Morning Phil-Up: Cardale Jones a Philadelphia Eagle?


I don’t go to Penn State, but I was raised a Penn State fan. To be completely honest, I root for the team, but not in the sense that I do for the Philadelphia teams. Pro sports are much more interesting to me, but given the importance of the the NFL Draft on the Eagles’ success, I certainly catch my fair share of college Football. And with that, I need to be behind a team, and Penn State is that team. That has never led me to be too fond of  Ohio State. Except down the stretch run of this year.

Having spent my entire life playing sports, I know what it feels like to be on a team where the public counts you out, and you know inside of your team, that you have the talent to beat any team. It’s a great feeling when the season starts and your team proves the public wrong, and you right. That was Ohio State this season.

Ohio State appeared like a team likely to push for a spot in the inaugural college football playoff prior to the season, before losing Heisman candidate Braxton Miller for the season due to a shoulder injury. The team’s hopes for competing in 2014-15 seemed to be dashed after they lost to Virginia Tech in Week 2, with J.T. Barrett at the helm. Instead, Barrett would lead the Buckeyes to ten straight wins, putting himself in the Heisman discussion, and his team in the Big Ten title game, where a win would give them a great chance to make the College Football Playoff.

Unfortunately, Barrett went down with an ankle injury, prior to Big 10 title game. Many, myself included, counted Ohio State out. Instead, Cardale Jones, who had taken just three snaps prior to the Big 10 title game, made a seamless transition into the lineup, as Ohio State would ultimately upset their way to a National Title.

I don’t root for Ohio State, but from an athlete’s perspective, it was hard not to have a great feeling about a team that overcame every obstacle on their way to winning the National Title.

Before you start your day, be sure to read these articles.

Could Cardale Jones Make Sense For Eagles in the Draft?-Section 215

Make no mistake about it, Cardale Jones had a ton of help in Ohio State’s run to the National Title. The Ohio State offensive-line trounced Oregon’s defense yesterday evening. Ezekiel Elliott ran for just shy of 250 yards against Oregon, and was the best player in the playoffs. In general, he was well surrounded. But Cardale Jones, ain’t come here to play school, he came here to ball.

In the three games, Jones wasn’t statistically dominant, but he didn’t necessarily have to be. Instead, he displayed a massive arm, an ability to go through his reads if given adequate protection and a lot more than functional mobility. Certainly, I think he tends to tuck and run a little more than he should and missed some reads early in the game yesterday, but raw-talent wise, Jones looks like someone who certainly has some sort of future in the NFL.

In a perfect world, he would come back next season in an effort to prove that his three-game stint wasn’t a fluke, but with Barrett due back from injury, he is unlikely to return as the team’s undisputed starter. Some have suggested that Barrett could “go out on top”, and enter the NFL Draft. In this article, which features a Section 215 podcast segment, Somers Price and I look at the idea of the Eagles taking a risk on Jones in the NFL Draft.

(Note: the article was written late last week, at the time of the segment recording. Given that Jones is now a national champion, he may have elevated his draft stock to a point where it’s more than “just taking a flyer” on him. It’s too early to tell now.)

Looking at Jeremy Maclin’s Value-Birds 24/7

Somers Price and I broke down some of the potential targets for the Eagles to look at in free-agency to upgrade over Riley Cooper this past weekend. That’s assuming that the Eagles are able to lock up Jeremy Maclin.

Tim McManus says that Maclin and Randall Cobb will lead the second-tier of a loaded free-agent receiver class, and gets expert opinions on exactly what type of money the Eagles could have to pay Maclin.

Where the Eagles Season Went Wrong, Part II: Big Plays Allowed-Philly Voice

Our friend Jimmy Kempski, now with the newly-formed Philly Voice, uses screenshots to show how the Eagles season turned on a string of collapses in the secondary.

Clearly, the John Brown play in the Eagles late-game loss to the Cardinals was the most memorable secondary breakdown in a year that was full of them, but the article puts in perspective how much of the late-season collapse had to do with the  deficiencies in the secondary.