Year in Chip Kelly’s offense. If he can stay healthy, the former Rams passer finds himself in fine position to thrive behind a strong line and stacked backfield.
» Speaking of the running backs, the Eagles went for broke signing both DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews. It makes sense to lower Murray’s workload after the pounding he took last season in Dallas. Mathews is an underrated runner who can rip up a defense between the tackles when he’s healthy.
» I’m not convinced the Eagles are done moving players. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Mychal Kendricks traded for the right price, but if he stays, the linebacker forms a talented inside duo with Kiko Alonso, acquired in the LeSean McCoy swap. Connor Barwin and Brandon Graham will man the outside.
Phil Sheridan of ESPN.com takes a look at the state of the running back position on Kelly’s roster:
Nothing was more traumatic this offseason than Chip Kelly’s decision to trade LeSean McCoy and his contract and sign a couple of backs to share his workload. Not only was McCoy the Eagles’ all-time leading rusher, he’s a volatile personality who struck back at Kelly with a series of provocative interviews.
DeMarco Murray had 392 carries last season, tying him for the seventh most attempts in NFL history. With all that said and done, the Eagles are well stocked at the running back position. If the offensive line stays healthy, the running game should be very good. Of course, we could have said that before all the upheaval.
John Clayton gives his take on Kelly’s journey through his three years in the NFL:
The roster was talented enough for Chip to win 20 games over his first two seasons. That success enabled him to gain control over personnel. Now, he can do things his way. Kelly is about winning. Sure, he has rid the Eagles of some of their best players, but there hasn’t been a drop-off in the performance of the team. He was never going to be in position to get Mariota because he wouldn’t sacrifice a season by giving up what it would take to get into the top five of the draft.
Andrew Lawrence of SI.com on the current situation that Matt Barkley finds himself in:
For now, Barkley is on the trading block. He was there earlier this offseason while the Eagles were seemingly trying to put together a draft deal to grab one of Kelly’s former Oregon protégés, No. 2 overall pick Marcus Mariota. And Barkley was priced to move when the Eagles signed Tebow. With every passing day, his situation only seems to grow more dire.
If Kelly’s offseason maneuvering are to be credited for anything so far, it should be for making a third-stringer’s lot genuinely compelling—although Barkley would probably prefer for his third pro season to open on a cliffhanger. That said, it wouldn’t be the end of the world if he wound up the odd man out between [Mark] Sanchez and [Tim] Tebow. At least then he’d have another opportunity to show that he can really be his own man.