As a last minute replacement GM (H/T AP user NOLACHIEF), I was put to the task of coming up with something very quickly for Arrowhead Pride's Mock Draft extravaganza. It was obvious to me that I needed some help in order to get this pick right for the Philadelphia Eagles.
So I scoured SB Nation for someplace, any place where they may know a little something about the Philadelphia Eagles... My first thought brought me to Cageside Seats, but they were all too busy talking about a little event known as Wrestlemania to even notice that I had arrived. No, that obviously wasn't going to cut it. I had to think NFL, and the only NFL blog on SB Nation that I'd ever even heard of was Arrowhead Pride... In fact, I had barely noticed there was even any other websites on the internet in all my hours debating with AP Talk Radio host Upamtn about whether or not Vontaze Burfict can actually play football in the NFL.
After doing a little research, I discovered that SB Nation has upwards of 323 sports blogs. Including one for every single NFL team. This was an amazing revelation, and I strongly urge each one of you to check out every single one of them. That includes the amazing football blog: Bleeding Green Nation.
How much did they help me? Find out... after the jump of course.
For all of my intense lacking knowledge of our beloved Kansas City Chiefs, the Philadelphia Eagles are another story all together as far as what I know about the team and their needs in 2012 NFL Draft. I needed some help in my reign as mock GM of the Philadelphia Eagles. So I decided to join up at Bleeding Green Nation to hopefully find just that.
Before joining, I was coming to the obvious conclusion that the Eagles needed help at Offensive Tackle. After all, their stud OT Jason Peters ruptured his right achilles tendon and is expected to miss the season.
So, that was one of the first questions that I posed to BGN, asking:
With the unfortunate injury to stud left tackle Jason Peters… Why would the Eagles not go OT with the 15th overall selection?
The manager of BGN, JasonB quickly responded with: Because there are none worth taking.
Fair enough. But one of the players that I had potentially going to the Eagles, given the remaining players left on the board was Mike Adams OT, Ohio State. So I asked: With the huge need, you can't envision the team making a reach on a player with potential like Ohio State's Mike Adams?
His answer was pretty straight forward: No I can't. For one, because I think they’ll sign a free agent beforehand. And two, because the Eagles have shown that they’ll just trade back if they don’t see value. Plus, I really don’t understand why they’d burn a first round pick if the team expects Peters back next season.
That made pretty good sense to me, it seemed as if I needed to get an overall feel about how they felt about the remaining players that were on the board. So I posted a list of players that were available and asked the Eagles fans to give me their take on some of those guys.
Here are the results of that, posted by an Eagles fan that calls himself Talon Talent, as well as his rankings of the available players left joining the team:
Quinton Coples North Carolina DE43 – The more I see of this guy, the less impressed I am with him. People say he's got some talent but I watched three different games with him and didn’t see it. No speed, no real push, just sort of a body.
Fletcher Cox Mississippi St DT43 – Great pass rusher. Needs some work on run stopping, but he is an excellent player.
Whitney Mercilus Illinois DE43 – He had a hell of a year, but one year does not a 15th pick make.
Michael Floyd Notre Dame WRF – Could be the most talented WR in this draft class. Kind of a luxury pick for us, but depending on who else is on the board, he could make our offense even more dangerous.
Courtney Upshaw Alabama OLB34 – Upshaw will be great in a 3-4, but he doesn’t have the move set to be a good 4-3 DE.
Stephon Gilmore South Carolina CB - 3rd rated CB. I’d rather take Janoris Jenkins.
Andre Branch Clemson DE43 – To me he is a 3-4 pass rusher. Has no place in the 4-3.
Devon Still Penn State DT43 – I see him as a 3-4 DE. He would essentially be a guy like Broderick Bunkley in the 4-3. A great block eater, but no real push to disrupt the pocket.
Mike Adams Ohio State ROT – Maybe if we were trading down and knew Peters was done. But Peters has a good chance of coming back, so I will pass.
Mark Barron Alabama SS – Jarrett was only a rookie, so replacing him so early is not an Andy Reid move.
Peter Konz Wisconsin OC – Could be an awesome center, but Jason Kelce has that role locked up.
Zach Brown North Carolina OLB43 – I like him, but not at 15. Maybe in the mid 20’s.
Dontari Poe Memphis DT34 – Combine warrior. I don’t like him.
1. Fletcher Cox
2. Michael Floyd
3. Stephen Gilmore
4. Whitney Mercilus
5. Mark Barron
6. Peter Konz
7. Courtney Upshaw
8. Mike Adams
9. Zach Brown
10. Quinton Coples
11. Dontari Poe
12. Andre Branch
Prior to doing this, if I was listing the needs of the Eagles (all knowledge jokes aside), it would have looked a lot different that what Talon Talent provided me with for this mock.
With Fletcher Cox being at the top of the list, I decided to inquire about defensive tackles, asking: Out of Devon Still, Dontari Poe, and Fletcher Cox. Which potential NFL DT would be the best fit in the Eagles defensive front?
Once again, JasonB responded and his answer was a little surprising: Fletcher Cox and it’s not even close. The other two probably shouldn't even be 1st round picks.
Through out this whole process, Fletcher Cox's name kept showing up... Determined to get the right answer for their team, I decided to ask about pass rushers, as it is a need for every team. Posing this question: OLB/DE appears to be a need for the Eagles... How does BGN feel about drafting a stud OLB/DE like Quinton Coples or Courtney Upshaw, and which of the two would be a better fit?
Wasting little time, JasonB replied with the obvious answer: The Eagles run a 4-3. Neither of these guys are a fit.
Despite being schooled in what the fits are for the Eagles, I pressed on with a player that I knew would fit their system very well, asking: Zach Brown is more of a fit for the 4-3, but 15 is a little high... Has there been any discussion of selecting the former North Carolina star?
JasonB: Maybe in the early second round, but like you said, not at 15. That's way too high for him.
Okay, well all signs are pointing to Fletcher Cox being the pick, but what about the secondary, perhaps a stud safety like Mark Barron?
That idea got shot down by MidwesternEaglesFan who said: Advice from an Eagles fan: Don’t select Mark Barron. Andy Reid has always gone with coverage safeties and personally, I don’t like Barron in that area. Plus, Eagles are happy with both Kurt Coleman and Jaiquawn Jarrett at the position.
Perhaps a future cornerback like Stephon Gilmore to join that already loaded squad?
Not according to Shadysquad: I don’t think I am in the majority, but I do not view Gilmore as a great talent. The main reason I think that we won’t draft him is because we have moved to more of a press man coverage with our corners and he played off more at South Carolina. I watched tape of him against Julio Jones and he looked like a peewee out there. While I never judge anyone off of highlight tapes, it may be telling that his consist of fumble recoveries and blocked kick returns instead of great plays on the ball. Fletcher Cox is my guy, I think he fits our defense perfectly.
What about the fans that just left their broad opinions, you may wonder? Well let's take a look at what a couple of them had to say:
Some people think we should go with Riley Reiff. (note, they didn't know Arizona already grabbed him)
A surprise pick would be Michael Floyd from Notre Dame. He could compete for the slot, and would be an upgrade from Jason Avant down the road.Kanade_Tachibana
Given your draft so far and considering Brockers and Kuechly are gone, I would say aside from trading back, that the pick should be Fletcher Cox of Mississippi St. The Eagles don’t have much of a need anywhere after the trade for Demeco Ryans. Although, we are still looking for a solid SAM, and need to find an answer there, many people around here still have us picking up Kuechly if he is still available to play the SAM. Michael Brockers is another one who’s gotten a lot of attention on here, although IMO Cox is better suited for the Eagles.
Fletcher Cox has a high motor, something Andy Reid has always loved. Needless to say, Cox is a beast. If he drafted by the Eagles, he'll eventually replace Cullen Jenkins as he continues to age. Cox is also of the same mold as Jenkins, as more of a pass rushing DT, as opposed to a run stuffer like Brockers is said to be. At 6-4 295, Cox has good size and explosiveness and fits what the Eagles are doing with the wide-9 very well. The wide-9 emphasizes getting to the QB and that is why Cox would be a good fit here in Philly. Cox of course still has some work to do, and needs to work on his bull-rush as it is reported that he tends to rely on a spin move a tad too much. But with Jim Washburn, Cox should thrive in our system and develop into a very dangerous player.
Despite the Eagles depth on the DL, I don’t see any other players being of high enough value to select. Plus, I personally believe per your guy’s mock, that Cox is the BPA aside from maybe a few other guys that could be argued about, like Michael Floyd or Janoris Jenkins. So Cox would only serve as depth for now but with a year or two of development would be a crucial part to an already dangerous DL for the Eagles. Hope this helped.
After my adventures at Bleeding Green Nation, I came away with two favorites for the Eagles selection in my GM duties, including former Notre Dame wide receiver Michael Floyd. A lot of Eagles fans think highly of him and wouldn't be disappointed if he was the selection at 15. After all, he did just do a private workout for them and the fans out in Philly really enjoy their offensive weapons.
However, the overall outcry was for a different player and you guys can probably guess by now, just who that player might be. So after over 2,200 words and no further ado: