Eagles Droppings 6/25: Eagles Lack Elite Talent, Eagles Speak Vick and DeSean Makes TV Appearance
By Lance Epstein
Eagles Don't Have Big Time Talent?:
Are the Eagles really hurting for premiere talent on their 53-man roster? Pete Prisco believes so. Prisco, a columnist for Cbssportsline.com listed his top 50 players in the NFL and zero Eagles cracked the list.
No wide receiver DeSean Jackson. No defense end Trent Cole. No cornerback Asante Samuel. No Pro Bowl tackle Jason Peters.
Prisco did not clarify what exactly the criteria was for make his top 50, but apparently being a Eagle severely hurt your chances.
Last season, Jackson emerged as one of the best young players in the league at wide receiver and on special teams as a punt returner as well. Many analysts have said that Jackson is the most explosive player in the NFL. Yet, Jackson did not make the cut, but Andre Johnson (7), Larry Fitzgerald (11), Randy Moss (28), Brandon Marshall (40) and Steve Smith (49) all were included.
It is hard to believe that Jackson, who put up better numbers than Smith last season and has less wear and tear did not make the list, but Smith did. Jackson put up 1,167 yards and nine touchdowns, which doesn’t include his return yards and touchdowns. Meanwhile, Smith put up the worst numbers of his career since his rookie season with 982 yards and seven touchdowns.
Additionally, if any general manager were looking to build a franchise today and were forced to select a wide receiver, most GMs would draft Jackson, 23, over the 33-year-old Moss and 31-year-old Smith.
As for Cole, he again gets the honor of being overlooked and as one of the most underrated defensive ends in the entire NFL. Unlike Jackson, Cole did manage to make Prisco’s "just missed” list. Prisco included seven total pass rushers on his rankings. Some of the pass rushers were more deserving than Cole, but others were a questionable call over Cole. As expected DeMarcus Ware (5), Dwight Freeney (10), Jared Allen (12) and Mario Williams (17) and LaMarr Woodley (26) placed ahead of Cole.
However, two questionable players were Julius Peppers (31) and Elvis Dumeril (32). While Peppers undoubtedly has the ability to be a monster on the field at times, he takes too many plays off. Additionally, he is three years older than Cole.
Without a doubt Dumervil is an up-and-coming stud at defensive end and has nearly the same amount of sack totals as Cole (Cole-47, Dumervil-42.5). Nevertheless, Cole has played one season more than Dumervil, but has recorded more than double the amount of tackles. Cole has accumulated 312 tackles and Dumervil has only 130. While Dumervil is a excellent pass rushing specialist, Cole is a do-it-all defensive end that can play all four downs.
On the other hand, Peter Schrager of Foxsports.com published a similar list with his top 100 players in the NFL. The criteria used by Schrager on his countdown included three parts: which player would I rather have on my team, which player would make the most impact on my team and finally, which player would be the best in 2010 [specifically]?
Unlike Prisco, the Eagles had one player sneak into the top 50, which happened to be playmaking cornerback Asante Samuel at No. 50. Of course, Schrager takes a shot at Samuel's tackling skills [who hasn't this offseason], but wrote that his knack for the timely interception is too great not to be in his top 50.
"A two-time Super Bowl champion, three-time Pro Bowl participant and two-time All-Pro, Samuel's evolved into a senior leader in the Eagles locker room," he wrote. "Though he rarely plays press coverage and isn’t exactly Dick Butkus when it comes to tackling, he's one of the league’s premier interception artists. In the last two seasons, the 29-year-old's recorded 13 regular-season interceptions, including two in the playoffs. His nine picks last year were tied for most in the NFL."
Even though Schrager lists Samuel in his top 50 players, he was not as kind to Cole. Shockingly, Cole placed at No. 95.
"Cole’s improved each year he’s been in the NFL and in 2009 was selected to his second Pro Bowl. Though he rarely is mentioned in the conversation of the league’s top pass rushers, he’s accumulated 47 sacks in six years, with 12.5 in 2009," Schrager wrote. "The Eagles drafted Brandon Graham, a sack demon out of Michigan, to give Cole some help in the pass rush game in 2010. Another reason to like Cole? He’s one of the most entertaining guys in the league when the NFL Films mikes are on him."
It is hard to believe that there are 50 other players that are better than Cole, let alone 94. Furthermore, it is harder to imagine a player with 34 sacks over the last three years, has played every single game over that span and is only 27 is behind players such as Curtis Lofton, Anthony Spencer, Cedric Benson and Jonathan Vilma. Even more astonishing is that Schrager realizes Brandon Graham should help Cole tremendously, but he is still ranks him near the bottom of the list.
Besides Cole and Samuel, Jackson finished at 53 and Peters at 65. These rankings in the grand scheme of things means nothing, but maybe Kevin Kolb was accurate when stating that the Eagles are being overlooked and are going to shock the world this year. Interestingly, if Kolb can prove himself, he could be the Eagle that is a top 50 player for years to come.
Eagles Release Statement On Vick:
On Friday, reports surfaced that a shooting occurred outside a Virginia nightclub where Michael Vick held his 30th birthday party. Later in the day, the Eagles address the situation with their backup quarterback. However, it was short press release and gave no insight into what the organization is thinking on the matter.
"We are aware of the incident that occurred in Virginia early this morning and are in the process of gathering all of the facts. Until then, we will not have any comment on this matter."
For Vick, this could be the end of him as a NFL player if he is suspended again. No franchise wants a talented quarterback that repeatedly blows opportunities and misses playing time.