Posts Tagged ‘NFL Draft’

SAT Scores and the NFL Combine: Why Both are So Often Unreliable

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

by Gus Griffin






NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28: A general view of the draft stage during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)


NFL Draft day is here.  And what we think we know from our instant information on steroids era is leaving us no more informed about who will be a good player than in past years prior to the NFL Combine.  Call it a case of too much information in the wrong hands.


A great case study for this was the 2003 NFL Combine when a very well run franchise wanted a particular player very badly.  However, it was feared that the player would not be there when the teams’ turn came.  Though this team had two first-round picks, it did not want to trade up or give up one, if not necessary.  So their best hope was for the player to run a disappointing 40-yard dash.   This organization was smart enough to realize that the teams picking ahead of them were doing so for a reason: they were not very smart and overvalued NFL Combine information.


The player they wanted obliged them and ran a poor 40-yard dash, and as a result, the Detroit Lions bypassed him and took WR Charles Rogers at number 2.  The NY Jets did the same and took DL Dwayne Robertson at 4, as did the NO Saints taking DL Johnathan Sullivan at 6.   None of those three played more than 6 years in the NFL, a combined 14 years overall and 0 Pro Bowl selections.  This team with its 10thpick took an edge rusher out of Arizona State who would go on to record 6 double digit sack seasons and become a 6-time Pro-Bowl player.  Even after missing most of 2015 with an injury, he had 8 sacks last year, at age 33.  This year will be his 15th in the NFL.


The team was the Baltimore Ravens and the player was Terrell Suggs.  In addition to being the ugliest man in the NFL, he has been terrorizing my Steelers and the whole damn league ever since.


It’s not just the NFL.  Remember all the fuss about how much weight Kevin Durant could or couldn’t lift?


It might surprise some of you how this process of reading way too much into combine data is not much different than the impact of the SAT/ACT scores on the college admission process.   In my time as an educational professional, I wish I had a dollar for every student I have come across with great SAT/ACT scores who fell flat on his or her face, not just at a 4-year college, but also at the community college level.  I would be even richer if I had a dollar for all those I have encountered speaking little to no English and/or coming from impoverished situations, often with no household knowledge of the college process, and yet thrived, even to the point of earning transfer scholarships.


What the two processes have in common is how much of an indictment they both are of how we assess human potential.  Even more disturbing is the underlying reason we fall prey to this; simply put we are analytically lazy.


It’s a lot easier to look at numbers and be overly reliant upon them when making an assessment than it is too take the time to make a holistic and comprehensive assessment.  What NFL combine numbers and SAT scores do not measure is resilience, work ethic, and emotional intelligence, in spite of the fact that there are tools to measure both resilience and emotional intelligence.  Instead the NFL uses the Wonderlic.


I am not suggesting that none of the information collected is valuable.  I am, however, adamant that the vertical leap of an offensive linemen in football is not a piece of information that serves any useful purpose.  Furthermore, I argue the information collected should never replace direct interaction and other developmental factors, such as those already mentioned.  After all, at age 18-22, none of us are fully developed neurologically and thus even the best assessments are grasping as indicators of future success.


There is good news on the college front.  There are now over 800 accredited, bachelor-degree granting institutions that have changed their approach to standardized test scores, by not requiring the SAT or ACT for admission.  So when high school counselors advise students with poor SAT or ACT scores about their college options, they can still offer them hope to include both those 800 colleges, in addition to the far too often undersold community college.


Unfortunately, I see no trend in the NFL against the current conventional thinking, which is to remain a slave to combine data for fear of looking stupid if one takes a chance on an outlier way of thinking.    It’s as if teams would rather continue to fail doing what most of the league does as opposed to taking a chance doing things differently.


Tonight, the cycle continues.  I’ll kick back with friends and watch but not far from my mind will be something a highly successful college and NFL coach once said about the draft, to paraphrase; you only have to worry about maybe a 3rd of the league.  The other two-thirds are so dysfunctional that they will self-destruct under the weight of their own idiotic decision making.


I wish the Ravens were among that two-thirds dysfunctional group back in 2003.


Gus Griffin, for War Room Sports


McCaffrey and Fournette Are Right!

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

by Gus Griffin






(Image courtesy of The Sporting News)

(Image courtesy of The Sporting News)


Both Christian McCaffrey and Leonard Fournette have chosen to skip their bowl games in preparation for the NFL combine and draft.


Their basic reasoning is risk/reward analysis: the risk being another Jalen Smith or Marcus Lattimore cautionary tale by getting hurt and losing millions by dropping out of the first round of the draft, where virtually all of the guaranteed money is.  The reward: a pat on the back from your pimp…ah I mean coach and athletic director for leading your team to a victory in a game that is all but meaningless to everyone except those who collect the TV revenue, and that ain’t the players.


From some corners we hear the same old tired responses such as, “they signed a contract” or “they are quitting on their teams.”   


Let’s address both.


On the contract, it would seem to me that a natural evolution of the student athlete organizing movement would be to challenge just how legally binding are these contracts?  After all some are with 17-year old minors.  My Judge Mathis law degree says such are not binding.  Even if they are, who really thinks that a 17-18-year old fully understands all the parameters of such a commitment?   The most compelling response to the contract piece is the fact that highly sought after coaches routinely break their contracts for the cash and greener pastures after having “promised” their recruits in their parents’ living rooms that they will be there for the duration.  If the college experience is truly an educational environment and coaches are themselves educators, then both McCaffrey and Fournette have learned well.


As for quitting on their teams, yep, that is exactly what they are doing.  No way around that except to say that many of those same teammates that they are quitting on would do the exact same thing if they were in that position.   And what position is that?  The position of coming to the reality that all college athletes are not created equal.  If the 3-year starting left tackle at Ohio State or Alabama can’t see that his value is higher than his teammate who is the 3rd string tight end and occasional special-teams player in his fourth year, he is an idiot. 


Finally, what they won’t do is feed you or your family if you suffer a career-ending injury or worst in a meaningless game.  Any bowl game short of the playoff means about as much as a professional pre-season game.


The stakes are even higher for a running back, which is the ultimate pro-sport disposable.  They last on average of about 3 seasons.  They cannot begin to draw their pension until 55 and the annuity at 35.  According to a Sports Illustrated report in 2014, nearly 80% of NFL players are broke 3 years into retirement. 


Against this backdrop, if Fournette or McCaffrey were your sons, can you honestly say you would advise them otherwise?


They are both making a sound business decision and showing that they have learned the valuable lesson of placing the proper value on their labor.


NCAA big-time college sports is as transparent an example of the American Capitalistic “pimp and ho” system as there is.  If these two young men have learned to pimp themselves in their best interest rather than passively allow others to do so in their best interest, I say more power to them and hope and suspect more will follow suit.

Gus Griffin, for War Room Sports

Philadelphia Eagles draft 2015 recap: The grades are in

Monday, May 4th, 2015

by Brandyn Campbell

Brandyn Blog






The 2015 draft has come and gone, and the dust is beginning to settle for the Eagles and teams around the NFL. How did Chip Kelly do in this draft, the first where he had full control of the process?

Despite the incredible speculation and trade scenarios leading up to the event, the draft was decidedly without drama for the Eagles. They didn’t land Marcus Mariota, and they didn’t draft any offensive linemen. But they did load up on defensive backs, an area of need for many years.

The draft grades are pouring in, and there seems to be consensus about the Eagles’ performance: no one was wowed, but it wasn’t a miss. Better than average – every grade I’ve seen has been in the “B” range.

Heading into the draft, the team needed to find a dynamic wideout to replace Maclin, and they did that nicely with the first-round selection of Nelson Agholor. They needed to find a likely starter at corner, and they now have some options there, with the pickup of the versatile Eric Rowe. The Jordan Hicks pick was too high, given his injury history. They needed help at safety and picked up a few options for that position. Philadelphia needed to address holes in the offensive line left by the departure of Todd Herremans and the likely exit at any moment by Evan Mathis (what WAS that this weekend?!).

Draft expert or casual fan, no one truly knows the success or failure of this draft until we see how the six drafted players perform for the team in the next few years. As the Daily News’ Paul Domowitch said in an article today, “There is no right or wrong with respect to the 2015 NFL draft right now. There are only opinions.”

A few other perspectives on the Eagles’  2015 draft performance:

A roundup of draft grades from national media, including a B+ from Mel Kiper, Jr.:

“He has put a premium on guys that will buy in, and I think he got those types and hit a couple home runs in the process. Nelson Agholor to me just screams ‘high floor’. He’s a great route runner, plucks the ball out away from his body, has the proven toughness of a return man – you should hear Polian talk about that – and is sneaky explosive. He can get behind defenses. I also think Eric Rowe at No. 47 overall was a steal. He is a great kid and offers up versatility (CB or S), and I thought he’d be a good value as early as the end of Round 1.”  –Birds 24/7

An NFC East personnel exec weighs in on the Eagles draft:

“He loved the selections of first-round wide receiver Nelson Agholor and second-round defensive back Eric Rowe, really, really loved them. But he hated the third-round selection of linebacker Jordan Hicks (way too high).” – Philadelphia Daily News

A B+ for the Birds from Brandon Gowton, an extensive round-up of grades from other outlets:

“My first impression of the Eagles draft class is that it looks solid. There aren’t really any picks that make no sense at all to me. The team did a nice job of addressing needs by selecting players who fit their scheme and culture.” – Bleeding Green Nation 

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Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports

After Further Review (#689)

Monday, May 4th, 2015

by Christopher Dinkins

Christopher Dinkins Blog




After Further Review

AFTER FURTHER REVIEW #689 SHOUTOUT to you MIKE DITKA….((MLB)) YANKEES 8 RED SOX 5(sweep)….PHILLIES 6 MARINERS 2….CLEVELAND 10 BLUE JAYS 7….NATIONALS 1 METS 0….BRAVES 5 REDS 0….ORIOLES 4 RAYS 2….TWINS 13 WHITE SOX 3….TIGERS 6 ROYALS 4….ASTROS 7 MARINERS 6(sweep)….CARDINALS 3 PIRATES 2(14..sweep)….BREWERS 5 CUBS 3….ATHLETICS 7 RANGERS 1….GIANTS 5 ANGELS 0(sweep)….DODGERS 1 DIAMONDBACKS 0(13)….PADRES 8 ROCKIES 6(sweep)…….long streak (ASTROS 10) wrong streak (ROCKIES 5)….ST LOUIS keeps walkin off ((sweep of PITTSBURGH))…..HOUSTON keeps rockin on((long win streak))…..BREWERS fire RON ROENICKE oh well..cant say dinnt see that comin……maybe everybody except RON….oh neva mind !!!!!!!…gonna chop it up tonight on THE SPORTS HOUSE RADIO SHOW with THE MAYOR…you already know ——-646-478-5337——6pm——THE WACKO BOB NETWORK—–> come thru……..((NBA))**PLAYOFFS** second round E–WIZARDS 104(beal 28) HAWKS 98(carroll 24)—(washington leads series 1-0)….W–WARRIORS 101(curry 22) GRIZZLIES 86(gasol 21)—(golden state leads 1-0)……..SALUTE to STEPHEN CURRY(warriors)….will be named 2014-15 NBA MOST VALUABLE PLAYER….((NHL)) **PLAYOFFS** second round E–LIGHTNING 6 CANADIENS 2 (tampa bay leads 2-0)….W–BLACKHAWKS 4 WILD 1 (chicago leads 2-0)…..DUCKS 3 FLAMES 0 (anaheim leads 2-0)….AFTER FURTHER REVIEW 2.0 likes ALEXANDR OVECHKIN (capitals) for 2014-15 MVP…….((NFL)) 2015 NFL DRAFT…TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS came out ahead…selecting JAMEIS WINSTON (florida state)….TENNESSEE TITANS selected MARCUS MARIOTA (oregon)…just like we said they would ….but oh well…TODD GURLEY (georgia) selected by ST LOUIS RAMS cause all types of havoc….ask ZAC STACY (jets)….or TRE MASON (rams)….((NASCAR)) SPRINT CUP at TALLADEGA…..DALE EARNHARDT wins…JIMMIE JOHNSON second….PAUL MENARD third……KEVIN HARVICK(394) leads SPRINT CUP points chase…MARTIN TRUEX JR (354)…..JIMMIE JOHNSON(342)….JOEY LOGANO(335)…..((MLS)) SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC 3 NEW YORK CITY FC 1….SPORTING KANSAS CITY 1 CHICAGO FIRE 0….NBA PLAYOFF GAME of the day BULLS v CAVALIERS (second round east conf game 1)…..NHL PLAYOFF GAME of the day RANGERS v CAPITALS (second round east conf game 3….tied 1-1)….MLB GAME of the day CUBS ((wood) v CARDINALS (martinez)……TRUE SCHOOL JAM of the day “SHOCK THE MONKEY” -PETER GABRIEL…..its MONDAY…ask “who won” day…..enjoy the sunshine…..the BALLISTICS have been kicked !!!!!!!……..AFR.


Christopher “The Mayor” Dinkins of the After Further Review Podcast, for War Room Sports

NFL Draft Day 3: Eagles load up at corner with picks of JaCorey Shepherd, Randall Evans

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

by Brandyn Campbell

Brandyn Blog





CB JaCorey Shepherd

CB JaCorey Shepherd

The 2015 draft is now in the books and the Eagles continued to load up on help in the defensive backfield, an area of need the past several drafts. While other pressing needs went unaddressed, namely on the offensive line, attention to the troubled secondary was long overdue.

Much more will be said about what the Eagles got and what they didn’t this draft in the coming days. For now, here’s a look at the three players the Eagles took in the final day of the 2015 NFL Draft.

Round 6, Pick 15 (191): CB JaCorey Shepherd (5’11”, 199), Kansas

Kelly said that he didn’t think that Shepherd would still be there and was obviously excited that he was. analysis:

“Shepherd comes with some tightness in off-man coverage but possesses fast eyes and is always aware in coverage. He also flashes the ability to anticipate and jump routes and has one of the best sets of ball skills we’ve evaluated in the 2015 cornerback class.”

Round 6, Pick 20 (196): CB Randall Evans (6’0″, 190), Kansas St.

Says Chip:

“You know, the unique thing about him is he’s played safety, he’s played nickel, he’s played corner.  He’s a physical player.  He’s an outstanding special teams player.  He’s a guy that we’ve had our eye on for a while just because of his — not only his athletic ability but his position versatility, so he’s a guy that we were excited that he was still there.” analysis:

“Evans has exceptional size and length and brings above-average range. He has some tightness in off man coverage and is at his best in press, where he can utilize his length to turn and run with receivers. Evans also has the size to compete with bigger receivers in contested situations.”

Round 7, Pick 20 (237): DE Brian Mihalik (6’9″, 295), Boston College

Says Kelly:

“I think Brian has got a skill se… height/weight/speed off the charts. He has a 34-inch vertical jump. He ran 4.88 [in the 40] and he’s a productive player. He just played wide defensive end in a 4-3 defense. He hasn’t been a two-gap player, but we feel with the physical skill set that he has, that we can covert him to a four technique.” analysis:

“Mihalik intrigues coaches with his size and length. He has some traits of a 5-technique but he’s a limited athlete who will have trouble sticking on this roster.”

The Eagles also added fifteen undrafted rookies to their ranks Saturday evening, which you can read more about here.

Have your say: Are you satisfied with the Eagles selections this year?

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Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports

NFL Draft Day 2: Eagles pick DB Eric Rowe and LB Jordan Hicks

Saturday, May 2nd, 2015

by Brandyn Campbell

Brandyn Blog





The Eagles traded up to make Eric Rowe their first selection in the 2nd round.

The Eagles traded up to make Eric Rowe their first selection in the 2nd round.

Day 2 of the 2015 NFL draft saw the Eagles move up to get a versatile defensive back in Utah’s Eric Rowe with their second-round selection, and add some needed depth at linebacker with Texas’ Jordan Hicks in the third round.

Philadelphia moved up from 52 to the 47th pick overall, trading with the Dolphins, to get Rowe (6’1″, 205).  He has played both safety and corner, and what do you know-the Eagles need help at both.

His versatility is a big part of what made him worth giving up a pick to get him, said Chip Kelly.

“We think he can do a lot of things. That was the thing about him. He’s got 45 career starts, I think nine at corner and 36 at safety…Versatility is one of the things that you look at and then from a height-weight-speed parameter, he’s off the charts in terms of what he can do from a physical standpoint.”

NFL Network draft guru Mike Mayock was also high on Rowe.

“This is one of my favorite players in the draft. He played free safety for three years before kicking over to corner this year. He’s a top-50 pick all day long. Rowe can match up on the outside with the big receivers in the NFL.”

While he has successfully played both positions, Rowe said that his preference would be to play corner, as he feels he has room to grow in that role. When asked to describe his style of play, Rowe revealed a DB this town may love.

“A physical, press competitor. I love to hit, I love to come on the blitz and tackle. On the press man, I love to take charges on the line of scrimmage. I would say I’m an aggressive corner.”

Rowe played in 47 games (45 starts) at Utah and accumulated 261 tackles, three INTs and 34 passes defensed in his career. His 34 career pass breakups are the fourth-highest total in Ute’s annals, and his 13 pass breakups as a senior in 2014 tied for the fifth-highest single-season mark in school history.

Jordan Hicks

Jordan Hicks

In the third round, with the 84th overall selection, the Eagles picked Texas LB Jordan Hicks (6’1″, 236).

One thing Philadelphia already had with Hicks was an element of familiarity, said Kelly.

“Jordan was, I think, the individual we saw the most this offseason, whether it was exposure at the Senior Bowl to him, his pro day, individual workouts, top-30 visits, all those other things… He’s a three-down linebacker, can cover and is an outstanding special teams player.”

There is little doubt about his talent, but there are concerns about his extensive injury history, though Hicks was healthy all of last season. Mayock’s reaction to the pick reflected these concerns.

 ””I think a lot of people like his physical traits, but people worry about his durability.”

Concerns about this health aside, Hicks feels his greatest asset is his proven ability to be thrown into any system and thrive.

“I think, number one, the fact that I’m a smart football player. I can get people lined up on the field and I have a great understanding of football and schemes and what it takes to call a play and check plays. I think also the versatility that I’ve been in. I’ve seen four different linebacker coaches, four different [defensive] coordinators in five years at the University of Texas. I’ve played in 3-4 defenses, 4-3 defenses. I’ve been in spot drops, man drops, zone pressure schemes, man pressure schemes. You name it, I’ve probably learned it. I think the ability to convert and take what I’ve learned and translate it over to this next level is probably the big thing.”

Hicks appeared in 45 career games at Texas, with  28 starts, amassing 299 tackles, including 24 for a loss, 5.5 sacks, two INTs, seven pass breakups, 12 special teams tackles and one fumble recovery. His 147 tackles as a senior were tied for the seventh-highest total in Texas history. In 2014, Hicks was named a semifinalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award, given annually to the nation’s top defensive player.

Here’s some footage of Rowe at this year’s combine to get your excitement flowing:

And take a closer look at Hicks with highlights from 2014:

Welcome to Philadelphia, Eric and Jordan! Follow them on Twitter:@EricRowe18 and @JordanHicks

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Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports

Chip Kelly talks 1st-round pick Nelson Agholor, denies trade offers for Mariota

Friday, May 1st, 2015

by Brandyn Campbell

Brandyn Blog





Welcome Nelson Agholor to Philadelphia, the first-round pick of the Eagles in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Welcome Nelson Agholor to Philadelphia, the first-round pick of the Eagles in the 2015 NFL Draft.

In the end, the anticipated drama, intrigue, and complex trade scenarios did not come to pass for the Philadelphia Eagles. Despite reports of late inquiries with the Buccaneers and the Titans regarding the top two spots to get Marcus Mariota, Chip Kelly stayed with the 20th overall spot and selected WR Nelson Agholor from USC for their first round pick in the 2015 draft.

Wild trade offers from Kelly were reported through the start of the draft, supposedly offering first round picks as well as just about every star of the Eagles defense. Not surprisingly, he denied the reports, comparing his actions to looking at swanky houses you know you can’t afford.

“We didn’t offer any players to anybody.   It was just a really steep price.  It was like driving into a nice neighborhood and looking at a house, and they tell you the price and you walk away.  We didn’t walk in the front door and take a look around.  Part of our plan, as we’ve said all along is we’re going to build this team.  We still think there is a lot of value in this draft and in future drafts.”

Agholor (6’1, 190) has drawn comparisons to former Eagle (sniffle) Jeremy Maclin. Kelly said of the pick, “He’s a great fit for what we’re doing.” Agholor has drawn praise for his athleticism, versatility, and high football IQ. Kelly continued,

“He’s got excellent speed, outstanding hands, catches the ball away from his body.  Outstanding route runner, real student of the game.  We were really excited, and he was kind of what our model is.  He was the best player that was available for us that fit our system.”

Kelly’s praise continued, comparing his newest player to one of his 2014 selections at receiver, Jordan Matthews.

“I guess the best way to say it is he’s just dialed in as a football player. He’s in the Jordan Matthews category in terms of his approach to the game. Always striving to be better. I think the great thing about Nelson is he has a growth mind-set, and not a fixed mindset. He’s always trying to get better.”

Mike Mayock was high on the pick for the Eagles.

“Agholor is a precise route runner. He has added value as a great returner. He reminds you of Jeremy Maclin, the guy he’s replacing. Agholor can play anywhere, outside and in the slot. The Philadelphia Eagles are going to love him.”

Agholor finished his career at USC with 179 catches for 2,571 yards and 20 TDs in 30 games, becoming just the 12th Trojan to notch 2,000 receiving yards in a career. Additionally, he had 540 yards on 37 punt returns (14.6 average) and set a school record with four punt return touchdowns. Agholor recorded 24 kickoff returns for 443 yards (18.5 average). In 2014, he started all 13 games and led the team with 104 receptions and 1,313 yards and 12 receiving touchdowns. His 104 receptions in 2014 rank third on USC’s all-time single-season list and sixth in the Pac-12.

Check out some of Agholor’s highlights from the 2014 season:

Follow Agholor on Twitter at @nelsonagholor . Welcome to Philadelphia, Nelson. Looking forward to seeing you on the field.

Do you like the pick, Eagles fans?

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Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports

Morning Muse: Mychal Kendricks trade talk and a roundup of Eagles draft day rumors

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

by Brandyn Campbell

Brandyn Blog






The day has finally arrived. The NFL draft starts tonight and finally, we will have answers. Eagles fans will find out how much more–or less–they understand the enigma that is Chip Kelly.

In the lead-up to the main event, there is an intense scramble of rumors and goings-on behind the scenes, as is always the case. Here’s a roundup of the latest rumors as they relate to Philadelphia:

The Mariota Madness will not end until he is drafted by one of the many teams in the league speculated to be after him. Chief among them are the Eagles, who reportedly are doing “all they can” to get him. –ProFootballTalk 

In Mike Mayock’s lone mock draft, he has safety Damarious Randall headed to the Eagles, saying, “Randall is probably the fastest-rising prospect in this draft class. He has coverage skills and great range on the back end. This kid is today’s NFL safety; he has great range but you give up some physicality.” –

Part of the draft mix is trade talk, and the Birds reportedly have Brandon Boykin and Mychal Kendricks on the trading block. – Inquirer

Oh yeah, those Kendricks rumors? The Eagles reportedly want a second-round pick for him. And teams aren’t the league aren’t having it, apparently. – CSNPhilly

Wondering what kind of wideouts Philadelphia plans to target? In this case size is much of what matters. – Daily News

An overview of the Eagles’ needs this draft. Shocker: there are many. – Inquirer

Wondering what the draft process is like for the families of soon-to-be NFL rookies? Some NFL moms, including Mama McNabb, talk about the big day. –NFL Player Engagement

Who will go first, Mariota or Jameis Winston? And who will be the better pro-quarterback? Fivethirtyeight answers the question by building a model, as they do. – fivethirtyeight

You excited yet? Get in the mood until the official start tonight with this clip from the movie Draft Day. Pretty sure that with this draft, real life will be even better than the movies.

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Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports

It’s almost here: Who will the Eagles take first in the draft?

Monday, April 27th, 2015

by Brandyn Campbell

Brandyn Blog





After five months of talk and speculation, the 2015 NFL draft is almost here. The intrigue surrounding Chip Kelly and the Philadelphia Eagles is at record levels. Have his series of bold moves this offseason all been part of a brilliant masternfl_draft plan to snag Oregon QB Marcus Mariota? Will all be revealed (and make sense) come Thursday night?

The stakes are as high as they’ve ever been for the Birds. It is the first draft where Kelly will fully wield power. After a disastrous selection of Marcus Smith in the first round last year, the Eagles have got to make a pick able to make a positive impact on the field this season. No room for excuses.

We know that Philadelphia has a number of areas of need that it must fill, safety and wide receiver chief among them. And we know that Kelly will say, as we’ve always heard from the Eagles, that the draft is about taking the best player available, not about addressing needs.

But still…we must mock. Mock draft, that is. The mock drafts don’t even wait until the NFL season ends these days, and the mock madness is at fever pitch in these final days leading up to the draft. They are never close to the reality that unfolds during the draft, but they are still worthy of discussion.

Many experts like Alabama SS Landon Collins for the Eagles. In fact, three of the eight experts on’s “Mock Draft Central” predict that he will be Philadelphia’s first round selection, with the 20th pick overall. In what is viewed as a weak safety class, Mike Mayock rates Collins as the second-best safety in the draft, behind Arizona State’s Damarious Randall.

But the Eagles themselves may be throwing shade at the prediction. When Eagles director of player personnel Ed Marynowitz spoke with the media last week, among a series of interesting comments he provided remarks on how he viewed Collins:

“He can do it, to a degree. I think all these guys have strengths and weaknesses. Landon has the potential to do that. Maybe not to the degree that some other guys do, but he certainly has the ability to do that.”

Certainly not a ringing endorsement.

ESPN draft experts Mel Kiper, Jr. and Todd McShay have the Eagles still addressing needs in the defensive backfield with their first-round pick, but at the cornerback position with the selection of Washington’s Marcus Peters. Of the pick, Kiper said:

“Marcus Peters, cornerback from Washington, is the pick at No. 20 for Philadelphia. Marcus Peters has an attitude and approach: physical. When you think about in press coverage there against [Jaelen] Strong. You think about a guy who can upgrade a secondary that desperately needs it, that defense. You can’t keep outscoring people. You need to start stopping people and containing people. […] He went up against some really good receivers in the PAC-12 and at the cornerback spot for Washington, he held up exceptionally well when he was challenged and put up to the test against those guys who are going to be in the NFL as high picks.”

If the Eagles went for a wideout with their top pick, names like Breshad Perriman from Central Florida and Phillip Dorsett from Miami have been mentioned as possibilities for the team. Mayock ranks Perriman as the fourth-best wideout of this year’s class, and doesn’t feature Dorsett in the top 5 of version 4.0 of his position rankings. Perriman’s elite combination of size, speed and explosiveness could be an enticing target for Kelly.

Dorsett is projected as a first or second rounder, with his average of 25 YPC getting teams’ attention. Does Kelly want to make his mark with his top pick in what is truly his first draft on a 5’10”, 185 lb receiver? I don’t see that happening.

Who do you want the Eagles to snag at the top? Hold on tight, ladies and gents, we’re going to get our answers soon.

Check out some Landon Collins highlights and decide if you think he’s the man for Birds:

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Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports

After Further Review (#687)

Monday, April 27th, 2015

by Christopher Dinkins

Christopher Dinkins Blog





After Further Review

AFTER FURTHER REVIEW #687 SHOUTOUT to you DAVE CASPER…..((MLB)) winners include WHITE SOX(susp)…TIGERS…CUBS…MARLINS…RAYS…ORIOLES…PHILLIES…BREWERS…WHITE SOX…RANGERS(11)…ASTROS…TWINS(11)…PADRES…giants/rockies postponed…PIRATES…YANKEES……SUBWAY SERIES won by YANKEES (what else is new ??)…METS are going to be good (AFR surprise team)…ADRIAN BELTRE (rangers) sends pitcher GARRETT RICHARDS (angels) an invoice for three broken bats…..”cash checks”…..ADAM WAINWRIGHT (cardinals) OUT FOR SEASON{ankle/achilles}….MAX SCHERZER (nationals) hurt batting too…says NL needs DH((((thats NATIONAL LEAGUE and DESIGNATED HITTER))))…..what do YOU think ?????……will discuss in THE SPORTS HOUSE RADIO SHOW with THE MAYOR tonight !!!!—-646-478-5337—-6pm—-WACKO BOB NETWORK—->…..((NBA))**PLAYOFFS** EAST—> WIZARDS 125(beal 23) RAPTORS 94(lowry 21)—washington wins series 4-0..CAVALIERS 101(james 27/10) CELTICS 93(sullinger 21/11)—cleveland wins series 4-0….HAWKS lead NETS 2-1….BULLS lead BUCKS 3-1…./WEST—>MAVERICKS 121(ellis 31) ROCKETS 109(harden 24)—HOU 3-1….CLIPPERS 114(paul 34) SPURS 105(leonard 26)—TIED 2-2….GRIZZLIES lead BLAZERS 3-0….WARRIORS win series over PELICANS 4-0….((NHL))**PLAYOFFS** EAST—> CANADIENS 2 SENATORS 0-CANADIENS win series 4-2….RED WINGS lead LIGHTNING 3-2….ISLANDERS/CAPITALS tied 3-3….RANGERS win series over PENGUINS 4-1…./WEST—>WILD 4 BLUES 1-WILD wins series 4-2….BLACKHAWKS win series over PREDATORS 4-2….FLAMES win series over CANUCKS 4-2….DUCKS over JETS 4-0…..((BOXING)) WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO (champ) defends HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE with unanimous decision over BRYANT JENNINGS (yawn)……SADAM ALI wins unanimous decision(dunno bout all that) over FRANCISCO SANTANA in WELTERWEIGHT bout…..((MLS)) NY RED BULLS 1 LA GALAXY 0….TORONTO FC 2 ORLANDO CITY SC 0….SEATTLE SOUNDERS 1 PORTLAND TIMBERS 0….((NASCAR)) KURT BUSCH wins SPRINT CUP SERIES at RICHMOND(((((toyota owners 400)))))…..kyle harvick…jimmie johnson…….MLB GAME of the day ASTROS(mchugh) v PADRES(shields)….NBA PLAYOFF game of the day HAWKS v NETS (east game 4)….NHL PLAYOFF game of the day ISLANDERS v CAPITALS(east game 7)……TRUE SCHOOL JAM of the day “ROCKIN IT”-FEARLESS FOUR……its MONDAY…..make it happen……the BALLISTICS have been kicked !!!!!!….AFR.


Christopher “The Mayor” Dinkins of the After Further Review Podcast, for War Room Sports