What If .... the QB the Eagles want to draft isn't available
By Kevin K
I am looking to start a new "concept" of a blog that I am calling "What If". Sure it has most likely been used before and I probably won't be able to keep up with it because of a busy schedule, but hey, it's a blog.
If you haven't been following the Philly Phans Facebook
page lately you probably haven't noticed the Eagles interest in drafting a Quarterback in this years NFL Draft. The Eagles hosted Michigan State's Quarterback Kirk Cousins, Eagles reps were at the private workout of QB Ryan Tannehill, and not to mention the interest in RGIII prior to the Redskins trade for the number 2 overall pick. The Eagles have obviously shown interest in drafting a quarterback of the future in this year's draft.
But the question remains, what if the quarterback the Eagles "want" isn't there? Do they go for the "best available QB"? Or do they do something that no one expects, like pass over a Quarterback in the draft and sign, wait for it (don't be angry), Donovan McNabb?
Think it through here. McNabb has wanted to retire an Eagle in the past, his starting career is over, he is a Reid guy, he knows the playbook in case Vick goes down, and he wants to win a Superbowl.
It makes sense even if it doesn't. Fans, like myself, wouldn't be thrilled with the move, but it would be a filler for a solid backup behind Vick that won't cost much money.
What if the Eagles already made contact with McNabb to be there "just in case"? I have to admit my "what if" today makes zero sense at all for Eagles fans, but would make a whole lot of sense for the Eagles organization. They look to do the unthinkable every season and continue to try to surprise the league and Philadelphia.
So as I said my "what if" for today makes absolutely no sense, and that is why it makes all the sense in the world for the Eagles organization.
NFL Draft Day 3
By Kevin K
On day three of the draft, the Eagles surprised some fans. The Eagles avoided a need on defense (defensive line) but filled the gaps in with other weaknesses; like LB, OL, HB, and Kicker? Yes the Eagles drafted a kicker and surprised some people. Because of that pick, the days of David Akers may now be over, but we will get to that when we introduce to you the Eagles fourth round pick.
Pick 19: LB Casey Matthews.
Not only is his brother one of the most dominate players in the NFL right now, Matthews also comes from a NFL family. Matthews lacks some size and speed, but is smart and relentless. He, right now, has special teams ability and a future starter in the NFL. He overcomes his lack of power by reading and reacting to the play, He can slip blocks and is a sure tackler. He doesn't have sideline to sideline range yet, but Casey fills a need for the Eagles and could be great for them in zone coverage.
Pick 23: K/P Alex Henery
There is a reason why Henery was drafted in the fourth round (which is considered early for a K/P), he is good. He has a very strong leg and is accurate and consistent on short attempts. He holds the record for career field-goal percentage at 89.2 while drilling 77.4 percent of kicks longer than 40 yards. As a Senior he only missed one field goal, it was blocked and over 50 yards.
The drafting of Henery could spell the end of David Akers, who has yet to sign his Transition Tag. Akers agent said that he is taking the pick in stride. Reid said on the matter "right now David's with us". Of course we will know more as soon as the lockout is officially over.
Pick 18: HB Dion Lewis
Lewis brings out a need for the Eagles for a backup running back to LeSean McCoy and what could be better than another Pitt running back. Lewis is short and quick and can make defenders miss. His problem is that he may lack pure size and power to become a full-time starter. He could definitely be a "change of pace" back for the Eagles.
Pick 30: OL Julian Vandervelde
Vandervelde possesses intelligence, agility, and the intangibles to make it in the league. He needs to develop on-field awareness to become a full-time starter in the NFL. The good thing about him is his intelligence. He is a definite coach-able player that is tough and ready to get at it.
Pick 26: C Jason Kelce
Kelce does not have the ability to become a starting Center in the NFL. He has the mobility and mentality to make it as a reserve center, however. He lacks size and power and needs consistency to become a starter in the league. Kelce was a safe pick in the sixth round for the Eagles, especially at a position in which they continue to grow weaker at.
Pick 28 LB Brian Rolle
Rolle lacks size to be a starting LB in the NFL and could possibly look to move to a safety position. Last year the Eagles did very well drafting in the later rounds with defensive positions (see Chaney and Coleman). He is good at reading zone coverage, but lacks size and speed for man coverage. He does have a good character and leadership qualities.
He, along with others the Eagles have drafted, does have roots in the NFL. He is the cousin of CB Antrel Rolle.
Pick 34: LB Greg Lloyd Jr
Lloyd's injury history may have dropped him this deep in the draft. He has some limitations but could emerge as a strong player for the Eagles.He has good instincts and awareness. He also displays the physicality to play down hill and stop the running game. Can't play man coverage, but has great range and burst to pressure the QB. He was expected to go in the middle rounds.
He is the son of former Steelers LB with the same name.
Pick 37: FB Stanley Havili
Havili was a pick just to fill a sort of need for the Eagles. There is still no word on the full health of Leonard Weaver (Although he believes he will be back). Havili could challenge Owen Schmidt for the starting FB spot heading into camp (if there is a camp). He is the typical Andy Reid FB that poises a threat catching the ball out of the backfield. The problem with him is that he is more of a one way player that does not like to be a lead blocker.
2011 NFL Mock Draft
By Eddie Smith
Eddie is our draft guru and has put a lot of thought into this mock draft. Along with the pick he believes the Eagles will take, he has a set of players underneath that the Eagles may also be looking at.
As I mentioned last year, all of these picks will not be pinpoint. There will be tons of trades, teams moving up and down all over the place. But hypothetically if the teams were to stay where they originally are, this is how I think the draft would go down:
1. Carolina Panthers- Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
2. Denver Broncos- Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M
3. Buffalo Bills- Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama
4. Cincinnati Bengals- A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
5. Arizona Cardinals- Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
6. Cleveland Browns- Julio Jones, WR, Georgia
7. San Francisco 49ers- Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
8. Tennessee Titans- Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
9. Dallas Cowboys- Tyron Smith, OT, USC
10. Washington Redskins- Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina
11. Houston Texans- Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri
12. Minnesota Vikings- J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin
13. Detroit Lions- CB Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
14. St. Louis Rams- Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois
15. Miami Dolphins- Cameron Jordan, DE, California
16. Jacksonville Jaguars- Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue
17. New England Patriots (f/ OAK)- Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
18. San Diego Chargers- Muhammed Wilkerson, DT, Temple
19. New York Giants- Mike Pouncey, G, Florida
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
21. Kansas City Chiefs- Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin
22. Indianapolis Colts- Nate Solder, OT, Colorado
23. Philadelphia Eagles- CB Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado
24. New Orleans Saints- Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State
25. Seattle Seahawks- Jake Locker, QB, Washington
26. Baltimore Ravens- Aaron Williams, CB/S, Texas
27. Atlanta Falcons- Marvin Austin, DT, North Carolina
28. New England Patriots- Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa
29. Chicago Bears- Brandon Harris, CB, Miami (FL)
30. New York Jets- Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor
31. Pittsburgh Steelers- Derrick Sherrod, OT, Mississippi St.
32. Green Bay Packers- Akeem Ayers, LB, UCLA
CB Jimmy Smith, Colorado: Jimmy Smith looks like he should already have his jersey number picked out for the Birds by looking at the various mock drafts out there. Maybe he should. The Eagles are desperate for a cornerback to help the secondary. Smith has all of the physical tools. He is 6’2” 211 lbs and runs a 4.46 40. His specialty is press coverage, something the Eagles thrive off of. They play a lot of press so Smith would be able to display his talents well. He’d be an ideal fit for our type of defense. A knock on Smith however is that he did not make a ton of impact plays in college. He only allowed 11 completions in his junior and senior season combined which is astounding and could be the reason he didn’t have opportunities to make big plays. Another concern is his character. He is known to be a hot head at times but that does not worry me one bit considering Reid and company welcome these kind of players almost yearly. I would not be shocked one bit if Smith is in midnight green this upcoming season.
Top 5 Players the Eagles should look at:
5. LB Akeem Ayers, UCLA: The Eagles have some interesting questions at the linebacker position. Some good, some bad. Some people in the organization and outside of it think that Jamar Chaney could be the middle linebacker of the future. With that said, pending free agent Stewart Bradley will likely be moved to the SAM linebacker position if he is retained when the new CBA comes into full effect. There is likely no chance that Ernie Sims will be back because of his up and down play last year. Although Moise Fokou and Akeem Jordan are solid starters, they may have an opportunity to upgrade with Akeem Ayers. Ayers is a different type of linebacker than the Eagles are accustom to having. He has a big frame at 6’2 ½” 254 lbs. Although his sophomore season was much more productive than his junior season, he still is arguably the 2nd best outside linebacker in this draft behind Texas A&M’s Von Miller.
4. OT Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin: Carimi may be the best “fit” so to speak if the Eagles choose to go offensive tackle. He has prototypical size at 6’7” 314 lbs and like Castonzo, has long arms and big, big hands. He is very solid in pass protection and has good strength to deliver violent initial contact with defensive ends. Carimi also is very solid in the run blocking category. He is extremely intelligent and has excellent instincts and awareness of the game and what goes on around him. Durability unfortunately with him is an issue. He missed a few games in 2008 due to a knee injury, some time in ‘09 with another knee injury, and a shoulder injury the same year. Thankfully none of those injuries were too extreme to where he had to miss a significant amount of time. He is an Andy Reid type lineman. Hard working, well respected, and tough as nails. He’d be a great addition to this suspect offensive line.
3. Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska: Let me first say that Amukamara is not going to drop past the top 15. Which leads me to my point why Amukamara is on this list: a possible trade up. There have been rumblings that the Eagles could trade up, or trade out of their pick at 23. But if they do move up to a similar spot like they did last year, Amukamara could be their guy. He has a great combination of size, bulk, and top-end speed at the corner position. He has great hips and has the ability to run receivers. Some experts have him actually rated better than Patrick Peterson as far as production on the field. If the Eagles do indeed jump up in this draft yet again and the Prince is still on the board, he’ll likely be a Philadelphia Eagle.
2. Aaron Williams, CB/S, Texas: I could see this scenario playing out with the Birds taking Williams. There is a good chance that the 2 top corners will be gone in Patrick Peterson and Prince Amukamara. We just don’t know how the Eagles feel about Jimmy Smith so if they were not interested in him, Williams could be the guy. He has solid size at around 6’0” 204 lbs and have top end speed. One thing I love about him is that he is not afraid to come up and be aggressive against the run and he will attempt to tackle anyone. The Eagles have had issues with corners coming up to tackle. Williams may be a reach at 23, but we shall see tonight.
1. Muhammed Wilkerson, DT, Temple: From what I read and hear Wilkerson could be a defensive end in some systems, and a defensive tackle in others. If he were to become an Eagle, he’d likely player defensive tackle. He has fantastic size at 6’4” 315 pounds and has the kind of body to add bulk if it was needed. He is ideal for this Eagles defense because he is known as a pass rushing defensive tackle which is something the Eagles have lacked for a number of years. Mike Patterson, Antonio Dixon, and Brodrick Bunkley are all solid players but are not game changers. Wilkerson has the ability to be that effective d-tackle that would take tremendous pressure off of Trent Cole as well as the other guys on the line. This would be an outstanding pick for the Birds and Wilkerson would challenge for a starting position immediately.
CB Patrick Peterson, LSU: This may sound crazy, but it’s definitely possible. There are rumblings that the Cardinals may be interested in Kevin Kolb, and he could be worth the 5th overall pick. There would be more to that trade than just Kolb and the pick, but crazier things have happened. If that trade were to go down (pending a new CBA) and Patrick Peterson is on the board, it would be a godsend. Peterson has been compared to Darrelle Revis in many different aspects. He is the unanimous #1 overall player in this draft by most experts. He has rare size at the corner position, 6’0 ½” 219 lbs and runs a 4.34 40 yard dash. Not only is he an elite corner, he is a punt returner as well and can help with special teams if needed. This guy has it all. Now, don’t get your hopes up Phans but if this is possible is would give the Eagles secondary an extraordinary upgrade and Peterson would likely come in and start right away opposite Asante Samuel. We wouldn’t have to worry about Dimitri Patterson getting burnt every other play.
DE Da‘Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson: I know Phans, I know, another defensive end is our worst nightmare. But the fact remains that there are STILL questions at the defensive end position on this team. Other than Trent Cole, there is still not another DE on this roster that scares opposing teams offenses. Brandon Graham had a very disappointing and injury plagued first season and his torn ACL may not be healed enough for him to be ready for the start of the season. Juqua Parker and Darryl Tapp are average ends at best and they will not make a monster impact in any game. The verdict is still out on Daniel Te’o-Nesheim who played very little last year. Same goes with Ricky Sapp who was put on IR before the season even started. Any defensive end with talent has a chance to be an Eagle since Reid and the front office value them so much, yet they haven’t hit on a star since Trent Cole in 2005 (which was pure luck). Before this all-too-known knee injury that has plagued Bowers, he was arguably the best player in the draft. Now, we all know that the Eagles do not shy away from defensive ends that have had injuries in the past. See Jevon Kearse. Bowers seems to be slipping each day in mock drafts because of this unknown knee injury. But because of his talent, he would be a great value pick at 23 if he is still there, which I doubt. But it is a distinct possibility. His build is much different than what the Eagles normally have, but that change could bring them in a potential player.