FanPost

Why we're taking Stephon Gilmore in the 1st round.

On the surface, the possibility seems remote, but it gets more plausible, even likely, when you start looking years down the road.

Nnamdi makes $15.5 million as a 32 year old in 2013. Since that money isn't guaranteed, he needs to be a defensive player of the year candidate in 2012 to have any hope of seeing that money in 2013. He could agree to play for less in 2013, but might rather take his chances as a UFA, because we certainly couldn't trade that contract. Regardless, he'll be 33 in 2014(and still make 12.3 million). If we're dumping Samuel for a 7th rounder rather than pay him 9.5 million at age 31, why would we keep Nnamdi beyond the guaranteed years of his deal?

Don't respond by explaining how Nnamdi's a better "fit" than Asante, because we've been over that a thousand times. Even if Nnamdi has a career year in 2012, he's already demonstrated a lack of versatility and will never be a playmaker who excels in all aspects of the game. Although Aso very played well for stretches, he wasn't even the dominant 1-on-1 shutdown corner we expected him to be when we signed him to a $60 million dollar deal.

We aren't even sure what we have in DRC, who is coming off two bad years and will be an UFA, and haven't a clue about Marsh and Hughes. When we took Lito, Sheldon and Micheal Lewis in the first two rounds, we had a much better secondary than we do today. We certainly didn't expect them to use a 3rd rounder on a CB last year, when we thought we had three pro-bowlers. Historically speaking, the Eagles have repeatedly invested high picks and tons of money in the CB position, even with quality starters in place, draft according to a long-term plan, largely determined by allocation of cap dollars, which they don't like spending on older players. Even in a best case scenario, Nnamdi is an aging, extremely expensive short-term solution at a position the Eagles are always thinking long-term.

Lurie might be sick of investing so many resources in CBs, but Gilmore represents a cheaper solution than Nnamdi or DRC in 2013. Gilmore could sit and learn(red shirt) in 2012, while the front office evaluates the two starters and decides which of them to retain. The front office will try to get Asomugha to renegotiate his salary for 2013, then resign DRC long-term, and the cheaper option will start across from Gilmore. If Marsh shows anything, both DRC and Asomugha could be gone next year...crazy to think.

I wonder if the press-man technique requires less skill than off-man. We blitz far less in our new scheme, so the corners aren't left "on an island" nearly as often as they once were. Maybe bigger, stronger, better tackling CBs can be acquired for less than the shutdown guys who can cover receivers without help. If so, maybe someone like Trumaine Johnson could be an option in the second round...

So Gilmore or Kirkpatrick? Gilmore fits perfectly as a press corner, while Kirkpatrick is better suited for zone coverage. Gilmore is 20 pounds heavier, tested better at the combine, changes directions better, was higher rated coming out of high school and is an intelligent player of ideal character, coming without baggage.

I predict we'll pull another "Brandon Graham" - trading up in the draft to take Gilmore, when everyone expects us to take Fletcher Cox. Greg Cosell, who I respect more than Mayock or any other expert, has the Vikings taking Gilmore 3rd overall and some scouts rank him above Claiborne.



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