Saturday, February 9, 2013
Twitter mailbag: Thoughts on Eagles' pick
By Dan Graziano
The Twitter mailbag has had a couple of weeks off, first due to vacation and then due last week to the fact of Hall of Fame and awards announcements. But it is back, and as ever I thank you for your submissions. Remember, you can always tweet a question for the Twitter mailbag just by using the hashtag #nfceastmail at any time during the week. I round them up on Fridays and post them and their answers on Saturdays. Like this.
@billycuth: Do you see the Eagles staying at 4 or trading down?
@ESPN_NFCEast: Anything's possible, but if I'm the Philadelphia Eagles, the only way I'm trading out of the No. 4 overall draft pick is if I decide I need to move up a spot or two to get the quarterback of my dreams. And since that guy doesn't appear to be in this draft, I stay put at No. 4. That No. 4 pick is a pretty good pick. A partial list of players who were picked fourth overall since the turn of the century includes Matt Kalil, A.J. Green, Trent Williams, Darren McFadden, Philip Rivers and Justin Smith. You can get a really good, franchise-altering player at No. 4, and that's what I think the Eagles should do. Whether it's a defensive lineman like Star Lotulelei, an offensive lineman like Luke Joeckel or even a quarterback like Geno Smith, I think the Eagles are in a spot to draft someone who will be a significant building block for their future.
@1calledsteve: what are the odds with the new cap space, the gmen will sign phillips, cruz and nicks?
@ESPN_NFCEast: The New York Giants' cuts this week of veterans Ahmad Bradshaw, Chris Canty and Michael Boley were designed to create salary-cap relief, and you are correct that they're thinking about free-agent safety Kenny Phillips and star wide receivers Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks, all of whom need new deals. Add to that offensive linemen Will Beatty and Kevin Boothe, who are free-agent eligible, and the Giants have a great deal of work to do just to keep the guys they want to keep. I think Phillips is 50-50. His injuries this past year could end up making him easier for the Giants to keep, as he could have a harder time getting the kind of deal he'd like to get on the open market, and could return to New York for something like the Giants' price. But he is a great player, and if someone out there is willing to look beyond the 2012 injuries, the Giants could get outbid. There's no rush yet on Nicks or Cruz, as Nicks has a year left on his deal and Cruz can be tendered as a restricted free agent, but the Giants would love to get those contracts done sooner rather than later if they can, to avoid ugliness. My guess is they get deals done with both receivers this offseason, but I can't handicap their chances of keeping Phillips at this point.
@MD_In_MD: could D. Hall really play safety? He would be responsible for a lot of open field plays which he doesn't excel at
@ESPN_NFCEast: This is an idea we've kicked around some in recent weeks -- the idea of the Washington Redskins moving DeAngelo Hall from cornerback to free safety and pursuing cornerback options on the offseason market instead of safety options. I do not know if it's something the Redskins would consider. I do not know if it's something to which Hall would agree. Whether they move him to safety or keep him at corner, the Redskins are likely going to ask Hall of take a pay cut, and I don't know if he's going to be okay with that, either. But in theory, I like the idea, and it's because I think Hall still does retain his open-field playmaking ability. I think it's in tight coverage where he struggles at times (although not in Week 17 against Dez Bryant, I'll grant you). If the Redskins' coaches can sell Hall on the idea of playing free safety, I believe they'd have an energized player who would operate at a high level and embrace the new challenge and the freedoms it offers in the Redskins' system. But that's an "if" at this point.
@A_Martinez4: what do you feel the biggest need for #dallas is? O line or d line? Or another position?
@ESPN_NFCEast: I think the Dallas Cowboys' needs on the offensive line are more significant than their needs on the defensive line. I think they need a center, at least one guard and a right tackle. Now, by necessity, some of those answers might have to come from within the current roster. But if I were the Cowboys, I'd make upgrading at least one of those spots my top priority in free agency or the draft. The problem, however, is this switch to a 4-3 defensive alignment under new coordinator Monte Kiffin. If salary-cap problems keep them from bringing back Anthony Spencer, their need on the defensive line becomes more significant, and they might have to alter their priorities. A classic pass-rushing defensive end might then become their first-round draft target. And if that's the case, then they'd better have found a top guard or tackle in free agency, or else the offense will face many of the same problems it faced last season. It's a complicated offseason ahead for the Cowboys, who don't have easy answers everywhere.