Tag: Donnel Pumphrey

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.










Donnel Pumphrey Post-Draft Film Study

Donnel Pumphrey Post-Draft Film Study

The Philadelphia Eagles went into the 2017 NFL Draft expected to draft a feature running back and left with only a 179 pound change of pace back. Maybe the strategy going in was to get Donne Pumphrey early on day three of the draft, or maybe they just missed on some earlier targets. Either way the Eagles backfield is still without a true primary back going into the 2017 season.

The player they did draft is one of the most intriguing rookies this year. He’s only 5’8, 179 pounds, but because of his toughness, quickness and elite vision he was able to break the all-time FBS rushing record.

In college he was a foundation back who ran a ton of zone and iso runs out of the I-formation. I love that he came from a pro style offense, but in the NFL he is going to run primarily out of the shotgun. Space is his friend and running out of bigger sets under center is going to be a much tougher tasks against NFL defenses.

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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 Draft Running Back Rankings

2017 NFL Draft Running Back Rankings

Through this entire 2017 NFL Draft process, I have watched and scouted hundred of prospects and narrowed down my final Philadelphia Eagles big board to about 125-150 prospects I feel are worthy of an Eagles draft pick.

Scheme fit was a very big factor when I narrowed my list down. An elite 3-4 nose tackle may be a high draft pick, but makes little sense for what the Eagles need. Fit is everything when it comes to the draft. If you draft a good player who isn’t a scheme fit you make life so much harder for both the coaches and the drafted player. Most of the time in those situations the player doesn’t work out.

The running back group is the first positional group I am going to break down. Normally I start with quarterback, but their is zero value in the Eagles drafting another quarterback. It would take reps away from Carson Wentz this summer and with Nick Foles now inserted as the backup it’s unlikely they even keep three total quarterbacks. Why draft a player who won’t make your final roster in year one?

Here are my top running backs in the 2017 draft:

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