The NFC Playoff picture will become a lot clearly after Sunday as two huge games featuring 4 potential NFC playoffs teams face-off, not to mention the huge NFC South showdown we saw Thursday might. On Sunday we have an early match-up of Vikings-Panthers followed by the biggest game of the week as the Eagles travel to LA to play the Rams.
A lot can happen this week as the Vikings can fall out of the 1 seed, the Rams can fall to second in the division and the Eagles could climb as high as first and as low as 3rd with the NFC East still up for grabs. No byes will be clinched this week, but the NFC East and North can and should get wrapped up this week.
Let’s take a look at the key scenarios in the NFC this week.
- If the Vikings win or the Lions lose, the Vikings clinch the NFC North.
- If the Eagles win or the Cowboys lose, the Eagles clinch the NFC East.
- If the Eagles win and the Vikings lose, the Eagles will climb to 1st in the NFC and would win any tiebreaker over the Saints, Rams or Vikings(unless their conference record is worse than the Vikings or Saints).
- If the Eagles lose, they will lose any non-conference record tiebreaker to the Rams, Saints, Vikings and Seahawks and will fall out of the top 2 seeds in the NFC.
- If the Eagles win, the Vikings lose to the Panthers and the Seahawks lose to the Jaguars this week, then(hang on for this) the Eagles can clinch home field advantage in the NFC with a win next week against the Giants and a Vikings loss in Week 15 to the Bengals. The Eagles can also clinch home field advantage in the NFC with a win this week, a Vikings loss this week and a combination of two more Eagles wins or Vikings losses.
- If the Eagles and Vikings win out, the Vikings would earn the top seed in the NFC based on the strength of victory tiebreaker.
- If the Vikings beat the Panthers this week and the Bears in Week 17, then the Eagles will need at least one Vikings loss to earn home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Elijah Qualls was a really tough player to evaluate on tape. Washington used him all over their line, as a 3 tech, 5 tech, nose tackle and stand up rusher. Sometimes he really flashed and got into the backfield quickly, other times he was taken out of the play pretty easily.
Qualls is 6’0, 311 pounds which means he’s a bigger tackle without much length, which would explain why he fell to the 6th round. 3-4 defenses weren’t interested because he lacks the strength to be a nose tackle and the length to be a 5-tech defensive end. He also lacks the power to be a two-gap player which really narrowed down his fits to one-gap 4-3 defenses.
I wanted to get excited about his upside, but I saw a 311 pound player who plays like he is 285 who also lacks that quick first step. His technique was all over the place and when he played too high, he got blown out of the play pretty quickly.
He is pretty agile for his size, which does give me hope that Jim Schwartz can develop him into a decent rotational tackle. He loves to attack with his spin move, which will give interior linemen fits at the next level if he can develop the rest of his game.
At this point I am still down on Qualls, despite this scheme being the best possible fit for his game. I don’t think he is one of the five best defensive tackles on this roster right now and there is still a possibility that the Eagles either trade for another tackle or sign another team’s released veteran.
With their seventh pick in the 2017 NFL Draft the Philadelphia Eagles took a 218 pound safety with the confidence that he could play linebacker at the next level. It’s a strange thought made by football people much smarter than I am, yet I have little hope for this working out.
Gerry was a nice college player, but he was an average athlete who seems to be maxed out physically. He’s already 218 pounds and he looks pretty jacked up when you see him in person. His frame doesn’t suggest that he can gain 10-20 pounds without losing a lot of speed. In theory he could bulk up to 230, but he’d still be a bit undersized for the position and he’d probably end up becoming one of the slowest linebackers in the league.
Special teams is going to be his best shot at making a 53 man roster. This coaching staff has shown that they value backups who thrive in that phase of the game and they will find a spot if Gerry shows value there.
Continue reading “Nate Gerry Post-Draft Film Study”
Shelton Gibson and the Philadelphia Eagles were connected so much during the 2017 NFL Draft that I am honestly shocked they were able to get him in the fifth round. There is a reason for that though, the Eagles wanted a deep threat and Gibson isn’t much more than a one-trick pony. But my god, that one trick is pretty damn impressive.
Gibson is a pure deep threat at wide receiver and not much else. DeSean Jackson was the same type of player when he came out and not much has changed, yet he still holds a ton of value.
Continue reading “Shelton Gibson 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.
Continue reading “Donnel Pumphrey Post-Draft Film Study”
With their first pick on day three of the 2017 NFL Draft, the Philadelphia Eagles took maybe the most intriguing player in the draft, at least at wide receiver. Mack Hollins had just 71 career receptions in four years at North Carolina, but 20 of them went for touchdowns. He’s a 6’4, 220 pound track star at wide receiver who also excels on special teams.
Hollins is part Riley Cooper(because of his ability on special teams, not the racism) and part DeSean Jackson. He is a dangerous deep threat and a great gunner on kick coverages. He’s also an outstanding blocker in the run game and typically takes his man completely out of the play.
Hollins will probably never catches 40 passes in one season nor will get eclipse the 1,000 yard mark, but he’s so valuable because of his impact in the run, pass and special teams phases that he could develop into the best non-starter on this roster pretty quickly.
Continue reading “Mack Hollins Post-Draft Film Study”
After the Philadelphia Eagles took recovering cornerback Sidney Jones in the second round, they were still left with a need at the position because of the uncertainty of Jones’ injury. In the third round the Eagles took a big corner(6’2, 209) out of West Virginia. Rasul Douglas is a similar build to Richard Sherman and a similar playing style as Charles Tillman.
Douglas has a great story and a drive like nobody else in this draft class. He grew up in a rough neighborhood, was so poor as a JUCO player that he had to make a $1 fast food sandwich has lunch and dinner(one sandwich, two meals) and finally caught a break in life when he received a full scholarship at West Virginia. He’s had to work his ass off for everything in his life and it shows when you watch him on tape. Several corners were faster, but I wouldn’t bet against this kid. Sometimes a prospect’s drive and focus matter more than anything else.
As a late third round pick I love the value with Douglas. He’s good enough to start right away as an outside corner and he fits the scheme well. He can play zone and man and he gets after it in run support. Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz will love his style of play and he has a great opportunity to start right away.
Continue reading “Rasul Douglas Post-Draft Film Study”