It’s information-gathering season in the NFL.
That means in the coming weeks, all the way up until May 8, the Eagles’ decision-makers will be doing their best to learn everything they can about the draftable prospects on their board.
In this space, we’ll keep track of pre-draft visits. Teams are allowed to have 30 prospects to their facilities. Meanwhile, they are allowed to hold as many private workouts on the prospects’ home turf as they want. And of course, they can attend as many Pro Days as they want also.
Some years, the pre-draft visits have aligned with the Eagles’ picks. Other years, there’s been no correlation. Coaches and GMs want to get to know players not only for this year’s draft, but in case guys become available down the road.
Having said that, here’s the list of guys the team has been linked to so far. Note that we are not including combine interviews, Senior Bowl interviews or Pro Day attendance here (since Chip Kelly goes to so many).
If you have names that I missed, please let me know.
Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M (NFL.com) – Evans (6-5, 231) told NFL.com that the Eagles were one of the teams that’s scheduled a private workout with him. He is extremely long (35 1/8-inch arms) and was productive as a senior with 69 catches for 1,394 yards and 12 touchdowns. Evans ran a 4.53 at the combine and is expected to be a first-round pick.
Deone Bucannon, S, Washington State (CBSSports.com) – The 6-foot-1, 211-pounder needs to prove himself has a cover guy, but he had three interceptions against Oregon during his college career.
Jaylen Watkins, DB, Florida (Birds 24/7) – The 6-foot, 194-pounder started nine games last year – three at cornerback and six at safety. He ran a 4.41 at the combine.
Taylor Hart, DL, Oregon (Oregon Live) – Hart (6-6, 281) played for Kelly and defensive line coach Jerry Azzinaro at Oregon. He would be a backup defensive end in Billy Davis’ scheme. Hart is considered a mid-to-late round pick.
Trey Hopkins, OG, Texas (Alex Dunlap) – Hopkins (6-3, 305) was an AP All-Big 12 first team selection last season. The Eagles are always looking for offensive line depth, and Evan Mathis and Todd Herremans are both on the plus side of 30. Hopkins could be a late-round pick or undrafted free agent.
Jordan Tripp, LB, Montana (NFL.com) – The 6-3, 234-pounder would be an inside linebacker in the Eagles’ 3-4. He’s a very good athlete who can cover. Tripp is expected to be a mid-to-late round pick. More on him here.
Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State (Adam Caplan) – The monster wide receiver (6-5, 240) had 54 catches for 1,011 yards and 15 touchdowns last season, but did not test well athletically at the combine. More here on Benjamin.
Aaron Colvin, CB, Oklahoma (Adam Caplan) – He performed well at the Senior Bowl, but then suffered a torn ACL. Colvin is unlikely to contribute in 2014, but was considered a Day 2 pick before the injury.
Marqise Lee, WR, USC (Fox Sports) – The 6-foot, 192-pounder lit Chip Kelly’s Oregon teams up in college. Lee ran a 4.52 at the combine, but with some of the bigger names likely to be taken earlier in the first round, he’s an option at No. 22.
Larry Webster, OLB/TE, Bloomsburg (Tony Pauline) – The measurables on Webster are off the chart. At 6-6, 252 pounds, he ran a 4.58 40 at the combine. Webster has a 36.5-inch vertical leap, long arms (33 1/2 inches) and big hands (10 1/8 inches). He played basketball for four seasons and football the last two. Webster had 13.5 sacks in 2012 and was a finalist for small school defensive player of the year in 2013. Teams are looking at him as a tight end in addition to edge rusher.
Marcus Martin, G/C, USC (Aaron Wilson) – The 6-3, 320-pounder started 35 games in three seasons with the Trojans. He played guard for two years and then moved to center. Martin is projected to be a second- or third-round pick.
Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA (Birds 24/7) – The 6-foot-4, 255-pounder had 23.5 sacks in his last two seasons for the Bruins. He is expected to be a first-round pick.
Marcus Smith, OLB, Louisville (FoxSports.com) – Smith started his career as a quarterback before moving to the defensive side of the ball. He finished second in the nation with 14.5 sacks in 2013 and is athletic enough to drop back into coverage. Smith projects as a Day 2 or Day 3 pick.
Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU (Sirius XM) – The 5-11, 198-pounder ran a 4.43 at the combine and was voted college football’s most versatile player last year. He can line up inside or outside and has ability as a return man. Beckham is projected to be a first-round pick and could be off the board by the time the Eagles pick. More here on Beckham.
Spencer Long, OL, Nebraska (Adam Caplan) – The 6-5, 320-pounder played right guard for the Cornhuskers and started 33 games. He suffered an MCL injury six games into last season. Long is expected to be a mid-round pick.
Jeremiah Attaochu, OLB, Georgia Tech (Atlanta Journal Constitution) – Attaochu (6-3, 252) began his career as a rush linebacker, but when Georgia Tech moved to a 4-3, he played defensive end. He totaled 22.5 sacks the past two seasons. More here on Attaochu.
Christian Kirksey, ILB, Iowa (Tony Pauline) – The 6-foot-2, 233-pounder was a three-year starter for the Hawkeyes. He was a two-time captain, and while Kirksey’s measurables don’t jump off the page, he could be a mid-round option for the Birds. More here on Kirksey.
Telvin Smith, LB/S, Florida State (Aaron Wilson) – A hybrid player, Smith (6-3, 218) played linebacker for the Seminoles, but some project him to safety at the next level. Smith can run and make plays. He had 9.5 tackles for loss last season.
Kevin Norwood, WR, Alabama (USA Today) – The 6-2, 198-pounder had 38 catches for 568 yards and seven touchdowns last season. He ran a 4.48 at the combine and is expected to be a mid-round pick.