This post is likely to start up quite the conversation and debate because my opinion of the Eagles is going to be quite different then most. This quote is from a recent excellent article by one of BTSC's finest writers.
In contrast imagine the explosively talented Eagles defense. The highest paid player has never played a down for the team. All together you will have 4 new defensive starters: Jason Babin, Nnamdi Asomugha, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, and Cullen Jenkins - all four were starters on different teams. Now they come to an Eagles team whose defensive star from last year, Asante Samuel, may be out of a starting job, and has been rumored to be on the trading block and whose defensive captains from the past two years, Quntin Mitchell and Stewart Bradley are both gone. Who steps up in that locker room? How much do the guys watch each other's backs? How much do they trust each other? How well do they communicate? How intuitive is their sense of what each will be doing during any given play? How well do the guys share in the responsibility of winning and losing? Who mentors the younger players? How cohesive is that unit?
Free Agent Signings
No doubt they made some huge signings here. Nnamdi is Nnamdi and he can lock up your number one corner. Dominique Rodgers Cromartie is a very good but not great CB. Jason Babin is a good DE but he has only had one good season, which does not discount it but he could just as easily revert to his average seasons as he could repeat his good season. Vince Young should be a good backup QB. Cullen Jenkins is a good DT but like Babin, he only had one good season. I think there best signings came yesterday with the acquisitions of Ronnie Brown, Jarrad Page, and Ryan Harris. They used their remaining money on three under-rated starting quality players. Brown will be a great compliment to McCoy and can be used in the wildcat. Page will compete for the open safety spot that Quintin Mikell left behind. Harris, who like Willie Colon, is a very good, very under-rated RT that struggled early in his year, then dominated one year, but has dealt with some injuries. If that signing pays off, they solidified Vick's blindside.
I think the Eagles will struggle early due to a lack of cohesion and practice together. However, by week 6 or 7 they will start to hit their stride and maybe pull of a 6 to 7 game winning streak. However, I don't think they will win the Super Bowl this year or even get there. I think they win 10 to 12 games, win the NFC East, and make a little run in the playoffs before losing to the Saints or Packers.
Players I Expect to Thrive
- Lesean McCoy: I think McCoy will have a big season this year. Like 1500 total yards and 13 total TDs
- Jason Babin: I think, despite concerns I stated earlier, Babin will have a great year and put up maybe six to eight sacks.
- Nnamdi, DRC, and Samuels: I think if they keep this unit together, they will be dominate. However, I think they are going to trade Samuels and then lack a nickel corner. It does not matter how good your first two corners are, without a good nickel and without good LBs, teams will just expose them.
Fantasy Players to Watch
- Michael Vick: I don't think there is any chance Vick is as effective as he was last year and their is a chance he is a big bust. However, in the first round, he could win your season for you or lose it for you.
- Lesean McCoy: See above. I would spend a late 2nd to 4th round pick on him.
- Desean Jackson: Depends on how long this holdout goes. However, even if Vick struggles a little, Desean will still be Desean.
- Jeremy Maclin: Maclin is a cheaper alternative to Jackson and could be had between rounds 6 and 11 depending on the league. I would take him anywhere between 8 and 11 as a 3rd WR/Flex.
Giants will be out tomorrow, then the Cowgirls, then the Redskins