Some random thoughts around the NFC East (and beyond)

- On NFL Network this morning, on the subject of the Cowboys’ offseason, Charley Casserly was talking about teams addressing their biggest needs in free agency so that they can be flexible in drafting the best available player instead of reaching for a need.  But he cautioned that at the same time, they have to be careful not to overrate the free agents you’ve brought in.  Casserly noted David DeCastro as an example.  He basically said that if DeCastro is still available and he’s the top guy on the board, you shouldn’t let your free agency signings get in the way of that.  Nate Livings has become a surprisingly heated topic on this blog (I’m not a big fan), and Mackenzy Bernadeau is a complete and total question mark.  By no means would I stamp either guard spot as “solved.”  If DeCastro is still there, he’d be a great pick.

- If anyone can explain all the Brock Osweiler hype, I’m all ears.  Gil Brandt of NFL.com thinks he could go in the first round, based on… ready?  A strong workout.  How about his last 5 games in college?

Game Result Comp Att % Yards YPA TD INT
At UCLA L – 29-28 22 38 57.9 264 6.95 2 0
At Wash St. L – 37-27 28 44 63.6 351 7.98 1 0
Arizona L – 31-27 36 63 57.1 487 7.73 1 2
Cal L – 47-38 21 37 56.8 264 7.14 3 2
Boise St. L – 56-24 30 47 63.8 395 8.4 2 1
TOTALS 0-5 137 229 59.8 1761 7.69 9 5

0-5, 5 picks, under 60% completion %, and 7.69 YPA, which is OK for the pros, but not good enough in college for a top QB prospect.  But he was awesome in shorts with no pass rush.

- Mark Barron has been a common name linked to the Eagles in mock drafts as of late. A few of the explanations:

Here’s CBS’ Rob Rang’s take:

Mark Barron, SS, Alabama: The Eagles invested a pair of second-round picks and a seventh in safeties over just the past two years but still haven’t found a starting combination that has played with any consistency. Barron is the unquestioned top prospect at the position this year and is both physical against the run and a ball hawk. Considering the passing attacks in the NFC East, investing in an all-purpose defensive back with Barron’s instincts and pro-readiness seems like a good fit.

And ESPN’s Todd McShay:

The Eagles began addressing their linebacker need by trading for DeMeco Ryans, so Barron makes sense in the back end. He is the most complete safety in the draft, offering a physical presence in run support and the range to play the point in coverage.

And finally, noooooo… Not you too, Charlie Casserly:

Philadelphia’s Wide 9 defense needs a physical downhill safety.

Rang’s take is particularly head-scratching.  Nate Allen is 24 and was recovering from a serious knee injury in 2011, and played well down the stretch.  Jaiquawn Jarrett is 22.  Kurt Coleman is 23, and while he’s not an athletic marvel by any stretch of the imagination, he’s not going to kill you.  None of those 3 players has ever had a complete February-to-September offseason in the NFL.  And Rang thinks the Eagles should add another safety to the mix to provide “consistency?”  OK.

I like Mark Barron.  But let’s be real here.  He’s not anywhere near the kind of safety prospect that other guys in recent years have been, like Eric Berry, Earl Thomas, Sean Taylor (RIP), LaRon Landry, Ed Reed, Troy Polamalu, etc.  If you’re drafting a safety at 15, you expect him to be a star, not just “the most complete safety” in a terrible safety draft class.

- All four “new jerseys” for the NFC East teams basically remain the same, thank God.  I’m penciling in the Seahawks at 2-14, based solely on their new unis.

- Very quiet in the NFC East the past week or so.  I have a huge video post on the Eagles OL to be posted soon, in which I look at every Michael Vick sack over the last two years.  Hope to have that up either today or tomorrow morning.

27 Comments

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  17. Corry says:

    Eagles announce signing Demetrius Bell to a 5 year deal.

  18. ATLeagle says:

    i cant wait for the O-line review. I have been wanting to look into any possible relation to Mudd’s tactics and how those may have affected Vick. Having a family and a job gets in the way of things, so it is good when other people spend time on these things…

    My question is ( hopefully you address this )… is there any relationship to Vick’s statistical dropoffs last year that may be from the quick play type of line that Mudd seems to use, versus the often long developing big play that Andy and Marty enjoy so much. I am afraid that Vick may have been in the right system behind Juan’s maulers as he doesnt anticipate things as well as say Payton Manning. Along with the anticipation, is teh playcalling tendencies just wrong for Mudd, in the same way that the DC has to adjust to Washburn’s wide 9, does an OC need to consider the blocking strategies and avoid some of the really long plays?

    In specific, I was thinking about the blocking style of the tackles, where they dont ride a DE down the field and past the pocket, but instead just kind of toss the guy and help him with his speed to be off balance, and immediately move on to the next guy. This makes the play 10 on 10 or 10 on 9, instead of 10 on 11 with an advantage to the defense (QB not active or blocking). I dont know if that style is only relevant to running plays, or if that is consistent throughout all plays, and leans towards the tall passer in the pocket with quick reads and an offense based on 3 steps and out ( which is not the Eagles at all ).

    1. All good questions, but I’m not going to get into most of that stuff. The focus is going to be on the blind side protection for Vick from ’10 to ’11, but I could possibly get into some of your suggestions at a later date.

  19. ubrab says:

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  20. giantsfan says:

    Can you post a video montage of those vick sacks too? Thanks in advance!

    1. Will says:

      Second this

    2. Ha, no montage. It’ll show every sack from the 2011 season, and some select ones from 2010, but not set to “Here comes the boom.” But you’ll get to see Vick getting beat up either way, so you should enjoy it.

      Of all the sacks he took last season, the one that impressed me the most (from an opponent’s perspective) was one by JPP in the Week 3 game. Special player.

      1. Anders says:

        Its annoying how good JPP have become as an Eagles fan, but I really think Graham will show why the Eagles drafted him this season.

        1. Shaun says:

          *crosses fingers*

  21. BBI says:

    Some Giants news: Signed DB Stevie Brown. Had Antwuan Bolden and Quentin Groves in for visits. Bolden is a CB/FS from the Patriots, and Groves is a former 2nd round pick in 2008 DE/SAM.

    That’s a bunch of DBs they’re signing this offseason. Terrell Thomas, Chris Horton, and Stevie Brown.

    Based on pre-draft visits and interviews, Giants look to be targeting a WR early. They’ve already met Rueben Randle, Chris Givens, Mohamed Sanu, and Alshon Jeffery. Chief of Scouting Marc Ross talked at length with Dwayne Allen at his pro-day, and WRs coach Kevin Gilbride Jr had a conversation with Alshon Jeffery.

    I’m a big proponent of Jeffery to the Giants, and you should see more mock drafts put him there as we chug along. Been seeing a lot of Doug Martin to the Giants as well in a lot of mock drafts. Would make a lot of sense.

    1. Shaun says:

      Really would depend on how the Giants’ draft board shakes out….Reese usually takes BPA so focusing on one or two positions for them to draft is pointless (who saw them taking Prince last year with Thomas, Ross, and Webster there already?)

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