Inside The Birds: Get Ready For O-Line Bolstering
Just one week away from the NFL draft means speculation and rumors naturally swirling.
In the latest edition of Inside the Birds, Geoff Mosher and Adam Caplan discuss offensive line prospects and who could be targeted by the Eagles, as well as Wednesday’s press conference with Nick Sirianni and Howie Roseman.
Geoff Mosher: “The offensive line did not stay healthy last year, had some issues the year before, and you’ve got guys who are north of 30 playing a very physically punishing game. Three of them, the big three, it’s Jason Kelce at center, it’s your right guard, Brandon Brooks, coming off of his second Achilles, and of course Lane Johnson coming off two ankle surgeries basically, also north of 30. And so while the left side of the line has some nice youth there with Isaac Seumalo at left guard and this combination of [Jordan] Mailata vs. [Andre] Dillard a left tackle, you clearly if you want to be where you’ve been on the offensive line, you’re going to have to have some guys ready to play. They had some guys last year, who have bright futures or good futures but not just ready to go in there and just play and hold up that image and that reputation of the offensive line. So, I understand why the team would be looking to the draft this year with as many picks as they have to continue to fortify it.”
Penei Sewell, Oregon
Mosher: “We’ve talked the last few pods about the fact that Penei Sewell started off, as many do people do, months ago as a top-five guy – and he certainly might be – but I asked somebody yesterday the same question you said about whether or not he’s elite, and I got the answer that you’ve been saying. No, he’s not considered an elite. Great athlete at 330 pounds, dancing bear-type of moves, but the short arms that we brought up at least make you question his ability to survive at left tackle against these really long, lean, long-armed pass rushers.”
Rashawn Slater, Northwestern
Adam Caplan: “Slater is a plug-and-play guy. You love that he can play multiple positions. He does project to be a guard more than anything and a right tackle. Look, in terms of height, 6-foot-4 is a little bit short, arm is definitely short, 33-inch. Hand size, 10.5. Not that a 40 for an offensive lineman means anything but he is under five for an offensive lineman, 5.0 which is great. Outstanding prospect, super smart, which you’d expect from Northwestern. Let me ask you a question: If they do draft him at 12, what are you doing?”
Mosher: “If I draft Rashawn Slater at 12, he’s gonna get a lot of first-team reps [at camp]. I’m gonna have him take first-team reps at left tackle and first-team reps at right tackle. I would get him reps at left tackle as well. He may not be the first team starter [at left tackle] because you’ve got Dillard and Mailata. Might be second team or third team and I would maybe try to get him a little bit of guard and by the end of camp, it’s gonna settle itself out.”
Quinn Meinerz, Wisc.-Whitewater
Mosher: “I was told by someone that his tape does not reflect Day 2-type of talent but after the Senior Bowl, people are gonna look back and they’re gonna find reasons to say, ‘Hey, wait a minute, he’s better than that.’ It’s probable he’ll go Day 2, second or third round, because people are just gonna get enamored with that. But the reality is if you took his full body of work … and took any emotion or Senior Bowl week out of it, you would probably want to draft him on Day 3 and try to develop him a little more. Now, what I was told was that he played guard but he’s projects as a center. He played guard at Wisconsin-Whitewater, and I was told he didn’t even start snapping a football, until the fall.”
Caplan: “He’s putting it out there, he doesn’t care, he’s not apologizing for being super-high energy, he’s in your face, I get it. Good for him. But it’s all about how you project in front of your players and I’m going to throw something out there because I talked to one of the coaches from the Colts who told me, ‘Nick is going to hold these guys accountable, because he wants things done a certain way, and he doesn’t care.’ And I got that listening to that press conference on Wednesday. That’s really the way that this guy is and I’ll tell you what, we said this weeks ago about the receivers, if this guy can’t get them going and [Kevin] Patullo and Aaron Moorehead, then it’s not their faults, it’s the front office’s fault, they blew it on all these guys.”
Mosher: “I feel like every time there’s a new regime, everybody’s in the honeymoon phase because you heard Howie and Andy [Weidl], they were like, ‘Oh, yeah, we’ve had scouts come in here and it’s been way more collaborative and it’s been great and we’ve been figuring it out.’ It’s like every time there’s a new regime everything goes so great, everything’s harmonious, everything is collaborative. But like three years from now is Howie going to be saying something about Nick Sirianni? He wanted this guy and I wanted that guy. That’s why I put nothing into the whole, ‘We’re all great and collaborative.’ Now, show me.”
Caplan: “Look, I’m 100 percent agreeing with you. I’m fascinated to see because I don’t get the feeling that [Sirianni] is a guy who’s going to take a lot of crap. He’s had this pretty interesting rise, he’s worked with a bunch of different coaches and a bunch of different teams. He’s moved around in his career with the Chargers, Chiefs, Colts and Eagles and is the son of a coach. I’ll be interested to see how he gets along with Roseman and how collaborative everything’s going to be.”
– Justin Morganstein (@jmotweets_) is a staff contributor to InsideTheBirds.com
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