Random notes from around the NFC East: The Giants’ and Cowboys’ RBs are the oldest in the bEast… at an average of 24 years of age

The Redskins re-signed Tim Hightower.  I really liked the trade the Skins made last offseason to bring him in.  Hightower had a great preseason, and in the 5 games he played last year prior to tearing his ACL, he got a nice amount of work, averaging 17 carries per game.  This year he comes in as a backup to Roy Helu, and possibly Evan Royster.  Good blocker, hard runner, capable receiver.  Good guy to have in camp.  I would assume the Redskins will keep 4 RB’s, in addition to a FB.  They also drafted Alfred Morris out of Florida Atlantic in the 6th round.  I think people think of Hightower as a guy that’s been around for a while, but he only turns 26 in a couple weeks.

Speaking of RB ages in the NFCE, my boy Tommy noted that the Eagles are going very young at RB.  It’s kind of crazy that LeSean McCoy is the old grizzled veteran of the group.  He turns 24 in July.  However, the same can also be said for the rest of the division.  I fact, the two oldest groups of NFC East runners average 24 years of age:

Giants Eagles Cowboys Redskins
Ahmad Bradshaw – 26 LeSean McCoy – 23 DeMarco Murray – 24 Roy Helu – 23
David Wilson – 20 Dion Lewis – 21 Felix Jones – 25 Evan Royster – 24
D.J. Ware – 27 Bryce Brown – 21 Phillip Tanner – 23 Tim Hightower – 25
Da’Rel Scott – 23 Chris Polk – 22   Alfred Morris – 23
Avg – 24 Avg – 21.75 Avg – 24 Avg – 23.75

I’ll be attending Eagles training this year for sure, and I hope the Giants will have me back this year as well.  Still working on the Skins and Cowboys (not sure if I’ll make it out to Oxnard even if the Cowboys grant me credentials). Anyway, here are the new players I’d be most interested to see to compete against the big boys on each NFC East team:

  • Bryce Brown, Eagles: Got my first look at Brown on Saturday at Eagles rookie OTA’s.  In case you’re unaware, Brown was a bigtime recruit coming out of high school, rated higher than guys like Trent Richardson.  I saw a kid with good burst, nice size, that was smooth catching the ball.  He just looks the part.  Was clearly the most athletic back at OTA’s.  The Eagles might have a steal.  The general feeling among the beat writers is that he needs to be “de-recruited,” meaning… People have been kissing this guy’s ass since he was 16, and a grueling NFL training camp could be the thing that determines whether he came to play or not.  But the physical ability is there.
  • Adrien Robinson, Giants: He probably isn’t going to play a lot his rookie season in NY, but I’m curious to see just how athletic this kid is in person.  265 pound TE’s that run a 4.51 don’t grow on trees.  I’d love to see him matched up against Michael Boley.
  • Matt Johnson, S, Cowboys: Obviously, the Cowboys saw something in this kid that made them pick him in the 4th round.  ESPN’s Scouts Inc had him rated as the 70-somethingth best safety in this class.  Then again, Scouts Inc. also thought that a “key matchup” for the Eagles-Falcons Week 2 matchup last year was Trent Cole vs. Jason Peters.  Seven teams worked Johnson out, so he did get attention around the league.  His game tape is almost unwatchable due to Eastern Washington’s horrific red field.  It’ll be interesting to see how he handles the jump from a small college to covering guys like Witten, Austin and Bryant.
  • Alfred Morris, RB, Redskins: As I noted in my Redskins draft review, Morris ran for 725 yards and 7 TD’s on 118 carries (6.14 per carry) in his last 5 games at FAU.  Florida Atlantic was outscored in those games 190-84.  Despite playing from behind in most of those games, the Florida Atlantic passing attack contributed just 826 yards.  In other words, Morris basically WAS their entire offense.  That was against teams like Middle Tennessee and Arkansas St.  However, in Morris’ first two games on FAU’s 2011 season, they played Florida and Michigan St.  His combined numbers in those games: 24 carries, 37 yards.  I want to see him running behind a professional offensive line against a good Redskins front 7.

Osi Umenyiora is not Richard Pryor.

Jamaal Jackson retired after a day of tryouts with the Giants.  He was a guy that carved out a long, productive NFL career despite not being drafted.  Great Eagle.  Happy retirement, Jam Jax.

19 Comments

  1. ct17 says:

    Boise State’s blue field > Eastern Washington’s red field. The red is not that bad, though. I watched a game scouting Taiwan Jones a year ago.

    1. You’re a better man than me. There was just something about that red field… gave me a headache.

  2. please click says:

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  3. Chastle says:

    on talent i would rate the running back cores Eagles, Giants, Skins, Cowboys pair of Murry and Jones can be deadly if used right and they split the carries well enough I believe that McCoy’s talent is enough to place the eagles over giants, he is that good, for the I think Bradshaw is good but he didn’t impress me a whole lot last year and Wilson looks good nothing amazing though, I think the Redskins while not having any single great running back but helu seems like he can be a burner and Hightower can be a solid asset as well with his pass blocking and as long as these two split carries with Royster and Hightower getting goal line carries i think they will be a fairly solid core with lots of potential, and then we come to the Cowboys, nothing against Murray who had a phenomenal year and Jones who seems like more than a solid back up to Murray i don’t know why i just don’t see them doing to well this year but then again this is all coming from a Skins fan who just follows a few different blogs religiously so I am probably wrong

  4. Mr.Electric10 says:

    I’d be surprised if the eagles dont sign a veteran RB before the season starts. I think right now Andy wants to see what they have between Brown, Polk and Lewis but I would have loved to get a guy like Tim Hightower. McCoy was very lucky to be healthy all of last year I bet this year he will miss a few games and its important that we have someone more proven to handle the load in that situation.

    1. Trueblue63 says:

      That’s what happened here a few years back. Most coaches won’t go with a stable of untrained RBs cause of pass protect/blitz pickup. That’s how Boley broke Romo. No one picked him up, he got a free run.

      You can’t expose Vick like that.

  5. Eric says:

    I just don’t know if it matters if Bryce Brown is a Hall of Famer or JAG. When will he get playing time to show he’s good? McCoy is worthy of all the big carries. At the most, he’s a guy that shows some flashes and is worth a trade or he becomes another good FA back like Turner.

  6. DaCrock says:

    I agree that LeSean McCoy is by far the most talented RB in the NFCE. However, I also believe that it’s important for Brown or Polk or someone still TBD to impress in training camp given the susceptibility of the RB position to injury. Lewis, I think, lacks the size to be viewed as quality depth from a durability standpoint.

    The Eagles were fortunate that McCoy wasn’t lost to injury for an extended period last season, and they’re the only team in the NFCE who stayed relatively healthy all year at the RB position (see games lost by Bradshaw, Murray, Jones, Hightower, Helu, etc.). It’s a rare season in the NFL when RBs don’t go down for multiple games–even guys like Petersen, McFadden and Forte. Don’t get me wrong: even as a Skins fan, I love watching McCoy play. He’s electric. I want to see all teams stay injury-free (beat the best at their best), but it’s not practical to assume that will happen. It’s why I see developing more RB depth as vital to the Eagles’ offense in 2012. And from a Skins perspective, quality depth is why I’m happy we brought back Hightower. We don’t have a superstar back, but we have a quality stable of RBs with no significant dropoff if one goes down.

  7. Jimmer says:

    Cowboys signed Darrell Scott as an UDFA. Coming out of HS in 2008 he was the #1 rated RB. Guy to keep an eye on.

    1. deg0ey says:

      Interesting – what’s his story? I’ve heard all about how Bryce Brown went from #1 HS prospect to 7th round pick and it sounds like most of it’s on him being stupid. What did Darrell do?

      1. BigGREEN says:

        Darrell Scott went to University of Colorado the same year I entered as a freshmen. He chose CU over powerhouse schools like Texas because his uncle, Josh Smith, was a WR for the team. He got buried in the depth chart behind Rodney Smith, and never really amounted to much. When Josh Smith transferred to UCLA to pursue a career in music, Scott tried to follow him again, but UCLA rejected him. Damage was done, he had to leave. Went to…USF? and fell off the face of the Earth.

        Always seemed to be dinged up at CU, and played behind a really bad OL his first two years. The reason he was buried on the depth chart is because of his stubborn refusal to learn to pass block.

  8. tst29 says:

    The depth behind McCoy is pretty thin and inexperienced. Lewis only got 23 carries last year and he is our most experienced RB fighting for a job. The 3rd RB is going to be a battle between a 7th round draft pick and a bunch of UDFAs. I’m actually not worried about this. There are plenty of veteran FA RBs out there like Ryan Grant and Justin Forsett that the Eagles can snatch up just in case Brown, Lewis or Polk don’t pan out.

    The Redskins are the least talented among NFCE teams at RB. I think the Cowboys edge out the Giants for the most talented group of RBs.

    The Eagles draft pick that I’m most intrigued with is Dennis Kelly. He has good size for a OT and was a starter for a good program in Purdue. However I can’t find any video or reading material about this kid. I trust Howard and Mudd when it comes to drafting linemen, they usually do a good job. I was angry about the Kelly pick at first because they passed up on Cyrus Gray, but I’ve warmed up to it. If you asked me last year at this time if Kelce would make this team, I would have said no.

    1. “I think the Cowboys edge out the Giants for the most talented group of RBs.”

      Does that mean you would rank them Cowboys-Giants-Eagles-Redskins?

      Personally, I’d take McCoy all by himself over any of the other 3 sets of RB’s in the NFCE.

      1. NYG_slater says:

        ya I agree. Based on what McCoy gave you guys last year, He’s without a doubt a top 3 producer (rice, Foster,Shady). I’d rank the NFCE Eagles-Cowboys-Giants-Redskins at RB. The cowboys get the nod as long as Murray can come back healthy, because I can’t grade Wilson yet. But I wouldn’t be surprised if Murray needed a year to gain back some confidence in his knee.

        The only problem I have with McCoy and the Eagles moving forward are his future contract terms. Top 5 RB’s all make more than 7 mill/yr. McCoy is worth it, but at 7-8/mill a year he doesn’t really provide much surplus value relative to his cost. It comes down to would you rather have McCoy (7-8mill/yr) or Bradshaw(3 mill)+Wilson(.4mill)+DJware(.65mill) + another 4 mill a year to spend elsewhere. I don’t know what I’d take.

        1. NYG_slater says:

          errrr rather ankle for murray. Think he just broke it. No ligament damage. In that case ya Eagles-cowboys-giants-redskins. Murray should be good to go.

    2. Free Plax says:

      Seems the way McCoy is playing they only need a RB to give him a breather, he is young but plays like he is from the old school

      Can a Cowboys RB have a 1000 yard season before you claim they are better than the Giants RB’s I mean not for nothing but outside of Dallas Felix Jones is considered a bust big time. The guy is always hurt and has been in the league 4 years now, never rushed for 1000 yards and still looks like a 3rd down back. As far as DeMarco, he flashed potenital but lets see him take his game to the next level before we start putting him over anyone.

      1. joe d says:

        agreed… As a philly fan with a deep rooted bias AGAINST the Giants and to a smaller degree the Cowboys, I think I would take the oft-injured Bradshaw over DeMarcy Murray and Felix Jones. Felix Jones looked like the real deal his rookie year, thankfully ONLY his rookie year.

        Bradshaw is a really efficient back for the price… Something tells me McCoy is not going to take Bradshaw’s deal

        1. Trueblue63 says:

          If McCoy takes Bradshaw’s deal he ought to fire his agent.

  9. Euler.is.a.pimp says:

    Wow Bradshaw is ancient. Guy needs to retire.

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