Tag: Derek Barnett

Philadelphia Eagles Preseason Week 2: 5 Quick Observations

Philadelphia Eagles Preseason Week 2: 5 Quick Observations

Thanks to the heroics of new Philadelphia Eagles fan favorite Dane Evans, the Eagles defeated the Buffalo Bills in their preseason home opener. It was a sloppy performance from the offense, as more preseason games are, but there was a lot of positives to take away from this one.

The defense was the real story in this one as they held Buffalo to 16 points and were in the face of the quarterback on just about every single drop back. It’s crazy to think just a week ago some of us were wondering how many points Carson Wentz would have to put up each week to bail out this defense, but no we are pretty confident that it’s the defense that will carry this team.

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Ronald Darby or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Trust Howie Roseman

Ronald Darby or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Trust Howie Roseman

In the last 24 hours the Philadelphia Eagles have played a preseason game, rookies Mack Hollins and Derek Barnett became Hall of Famers, Howie Roseman traded for Lito Sheppard 2.0 and Ezekiel Elliott was suspended for 6 games by the league.

First let’s get to the Zeke suspension. The league loves the Dallas Cowboys. They draw in crazy ratings and owner Jerry Jones has a major influence over other owners. Roger Goodell works for the owners and this isn’t a decision he made lightly. Ezekiel Elliott probably deserved an even bigger punishment and the Cowboys front office should probably just let this go.

Right now Zeke is threatening to appeal, which could lead to a long legal process, but delay the suspension. The problem appealing and possibly suing the league that all the evidence could be made public and it could turn into a PR nightmare for the team.

The league didn’t come to this decision because of just testimony from one witness. Elliott and Jones really need to let this one go, deal with the suspension and learn from it, but we all know that isn’t happening.

The Eagles got aggressive Friday morning and got a proven starting cornerback to pair with Jalen Mills. They sent their 2018 3rd round pick and slot receiver Jordan Matthews for Buffalo Bills corner Ronald Darby.

Two things lead to this trade. One, Patrick Robinson has looked awful in practice and two, Rasul Douglas isn’t ready to be a starter and may not be until year two at the earliest.

Pro Football Focus ranked Darby as the 8th best corner in 2015 and 66th last year. He’s a pure speed corner who has shown outstanding growth in run support. He’s still a little raw jamming at the line and with his footwork, but he’s definitely a capable starter. The Eagles are still incredibly young, but they have four corners with a ton of potential, and all are on cheaper rookie contracts through at least 2018(2019 for Mills, 2020 for Douglas and Jones).

Now onto the actual preseason game. Carson Wentz was outstanding on his only series. He marched the Eagles down the field, despite getting very little protection and help from his run game. He was also missing his top three receivers, starting right guard and all-everything back Darren Sproles.

Mack Hollins looks like the real deal. He caught the ball naturally, something he didn’t do much in college, and he was dangerous after each catch. He has 4.4 speed and the strength to shove defenders off him as he did on his touchdown.

Derek Barnett was dominant against 2016 second round draft pick Jason Spriggs at left tackle. He bent, used his hands well and blew him away with natural speed. He’s going to do a ton of damage off the edge with more space in sub-packages.

Jalen Mills was also outstanding against the Packers. He looks the part and if Darby picks up the defense quickly over the next 4 weeks then we can stop worrying about the secondary.

I wouldn’t take away much else from the first preseason game. The Packers went blitz heavy, which is super rare for a preseason game. My guess is the offense wasn’t prepared for that and it totally disrupted the game plan. Most defenses are pretty vanilla before the regular season. If the offensive line struggles again against Buffalo(yeah that’s right, they face Jordan Matthews 6 days after the trade) then I would start to panic a little bit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Derek Barnett Post-Draft Film Study

Derek Barnett Post-Draft Film Study

Welcome to the first of my eight post series where I watched every single game tape I can find of each Philadelphia Eagles draft pick(and one undrafted signee). I think it’s important to go back to the tape, regardless of whether I love who they drafted, hated the pick or didn’t know much about the player at all. It’s important to watch the tape and try to see what the coaches see and try to understand what his exact role will be on this team.

For the first film study of the draft I start with the first round pick, Derek Barnett. Barnett was a defensive end from Tennessee that was everything to his defense. You can see it by how offenses game-planned around his ability. Some teams screened to his side, some used both the left tackle and left guard to block him( or RT, RG) and some just prayed he wouldn’t completely take over the game(he did a few times).

I was a big fan of Barnett before the draft(#4 on my board), I love the pick at 14 and I’m an even bigger fan after re-watching all of his college tape. I know his critics will cite his lower combine numbers(4.88 40), but his tape is too good to think he won’t translate well in the NFL.

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Reviewing the Philadelphia Eagles 2017 NFL Draft and UDFA Class

Reviewing the Philadelphia Eagles 2017 NFL Draft and UDFA Class

The 2017 NFL Draft has come and gone and in my lifetime I can’t recall a more entertaining draft weekend. Over 250,000 fans attended the draft in Philadelphia, which was a record according to the NFL. We also saw a very chaotic first round, several prospects with a lot of off the field baggage being taken early and two playoff teams from last season taking a quarterback in the first 12 picks.

From the Eagles point of view, it was a pretty successful weekend in terms of who they drafted. For all the talk about how this franchise isn’t afraid to take on a character risk, they drafted eight players who are all outstanding human beings. None of them have that troubled past or incident caught on tape that fans have to defend or justify for the next several years. The Browns and Bengals both drafted a player who has(allegedly) knocked out a woman and the Cowboys drafted a player who has a trial date for July 24th for his alleged domestic assault dating back to last March.

I think the only major gripe from this draft class is the lack of a true primary back on the Eagles roster. If Ryan Mathews is healthy come August this will matter a lot less, but there is serious doubt that he will. Some have even suggested he could retire, but GM Howie Roseman said in his post-draft press conference that he has been cleared to start working out. There is also a possibility they sign or trade for a veteran running back like a Jeremy Hill, Matt Jones or LeGarrette Blount, but right now it seems they will stick with who they have already on the roster.

One thing to keep in mind with this initial draft post is that this is just a general review of who the Eagles acquired with their picks and undrafted class. I will go through each draft pick and a couple noteworthy undrafted signings and break down their tape individually with a clean slate.

It’s important to go back to the tape and see what the Eagles front office saw in each player and try to project each prospect’s possible role and ceiling, but for now this is just a quick overview at what transpired this weekend.

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2017 NFL First Round Mock Draft: What I Think Will Happen

2017 NFL First Round Mock Draft: What I Think Will Happen

My final first round mock draft is basically my college basketball bracket and trust me, it will be busted in the first round like everyone else’s bracket. This is the mock draft where I predict how the first 32 picks will go, complete with trades, surprises and draft day sliders.

Last year was a much easier draft to predict because we knew who the first two picks were going to be and you had four or five elite players on the board after that. This year we think Myles Garrett will be the first pick, then we have a bunch of quarterback needy teams, some mediocre quarterback prospects and no obvious elite talents at the top of the draft. Players like Solomon Thomas and Jonathan Allen could go in the top 3 or fall out of the top 10.

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Randy’s 10 Favorite Philadelphia Eagles First Round 2017 NFL Draft Prospects

Randy’s 10 Favorite Philadelphia Eagles First Round 2017 NFL Draft Prospects

What the Philadelphia will do in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft is anyone’s guess at this point. We’ve heard about a few targets they like, but Howie Roseman and Joe Douglas have talked them up so much they either believe they won’t be on the board at 14 or it’s a total smokescreen. The players they have been linked to the most have been Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley and Missouri defensive end Charles Harris.

Usually I can narrow a list down to 5 players I think the Eagles might draft. Back in 2015 my feeling was it was either Nelson Agholor or Byron Jones. Last year we all knew it was Carson Wentz. This time around it’s so wide open I had to extend my list to 10 potential players the Eagles could take. Some are players who would need to slip a bit and a couple others are players they would target in a trade down scenario

Here are my 10 favorite Eagles prospects they could take in the first round :

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NFL Draft Rankings: Defensive End

NFL Draft Rankings: Defensive End

If the defensive end or edge rusher position was a new tech gadget, you’d have to get to the store right when it happens to buy one. This is a very top heavy class, especially for 4-3 defenses. You can get an outstanding edge rusher capable of double digit sack seasons in the first three rounds, but good luck getting anybody decent off the edge after that point.

The Eagles may have released Connor Barwin, but they still have Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry, Marcus Smith, Stephen Means and new addition Chris Long at defensive end. They also have last year’s 7th round draft pick Alex McCalister coming off IR and ready to compete for a spot this year.

The Eagles really don’t need to take a defensive end, but Jim Schwartz’s defense is built around a dominant pass rush. In his 5 years as head coach of the Detroit Lions his team drafted a defensive linemen in the first round 3 times and a corner in the first two rounds just once. His Lions drafted Nick Fairley in the first round a year after taking Ndamkong Suh in the top 5.

Coaches may not make draft picks, but a good front office is aware of how their coaching staff values certain positions and it wouldn’t shock me at all to see the Eagles take a defensive end, which isn’t a need at all, before they take a cornerback in this draft.

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