Representing the Philadelphia Eagles in the BGN community mock draft Foos05 selects...
Knowshon Moreno, RB Georgia
As we sit right now on March 30th, I would have to imagine that the bulk of our moves via free agency and/or trades are complete. We may add a veteran player at some point for depth, but I would assume that, for the most part, our current roster is complete and we will be looking to the draft to not only fill gaps, but to also build for the future. As our mock draft currently stands, there may have been a few individuals that went lower or higher than we may have initially suspected, but I believe that the players that have been taken are probably a fairly accurate representation of what the actual draft may hold. So, I’m going to put myself in the War Room and try to evaluate the situation in the same manner that our front office will; so let’s get to it.
Foos05's full analysis plus commish take are after the jump. Goodfell46er and the Minnesota Vikings are on the clock.
In no particular order, let’s take a look at some positions that we may address during the earlier rounds in the draft:
Offensive Line – This offseason saw the end of a pair of tenures from two of the best offensive linemen in franchise history; Tra Thomas and Jon Runyan. We made a significant free agent signing in the person of Stacy Andrews, who was the premier right tackle on the market. However, the situation is actually a bit sketchy right now and is highly dependant on where Andy feels his current crop of linemen will start next season. Will the Andrews brother occupy the tackle spots? This would allow Herremans and Giles to remain as guards. Will the Andrews brothers occupy the right side of the line? Herremans would then kick out to left tackle (his natural position) and Giles would be the left guard. Lots of questions here.
We also know that Jamaal Jackson signed a 6 year extension in 2006 and Andy has stuck by his performance thus far this offseason. Would we really pass up an upgrade at that position anyway? (Truth be told, Jackson may have signed a long extension, but if he were to be cut now, it would only count as $300K in dead money)
Regardless of where Reid’s head is at with the current offensive line, we will at least draft one offensive linemen relatively early in the draft. Reid likes to draft tackles, get them experience at guard and then kick them out to tackle. So I would rule out drafting a guard. In my opinion, we will either pick up an offensive tackle (probably a left tackle) or a center. Given what’s left on our draft board, my two possibilities in this category are William Beatty and Alex Mack.
Running Back – With the departure of Correll Buckhalter to Denver, aside from our perennial weapon in Brian Westbrook, the cupboard is rather bare. Right now we have Lorenzo Booker, who is coming off a less than impressive season, and Eldra Buckley; fresh off of a two year stint on the Chargers’ practice squad. That’s it. Now, there’s been some debate as to what exactly we should be looking for in a rookie running back; someone to compliment Westbrook (who may or may not be the future) or Westbrook’s eventual replacement. Westbrook will be on the wrong side of 30 by week 3 and has been pretty nicked up the past few seasons. It’s a given that he doesn’t have the prototypical touches that a 30 year old running back has, but I’m not sure how much longer he can perform at the level we expect. With this in mind, I think it’s time to look for his future replacement. Without getting into specifics regarding the two individuals that would be a good fit for our system, the two players on my watch list here are Knowshon Moreno and Donald Brown.
Tight End - Right now, our tight end situation can be summarized as such. We have Brent Celek, an end with good size, athletic ability, but questionable blocking, and Matt Schobel; someone who should be bagging groceries. The Eagles should be picking up two tight ends in the draft, and after keeping him around for some camp competition, jettisoning Schobel. My two front-runners here are Brandon Pettigrew and Jared Cook.
William Beatty (Left Tackle; Connecticut) – Beatty posted good Combine numbers with a 5.12/40, 27 reps, and has long arms at almost 35 inches. He also has good size at 6’6” and 307 pounds. Now a lot of people are calling for Eben Britton at this point, but I don’t like it. Beatty’s major fault was his pass blocking as a junior. That improved immensely his senior season. He’s extremely athletic, quick, can trap and screen well and gets to the second level quickly. He also has very long arms, is smart, and can adjust on the fly to plays. His weaknesses include a few small technique issues and some problems with false starts. Britton has poor lateral agility, doesn’t have quick footwork, and doesn’t always get off the snap quickly. He also has extremely short arms; that’s a problem you can’t correct via coaching. Who do you think Reid would feel better shaping?
Alex Mack (Center, Cal) – Between his Pro Day and the Combine, Mack put up okay numbers for a center: 5.17/40 and 20 reps. He has good size at 6’4” and 307 pounds. This guy may be the best center prospect in the past decade. He’s an excellent trap blocker, a good run blocker and fast off the snap. He moves to the second level well and looks to engage opponents. He is also an outstanding left tackle that converted to center to make room on Cal’s line. His biggest detraction is that he needs to add some weight and strength. Tell me that Reid wouldn’t enjoy loading up an entire line with left tackles if he could. We also know how much Andy loves versatility.
Knowshon Moreno (Running Back, Georgia) – Many of the backs at the Combine ran 40 times that were substantially slower than projected, and Moreno was one of them at 4.60. Other than that, his stats were respectable with a 35.5 vertical and 25 reps. In two seasons of work at Georgia, Moreno rushed for over 2700 yards and 30 touchdowns. He also hauled in over 700 yards receiving and added a pair of touchdowns through the air. Moreno is the most complete back in the draft. He is quick and agile, but possesses enough power to take on defenders. His major weakness is that he goes out looking for contact far too often. He’s comfortable running inside and outside and can adjust on the fly when a hole breaks down. Moreno also brings good blocking and receiving skills to the table; assets that every running back in the Eagles’ system needs.
Donald Brown (Running Back, Connecticut) – Brown ran a 4.51/40 with a 41.5 vertical at the Combine. He did not press. Brown had an interesting career at Connecticut. After rushing for 1700 yards on 330 carries with 15 touchdowns combined his freshman and sophomore years, Brown erupted for almost 2100 yards on 367 carries and 18 touchdowns his junior season. Brown is quick and powerful, but smart enough to avoid big hits wherever possible. He is a hard working individual and spends a lot of time in the film room. He has some experience receiving out of the backfield and needs some coaching in the pass blocking area.
Brandon Pettigrew (Tight End; Oklahoma State) – Pettigrew did 22 reps and had a 33 inch vertical at the Combine. However, he only ran a 4.85/40. Although he was never known for his speed, this was far below his expected time. Pettigrew is easily the tight end that is most ready to step into an NFL offense. He is an outstanding pass blocker and is used to playing on the line. At 6’6” and 260 pounds, he’s too big for most safeties to handle and it still quick enough for most linebackers. He is a fairly athletic and agile tight end that should find some success in the passing game. A few of his detractions are that he’s a poor route runner and uses his body to catch too much.
Jared Cook (Tight End; South Carolina) – Cook had a 4.50/40 (the second fastest 40 time for a TE in the past decade) and also led the TEs with a 41 inch vertical and a 10-3 broad jump. At one point he had been clocked at a 4.37/40. At 6’5” and 246 pounds he has ample size, but is an athletic freak. He has good speed and agility, an impressive vertical, good hands, good field awareness and runs well disciplined routes. He is one of the few tight ends in the draft that is actually dangerous after the catch. His biggest detraction is that he came from a spread offense in college and rarely was an inline blocker. He mirrors defenders well, but needs to get stronger and work on his blocking and chipping ability.
My Verdict and My Final Thoughts
First, and foremost, it’s a fact that the Eagles do not draft expressly to fill needs; they draft to the board. This means that if they find someone they like at a pick that the value makes sense, they will take him. If not, they will either take the best available player or trade the pick. Although the fans may not like this sometimes, essentially, the draft is all about maximizing the overall value of your picks; not plunking people into spots on your roster. So, with that in mind… The Philadelphia Eagles select…
Knowshon Moreno (Running Back; Georgia) - At this point, surveying my board here, it’s my opinion that Moreno is arguably the best and potentially post productive player available on the board. He is a complete back that can quickly step in to compliment Westbrook, taking some of the load off of him. Over the next few years, he can study and learn from a player that has mastered his role in this offense. With the addition of Leonard Weaver, another dynamic back, this could present a slew of match up problems for the opposition. Moreno is a game changing back that has the ability to impact the play from multiple positions in the formation. The bonus is that this pick does fill a hole as well, and at 21 the value of the pick makes sense as well. Now opponents of this pick will point out that Reid has never taken a back above the third round. To that, I say that we’ve never needed to. Reid inherited established backs and took a flier on Westbrook, which was an excellent call. He was groomed slowly and once he stepped in, we had no immediate need at the position. This is the first year we really need to worry about it a bit more. Given this board, I don’t see how I could justify anyone else at this pick.
Some other thoughts I have. When I look at Pettigrew, I see a really good blocker that will probably be an adequate receiving tight end. That’s just my opinion. When it comes to the TE position, I think we value someone that has the ability to disrupt the defense in the passing game and we hope that we can teach them to block. Weather I agree with this approach or not is irrelevant. More than likely, I see us taking a tight end in the second round (Cook) and then a flier on some of these guys we’ve been working out (that Nelbone guy sounds right up Reid’s alley). Although I question Jamaal Jackson’s ability, I have a feeling that his competition is going to come internally from Nick Cole. Reid seemed extremely impressed with is contribution this season, and if that’s the case, he will look to get him on the field somehow. When looking at OTs, I think the draft is pretty deep and we’re going to look at it in the 3rd round. We don’t have an immediate need at the position, so why not take a flier/add depth?
So, I’ve kind of ruled out everything we’d really think of taking with the 28th pick. Right? I think that if we hold onto both of our picks, that pick is going to be a curve ball. Reid is always good for doing something that we think is out of left field. Sheldon Brown is 30; older than Taylor was when we drafted Sheldon, and we have no idea what we will get from Ikegwuonu. I could see us taking Vonte Davis, Darius Butler, or Alphonso Smith (I like Smith with the 28th pick) here. Also, I’m thrilled with our DE group, but again, if 6’7” Michael Johnson or Robert Ayer are here at 28, I wouldn’t be surprised if we grabbed one. So Anuj, it’s all up to you bud, but I’m just sharing my thoughts.
Commish take - All I can say is, it's the pick I would have made. Totally agree with Foos05's analysis. We need a back and this guy is a perfect fit for the Eagles.
Picks so far
1 Detroit Lions - Whodie126 - Eugene Monroe
2 St. Louis Rams – Nick Pampani - Jason Smith
3 Kansas City Chiefs - D3keith - Aaron Curry
4 Seattle Seahawks - yophillybro - Mark Sanchez
5 Cleveland Browns – captain nodar - Brian Orakpo
6 - Cincinnati Bengals - Luxury Used Vehicles By Braman - BJ Raji
7 - Oakland Raiders - 2150akland - Michael Crabtree
8 - Jacksonville Jaguars - NorthPhillyKidd - Matt Stafford
9 - Green Bay Packers - LeonSA - Malcolm Jenkins
10 - San Francisco 49ers - Ajay - Andre Smith
11 - Buffalo Bills - Bubqr - Everette Brown
12 - Denver Broncos - Andyb - Rey Maualuga
13 - Washington Redskins - Clyde Simmons - Aaron Maybin
14 - New Orleans Saints - JasonB - Chris Wells
15 - Houston Texans - LEKsensei - Brian Cushing
16 - San Diego Chargers - USMCSLB - Tyson Jackson
17 - New York Jets - Badd - Jeremy Maclin
18 - Chicago Bears - Two Tons of Irony - Michael Oher
19 - Tampa Bay Bucs - Afk_Football - Josh Freeman
20 - Detroit Lions(from DAL) - hratner - Peria Jerry
21 - Philadelphia Eagles - Foos05 - Knowshon Moreno