A "Meet the Rookie" type thread, this thread is strictly for the purpose of letting the posters know what type of player each of the Eagles newest additions are. It focuses on the type and style of player, how they fit, and what to expect of them for the Eagles. Where they were drafted matters will not be a part of this thread, this is strictly a player evaluation. I most likley won't be able to do all the write-ups today, but will knock them out ASAP, as I already know how each player is, it's just a matter of the time it take to write them down. I will add them to this post in the order they were drafted.
Brandon Graham, DE
You all know I like him a lot. The only major questions about Graham are his measurables, which coincidentally, are not a big factor, especially with the type of DEs the Eagles like and how they use them. With Graham's bulk and style of play, he is the perfect LE in this defense, though he is not limitted to just LE. He could slide over to RE, though with Cole, I don't expect to see him there much, and in passing situations can slide inside to DT. As a pass rusher, Graham, brings a lot to the table. He has a variety of moves, a swim, spin, hump (very good), shoulder dip (very good), and not to mention his bullrushing abilities. He incorporates his overall body strength well into his pass rushing, especially in his hump move and bullrush. His lower body stength and core are where he uses his shoulder dip and bull rush well. His quickness is on display with his swim, spin and shoulder dip, though it does need to be said that his spin isn't always effective and his swim move, though good, isn't great. His feet are always churning, never flat or stationary, which is great in both the pass and run game. His agility, which some may not see as elite, is very good, and is good enough that he can use it well, to his advantage as a pass rusher. Graham's lack of height is a blessing for him in the run game, as it is harder for linemen to have their pad level low enough to drive him off the ball. The run game is where his overall body strength, especially his great lower body and core, are evident. He holds the POA well, very well, but also uses his quickness in the run game to shoot gaps and make plays all over the place. If he has two big road grading linemen, he is able to split them on occasion, or go around, but usually he is holding his ground or getting driven back, but only slightly. He definitely does not get "engulfed" much. He will track runs away from him well, whether it be down the line or behind the line. Graham sniffs out screens well too, and does a great job of retracing his steps and is able to make plays on screens.
His attributes in his overall game: Graham is strong, especially in the core and lower body, which helps him in all phases of his game. He understnad leverage as well as any DE I've seen coming to the NFL in the last three years. He has quick hands, and doesn't take a lot of space (a large swing or thrust) to get them into position. There is no wasted movement with his arms, which help make up for his lack of arm length to help him get his hands into position. His hand positioning is really what helps him with his ability to leverage linemen, he will get his handslow on the chest, and jack linemen's upper body upward, taking away a lot of their strength, as well as allowing him to shed their blocks. This will only improve when he builds his upper body strength. You don't see him on the ground much. If he can get his upper body strength (which is very good) to the level of his legs and core, there may be no stopping him. As advertised, Graham has a motor that is always pegged out. Is a great tackler who wraps up well. He doesn't necessarily play violent, but he doesn't play nice either, haha. (I can't think of a good way to put it). He is a hard worker, and apparently has the attributes of a team leader. The only real questions to his actual game are how he is dropping into coverage and his questions about him being a playmaker. He doesn't force many fumbles. As I see it now, he is a step or two below Trent Cole in coverage, and will need to work on his chop to separate the ball from the ball carrier.
Expect Graham to compete for the starter's LE spot right away, and most likely win it. He may not have huge sack numbers his rookie season because of the rotation and depth at DE, but his presence will be felt in that area, as well as in the run game. He will help keep the LBs clean as well as make plays all over the place. He will get pressure on the QB, as well as make plays in the run game. We could see him develop into a DE who consistently gets 12+ sacks per season, though unless he learns how to force fumbles more frequently, he won't cause trunovers too frequently. I see him as being a very good-elite DE in a few years, and a potential team leader.
Nate Allen, FS
Allen brings a lot of things to the FS position that have been lacking since Dawk left, and that is a blend of range and ability versus the run. He has great size, actually similar to Dawk in that regard, but after that, comparisons to Dawk should stop. He has long, solid arms and legs and is. He could stand to strengthen his core a bit, which would further improve his tackling abilities, which are pretty good. He has good quickness, and can break quickly after he reads and reacts, which are a strength of his. As I said before, he has very good range, and can cover a lot of ground. Allen is always around the action, he can break up passes, as well as force and recover fumbles. He recovered a lot of fumbles at South Florida. He has soft hands and will come down with the catch when he should, but isn't a threat to return it like Asante is. He is a solid open field tackler, and his tackling form is very good, however, he doesn't lay a big hit too often, and don't expect him to drop guys like Dawk did. He may be our best option to cover TEs like Witten, Boss, and Cooley, as he has the athletecism to handle those duties, but he may struggle a bit with the faster and quicker WRs in man coverage. He is able to keep up, but you may see pass interference or holding penalties. We may see him slide in to Nickel coverage or CB on occasion, but I see his best fit as FS. Another thing I like about him is his intelligence (on and off the field) and his ability as a leader. He can be entrusted to be the playcaller on defense, and has the intelligence and leadership ability to do so.
I see him competing with Jackson and Harris for the starting FS (if Harris isn't moved to CB), and if he can absorb the playbook (I think he can), he will start right away. Expect a guy who will be a very good coverage FS who will come up with key INTs, FFs, and FRs. He will make tackles in the run game, and won't miss many, but he won't lay devastating blows like Dawk, or even Mikell. Expect a guy who will come up with 5-8 turnovers per season (combine INTs and FF/FRs) and will be a staple in the secondary, as well as a leader, for the future.
Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, DE
I see Nesheim fitting in as a RE in the defense predominantly, but he is another DE that has a great deal of strength, and may see some rotation time at LE, and if he bulks up a bit more, could also see some DT time in pass rushing situations, though I think Graham will be in before him in most cases for those situations. Nesheim doesn't have the pass rush repertoire Graham has (sticks mostly to his bull rush, swim, and shoulder dip), but he is good at those three, especially his bull rush. He is flat out violent and loves to push linemen around. Like Graham, his feet are always moving, which helps him generate power, it'd be better if he used the power, but a linemen should always have his feet going, and never flatfooted (no football player should ever be flatfooted). He has more height than Graham, and slightly longer arms. One thing he brings is the ability to force fumbles, it seems whenever he is near the QB, he finds a way to put added pressure on them, and has a good arm chop, whether he is rushing from the right or left side, or up the middle. He has a very strong upper body and has violent hands, he does have extra motion is his arms when positioning his hands, however, which will need to be refined. He is another DE with a thick lower body, but doesn't play with as much of that strength as you'd like, and as a result, does get pushed back some in the run game, and I've seen college TEs take him one on one and neutralize him, however, in most cases, he wins that battle. He isn't a guy who will hold the POA, but he can split gaps pretty well. Another guy who plays with a very high motor. He doesn't seem like as much of a team leader as Allen and Graham, but not everyone can be a leader anyway. He will need to bulk up a bit, increase his core and lower body strength, and work on incorporating a spin move, and with his upper body strength, could have an efficient hump move as well. He is a little bit of a project, but expect him to be a part of the DE rotation his rookie year.
Nesheim will probably see the field more on expected passing situations, with DEs Cole, Graham, Tapp, Parker (if the team keeps him), and Abiamiri (if the team keeps him) seeing time before him, and may spend some weeks inactive, but I see him contributing a bit his rookie year. I see his value more in the future, especially when Parker is out of the rotation (which could be sooner than we think). He looks like a guy who will get 4-6 sacks a year in the rotation, and with development, will be able to help in the run game as well. Expect him to make some big plays when he is in due to his ability to force fumbles.
Trevard Lindley, CB
Lindley will come in and compete for Nickel/Dime CB position, but I can't see him beating Hobbs or Hanson (whoever is the Nickel) for that spot. His best chance to see the field is as the Dime, and I even question his ability to win the Dime spot. He is known for his playmaking ability, and is good at separating the ball from the WRs hands, or knocking the ball out of the air as well. His footwork and backpedal could use some work as well. He is a little small, which is partially why I don't see him being a good fit at Nickel, but also because his skillset doesn't fit the position. I like that he is willing to jam at the line, but he needs work on it. He also has a good vertical and has good height. He isn't exactly physical, or a great blitzer, and doesn't offer much in the running game, though on occasion he will deliver a pretty good hit. His wrapping ability leaves a little bit desired, and in many cases when he goes low for the ankle-biter tackles, he uses poor form, going for the near knee as opposed to the opposite or outside knee. He was once thought of as a potential first or second round pick, but due to his play his senior year and an injury, he dropped on draft boards. If he can stay healthy, and works hard on improving his tackling, he could eventually challenge for Nickel, maybe even a starting spot, but I see his situation turning out similar to Jack Ikegwuonu's with the Eagles, which isn't what most of us are looking for.
I don't see him getting much playing time this year, and don't know if he offers much for special teams as a Gunner (I highly doubt it due to his tackling) or Jammer. He may see time if there is an injury, or if he proves us wrong. I see his future going one of two ways, he can either get IRed and follow the path Ike took, or he can eventually develop into a pretty good CB, the talent is there. If he does develop, he could be a guy that will make plays for the defense, but may always be a liability in the run game, unless he works on it. I see him either being a good/very good CB, or off the team in 2-3 years.
Keenan Clayton, WLB
There may be some question about what position Clayton may play, but from what I have read, he is not and will not be a Safety. He played his first two seasons at Safety for Oklahoma, and was not an impact player there at all. He made his biggest impact for the Sooners at OLB, and with his size and skillset, that is wehre I see his position being. He offers more coverage ability than most of our current LBs, and has value there, with good footwork and instincts. He lacks the ability to shed blocks and avoid trash that you would like in a LB, but. His value as a blitzer won't be too high, as he doesn't have moves or instincts for it. His value will be in special teams, where one of the positives to his game, his wrap up ability and occasional big hits will be made aware.
I see his role as a WLB, but predominantly a Special Teamer. He may be able to provide a solid blocker on special teams, as well as a good tackler on kickoffs. I think he will most likely be IRed this year, and we will see more from him, mostly on special teams, in 2-3 years, however I don't see him sticking long with the team.
(can't find a highlight video for him either).
Mike Kafka, QB
Kafka is a guy I really like a lot, he fits the offense perfect, has the intangibles you want out of your QB, and has leadership abilities. Jaws talked about it when the Eagles drafted him, and he was spot on. His throwing motion is great, and consisitent, which is more than you can ask of a lot of QBs entering the NFL. He has an arm that is plenty strong enough, and is super accurate. He already has experience in reading coverage, which is a great plus, obviously. Another thing Jaws mentioned, is his ability to shrug INTs off his shoulders. Now of course we don't want him throwing pick sixs every throw, but his ability to forget is a plus as well. He has great confidence in himself, and even has the athletecism to run if the pocket collapses. Actually, as a runner, his running style reminds me of Steve Young's, in that he looks like he is flying around, but really isn't going to fast. He won't run around or juke guys like Donovan could in his prime, but is more of a contact runner. He has the "it" factor that you look for in a QB. He has more height than McNabb and Kolb, and throws the ball in a high arm slot, as I said, consistently. His mechanics are spot on, and has a pretty good spiral, though not as good as Kolb's has become. A few things he could work on are his footwork in his drop. His second step in the 3 step drop needs to be deeper, and in any drop, it is a little sloppy. Kafka could improve his ability to manipulate the pocket, but that should come with time. He was prone to fumbles a tad, but that is due in part to his slight deficiencey in feeling pressure and manipulating the pocket.
I see him as developing into a very good backup in about two years, and potentially a good starter. With how Reid developes QBs, he could be another steal, but at some point I see him being our #2 QB and a very solid backup. Though he is different in his playing style and abilities than Garcia, I can see him as that calibur of backup when Garcia played for the Eagles. He could also be a guy that if he performs well in certain situations (preseason), he may catch a team's eye and they may ask about trading for him, a la Schaub or Whitehurst, and if the Eagles are confident in Kolb, they may accept. If Kolb would flounder, I see Kafka coming in in about two years, and he could do one of two things... Flounder as well because he hasn't been brought along enough, or do a solid job and make the team debate about whether to improve the QB position.
Clay Harbor, TE
(Can't find a decent video)
Harbor is another pick I really like. He fits what the Eagles like as a receiving threat, as well as gives some added value as a blocker. Some may say he is more of an H-Back, but his measurables are what would fit better for a pure TE in the Eagles offense. As a blocker, he could handle many of the LBs he faced one-onone, but in the NFL, that will change, and he will need to add to his frame, as well as work a bit on his body positioning. Hsi hand positioning is good for a TE, but could use some adjusting on certain blocking assignments. He will need to improve his core strength more to hold the POA. He is great at sealing the edge, whether it be a DE or a LB, and will help the OTs a lot with the elite passrushers by getting a chip on them or blocking for delayed routes. He has good hands, not great, but catches the ball with his hands pretty well, as well as shiedling defenders and using his body to make the catch in traffic. He has long arms for his height, which help him as a receiving target. He is another TE who stretches the field in the passing game. He can break tackles, but doesn't do it on a consistent basis like Celek does. Another taller target to help out in the red zone.
Expect Harbor to make an impact as a rookie, although a small one, and one that may not show up in stats. He will help out in blocking, which will go mostly unnoticed, and may have 15-25 catches, depending on the health of Cornelius Ingram. He (and Ingram) will allow the Eagles to employ more two TE sets, and with his blocking ability, it opens up the playbook. We may even see some three TE sets, especially in the future, much like Dallas did this past season. I see Harbor eventually challenging for #2 TE. He has a lot of upside, and I think he has the skillset to develop into a future starter. Witht he Eagles crop of TEs, he may not have the chance though.
Ricky Sapp, SLB
Sapp played with a two point stance as much as he did a three pointstance at Clemson. Combine that sith his style of play, and I see his best fit as a SLB. He is tall and lean, has good core strength, but could improve his upper and lower body strength. He has good hand positioning at times, but doesn't use it to leverage well. He doesn't have the motor of either Graham or DTN. As a pass rusher, he relies a little too much on speed, and his only real pass rush moves are his swim and rip. He will need to improve his lower body strength quite a bit in the NFL, as he has scrawny legs, even for a LB. My favorite part about his game is he is very good at keeping his outside shoulder free, and because of that, maintains good outside leverage in the run game and as a pass rusher, which is key for a SLB in the Eagles system. I like that he has experience, albeit not a lot of it, dropping into coverage. Sapp trails very well on runs away from him, and can navigate through trash pretty well, though he will need to improve it, especially if he is going to be a SLB. He uses his arms to tackle too much, and well miss a few tackles because of it. He doesn't hold the POA well at DE, but when he is up against TE's he should be able to handle it. He does have some ability to force fumbles, but doesn't have aknack for it like DTN or Allen. He did a lot in Clemson's defense froma bunch of different positions, and shows the ability to find the hole in the O-line on blitzes very well, and creates pressure in most blitzes. He doesn't seem like a team leader, but certainly isn't someone who will cause problems or be an off the field issue.
I have a hard time predicting how Sapp will turn out, as he has a ton of potential, and if he works hard and can strnegthen up, could be a very good SLB. He already has the outside leverage down, which is something Gocong didn't understand until two years ago, and I am real impressed with that part of Sapp's game. I see him getting IRed this year, like Gocong was, and if he works hard, could compete for SLB time or even contribute to the DE rotation, in a role similar to Clemons' role for the Eagles. He will stick around, I thinkk at least as a SLB depth who will also be utilized like Clemons was at times.
Riley Cooper, WR
Cooper was another pick I really liked, he fits the offense very well. In ways, he reminds me a bit of Hank Baskett, but with more talent, better hands and leaping ability, not to mention his abilities as a blocker. Cooper has great size and athletecism, and though he doesn't have burner's speed like DeSean and Maclin, he has plenty of speed in this offense. He has great body control and shields the defender well, he bailed Tebow out on many occasions, especially this past season. He is very physical and is will to go anywhere. He is very smart, and should be able to absorb the playbook pretty fast. Offers added value on special teams and will be a good option for a potential gunner and jammer. Some may compare him a bit to Avant, no way, he needs to refine his routes a bit more before there can be talk of that. He won't accumulate a lot of YAC, but does have some run after catch ability. He is hard to tackle for a WR, run low and has good lower body stength. He is very good at high pointing the ball, and with his height and leaping ability, is a great red zone threat. He is another young WR with loads of potential.
He will go on the roster as the #5 WR, and stay there for as long as the Eagles will have him, he has a lot of potential, and I think, in a lass talented WR corp, would probably develop into a starter with his skill set. He has the ability to play in the slot, but is natural on the outside. Expect him to work his way up to the #3/#4 WR spot, battling with Avant, in 3 or 4 years. Thoroughout his time here though, he will make contributions on special teams.
Charles Scott, RB
Scott is a player I like, not love. We all now he runs with great poer, and actually has pretty good speed for a guy his size. I can't verify with 100% certainty that he has never fumbled in college, but you can tell that protecting the footbal is instilled in his game. In traffic, he has the ball secured by both arms. In space he has the ball high and tight, with the "eagle claw" around the nose of the football. So with his technique in protecting the football in all areas as a runner, I can see it as very likely he has never fumbled. Scott has good overall body strength, particularly his core and lower body, and can deliver the hit to defenders, as opposed to the other way around. Scott has the ability to make that one cut and rip it off for a good gain, but after that first cut don't count on him to make a lot of ankle-breaking plays. He has very good vision to couple with his one cut ability, and many of his biggest plays in college came when he saw the gaps in the defense and cut and went. Defenders will need to square up and wrap him up for him to go down, as he is great at breaking tackles. His abilities as a receiver are a little lacking and you won't see him out of the backfield as a receiver much, but he is a good pass protector for a RB, and he has the size to work as a good blocker in certain pass situation. He is another guy that keeps his legs going, which is part of the reason he is so hard to bring down, along with his strength and size. If he stays healthy, he could be a great #2 RB for the Eagles. He is a decisive runner, andit will help him be productive in short yardage and goalline situations. He isn't as athletic as most of the west coast RBs, and doesn't have that quickness that Shady has, but has enough quickness to make one guy miss.
I see Scott competing with Buckley for the third RB spot this year, and winning it most likely. He won't see too much action this year, mainly on short yardage situations or in games that aren't close. As he developes and comes along, I see him developing into a solid #2 option to compliment Shady, who will come in to games to finish wearing out defenses. Expect a RB about the calibur of Buckhalter, but obviously with a somewhat different skillset.
Jamar Chaney, LB
(kind of crappy angle and quality)
Jamar Chaney might be my favorite Eagles pick in the whole draft. Notice I didn't designate whether he could play WILL, MIKE, or SAM... That's because with his variety of skills, he can play any LB position on the Eagles defense, though I see his best fits either at MIKE or SAM, with SAM as his best position. In coverage, he is able to control a wide range, and his 40 time is not a fluke, he plays as fast as he times in the 40, if not faster. Chaney has great speed and strength to compliment it, as well as great instincts in all aspects of his game, and when you combine those three attributes for a LB, you have the potential to be very good. He could improve the stength in his legs a bit, but besdies that, he is set. The major drawbacks with Chaney are his height, and his shorter arms. But besides his measurables, there aren't many holes in his game. His feet will stop when he transitions from run coverage to pass coverage, and he tackels a little high at times, and even though he wraps up consistently, because he tackles high, stronger players will be able to break tackles if he continues to do so. He doesn't have a knack for the big hit, but can lay it on occasion. In the run game, this guy has everything you want out of an LB. Not only does he shed blocks well, but he can avoid blockers completely too, using his quickness and understanding, all while maintaining gap control. He is very assigment sound in all aspects of his game. Chaney is able to navaigate through trash very well and make plays away from him. Because he played inside for Mississippi State, you don't see much of him tracking down the ball carrier from the opposite side fo the field, but he has the range, speed, and instincts to do so. Also in the run game, he does a very nice job of maintaining outside shoulder position when assigned. Chaney also is able to use leverage on the biggest of linemen to shed blocks. Really, Chaney can make most blocker look dumb, as they either never get to him, or he abuses them when they do. He is a flat out beast in pretty much every aspect of the running game. In coverage, Chaney has the abiltiy to drop into the deep zone, as well as play intermediate and shallow zones, but also can play man on TEs and RBs. Chaney is great at sniffing out blitzes, and does a good job of avoiding blocker and getting to the receiver very quickley, which is key in the offense the Eagles face. He doesn't have great ball skills, or ability to break passes up with his hands, but he can stick to his man well and separate them from the ball once they go for the catch. In zone coverage, he knows when to pick up and when to let go receivers entering and leaving his zone, this is another strength to his game, coverage as a whole is a strength to his game. If one aspect of his game needs work, it is blitzing/pass rushing. He only has two moves, his shoulder dip and his rip move, but too often relies on beating the blocker around the edge. Most of his blitzes came from the inside though, and his one strength as a pass rusher/blitzer comes in his ability to find the hole in the O-line left behind by the D-line, most of his sacks came in situations like this. Chaney is a palyer that excels in two of the three major phases of LB play, as well as having good instincts.
I have high expectations for Chaney. I see him competing for a starting spot on the Eagles roster this season, whether it be at MIKE (if the Eagles slide bradley to SAM) or SAM. But with Chaney and Badley's skillsets, I see Chaney as the one going to SLB. Even if he doesn't win a starting job this year, he will see plenty of playing time, much like Moise Fokou did this past year, probably more. I see Chaney as the starting SLB for the Eagles in 2 or 3 years, and a very good one. He won't be the liability in coverage we are used to at the position, and still brings abilities against the run that the Eagles value out of their SAM. Maybe not a pro bowl player, but a player that we will not see as a weakness.
Jeff Owens, DT
(couldn't find a single good on the field veidoe, so here is... the next best thing?)
I thought Owens was a great pick to add to the DT rotation. He has great size, perfect fit in the Eagles defense, as most of the D-linemen are 6'-6'3. He has good stength, though he doesn't necessarily play with it. He is a little restricted athletically because he is a bit overweight. He has long arms, but they go to waste a bit because of his lack of hand positioning and technique. He dispalyed a good 40, but doesn't play to it. His motor runs hot and cold, which I think is due in part to a lack of conditioning, but when he is fresh, he is a solid option alogn the DL, which because of the rotation, will be a positive situation for him. He shows quickness and is able to shoot gaps, as well as hold the POA. He has the body of a NT for the Eagles defense, but will need to replace a lot of fat with muscle if he's going to play NT. As a UT, though he will hold up agaisnt the run very well, and is a great one gap DT. Owens will never be much of a pass rush threat, because he lacks the elite quickness and explosion to reach the QB, but he does have a quick reaction to the snap of the ball, and has shown great anticipation skills. Depending on what the Eagles want to do with him, he can play NT, but as I said, he will need to go through a lot of work to do so, or UT, where he is best suited for in this defense.
I think Owens will battle for a spot on the team this year to contribute in the rotation, but may end up losing out and being IRed or put on the practice squad, mayb eeven released altogether. If he makes the team though, he could stick around for a few years, or until another DT is added to the rotation. He deosn't stnd out in any aspect of his game, but if he can work hard and get himself in better shape, he has the potential to do a few things very well. I don't see him as a starter ever, but he could eventualy be a solid #3 or #4 DT in the rotation in a few years, if he shows the dedication.
Kurt Coleman, SS
(not really any good videos)
I like the Coleman pick a lot, as it gives the Eagles a good option to back up Quintin Mikell. Coleman will need to add some weight, as his playing style doesn't match up with his measurables, but he has the frame to do so, depsite his lack of ideal height. Coleman doesn't stand out physically in any way, but you can tell he is a smart player who is instinctual. He takes good angles, especially in the run game. He is a solid form tackler, but isn't known to lay the devastating hit. He is an in the box SS who has some ability in coverage as well. He has decent speed and range, though I don't see his range as great enough to be a true impact player in the secondary. His knack in coverage is getting his hands on the ball, whether it be deflecting the ball or making the interception. He has pretty good hands, not great. He could be a special teamer as well, he has the tackling ability and the instinct to make plays on kickoffs. Not a great player, but a solid overall player.
I see Coleman making the team, and without much of a fight, honestly. Not because he is an outstanding player, but because there isn't much ciompetition behind him. He will make his contributions mostly on Special Teams, but I see him as a solid backup SS for the next few years. He may see some time in nickel and dime situations as well, but for the most part, I see his contributions on Special Teams and as solid depth at the SS position. I don't see him developing into a starter after Mikell is done, but may stick around until after Mikell leaves, whether it be through FA or retirement.
Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir is a goddess
Rest in Peace, themaninblack
Last edited by eaglesalltheway : 04-28-2010 at 01:53 PM.