Eagles round out 2014 Draft with S Ed Reynolds, NT Beau Allen

Eagles round out 2014 Draft with S Ed Reynolds, NT Beau Allen

A few quick thoughts on the Philadelphia Eagles’ final two picks of the 2014 NFL Draft, but first, let’s go the scouting reports.

 

Ed Reynolds, S, Stanford

Strengths

Good size to contend with tight ends. Reads the quarterback and displays good instincts and anticipation. Has ballhawking skills -- 6 INTs and 3 TDs as a junior. Functional range off the hash. Wrap tackler. Has NFL bloodlines.

Weaknesses

Very average speed, twitch and flexibility. Unsudden change of direction. Lacks burst to close suddenly or recover when beat. Occasionally loses field leverage and takes some inaccurate angles. Leaks yards after contact. Misses too many tackles in the open field and can be run over (see Utah). Eyes get stuck on the quarterback, leaving him vulnerable to manipulation. Limited experience in man coverage.

Reynolds is 6’1”, 207 pounds. He has average athleticism, maybe a bit above average for his size/position. The thing that really stands out is that junior year—six picks, three returned for touchdowns. I don’t care what league you play in, and even if he did follow it up with one interception his senior year, that’s impressive.

Although I have little doubt the Eagles will talk about an “open competition” at safety, and there is no reason to believe it will be anything but, I doubt Reynolds will beat out Nate Allen or Earl Wolff for a job as a rookie (Malcolm Jenkins is penned into the other spot). Allen improved gradually last season and was something between competent and solid. Wolff held his own. Both guys have a full year in defensive coordinator Bill Davis’ system now, which will be a huge advantage.

Still, gotta like a safety with Reynolds’ size. I could see him being in the mix to play in Year 2.

 

Beau Allen, NT, Wisconsin

Strengths

Stoutly built lower body (squats a small house). Good initial thrust off the snap. Sheer size, natural girth and functional strength to occupy blocks. Has a desirable mentality for the position. Brings energy, plays hard and gives terrific pursuit effort for a big man. Tough and durable. Very good 10-yard splits (1.68 seconds) at his pro day, indicating surprising short-area burst for a 330-pounder.

Weaknesses

Marginal value as a pass rusher. Ordinary bull rush. Needs to play with better pad level -- plays too tall and is too easily engaged. Unrefined hand use and slow to disengage. Does not dominate single blocking. Is straightlinish and struggles to change direction. Slow of foot with limited range. Not an impactful playmaker.

I thought this was a great seventh-round pick. I don’t see the need to replace Bennie Logan at nose tackle right now. He performed well as a rookie, the team expects him to bulk up to 320-325 pounds, and the nose tackle was only on the field 50 percent of the time last season anyway.

They desperately needed somebody behind Logan though, and I think Allen is perfect. At 6’2”, 333 pounds, he’s going to be really difficult to move. Most offensive linemen will have trouble getting under Allen’s pad level at that height, and without the right leverage, he’s not going anywhere.

Plus, the Eagles can put a proper “heavy” or goal-line package on the field now, with Logan kicked to outside and Allen in the middle. Technically, the seventh-round pick isn’t even a lock to make the team, but I think he will and it’s a pick the Eagles will get some mileage out of.

NHL Notes: Islanders fire head coach Jack Capuano

NHL Notes: Islanders fire head coach Jack Capuano

The struggling New York Islanders fired coach Jack Capuano on Tuesday, ending his tenure in the middle of its seventh season.

General manager Garth Snow named assistant GM/coach Doug Weight as Capuano's interim replacement. Snow told reporters Tuesday that the Islanders weren't where they wanted to be in the standings and that everyone's disappointed in their performance his season.

"At the end of the day organizationally I don't think Jack was probably going to be a coach that we were going to bring back," Snow said, adding that the team will begin a full-time coaching search now.

Snow said the halfway point of the season played a role in the timing of firing Capuano a day after beating the Boston Bruins 4-0. The Islanders were 17-17-8 and are in last place in the Eastern Conference with 42 points (see full story).

Predators: Hunt claimed, Fiala sent to AHL
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Nashville Predators have claimed defenseman Brad Hunt off waivers from the St. Louis Blues.

In other moves announced Tuesday, the Predators assigned forward Kevin Fiala to their American Hockey League affiliate in Milwaukee and have placed defenseman Petter Granberg on injured reserve.

Hunt had one goal and four assists in nine games for St. Louis this season. He has appeared in a total of 30 NHL games over parts of four seasons with the Edmonton Oilers and St. Louis. He has two career goals and six assists.

Fiala has six goals and three assists in 32 games for Nashville this season.

Granberg has played in 10 games for the Predators and has 10 penalty minutes.

NFL Notes: Tomlin says Antonio Brown 'foolish, selfish' for live stream

NFL Notes: Tomlin says Antonio Brown 'foolish, selfish' for live stream

PITTSBURGH — The father in Mike Tomlin regrets the language he used to describe the New England Patriots during the postgame speech Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown's opted to livestream on social media after a taut playoff victory over Kansas City.

The coach in Tomlin has just as big an issue with one of his team's biggest stars forcing the Steelers to talk about something other than trying to find a way to finally beat Tom Brady when it counts.

A characteristically blunt Tomlin called Brown's decision to broadcast more than 17 minutes of Pittsburgh's giddy locker room to the world -- a move that caught Tomlin using a handful of profanities -- over Kansas City "foolish," "selfish" and "inconsiderate."

"Not only is it a violation of our policy, it's a violation of league policy, both of which he knows," Tomlin said Tuesday.

"So there are consequences to be dealt with from his perspective. We will punish him. We won't punish us."

Tomlin took responsibility for his choice of words, though he was unaware of being filmed as he spoke.

During Tomlin's brief remarks he attached an expletive to the Patriots, who earned a full day's head start on the Steelers by virtue of beating Houston on Saturday night, 24 hours before Pittsburgh outlasted Kansas City 18-16.

"The responsibility associated with being in this thing, just from a role model standpoint, it's something that I personally embrace," Tomlin said.

"It's something that we as a team and organization embrace. So that's why the language, specifically, in terms of the content, is regrettable," (see full story).

- The Associated Press

Report: Former Eagles DL Clyde Simmons joining Browns' staff
The Sporting News' Alex Marvez reported that the Browns are hiring Clyde Simmons to coach their defensive line.

Since 2012, Simmons has worked as the assistant defensive line coach for the St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams under head coach Jeff Fisher and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. Fisher was fired by the Rams with three games left in the 2016 season and Williams left Los Angeles for Cleveland, where he will also be the defensive coordinator.

Filling out his staff in Cleveland, Williams appears to be bringing Simmons with him from the Rams. Cleveland.com reported that Williams is also hiring his son, Blake, as the linebackers coach and Jerod Kruse as the defensive backs coach. 

Simmons spent the first eight seasons of his 15-year NFL career in Philadelphia, starting 108 of the 124 games he appeared in. Simmons recorded 76 of his 121.5 career sacks with the Eagles and also forced 12 fumbles, recovering 10, and scoring two touchdowns with the Birds.

- CSNPhilly.com

Broncos: Joe Woods promoted to defensive coordinator
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Broncos coach Vance Joseph has promoted secondary coach Joe Woods to defensive coordinator, replacing Wade Phillips, who left for the Los Angeles Rams.

Woods, 46, was in charge of the Broncos' "No Fly Zone" secondary that led the league in pass defense each of the last two years behind All-Pro cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr., safeties T.J. Ward and Darian Stewart and nickel back Bradley Roby.

Woods has a quarter-century of experience coaching defensive backs including the last 13 seasons in Denver (2015-16), Oakland (2014), Minnesota (2006-13) and Tampa Bay (2004-05).

Joseph said Woods "is ready for this opportunity" and "no one will outwork Joe."

Harris said, "If we had to lose Wade at least we get to keep Joe," (see full story).

- The Associated Press