NFL Draft: Rookie Look and Stat Predictions

The NFL Draft has come to an end and the Eagles had, in my opinion, a very good haul. Here are quick looks at each drafted player and a bit of (optimistic) projection for their rookie stat line.


Marcus Smith, OLB, Louisville

Smith is a very athletic, intelligent pass rusher. He has very good size, burst at the line of the scrimmage and can drop into coverage. He needs to improve his functional strength, but he can beat offensive linemen with quickness and polished pass rushing moves. In year one, I would not be shocked to see him get heavy snaps as the season goes on due to his ability to drop in coverage.

Stat Line: 35 tackles, 15 TFLs, 7 Sacks, 2 FF, 3 PDs


Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt

Matthews is my top receiver in this class. He may not have Sammy Watkins’ straight line speed or Mike Evans dominating size, but he is a very balanced player and an incredibly hard worker. He has huge hands and very good size, which he flashes the ability to dominate the catch point with. He is a savvy route runner who can eat up zones like few could in this class and he is very underrated under the catch. He was already anointed the starting slot receiver and I expect him to quickly become the focal point of this passing game.

Stat Line: 90 targets, 68 Receptions, 918 yards, 13.5 YPC, 7 TDs


Josh Huff, WR, Oregon

Another receiver who ranked in my top ten at the position, Huff is a tough athletic player. He has very good acceleration and plays the ball much bigger than his size. He has good hands and is an incredibly strong runner after the catch. He will likely be buried on the depth chart in year one due to the abundance of pass catchers, but he could see some time in the slot and on special teams.

Stat Line: 40 targets, 25 receptions, 400 yards, 16 YPC, 3 TDs. 20 Carries, 110 yards, 5.5 YPC, 1 TD


Jaylen Watkins, CB, Florida

Watkins is a guy I was not high on but it is obvious why the Eagles liked him. Despite his mediocre instincts, he is still a very athletic press corner who can play safety in a pinch. The Eagles stated that he is likely going to compete for corner and safety but I think he ends up as the teams fourth corner.

Stat Line: 20 tackles, 2 TFLs, 1 INT, 5 PDs


Taylor Hart, DE, Oregon

Hart is an absolute freak of an athlete with great size, strength and burs. However, he has some horrible technique issues and an inconsistent motor that really hurt his natural power. If the Eagles can coach his flaws out of him, Hart could be a steal. I think Hart will be heavily featured in the defensive line rotation and will see a lot of time on passing downs over Cedric Thorton due to his pass rush potential.

Stat Line: 25 Tackles, 6 TFLs, 3 Sacks, 1 PDs


Ed Reynolds, S, Stanford

Reynolds is a smart safety with very good size and ball skills. He is inconsistent playing the run and can sometimes outsmart himself in coverage. He will be part of the safety competition, but I doubt he sees the field much this year outside of special teams.

Stat Line: 15 Tackles, 1 TFL, 3 PDs


Beau Allen, NT, Wisconsin.

Allen is a tough, strong nose tackle who plays with good pad level and awareness. He is not a guy who will rush the passer, but he can eat up space and make plays in the run game. He will likely rotate in with Bennie Logan at nose tackle, giving the Eagles much needed beef up front.

Stat Line: 10 Tackles, 3 TFLs, 15 inches of beautiful hair.

Look at those locks

Look at those locks

Eagles 2014 Schedule

Week 1: Jaguars at Eagles

Week 2: Eagles at Colts on Monday Night Football

Week 3: Redskins at Eagles

Week 4: Eagles at 49ers

Week 5: Rams at Eagles

Week 6: Giants at Eagles on Sunday Night Football

Week 7: BYE

Week 8: Eagles at Cardinals

Week 9: Eagles at Texans

Week 10: Panthers at Eagles on Monday Night Football

Week 11: Eagles at Packers

Week 12: Titans at Eagles

Week 13: Eagles at Dallas on Thanksgiving

Week 14: Seahawks at Eagles

Week 15: Cowboys at Eagles on Sunday Night Football

Week 16: Eagles at Redskins

Week 17: Eagles at Giants

Expect Eagles to take defensive player in 1st round

Ever since the Philadelphia Eagles released DeSean Jackson, the expectation among most fans and media was that they would look to draft his replacement in the first round. Could it be Brandin Cooks? Mike Evans? Kelvin Benjamin? Cody Laminer? It very well might be, but will they take a receiver in round one?

Don’t bet on it.

Eagles Post Free Agency Mock Draft

Free Agency has slowed down tremendously and through the addition of safeties Malcom Jenkins, Nate Allen, and Chris Marogos, linebacker Brian Brahman and cornerback Nolan Carroll, the Eagles have added depth and competition to some areas of need on defense while boosting the special teams unit. The Eagles also added offensive weapon, Darren Sproles through trade and signed Mark “Sanchize” Sanchez to compete with Matt Barkley for the back up position. This approach puts Philadelphia in a position where they don’t have to reach at a need and can go with what they think is the best talent available. This mock draft is an analysis of not only the current holes on the roster, but also of how the picks fall with my board and Chip’s philosophy. I do believe that the Eagles will do something in order to acquire more picks, but as it stands…

1.22- Kyle Fuller (CB, Virginia Tech): Despite adding Nolan Carroll, the Eagles add one of the best corners in the draft to upgrade a below average corner group. Fuller is a very physical corner who has great instincts and closes on the ball very well. Not only can he contribute as a pass defender, he also can play the run like a linebacker. Chip will love his physicality, length and overall coverage ability and his addition will allow Brandon Boykin to stay in the slot where he thrives.

2.54- Marcus Smith (OLB, Louisville): A position of need that was not upgraded was getting another edge rusher. As much as we all love Trent Cole, he is not getting any younger and you can never have too many pass rushers. A former quarterback, Smith is an incredible athlete as a pass rusher and is very intelligent. He has an ideal frame but needs to add weight to be more effective in the run game. He has shown, in college, the ability defend the run very well and defend the pass, but adding some more strength would be ideal. Best of all, he is dynamic coming off the edge and creating pressure from anywhere along the front seven. The team will love his versatility and he will make an impact even in a limited role as he is groomed behind Cole and Barwin.

3.86- Deonne Buccannon (S, Washington State): Sensing a trend? Despite some offensive shakeups, it is still clear that this team’s biggest need is defending the pass. Buccannon is a very rangy safety who can do a great job of diagnosing and using his closing speed to make plays over the top. Not only is he a smart coverage safety, but he can lay the wood in a pretty serious way. While he is inconsistent, and can miss tackles, especially in the run game, he has an ideal size and mentality when going in for the hit. If the Eagles were able to land Buccannon here, he could compete for the starting job immediately. Having he, Jenkins, Wolff and Allen would give the Eagles lots of youth and athleticism on the back end of their defense and a solid competition.

4.122- Josh Huff (WR, Oregon): Ladies and Gentlemen, the Jaccpocalypse is officially over. Desean Jackson is out and the Eagles find themselves in a position where they have a receiver need in one of the deepest receiver classes in recent memory. Though a guy like Huff has a much higher grade from me, I feel like receivers will see a huge fall in this class due to value. Huff, who probably knows Chip very well, will be a valuable weapon at receiver. He has great hands, attacks the ball (unlike someone we knew), fights for extra yards and is overall a very dynamic player from all over the field. Not to mention a very good blocker. Huff’s value most likely comes in the slot where his sure handed ability combined with his overall speed makes him a great person to step in Jackson and Avant’s absence. With newly added Darren Sproles possibly seeing more snaps at receiver, an overall pass catching corps of Maclin, Cooper, Sproles, Huff, Ertz, Celek and Shady out of the backfield makes for one hell of a passing offense. Desean who?

5.162- Justin Ellis (DT, LATech): Quietly, the Eagles had one of the better front three rotations in the NFL last year. Cox, Thorton, Logan, Curry and Geathers made a a very good overall impact to the defense and form one of the strongest units on the team. However, a few games showed that a deeper, more run stopping oriented line is necessary to winning the close games and Ellis can bring just that. He is a monster at 6’1″ and 334 pounds with freakish strength and a stalwart anchor. He will make an impact from anywhere in the interior in a rotational role but his best fit is at the nose as he can eat space and disrupt a team’s running game. His run defense and Bennie Logan’s pass rushing ability make for a very good rotation at nose tackle. 

7.237- Wesley Johnson (OL, Vanderbilt): Possibly one of my favorites in the draft and a guy who I have highly rated, but think falls due to lack of prototypical size, Johnson just gets it done. He went up against some of the best pass rushers in college football and used incredibly sound mechanics and phenomenal quickness to mitigate the defenders impact. While I don’t think he translates to an NFL tackle, I think he could be a very good guard in this scheme down the line. His intelligence, mechanical soundness and foot quickness fits the type of player that the O-line currently possesses.

An Offseason Story

A storyboard of the DeSean Jackson saga:

‘No way’ Desean Jackson’s an Eagle next year

Another day brings new DeSean Jackson rumors. Is what is being reported true? Maybe. Could it not be? Maybe. Do we know the answer? Nope.

What we do know is that the Eagles are staying quiet about all of this. They could have easily put this to a stop by publicly saying that the rumors aren’t true. But they haven’t. Their silence, in a way, is deafening.

Eagles ‘all over’ Kyle Fuller at Virginia Tech’s pro day

The Philadelphia Eagles defense needed a lot of work and they knew it. Their front seven is solid, but their back end needed work. They have addressed that need by adding safety Malcolm Jenkins and cornerback Nolan Carroll, but they are still looking for improvements.

Tony Pauline of reports that Eagles defensive coordinator was “all over” cornerback Kyle Fuller at Virginia Tech’s pro day.

The Eagles Should Not Trade DeSean Jackson


DeSean Jackson is an enigma who can be troublesome. We all know that and we’ve known that since we drafted him out of Cal. Daniel Jeremiah, back before he worked for NFL Network and the Eagles, recalled DeSean Jackson’s pro-day as one of the best he’d ever seen. DeSean Jackson had ran a 4.35 at the combine, a time that doesn’t quite do his play speed justice. John Middlekauff, former Eagles scout, said DeSean’s combination of hands, route running and speed makes him an elite threat. He was southern California’s most outstanding high school football player, he won the Army All American game MVP, he won the Randy Moss award for best punt returner in college and he was twice selected as an all-Pac-10 performer. Since entering the NFL, DeSean has been named an all-pro in 2010 and has made the Pro Bowl three times. In fact, DeSean was the first player in NFL history to be named a Pro-Bowler at two spots, wide receiver and punt returner, in 2010. And since DeSean entered the NFL no player has had as many plays that went for forty or more yards. DeSean Jackson, despite all his issues, is incredibly talented. We know this.