I've made some adjustments after the combine and wanted to update my mock draft before the free agency period begins. My thoughts on what we need, could do in free agency, and the draft and what our new team might look like. What do you think? Give feedback
What the eagles need:
To get stronger and bigger up the middle on defense with upgrades at the linebacker spots. Then we need backups to groom that fit our system for down the line
- A starting MLB: preferably one who will hit people and be physical but also has the instincts and ability to play behind the wide 9.
- A starting Strong Safety: Someone with size who can play the run and tackle, but also athletic enough to not be a liability in pass coverage, Jarret is a backup, he was a great player for temple, but this is not the MAC and he does not have the athletic ability or size to start in the NFL. I hated the pick to begin with. Coleman is a career backup who started by default as he was the best strong safety on this team. He works hard and has had his moments this past year, but it doesn't make him any more than a below-average to average safety who has been playing to the top of his talent level.
- Competition/Upgrade at Sam LBer: The combination of Fokou and Jordan was just not good enough and it's a position we must upgrade.
- Competition/Upgrade at Will LBer: Rolle was our best LBer's but that is not saying much. He works hard and tries but he just does not have the size or physical tools to be an above average starter in the NFL. I feel he is like Coleman in that he played adequate last year but is most likely a career back-up.
- DT: Jenkins was one of our brightest spots on defense this year. Patterson is a solid but not spectacular player. Both are not real young.
- Backup Running Back: In case god forbid McCoy gets hurt, Lewis can't handle the job on his own. A vet makes the most sense here.
- Backup QB: The VY experiment was a joke. Need a guy who can run the offense efficiently without turning it over.
- Return man
- Big WR: who can be effective in Redzone
- Backup Corner Back: Asante is out so we could use a replacement for him and Hanson is not the youngest of corners so it would be smart to try and find a slot corner to groom
- Backup TE: Clay Harbor has shown nothing and that project is not the answer
- Backup OT: Justice is gone and Dunlap is also most likely gone
- Backup C: JJ is gone and no one else on the roster to back JK up
- Backup OG: Mathis is not very young so it would be smart to groom a replacement
- Antonio Dixon (second round tender around 2 million)
- DeSean Jackson (franchise 9.4 million)
- Derek Landri 1.5 million/yr
- Evan Mathis 5 million/yr
Total of around 18 million
The most important thing this free agency is to get a vet MLB that is proven to be a stud/impact type player. It would be nice if he played behind the W-9 which is why I think we have to go after Tulloch hard. I don't want to hear the Dan Connor's or guy's like that, as we need a proven impact player. Not a backup who may or may not be better than Chaney and will come on the cheap.
- Stephen Tulloch MLB - 6 -7 million/yr
- Plaxico Burress WR - 2 million/yr
- Trent Edwards QB -1 million/yr
- Ryan Grant RB -1 million/yr
Total around 11 million
For the sake of this draft I will not include trades however, I believe that you can get picks for Samuel and Justice even if they are low round picks.
Eagles Draft Picks:
1st Round Pick: Michael Brockers DT LSU 6-5 322 lbs
I see them going DT with the first pick. It is going to help our D line with both Jenkins and Patterson getting up there in age. Plus with Patterson's health combined with the fact that he is just a solid player, it couldn't hurt to add competition here. He was the best DT coming into the combine. Has great size and tape. Has tremendous upside. Thought to be a top ten pick, but after an below average showing at the combine many people have him falling with Poe or Cox taking over that number one spot. I still like Brockers the best and think he will be a steal at 15 if he is there. Cox is not too far behind Brockers, not just because of his workout, but his tape is very solid and he has a relentless motor.
2nd Round Pick via Arizona: Stephon Gilmore CB South Carolina 6-0 190 lbs
Gilmore is a weird player to judge where he will fall. He has great measurables, size, speed, and athleticism. The only problem he relies on it a little too much. On talent alone he should be a first round pick but some say he had a down year. This is a quote I found from a pro scout, "Stephon Gilmore is big, fast, smooth and fluid. I could see him getting early looks, but I struggle with the way he plays. I don't like his eyes, how late he is to close."
His combine might have bumped him up maybe late first early second but if he falls here I think he is a must grab based on talent alone. Hopefully Todd Bowles can coach him up and turn him into a nice insurance policy if Asomugha or DRC gets hurt, or if we can't resign DRC next year.
2nd Round Pick: Harrison Smith SS Notre Dame 6-2 213 lbs
Not the fastest safety but is still quite athletic for his size. Deion Sanders said during the combine drills that he couldn't tell if he was a safety or a corner because he looked so smooth and athletic in his drill work with his hips and transition. His pass defense was his biggest knock and the combine drills seemed to answer some questions on that. He is extremely reliable and effective in run support. He is not Mark Barron, but will be an upgrade over any of our SS. He is also a very instinctual player, which helps make up for any lack of speed. I know we just took Jarret, but I don't think he will ever be more than a backup, and I think the eagles may have already figured that out. They may give him one more year, which would change this pick, but I hope for the our sake they realize that.
3rd Round Pick: Lavonte David OLB Nebraska 6-1 233 lbs
Slightly undersized but extremely productive. Compensates for his lack of size with tremendous football-playing instincts, energy and competitiveness. He is like a slightly larger slightly more athletic and skilled Brain Rolle. He would be a great fit at WILL and would be an upgrade over Rolle. Quite fast and some people project him to even moving to S at the combine but I like him at WILL. I see a lot of people picking Sean Spence and I don't dislike him, but David is a little bigger and more athletic with better production, even though Spence is a little more physical.
4th Round Pick via Tampa Bay : Keenan Robinson OLB Texas 6-3 242 lbs
I found this quote from a NFL evaluator: "(Texas OLB) Keenan Robinson is physically gifted. There are other scouts killing him, but I'm not giving up on him yet. He will start and play in this league. There aren't enough guys with his talent."
Robinson has the size and athletic ability. He was also quite productive but some people think he has more to give and might be a little soft. He would be an upgrade at SAM right away for us from Fokou and Jordan and would compete with and probably beat out Chaney. He should be able to cover the TE's in the NFC east, which is something we have been missing for a while now.
4th Round Pick: Casey Heyward CB Vanderbilt 5-11 185 lbs
He was very productive in the SEC against top competition. He has 13 picks in the past two seasons. He also has 7.5 TFL this past season. He is pretty athletic but no crazy standout numbers at the combine. He is also a pretty solid tackler if he has the chance.
5th Round Pick: David Molk C Michigan 6-1 298 lbs
He could end up going earlier than this because he is a very good center who has a ton of talent and if he was bigger could be the second or third center taken. The reason he might drop is due to his size. He is extremely strong. He fits Mudds system perfectly and should be a very good back up, if not a starting center in this system.
6th Round Pick: Joe Looney OG Wake Forrest 6-3 309 lbs
Joe Looney is interesting prospect. I have seen him go as early as the third and other places have him going in the seventh. He is coming off a foot injury so that will make his stock fall, but that works out in our favor as we get a potential starter down the line in the sixth round. At his junior pro day he ran a 5.03 40, but did not work out at the combine due to the foot injury. He did bench press 26 times.
6th Round Pick Denver Broncos: Tom Compton OT South Dakota 6-5 314 lbs
Passes the eye test for tackle, has the size and arm length. He is also relatively athletic. He played against lesser competition. Also an effective run blocker but he is not very explosive. Could be a nice back-up project and should fit the system well.
6th Round Pick via New England: T.J. Graham WR/RS NC State 5-11 188 lbs
Real fast. Not short but skinny and real fast. He is a track guy. Can be dangerous in the return game because of this speed.
Team Depth Chart:
Offense: 24 (+1 on IR)
QB: Michael Vick, Trent Edwards, Mike Kafka,
FB: Stanley Havili
TE: Brent Celek, Clay Harbor
C: Jason Kelce, David Molk
LG: Evan Mathis, Joe Looney (could IR him due to foot injury probably)
LT: Jason Peters, Tom Compton
LDT: Cullen Jenkins, Derik Landry
RDT: Michael Brockers, Mike Patterson, Antonio Dixon
WLB: Lavonte David, Brain Rolle (Competition)
MLB: Stephen Tulloch, Casey Matthews
SLB: Jamar Chaney, Keenan Robinson (Competition)
LCB: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Stephon Gilmore, Casey Hayward
SS: Harrison Smith, Kurt Coleman
Special Teams: 3
P: Chas Henry
K: Alex Henery
LS: Jon Dorenbos
With this draft and free agency we hit almost every need except for the back up TE which seemed to be a weak class this year. The draft will give 3 maybe 4 starters on defense that are upgrades to what we had last year, even though I hate to start rookies. The offense stays intact and adds a few pieces that may help with a big target in the redzone and a vet RB. Most importantly we get that play making MLB to sure up the middle of that defense and bring some vet leadership to that very young linebacking core.