So over the past few days I've been thinking about our positions of need, how there's not a CBA, how there might not be enough time to assimilate the rookies into the NFL and the FA Vet's into our system of play. And we'll I was thinking who might be able to step up at our positions of need.. I started by listing the needs I feel are important and ranking them, then below I'll go through each position and see who on the current roster could be the one to step up.. Here's what I've got:
(1) Right CB- We need a guy opposite of Asante who can shut down or atleast be a threat. Our defense pretty much lives and dies by our CB’s being shut down or damn close to it because it allows the rest of our D to do whatever.
(2) Right Guard- Umm MJG and Nick Cole looked like shit last year, Wells was a complete waste. We need a RG, I think Justice will play much better with a solid RG next to him. Also it’s the biggest hole we’ve had the past 2 years.
(3) Linebacker- Honestly I think Fokou’s the only one who deserves a starting job, Chaney’s a close 2nd but he only played 3 games so I don’t think it’s a large enough sample size to bank on him to much. So there are 2 LB spots up for grabs basically.
Would be nice to upgrade “needs”:
(1) Right Tackle- With the RT basically being the blindside protector it’s be nice to get a superstar or superstar quality RT who can keep Vick off the turf. I only mean this is a “would be nice to upgrade” because to be honest I feel Justice is good enough to last another year.
(2) Defensive End- Not a big need, but it’d be nice to have a guy who can give us some quality playing time and make plays. Doesn’t need to be a starter, doesn’t have to be a double digit sack artist, just needs to be JP but younger.
(3) Backup Safety- Honestly I’m assuming Q is gone and that it’s Coleman, Allen and whoever. Behind the two sophomore safety’s we have nothing of any substance. It’d be nice to bring in somebody we know will be solid when needed (if needed)… Important because of Allen’s injury.
Now for who can potentially step up...
Right CB- Trevard Lindley. Last season the kid played pretty well, he actually got to play quite a bit for a rookie who's 5th on the depth chart and when he did play he made very few mistakes. We all remember the game sealing INT against the 49ers right? The good with Lindley is that he's strong, he has long arms and can jam WR's. And the thing that makes me confident (considering I'm a Kentucky fan I've had 5 years worth of watching him on my favorite team) is that he shut down the SEC's best WR's throughout college, Harvin was rarely a problem when lined up at WR, Lindley pretty much had his side shut down. I think if he can develop that rapidly in college and be such a good player he can be a good player here in the NFL.
Right Guard- At Right Guard we pretty much have 2 failures MJG and Nick Cole. The only other options here are Topou and Mike McGlynn assuming Jamaal's healthy and ready. McGlynn's pretty much the only viable option. I personally find McGlynn as one of the funnest OLman to watch, he's nasty, he gets after people and he loves the contact, he got out on screens, he made it to the second level and he did a good job protecting Vick. McGlynn was far from the problem with our OL last season, and should they decide to hand Jamaal the starting center position (which I don't think they should) I expect McGlynn to have a shot at the RG position in 2011.
Linebacker- There are two LB positions up for grabs pretty much Will LB and Mike LB. *This is assuming Bradley, Omar, Jordan and Sims are not returning and Fokou remains the SAM LB.
- WLB- Here the only option at this point is Clayton and that scares me. Clayton in my mind is a hybrid Safety-LB, I don't think he's full-time starter quality yet. He's extremely fast and looked like a playmaker in college. My only issue is his tackling doesn't seem that good and there's not a lot of NFL game tape on him. The jury is out on him, I'd love to see somebody of his skills to develop into a good LB because his Coverage abilities really seem to be well above that of a normal LB, however his size and tackling scares me.
- MLB- Chaney is my man here. He did have those 3 1/2 good games late last season and really impressed me. He's got the speed to make up for mistake and cover up others, and he really showed that he can get off blocks (though this can be improved still). The kid is just a player, I can really see him stepping up next season and establishing himself as one of the best LB's not only for the Eagles but in the entire NFL.
Left Defensive End- Tapp is my man here. He didn't play much last season but when he did he produced, he had a couple of key sacks and 2 game sealing fumble recoveries. He's already said that when he was going through the senior bowl and Washburn worked with him that he really felt like he could produce in they system, and I think he can too because he suits it so well. Tapp's a pass rusher who has the speed to really get pressure from that 9 technique. With Graham pretty much going to be useless next season look for Tapp to step up.
Strong Safety- Honestly this is assuming Q walks (either by his own will or the Eagles giving him a push). I am going to say this is Coleman. The kid produced last season as a FS which I don't think his skill set matches ideally.. However Coleman in my mind fits that SS position so well it's scary, he's physical, he did well down near the LOS, he tackles pretty well and he flies all over the place, and he's got the ability to cover people which is a plus considering we require both Safety's to do so quite a bit.
Let me know what you guys think.