Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Eagles 2009 Draft-Day Two

Here is a recap of the Eagles' draft picks on day two of the 2009 draft

5th Round(153rd overall)
TE Cornelius Ingram from Florida is the first pick for the Bird's since the second round. I had him in my top 50 available so this could be a major steal.

My Take: The main reason he fell so far on the board was a major injury to his knee early in the 2008 season. With a full recovery, he could be a long term solution to the Eagles tight end problems. While he may be a project this season this is still a great pick for the 5th round.

5th Round(157th overall)
CB Victor Harris from Virginia Tech is the Eagles first defensive pick in this draft. A solid starter for the Hokies, Harris joins Ellis Hobbs as the second CB added today.

My Take: There is genuine concern with the Sheldon Brown situation as the Bird's add another cornerback on day two with this pick. I see Harris as a special teams player in 2009, with a possible eye to the future as a starter depending on how he develops.

5th Round(169th overall)
OT Fenuki Tupou from Oregon is the first lineman on either side of the ball taken by the Eagles.

My Take: This guy is a monster road grader at 6'6" 322lbs who came out early after his Junior year. Andy Reid loves huge offensive lineman and must have seen something in Tupou to take him with this pick.

6th Round(194th overall)
WR Brandon Gibson from Washington State becomes the second wide receiver the Bird's take in this draft.

My Take: Gibson could be a good special teams acquisition as he has decent speed and quick moves. In these rounds you start looking for best available athletes on the board.

7th Round(213 overall)
OG Paul Fanaika from Arizona State becomes the second o-lineman taken by the Birds in this draft.

My Take: Andy Reid is scouring the draft board for the biggest lineman he can find. Fanaika is a 6'5" 237lbs human wall that may be able develop into a solid backup if he can adapt to the Eagles' system.

7th Round(230 overall)
OLB Moise Fokou from Maryland is the Bird's second pick in the 7th round.

My Take: The Eagles are now drafting for special teams and at 6'1" 233lbs, Moise has the ability to develop, while being a force on the kick coverage/return teams.

Eagles 2009 Draft- Day Two Trade

The Eagles have shuffled picks on day two more than an Atlantic City blackjack dealer shuffles cards. While we have all been waiting for their next pick, they have traded out of the third and fourth rounds basically for additional picks in this years 5th round and next year's draft.

Their latest move was to trade two of their five 5th round picks to New England for cornerback Ellis Hobbs. Hobbs was a 3rd round pick in 2005 and has started in 33 games for the Pats as a CB and a kick returner. In 2008 he led the AFC in average return yards on kickoffs as well as contributing on defense as well.

Andy Reid continues to trade for a proven commodities as opposed to drafting a player they really aren't sold on. To me, this is a good solid move that adds depth to the Bird's defensive backfield and provides a potential replacement for Sheldon Brown if that situation continues to deteriorate.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Eagles 2009 Draft-Day One

Here is a recap of day one of Philadelphia Eagles 2009 Draft

1st Round(21st overall):
Eagles trade with Cleveland to move up two spots to 19th and take WR Jeremy Maclin from Missouri. Maclin was ranked as the second best available wide receiver behind Michael Crabtree.

My Take- this kid is a stud as I had him ranked higher than Crabtree and trust me, he is no Freddie Mitchell. Maclin along with DeSean Jackson gives McNabb all the weapons he needs at wide receiver. Look for the Birds to add a RB and TE with some later round picks.

2nd Round(53rd overall):
RB LeSean McCoy from Pittsburgh, who some had projected as a potential first round pick, falls into the Bird's lap in the second round.

My Take- McCoy was easily the best RB still on the board. At 5'11" 206lbs, he is cut very much in the mold of Brian Westbrook. He has great speed and can catch the ball out of the backfield. I would have rather seen them pick a power back to compliment Westbrook, but the Eagles may see McCoy as his eventual replacement.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Eagle's Draft Update- April 23rd

With the draft less than 48 hours away it is crunch time for the Eagles' war room as the phone calls are coming and going at a fever pitch. Andy Reid and gang are trying to finalize their strategy for the ten picks they have in this weekend's draft.

Over the past few weeks we have taken a look at a number of scenarios the Eagles might entertain primarily with their two 1st round picks. Last week I went so far as to predict them trading up to draft one of the top offensive tackles available. Less than 24 hours later, they proved me wrong by using one of their first round picks(the 28th overall)along with a 4th round pick this year and a 6th round pick next year to trade for Buffalo OT Jason Peters. I told you I do not have a personal line to Reid's office and this obviously proves it.

So with the hole at left tackle filled, what will the Bird's do with their other 1st round pick, the 21st overall? Popular opinion has them taking Georgia RB Knowshon Moreno. This would be a great pick as he could come in and help right away. Teamed with Brian Westbrook, the Eagles' offensive suddenly becomes a lot more balanced. The only problem with this scenario is Moreno may not last that long as his stock is on the rise. The Eagles may look to package some of their other picks to trade up if they want Moreno bad enough.

With TE Tony Gonzalez being traded to Atlanta, the Eagles may take a look at Oklahoma St TE Brandon Pettigrew if he is still available. They need a tight end, but may also wait to a later round to fill this need.

A third option would be to trade out of the first round all together, a strategy they have employed a few times before, if their man is not available when they go "on the clock."

Since I went out on a limb last week only to have it cut right off the tree, I am going to refrain from making any hard and fast predictions. I, like many fans would love to see Moreno in the Eagles' backfield next season in tandem with or as a change up to Brian Westbrook, but I'm not convinced they will be able to pull this one off. Anyway, come Saturday I'll be glued to the T.V. set with a cold one in hand to watch the action unfold. Tune in next week as we'll recap all the picks and grade the Bird's overall draft.

Monday, April 20, 2009

From Today's Rumor Mill

In light of the recent blockbuster trade for Jason Peters, a few more interesting developments(just rumors at this point) are starting to make there way around the Eagles' blog circuit.

First on the list, it has been reported that CB Sheldon Brown has requested a trade. As with most trade demands, money is the issue. While keeping relatively quiet about his current situation, apparently Brown believes his contract should be reworked to properly reflect his current value. While given a generous contract extension a few season ago, after seeing the money that has been thrown around the Linc lately, he feels some more should be thrown his way. It is extremely doubtful the Eagles will rework his current deal, so if Brown is truly unhappy and wants out, I see the Birds accommodating him and seeking a trade. Stay tuned on this one....

Secondly, the Eagles have indicated they may be willing to still trade up in this weekend's draft to make sure they get RB Knowshon Moreno from Georgia. While several mock draft boards have him still available when the Eagles pick at 21st, they may not want to take any chances on losing him to an earlier pick. This guy is a stud and ranked in many experts top ten available players. Along with Brian Westbrook, the Eagles would have something they haven't had in years, an dominating running attack that can make everyone forget about Anquon Boldin, or Chad "Ocho Cinco" Johnson. Lets all hope this is more than just rumor, as adding Moreno right after inking Peters has the Eagles' offensive looking a whole lot better.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Eagles Trade for OT Jason Peters

The Eagles have agreed to a deal with the Buffalo Bills that will bring two time Pro Bowl tackle Jason Peters to the Birds for three draft choices including a first round(the 28th pick ) and fourth round pick in this year's draft and sixth round pick in 2010.

Buffalo had tried to re-work Peter's current contract which had two years left, into a long term deal, but neither side could come to terms prompting the Bills to entertain a trade for the disgruntled lineman. He fills a huge need for the Eagles who earlier in the off season lost their Pro Bowl left tackle, Tra Thomas to Jacksonville via free agency.

While I knew the Eagles would make some kind of move to fill this hole, I thought it would be through trading up in the draft. Peters is a proven commodity and a pro bowl caliber left tackle. The best part is that he can step in immediately as a starter to help protect Donovan McNabb's blind side.

This deal is still contingent on Peters passing a physical and working out a new contact, which should be a formality.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Eagle's Draft Update- April 16th

We are a little over a week away from the NFL draft and I am beginning to refine my predictions for what I believe the Eagles will do with their two picks in the first round. While I do not have a direct line to Andy Reid's office or a crystal ball, I am ready to make an educated guess on how the Bird's first round will play out.

All of my previous assumptions have had the Birds keeping their picks at 21st and 28th, but I think this strategy is now in question. I also mentioned that given Andy Reid's past draft history, he loves to draft linemen in the first round. So what is the grand plan? Using both their number one picks they will look to trade up somewhere in the top ten to get offensive tackle Eugene Monroe from Virginia. This plan will be fluid, depending on what happens with the first few picks. St. Louis is projected to pick an OT to replace Orlando Pace and will probably take Jason Smith from Baylor or Andre Smith from Alabama, so the Eagles will then look to trade with Cincinnati at 6 or Jacksonville at 8 to try and get Monroe. If either Smith is still available after the first 5 picks, then whomever is still on the board would also be in the mix.

While there will still some solid offensive linemen on the board when Philly picks at 21, this draft offers a chance to land a franchise type lineman who can anchor the Bird's O line for the next ten to twelve years in much the same way that Tre Thomas and John Runyan have done in the past. There is no way Andy Reid will pass this up if the proper pieces fall into place.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Eagles 2009 Schedule

The 2009 NFL schedule is being released live on the NFL Network and ESPN. We already know who the Eagles will play but we now get the chance to fill in the blanks on when and where.

WEEK 1:@ Carolina
This should be a good opening test for the Birds taking on a playoff team from last year on the road.

WEEK 2: New Orleans
Good home opener as Drew Brees come to town with an improved Saints team.

WEEK 3: Kansas City
Great team to play before the bye week as this should be an automatic check in the win column

A little early for me as I would rather see the break come a few weeks later.

WEEK 5: Tampa Bay
The Eagles under Any Reid have never lost a game following a bye week.

WEEK 6:@ Oakland
Should be a good trip to the west coast after four weeks at home

WEEK 7:@ Washington
The first NFC East divisional game for the Birds and their only Monday night game of the year, will be a good one as games against the Redskins always seem to be decided in the final minutes.

WEEK 8: New York(Giants)
The season starts to take shape as this is the second NFC East game for the Birds.

WEEK 9: Dallas
Sunday Night game before a national audience should have sparks flying in this one.

WEEK 10:@ San Diego
After three division games in a row, the Eagles may be ready for another trip to the west coast.

WEEK 11:@ Chicago
Another Sunday night game against a much improved Chicago team featuring Jay Cutler at quarterback.

WEEK 12: Washington
Getting into the season's stretch run these division games become must win events.

WEEK 13:@ Atlanta
Tough road game for the Birds as Atlanta and Matt Ryan are a team on the rise.

WEEK 14:@ New York(Giants)
The Birds third Sunday night game and one that will most likely have serious implications for who wins the NFC East.

WEEK 15: San Francisco
This will be a much harder game than expected, as the 49ers could be one of those surprise teams in '09.

WEEK 16: Denver
Brian Dawkins homecoming at the Linc should have the crowd in a frenzy. The Eagles will have to match the intensity you know he will bring.

WEEK 17:@ Dallas
A great season finale as the Cowboys will be looking to avenge their embarrassing lost at the Linc in last season's final game.

So there you have it. Off the top of my head,to have a shot at winning the NFC East, the Eagles will have to go 7-1, or at least 6-2 in their eight games, as the second half schedule appears to be much harder.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Recent College Player Visits

A couple of college prospects have reportedly recently visited Philadelphia so the Eagles could get a closer look as the NFL draft nears. RB Rashad Jennings from Liberty and TE Chase Coffman from Missouri have apparently caught the Bird's eye enough for them to schedule a personal workout over these past few days.

Jennings 6'1" 235lbs who runs a 4.53 40 is currently projected as a second or third round pick. In his last season at Liberty, a Division 1-AA school, he rushed for over 1500 yards and scored 17 touchdowns.

Coffman 6'6" 252lbs caught 90 passes for 987 yards and scored 10 touchdowns in his senior season. He now holds the Division IA record for total number of receptions by a tight end.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Eagle's Draft Update-April 9th

There has been a lot of talk lately about the Eagles trading up in the draft to either trade for or draft a high profile wide receiver. The various senarios have them packaging one of their first round picks, a later round pick, and possibly a player like Reggie Brown to land an existing number one receiver from another team or to draft a future number one receiver with a higher pick in the first round.

Having already talked about trading for Anquan Boldin currently with Arizona, a couple of other names being thrown around is Chad(Johnson)Ochocinco with Cincinnati and Braylon Edwards with Cleveland. Out of these three I think only Boldin would warrent a number one pick. Edwards would be a nice aquisition but not at that price and Ochocinco is another T.O. but with a better sense of humor. In reality I do not see any of these players in an Eagles' uniform next season, yet the Philly faithful will continue to hold onto the hope that the Birds trade for a big name player at wide receiver.

The other possibility is trading up in the draft to try and land a wide receiver. The two names that come to mind are Jeremy Maclin from Missouri and Michael Crabtree from Texas Tech. This move makes a bit more sense as the Eagles have two first round picks to play with as well as a slew of other picks in the later rounds. If the deal is right, the Birds may jump at the chance as either one of these players would be able to make an immediate impact this season.

Whatever the case may be we will not know anything for sure until April 25th, the first day of the draft. Andy Reid has been known to move picks around to get the player he wants. I'm just not sure how bad he wants a wide receiver for the price he would have to pay.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Is Quintin Demps ready to start?

As reported in the Philadelphia Daily News, Quintin Demps in a recent interview has declared he his ready to fill the starting free safety position for the Eagles vacated by Brian Dawkins, who signed with Denver earlier this off season.

Demps was quoted as saying "I knew it was coming sooner or later. I didn't think it would be this soon, I know I'm [capable of being] a starter in this league. I'm not looking at it like I'm following him. I'm looking at it like I'm starting my own thing. I'm ready to go. I'm excited." The real question is, are the Eagles convinced he is ready to fill the huge void left by Dawkins' departure.

There is no doubt that Demps is a tremendous athlete. As a forth round pick in 2008, he quickly established himself as the Birds new kick return specialist. Last season his 1,314 return yards were second most in franchise history. Averaging over 25 yards a return, he solidified a major weakness in the Eagles' special teams and played a key role in helping to give the offense good starting field position when they needed it the most.

Whether he is ready to step in as a starter at safety is another matter. I think his ability and potential played a huge role in shaping the Eagle's half hearted approach to retaining Dawkins. As past history has showed, once they believe they already have a veteran free agent's position filled with a younger player, they are willing to let the vet go.

My guess is that Demps gets the starting nod come opening day this September, but that doesn't mean he is ready to replace Brian Dawkins. That simply cannot be done.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Eagle's Draft Update-April 3rd

Three weeks and counting until the 2009 NFL College Draft and we know little more about the Eagle's plans then we did a week ago. As fans, we like to explore every little clue and elaborate on the hints and innuendos to try and predict what is going on in Andy Reid's mind in terms of the draft.

As far as the first round picks, we have already taken a look at some offensive lineman and running backs who may be on the Bird's radar screen. Given Reid's infatuation with linemen in general(sorry Andy, I couldn't resist)could it be possible that the Birds will take a defensive lineman with one of their two picks in the first round? I may be in the minority on this one, but I wouldn't rule it out. I recently viewed a mock draft panel of 13 football experts and not one of them have the Eagles taking a D Lineman in the first round with either pick.

So why am I going out on the ledge by myself on this one? Andy Reid. He loves lineman and if someone he really loves at defensive end or even defensive tackle is available, do not be surprised if they take him.

Some names that come to mind who may be available are Aaron Maybin DE-Penn State and Tyson Jackson DE-L.S.U. Granted these two studs are projected to go mid first round, but if something happens to lower their stock and they are still on the board at 21, Reid won't be able to help himself. There is also a chance they trade down to get one of them, but that is far less likely as there is not a glaring need at this position.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

From Todays Rumor Mill: Anquan Boldin

As I mentioned is a previous blog post, I think that there is little chance the Eagles will acquire Anquan Boldin, but his name has recently resurfaced in potential trade rumors, so he is back in the spotlight no matter how dim.

I want to take a moment to recap the situation with Boldin. He is under contract with the Arizona Cardinals, but unhappy with the current terms. Like many other players with Drew Rosenhaus as their agent, he feels he is underpaid. Just as a sidebar, why is Rosenhaus such a popular agent? Why doesn't he go out and get the big money for his clients from the start? Anyway, back to Boldin, with the draft a few weeks away, speculation has been raised that the Cardinals may look to deal him, rather than have him be a distraction heading into training camp. It has already been reported that he will skip the mini camps and possibly hold out when training camp opens up in late July. The Eagles are sitting with two picks in the first round and looking to add a receiver so their name has gone to the top of the list of teams who would be interested in a potential trade with Arizona to land Boldin.

Boldin is a very good receiver, and paired with DeSean Jackson would make McNabb's mouth water as well as the mouth's of every Eagles fan in the world. The problem is two little letters; T O. His memory is still too fresh in Andy Reid's mind to take another chance on a unhappy wide receiver with Rosenhaus as his agent. Reid would rather take his chances with the draft and try and find another hidden gem like Jackson, or look to bring in a less high profile veteran who can bolster the receiving corps. I agree with this thought process whole heartedly as the last thing we need is another head case wide receiver who is more concerned about his stats than the team.