OK, so a lot of people on this website post about players based on what they have heard from people on TV such as Kiper, McShay, and the NFL network analysts. These guys are not geniuses. Granted they spend everyday researching the draft, if they were that great at judging talent they would be actual scouts for NFL teams. Plus, not one of them knows the Eagles needs and schemes the way we do. I will break it down by position, categorizing the players that I THINK are overrated, underrated, or rated correctly by the vast majority of people out there. I will post links to game tape for the players so that you can make the judgement for yourself. This post will be strictly defensive lineman.
Underrated: Whitney Mercilus, Illinois.
Tape against Wisconson: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWfNeKi_hfc
Tape against Ohio St: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ndXFxPUoJM
Tape against ASU: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVBOcYWvYy8&feature=related
Tape against UCLA: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60fJEcIF1h8&feature=relmfu
Mercilus is my favorite DE of this draft. If we came out of the first round with a DE I hope its him. I'm not buying the one year wonder crap. I think he will be a great 4-3 end in the NFL. TalonTalent posted a link in Fanshots which is a well written piece about pass rushers by SillyHatDay from the chiefs blog site. He recommends Mercilus of this years crop at DE by analyzing the top pass rushers in the NFL today with their college stats and measurables. Here is a link to SillyHatDay's post...
Overrated: Quentin Coples, North Carolina
Tape against Virginia Tech: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJdZjkOmLdM
Tape against Miami: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9SBPy9wOXk&feature=relmfu
While I do see the potential with Coples, I do not see the "explosiveness" that many of the experts claim. He is one strong dude and you can see it in the run game, but he DOES NOT fire off the ball whatsoever. I definitely do not see him as a top 10 talent.
Rated Correctly: Melvin Ingram, South Carolina
Tape against Auburn: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5dkwPHQJXk
Tape against Nebraska: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKPpjctGhBo
Tape against Georgia: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ojjrp2bGNw
This kid is an athlete. That run on the fake punt in the Georgia game is spectacular. I love his versatility to play anywhere on the line. He should be a top 10 pick, and if it wasn't for his short arms it wouldn't even be a question. The Nebraska tape is not that impressive though.
Slightly Underrated: Chandler Jones, Syracuse
Tape against WVU: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhrBNt85BZc&feature=related
While this is the only tape I could find on youtube of Chandler Jones it is mighty impressive. He's a big dude, like Coples, but shows more of a pass rush. One thing to note, his brother is one of the best fighters in UFC, I think that is something that can help push him to become great. Trying to one up your brother is good motivation. (Forget the Casey Mathew's references, he has never compared to Clay)
Rated Correctly: Andre Branch, Clemson
Tape against Boston College: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BjwIiK3pkc
Tape against Virginia Tech: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJTqBM8ugNY&feature=related
This kid has some speed. I do not think he is as strong as the other top DE prospects, but he still does ok in the run game. I can see him, more than any other prospect, making the change to OLB in a 3-4.
Conclusion of DE's: I think as a group, this is a pretty good class of DE's. If I had to rank them, for the Eagles scheme, I would have to go, 1 Mercilus, 2 Jones, 3 Ingram, 4 Coples, 5 Branch. I do think that Ingram is the best overall football player and will/should be picked in the top 10. I just see Mercilus being an absolute stud in the wide 9. I think all of these guys should be first round picks, with the only possible exception being Branch, who could fall to the beginning of round 2.
Now let's move on to the big fellas at DT. I think we all agree that the FO will and should look to go with an early pick at this position.
Overrated: Dontari Poe, Memphis
Tape against Tulane: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZxD_uV5kyk
Highlight tape: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmrTyakPvLo
I do see the potential with Poe, don't get me wrong. Somebody will take a chance on him in the first round, I just hope it's not us. He went against the worst competition out of any of these prospects and has the weakest tape. It's pretty telling when half of your highlight tape is from the combine.
Overrated: Michael Brockers, LSU
National Championship Tape against Alabama: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73WOdWwgG_I
Tape against Georgia: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQp5lx-hdCM&feature=relmfu
Brockers is just as confusing as Poe is to me. He has spurts where he becomes dominant in the run game, but is often taken out of the play completely. He rarely generates a pass rush. I can't imagine getting anymore out of a player than they would give in the national championship game, and he did not seem dominant, especially for a top DT prospect. I would not be surprised if he was the biggest faller of the draft, entering even the second round.
Rated Correctly: Fletcher Cox, Miss St
Tape against South Carolina: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyd8kpQVz0w&feature=related
Tape against Alabama: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knp2RT5Ijsk&feature=relmfu
Tape against Kentucky: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puY2BKGgX0Q
I see Cox as the a great fit for the Eagles. He will be able to use his impressive interior pass rush in the wide 9 and could even sub in as a DE on running situations. His size/speed set is just as impressive as Poe's except he actually has the tape to back it up. Should be picked between picks 10-20.
Underrated: Jerel Worthy, Michigan St
Tape against Georgia: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RmnbaMcdmI
Tape against Ohio St: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HE6JeJgYvY
Worthy is extremely explosive. He fires off the ball ridiculously fast. I think he has the potential to be the best DT in this draft and a future pro bowler. His "motor" has been questioned, but I think that has to do with him playing nearly every snap. He should be the second DT taken IMO, so if he somehow falls to us in the second round I will be jumping for joy.
Rated Correctly: Devon Still, Penn St
Tape against Alabama: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhdjJ8L26OI
Tape against Illinois: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlaR8-2G4bY
I'm assuming most people have him rated as a late first round prospect. He can be an absolute beast at times and does a good job of collapsing the pocket. Can be explosive, it'd be interesting to see him in a wide 9 and coached up by Washburn.
Rated Correctly: Derek Wolfe
Tape against Vanderbilt: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDmtB05eJII
I see Wolfe as a mid to late second rounder. While I would prefer to see him selected with our second pick in the second round if we drafted him, I could live with him being taken earlier. He's a good football player and I can see him improving a lot. Of all of the DTs I think he can improve his strength the most. Would fit well in a rotation like ours.
Conclusion of DTs: This is a strong class of DTs, but I do not think it is nearly as strong as some people make it out to be. I really like Cox and Worthy. I think Cox is the only one I would take in the first round for us. I would be pumped to take Worthy early in the second and Still/Wolfe later in the second. If I was the GM of the Eagles I wouldn't touch Poe or Brockers unless they fell into the second round. Hopefully someone else bites on them and pushes the other DT prospects back.
I understand that not everyone will agree with my opinions and that is ok. At the very least you can use this post as a spot to find tape on a bunch of prospects that could very well be on the Eagles next year.
My dream case scenario would have the Browns taking Trent Richardson with the 4th overall pick and having Floyd fall to 15. I would then trade the 15th and our later 2nd round pick (51) for their second 1st rounder (22) and their second rounder (37). I would take Mercilus at 22 (I know we don't need a DE, but we don't need a whole lot). With the 37th pick I would take Lavonte David, LB Nebraska. Followed by Jerel Worthy with the 46th pick.
I plan on doing this at least one more time for LBs/DBs unless I get a horrible reaction for this post, where you will see my love for Lavonte David. I left some players out because I do not envision us making a play for them (Nick Perry) and because I could not find tape for them (Kendall Reyes). I would appreciate if anyone has links to any other useful tape for players on the DLine to be posted in the comments. Thanks for taking the time to read my post.