We may only be halfway through preseason, but by now we have a pretty good idea of who will be on the Philadelphia Eagles final 53 man roster. The players running with the first team are pretty safe bets, the early to mid-round drafts picks are also pretty safe and the players who are playing well with the second team are also likely to make the final roster. It’s those final few spots that are tricky.
Do the Eagles keep those last few players that have more upside, performed the best in preseason or offer the biggest contributions on special teams? I tend to go for upside with these spots as the final roster spots tend to go to players who won’t be active on gameday. So if you like what you’ve seen from Greg Ward during preseason then don’t expect to see him win the spot as the 6th wide receiver over a player like Shelton Gibson who has a higher ceiling.
Continue reading “Philadelphia Eagles 53 Man Roster Prediction”
In the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft, the Philadelphia Eagles took a page from former Sixers GM Sam Hinkie’s playbook and drafted a potentially elite player who may not play a single game in year one. Sidney Jones was going to be the first cornerback taken in the draft before he tore his Achilles at his pro day last March.
Some fans are frustrated with drafting a player who is a slight injury risk at a position the draft was so deep with, while others are excited about getting a prospect who was expected to go in the top 10 before the injury.
I love the pick in the second round. Had the Eagles taken him 14th overall instead of Derek Barnett I would be very concerned, but getting him outside of the first 40 picks is easily worth the risk. And let’s be honest about this “risk”, if Jason Peters can come back from two Achilles tears in a month and still remain an elite left tackle, then I believe a 185 pound cornerback in his early 20s will recover just fine.
Continue reading “Sidney Jones Post-Draft Film Study”
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.
Continue reading “Reviewing the Philadelphia Eagles 2017 NFL Draft and UDFA Class”
Welcome to my final Philadelphia Eagles 2017 mock draft and the most important one I will write all year. This is the Eagles mock draft where I predict what I think will happen based on the information I have received, the scouting tape I’ve watched and the patterns of both this coaching staff and front office.
I have a pretty decent track record predicting who they will draft. Since 2012 I have correctly predicted Vinny Curry, Brandon Boykin, Lane Johnson, Taylor Hart, Carson Wentz and Alex McCalister. This year will be trickier though because the draft lacks elite talent at the top and the overall depth of this draft is going to push a lot of second and third round players into day 3. It’s really tough to project what players will be available in what round.
Here is my final Eagles mock draft or what I think will happen(or how I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb):
Continue reading “2017 Philadelphia Eagles Mock Draft: What I Think Will Happen”
I’ve finally reached the position group Philadelphia Eagles fans really care about, the cornerbacks. It’s top heavy, bottom heavy and just deep throughout the draft. It also happens to be the position the Eagles haven’t gotten right since 2010 and their biggest need at the moment.
The Eagles have picked the perfect time to come into the draft needing a cornerback. First off, they don’t have to force a pick early because they can go into the season with Jalen Mills and Patrick Robinson on the outside and be okay. There is also so much depth at corner in the draft that they can get a starter as early as their 14th overall pick and as late as one of their two fourth round picks.
Before I unveil my corner rankings, let’s first talk about what Jim Schwartz targets at corner to give us a better idea of who he will target. To play in this defense, corners need to be fast and they need to be comfortable in both zone and single high coverages.
Tackling is also key, but it’s not everything. You don’t want to draft a corner who tries to avoid tackling(Quincy Wilson) but being a big hitter at corner won’t help you if you aren’t solid in coverage. Speed, fluid hips and great ball skills are the key here. Also, it’s important to note that in the five years Schwartz was the head coach in Detroit, the earliest they ever drafted a corner was in the second round. Corner was always a need, yet in five years he spent 3 first round picks on the defensive line, none on the secondary.
Continue reading “NFL Draft Rankings: Cornerbacks”
Hello and welcome to my first post at my permanent home for all my Philadelphia Eagles and NFL Draft coverage. For those who don’t know, I have been following the Eagles my whole life and writing about them since 2010 from my home state of Iowa, hence the name Iowa Eagle.
I have previously written for Bleacher Report, Sports Nut, Sons of the Spectrum and Pattison Ave, but this time around I wanted the freedom to write about what I want to cover and deliver it in a more unique way. There will be a ton of NFL Draft coverage from an Eagles standpoint, plenty of Eagles game tape pieces and an occasional non-Eagles sports rant when it calls for it(that Nerlens Noel trade would have sparked a good one).
Okay now that the standard introduction is out of the way, let’s get to the subject of my first post. Going into this draft season I wanted to watch every prospect that received first, second or third round hype before the combine. I’ve narrowed that list down to what I believe are the 50 best prospects headed into the combine.
I think it’s important to get the bulk of your tape study completed before the combine so you don’t have measurements and 40 yard dashes clouding your evaluations. A 4.3 player should show that on tape, just like a 275 pound edge rusher shouldn’t play like he is 240 on film.
My top 50 2017 NFL Draft prospects after the jump…
Continue reading “2017 NFL Draft Pre-Combine Top 50”