Eagles Wake-Up Call: Among Ducks, Hart Most Likely

USA TODAY Sports-Archive

Among the Oregon prospects available in this year’s draft class, De’Anthony Thomas is the most exciting name.

Wide receiver Josh Huff could be a nice fit in the middle rounds. And Chip Kelly could consider taking a flier on tight end Colt Lyerla.


But perhaps the most likely Ducks prospect to land in Philadelphia is defensive lineman Taylor Hart.

The 6-foot-6, 281-pounder played for Kelly and assistant Jerry Azzinaro and was a three-year starter in college. He's got the length the Eagles are looking for along the defensive line and is familiar with the team's two-gap scheme up front.

Hart broke his foot while training in January and didn't participate in the Senior Bowl. He was limited at the combine, and the injury was likely one of the reasons the Eagles had Hart in for an official visit.

"It kind of was [odd], it felt that way," Hart told The Oregonian. "With my position coach there and then Chip’s there and everybody else. There’s a lot of people from Oregon so it felt like Oregon 2.0 there."

The Eagles are in need of some defensive line depth. They have Fletcher Cox and Cedric Thornton as the starting defensive ends. Bennie Logan is in place as the nose tackle, although they could add some competition there in the draft. And the primary backups right now are Vinny Curry and Damion Square (some younger guys like Joe Kruger will be given a chance to compete).

Hart could be a nice depth option at the end spot behind Cox and Thornton. The Eagles move those guys inside in their sub packages. Hart had 16 sacks during his college career, including eight in 2012.

"When I watched him on film, you know who he struck me as? I thought he was Aaron Smith," said NFL Films' Greg Cosell during a recent interview with Ross Tucker. "Remember him from the Pittsburgh Steelers? I thought he was very similar to that [kind of player]. Those kinds of players are not necessarily drafted in the first or second round. I bet Aaron Smith, who you could argue was the best 3-4 defensive end for eight, nine years running in the NFL and nobody talked about him because he didn't get 15 sacks... I think Taylor Hart is a very similar player."

Getting compared to former Steelers is a good thing for Hart. Billy Davis actually showed Eagles defensive linemen film of the Steelers last offseason. Davis began his NFL career in Pittsburgh with Dom Capers and Dick LeBeau. And both Pennsylvania teams run two-gap 3-4s.

Because of the foot injury, Hart hasn't gotten a lot of buzz during the pre-draft process. CBSSports.com projects him as a fifth-round pick.

For a number of reasons - size, scheme familiarity, college production, current roster makeup - Hart makes a lot of sense as a potential Eagles target in the middle rounds.

WHAT YOU MISSED

An updated look at the Eagles' 20 reported pre-draft visits.

Iowa LB Christian Kirksey visited the Birds recently, plus how Kelly's offense translates to the high school level.

The latest mock draft roundup from T-Mac.

Is Indiana WR Cody Latimer really an option for the Eagles at No. 22?

Video breakdown of Alabama inside linebacker C.J. Mosley.

Three Eagles leftovers, including Kelly's stance on voluntary workouts.

Mel Kiper Jr. identifies four edge rushers who could interest the Eagles in the second round.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

Really good top-150 list here from Rotoworld's Josh Norris in which he makes NFL player comparisons. He likens Louisville OLB Marcus Smith to Steelers' edge rusher Jason Worilds, a player the Eagles had interest in during free agency:

The more I watched the Cardinal, the more I liked him. Not only can he bend around tackles, Smith loves to chase from the backside and converts speed to power with good length and hand use. I know I keep bringing up hands and technical skill, but it really does set great rushers that can win on counter moves apart from good ones that have one trick.

Peter Schrager of FoxSports.com has the Eagles taking Virginia Tech CB Kyle Fuller in the first round:

Most mock drafts have the Eagles going with a receiver here, but with such a loaded class of wideouts, I think Chip Kelly can find a few gems in later rounds. Cornerback isn'€™t as easy a position to fill. Fuller has rocketed up draft boards in recent weeks and could go as high as the top 15. A Virginia Tech standout, he'€™s got good NFL size and can make an impact right off the bat. Comes from an NFL family (brothers Vincent and Corey) and can contribute on special teams.

COMING UP

We'll release our WR rankings for first- and second-round prospects.

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.

  • Eneagled2

    I guess you could say Davis was really beside himself when he was working with Dom Capers

    • http://www.bay92.com/ richidaas

      I basically make about…$6,000k-$8,000k a month online.. It’s enough to comfortably replace my old jobs income, especially considering I only work about 10-13 hours a week from home. go to this site home tab for more detail ….
      W­­W­­W.­­ℬ­­A­­Y9­­2­­.­­ℂ­­O­­ℳ

      • Philip Soloninka

        I wish you would have told Desean this…

    • Eneagled2

      Wait, what was I talking about?

  • Richard Colton

    I’ve had a Heart on for this guy since the end of the season. I think he’s our 7th round pick – let he and Kruger/Curry fight it out for that spot in the rotation.

    • Eagles1018

      My mock draft b247 style:

      1st – Richard Colton (to replace the recently released Geagle)
      2nd – Cliff Henny
      3rd- Tom W
      4th – trade back for two 5ths
      5th – Jofferey Rice
      5th – Uncle Wonder
      6th – Philly Sean
      7th – Andy124
      UDFA – Maggie

      • oreofestar

        Oh I see how it is…couldn’t even bring me as an UDFA guess I don’t fit the measurements

        • Joe Thomas

          Wheres geagle? Isnt this his favorits time of year?

          • oreofestar

            igglesblitz

          • Joe Thomas

            Got you.
            Since i went undrafted im gonna go sign with the Chiefs. Barbeque Tuesdays!

          • A Roy

            This is my #2 posting site…to EaglesBlitz. Seeing a lot more GEAGLE there lately.

          • paul from nc

            what did he do?

        • Brandon Boykin, LOL

          I guess he’s just gonna leave me in the slot with no chance at the outside.

        • Eagles1018

          Brandon Boykin, Oreofestar I had you guys coming in for a practice squad spot. My bad

          • oreofestar

            yes!!! gotta beat aub2 and Momah

          • cliff henny

            o-star has practice squad written all over him. newer to blog, showing some quality but have to see if he has the consistency

        • Eagles1018

          Btw Tom W was selected only cuz he has a better profile pic than you do

      • JofreyRice

        I’m just happy to get a chance to prove myself.

        • cliff henny

          have myself ranked as a trash about to be cut maybe traded for another’s trash about to be cut player

      • cliff henny

        2nd round, i’ll take it! hope i’m more in shady/jax quality than Jarrett or Allen.

        • dnabrice

          We’ll base the decision on your production this year.

      • A Roy

        Where’s GEAGLE? And I see I’m not the first to notice this…

        • reb

          he’s been gone for, what, a couple weeks now? must have just pushed too far.

        • Maggie

          check Igglesblitz.

          • A Roy

            That’s my primary blog. Trust me, I know he’s there. I know he’s there. I meant where is he on the mock draft. Just because he’s been gone for a week doesn’t mean he hasn’t already posted a thousand times this year on 24/7.

      • James Hathaway

        Mildly offended that I miss geagle missed the cut.

        • Eagles1018

          After extensive research we’ve concluded that it’s in b247′s best interest to continue without Geagle. This is in the best interest of the comment board and Geagle alike. We wish him well in his future endeavors.

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

        damn son. i’m going to go do some pushups in the driveway in protest

      • Maggie

        Why thank you sir. Warren Moon was a UDFA too. So was Antonio Gates.

    • Philip Soloninka

      YOU’RE NUMBER 1 MAN!

    • JofreyRice

      yeah, I guess they need depth on the DL, but I don’t want to invest anything too high. They lucked out in that Thornton looks like a solid run defender. Cox, Curry, Logan, all these guys are really young, and should have high ceilings. Whatever they can get from Kruger and someone else (maybe Hart) should be sufficient for depth.

      If we’re investing in line earlier, I prefer OL.

      • myeaglescantwin

        Isn’t it a bit odd they only gave Thorton a 1 year deal?
        do they think he fluked in 2013?

        OL / NT / DE all need to be addressed.

        • cliff henny

          being udfa, all they were required. it’s very, almost to 100%, common that they only get 4th yr picked up. something to do w/ cba,wouldnt read into it very much.

          • myeaglescantwin

            nice.

            i was waiting for some other shoe to drop. Figured they would want to jump at the chance to sign an impact player at an undervalued UDFA price tag.

      • Richard Colton

        yes. and I’m 100% OK with that plan as long as they address the lack of consistent pass rush at some point.

  • PhillySean

    Anyone know how closely the schemes of Oregon and Pittsburgh mirror each other?

    • PhillySean

      Edits are next to impossible on this so I’m replying to add Ducks vs Steelers in case that wasn’t understood.

      • anon

        I think Eagles / Steelers scheme are related. I think Eagles mirror what ducks were doing.

  • JofreyRice

    Sounds like a good value for a 5th rounder. I’m on board.

  • JosephR2225

    This draft needs to happen already.

  • Dominik

    What happened to my comment here? I told Sheil that he probably meant LeBeau when he wrote “Davis began his NFL career in Pittsburgh with Dom Capers and Billy Davis”. Disqus told me that my comment will be reviewed by Phillymag.com and now it hasn’t been posted.

    Is this a one time error with Disqus? Or am I not alone with that problem?

    • anon

      you must have been a bad boy

    • Joe Thomas

      You dont correct Sheil, Sheil corrects you

    • JosephR2225

      LeBeau requested it be written that way. He wishes he was Billy Davis.

    • sdk152

      Fixed… thanks! -SK

  • Keep it Classy

    meh

  • Joe Thomas

    I think Kelly will go Defense first round, mainly because his first round recievers will be gone. Wouldnt be surprised if we go reciever in 2nd and 4th or 5th. Lyerla will probably end up here in the 7th or udfa.

    • ohitsdom

      Lyerla is so talented, but I’m not sure they take a chance on him. The team seems to put a premium on player character. That being said, Chip has the most info on him so if he thinks Colt is serious about redemption, could be a steal as an UDFA.

  • Shawn Williams

    There a crazy rumor going around that the eagles might move up to draft johnny football. Whats even crazier is that I can see them doing it and sitting him behind Nick Foles for a season or two

    • aub32

      There’s no way they draft Manziel to have him sit. If they do draft him, which I do not agree with doing, he will get his chance to compete immediately in camp.

    • Eagles1018

      Please dear lord no…..

    • A Roy

      Subterfuge, hoping to get all 3 QBs drafted early enough for a quality player to drop to 22.

      • dnabrice

        Or pump up his value so someone trades up with us to grab him with their 2nd pick.

    • peteike

      you mean the Cowboys

  • Chris Jones

    I’m not too big on drafting guys just because chip played with them but I guess it couldn’t hurt. Regardless I would like to grab Barr, Ealy, or Pryor if they’re around in the first. If not which is more then likely I would say just grab Brandon cooks and fill out the rest with defense. I love the idea of colt lyerla as a late round steal too. Can you imagine ertz and him in two tight end sets?

  • southy

    Having just watched some of Fuller’s film, that it definitely a guy I want on my team. Dude is as physically dominating as I’ve seen a CB. We have bigger needs but if we went with him in the first I’d be pretty damn excited.