Neil's NFL Daily: July 15, 2013
For those of you wondering, “where are the Giants and Jets?”, I put in a stint over the weekend and delivered a “New York Special” on Saturday. You can find it here.
So today, instead of the expected duo we are featuring the team with perhaps the biggest makeover of the offseason — the Oakland Raiders — and the perennially underachieving Philadelphia Eagles. Amazingly, unless you include the criminally underrated Evan Mathis as part of the “Dream Team” signing spree, every pick-up from that 2011 offseason is now Eagle history.
For those new to the series and wanting to catch up, you can find the other teams covered to date with this handy set of links.
Charts by team:
Monday, July 15th
Oakland Raiders (Click to enlarge)
— The projection on offense is really Moore. He really didn’t play very well last year, but I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt and suggesting he’s a better player than he showed in 2012.
— Another projection on defense is for Carter. It’s not like me to project aging players upwards, but he’s shown consistent ability and I feel he’ll come back from an injury that almost certainly stymied his last campaign.
— It’s possible that the best two players the Raiders have at CB aren’t actually on the above chart. I have no inside knowledge regarding D.J. Hayden, other than his first-round selection, but felt Phillip Adams showed enough in 178 snaps last year to suggest he may be one to watch. Indeed we named him a “secret superstar” in our recent series.
— The Raiders have made a few other quality pick-ups this offseason not shown here. Keep an eye out in training camp for LB Kaluka Maiava, and FS Usama Young.
Philadelphia Eagles (Click to enlarge)
— It’s ironic that the Eagles had a number of potentially excellent fits within a 4-3 defense but instead made the move to 3-4 and brought in players that, while conversant with that scheme, do not play particularly well within it. So while the snaps of a potentially elite player like Brandon Graham’s are limited, instead we’ll see our lowest rated NT from last year in Sopoaga, and Connor Barwin, who only Eric Walden rated lower than as a 3-4 pass rusher.
— The line has the potential to be much better than the grades currently assigned, but a combination of injury and positional changes have made me hedge my bets. Will Peters return at the level he left off, as the best LT in the NFL? Will Kelce continue to show the promise he did in his 138 snaps last year before injury? Will Herremans do as fine a job at RG as he did filling in at RT after being an LG for most of his career?
— I’m a huge Kenny Phillips fan. If he can stay healthy he has the potential to be one of the few elite deep safeties in the NFL. Unfortunately, his injury history is extensive and how he comes back from his latest knee problem is open to debate.
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