Inside The Birds: Can The Eagles Come Together As One?
In the latest Inside The Birds podcast, Adam Caplan and Geoff Mosher continue their NFL Draft position preview with focus on wide receivers.
They also address issues within the organization in the aftermath of The Athletic’s story detailing power struggles and other conflicts within the NovaCare Complex.
Rashod Bateman, Minnesota
Adam Caplan: “Rashod Bateman is one of my favorite receivers in the draft. The coaches I spoke to said that if they just based things on tape and not time, he looks like he runs a 4.45-4.47, he ran like a 4.38, 4.35 something like that. He doesn’t play that way. The word is from coaches, he’s an absolute technician, super competitive. A negative is too many dropped passes, sometimes over the middle. There’s certainly an outside shot at Round 1, but most likely he’ll be gone by 40 or 50, pretty good chance he’ll be there for the Eagles at 37. Here’s another note I got: he’ll be terrific for a young wide receiver room because he’s gonna set the table for competitiveness. The game means a lot to him.”
Terrace Marshall, LSU
Mosher: “Terrace Marshall is another guy who I feel can sneak into the bottom half of the first round, if not, probably a second rounder, but he’s another guy who’s versatile.”
Caplan: “He could line up at X, which is probably his position, or Z. He can run. The word I’ve gotten is he’s probably more of a second-round pick, good player though. No doubt, he’s a good player. I’m interested to see what happens with him, because this draft is not high end, it’s not quite as deep as maybe some others, but he’s a good football player, and by the way this is a good receiver class. A little bit better than I had imagined from talking to coaches. This kid, he’s got good length at 6-foot-2 and a half. Good hands. I don’t want to say great hands, but he had some drops no question, that happened in 2020, but he’s a good football player.”
Kadarius Toney, Florida
Caplan: “Raw wouldn’t be the right word. The type of routes that they asked him to use are lot of option routes, a lot of run after the catch. So it’s not fair to say that he’s raw. They ran certain routes with him, he’s explosive. He’ll probably line up in the backfield, probably carry the ball, he’s explosive, he’s a Z who could probably play slot at the next level. Two of the coaches I spoke with saw him the same way, they said he’s a Z who you can’t wait to coach because he could be so good at the next level. The way that these coaches said it: ‘We’ll use him differently than he was used at Florida, and he’s just scratching the surface.’ He’s gonna be a second-round pick. Another guy who is a good football player but doesn’t run well enough.”
Jaylen Waddle Fall?
Caplan: “My sense is, just gathering information on Waddle, it’s strictly medical and depends on the medical grade. I don’t believe he makes it to the Eagles. I’m all over it thought If I’m the Eagles. I’m taking the corners over the receivers, we’ve been asked this question. I can’t get in the head of their front office but … Waddle is super explosive, you can line him up anywhere. He’s a better football player, Smith runs better I get that, but Waddle by the way, why is very close to him and explosiveness. Every receivers coach I’ve talked to, just so you know, has Waddle over Smith.”
Rondale Moore, Purdue
Caplan: “He is maybe the most uniquely built slot receiver I’ve ever heard of; he’s built like Mr Olympia. He could squat several hundred pounds. He was listed at 5-foot-9 but at his Pro Day only measured 5-foot-7. Now, he had a hamstring issue and there’s some small concern but his 2019 tape was apparently unbelievable. His vertical, unbelievable. He has a chance to go in the second round, typically the earliest draft slot is second round. But Moore is a very gifted player, is a favorite of a lot of coaches, but there’s the small concern with the hamstring. Again, very unique player, really gifted and he beats press coverage. His 40 time is outstanding, he’s just really gifted and his Pro Day workout was absurd.”
Lurie, Pederson Dynamic
Caplan: “I was talking to one of [Doug] Pederson’s coaching friends years ago, and he said, ‘Man, I’m not saying Pederson is going to quit, but he’s not happy with just the lack of support.’ It’s detailed in The Athletic piece about him being picked apart, somewhat in these meetings, being questioned on Tuesdays by Jeffrey [Lurie], not being yelled at, but just asking, ‘What were you thinking? Why are you doing this?’ And doing this every Tuesday even when they won, he was being questioned. I just heard from someone who knows him very well that he said, ‘I’m just telling you, I don’t know if he’s gonna finish this contract.'”
Mosher: “Let’s couple that with what we read about him not being happy after a win in Green Bay that I think everybody in the world loved because of how hard it is to win in Green Bay. Everybody thought they were going to be 1-3 because it’s impossible to go in and win in Green Bay but they won and yet the owner apparently wasn’t happy with that. And then the same year they go into Buffalo with the 30 mph winds and they win the game. And I’m sorry, like I don’t find a justification for being unhappy when you win a game on the road in either blistery weather conditions or at a very hostile place that road teams don’t normally win. And because that also happened in a very ugly win against Dallas (this past season), you see a trend here and you can understand how a coach would be like, ‘Even when I win I’m getting crapped on.’”
Mosher: “I just wish that as an organization they were always pulling in the same direction, and I get the opposite feeling a lot of times, that they aren’t. They claim to be collaborative, and they are in that they do seek a lot of different opinions and they let people have their say, but I have a hard time calling a process collaborative when after you’ve done all that something changes to the point, where all the input you got suddenly didn’t matter as much as it did when you were getting it.”
“There were people blindsided in the NovaCare who were part of the process who were blindsided by the pick. Last year was an all-virtual draft, so after the picks are made — I’m talking about [Jalen] Reagor, [Jalen] Hurts and Davion Taylor picks – it’s my understanding that the staff found out later that Doug Pederson, Jeffrey Lurie, Howie Roseman and Andy Weidl were on an alternate and separate Zoom chat or virtual chat room where that decision was made.
“There were several people, I was told, who took at least a week or two to get over that. That’s how angry people were with what happened. You work all that time, you have these meetings, you set a board, you think after weeks and weeks and a couple months of doing it that you know what your team is thinking – and they throw a curveball like that? That’s going to piss you off.”
– Justin Morganstein (@jmotweets_) is a staff contributor to InsideTheBirds.com
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