Four of the Eagles’ eight picks (Zach Ertz, Matt Barkley, Joe Kruger and Jordan Poyer) were from Oregon’s conference, the Pac 12. LSU, USC and Stanford were the three teams that beat Kelly over his final two years as head coach of the Ducks. The Eagles’ second, third and fourth-round picks in 2013 (Ertz, Bennie Logan and Barkley) were used on players from those three programs.
“I did notice that a little bit,” said Stanford defensive lineman Josh Mauro with a smile.
Mauro (6-6, 280) was part of a Stanford team that beat Oregon each of the past two seasons. He played all along the defensive front while with the Cardinal, compiling nine sacks and 19.5 tackles for a loss since 2012.
The Hurst, Texas native is on the Eagles’ radar. The team brass had an official visit with Mauro at the combine. That was the first time he and Kelly interacted since back on November of 2012 when Stanford handed Oregon its only loss of the season.
“Last time I think I saw him we were up in Eugene playing the number one team in the country, and we were able to pull that one out,” said Mauro.
“You don’t normally have a great relationship with the opposing head coach for the rival school in college. So no friendships in college, but that’s not to be said for the NFL.”
Mauro said that he spent the better part of four seasons two-gapping on tackles, and that 3-4 teams in the NFL are viewing him as a natural five technique. The Eagles look to be in pretty good shape at defensive end with Fletcher Cox and Cedric Thornton penciled in as the starters, but that’s not to say that they won’t add depth.
Mauro is projected to go in the fourth round this May.
“They have a great thing going on in Philadelphia right now,” said Mauro, who played quarterback from 7th through 10th grade before being moved over to the defensive side of the ball. “[Kelly has] really transitioned that offense from college to the NFL and they are doing some good things defensively as well. He’s done a great job up there and I think he’ll continue to do more of it.”
Here is NFL.com’s breakdown of Mauro:
Big, well-built, projectable frame with little excess weight. Likes to play and it shows — intense competitor. Is strong enough to anchor down and set the edge. Can neutralize the double team. Plays bigger than his size. Experienced in a pro-style, 3-4 front. Tough and durable. Good weight-room work ethic.
Has never been a full-time starter. Mechanical, robotic movement. Needs to add some more bulk and bulk strength. Minimal pass-rush ability. Marginal foot quickness — late to the outside. Limited athletic ability to create penetration.
WHAT YOU MISSED
As part of his Draft Daily series, Sheil takes a look at Indiana wide receiver Cody Latimer.
Developing depth at inside linebacker is a priority for Kelly.
Mel Kiper offers suggestions for the Eagles for rounds 1-3.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
In Jimmy Kempski’s latest seven-round mock draft, he has the Eagles selecting Florida State linebacker Christian Jones in the second round.
At the Senior Bowl, Jones was by far and away the best pass rusher in 1-on-1 drills among the ILBs in attendance. His versatility in that regard is where Jones becomes really intriguing as a potential target for the Eagles. In the 2nd half of the 2013 season, Florida State started lining up Jones at DE, and he looked the part.
Dan Pompei writes that quality safeties are more valuable than ever because of the way the game has evolved.
Another safety scramble could ensue May 8-10 on draft weekend. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix of Alabama and Calvin Pryor of Louisville are almost certain to be first rounders. Because there is not much depth behind them, teams could reach to try to find solutions for their defensive backfields. Players such as Jimmie Ward, Deone Bucannon, Craig Loston and Ed Reynolds could be drawn up in the draft as a result of the safety vacuum.
Almost every coach is looking for a way to improve at the position, which is why at least 20 teams are expected to have a new starting safety when training camp begins. What they really want is just to survive, because more passing means safeties are stressed like never before. Ponderous safeties are about as useful these days as a VCR tape. Poor angles, blown assignments and missed tackles can be more costly than ever.
Some draft-related thoughts and nuggets.