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Mailbag: EJ Manuel, Trading Down, the Tight End picture, 2012 Eagles vs 2008 Lions, and more

Eagles Q&A. Send your questions to or @BrandonLeeSBN on Twitter!


Welcome to the BGN Mailbag!

First, thanks for all your questions. Be sure to keep sending them in! Remember, there's 2 ways to enter a question:

  1. Email your question(s) to: BGNmailbag (at)
  2. Follow me on Twitter (@BrandonLeeSBN) and tweet me your question. (Using the hashtag "#BGNmailbag" is helpful so I know to save it for the mailbag.)

I apologize for the delay on the answers to these questions. We can still be friends, right?

To the Q&A...

@TomWelke: What do you think about EJ Manuel?

Intrigued and skeptical. Everyone likes to talk about his physical attributes, his confidence, and how he's a smart kid. It seems that he has potential and needs to be coached up to become a polished player. At the same time it seems like he be might be selected high in the draft (high as the 1st or 2nd round). If Chip Kelly and the Eagles believe in him, that's fine. But if he's being drafted a developmental project, it doesn't make sense to draft him that high. You can find a developmental QB later in the draft.

One of my biggest concerns with Manuel is his lack of anticipation, which is an area where he's been criticized. A QB can have great physical skills but it doesn't matter if they don't make good decisions. (See: Vick, Michael)

@Imperater415: 2012 Eagles vs 2008 Lions: who'll win and by how much?

My first reaction is to say the 2012 Eagles (4-12) because the 2008 Lions (0-16) were just so horrible that they couldn't even win a game. Take a look at that 2008 Lions roster and it's amazing to see how much talent they lacked. But then I take a look at the performance numbers and I wonder.

x Points Points Allowed Points Differential Turnover Differential
2012 Eagles 280 (29th) 444 (29th) -164 (30th) -21 (31st)
2008 Lions 268 (27th) 517 (32nd) -249 (32nd) -9 (28th)

Yikes. Both teams were horrible, but that Detroit Lions defense was just so awful that I have to give the Eagles the edge. Eagles win in an ugly game where they commit 74 turnovers, 28-21.

@outtenbucks: do you hope eagles trade back?

I go back and forth on this one. The Eagles haven't been set to pick this high (4 overall in the 2013 NFL Draft) in a long time. It's a new era. This team is currently in the process of being built. Why not take a special talent who can be a cornerstone of the team for years to come? If they believe that player exists, they need to stay put and pick that player. If they don't, however, I'm open to them trading down. Trading down to get more picks seems nice but I don't want them to move down too far. Trading down a few spots and picking up some mid-to-late round picks seems ideal.

I do wonder how much the Eagles value a future first round pick (2014 draft). The 2014 QB draft class looks tempting. Perhaps Chip Kelly can find his franchise QB in that draft. It depends on what the offer is, but if a future first is on the table for the Eagles, I definitely want them to consider it.

@cjdones34: OK looking at the sheet of workouts done by Eagles TE is getting drafted, who goes? Or do we keep 4? My vote [is that Harbor is the odd man out.]

I wrote back in late February about the Eagles planning to "stockpile" tight ends. Under the Andy Reid era, it was common for the Eagles to keep only 2 or 3 TEs (and 1 true FB). Under Chip Kelly, I think we'll see at least 4 TEs (and 0 true FBs) on the roster.

Brent Celek and James Casey are virtual locks to make the roster. Brent will be a more traditional TE and Casey will be lined up at a number of different places in various formations. I would be shocked to see the Eagles not take at least one TE somewhere in the draft. There seems to be a number of good TEs available there.

Clay Harbor, Evan Moore, Derek Carrier, and Emil Igwenagu (and possibly a UDFA TE?) need to fight for a spot and prove they deserve a job. Harbor has some skills but is far from a sure talent. Evan Moore just seems like veteran competition. Derek Carrier is intriguing because he was a WR/TE/H-back at Beloit College (D3). He was also one of the final cuts for the Raiders last year and spent time on the Eagles 2012 practice squad. Igwenagu is listed as a FB on the Eagles official roster but also has seen time at TE. When I saw him in training camp last year I thought he looked raw as a TE so unless he sees some serious development I'm doubtful.

Projected TE depth chart: Brent Celek, James Casey, Clay Harbor, [draft pick]

@Randyljobst: Will Julian Vandervelde, Nate Menkin or someone else be the key reserve offensive guards?

Never bet against the Batmandervelde! It could easily be one of those two guys. Dennis Kelly also saw some time at G last year too.

@Ralf_E_Chubbs: Where did @BobQuaintance go?

You know, I don't know. He's probably off somewhere doing something awesome. Missing you, Bob!

@slap_bet: eagles?

Yes, Eagles. No, this isn't the weekly ESPN NFC East chat!

@jgold6393: What eagles OLineman would be the best QB

Unfortunately I've never seen the Eagles OL throw the ball much. So... I'm going to have to go with Jason Kelce. He's goofy (in a good way, of course) and he's athletic enough to run around. I think some of the other OL are too slow and large to be a QB, so Kelce's the guy.

@TomWelke: What do you want the Eagles to do at 4?

Some names I like for the Eagles at 4 include (in no order): Ezekiel Ansah, Dion Jordan, Eric Fisher, Lane Johnson, Tavon Austin, Star Lotulelei. The BGN staff are working on something where this answer will soon be revealed in more detail so stay tuned.


That's it for this edition.

Keep the questions coming!

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