I’m back bitches! Did you miss me? Who am I kidding, you obviously did. How could you not? I’m a delight. Now that we have the pleasantries out of the way, let’s get right back to it – because, if I’m being honest with myself, I know you didn’t miss my weird, sometimes incoherent inner monologue that I can’t help but puke out of my fingers. Haha. Finger puke. Anyhoo, like I said, you don’t want that shit – you want the Eagles shit. Hehe, bird shit. Alright, alright, I’ll stop effing around – well, I’ll try to anyway. In that vein, let’s talk Eagles sh…rookies. Eagles rookies. In case you missed it, the new rookie class made their debut appearance in Eagles green over the weekend, as the team hosted their rookie minicamp. Normally these minicamps are pretty uneventful and this year wasn’t much different, but there were a few takeaways to be had. The biggest, for me at least, is that all these youngsters seem to be really good dudes who also appear to love football. Plus, Mack Hollins is going to be a legend in this town – and maybe even a good player to boot. For more rookie minicamp nuggets, check out Brandon Lee Gowton’s 13 notes, I promise you won’t regret it. Unless you hate notes, in which case, you’re weird. Alright, now that I’ve offended all the notes haters out there, let’s do some notes!
— Story by Tyler Morales @TylerMorales_
When the Philadelphia Eagles selected Shelton Gibson I could not help but run across my house in excitement. Gibson was one of my favorite players in this class because of the versatility and athleticism he brings on the field. It was obvious that the Eagles were interested in Gibson after a report came out that management gave Carson Wentz some film of Shelton Gibson to watch and study.
Gibson could step in and make an immediate impact on this team, which I expect him to do. After a disappointing 40-yard dash at the combine, Gibson went from a projected 3rd round pick to more of a day three selection which I am sure was music to Joe Douglas’ ears. At the West Virginia pro day he improved his 40 time to a 4.39 which is more like what we expected.
Gibson’s presence on the field will cause a defense to adjust. Teams gave this guy so much cushion when he was on the field. On this play below, Baylor gave him so much room and prayed he did not beat them deep. Gibson turns a simple deep curl into a long touchdown. His YAC ability is very underrated in my opinion because we simply saw him run the same route over and over again.
Below is another play that showcases his YAC ability.
— Story by Jeff Mulhollan @JeffMulhollan
With their first pick of the 2017 NFL draft, the Eagles decided to select pass rusher Derek Barnett out of Tennessee. The pick came as a bit of a surprise to many as there was plenty of top offensive talent still on the board such as OJ Howard, Dalvin Cook and top defensive talents like Jonathan Allen and Reuben Foster. The pick came from the obvious emphasis given to the defensive line by Jim Schwartz, but the surprise comes from all the talk about giving Carson Wentz weapons and the glaring sink hole in the defensive backfield.
Barnett’s abilities as a pass rusher will be a much-needed upgrade to the defensive line. He has areas in his game where he needs to improve to be a dominant force, but he was a feared rusher in college. He played in 39 games through his 3 years in college and amassed a total 198 tackles (131 Solo, 52 for loss), 32 sacks, 3 forced fumbles and an interception. He had 8 games in college where he collected multiple sacks and 2 of those games he finished with 3 sacks. At Tennessee, he was not just a pass rusher as he spent plenty of time dropping into coverage instead of rushing. This is something he will not need to do with the Eagles.
So…Sidney Jones in round 2, huh? Wise move or big mistake? On sports talk radio, callers are certainly weighing and many are ready to trash the pick. Hopefully, the opinion of those not calling is more reserved and rational. After all, not every fan calls in. When I’m alone in the car, my radio has been stuck on sports talk almost entirely since I got my license 20 years ago…There was that brief stint I was really into country music and I almost bought a cowboy hat, but that was short lived…The point is, in all that time I only ever called in once.
But, I digress. Personally, I’m with holding judgement. I’m not ready to be down on the pick and it’s not because I think Sidney Jones will be a savior, it’s because it really is too soon to tell. The real reason I’m holding out is because I’d like to see how the ACA affects Sidney Jones on the field.
No, not that ACA…The ACA I’m talking about is Athletic Computational Awareness. This is 100% legit arm chair GM theory I’ve developed to help me figure out why some players with all the measurables can’t seem to stick in the NFL. I’ve done a 30 second search on google for my new theory and found nothing, so it’s mine, and basically it works like this:
— Story by Kyle Nunnamaker @KMN735
With the 14th overall selection in the 2017 NFL Draft the Philadelphia Eagles select Derek Barnett, defensive end from Tennessee. The crowd goes wild! But not really. I think this was a pick that the Eagle fans needed to let marinate for 24 hours before realizing that this decision may be a smart move. At least this is how I was. Coming from someone that was on the Reuben Foster train, along with a majority of Philly fans, I was initially fuming on the pass up of the Alabama linebacker.
After seeing that Foster dropped to the 31st pick in the 1st round and the Eagles were one of 30 teams to go in a different direction, it made me feel a little better even though I still think San Francisco took a future All-Pro defensive player. Let us hope the Eagles did the same thing with the former University of Tennessee DE who needs to prove he is a double-digit sack stud the Birds were looking for.
Here are the early comments and grades on the entire Eagles draft. So far, most analysis has been very positive.
Draft Grade: B+
Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox led the Eagles in sacks last season with 6.5, and there was a clear directive to get an edge rusher for defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz in the first two days of the draft. Derek Barnett fits that bill as the first-rounder Philly got in the Sam Bradford trade with Minnesota. Barnett, who had 33.0 career sacks at Tennessee, will join the rotation with Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry and free-agent signing Chris Long.
Philadelphia had issues in the secondary last season, too, and one of the best things for a porous pass defense is a stellar pass rush. The Eagles took a step toward that on Day 1, then boosted the back end on Day 2. Sidney Jones could be a steal if he recovers fully from the torn Achilles he suffered at his pro day in March. Though he’s optimistic about returning in 2017, he might be better served by a redshirt year. If healthy, he’s a top-15 talent with good ball skills and the ability to handle big wideouts. Rasul Douglas was a ballhawk in 2016 with eight interceptions, but he doesn’t have high-end speed (4.59 40).
Mack Hollins is a special-teams demon and former walk-on with some big-play ability. Donnel Pumphrey set the FBS career rushing record with 6,405 yards and is probably a part-time back. Elijah Qualls has a load of talent and ability but inconsistent tape.
Philly needed to shore up its defense and it did that pretty well. It’s not a home run class, but the Eagles got better.
In Joe Douglas’ and Andy Weidl’s first draft, it was very important for them to find building-block players. Their first two picks — DE Derek Barnett and CB Sidney Jones — fit that mold. They both have outstanding football character. Hollis, a former walk-on, also embodies the type of players the Eagles are looking for, and he was a great value. Yes, he has some durability concerns, but at 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds with big-play ability, Hollis was a late-second/early-third-round talent and the Eagles got him at No. 118 overall. Hollis plays like an absolute maniac on special teams coverage and will at the very least by a good red zone threat.
Best move: Drafting Tennessee DE Derek Barnett with the 14th overall pick. The Eagles landed a player that they’ve been high on for months, choosing to trust the tape rather than be scared off by less-than-desirable combine numbers. Jim Schwartz’s defense doesn’t work without an organic pass rush, and Barnett knows how to get to the quarterback.
Riskiest move: Selecting the injured Sidney Jones in the second round. This has the potential to be a great pick. If Jones fully recovers from his Achilles injury, the Eagles will have gotten one of the best cornerbacks in the class at a bargain price. The flip side is Jones never recaptures his form. It’s boom or bust with this selection.
Draft Grade: B+
I really like the choice of pass rusher Derek Barnett in the first round. He might be the best pass rusher in this class. They took a risk with Washington corner Sidney Jonesin the second, but it could be a big-time payoff if he comes off a torn Achilles tendon healthy. They added some young weapons for Carson Wentz in the later rounds. Fifth-round receiver Shelton Gibson can fly.
Eleven running backs went before him, but none was more productive than Donnel Pumphery, the all-time FBS rushing leader.
— Story by Brian McLaughlin @B_McGLOCK
Honestly, I really like what the Birds have done so far. Sidney Jones at 43 not only shows a ton of balls, but it shows a commitment to winning and building something great. Only time will tell if it was the right decision or not.
There are, however, still holes to be filled on this roster and while the focus on defense is great, they have neglected a few other areas of need thus far.
Let’s take a look at what to expect today and how they may address a few of those needs.
Round 4) 118, 139
Round 5) 155
Round 6) 194
Round 7) 230
Biggest need: Running Back
I would come right out of the chute and go RB at 118. Joe Douglas hit a home run on day 3 last year with drafting Jordan Howard. Howard went on to be the NFL’s second leading rusher. Let’s do it again Joe!
I would come right out of the chute and go RB at 118. Trading up is also a possibility. The Birds traded up for the first pick in round 4 of the 2013 draft and selected Matt Barkley.
Marlon Mack – South Florida
5’11, 213 lbs.
2016 stats: 174 carries, 1,187 yards, 15 tds- 28 catches, 227 yards
I mentioned Mack as a possible sleeper earlier this week. Mack is a better Wendell Smallwood in my opinion and he fits what the Eagles want to do. He could be a real nice find this late.
What would the Eagles have done if Dalvin Cook was still on the board? Would they have drafted him if he wasn’t snatched up by the Vikings, trading up and got in front the Eagles to selected the Florida State running back. We’ll never know for sure, but I get the feel that Howie and Company had real interest.
BUT, that allowed the Eagles to select cornerback Sidney Jones, which was a popular move by most Eagles fans.
Like the Sidney Jones pick? #eagles
— Jon Marks (@JonMarksMedia) April 29, 2017
Not ideal that you are drafting a player that might not play in 2017, but the kid is a talent who has real potential to be a number one corner.
— Story by Brian McLaughlin @B_McGLOCK
We thought round 1 would be unpredictable, and man it lived up to the hype.
First off, the city of Philadelphia is the undisputed best sports town in AMERICA. Insane turnout last night, and for once we are being viewed in a positive light.
Draft never has been this raucous – ever. Not even close. Philadelphia bringing it.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 28, 2017
Round 1 started out with a BANG. Three QB’s, two RB’s, and three WR’s all gone before the Eagles picked at 14!
As we all know by now, the Eagles then went on to take Derek Barnett (DE, Tennessee) at 14.
Biggest winners in Round 1
Cleveland and San Francisco
1. Myles Garrett – DE, Texas A&M
24. Jabrill peppers- S, Michigan
31 David Njoku – TE, Miami
Acquired a 2018 first and second round pick from Houston
3. Solomon Thomas- DE, Stanford
31- Reuben Foster- LB, Alabama
Acquired a 2017 3rd and 4th round pick, and a 2018 3rd round pick from Chicago
— Story by Brian McLaughlin @B_McGLOCK
B GLOCK hit on the Eagles pick last night. Take a look at what was predicted yesterday and was we are mocking for the rest of the draft.
This has been one of the more unpredictable drafts in recent memory.
Ok, the final prediction for the Eagles at 14…..
LB Reuben Foster
WR Corey Davis
DT Jonathan Allen ? (injuries)
DE Derek Barnett
RB Dalvin Cook
CB Marlon Humphrey
14. Philadelphia Eagles – Derek Barnett- Defensive end, Tennessee
I don’t know if everyone will be “High fiving” or not, but this would be a safe and solid pick.
I would certainly sign up for this
— Matt Lombardo (@MattLombardoPHL) April 26, 2017
You can check out my write up on Barnett by clicking here
In the second round A TRADE!! I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again … Trader Howie is the best Howie.. and he strikes yet again Thursday night.