Eagles 15th Pick & LB Talk

Philly’s 1st Round Target – Wide Receiver

I have a feeling the Eagles targeting Alshon Jeffrey with the 15th pick. Philly rotates their receivers, passed up on Dez Bryant & Hakeem Nicks, and have questions about DeSean Jackson. Whether Jackson is resigned, franchise tagged or let go, I still see this being the pick. Jeffrey is 6’4 229 lbs. and ran 4-times between 4.46 and 4.56. He is bigger than Blackmon, and Blackmon is only a few hairs faster. Jeffrey is 3 inches and 15-20 lbs. bigger. Not to slight Michael Floyd who is 6’3 224 lbs. average speed, but looks for contact after the catch rather than outrunning DBs. Plus, Floyd and Blackmon might not be available at pick 15 with them receiving the most draft hype right now.

Alshon Jeffrey (South Carolina)

Alshon Jeffrey is a big target and a deep threat than ran DeSean Jackson routes. Jeffrey only had one drop last season in the SEC and has the best hands in the draft. Jeffrey uses his body and leaping ability, a dimension that Riley Cooper flashed. With his size, speed, and leaping ability, he might be another receiver that falls in the draft because of the limited routes he ran in college. Nicks has shown flashes and hasn’t panned out yet, and Dez is well on his way although he is still raw. But they’re both young and I’m glad we have the CBs that we have. Despite me hyping up Alshon Jeffrey, I hope we keep DeSean in Philly and that trio will terrorize the NFC East and feast on the league. Not to mention we still have Jason Avant and Riley Cooper gained experience this season. DeSean has the most production despite his situation and the magnified drops, and if he accepts 8-9 million a year I expect him to sign an extension.

What About A Linebacker?

I hear the linebacker talk, but if there’s no 3-down linebacker that is head over heals the other prospects, you go with the best player available and allow that position to gain clarity throughout the draft. Remember, free agency occurs before the draft and  I believe the Eagles will look to add a veteran at the position:

Stephen Tulloch, Dan Connor, Larry Grant, London Fletcher, David Hawthorne, Ahmad Brooks, Barrett Ruud. D’Qwell Jackson is a free agent, but Cleveland is expected to franchise tag the Pro Bowler. He would certainly be the guy if he became available.

Of course fans are craving he few and far between player like Ray Lewis, Brian Urlacher, and Pat Willis, who are monsters in the middle, just like many of you, but taking one in the 2nd round after teams select a few of the other options, the best available to the front office would be evident (Vontaze Burfict, Luke Kuechly, Dont’a Hightower are the top 3) . Especially since this team hopes to invest in their stable of young linebackers (Jamar Chaney, Brian Rolle, Casey Matthews, Moises Fokou, Keenan Clayton, Akeem Jordan, Greg Lloyd). The current linebackers are faster and on the smaller side, for the very reason that their defense is made to play with a lead and defend the pass. Obviously, they need a stud linebacker in the middle and the Eagles are known for trading up/down in the draft.

Draft Picks

Philadelphia can maneuver throughout the draft as they please. They could move up for a second 1st-round pick, move up to the top of the 2nd round, or select 3 players   in a range of 48 picks. As is, the Eagles have two 2nd-round picks and a 3rd round pick and the linebackers that would fit the scheme and be available at those points are:

Audie Cole (6’4 239 lbs. 4.84 dash, N. Carolina St.)

* With his size and athleticism, Cole will be intriguing to 4-3 and 3-4 teams, alike.

James-Michael Johnson (6’1 240 lbs. 4.68 dash, Nevada)

* True mike linebacker in this draft because of his ability to come downhill against the run.

Emmanuel Acho (6’2 245 lbs.4.79 dash, Texas)

* There’s no question with Emmanuel, whose athleticism and versatility should make him a top 100 pick for 4-3 teams as a chase second-level defender.

* Courtesy of CBS Sports

1 Eagles 15th pick.
2 Eagles 46th pick.
2 Cardinals 48th pick. The Eagles traded Kevin Kolb to the Cardinals for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a 2nd round pick in 2012.
3 Eagles 81st pick.
4 Eagles 99th pick.
4 Buccaneers 113th pick. The Eagles traded back from 104 to 116 with Tampa in the 2011 draft and picked up their 2012 4th round pick
5 Eagles 146th pick.
6 Eagles 172nd pick.
6 Broncos 183rd pick. The Eagles traded LB Joe Mays for RB J.J. Arrington, on the condition that if Arrington did not make the Eagles’ 2010 53 man roster, the Eagles would instead receive the Broncos’ 2012 6th round pick.
6 Patriots 189th pick. The Patriots acquired LB Tracy White and the Eagles’ 2012 seventh-round draft choice in exchange for the Pats’ 2012 sixth-round draft choice.