The NFL’s annual meat market gets underway today in Indianapolis. Approximately 300 of the top college prospects will undergo a series of physical and mental examinations. Body measurements, 40 yard dash times, bench presses, cone drills, Wonderlic tests, and player interviews will be the focus for the next 6 days. Sounds like the place to be for
women die-hard NFL fans! Unless a new CBA is reached in the near future, the draft may be the only event we fans have to look forward to. In looking at what I perceive as our biggest needs (CB, OL, LB, DL), here is my list of players to keep an eye on:
*Note: I’m only listing players that I think the Eagles may actually be interested in and who may be available when the Eagles pick in rounds 1 – 4
Jimmy Smith, Colorado, 6′ 2″, 205 lbs: Good blend of size and speed. We need someone who can physically match up with the likes of Dez Bryant, Miles Austin, and Hakeem Nicks on a regular basis.
- Brandon Harris, Miami, 5′ 11″ 195 lbs: Good ball skills and has very good speed. Generally regarded as the 3rd best CB in this year’s class.
- Aaron Williams, Texas, 6′ 1″ 195 lbs: Decent speed, decent size, and has some experience returning punts.
- Brandon Burton, Utah, 6′ 185 lbs: Ok size and speed. Decent ball skills.
- OT Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin, 6’7″ 315 lbs: LT in college but will likely be a RT in NFL. Would give us a Jon Runyan type RT that we sorely need.
- OT Ben Ijalana, Villanova, 6′ 4″ 320 lbs: Good size and athlete. Projects to guard in the NFL. Think future RG with this pick.
- OG Mike Pouncy, Florida, 6′ 4″ 310 lbs: #1 rated guard by most in this year’s draft. Can be viewed as a potential starting center or guard.
- OG Danny Watkins, Baylor, 6′ 4″ 310 lbs: Will be a 26 year old rookie which is not ideal. Another player with a reputation of playing tough (our OL needs some nastiness).
- OG John Moffitt, Wisconsin, 6′ 4″ 315 lbs: Aggressive player. Can be viewed as either a center or guard.
- OT/G Clint Boling, Georgia, 6′ 4″ 305 lbs: Projects as a guard in the NFL. Has experience playing multiple positions along the line.
Linebacker (Not much top talent that I see the Eagles going after in the 1st 2 rounds but these 2 guys are upper tier talents that may still be there in the 3rd, 4th, maybe even 5th round due to health concerns)
- Mark Herzlich, Boston College, 6′ 4″ 250 lbs: Good size and decent speed. May be more suited to a 3-4 style defense but could play in a 4-3. Missed the 2009 season with Ewings Sarcoma (bone cancer) but came back in 2010. A top talent (prior to bone cancer) that may fall in the draft due to long term health concerns. Could be a “value” pick.
- Bruce Carter, North Carolina, 6′ 3″ 235 lbs: Tore his ACL in November of ’10. His playing status for 2011 is uncertain. Prior to injury he was viewed as a top talent but his stock has slipped some. The Eagles like “value” and Carter fits their M.O. on taking players with injuries that fall in the draft.
- DT Stephen Paea, 6′ 1″, 300 lbs: Another “value” pick. He was considered a 1st round pick but suffered a knee injury during senior bowl week. May slide to 2nd – 3rd round.
- DT Muhammad Wilkerson, Temple, 6′ 5″ 305 lbs: Rising small school star. Very productive. Could be ideal for our new 1-gap scheme.
- DE Allen Bailey, Miami, 6′ 3″ 278 lbs: Good combination of size and speed. Can move inside to tackle on passing situations which is something we like to do with our DE’s. Interesting fact: He killed an alligator with a shovel!
- DE Greg Romeus, Pittsburg, 6′ 5″ 270 lbs: Tore his ACL in week 2 and missed the rest of 2010 season. Again, another “value” pick here…notice a theme? :) Good size and speed and was productive in his 3 seasons prior to injury this year.
I fully expect the Eagles to use their first 2 picks at CB and/or OL. Of course, this is without taking into consideration any possible free agents they could land before the draft. After the combine is over, I plan on coming up with a full Eagles mock draft…just to pass the time. Plus it’s always fun to come back and look at after the draft just to see how you did.
Any thoughts on these players I’ve mentioned?