One topic of conversation was Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley, who some see as a fit for the Birds at 22. Interestingly enough, Jeremiah compared Mosley to a current Eagles ‘backer.
“I think he’s very good in coverage. I think he’s an excellent blitzer. But the most impressive aspect of his game is his instincts. I remember scouting DeMeco Ryans at Alabama, and that’s what set him apart was his instincts. I personally think he’s a better player than DeMeco was coming out, and DeMeco has had a nice career. I think he’s one of those guys that could play in either defense; ideally for me I’d like to see him as a Mike in a 4-3.”
Mosley (6-2, 238) had over 100 tackles last season and was the recipient of the Butkus Award, given to the nation’s top linebacker. Opinions vary on whether he’ll be selected in the Eagles’ neighborhood or earlier in the draft.
Some other Eagles-related highlights:
Jeremiah can see the Eagles using their first-round pick on Kelvin Benjamin:
“I think a lot of people have been kind of hung up on the speed receivers saying they’re going to find somebody to replace DeSean Jackson and so you talk about Brandin Cooks and maybe Odell Beckham. I don’t think Odell Beckham is going to be there, I think he’s going to be gone.
“I look at the decision there, I think Kelvin Benjamin, who’s a little bit of a polarizing player out of Florida State, that to me would be a name I would keep an eye on because Chip Kelly at Oregon, everybody focuses on the pace and the tempo, and they kind of assume that he likes little, small, fast players, but on the outside they always have some big, physical receivers. I would think adding more size, if you add Kelvin Benjamin, now you’ve got Riley Cooper and then you throw Jeremy Maclin in the mix, now they’re going to be able to move the ball in between the 20s, but you get down in the red zone you’ve got two guys you can throw the ball up to. That Kelvin Benjamin to the Eagles to me is one I keep an eye on.”
— Jeremiah once worked for Andy Reid in Philly, and was asked about the difference in how the Eagles are evaluating players now under Chip Kelly. Jeremiah noted that Kelly puts a bigger emphasis on measurables, which shrinks the pool of prospects.
“[I]n terms of philosophy, I think that kind of mirrors what the Patriots do under Bill Belichick. Most draft boards when you talk to guys around the league and the teams I worked for, you have about 150 players on your board, and New England, they’re kind of famous for being much less than that, well below 100. There’s only a certain amount of guys they feel like fits what they want to do, and I think that’s kind of what Philadelphia is going to with Chip Kelly when he’s around.”
— Jeremiah gave his take on the top two safeties in this class, Ha Ha Clinton Dix and Calvin Pryor.
“I have Calvin Pryor as my 15th overall player and Clinton-Dix as my 16th… Ha Ha Clinton-Dix may be a little more range over the top, but I just love Pryor. I love the physical way he plays the game, and I thought he was plenty capable of making plays at the high safety, as well. He’s got seven career interceptions, gets his hands on footballs, but I just like his ability to come down, force the run. He’s like playing with an extra linebacker. I just like those physical players. I think they provide an element to your defense that’s tough to find.
“I remember working with Rex Ryan in Baltimore, he used to always say that the one thing that changes a complexion more than anything else in a game was not a turnover, it was a big hit. A big hit got your teammates going, got the crowd into the game, and there’s value in that, and that’s what Pryor gives you.”
— Finally, Davis was asked about the advantages Kelly and Pete Carroll have this time of year with their strong ties to the college football scene.
“I think, yes, it’s an advantage for them in terms of [familiarity with the players], but also, it can cloud you a little bit, too. If that kid played really well against you and that was one game’s worth, that he was just phenomenal and you keep that in your head and that’s the reason you take him, sometimes it may lead you not to check him out as thoroughly as you want, and I’m not saying Chip wouldn’t do that or Pete wouldn’t do that, but those things linger.”