– 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?
|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|
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.