Wow, what a weekend. We got to witness one of the all time great and most beloved players we've ever witnessed in Brian Dawkins retire an Eagle. Also, there was a draft. I don't know if I can remember the last time the Eagles had a draft that was so universally praised by the fans, the always cranky beat writers, and most of the TV personalities (kiss my butt Michael Lombardi). It seemed like a few people didn't know much about a lot of our picks so I threw together a review with scouting reports, from CBS Sports unless otherwise noted, with a little tidbit by me about how I think these players will fit in with the Eagles. Without further a due....
12th Overall Pick - Fletcher Cox DT Mississippi State What the scouts say: Cox is naturally big, plays bigger and is expected grow even more in size and ability. A third-year junior, Cox was the only player from Mississippi State to be named to All-SEC first team after he collected 56 tackles and five sacks last season. He works hard from kickoff until the final whistle, setting a pace for teammates and wearing down opponents. He showed very good explosion in Combine testing. The light-footed Cox played both defense end and defensive tackle and his versatility will be an asset in the NFL.
Read the rest here
My take on how Fletcher fits in with the Eagles: There isn’t really anything I could say here that you guys haven’t been reading for weeks. Washburn said "when God made [Cox] he made him for this system." His athleticism makes him a great fit as a pass rushing under tackle for our wide 9 system. I expect him to warm up over the course of the season as he sees more and more snaps in our rotation and he could very well take Cullen’s starting job next season. We may even have him play in Babin's spot on certain running downs.
46th overall pick: Mychal Kendricks LB California
What the scouts say: Mychal showed decent versatility in college, starting two years at outside linebacker, then moving inside last year in dramatic style. But scouts at the combine still had a "show-me" perspective on Kendricks, especially after he measured only 5-11 and 1/4-inch tall. But he looked bigger by the moment as he benched 225 pounds 24 times, ran 40 yards in an unofficial 4.47 seconds and added a vertical jump of 39.5 inches.
That sent scouts back to double-check tapes, which showed how Kendricks used all that athleticism to earn Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2011. He had a team-leading 106 tackles, 14.5 for a loss, one sack, one forced fumble, one interception (returned for touchdown) and two fumble recoveries.
Read the rest here
My take on how Mychal fits for the Eagles: Shortly after drafting Kendricks the Eagles tweeted that he would be playing the SAM position. This left a lot of people confused as 5'11 is very short for a SAM, but remember that we use an usual system. Our SAM is like an additional ILB where they read and react. Mychal can shed blocks and blitz, he has also has top notch speed and athleticism that helps him in coverage. I think they drafted Kendricks to play the way they thought Jamar could last season. Mychal should be a heat seeking missile for us on the field next season.
59th Overall Pick - Vinny Curry DE Marshall
What the scouts say: Here is that potential pass rusher with a knack for causing fumbles, which is one of the most valuable talents on defense. Curry is strong and relentless off the edge, and so intent on getting to the passer that he is often too upright and vulnerable to a quick cut block. However, he can get down and dirty with a decent bull rush and uses his strong hands well. Curry was named Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year in 2011 when he had 11 sacks, seven forced fumbles and 22 tackles for a loss.
Read the rest here
My take on how Vinny fits in with the Eagles: Vinny has been a very consistent producer for Marshall over the past 2 years and has a ton of potential. He was thought by most to be worth a late 1st or early 2nd round pick but luckily he fell right into the lap of his favorite team growing up. At Marshall, Curry played in a very similar stance to how Coach Wash asks his DEs to play which should give him a leg up. Vinny has a similar build to Trent Cole and should gain a ton of knowledge just watching him play. I expect Vinny to challenge for a spot on the rotation behind Trent at RE immediately and to play very well in our wide 9 system.
88th Overal Pick - Nick Foles QB Arizona
What the scouts say: Foles was moderately recruited out of high school, committing to Michigan State after originally choosing Arizona State. He played in only one game in 2007 as a true freshman as a backup QB in East Lansing, but decided to transfer to Arizona after the season and sat out 2008 due to transfer rules. Foles didn't begin the 2009 season as the starter, but seized the role in the third game as a sophomore (260-for-409, 63.6%, 2,486 yards, 19 TDs, 9 INTs). Despite missing two games due to a knee injury in 2010, Foles improved as a junior (286-for-426, 67.2%, 3,191 yards, 20 TDs, 10 INTs). He returned in 2011 as a senior and had his best statistical season despite a losing campaign (387-for-560, 69.1%, 4,334 yards, 28 TDs, 14 INTs), earning All-Pac 12 Honorable Mention honors for the third consecutive season.
Foles isn't an elite athlete, but can move in the pocket and has good feet, doing a better job stepping into the pocket while working through his progressions. He had only a .455 winning percentage as a starting quarterback (15-18), but was a consistent producer despite an inconsistent supporting cast. Foles played behind a young offensive line in 2011 (only one combined start entering the season). He doesn't have any glaring weaknesses, but doesn't exactly stand out in any one area and is still developing as a passer. Foles showed better decisions as a senior and has the physical traits to compete for a starting job in the NFL.
Read the rest here
My take on how Nick fits in for the Eagles: A lot people complain about the predictability of Andy and the front office, well, here you go. Nick Foles is the biggest QB we've ever had under Andy by a good size margin. Was he drafted to be an eventual replacement to Vick, to be a back-up, or to be traded to the Cardinals at a later date? No idea, but I do know that Andy really likes him and showed that by taking him in the 3rd round. Nick isn't a dual threat but he has sneaky athleticism, he was recruited by some big name schools to play basketball coming out of high school. He played behind one of the worst offensive lines in college football last season and had to escape pressure constantly. He has poor footwork, doesn't throw a tight sprial, and played in a simple college system, but he's a very dedicated worker with some impressive physical tools. Got beat up a lot last season and played through injuries, had to get in shoot outs every week to win due to a terrible defense. He needs coaching and strength training, but if there's a staff that can turn this kid into a field general its ours. I look forward to seeing his progress.
123rd Overall Pick -Brandon Boykin CB University of Georgia
What the scouts say: Boykin may have a small frame, but he came up big to win the Paul Hornung Award as the nation's most versatile player in 2011. He is a formidable athlete as both a cornerback and a kick returner. Scouts will be limited to seeing him on game tapes because he fractured his fibula during Senior Bowl workouts. Some scouts believe Boykin could run 40 yards under 4.4 seconds. He had three touchdowns on kickoff returns as a sophomore, two for 100 yards each and then added another in 2010 to become the only player in SEC history with three plays of at least 100 yards.
He is hardly bashful as a corner, where he surprises bigger opponents by getting right in their face as much as he can rather than playing off and using his speed to catch up. In 2009, this bothered Oklahoma State star Dez Bryant (now with Dallas), who was held to three catches and 77 yards. Boykin's career totals include 159 tackles (20 for a loss), nine interceptions and he averaged 24.2 yards on 110 kickoff returns.
Read the full report here
My take on how Brandon fits in with the Eagles: Brandon, affectionately known as 'Bam Bam' here in Georgia, is a talented and high character athlete. He was a leader for UGA who could always be counted on. Small, but very physical, Brandon can play press and defend the run, he even enjoys it. Used a lot as a slot corner last season, but played outside before that taking on the likes of Alshon Jeffery. Holds UGA's return yardage records and returned 4 kicks for touchdowns in his time. He'll be an upgrade over Joselio in the slot and a HUGE upgrade over Dion as our kick returner. His attitude will make him a big hit with the coaches, players, and fans. Steal in the 4th.
153rd Overall Pick - Dennis Kelly OT Purdue
What the scouts say: CBS Sports, and most other outlets for that matter, did not have a profile of Kelly but luckily SB Nation's Purdue Blog Hammer & Rails has a great one. Here's a snippet of their profile: Kelly, the 6'8" Senior Left Tackle for the Boilermakers, was a crucial part of Purdue's offensive success over the past few years. Since stepping in as the starting Left Tackle in his sophomore year (2009), Dennis has been a reliable protector of the quarterbacks' blind side. In the past three seasons, he has appeared and started in all 37 of Purdue's football games--including the Little Caesar's Bowl last season--and served as a team captain in his Senior campaign. In that time span, big Number 68 has been an intimidating, durable force at the left end of the offensive line... In his college days, Dennis played at the lean weight of about 305 pounds. ...Many draft experts also thought he was too slow and his techniques were too sloppy. Because of these criticisms, Kelly's draft stock initially suffered and he was not invited to the NFL Rookie Combine in February.
But, then came Purdue's Pro Day on March 9th of this year. Dennis came into Mollenkopf at a bulky 321 pounds. And his workout numbers ended up being very impressive. He bench pressed 225 pounds an amazing 30 times (better than many of the Offensive Tackles that were invited to the Combine) and wound up posting a decent 40 time of 5.33.
You read see the rest of their take on him (and I recommend that you do) by clicking the link to Hammer & Rails above.
My take on how Dennis fits in with the Eagles: The Eagles needed a young tackle for Howard Mudd to develop for depth and they got one.
A lot of people Everyone considered this a big reach, but if Mudd thought he was worth a 5th round pick I'm inclined to side with the grizzled old line coach. Dennis has monster frame like King Dunlap and has athletic background like Jason Peters, he played basketball and tight end in high school. Kelly should take advantage of our great conditioning program and add some mass to his huge frame over the next year. I'm not expecting anything this season but be on the look out for this kid in the pre-season next year.
194th Overall Pick - Marvin McNutt WR Iowa
What the scouts say: McNutt was a top-50 quarterback recruit out of high school, choosing Iowa over Missouri, Wisconsin and Nebraska. McNutt made the full transition to wide receiver prior to 2009 and made an instant impact there as a sophomore with five starts, finishing with 34 catches for 674 yards (19.8) and 8 touchdowns. He started every game in 2010 as a junior (13 starts), recording a team-best 53 receptions for 861 yards (16.2) and 8 scores, earning Second Team All-Big Ten honors. McNutt had his best season in 2011 as a senior with 13 starts, finishing with 82 catches for a conference-best 1,315 yards (16.0) and a school single-season record 12 touchdowns, earning First Team All-Big Ten honors and was named the conference's receiver of the year.
He played quarterback all through high school and didn't accept the transition to wide receiver until his redshirt sophomore season at Iowa -- still learning the nuances of the position, but had a near-flawless transition and has a natural feel as a receiver. McNutt isn't a sudden or explosive athlete, but was productive in a traditional passing offense and has just enough long-striding speed to keep the defense honest -- will be valued more by certain teams and could find a fit as a strong, possession target with his hand-eye coordination, body control and soft hands. Read the rest of the report here
My take on how Marvin fits in with the Eagles: A lot of us have been desperately wanting a big bodied receiver for this team and we may have just gotten him, in the 6th round no less. Marvin is strong and will jump up and pluck the ball out of the air. He's a tough guy that will make catches in traffic over the middle. Uses his body well, but is still new at WR and runs some poor routes and drops some passes. Marvin isn't a burner but he did run a 4.54 40 and can make people miss him in space. He could turn out to be a nice red zone target and possession receiver for us as soon as this year. I, for one, am really excited to see how he develops.
200th Overall Pick - Brandon Washington OG Miami FL
What the scouts say: After making one start as a freshman in 2009, Washington started all 25 games over his next two campaigns. He was called for just three penalties in all of 2011 while anchoring the offensive line for what was a decent (but unspectacular) Miami offense. The team allowed only 19 sacks and the offense finished sixth in the ACC in rushing at 145.7 yards per game.
Washington has great size at 6'4'' and 320 pounds. The Miami, FL native generally runs around a 5.3 in the 40-yard dash and he has been clocked as fast as 5.18 from that distance. He has experience at both guard and tackle, but is expected to play guard at the next level. Washington is a stellar athlete by guard standards, but he probably is not quick enough to play tackle in the NFL... He sometimes relies too much on athleticism and lacks the tactical fundamentals, often times getting sloppy with his hands. Washington should be a real force in the running game, and he will likely be a second or third-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.
CBS did not have a full report on Brandon but I got this one from FF Toolbox. Click that link to read the whole thing.
My take on how Brandon fits in with the Eagles: Another possible 6th round steal for us. Washington played pretty well at guard for the Hurricanes 2 season ago, when he was moved to tackle he struggled. He's not very athletic for a tackle but is a great body for the guard position. We needed some interior depth and here he is. Brandon never mastered guard due to being moved but he should really improve under the tutelage of Howard Mudd. He may not be our day 1 back-up, but he has the upside to develop into a good starter for us down the road.
229th Overall Pick - Bryce Brown RB Kansas State
**What the scouts say: A former five-star recruit who originally went to Tennessee, Brown didn't play for the Wildcats after rushing for 16 yards on three carries in the 2011 season opener. He left the team in late September and later decided to enter the 2012 draft despite having two years of eligibility remaining. Brown was once considered one of the top high school recruits in the country, rated by many ahead of Alabama's Trent Richardson. He had to battle through questions about his eligibility in 2009, when he was part of a two-back rotation, primarily backing up Montario Hardesty. Brown announced on the first day of spring practice in 2010 that he was transferring, and had to sit out the season under transfer rules after deciding in August to go to Kansas State.
Read the rest here
My take on how Bryce fits in with the Eagles: Brown came out of high school as a heralded prospect, unfortunately his attitude sabotaged his career. The Eagles need a good back-up for Shady and they went low risk/high reward by taking Brown with their final pick. If he's willing to change his attitude and work hard he could be an explosive back in the NFL, but that's a big if. Maybe Duce is the right guy to light a fire under his ass, but if not we have another prospect waiting in the wings...
I also did a few of the undrafted free agents who I feel have a good shot at making the team and contributing. There are too many of them who are just here for camp to do them all.
Chris Polk RB Washington
What the scouts say: A highly touted recruit... He appeared ready to make an immediate splash for the Huskies, starting the first two games of his career, but injured his shoulder and missed the remainder of the season. Bigger and stronger in 2009, Polk rushed for 1,113 yards ...Polk was even better in 2010, rushing for 1,465 yards and nine touchdowns - second behind only Corey Dillon (1,695 in 1996) in Washington's storied history. It was Polk, not Jake Locker, whose performance in the final three games of the regular season assured Washington of its first bowl berth since 2002. Some expected Polk's numbers to fall back in 2011 with Locker having moved on to the NFL. While his regular-season rushing totals did slip slightly (1,341), Polk emerged as a dangerous threat as a receiver (career-high 29 catches for 324 yards and four touchdowns) and proved even more lethal near the goal line, scoring a career-high 15 touchdowns.
Polk likely boosted his stock with scouts with an impressive all-around performance at his pro day March 8. Polk measured in at 5-10 (1/2) and 212 pounds, three pounds lighter than he weighed at the Combine and 12 pounds lighter than he was at the Senior Bowl. The loss of weight was noticeable in the running back's time in the 40-yard dash and his explosiveness in positional drills. Polk was credited with an "official" 4.57 second time at the Combine but came in at between 4.45-4.49 in his first attempt and 4.48-4.51 in his second. Polk also posted 16 reps on the bench press. He caught passes out of the backfield, demonstrating the soft, reliable hands and route-running ability that I believe is his most underrated quality... Read the rest here
My take on how Chris fits in with the Eagles: As I stated above, the Eagles are looking for another back-up running back and Polk could be the guy. He slid over concerns about his health. He had a shoulder surgery last year but Dr. James Andrews, king of sports medicine, who did the surgery said there was nothing to worry about and he was fine. There was also a rumor going around about a degenerative hip condition but Chris and his college coach both refuted those claims. Polk is a strong north-south runner who can catch passes and bully defenders. His strength makes him a good compliment to Shady, while his pass catching makes him a natural fit for our offense. Chris could be our number 2 back sooner than later. I'm really excited to see him in pre-season.
Cliff Harris CB Oregon
What the scouts say: Overshadowed by the prolific scorers on Oregon's offense, Harris played a critical role in the Ducks' run to the 2011 BCS Championship game, emerging as the most dangerous cornerback and kick returner in the Pac-10 -- and perhaps in the entire country. ...Injuries forced the Ducks to play Harris early, however, and he responded with several big plays in the second half of the season, including an interception in the end zone against Washington, a 42-yard kick-return against Ohio State in the Rose Bowl and leading the team with eight passes broken up despite only starting two games on the year. ...Harris led the country with 23 passes defended and led the Pac-10 with six interceptions, including two impressive interceptions against Andrew Luck and the Stanford Cardinal. His second came in the closing minutes in the end zone, essentially sealing Oregon's win and Stanford's only loss of the season. He also returned four punts for touchdowns, leading the country in that category, as well. He was a consensus All-American...
Read the rest here
My take on how Cliff fits with the Eagles: Cliff got into all sorts of trouble at Oregon before finally getting the boot. Not a bad athlete, but an overrated one, Cliff should remind you of our old friend Asante Samuel. Very gifted off man corner who doesn't really press. Can pick the ball off and take it back for 6, he's done it several times. Harris is also a talented kick and punt returner. He doesn't fit our scheme but I'd trust him covering an NFL receiver more than I'd trust Curtis Marsh. If Cliff can keep his head on straight he can definitely make the team as our 4th or 5th corner.
Chase Ford TE Miami FL
What the scouts say: Positives: Tall, with NFL measurable -- 33-inch arms, 10 1/4-inch hands -- with a filled-out, thick frame. Works hard on and off the field. Good strength throughout, fluid body control and natural movement skills. Soft hands and good concentration level with obvious toughness in congested areas. Negatives: Lacks the bulk strength to lock on and control NFL defensive linemen. Lower-body strength is questionable and limits his in-line blocking. Not physical and lacks a killer instinct. Not a quick-twitch athlete or polished route runner. Unproven with limited on-field experience. Sixteen career receptions at Miami.
My take on how Chase fits in with the Eagles: A giant guy at 6'7 255, Chase could be a great blocking TE with some receiving upside. We use a lot of 2 TE sets so I think the Eagles will keep 3 on the roster this year. While Ford didn't do much at Miami, he was very productive in junior college and 'shined' at the East-West Shrine game. If he plays well in the pre-season he could sneak onto the roster.
Damris Johnson WR/RB/KR Tulsa What the scouts say: The Louisiana prep was a two-time all-state selection as a wide receiver. Saw action in all 13 games (eight starts at wide receiver) in 2008 and earned Freshman All-America honors after leading Conference USA with 2,475 all-purpose yards. Caught 53 passes for 743 yards (14.0-yard average) and 10 touchdowns, rushed 41 times for 327 yards (8.0-yard average) and one touchdown and returned 54 kickoffs for 1,382 yards (25.6-yard average) and one score in addition to six punt returns for 23 yards. Started 11-of-12 games played in ’09 and led the nation with a 224.4-yard average (2,693 yards) in all-purpose yards. Grabbed 78-1,131-3 (14.5) in the air, managed 26-175-0 (6.7) on the ground, 46-1,131-0 (24.6) as a kickoff returner and 18-256-1 (14.2) as a punt returner. Named the conference’s Special Teams Player of the Year in ’10 after leading the nation again in all-purpose yards (202.2) and registering 34-904-1(26.6) as a kickoff returner and 23-292-1 (12.7) as a punt returner. Also contributed 57-872-4 (15.3) as a receiver and 55-560-7 (10.2) as a rusher in 13 games (11 starts). With one season remaining, he already holds the NCAA record for all-purpose yards with 7,796 and career kickoff-return yardage with 3,417 yards.
Look at his profile from Pro Football Weekly
My take on how Damaris fits for the Eagles: Another low risk/high reward guy for the Eagles. Damaris was an electric playmaker at Tulsa who did some stupid stuff that hurt his career. His girlfriend sold him over 2 grand worth of stuff from the Macy's she worked at for 13 dollars, he was kicked off the team and his lost his final year of eligibility. Hopefully a year off gave him time to get his head on straight because he could be a playmaker for this team. Almost like a poor mans Chris Rainey, Johnson can catch, rush, and return kicks. Chad Hall better hope Damaris is still troubled because he's gunning for your job as gadget player and he's a lot more athletic. Here he is vs Hawaii in 2010, great editing by @JMPasq who is a great resource for scouting but a degenerate Giants fan.
Hopefully this will give everyone a little bit of info on our new guys and some things to be excited for come camp. Only 3 more months...