• December 5, 2023

It’s Morgan, Thomas or Pouncey In 1st & Jackson In 2nd

I think the Philadelphia Eagles will try to move up in the first round and get either young safety Earl Thomas of Texas or defensive end Derrick Morgan of Georgia Tech.

It all comes down to which one of them falls the furthest.

They have to know which teams in the early to mid teams are willing to trade down and what it’s going to cost.

Right now it’s hard to tell which one of these guys, Thomas or Morgan, will be there because it seems that their stock is rising or falling depending on the day of the week.

Thomas compares favorably with the other top safety Eric Berry of Tennessee. I think both of them are going to be exceptional safeties in the league and the fact that the NFL is now a passing league makes their value go up every day.

Teams used to be able to hide safeties who were coverage-challenged. That is no longer the case because of the use of three-wide receivers sets and the likes of more and more athletic tight ends.

Defensive coordinators like the versatility of not having to go to nickel just because the offense brings in a third wide out. Keeping an extra linebacker on the field makes the defense more solid versus the run. Thomas or Berry would allow a defense to do that because of their cornerback skills.

A safety has to be able to cover and these guys can do that. Thomas and Berry can move outside and play the corner position in a pinch. NFL safeties will find themselves in one-on-one situations with the best wide outs in the league.

Berry is going to be gone in the top five, six or seven picks, so we’ll stop talking about him and just focus on Thomas.

I think they want Thomas in the first round but I believe they would be happy if they got Morgan. He happens to be the defensive end who is best prepared to step on the field tomorrow and play NFL football.

University of South Florida’s Jason Pierre-Paul is the most talented of this year’s defensive ends, but he hasn’t played football very long. He’s raw but extremely talented.

He has a burst that Morgan doesn’t have but he’s probably more of a risk. I think the Eagles would grab him if he falls to them but I don’t think they will move up to get him.

Morgan has all the athletic tools of size, speed, quickness, power and arm length, but he also has the intangibles. He has solid technique in making inside and outside moves and he brings it every down.

I like the way he gets rid of blockers on running plays and takes good angles versus the run or the pass.

Thomas or Morgan will give them a starter and hopefully a Pro Bowler on their defense for the next eight years.

On this Monday night at 7pm at P.J. Whelihans on Rte. 70 in Cherry Hill, NJ I will be talking about what I think the Eagles will do in Thursday’s draft. Stop by and give me your opinion about what you think they should do.

We’ll start watching the Eagles intently on Thursday night, after Jacksonville makes their pick at number ten. We’ll be able to see who is still on the board and I think the Birds will be on the phone talking trades.

If the trades blow up, they settle for Florida center Maurkice Pouncey, who can also play either guard.¬† Starting center Jamaal Jackson is trying to come back from knee surgery and he’s not getting younger.

Pouncey would be a great get for the Birds because he’ll be able to handle all of those 3-4 nose tackles by himself and free up the guards to help elsewhere. Quite a few teams around the league are transitioning to the 3-4, including the division rival Washington Redskins.

The Cowboys already play the 3-4 and Pro Bowl nose tackle Jay Ratliff gave the Birds the fits in the three losses to Dallas last season.

Pouncey could secure the position for the rest of the decade because he’s an outstanding athlete for the center position. He’s very strong and plays with great technique.

In the second round, the target is a cornerback and the guy is Alabama’s Kareem Jackson with that 37th pick. He’s a young Sheldon Brown, but a step or two quicker and faster.

I’ve heard quite a few player evaluators call him the cornerback most ready to step in and play right now.

The kid has quick feet and great technique. His hips are loose and he comes out of his backpedal very smoothly.

Jackson is a competitor who will knock you out if he gets the chance. He’s a smart football player who understands the game.

He should be there at 37.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the Eagles make a trade or two overnight after the first round, but they can’t make the mistake of trying to get too much and letting the guy they want slip through their hands.

I think they made that mistake a year ago at the tight end position.


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Paul Mancini
Paul Mancini
April 16, 2010 9:20 am

Sounds Good G,

Some Scouts believe that E Thomas could be a very good CB at the Pro Level
and that M Pouncey could also be a NFL Guard…What do think about this and is their potential versatility on these players help raise their Stock as far as the Eagles are concerned.
We all know how AR loves having versatile players..

April 16, 2010 9:26 am

Plaese don’t go back to taking fat lineman in the 1st. Reid has done a good job lately take skill position players the past couple of years in the first 2 rounds and we have had some of our better drafts. At 24th overall take USC safety TAYLOR MAYS!!!

April 16, 2010 9:44 am

What TE did they miss last year before taking Ingram? I know there were a couple others that looked good, but I don’t think they would have had more of an impact than Maclin or McCoy. Looks like the ones taken before Ingram were Pettigrew in the first. And then they passed on these guys: Richard Quinn, Jared Cook, Chase Coffman, Travis Beckum, Shawn Nelson, James Casey. Maybe Cook or Coffman they would have targeted.

April 16, 2010 11:28 am

Edo – G was VERY VERY VERY high on Pettigrew. He’s still sore that they didn’t get him. I think Celek is just fine, and as for Ingram – Love the prospect, but worst case scenario, we still have Celek who’s one of the best. And don’t tell me that any other the other teams in the division are 2 deep at TE…. so screw pittigrew

April 16, 2010 12:00 pm

I think we need to nab a top cornerback if we can. They don’t grow on trees either. I would rather not give up any of our first three rounds’ picks and get the best safety, cornerback, linebacker, and defensive end we can. We have so many holes I am not sure we should be packaging picks to make a move.

April 16, 2010 12:21 pm

It’s a tough call either way; we definitely need someone that can step in on day 1 and relieve Macho Harris from having to play Free Safety ever again. Earl Thomas is that guy, but like Eaglez said, we have so many holes that we might need to draft best S, CB, DE, and LB available with our first 4 picks. Moving up might end up being detrimental in the long run. With that being said, I wouldn’t be disappointed if they drafted Pouncey or Iupati. Watching Dallas’ D-Line dominate our O-Line was sad and pathetic and something needs to be done about it.

April 16, 2010 12:49 pm

Good – Weapon X – are you really that big an idiot – the exact # of OL taken in the first rd during 11 years of Andy Reid – 1, one , uno. Shawn McAndrews – and before his back and mental state went out he was considered one of if not the best Guard in the Game. The Eagles did trade a #1 last year – and Peters went to the Pro Bowl last year. Christ – there are 40 different articles out about eh breakdown of Rieds draft picks during his tenure – get a clue – in 11 years Reid has drafted 20 OLman – he targets most between the 3rd and 6th rds – Justice was a #2, Hermanns a #4, Peters a trade, Andrews FA, Cole and jackson signed as UFA. Dunlapo a #7, McGlyn a #4. Ried has actually had a year or two of not drafting any OL. Go into next season without a solid center you will never recover. Maybe Shipley is the answer, maybe signing Mawae – but you need to have the OL secure before anything else

April 16, 2010 2:14 pm

I believe that while our defense has many many needs our biggest need is at CENTER. If pouncey is as good as advertised and he can start at center for 10 years and handle both the 3-4 and 4-3 defense we will be seeing he is a MUST HAVE player.

We can draft the best corner available with #37 and take either the best safety at 55 or if around grab a corner with size. A 6’2 or 6’1 corner with size could possibly be made into a FS with cover skills and bring the wood. That way he could add size and speed (for a safety) to the coverage and possibly swap down to corner against taller more physical receivers.

April 16, 2010 2:19 pm

Of course we could always package an older vet – J Thomas, A Samuel, or Q. Mikell to move up the boards to grab young replacements. The eagles need to use this draft for the next 5-10 years not the next season. If you grab the right guys you will be able to see the possibilities this season. Next year you sprinkle in some young talent Via FA and the Draft and Bang following the lock out you are in a good position with talent for then next 5 – 8 years and should have the cap room to extend the promising young talent to long term deals. (Yes there are a-lot of assumptions in this thinking)

April 16, 2010 2:24 pm

G I absolutely thought the same thing about cook and when they did not take him I was very upset with my TV. I was dreaming about his freakish size and speed as a second TE or even at Wide Receiver in the RED ZONE where he would create mismatches galore with Jackson and or Maclin on the field offering differing threats. Jackson the quicks, Maclin the same with more size and Cook man oh man could have been good. If 88 pans out though he might (big Might) do some of the same things.

April 16, 2010 3:23 pm

I still say the Eagles should find away with all those picks to come away with Wilson from Boise and Pouncey but hey Pouncey and Jackson would be just fine too.

April 16, 2010 5:59 pm

I think they are targeting Pouncey and Lupati and unless Thomas or Berry fell into their lap they wouldn’t draft him…which sucks.

Again, it’s the Eagles we’re talking about. I look at the last two drafts, even from the offensive side, and have doubts. Granted they drafted DeSean Jackson, which most people seem to believe gives them a pass on drafting offensive players, BUT they could have had Chris Johnson instead of Trevor Laws and Percy Harvin instead of Jeremy Maclin. Neither Harvin nor Johnson were “sleepers” by the time the draft happened so it’s not like the FO needed to be geniuses and pick out the needle in the haystack with either of those guys and they wouldn’t have even had to trade to draft them.

No one can tell me that if the Eagles had DeSean Jackson, Chris Johnson and Percy Harvin on the team there wouldn’t have already been one, possibly two parades down Broadstreet by now. Even with the migraines I would take Harvin over Maclin in a heartbeat. I know that guy won’t pull up short on a TD pass out of fear of being hit.

April 16, 2010 6:14 pm

G – thanks for clarifying on the TEs. I thought you might have been referring to Cook. They did get greedy there. Hopefully Ingram stays healthy this year. Kolb might be able to hit him with some better balls than McNabb would have. For this draft, it will be very interesting to see how it falls and what moves the Eagles are able to make.

April 16, 2010 10:33 pm

@ navyeaglefan – good for you, you can look up facts about past drafts. All I know is that Reid loves lineman and won’t think twice about taking one..and I did say GO BACK TO TAKING O-LINEMAN…You dont take a Center in the 1st round…unless that center is Nick Mangold like the Jets did a couple years ago….Our biggest need is Defense…plus I don’t expect much this year, it dont matter who is blocking for Kolb because Kolb sucks!!

April 17, 2010 5:42 am

butch007 this is why you should be the man picking because you can sit back and say we should have picked this and that after players have played in the league. i could go back to every draft in the history of the nfl and tell who should have picked who. it is a guessing game of who will turn out the best. if everyone whould have know chris johnson ws going to be the top running back in the leage in year 2 then i am ure he would have went 1st over all. high and sight is always nice but get real man. as for harvin over maclin, lets evaluate after this season, i think maclin will prove to be better with kolb even though he looked soft at times last season.

our biggest needs this year are defensive players and oline. i think we should keep our picks unless it is low cost to move up a spot or two to ensure we get who we need.

April 18, 2010 11:04 am

I am tired of hearing how Earl Thomas is too small to be a good safety in the NFL. Troy Polamalu is the same size along with Ed Reed, they are all 5′ 10″. earl Thomas is the guy we need on this team. Will give us the threat in the middle that we haven’t had there in awhile. We can move up to Jacksonville who the team already has had talks with. It will cost us I believe the 1st rounder and #55 2nd rounder. We will still have our #37 that we can use to come back in the 1st and get Kyle Wilson possibly, though I really like Kareem Jackson that would still be there at 37. This draft can go so many ways its almost mathematically impossible to predict. This is the scenario I would love to see Thursday. 4 more days!!

April 20, 2010 2:28 pm

Everyone says won’t be able to cover in the NFL. Who knows?