The Andy Reid days in Philadelphia are over. And with them go the expectations we used to have come draft day. We knew what Andy liked and almost came to anticipate linemen with the Eagles first picks. That's if he didn't trade it. Enter Chip Kelly. We don't have any idea which direction Chipper will go in when the clock is ticking.
In today's Monday Morning Quarterback column, Sports Illustrated's Peter King quotes draft guru Mike Mayock as saying as much:
"And,'' Mayock said, "you throw a Chip Kelly in there at No. 4. He could
be so different. I'm not sure they value things in Philadelphia the way
everyone else does in the league anymore. So we don't know that. Add to
that the talent in the first round and the second round is pretty equal
at a lot of spots. I could see [defensive end] Bjoern Werner going six,
I could see him going 28. Right now, I think it's simply an
unpredictable year. I feel very good about my player analysis as we sit
here right now. I don't feel good at all about where those players are
King's column also has a couple of other interesting Birds-related nuggets.
King mentions the Kansas City Chiefs still attempting to shop franchised LT Branden Albert, hoping for an early second-rounder in return. That price may be a bit steep, but it's a worth discussing for the Eagles. A more tempting package for Philly might be something like this year's third and something thrown in next year.
Albert could come in and play RT right away, giving them more freedom with their first round selection to go a defensive player or Geno Smith or whoever they really covet.
And speaking of a defensive player they may really like, King also says they may have their eyes on a star.
Eagles have been nutty about getting players who fit the 3-4. Hear they
like Star Lotulelei a lot to play all along the line, even at nose.
Where they go -- Geno Smith, pass rusher, best corner in the draft -- I
don't know, but my guess is pass rusher.
There were some concerns after Lotulelei was sent home from the combine with a heart condition, but Howie Roseman told reporters today that he had been cleared of all health issues.
The draft is less than two weeks away. Chip Kelly's first big play call should give us a glimpse of the future in Philadelphia.
>>2013 NFL draft's first round is hard to predict [SI]
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Pete Mackanin continues to play musical chairs with his logjam of infielders.
Tonight, Cesar Hernandez returns to the Phillies' lineup playing second and leading off. He sat against lefty Clayton Kershaw and will face righty Yu Darvish tonight. Hernandez has fared better against right-handers (.293) than southpaws (.279). He leads the team with a .359 OBP this season.
Maikel Franco will take a seat tonight. Franco has been much better over his last 10 games. In that span, Franco is 15 for 35 (.371) with two homers and seven RBIs. His average for the season is still just at .232.
J.P. Crawford will take over at the hot corner and bat seventh. Crawford has been sort of up and down since his call up, but his patented control of the strike zone has certainly translated at the big league level. The rookie is hitting a modest .256 so far but has an OBP of .340.
Here is the rest of tonight's lineup:
1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Freddy Galvis, SS
3. Odubel Herrera, CF
4. Rhys Hoskins, 1B
5. Nick Williams, RF
6. Aaron Altherr, LF
7. J.P. Crawford, 3B
8. Jorge Alfaro, C
9. Aaron Nola, P
And here's how the Dodgers will line up against Nola:
1. Chris Taylor, CF
2. Corey Seager, SS
3. Justin Turner, 3B
4. Cody Bellinger, 1B
5. Curtis Granderson, RF
6. Chase Utley, 2B
7. Yasmani Grandal, C
8. Andre Ethier, LF
9. Yu Darvish, P