How the DeMeco Ryans Trade Alters Eagles’ Draft Plans

The Eagles desperately needed help at middle linebacker. They just got some by way of the trade for two-time Pro Bowler DeMeco Ryans.

Whenever a move is made by a team it causes a natural domino effect. And the Ryans trade should prove to be no exception, so Curtis Lofton and David Hawthorne are guys that you can officially cross of your offseason wish list.

Truthfully, those players were probably never on the Eagles’ shopping list because both are incomplete players who are each going to command serious money on the open market. So while the acquisition of Ryans probably hasn’t altered the Eagles’ free agency approach, it almost certainly must alter their approach to the draft.

The team couldn’t have counted on swinging a deal for Ryans; thus, it’s almost certain the team would have addressed the issue in the draft. But at what point?

It’s been written about ad nauseum that the Eagles haven’t used a first round pick at linebacker since 1979 when they took Jerry Robinson out of UCLA in the 1979 NFL Draft. It seemed, however, that this draft, more than any other over the past 32 years, might finally buck that trend. But I’m not so sure.

The Eagles would have had to address the need in the early rounds of the draft. We all know about Boston College’s Luke Kuechly, but the team would have to move up to make the deal. A more likely target would have been California’s ILB Mychal Kendricks. But that will no longer be necessary.

So what will the Eagles do now that they have what appears to be a legitimate fix for their most pressing need?

I have a hunch that the target has long been Mississippi State DT Fletcher Cox. Much has been made of Memphis DT Dontari Poe, a massive and extremely athletic run stopper, but he doesn’t fit the mold of what the Eagles want to do along the defensive line. Cox, meanwhile, brings a versatility that would be an ideal fit in the Eagles’ defensive scheme. The 6-4, 298-pound junior racked up 56 tackles and five sacks on the way to earning All-SEC first team honors last season. He possesses the strength to hold up against the run in the middle, but is quick to enough to rush from the edge.

And don’t let the Eagles’ need to begin breeding a long-term solution at quarterback go overlooked. We all know about Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, but Ryan Tannehill is quickly emerging as a top prospect at the position. He is a smart and athletic passer, capable of making throws both inside and outside of the pocket. His stock has risen dramatically in recent weeks.

The Browns or Dolphins look poised to select the former Texas A&M signal caller, but if he falls, the Eagles do have the firepower needed to move up and draft their quarterback of the future. In that event, they better be certain that Brandon Graham is going to have a breakout season.

 

30 thoughts on “How the DeMeco Ryans Trade Alters Eagles’ Draft Plans

  1. Move up if needed for Kuechly. I like Ryans, he’s a question mark still. Kuechly takes over same and is comfort for MLB and the achilles worries.

  2. EAgels Statistically ened up 8th Over in Team Defense..
    They need a SAM LB and a Strong Safety. They need to create more turnovers and they have to tighten up in the Red-Zone and hold some teams to FG attempts instead of Teams almost getting an automatic 7 pts.
    This Defense does not need a maekover as some suggest, they need to increase turnovers, improve red-zone Defense and 3rd Down efficiancey and they can be a Top 5 Defense.. Look around the NFL, and there are not many shutdown Defenses around.. .maybet the 49ers… look at PLayoff Teams like the Giants,Pats,PAckers,Saints.. were ethese Defenses dominating… no.. Even teams like the Steelers and Ravens, their Defenes in 2012 were not as good as years past, it’s a big play, passing and scoring league and bottom line, your Offense has to be able to score 27-30 Points a game these days or you will not win many games..

  3. CB Boykin I have seen on a lot of lists as a possible 2nd ROund Selection for the Eagles He’s 5-9 178lbs and a speedster and be a returnman and do a lot of things, but he’s very small at 5-9 178lbs and the EAgles have enough of these small but fast players. I would stay away regardles of his injury situation.. I just don’t see this kid matching up well with the big WR’s on the NFC East.. and If he is going to be a 4th/5th CB and just produce on Special Teams, then I don’t use a 2nd Round Draft pick for this, I would grab a Return SPecialists in the 5th/6th Round instread
    EAgles need to add physicality to their Secondary, enough with these small,fast players, have to have some that can tackle and hit people…

  4. The 2012 Season on Defense rests a lot on what these 3 Players do and physcially, all 3 have the tools to be major contributors…

    #1) CB Asmo – He has to be better, He needs to set the tone for the Secondary and be the Shut-down CB that he is being paid to be. The excuses stop in 2012 about a new System,Coaches, Teammates, etc,etc.. I think he can do it, he has all the tools to do it and be a top shelf CB, but he has prove it on the field…
    I believe he bounces back to form and has a big season for the Eagles

    #2) FS Nate Allen – Needs to be 100% healthy, which hampered him to start last seasons and to be honest, he probably should not have been on the field at the start of last season and it negatively affected his play and confidence.. Allen played real weel the 2nd half of the Seaons and is a natural CEnterfield and good playmaker on the ball.. He needs to strengthen up and better tackling techniques and kep his head up when tackling.. I notice both he and coleman drop their heads and don’t see what they are attempting to tackle.. Coach Bowles will get this players fundamentally sound and should improve as tacklers.. He also needs to take better angles when pursuing Receivers in coverage ..

    #3) DE Brandon Graham – It’s put up or pack your bags.. Graham is entering the 3rd Year of his Rookie Deal which is has grossly underperformed and we can use Iinjury as a biggest reason why, but that is behind him now (or it least it should be), he needs to be in the best shape of his life and If I am the Eagles, I demand that he is at NovaCare Center every day working out and improving his conditioning,agility and knowlesge of Washburn’s system.. I always have has a a problem when a young player who has an underperformed stays away from Team Headquarters to work out on their own and especially if they are coming back from injury, it just sends a bad message to me and to his teamates..
    I will be honest, I think we will know by the 1st 2 weeks of August,what the future lies for Brandon Graham and whether he will be a legitimate, productive player for the Eagles.. HE needs to be at NOvaCAre, working his ass off to be the best that he can be, anything less I believe and bad sign moving forward.If he stays in Michigan all off-season before CAMp time, this is a bad sign, if he reports to camp overweight and not in tip-top shape.. This is not a veteran player who can come in and play his way into shpae like a Cullen Jekins can.. Graham has not accomplished anything yet on thie field and he needs to be at NovaCare trying to get better, I had read/heard somewhere that he was back in Michigan and appears to have ballooned up to over 280lbs + which I hope is not true and way too much weight for him to be carrying around on his smallish frame.. I am just not sure of his mental toughness and his desire to be the best he can be.. but if he gets on target and playes up to his potential, this would not olny be huge for 2012 but for the future years also.. but he is going to have to prove it to his Coaches,Teammates and himself..

    This is why I do not discount the Eagles Drafting a premier Pass Rusher at #15 (Whitney Mercilus) if they have the chance or if they have reservations about Graham ever being able to make an Impact with the club

  5. failed to mention about CB Boynkin that he suffered a fracture in his bone in his right leg during workouts at the Senior Bowl which prevented him being able
    to attend the Indy Combine and have to sit out at The University of Georgia’s Pro Day.. I hope the Eagles stay away from him

  6. **NFL News

    –Saints sign MLB C Loftin (from Falcons) to a 5 Year Deal, Terms were not disclosed as of yet.. This also signals that Saint MLB J VIlma will be either suspended for a while or possibly released by the Saints as I reported a couple weeks back.. I do belive the NFL will suspend VIlma for some time for his role in Bounty-Gate”
    — Bears RB Marion Retires while still having 1 Season left on his COntract with the Bears who signed Free-Agent RB Michael Bush to be the back-up for Starter Matt Forte
    — Bills re-sign RB Tashard Choice after being a late season acquisition by them after the Cowboys released him during last Season
    — Broncos sign QB Caleb Hanie (from Bears) to be Mannings back-up.. Denver folks need to really hope that Manning stays healthy to play

  7. Paul, this is what you call ODing on gcobb.com. I didnt read a word you wrote. You need a better hobby, like go play catch with your son or take a walk with your daughter or give your wife some attention, heck give them more attention than you give gcobb.com.. Your too old for this bro, posting every 5 seconds, sheesh give it a break man, your OverDosing…

  8. No comment, I am enjoying my Coffee and about to cook Sunday Brunch for my Wife and Kids..

  9. JH, you are just jealous because he’s beating you to the updates. You are worse than he is & are clueless on top of it. Practice what you preach bruh! At Paul has a wife & kids, what do you have porn, blow-up dolls & vaseline? LMFBO!! BWAHAHAHAHA!!!

  10. I can’t wait to see who they sit down so brandom graham can play-babin or cole.Unless one of these guys gets hurt graham will not play that much maybe just in rotation but don’t think he ends up being a starter on this team.Also injuries are part of the game so I know graham has not done much because of injury but you can be the best player in the world but if you are never on the field because you are injured you won’t get voted into the hall of fame just based on projected ability.Graham reminds alot of jerome mcdougel as he was another guy who people always said you could not judge him because he was hurt or got shot or whatever.

  11. JH, that was a little bit over the line with pman. Unless you paying that man’s internet bill or cpu usage, you can’t tell someone what to do or how much to post or not post. I enjoy Pman’s insight as well as yours and everybody else’s on here. That was wrong. But anyway don’t be surprised if the eagles take a running back higher than we think depending on how the Shady negotiations go. I heard they offered him over 6mil a year and he turned it down. You know how the eagles are with this type of situation. Pman do your thing man.

  12. pdiddy, I don’t think the BIrds will be drafting a RB with the mindset to replace Shady. I think they will draft a RB with the mindset of finding a back-up. We have nothing besides Shady here. NOthing…I rmbr reading on someones comment that said they liked Dion LEwis as the #2 guy, based on what they saw??WTF, did anyone see in LEwis that shows he could handle the backup role which is really important since RB can get injured all the times…IF shady went down this team would as well. I read about the 6million offer too, but hey its gonna take a lot more than 6 to lock shady up and rightfully so, he is our best player overall period. IN all seriousness, there is no way in hell Shady finds a way onto another team in the next 2 years. HE will get signed, he will be an Eagle don’t worry about it, the FO won’t be that stupid. They are prolly waiting for Samuels contract to come off the books…The bad thing tho is that they missed out on some really good players as back-ups (like Tolbert)..IMO merely because they didn’t want to start problems again. Bringin in an outside guy for millions while the homegrown talent that actually won you games is getting paid pocket change compared to it would be an issue…see Forte

  13. Mock draft for the birds

    Rd 1: Luke Kuechly: Comes in and starts at SAM.

    Rd 2 ( 2 picks): Here we should doubled up at DT. The options: Devon Still, Jerel Worthy, Kendall Reyes, Brandon Thompson. Pick any two and have them in part of the rotation. Hopefully one pans out as a bigtime DT.

    Rd 3: CB Chase Minifield. Gives us immediate KR help. Has bloodlines and size and can be groomed as a replacement for DRC, if he does not improve.

    Rd 4: OT Nate Potter (Boise St)- A tackle/ G combo that gives us some needed depth at the position.

    Rd 5: DE Jake Bequette ( Arkansas)- Good to have another DE on the roster although I beleive Brandon Graham will pan out.

    Rds 6- 7, I would like to see more Olinemen and maybe a punter

    Free Agency:

    Sign Yermiah Bell as an insurance policy at Safety
    Sign Plaxico Burress as a redzone threat to play at 3 or 4 WR

    Sign a backup RB.

    SUPERBOWL?

  14. I would talk to the Panthers about trading CB Samuel and a 6th Round Pick to them for RB J Stewart and their 5th ROund Pick…
    RB Stewart is a proven RB in the NFL and would be an excellent complementary back to McCoy and would held extend McCoy’s career by sharing the load with him and would be a great fill in in case of injury or holdout..
    Think of an offense backfield of McCoy 15-18 with Touches a game and then Stewart getting a 6-10 Touches a game (this includes passes too) and would make them both extend their careers for another 4-5 years and offer different looks to opposing Defenses.. Both RB’s can Block, can catch the ball out of the back-field and both have been excellent in the Red-Zone thru their careers with a real nose for the End-Zone..

  15. According to the vaue chart, our pick at 15 + one of our seconds is exactly enough to move up to 7 (JAX) so we could draft and start grooming our QB of the future – Ryan TANNENHILL ! This is exactly how our FO thinks. Fans draft for this years needs – smart GMs seek out impact players in KEY positions:
    (QB – LT – CB – DE) .

  16. If your going to do that DIxe, why not Draft DE Q Coples.. Eagles have the confidence in Vick to be the QB over the next 2-3 Years.. If your going to trade and move up, get a player who will make an impact sooner.. Tannehill is not the Future

  17. Theres a report coming out that mccoy was offered 6 million a year last year .. and thats probabally why he fired rosenhaus becuase he was trying to get him to sign it. i wonder how much he wants .

  18. Alittle off topic… but the Eagles may be installing a 4-2-5 concept. Instead of 3 linebackers and 2 safeties, you go with 2 linebackers and 3 safeties. We saw a little of that last year when Nnamdi dropped back into a safety position on certain coverages with a linebacker dropping out in coverage, and also when OLB Brian Rolle was basically playing a safety coverage role on certain downs.. the 4-2-5 is relevant to the Eagles defensive personnel bc of there speed… They’re fast enough and quick enough on defense to avoid being outrun…they have big guys in the middle of the line that can stop the run and quick defensive ends on the edges that can rush the pass. They now have a stronger presence at inside linebacker and strong-side linebacker, with the added flexibility of having only 6 men in the box while still rushing the quarterback. Extra pass coverage and tackling support is now allegedly free to come from the 5 guys on the back end. If the safeties read the offensive play correctly and communicate effectively, you should see a tremendous decrease in the amount of gaping holes and dead coverage zones that were exposed in the early 2011 season with the debut of the Wide9 formation… Look for the Birds to implement this 4-2-5 scheme, if not every down, then in many situational packages.. If i were them i would run this as my base defense, it would just make sense and wouldnt be difficult to teach, they can still employ the Wide9 scheme on 3rd and long and could even combine both schemes, the Wide9 and 4-2-5, alot of option there and they have a whole off season to really make all the corrections and add new wrinkles..

  19. I talked about this last year JH, and they have already been doing this in passing situations where they have 2 LB’s Rolle/Clayton or Matthews/Clayton in as the LB’s and 3 CB’s Asmo/Samuel & DCR or sometimes Hanson to go along with the 2 Safeties…
    They have used this alignment before versus 3 WR sets but it is not a scheme you will see on 1st Downs or against haevy run-first type of Offenses…Teams with Double TE’s Sets and real FB would eat this 4-2-5 Alignment up in the Run Game so don’t expect to see it much besides in obvious passing situations, 3 WR Sets of pass-happy teams which the EAgles will not see as many in 2012 playing the Steelers,Ravens,Browns,Bengals,FAlcons,TB Bucs, Bears, Arizona and of course 6 games versus their NFC Rivals (Giants/Redskins & Cowboys who still like to run the ball a lot)

  20. Now that the Eagles have picked up “comming off serious injury guy”,

    the top priority will be “out of position” guy.

    Or “high motor, can’t play guy”.

    Or “chip on his shoulder, but can’t play” guy.

    But don’t rule out “torn ACL guy” he is a favorite or Reids along with
    “mormon guy who can’t play”

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