Notes from around NFC East: A look at the Eagles’ DL, and some notes on the Skins signing Fred Davis and Darryl Tapp

Eagles

• Tommy and I recorded a new podcast. We covered the Havili-Geathers trade, Vinny Curry possibly playing 3-4 DE, Victor Butler, Darryl Tapp, Donnie Jones, and the Eagles’ potential interest in Eric Winston

• The Eagles traded FB Stanley Havili for DE Clifton Geathers. The Eagles appear likely not to utilize a FB in the traditional sense under Chip Kelly, so they were able to at least get a body back in return. Geathers turned 25 less than 4 months ago and is on his 6th team. He has played 187 snaps in his entire career. This is a guy that will come in and compete for a roster spot, but probably nothing more.

After the Eagles released Mike Patterson and Cullen Jenkins a month ago, their depth chart looked like this along the DL:

It now looks like this:

Eagles DL depth

A few notes there:

  • Cox had a great rookie season, and looks like he could be a stud.
  • Sopoaga is a situational run defending role player only.
  • Thornton is a player that has always impressed me in training camp, and could very well be a nice player in the NFL. However, his ideal role would be as a high-energy reserve, not a starter.
  • According to Jeff McLane, the Eagles intend on playing Vinny Curry at DE. Curry is listed at 266, so if that’s accurate he will have to put on likely a minimum of 20 pounds to stay at DE in a 3-4. Some guys can do that, but it isn’t easy. My buddy Tommy Lawlor has talked in the past about guys like 49ers DE Justin Smith, who were able to re-shape their bodies to fit a new scheme, although I feel that players like Smith are more of the exception than the rule. I really don’t have much of an idea what to make of Curry, since we haven’t seen much of him in action so far, but my initial gut reaction is to say that Curry could very well become a victim of a scheme switch, and another wasted high pick. Does Curry have any trade value? Tough to say.
  • The rest can’t be considered anything more than warm bodies at this point.

There are some nice pieces in place. One stud, two nice role players, and a player with potential who may not fit the scheme. The Eagles will likely add a defensive lineman in the draft, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them load up on more beef when they begin signing undrafted free agents.

Cowboys

• Victor Butler signed with the Saints yesterday, and with that, none of 12 players the Cowboys drafted in 2009 are still with the team. Again, to recap, my official analysis.

Redskins

• The Redskins re-signed Fred Davis. I’ll have more on that later, but I think it’s a huge for the Skins. I remain shocked that he didn’t get more serious interest from teams around the league. I understand the injury and character concerns, but I just love his talent. Maybe I’m overrating him. To be determined.

• The Redskins also signed Darryl Tapp to a 1-year deal yesterday. I don’t understand that one at all. He’s too undersized to play 3-4 DE, and he’s not quick/fluid enough to play 3-4 OLB. In theory, he could be a situational pass rusher at DE or DT in the nickle, but even then, you’re not really getting a “plus” pass rusher. If you’re going to have a guy play that specific a role, you want that player to excel at that one thing. Tapp doesn’t. That’s not to say I don’t like him as a player. I just think he is best suited to be a rotational player, specifically as a 4-3 DE, not specializing in any one thing. Odd fit, although he’s probably a player that will be fighting just to make the team.

Giants

• All quiet with the G Men, other than Osi Umenyiora saying the Falcons are the most talented team he’s ever seen, although I don’t really care about any of that. The Giants did announce their OTA schedule. If the Giants continue to be awesome about credentialing me, I’ll be there.

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11 Comments

  1. Also, I read a PFF stat about DeMeco Ryans’ tackling efficiency last year, and I think if I remember reading right, he was far and away the NFL’s best and surest tackler, missing exactly 0 tackles the whole year. Curry as a 5-tech end would have DeMeco keying the line directly behind him. Not a bad safety net.

    1. Greg says:

      What about the tackle against Cruz (I think) where Ryans built up a head of steam, Cruz cut right, and Ryans flew by? 2nd Giants game?

  2. Cox could always man the 5 technique end position, freeing Curry to work the three technique. The three technique is ideally your best pass rushing end. I know Cox is accredited with being exceptional atass rushing, but it does seem that Curry mirrors those traits. He would need less bulk since he would be on the weak side. He would still want to add 20 or so to be in range of the size he’d be best suited to play at, but as a three technique end at 280 (hypothetically) he would be less undersized than at 5 where I think over 300 is preferred since it operates on the stronside. I think curry projects to either DE in the 4-3 under, and at present, I think he is also capable of playing the LEO or “predator/elephant.” If he is willing to put in the work, there is no reason why he couldn’t be successful at these points. In Chip’s vision, football is football. Versatility and the will to win above all else. Curry clearly has the will to win. He bleeds green. There’s no reason to think he can’t exemplify the versatility they expect from both sides of the ball… This is just some food for thought. Feel free to disagree and or rebuff. I am guessing that not only we he not mind being used in this way, he would be ecstatic. And we’d be none the worse for it.

  3. Fools says:

    Way to f^ck up Vinny Curry guys!! Wahoo! Way to go genius Eagles FO & coaches!!!

  4. ct17 says:

    From his college tape I thought Curry was as much a 3-4 OLB as a 4-3 DE. The move to 3-4 DE makes no sense to me, unless he has been seriously bulking up. But his quickness is why he was drafted.

  5. deg0ey says:

    Looking back to Curry’s pre-draft profile on CBS, I spotted something that caught my attention:

    “Plays with intensity and a nice anchor even when giving up 40-50 pounds against most blockers. Shows pop as a bull rusher. Stands up well against the run when lined up at five-technique, but must prove he has the bulk and strength to handle NFL linemen one-on-one or double-teams before moving inside.”

    Seems to suggest that it might not be the craziest move in the world to have him bulk up and play end.

  6. Dan in Philly says:

    It’s hard to imagine a player as talented as curry being tossed away due to poor for for a coach who claims to coach to fit his players rather than vice versa. ditto for Graham.

  7. steveospeak says:

    I feel that Vinny Curry may be trade bait. I know he didn’t show much as a rookie, but so many teams need pass rushers, and many will be off the board after the first two rounds. I could see some team offering like a 4th and 7th for him.

    1. If its only a 4th and a 7th I don’t know if I would want to trade Curry. He hardly got a chance to play last year and I think that would be selling low being as we took him in the 2nd last year (and that wasn’t really a reach IMO).

      1. steveospeak says:

        Agreed but his value has gone down (3 years left of team control versus 4) and since he didn’t show much, you can’t expect a lot. It’s better to get some value for Curry rather than force him to play out of position or have him ride the bench.

        1. ggeagle21 says:

          .. I want to see Curry FAIL at OLB and DE before we consider trading him away for a 4th round pick…he was considered by many, a first round talent last year…how much could that have possibly decreased after 25 snaps in a rookie year?

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