Pick Of The Litter
ITB: Greg Cosell Stamps Birds As NFC East's Best
The Philadelphia Eagles are hoping their aggressive offseason will pay off with a division title and more.
On the fourth and final part of breaking down the NFC East on Inside The Birds, Greg Cosell joined hosts Adam Caplan and Geoff Mosher to analyze the Eagles’ roster.
Greg Cosell: “I thought Jalen Hurts was a mixed bag. I went back and watched a ton of first and third down throws, so I saw a lot of Hurts dropbacks. There’s a lot there with Hurts. There are throws where he does it right, where there’s clear rhythm to his game, when he sets in the pocket with a good balance, a firm base, delivers the football to the right receiver at the right time, his throwing sequencing is strong, he makes precise ball-placement throws. That didn’t happen quite enough a year ago, but it’s out there on tape. There’s also issues. He’s not very patient in the pocket. He has the tendency to break down when there’s not real pressure by NFL standards, and what starts to happen with quarterbacks that can move is they start to perceive pressure that’s not really there and then you leave throws on the field. He needs some work with his footwork. There were times where he would hop into his set in the pocket rather than planting his back foot with a firm foundation… To me, all of this is coachable. The one thing I definitely want to say is that there was clear and definite improvement in Hurts in the second half in the season.”
Cosell: “To me, Gainwell fits today’s NFL. I’m not going to sit here and say as we speak today that he’s Alvin Kamara, but I think he’s that kind of player in the context of an offense, a player that can carry the ball 130 times and be a major factor in the pass game both offset in the backfield and detached from the formation.”
Cosell: “I am a big believer in Josh Sweat and I would much rather see him, all the time, be lined up outside of the tackle rather than inside of an offensive tackle. I personally think if Sweat lined up as a wide-9 on every snap, he’s going to get 15 sacks. I think Sweat is a really good edge pass rusher with a desirable combination of strength, power, hand usage, and quickness.”
Cosell: “He’s a surprise in how well he played, but I’m not surprised he had a good year. I think he can play multiple spots…He had games down the stretch where I thought he was dominant. Williams had dominant snaps playing predominantly inside. That is probably where he is best. I could see Milton Williams ultimately being a 3-technique down the road. I think he’s got that kind of ability being a gap player where he’s not hand fighting guys, where if his arms are not as long as you’d ideally like them, is not a factor.”
Cosell: “I think this is a training camp battle. They are going to predominantly play with two stack ‘backers. I think they signed [Kyzir] White because they feel he is going to be one of them. Now you have Davion Taylor, who is arguably the best athlete on the defense. Can he be a good football player as opposed to just being a really good athlete? I’m sure they saw Nakobe Dean as a steal in the third round because a lot of people thought he was a late first rounder, and a lot of people didn’t draft him for two reasons: injury history and the fact that he’s under 6 feet tall. Dean was a really good blitzer at Georgia. I loved Kyron Johnson’s tape out of Kansas and I’m so curious to see how he goes through training camp. You know how when you put a tape on a guy – and I didn’t know anything about him – and then you see a guy who looks like he’s playing faster and more intensely than everybody else on the field? That was Kyron Johnson.”
Cosell: “I think Bradberry at this point in his career is a much better zone corner than man corner. He actually grew up as a zone corner with Carolina (Panthers) with Ron Rivera. That doesn’t mean that the Eagles aren’t going to play man. Bradberry has length and that’s always coveted in today’s NFL.”
Cosell: “Tartt’s big, physical, he can run a bit. In San Francisco he played both in the box and on the backend. He’s been a really solid player for the Niners. I remember watching his tape coming out of Samford and he flashed. I think he’s a better player than Anthony Harris.”
– Benjamin Paul is a staff writer for InsideTheBirds.com.