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Philadelphia Eagles Position Analysis: Defense

 
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marky_b27


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 9:37 am    Post subject: Philadelphia Eagles Position Analysis: Defense Reply with quote

Philadelphia Eagles Position Analysis: Defense

In the continuation of my Positional Analysis, I turn my attention towards to defensive side of the football. (Writer’s note: I am going to use ‘offense’ and ‘defense’ instead of ‘offence’ and defence’ to avoid confusion)

Current Defensive Depth Chart

LDE: J. Kearse T. Cole J. McDougle
LDT: M. Patterson B. Bunkley L. Ramsey
RDT: M. Reagor S. Rayburn
RDE: D. Howard J. Thomas
SAM: D. Jones T. Spikes C. Gocong
MIKE: J. Trotter T. Spikes O. Gaither
WILL: O. Gaither T. Spikes M. McCoy
LCB: L. Sheppard W. James D. Fox
SS: S. Considine Q. Mikell
FS: B. Dawkins Q. Mikell
RCB: S. Brown J. Hanson

(Direct from the Eagle’s website)

Defensive Ends
Javon Kearse (Age: 30, Years Pro: 9)
Darren Howard (Age: 30, Years Pro: 8 )
Trent Cole (Age: 24, Years Pro: 3)
Juqua Thomas (Age: 28, Years Pro: 7)
Jerome McDougle (Age: 28, Years Pro: 5)

Mark’s View

With Kearse coming back from a serious injury, it is not yet known if he will regain he form of old. Darren Howard performed well in the early parts of the season; before Kearse got injured; but tailed off towards the end of the season. One hopes that, when Kearse regains full fitness; both will have pro bowl seasons. Trent Cole really stepped up after Kearse’s injury, and I expect he will be pushing the experienced two for starting time. Thomas was impressive in the rotation as a pass rusher; and I was pleased to see we resigned him. McDougle has had misfortune over the last few years; which may leave to him being traded or released.

Draft Outlook

With the Eagles philosophy of drafting 2-3 years in the future, and with Kearse and Howard over 30 years old, I can see the Eagles drafting a DE in this year’s draft. In which round is a matter to debate, and I expect potential defensive ends will be scouted in each round. I feel that the DE will need to be good against the run, to complement the speed rushing ability of Cole.

Defensive Tackles

Mike Patterson (Age: 23, Years Pro: 3)
Montae Reagor (Age: 29, Years Pro: 9)
Brodrick Bunkley (Age: 23, Years Pro: 2)
Sam Rayburn (Age: 26, Years Pro: 5)
LaJuan Ramsey (Age: 23, Years Pro: 2)

Mark’s View

With the addition of Reagor and the trade of Walker to the Bills, much depends on the progress of Bunkley. If he can get himself ‘in gear’, and improve his technique; then the Eagles will have a dominant starting partnership with Patterson. If not, Reagor adds experience to the rotation, as well as a desire to win, considering he was injured when the Colts won the super bowl last year. Patterson has come along nicely and is now a solid starter; one hopes he pushes on to the next level. Rayburn and Ramsey are two young guys, who add to the rotation, and I expect they will be working hard this summer to push for more playing time.

Draft Outlook

After drafting two defensive tackles in the 1st round the last two years; one cannot really expect another DT to be taken early in this years draft; unless a top prospect drops unexpectedly. With no real big defensive tackles on the roster, a 2nd day big body may be taken, but may be missed due to other needs.

Linebackers

Takeo Spikes (Age: 30, Years Pro: 10)
Dhani Jones (Age: 29, Years Pro: 8 )
Chris Gocong (Age: 23, Years Pro: 2)
Omar Gaither (Age: 23, Years Pro: 2)
Matt McCoy (Age: 24, Years Pro: 3)
Torrance Daniels (Age: 25, Years Pro: 2)
Jeremiah Trotter (Age: 30, Years Pro: 10)
Dedrick Roper (Age: 25, Years Pro: 3)
Greg Richmond (Age: 25, Years Pro: 2)
Craig Kobel (Age: 25, Years Pro: 1)
Jeremy Cain (Age: 27, Years Pro: 3)


Mark’s View

With the trade for Spikes, the Eagles have picked up an experienced player, who when he stays healthy, is a pro bowl linebacker capable of playing all three linebacker positions. At the least, he gives the Eagles good depth, and someone to mentor young backers, especially Gocong. Trotter seems to have slowed down over the season, one hopes he regains his form, but I fear that his time in football may be dwindling, and could only be a two down backer. Gaither and McCoy have both had game time the last season, with Gaither being quite impressive at the WILL position. McCoy seemed to struggle in the latter part of the season, which may have been caused by an injury. I feel we need to evaluate him when healthy, and see if he is a starter. I feel that Dhani Jones may be surplus to requirements for the Eagles now, but if he does stay, we should look at him at the WILL position, where he excelled for the Giants. Chris Gocong is an interested prospect, who has spent the season learning for the transition from DE to SAM linebacker; if he is a playmaker there is another question entirely, and I for one are looking forward to seeing him on the field. Torrance Daniels is a good backup to all three positions, and could be pushing the backups for some real game time. Roper, Richmond, Kobel and Cain are inexperienced guys, who have spent time on the roster doing special teams or the practice squad. Kobel has been assigned to NFL Europa, giving the Eagles a chance to see how he does in game situations.

Draft Outlook
Much to many ‘experts’ view, I don’t think we will pick an outside linebacker early on, and definitely in the 1st round. I think the front office has full confidence with their youngsters, and will give them a full chance to develop and express themselves. However, I feel an inside linebacker should be chosen in the middle rounds, someone who can learn from Trotter and Spikes, and the take over from Trotter when he hangs up his boots.

Cornerbacks

Lito Sheppard (Age: 25, Years Pro: 6)
Sheldon Brown (Age: 28, Years Pro: 6)
William James (Age: 27, Years Pro: 7)
Joselio Hanson (Age: 25, Years Pro: 3)
Dustin Fox (Age: 24, Years Pro: 2)

Mark’s View

Behind Sheppard and Brown, who I feel are one of the best cornerback tandems in the NFL, the depth at the cornerback position is rather thin. William James is a talented player, but one does not know if he can regain his pre-injury form, as shown by the Eagles only giving him a 1 year contract. Hanson and Fox are two young guys who are just learning the NFL game, and are not ready to play fully, however, from what I have seen of Hanson, he looks like a good player, and could end up like another ‘Rod Hood’, eventually becoming the nickel back.

Draft Outlook

With the reluctance to give James a long term contract; a cornerback is a definite need, and one should be taken in the 1st day. With the way the Eagles value their cornerbacks and the state of the league at the moment, a cornerback in the 1st round is not out of the question. We may also pick up another cornerback in the second day, depending on how comfortable they are with Fox and Hanson.

Safety

Brian Dawkins (Age: 33, Years Pro: 12)
Shaun Considine (Age: 25, Years Pro: 3)
Quintin Mikell (Age: 26, Years Pro: 5)
Erick Harris (Age: 24, Years Pro: 1)

Mark’s View

Brian Dawkins is just awesome, in my opinion, he is the best free safety in the NFL, and possibly the best safety full stop. However, he will not play forever, and we will have to look to the future. Much depends this off-season on Shaun Considine, and if he can build up, there is a definite chance he could be a great player at SS. Mikell is a special teams demon, and definitely earned his new contract. He also has shown he can perform on the defense in certain situations, giving the Eagles a reliable backup at both safety positions. I don’t know much about Harris, but, like many other young Eagles has been assigned to Europe to gain valuable match experience.

Draft Outlook

With only three safeties on the ‘game day’ roster, a safety is definitely a need. If it is a free or strong safety depends on if the front office believes Considine can play at Strong Safety; if he can, then this opens the opportunity of looking at the pure free safeties in the draft. If it is destined that Considine will be our free safety, or the Eagles are still unsure; there are a number of safeties with experience at both safety positions; which could offer the Eagles the versatility in the secondary.

I will try and get special teams done soon, most probably by the end of the day.

Comments and Discussion on this would be very helpful.

My positional analysis of the offense is here:

http://www.footballsfuture.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=123694

Thanks

Mark
[/u]
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eagles for life


Joined: 11 Jan 2007
Posts: 2022
Location: Austria
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

first, great analysis, great post.

I definately agree with you on the LB spot, i dont think we will target an outside LB early but i do think that we will add Trotters possible future replacement in the middle rounds, because personally i think that Gaither is way too small to play MLB and is best suited for WILL
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babyatemydingo


Joined: 15 Jan 2007
Posts: 7604
Location: South Jersey
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DE: McDougle must be cut. This opens the door for developmental DE on day 2. Personally, I like C. J. AhYou.

DT: We're done. It is a good rotation with good depth. I'll miss seeing Darwin Walker at P.F. Chang's but, whatever. Funny story, I thought that was him. I wasn't sure. But, as soon as he got up he did that "waddle" when he walks and I knew it was him.

LB: The addition of Takeo Spikes adds versatility and depth to a position that was in question. Barring injury it will be the most impactful off-season move by far. Spikes, Jeremiah Trotter and Omar Gaither start. Chris Gocong, Matt McCoy and Torrance Daniels and make the team with McCoy and Daniels expected to contribute heavily on special teams. Gocong will be given the opportunity to win a starting job in camp.
Dhani Jones is cut for financial reasons.
The others are inconsequential except for possibly rounding out the practice squad and being called upon in the case of injury.
No draft picks spent here. Look for an UFA or two to be signed afterwards.

CB: The Eagles will carry 5 this year. Sheppard and Brown start. James will be the nickel back initially. Hanson will be the dime. The Eagles will spend a 1st or 2nd round pick here with the intention of him winning the #3 spot, replacing Hood. NDAI.

S: This is the other day 1 need on defense. Dawkins is the only given at FS. Mikell is the second best S on the roster, but, alas, he plays FS, too.
SS is an issue. Dawkins could play SS with anyone and it might ultimately be where he ends his career. For now, though look for the Eagles to take a SS early to compete with the inconsistent Considine.
Anything Harris does is a bonus.

More good stuff Marky.
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stevec0008


Joined: 13 Feb 2007
Posts: 8549
Location: Newark DE
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awsome post once again, you spelling looks better(<----Joke)
I hope bunkley starts over reagor..who knows.
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eagles for life


Joined: 11 Jan 2007
Posts: 2022
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

babyatemydingo wrote:
DE: McDougle must be cut. This opens the door for developmental DE on day 2. Personally, I like C. J. AhYou.

DT: We're done. It is a good rotation with good depth. I'll miss seeing Darwin Walker at P.F. Chang's but, whatever. Funny story, I thought that was him. I wasn't sure. But, as soon as he got up he did that "waddle" when he walks and I knew it was him.

LB: The addition of Takeo Spikes adds versatility and depth to a position that was in question. Barring injury it will be the most impactful off-season move by far. Spikes, Jeremiah Trotter and Omar Gaither start. Chris Gocong, Matt McCoy and Torrance Daniels and make the team with McCoy and Daniels expected to contribute heavily on special teams. Gocong will be given the opportunity to win a starting job in camp.
Dhani Jones is cut for financial reasons.
The others are inconsequential except for possibly rounding out the practice squad and being called upon in the case of injury.
No draft picks spent here. Look for an UFA or two to be signed afterwards.

CB: The Eagles will carry 5 this year. Sheppard and Brown start. James will be the nickel back initially. Hanson will be the dime. The Eagles will spend a 1st or 2nd round pick here with the intention of him winning the #3 spot, replacing Hood. NDAI.

S: This is the other day 1 need on defense. Dawkins is the only given at FS. Mikell is the second best S on the roster, but, alas, he plays FS, too.
SS is an issue. Dawkins could play SS with anyone and it might ultimately be where he ends his career. For now, though look for the Eagles to take a SS early to compete with the inconsistent Considine.
Anything Harris does is a bonus.

More good stuff Marky.


I dont know if were done here. We have basically a three-man rotation right now and two of them have problems against the run.
Look out for a big-guy in the middle rounds.
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sifter132


Joined: 02 Jan 2007
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Location: New South Wales, Australia
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really liked the analysis. Could only come up with 2 points to discuss it was that good:

1. I don't see much point in taking a MLB in the middle rounds (and since we don't have a 4th rounder this year, it will either be a 3rd or 5th). We did that last year, by taking Mr Omar Gaither. Unless the Eagles have put a line through him (unlikely, he started last year), or unless they see him as a OLB (quite possible, but as I see it he was only playing there out of necessity). To me he is our 4th LB for the future, a guy who can back up all positions and do it pretty well.

If we do take a MLB, I'd like to take one in the first 2 rounds to really push Trotter straight away.

2. DT. I also think we might/should take a big run stopping guy to groom as a backup nose tackle behind Patterson in the 5th or 6th rounds. But possibly a just as good option is to bring in a veteran to do this job, after all our DTs are pretty young.

Based on that and if I'm going all defense on day 1 I'd pick:
1st round - S/MLB
2nd round - S/MLB
3rd round - CB to play nickel
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killdawabbit


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pretty good analysis. Really shows an effort to realistically evaluate the Eagles (the fact that I agree with much of it doesn't hurt either Wink ).
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RBrown86


Joined: 08 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like I said in the offense/ special teams anylast threads, good job.
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