As you all well know, Sheldon Brown and Chris Gocong were shipped off to Cleveland on Friday. I've heard some mixed feelings about the deal up to this point, but if you take a closer look, I think the Eagles came out on top.
It's no secret that Sheldon Brown wanted to restructure his contract. It was something that was talked about all year long, and something that wasn't going to go away this year. It is also no secret that the Eagles don't exactly have a history of granting 31 year old players this wish. Its hard for me to say because Sheldon was one of my favorite Eagles, but I have to agree with this as a pure business decision.
This is how I look at the deal as a whole. The Eagles received a 4th Rd pick (#105 overall) and a 5th Rd pick (#137 overall) for Sheldon. From what I have heard/read, no one was willing to give anything higher then a 4th rounder for him, which sounds logical considering he is on the wrong side of 30 and had a season in which he was slowed by a reoccurring injury. Still, Cleveland is getting one of the more underrated and physical corners in the league and will absolutely be an upgrade for their defense. To compare, the Eagles picked up Ellis Hobbs last year for two 5th Rd picks in last years draft and he was a starter on that undefeated Patriots team that choked against the Giants.
Now, here is where you are probably asking yourself, who the F is Alex Hall? Great question. I'll admit, I never heard of the dude before Friday. But I did a little research and it looks like Hall might have been one of those guys the Eagles were targeting in the late rounds of the 2008 Draft (where he went to Cleveland in the 7th Rd). Hall went to St. Augustine, a small Division II school in Raleigh, North Carolina. He wasn't highly recruited coming out of high school and actually came into St. Augustine as a 6'5 195 lb defensive lineman. But, after a few years, Hall established himself as one of the best athletes in Division II football, ending his career with 26 sacks. He also grew into that 6'5 frame, entering his senior season at 250 lbs. Despite the small school, scouts took notice of his ability (4.74 40 yd dash). He was athletic enough for the Browns to play him standing up at the 3-4 OLB, but the Eagles will undoubtedly use him as a situational pass rusher off the edge in the 4-3. Personally, I'm ok with giving Hall a chance to work in our system especially if it only cost us the underachieving Chris Gocong. We spent a 3rd rd pick on Gocong, hoping to add a little extra to our pass rush, but he never lived up to his college measurables, only registering 4 sacks in 4 years. He was supplanted in the starting lineup by Moises Fokou last season and it didnt look as though he was going to win that spot back any time soon.
So basically, this is par for the course when considering Andy Reid's pick-hoarding approach to the draft. Though, it does solidify that we desperately need to address the secondary this April. As of now, it looks like the secondary will consist of Asante Samuel, Ellis Hobbs, Quintin Mikell, and Marlin Jackson. Also, I suggest everyone pay tribute to Sheldon and take a look at his hits on Reggie Bush and Stephen Jackson. God knows we'll miss that when watching Asante "attempt" to tackle anybody.