Alright, so I believe I’ve made a case for Mr. Moreno already, but the closer we get to the draft, the more I realize that the Eagles need this guy. Brian Westbrook is amazing. He is still one of the top running backs in the league (if not THE best).
But, he is 30 years old and these guys take a beating. This past season, he was not fully healthy for a single game, which is why Correll Buckhalter got so much playing time (and was subsequently awarded a starting position on the Broncos.)
Moreno is only an inch taller than Westbrook, and 10lbs or so heavier, so my cries for a bigger back would not be answered with him. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that Andy Reid is not the guy to call plays in which the Eagles would benefit from a Brandon Jacobs-like player, so I have come to terms with it.
Also, the signing of Leonard Weaver (FB) will certainly help the Eagles in their short-yardage dilemmas. In actuality, I think Reid’s percentage is somewhere around 60-40 (sometimes I swear it's around 80-20) in favor of passing plays. So logically, this means he should be looking at receivers.
But according to an interview a few weeks ago, he is perfectly happy with Jackson, Avant, and Curtis. Now, he may be trying to downplay an attempt to trade for Anquan Boldin, but as each day passes, that gets less and less likely.
Which brings me back to the Eagles’ best prospect. Recently, Moreno participated in Georgia ’s pro-day to a fairly large crowd. I guess that is one of the benefits of going to the same school as the top quarterback prospect (Matthew Stafford).
His 40 time wasn’t the best (4.6) but that can only be a good thing for the Eagles whose first pick is number 21. One could make the argument that Chris “Beanie” Wells would be a much better prospect because of his speed and size, but unless a miracle happens, he will not be there at 21.
And it is not Philly’s style to trade up. In saying that, though, I don’t mean to undermine Knowshon. He is known as one of the more physical backs, and has a knack for out-maneuvering defenders. He is also a much better receiver than Wells. Do these qualities sound at all familiar to you?
I read an article in the beginning of last season that discussed the Eagles’ number one and two receivers. The writer was trying to justify Kevin Curtis’ numbers and why they weren’t higher since he was technically considered the no. 1 guy. In 2007, Curtis had 77 total catches. Brian Westbrook had 90.
This team has been molded into a one-man show these past few years, and they absolutely cannot go after a successor that does not have the same potential. Andy Reid is happy with the current core of receivers because he knows that McNabb is going to look to Westbrook first.
This is not to say that this is necessarily the safest approach, but the precedent has been set. This team functions best with a single playmaker, and Moreno seems to be the guy who fits the bill the best so far.
The Eagles have the number 21 and 28picks in the first round. I would love to see them take Moreno at 21 and Brandon Pettigrew (TE) at 28. One mock draft I saw had Pettigrew falling to the Eagles in the second round, but that is not a chance they should take.
Another good blocker on the line would be a huge benefit. The problem is they are definitely in need of an OT, and there are some really good prospects that will likely go in the first round.
Even so, I say wait until round two to grab one (or keep Runyan!). They did take Stacey Andrews from Cincinnati and Shawn Andrews should be healthy again (he was on injured reserve all season last year). With a little bit of shuffling, they could build a solid offensive line with current players.
The Eagles had the number one defense in the NFC last year, and they are lined up to do just as well without help from the draft. Even though the Eagles lost their superstar defensive player this year (Brian Dawkins), they did not leave any gaping holes.
They quickly signed a safety (Sean Jones from Cleveland ) that seems to be held in high regard. He had four interceptions last year in 12 games on a failing Browns team that didn’t succeed in getting much pressure on the QB.
Dawkins had one (but then again, Dawkins had three sacks to Jones’ 0).
Over the past three seasons, Jones has had 14 interceptions, which ranks him No. 3 in safeties with the most total interceptions within that time period—just behind Ed Reed (Baltimore) and Oshiomogho Atogwe (St. Louis).
No one will ever be able to replace Dawkins for his attitude and drive, but I think Sean Jones will be a good replacement on the field as the backup for Quentin Demps who is currently penciled in as the starter.
I will forgive the Eagles for not signing any big names this year only because I am still impressed with the acquisition of Asante Samuel (CB) last year from the Patriots. He has had at least one interception returned for a touchdown every year he has played in the NFL. He had six interceptions last year including two in the postseason.
I have been doing nothing but complaining about Philadelphia this offseason, but I think things have the potential to line up really well for the team depending on which way they turn in the draft.
As long as they realize that their defense is solid and work on putting more points on the board (and doing whatever it takes to do this) they have a real shot at putting together a team that is even better than last year.
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