EAST RUTHERFORD NJ - DECEMBER 19: Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants is sacked by Moise Fokou #53 of the Philadelphia Eagles during their game on December 19 2010 at The New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Earlier tonight, the Colts made a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles that sent cornerback Kevin Thomas and a conditional seventh round pick in 2013 to the Eagles in exchange for two linebackers, Moise Fokou and Greg Lloyd.
If you are like me, you have never heard of those players before. So I did a little research to see what I could find.
Moise Fokou (6-1, 238 pounds) was drafted by the Eagles in the seventh round of the 2009 draft. The strong side linebacker has played in all but five games in his first three years, missing the final five games last year due to an injury. He has started 22 games, making 112 tackles and 1 sack. From what I have read, he also seems to be a very good special teams player. I think Fokou stands a very good shot at making the Colts roster.
Greg Lloyd (6-1, 247 pounds) was drafted by the Eagles in the seventh round of the 2011 draft. He spent much of last season on the Eagles' practice squad, but near the end of the year spent some time on the active roster, though never appearing in a game. Lloyd is the son of former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Greg Lloyd, who made five pro bowls and was a three time AP first team all pro. Lloyd, an inside linebacker, will very likely not make the Colts roster.
The real player to watch in this deal is Moise Fokou. He seems like a solid player who can really provide on special teams as well. He could be a good outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense, but will not overtake Dwight Freeney or Robert Mathis for a starting position. He will likely make the team as a primary special teams player and backup linebacker. Lloyd, on the other hand, does not figure to make it very long in Indy, though I have been wrong before (but probably not here).
In my opinion, Kevin Thomas (whom the Colts gave up) has the most potential of the group, but in no way does that mean the Colts made a bad deal. Ryan Grigson simply wanted linebackers he was familiar with from Philadelphia over a cornerback from the Polian era. I think Fokou could be a pretty decent player for the Colts. He really helps out a linebacker position whose depth was questionable (it still is, but it has improved).
That said, however, corner is still a concern, even more so than it was before. Justin King has been getting reps with the first team, though others look to earn the spot as well, Cassius Vaughn and Chris Rucker in particular.
It will be interesting to see how things play out, but my advice is to not immediately bash this trade simply because the Colts gave up a cornerback. That was my initial reaction, but after reading about Fokou, I think this trade was decent. Only time will tell whether the trade was a good one or not, but in the meantime the Colts seem to have acquired a good special teams player and backup linebacker.