So What's the Deal with Jordan Poyer?

So What's the Deal with Jordan Poyer?

In the event you're a degenerate gambler who sits there and sweats out Pac-12 games at 1 a.m. -- or, you know, if you're just a college football fan -- there's a good chance you were already familiar with Jordan Poyer.

The Oregon State corner was a consensus All-American in 2012 and finished second in the nation with seven interceptions. He was the leader of an Oregon State secondary that helped hold opponents to the third-fewest passing yards per game in an offense-happy conference.

He's even a potential return threat in the NFL.

He was widely projected as a Day 2 or very early Day 3 pick. So how did he manage to fall to the Eagles in the seventh round?

We're now four days after the NFL Draft and that's still a fascinating question.

Poyer had some character concerns -- he was apparently banned from a bar and then later charged with trespassing when he was detained following a fight at that same bar last May -- but guys with his on-field resume have done worse and not slid all the way down the board.

Then there's the fact that his combine was apparently pretty unimpressive -- which Poyer cites as the reason for his fall -- and that his weaknesses from a variety of scouting reports indicated that he lacks strength and speed in coverage. Those traits potentially paint him as a nickel corner, which also likely made him less of a target higher up on the board.

Per Paul Domowitch
, here's Poyer's post-draft evaluation from an anonymous scout:

“This is a helluva value pick here. We had him as a late-five.
Some teams I talked to had him higher than that. Speed was the obvious
concern. Ran a 4.65. But he plays faster than that. Tight in the hips
and doesn’t have great recovery speed. But he’s got really good hand-eye
coordination. Had seven interceptions as a nickel last year, which is
where he’s going to play at this level. Eventually, I could see him
being moved to safety. He’s going to help them right away on special
teams. He was a gunner on their punt coverage unit and also can return
kicks. He needs to get a little stronger. He only did the 225-bench
eight times. I know he’s a corner, but that’s still pretty bad.’’

It was apparently enough for the Eagles, according to the aforelinked story from Reuben Frank, to pace like mad men as Poyer remained on the board and the team was without a pick:

“We didn't have a pick for a long time from round five
to round seven, and any of you guys that know me, that's not my most
comfortable thing,” [GM Howie] Roseman said. “I had to take a little walk to keep
myself in line a little bit. … And when I came back I said maybe I
should take another walk.”

“I don't know. I think that you're
very surprised about some of the guys that go undrafted, and you go, 'Oh
my god, how did that guy not get drafted?’ But it's the nature of the
draft process. It's unique."

So what's the deal with airline peanuts/Jordan Poyer?

Somehow, a consensus All-American fell all the way to the seventh round. And, if not for Chip Kelly, who took kids from the Pac-12 with four of his eight picks, Poyer had the potential to go undrafted. Either he validates the Eagles or proves why 31 other teams passed on him.

The Eagles already have a guy with a similar skill set in Brandon Boykin, but in age when so many front-office types talk about draft "value," is there anyone who had a greater seventh-round value than Jordan Poyer?

>> New Eagle Jordan Poyer: 'I'll remember who passed me up' [Roob]

Cubs reward Theo Epstein for turnaround with 5-year extension

Cubs reward Theo Epstein for turnaround with 5-year extension

CHICAGO -- Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts had dinner with president of baseball operations Theo Epstein in Arizona around the start of spring training.

If Epstein had any doubt about a contract extension, it ended right there. And on Wednesday, it became official.

Chicago announced a five-year extension, rewarding Epstein for an overhaul that has the long-suffering franchise eyeing its first championship since 1908.

"He started it off by saying some really nice things about me that might have hurt his leverage a little bit, and then I returned the favor by telling him that even if we couldn't work out a contract it would get awkward because I would just keep showing up to work," Epstein said. "As an employee, I will. I kept ruining my leverage."

The deal comes with the Cubs wrapping up one of the greatest seasons in franchise history and their fans believing this just might be the team to end the 108-year World Series title drought.

Chicago reached 100 wins for the first time since 1935 and was a major league-leading 101-56 heading into Wednesday's game at Pittsburgh. The Cubs clinched the best record in the majors with more than a week left in the regular season.

"In the five years under Theo's leadership, he has brought in a strong executive team and acquired and developed some of the best players in the game," Ricketts said. "Now, the results are on the field."

Terms were not disclosed.

It looks like Epstein isn't the only Cubs executive with a new deal. He said contract extensions for general manager Jed Hoyer and senior vice president of scouting and player development Jason McLeod will probably be announced in the next day or two.

Epstein, who was in the final season of a five-year deal when he left Boston in October 2011, had repeatedly said a new contract was a formality, that there were more immediate priorities. Ricketts had echoed that and indicated in the spring that he was prepared to make him one of the highest-paid executives in baseball.

"There was never any real drama throughout the summer," said Ricketts, adding the agreement was finalized a few days ago.

What took so long?

"We sat down at spring training, had a nice dinner, talked about getting an extension done," Ricketts said. "Basically, I told him I thought he was the best in the game at what he did. He told me no matter what I paid him he wasn't going to leave Chicago, so we were off to a good start. We checked back in on it a couple times during the summer. There was no real time pressure."

The new deal is a reward for a striking transformation that began with the arrivals of Epstein along with Hoyer and McLeod -- his friends from Boston -- following the 2011 season.

The Cubs tested some fans' patience by taking the long approach rather than going for a quick fix, but they have seen the benefits the past two years. Chicago is eyeing even bigger things after breaking out with 97 wins and reaching the NL Championship Series last season.

"When you have great leadership at the top, it usually filters through the rest of the group," manager Joe Maddon said. "A successful organization has that. We have that. I was very happy to hear the news. I'm very happy for Theo and his family and of course, us. It is great. It's a feel-good story. He deserves it. He's earned it. I'm very happy for him."

High draft picks such as 2015 NL Rookie of the Year Kris Bryant made big impacts, as did a number of trade acquisitions, including last season's NL Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta, All-Star first baseman Anthony Rizzo and potential Gold Glove shortstop Addison Russell.

The hiring of NL Manager of the Year Joe Maddon and signing of starter Jon Lester before the 2015 season showed just how serious the Cubs were about jumping into contention. And the additions of three-time Gold Glove outfielder Jason Heyward, pitcher John Lackey and veteran infielder Ben Zobrist along with the re-signing of outfielder Dexter Fowler this past offseason added to an already deep roster.

Throw in the emergence of Kyle Hendricks as a Cy Young candidate, and the Cubs are widely considered a postseason favorite.

There were missteps along the way, but the Cubs are in a far different and far better place than they were five years ago. And if they win it all under Epstein, it won't be the first time he helped end a long championship drought.

Before he took aim at the Billy goat curse, he took down the Bambino.

Epstein oversaw two World Series winners in nine seasons as Boston's general manager.

In Chicago, Epstein parted with high-priced veterans and loaded up the minor league system while expanding the team's scouting and analytics operation as part of an overhaul that saw the organization get stripped to its studs.

The Ricketts family also invested heavily in infrastructure in recent years, including new training facilities in the baseball-rich Dominican Republic and the spring training home in Arizona. They are also overhauling Wrigley Field and the surrounding neighborhood.

"There really wasn't anything important to me besides finding common ground, making sure that we could stay and see this thing through," Epstein said. "Our mission has not been accomplished yet."