Veteran free agent Daryn Colledge is visiting with the Eagles today (Wednesday) and tomorrow.
Colledge, 6-4 and 308, in his 9th year out of Boise State, was drafted in the 2nd round in 2006 by Green Bay. He started and played at offensive guard in all 16 games for the Cardinals last season, but Arizona chose to release the veteran O-lineman and take the $2.725 million in cap space.
Considering that the Cardinals had a notoriously weak offensive line performance last year, what is the relevance of Colledge’s visit with the Eagles ? It may be that the Eagles are concerned about adding depth to their own offensive line with a veteran who can provide backup at both guard and tackle.
The Eagles’ O-line is aging and questions of durability have arisen. Peters, Mathis and Herremans are in their early 30’s. That’s young to me but old in horse years—and in offensive line years, too.
Colledge is 32— but he’s got a little less body damage on him than most starters his age, and he brings a versatility factor to any team right now in the event one of their big guys goes down. The Rams and the Dolphins have shown interest in him, but haven’t pulled the trigger yet on a contract offer.
I don’t pay much attention to Pro Football Focus grading of players. PFF grades out Colledge only as the 39th best guard in the league. Where PFF loses me is they never factor in the variables of how badly the guy next to you is playing. If your teammates are struggling all around you, inevitably you get downgraded too as you spend a lot of game-time struggling to clean up or overcome other players’ mistakes.
Colledge is still quick, smart and strong enough to fill the requirements of run blocking in a Chip Kelly-style offense. There was never much question about his pass-protection blocking skills.
It seems like a good plan to go to Colledge if the Eagles seek an affordable insurance policy for their offensive line.
Right now you still have solid veteran Allen Barbre to back up left tackle. Then the picture gets foggy for the rest of the line. Dennis “Hagrid” Kelly, Matt Tobin, Julian “The Singer” Vandervelde, Michael Bamiro…all still “projects” at this phase of their careers as I see them.
The Eagles passed on drafting any O-linemen which were still available at their points of selection. They did just sign 3 guards and a tackle in UDFA activity. Maybe Donald Hawkins, the 6-4, 305-lb. guard from Texas, has the best chance of the UDFA’s to move up to the next level. But it would be a stretch to project Hawkins as the insurance policy the Eagles will need to count upon in November or December. (Having said that, I am reminded that All-Pro left tackle Jason Peters was once an undrafted free agent himself— the year was 2004 !)…
So I make the case for going to Colledge.
Besides, he’s one of us— a lover of education, entertainment, fine wines and gourmet grilling…