Wake-Up Call: Kiper Talks Pass Rushers

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Mel Kiper —  like many of his colleagues — has the Eagles using their first-round pick on a wide receiver. The longtime draft analyst predicts that 6-5 Florida State wideout Kelvin Benjamin will be the selection at 22.

While the receiver class is loaded in the opinion of most experts, the consensus seems to be that quality pass rushers will be in short supply in this draft. Even so, there will still be some quality options at outside linebacker on Day 2, according to Kiper.


"There are a lot of second rounders that can get after the quarterback that are going to be nice picks for teams like the Eagles [if they take a receiver in the first round]," he said.

Kiper mentioned four edge rushers in particular that could be of interest to the Eagles in the second round.

Demarcus Lawrence, Boise State 

Height/weight: 6-3, 251
2013 stats: 72 tackles (20.5 for a loss), 10.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles
NFL.com profile: A loose, explosive, long-limbed athlete, Lawrence consistently pressurizes the edge and harasses quarterbacks. His pass-rushing ability rates among the best in this year's class, and he holds mass appeal. Lacks ideal stoutness at the point of attack, but could thrive as a 4-3 right end or 3-4 rush linebacker, and should contribute readily on passing downs.

Kyle Van Noy, BYU

Height/weight: 6-3, 243
2013 stats: 67 tackles (17 for a loss), 4 sacks, 7 passes defenses, 2 interceptions
NFL.com profile Good-sized, athletic, smooth-moving stand-up player who projects best as a 3-4 right outside linebacker, but could also warrant consideration from 4-3 teams as a Will or Sam. Is not without flaws, but has unique ability to play up the field, laterally or in reverse.

Chris Smith, Arkansas

Height/weight: 6-1, 266
2013 stats: 36 tackles (11.5 for a loss), 8.5 sacks
NFL.com profile: A weakside pass rusher who could most ideally project to the rush linebacker position in the pros for a 3-4 front, Smith graded more highly as a junior than he did as a senior, yet possesses the tools to earn a starting job in the pros in multiple schemes. Versatility is a plus.

Jeremiah Attaochu,Georgia Tech

Height/weight: 6-3, 252
2013 stats: 45 tackles (16 for a loss), 12.5 sacks
NFL.com profile:  Attaochu is a young, heady, disruptive, relentless edge rusher who profiles as a 3-4 right outside linebacker. Interviewed well and has the look of a trustworthy, long-term starter given his pass-rush ability, motor and makeup. Needs to get stronger, but impressive display of speed, athletic ability and explosion will enhance draft standing.

WHAT YOU MISSED

Jeremy Maclin thinks the offense will be "just fine" without DeSean Jackson.

The latest Twitter Mailbag explores different draft scenarios, plus a scheduling note.

In the most recent installment of Draft Daily, Sheil examines UCLA pass rusher Anthony Barr.

Kapadia offers five thoughts on the schedule. 

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

Evan Mathis, fresh off a ride to work on this contraption, was asked by Derrick Gunn about his contract.

“If I did ask for a new contract, I’m not going to tell [the media] I want a new contract. How are you going to get me a new contact? Seriously though, for all that type of stuff, the best approach would be to keep it in house.

“I’m here. I’m not holding out. I much prefer reading the articles and the hate tweets and everything from conjecture as opposed to any information that ever came from anybody that knew anything about the situation.”

Todd McShay thinks the Eagles should take Indiana wide receiver Cody Latimer with the 22nd pick.

This is a bit of a reach based on where I have Latimer ranked on my board -- 34th overall -- but the Eagles need a receiver and I'm a big fan of Latimer's game. He has very good size, toughness and instincts in addition to good straight-line speed, strong run-after-catch ability and a big catching radius. He also has reliable hands -- in the five game tapes I watched of his, he didn't drop a single pass. I think he could be a very good fit in Chip Kelly's offense.

COMING UP

Less than two weeks away from the draft. We'll get you there.

Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.

  • Mike J

    People either love him or hate him and I love me some Mel Kiper Jr.
    Listening to him on (now) day three is the best. You get Berman and his pompousness off the set and let Kiper speak off the top of his head about the slot corner from South Central Anywhere State while everybody else is Googling him.

    • cheapmeat

      I’d love to see some stats on him. How often do his draft grades measure up to actual NFL performance? I’d love to see some sort of accountability in this area of the industry. Yes, I realize I’m talking about the ESPN machine and my hopes are worthless.

      • Adam G

        Google Mel Kiper and Jimmy Clausen. As big a whiff as you can get. Just one, but pretty funny how wrong he was.

      • Michael
        • Dominik

          Thanks for that! As a german, I have a little interest in Werner. I’m shocked how high he was rated in all those mocks at the time. Didn’t remember that, partly because I don’t read the full mocks until the draft is not too far away.

        • jt521

          thank you. I’d also be curious on how Kiper/McShay’s predictions pan out after year 1-2 in NFL. As in, do they consistently predict sleepers? Getting the draft wrong is easy because of all the variables but how good, really, are they at evaluating and projecting college talent to the pros?

        • reb

          hilarious. Thanks for the link. Best line:

          “A rookie 4th round QB… got cut… by the Raiders”

      • JosephR2225

        http://www.thehuddlereport.com/scoring/mockdrafts.shtml
        Historically Kiper has been one of the best. His flaw is overvaluing QBs, but a lot of GMs have that flaw too.

      • myeaglescantwin

        he’s terrible.

    • JofreyRice

      this guy’s been doing it for like 20 years, way before it was cool.

      • Andy124

        Mel Kiper: Draft hipster.

  • Bullwinkle

    Mathis is very wise, mature, and has class. Glad he is on the team.

  • cliff henny

    shouldn’t have moved draft back 2 weeks, in full repeat mode. not much tim and sheil can do.

    • myeaglescantwin

      I thought they did this so the late graduates wouldn’t miss any OTA

      • mtn_green

        They did it to destroy nhl and nba. No really it was a calculated decision to maximize the interest based on the other sports competing for eyeballs.

        • myeaglescantwin

          totally understand that.

  • NickS1

    Not sure who I’d prefer more from this group between KVN and Atta-guy.

    • cliff henny

      give me the guy who gets after qb, first. lolb, while important, not sure i’m as worried about that position. like guard, important, but these guys can be found or with time, made. rolb, these guys are in short supply

    • Jerry Pomroy

      As it looks now, Attaochu is the better pass rushing prospect & in my eyes, that’s more of a need. I love KVN, but I think he’s better suited inside. That’s based on their college tape of course. KVN could develop into a good OLB. But again, based on what I’ve seen I don’t see him being a fit on the right side as a pass rushing force and Barwin’s got the left locked down. If they want a guy they can move around, develop and see where he best fits, KVN would be a good choice. For the outside he’d need to get stronger by adding 10-15lbs. Inside his current size is just fine as is.

      • JofreyRice

        I think you hit on a good point, it really depends on their philosophy for OLB. If they want starkly delineated roles, with a rush and drop ‘backer on the outside, I don’t think KVN is it. You don’t want him going up against tackles on 80% of his passrush attempts. He’ll lose, and it’s a waste of his other talents. But if the interchangeability between he and Barwin creates confusion and protection breakdowns, then I think either have the ability to be productive passrushers.

        Personally, I’d rather pick a guy that I really like as a passrusher–for me, that’s Ford–but I’m not sure they see it that way. It’s funny, ’cause I haven’t been a big fan of KVN, generally, but I just really don’t see the fascination with Attaochu. From what they’ve said about how they want to build the team, I would think that KVN’s play personality, versatility and character would all be enticing to them. He’d also provide a backup for the inside, or another guy to use as a drop backer in the nickel package, right away.

        • Jerry Pomroy

          I think KVN could play ILB right away and possibly become a star at that position. OLB isn’t quite as sexy a position outlook for him, but in a role similar to Barwin, I think he could develop into a solid OLB. He wouldn’t be the prototype pass rushing force ROLB, but neither would Dion Jordan be quite honestly. I do think in year 1, if you selected KVN, you could move him all over to see where he better fits for the go forward then groom him there. If that’s OLB, hell need to add at least 10lbs up top to be able to compete against LTs that size him up and get their hands on him. He is very good though at clutching and releasing. Also needs to put together a solid arsenal of pass rush moves. But I think he could do it. Again, I think he could be a star quickly at ILB.

        • Warhound

          As you say, depends on their philosophy. I think they want versatility and interchangeability.

        • Jerry Pomroy

          I gotta upvote your “starkly deliniated roles”. You trying to take us to literary class teacher?…lol.

          • JofreyRice

            there are some teachers on here, but I ain’t one of ‘em.

    • JofreyRice

      KVN for me. Easily. I know a lot of really smart people like Attaochu, but the more I watch of him, the more I think of the line “looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane”.

      • Jerry Pomroy

        I think you have to look deeper into what he does do. He plays both sides, standing up and hand in dirt. He’s got a very good shoulder dip, swim move & can stunt inside. High motor guy that doesn’t give up on plays. I like Smith & Van Noy (more as ILB), but Attaochu is a solid OLB prospect & I like him more than Murphy, more than Lawrence, less than Smith.

        My “reachable” OLB prospects order goes…

        1) Barr (if he falls)
        2) Smith
        3) KVN (could play ILB immediately, but could develop into solid OLB)
        4) Attaochu/Clarke
        5) Murphy/Lawrence

        • JofreyRice

          He does show some willingness to go inside, but the balance thing is a major red flag for me. You leave your feet, you’re out of the play. And I think he’s credited with way more athletic ability than he shows on any given play. I can’t say I see a real “high motor guy”, either. He’s not a loafer, but he doesn’t strike me as particularly “high motor”. KVN fits that bill a lot better.

          • Jerry Pomroy

            KVN is in another stratosphere as far as effort though. Attaochu will chase down plays even away from him. That’s enough to garner a high motor as opposed to the likes of a Kony Ealy or Ford who typically seem only interested in the sack. If the sack isn’t there they’ll tend to lolligag on plays.

      • NickS1

        Can’t disagree too much. He’s done some good things in college but you’re drafting him on athletic ability and upside.

      • Jerry Pomroy

        I also think that you’re line about him being on the ground is that he does have a habit of over pursuing. But that is due more to aggressiveness than lack of instincts and can be coached up to keep himself under better control.

        • JofreyRice

          I don’t know man, it doesn’t look like overpursuit to me. It looks like he’s losing his balance and getting shoved to the ground. I think it happens 3x in the video Sheil’s got here, and I’ve seen it happen in the other cutups.

  • Will

    Round 1 Pick 23 (K.C.): Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State (C+)
    Round 2 Pick 22: Jeremiah Attaochu, OLB, Georgia Tech (B+)
    Round 3 Pick 22: Deone Bucannon, SS, Washington State (A)
    Round 4 Pick 22: Christian Jones, ILB, Florida State (A-)
    Round 5 Pick 22: Terrance Mitchell, CB, Oregon (A-)
    Round 6 Pick 25 (S.D.): Chris Boswell, K, Rice (A)
    Round 7 Pick 4 (OAK): L’Damian Washington, WR, Missouri (D+)
    Round 7 Pick 22: Bene Benwikere, CB, San Jose State (B+)

    • Eagles1018

      Do you think Buchannon is there in round three? And btw I LOVE the Kicker being drafted. I watched his video he’s good. Accurate and (who woulda thought?) has range.

      • Will

        There’s a chance Deone is there a drop off from Pryor/HaHa then maybe Deone….So yeah there’s a chance….

    • Joe from Easton

      KB is always there in round two… no need to get him in round one.

      • Will

        to get KB, JA and DB have to grab KB first if not no way to get all 3…

  • Joe from Easton

    Your score is: 4435 (GRADE: B+)

    Your Picks:
    Round 1 Pick 22: Dee Ford, DE, Auburn (B-)
    Round 2 Pick 22: Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State (A-)
    Round 3 Pick 22: Louchiez Purifoy, CB, Florida (B+)
    Round 4 Pick 22: A.J. McCarron, QB, Alabama (A-)
    Round 5 Pick 22: Ahmad Dixon, SS, Baylor (A)
    Round 7 Pick 22: Aaron Colvin, CB, Oklahoma (B-)

    ***WARNING***
    This game is dangerously addictive.

    • Joe from Easton

      Your score is: 4233 (GRADE: B+)

      Your Picks:
      Round 1 Pick 22: Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State (B)
      Round 1 Pick 23 (K.C.): Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio State (B)
      Round 2 Pick 22: Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State (A-)
      Round 3 Pick 22: Anthony Johnson, DT, LSU (B+)
      Round 4 Pick 22: Devonta Freeman, RB, Florida State (A)
      Round 5 Pick 22: Brandon Coleman, WR, Rutgers (A)
      Round 7 Pick 22: Brandon Thomas, OG, Clemson (B-)

      I may do these all day.

    • Jerry Pomroy

      Dee Ford…ewww. Not a fan of that pick.

      • Joe from Easton

        I’m a newbie GM… give me a break! haha

        • Jerry Pomroy

          Well then earn your stripes son and don’t gimme no Jason Babin, I mean Dee Ford pick…lol.

          • Joe from Easton

            I’m trying here man. This is tough work!

          • Jerry Pomroy

            I keep away from those and leave it to others for me to just evaluate & hack their picks… lol.

          • Joe from Easton

            Your score is: 5112 (GRADE: A-)

            Your Picks:
            Round 1 Pick 22: C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama (B+)
            Round 2 Pick 22: Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State (A)
            Round 3 Pick 22: Anthony Johnson, DT, LSU (B+)
            Round 4 Pick 23 (CINN): Adrian Hubbard, OLB, Alabama (A-)
            Round 5 Pick 22: Antone Exum, CB, Virginia Tech (A)
            Round 6 Pick 32 (SEA): David Fales, QB, San Jose State (A)
            Round 7 Pick 22: Alden Darby, SS, Arizona State (B)

            “You know something Utivich? I think this just might be my masterpiece.”

    • Koy Detmer

      What site is this?

      • Joe from Easton

        be careful… I almost feel bad telling you.

        http://www.first-pick.com

        • Koy Detmer

          Thanks, no work getting done today.

          • Joe from Easton

            Yep…. I’m probably on # 6 this morning.

    • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

      joe, please….no more mocks. we’ve seen enough on these boards for the next 5 years.
      although I do give you kudos for keeping it realistic, or at least not turning our 6 picks magically into 15

      • Joe from Easton

        Sorry Rob, I couldn’t help myself this morning.

        Fortunately for all of you some real work has come across my desk so my arm chair GM’ing has had to come to a halt for the time being.

        I do like to try to keep it real though so thanks for the kudos there.

      • reb

        These mocks do make the Kempski article even more hilarious.

  • Brent E. Sulecki

    keep em coming guys

  • Jerry Pomroy

    I’m not so sure I like KVN outside. Not as a pass rushing ROLB. Sure he could develop his pass rush, but he’s not as stout an outside rusher as he is an inside blitzer. I think he fits better inside & could become a really good ILB. OLB would be more of a projection and he’d need to add at least 10-15lbs to be consistent going up against NFL LTs.

    • Eagles1018

      The only guy (outside a projected 1st round pick) I see as a good RIGHT OLB is Attaochu

      • Jerry Pomroy

        I’d put Marcus Smith over Attaochu, but wouldn’t be upset if we missed on Smith (as I see him going mid-2nd) & ended up with Attaochu. I think Smith could unseat Cole by mid season. Not sure Attaochu could adjust as quickly as Smith & Smith’s field vision is impeccable for only a 3rd yr defensive player.

        • cliff henny

          that high on Smith? these L-ville guys confuse me. so many of them project so highly, but it wasn’t that great of a defense. honestly, was watching pre-Oakland for teddy, so maybe i’m missing alot

          • Jerry Pomroy

            Watch his highlight reel and you’ll see a lot of his early OLB strip sacks. Watch the past Sugar Bowl and follow #91. That game in itself shows off all of what you’d need to know about Marcus Smith (note: I’ve watched about 5 games of his over the last 3yrs & he’s only gotten better and better). Keep your hand ready for the pause or rewind as he’ll be lined up all over the place and you’ll need to find him. The Sugar Bowl was obviously his last game played so that’s your final game for evaluation, pre-draft. He ends up with 3 sacks, dropped into coverage twice, played DT on a number of downs (and fights through 2 double teams and still gets pressure). Just a very good, all around prospect, who has only gotten better and better each year after transitioning from QB 3yrs ago.

          • cliff henny

            watched both atta-guy and Smith, at no point did I ever start following players on L’v thinking ‘this guy needs to be an eagle’ like I did when watching Atta-guy vs Clemson. but, I do like your thought process here, so either wont bother me slightly. i’d personally put atta-guy above smith behind Barr, but like the fact that you and johnny g like smith that much. so, if his name is called, I wont poo-poo pick

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

            I mean, Mack played for Buffalo. Not sure they were a top NCAA defense either.

          • cliff henny

            Mack, you put on OSU game, and he jumps out. L’v has like 7 guys as possible picks, turn on FSU and you see it, turn on L’v and maybe a guy shows it now and then, but think the unit would be much better-not doubting JP, think he knows his stuff, lot more than me and 100% no doubt on defense, but L’v projecting this many players is confusing for non-scouting guy like me. Atta-guy, turn on Clemson, the dude was beasting to point I had to find out who the heck he was. never got that feeling with Marcus smith. reason ‘bama guys make me nervous, between sabin and playing next to all 5 star guys, tough to tell where it’s player, scheme or fact that offense cant really gamplan for great player, like a Mack got.

          • Jerry Pomroy

            Actually came across Smith when checking out Pryor Who can play in coverage by the way. Didn’t play much man, but is an excellent zone defender that can read the play & make a play. Don’t listen to the hype that he’s a box safety just because people are lazy and he’s a big hitter, so b/c he never played man & can hit, he must be a box safety.

            But back to Smith. I’m telling you, if you watch the Sugar Bowl in its entirety on YouTube (FF through offense plays), you will see two Louisville defenders stand out…Smith and Pryor. Smith will literally be all over field so you’ll have to look for him prior to the snap to see what he’s doing aside from just rushing from the right outside spot. Rewind and watch again in slow-mo and you’ll see much more to his game than just sacks.

  • JofreyRice

    so funny, I just don’t get the love affair with Attaochu. The guy ends up on the ground a lot. On the TD where Miami goes up for good, a TE takes him to the ground on a running play to his side. It looks like Ga. Tech saw he was getting handled by Seantrel Henderson and moved him up against the RT, who he had an easier time beating. I prefer Marcus Smith and even Van Noy as a second round option.

    • Guest1

      I also did not like Attaochu but i thought that game impressed me. If you watch he has a pretty high success rate at getting pressure on the quarterback when rushing from a stand up position like he would be in our scheme. It seems he really gets man handled when he is down in his stance as a DE. I also was impressed that he could for the most part set the edge against in the run game against the OT. I only saw one time where he got pan caked and saw a few nice plays where he got off the block and forced the RB to cut back. I also was super impressed with his containment on the back side. I think looking at his skill set as a LB instead of DE makes him a much more interesting prospect.

      Also looking at KVN I actually came away unimpressed. He rushed the passer from the outside a few times and did not have as much success. He also looked like he got man handled in the run game by TE and even a WR one time? The only nice part about KVN was that his coverage and containment appear to be really really good. But I’d rather have the better pass rusher in Atta.

      • Jerry Pomroy

        Your reasoning on KVN is why I really like him inside. I think he could be a star at ILB. I don’t know why but when he’s inside, he reminds me of Urlacher. Not so much in skill, but more of his style of play. OLB there’s more projecting going on and development needed, especially in pass rushing. I should note that he was used more in coverage last year and had far less opportunities to rush the passer than the previous year. He fared better that year, but I think that was mainly due to playing opposite Ziggy Ansah.

        • Guest1

          I’d agree he probably would fair better inside then outside. The only problem is that we have no space for him on the inside. With Kendricks in the middle, his and KVN skill set overlap wayyy to much. Neither Kendricks or KVN are big enough to take on blocks from the OL and free up the other to work in space to maximize their speed and athleticism. We would get crushed in the run game with a tandem of Kendricks and KVN running in the middle of our D. Unless you see Kendricks moving to another spot on this D but i cant see him really fitting in any where else?

          • Jerry Pomroy

            How big do you think Meco is?

            Ryans – 6’1″/247lbs
            Kendricks – 6’0″/240lbs
            Van Noy – 6’3″/243lbs

            Van Noy could easily add 10lbs. I don’t think that he and Kendricks have the same skill set. They’re similar, but KVN is more of a thumper than you may think.

  • myeaglescantwin

    I’m no scientist.

    But the one thing i know for sure, is that Mel Kiper is a no talent ass clown.

    None of his bios are worth a damn.
    he has the worst % of accurate 1st round draftees
    never gets the player to team right.
    and makes outrageous statements like “they NEED to draft him or they miss the playoffs”

    Sure he can name 50 dudes for each position.But there is no value added.

    i digress. it’s friday, here are some boobs.

    • myeaglescantwin

      they excluded my brooklyn decker shot.
      sorry.

    • mksp

      “he has the worst % of accurate 1st round draftees ”

      this is false, at least compared to other draft media personalities. his “hit rate” is actually near the top.

      • myeaglescantwin

        yeah, i saw the chart when he was compared to the other schlubbs that do it.

        they are all wrong.. Basically people waste months listening to stuff that is less that 1% accurate.
        makes sense if you don’t think about it.

  • knighn

    Two interesting links to look at:
    1) ESPN / Scout Inc’s top 32 (right side of page) – if this list was in any way accurate (doubtful) – it does look like there will be some decent players who fall… and hopefully it will NOT be just the QBs!
    2) Your Mock Draft (and everyone else’s) is probably very wrong! (Reposting the link from Michael)

  • Glenn

    I really hope the Eagles aren’t silly enough to select Benjamin with the 22nd pick. That would be a needless reach. Benjamin is second round material.

    • Jerry Pomroy

      I honestly want no parts of Plaxico Burress 2.0. I actually think Plax was more skilled than this guy. I don’t see Benjamin as a premier receiver talent, but more so a complimentary role type player.

  • jt521

    Did anyone watch Demarcus Lawrence last season? I don’t think I watched one Boise St. game but the clip above seems like he was nullified by Oregon State’s OL.

  • botto

    Latimer woudl be really good for us

  • Jerry Pomroy
    • Warhound

      No! No! No! Heck, I liked the two day, Sat-Sun draft.

  • Joe from Easton

    Sorry Rob.. This one is for GEAGLE!!!!!

    Your score is: 4402 (GRADE: B+)

    Your Picks:
    Round 1 Pick 23 (K.C.): Louis Nix, DT, Notre Dame (A-)
    Round 2 Pick 22: Deone Bucannon, SS, Washington State (A-)
    Round 3 Pick 22: Demarcus Lawrence, DE, Boise State (A-)
    Round 4 Pick 22: Adrian Hubbard, OLB, Alabama (A-)
    Round 5 Pick 22: Brandon Coleman, WR, Rutgers (A)
    Round 6 Pick 24 (K.C.): Bene Benwikere, CB, San Jose State (B-)
    Round 7 Pick 22: Brett Smith, QB, Wyoming (B-)

  • Maggie

    Came to the site a bit late and was a bit surprised to see that almost no one has commented on Evan Mathis. All talk about endless boring mock drafts. All saying the same thing, all talking the same names over and over and over. C’mon guys, try to be original. Type something different, even outrageous. It’s almost not worth coming to this site anymore, it’s so boring.

    • Joe from Easton

      It’s boring because it’s the off-season.

  • HowieGambleChipsAllDay

    Lattimer at 22???? Wtf! EnoughZnuff. Bring on the real Draft. Prognosticators is going MAD!

    • DoctorRick

      Anything McShay predicts is guaranteed to be wrong.