[Note by JasonB, 03/20/12 7:05 PM EDT ] If you need a palette cleanser from the Tebow talk, Midwestern Eagles Fan has some good talking points here.
Stephen Tulloch would of been a perfect fit for our defense. He knows how to play the run in the wide-9 scheme. I hope Detroit over-paid for him or I am going to be very disappointed. Clearly Andy Reid doesn't think much over linebackers who can't cover the pass. He won't pay much for them at all. That's acceptable at this point in the NFL but you have to have at least capable players at linebacker.
It would be like a baseball team having a great offense with Joe Blanton as their ace and J.C. Romero as their closer. If you have a major glaring weakness it will be exposed. If you have a minor weakness, you can get away with it. The Giants won the Super Bowl with a decent secondary and okay linebacker. They had plenty of other strengths and their weaknesses weren't overbearing.
I still like London Fletcher as our middle linebacker for now while we draft a good player at the position in the third or fourth round. Maybe that player benefits greatly from learning under Fletcher, maybe Chaney does. Either way Fletcher is ready to be a solid run stuffing middle linebacker now and that is all we really need at the position. If Plaxico Burress really wanted to play for the Eagles, wouldn't he have already signed a team friendly deal so he can win another SB and play with his supposed friend? I don't buy any of it. He wants a bigger role with more guaranteed money this season. He isn't getting that here and I don't know where he will get that.
Leave the safety position alone. Coleman and Allen are the starters for right now. Maybe Jarrett his a great training camp and takes over at SS. Mark Barron isn't better then either of those guys right now. He is a liability in coverage. He has to play in the box similar to LaRon Landry. Speaking of Landry, why are there so many Eagles fans that want a player that got horribly burned by DeSean Jackson in 2010? If you wan't a trash talker that can't back it up with his game, at least get one who is healthy.
We have our entire offensive line locked up through the 2014 season. Howie Roseman and Howard Mudd deserve a key to the city for this. Howard Mudd turned this unit into a very good one in 2011 and will turn it into the best O-Line this season. Howie extended the Herremans and matched the Ravens offer for Mathis. Both were huge moves. Jason Peters is the best linemen in the game right now. Much bigger, much more atheltic version or Jon Runyan. Add that to two second year players in Jason Kelce and Danny Watkins that should make huge strides in year two and this unit should be dominant.
My realistic wish list for the Eagles first three picks in the first two rounds would be Fletcher Cox, Brandon Boykin and Vinny Curry right now. Cox was the real combine superstar at defensive tackle. Cox put up 30 reps in the bench press and ran a 4.79 40. Unlike Dontari Poe, he has the proof on film to back up his success at the combine. He is such a perfect fit for Jim Washburn it's unreal. He can line up anywhere on the line, which he did while at Mississippi State. He would be a third down pass rusher next to Cullen Jenkins with Trent Cole and Jason Babin on the outside.
Brandon Boykin makes a ton of sense for two reasons. One, he is a ideal slot corner which we need in dime packages with Jose right now, and eventually replace Hanson in nicke packages next season. Two, kickoff returns. He had three for over 100 yards during his career at Georiga. The Eagles struggle to get to the 20 yard line. I love Vinny Curry with our second, second round pick. He is a pure pass rusher right now. Great intangibles, a ton of success at Marshall desptie being the focus of opposing offenses. Ideally, Brandon Graham and Curry get time in the rotation behind Babin this season. Graham returns to form and Babin gets traded or released next season to free up $6 mil in cap space that could be used to sign Jeremy Maclin long-term. Quarterback is a position that should not be drafted this year.
Trent Edwards is capable of being a very good WCO QB if healthy. I like Kafka's game a lot despite the fact that he can't throw the ball very deep. He makes quick decisions, moves well in the pocket and has a good quick release. He also has a great grasp of the offense. We would have to cut either Edwards or Kafka in favor of a player who may turn out to be nothing. They would also wait at least two or three seasons until Vick is gone. The quarterback class is weak as well. Brandon Weeden might sneak into the first round of the draft which is laughable for an average QB prospect that is almost 30. Nick Foles, Ryan Lindley and Brock Osweiler all have cannons for arms but not much else. No real pocket presence and very inconsistent accuaracy.
I have absolutely no idea what the Eagles are going to do at running back. LeSean McCoy is the clear cut number one guy. Is Dion Lewis the backup? Do they sign a veteran to be a backup in case Shady goes down. Are they looking to find a third RB just for his KR ability? Do they trust Stanley at FB and just stick with three backs and a fourth on the practice squad? Will we see a power back as the third RB? No clue, but really interested to see what happens.
Okay, real quick before I wrap up this ramble-fest: Three Prospects that could chance the Eagles draft plan if they slip in the first round: Justin Blackmon, Trent Richardson and Luke Kuechly. Justin Blackmon can play a variety or different roles at wide receiver. If he slipped to the 12th or 13th pick, I think the Eagles would consider him. Good red zone threat, very dangerous on screens, deep threat, can play outside or slot. Yeah, yeah, we have Jackson and Maclin but if you can get a guy like Blackmon for pretty cheap, why not do it. Should the Packers trade Jordy Nelson since they already have Jennings, Driver and James Jones? No! You can't have too many wide receivers if they fit your offense and if you are a passing team.
Trent Ricardson is the same idea. Best back coming out of college since Adrian Peterson. Why would you not think about trading up for him if he is still there at 12 or 13? Good trade bait in a year or two if Richardson proves just how good he can be and Dion Lewis gets better. When you have a 1st and goal inside the 3 in a critical playoff game, having both Shady and Ricardson would be huge. Don't tell me running backs aren't improtant positions anymore.
Luke Kuechly could be a great pick even if we signed a good veteran MLB. I believe he can play SLB at a high level right away. If we go into the draft looking at a couple SLBs in the 2nd or 3rd round to compete for a starting job and Kuechly falls to us at 15, shouldn't we take him with the mindset to start him there right away and maybe eventually move him to MIKE later on? This is a very loaded draft class except for depth at QB and speed RB. The draft could shake up any of 1,000 possible ways in the first half of the 1st round after the first three picks. There's always a couple of first rounders that get taken way too early(DHB) and always a good player that slips farther then he should have(Aaron Rodgers, Jeremy Maclin). You never know how the draft will shake out.