Draft Daily: OLB Targets For the Eagles

NCAA Football: Louisville at Connecticut

From now until draft day, we’ll try to hit on every position with our Draft Daily previews. We start with outside linebacker.

If the season started today, the Eagles would once again go with Connor Barwin and Trent Cole at the outside linebacker spots.




Barwin fills a jack-of-all-trades role with his ability to play the run, drop in coverage and rush the passer. Cole transitioned better than expected to the 3-4, and the coaching staff loves his effort/playing personality. The problem? He turns 32 in October.

The Eagles view Brandon Graham as a rotational player, and his contract is up after the season.

There were rumors that the Eagles had interest in Steelers OLB Jason Worilds, but he opted to stay in Pittsburgh. And there have also been reports that the team has shown interest in trading for Miami's Dion Jordan.

In other words, the organization realizes it could use a boost at this position. Keeping that in mind, here are some potential draft targets at OLB.

DAY 1

Anthony Barr, UCLA (6-5, 255) - From a measurables standpoint, Barr has everything the Eagles are looking for. He made the switch form offense to defense after his sophomore year and had 23 sacks in two seasons. Barr has a couple qualities the Eagles value: athleticism and upside. He's not great against the run and might be a sub package player in his first season, but eventually, he could turn into something special. Chances are he won't be there at 22, but if he starts to slip, Barr would make a lot of sense. Full breakdown of Barr here.

DAY 2

Jeremiah Attaochu (6-3, 252) - We caught up with Attaochu back in January at the Senior Bowl. He has experience playing in multiple schemes. As a junior, Attaochu was a 3-4 OLB and had 10 sacks. As a senior, he moved to 4-3 DE and had 12.5. Attaochu is an attractive player because he can stick his hand in the dirt at DE in nickel situations and provide a developmental option at outside linebacker. He's projected to be a second-round pick.

Marcus Smith, Louisville (6-3, 251) - He lined up in a variety of places for the Cardinals and was a productive player last year with 14.5 sacks. Smith has shown the ability to rush the passer, set the edge and drop in coverage. He has long arms and was recruited as a quarterback. Like Barr, he's still somewhat new to the position. Projections vary on Smith. Some initially had him lasting until the third round. But given the lack of pass-rushers in this year's class, it seems like a good bet that he goes in the second. Full breakdown of Smith here.

Will Clarke, West Virginia (6-6, 271) - According to Mike Mayock, his stock has been rising and Clarke is expected to go off the board in the third round. Given his measurables, you might think I've misplaced him in the outside linebackers section. But as Tommy Lawlor of Iggles Blitz pointed out, the Eagles had OLBs coach Bill McGovern work Clarke out. Perhaps they believe he's fit for some kind of hybrid role. The Eagles want length at the outside linebacker spot, so keep Clarke in mind on Day 3.

DAY 3

Trent Murphy, Stanford (6-5, 250) - Murphy is another player we caught up with back in January. He led the nation last year with 15 sacks and was second with 23.5 tackles for loss. The knock on Murphy is that he's not incredibly athletic, although he tested well in some categories at the combine (three-cone drill, vertical jump, broad jump). There's a chance Murphy goes off the board on on Day 2, but if he's there in the fourth round or later, the Eagles could see value.

Adrian Hubbard, Alabama (6-6, 257) - This would be purely an upside pick. Hubbard did not stand out during his college career and notched just 10 sacks in three seasons, but he possesses some unique measurables. The Eagles have ties to the Alabama program, specifically with Ed Marynowitz. The Eagles' current assistant director of player personnel served as Nick Saban's director of player personnel from 2008 to 2011. Hubbard could be an upside option in the middle rounds.

Kasim Edebali, Boston College (6-2, 253) - Few teams in the league are more familiar with Edebali than the Eagles. McGovern was Edebali's defensive coordinator during his college career until 2013. Last season, the Germany native had 9.5 sacks, 15 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles. One issue with Edebali is he'll be a 25-year-old rookie. Still, he's a player to keep an eye on in the later rounds.

Ronald Powell, Florida (6-3, 237) - He was the top-rated recruit in the country coming out of high school, but battled injuries during his college career. According to Jimmy Kempski of Philly.com, the Eagles have shown interest in Powell during the pre-draft process. At 237, he likely projects as a sub package player as a rookie, but there could be some upside with Powell in the later rounds.

Larry Webster, Bloomsburg (6-6, 252) - Some teams are looking at him as a tight end, but Webster was an edge rusher in college. With a basketball background, he has a 36.5-inch vertical and ran a 4.58 at the combine. Gifted with a unique size/speed combo, Webster is likely to intrigue teams on Day 3.

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  • cliff henny

    sounds like KC and Smith are not getting anywhere on contract negotiations, per Rappaport. with no 2nd, has little ammo to move up, so any qb desperate team will be loving pick #22 to get ahead of the Fat Andy at #23. so, if Barr’s gone, could work out nicely to grab Atta-guy or Smith early 2nd and load up on extra pick or 2. Big Red, the gift that keeps on giving.

    • Richard Colton

      if it happens that way sure. I’d love to grab Van Noy and Smith in the 2nd – Barwin/Cole? Meet your replacements.

      • cliff henny

        while at it, draft A Lynch and Desir, and introduce them to Celek and C-WIlls. oh, and some G, Herremanns on the clock too

        • G_WallyHunter

          really like where all this is going

        • travis papa

          Has geagle gone on a rant about half of fsu either being potheads or stealing crablegs? I’d like to know how he feels about telvin smith Christian Jones & Timmy jernigan now?

      • G_WallyHunter

        If eags suck a team into jumping up to 22 for a QB (or other) while taking a 23-32 + an extra pick in late2-5? in return, I think we’ll all be jumping for joy. More so, of course, if Eags still get their guy at said pick 23-32…
        please please happen, damn 3 days, with GEAGLE gone this week really snuck up on me, don’t know about you guys

    • Tom W

      Unless Barr, Mosley, haha, odb falls we trading back … Chiefs helped us out although they don’t have a second and may want to trade back too. Ravens too. Niners possible. Browns want a third first. They are possible. Houston. Jags. Vikes bucs titans. All possible candidates for a trade up. Bottles and manzel gone by 13. Browns want Carr and rumors bengals may want teddy. 22 is the perfect spot. If niners want a corner we are in perfect spot for a trade.

      Ideally, we trade w vikes and get a 2 3 and 4 in exchange for 22 and 5th. And vikes still have a third so it’s possible.

      Early 2) latimer
      Late 2) Marcus smith
      Early 3) Christian jones
      Late 3) tre mason or Ellington
      Early 4) dozier or Watkins or dontae Johnson or Brandon Thomas
      Trade back 4.22 for a 5, 6, 7
      Mid 5) urban or exum/Colvin or Norwood or huff
      Mid 6) colt Lyeria or shamar Stephen or rpowell
      7) s long or j Janis or Mhuff or thart
      7) wjohnson or Kerr or bsmith

      • Eagles1018

        Just curious, why the prediction of drafting RBs for us? I’d assumed if were stable at one spot with three serviceable guys it would be there.

        • cliff henny

          cant believe Brown did much of anything, besides not fumbling which he’s supposed to do, to endear him to Kelly.

        • Tom W

          Kelly’s wildcard FU pick … he isnt high on Bryce and at the position chip covets he gets a perfect pick for his offense in mason. wrist injury may even help him fall.

      • cliff henny

        like it. first order of business is selling #22, and seems like it in great position. slightly ahead of some qb picking teams, but not so high that it’ll cost the trading up teams excessive picks. AZ seems like the one team that could bean issue. they might be viewed as a qb drafting team needing to be jumped or steal our tradeback thunder.

      • Ank

        Rnd 1
        trade for 2nd,3rd, 4th to team that needs QB
        Rnd 2
        Kyle Van Noy*/Attaochu

        Matthews/Robinson/Moncrief/Latimer
        Rnd 3
        Pierre Desir*/Jean-Baptiste

        Jimmy Ward/Deon Buchanon/Terrence Brooks/Dion Bailey
        Rnd 4
        Shayne Skov/Christian Jones

        D’Anthony Thomas/Tyler Gaffney
        Rnd 7
        Aaron Colvin/BPA (NT,OL,K)

  • myeaglescantwin

    Marcus Smith and Attcho would be great additions to this LB corps. I honestly thought a lot more D-1 schools used the 3-4 defense. Seems like there are very few true OLBs coming into the league.

    • Clamdigger

      Virtually none. They don’t have time to wait for development in college, so they tend to specialize and streamline players’ responsibilities. Coaching up a real 3-4 OLB takes time. There are a lot of techniques, keys and situational awareness involved in playing that position.

      It’s why you don’t see a lot of great safeties come out either. A ton is asked of those positions at the NFL level.

    • janvanflac

      That’s why i don’t understand why they switched to a 3-4….they still have better 4-3 personnel. I’m convinced Curry would be a pro bowl 4-3 DE, Logan and Cox would be a great DT combo, Graham is a good player whose talents are wasted in our system….Barwin/Ryans/Kendricks would be good LBs. I realize Chip is going to turn the roster over but still its a shame to waste talent.

      • myeaglescantwin

        I agree with that. We definitely still have talent that would be better suited for a 4-3. I was a bit skeptical when they told us they would play to the personnel’s strengths, but then rarely hopped into a 4 man front.

        Curry is a stud. Hopefully he is up in the 290’s to come into camp this year. I think if we included Curry and a 3rd for Dion Jordan, that deal should be sealed. Out of position starter for out of position starter.

        My thing is, Curry is an eagles fan. Now he is playing for his #1 team. He’s playing with body and heart. I think he’s destined for great things in the NFL.

        Kelly’s whole point on the 3-4 is roster spots. Now he only needs to have 6 DL on the starting roster. He can then use the rest of the spots for LBs, CBs, and S’s which gives him more talent on the field for special teams.

  • peteike

    I expect at least 1 if not 2 head scratchers. Not that the players will be bad but that you wont expect that position taken at that spot etc or something along those lines. I cant wait for the grumblings come Monday morning. Then again it will be something new to read about more importantly

  • Gil

    Trent Murphy will be an All-Pro…..if Eagles can draft this 6’6″ 260 lb sack leader in the 2nd round, Murphy will be one of the steals of the draft.

    • Septhinox

      He’s projected to be a day 3 pick meaning no earlier than the 4th round and you want the eagles to take him at 54?

      • Gil

        Trent Murphy will be drafted in the 2nd round, he was the #1 sack leader for the past two years…..he would be a STEAL if Eagles would draft him in the second round.

        • UWotM8

          Murphy’s sacks are overrated. The far majority of them were hustle sacks in which he didn’t beat the OT initially. Greg Cosell did a video on the OLB’s in this draft on PE.com and said the same thing.

          • Gil

            That’s a bunch of bull….Trent Murphy was the #1 sack leader in college football with 15 QB sacks last season….and the previous year Murphy had an impressive 10 QB sacks.
            That’s not a fluke, and that’s why many experts had Murphy being a first round pick two months ago.

          • UWotM8

            Its not a bunch of bull. If you actually took the time to look at the game tape instead of just finding solace in the fact that he had 15 sacks, you would see the exact same thing as everyone else. And I wouldn’t rely on what “experts” in the media think as a means of forming my opinion if I were you.

          • Gil

            BULL….I beleive the TWENTY FIVE sacks and the experts first round projections, more than your dumb opinion.

          • Septhinox

            Please link current articles that have Murphy as a first round projection. Teddy Bridgewater was the #1 overall prospect 6 months ago. Things change once NFL teams do research.

          • UWotM8

            Says the person who just blindly follows counting numbers. I could take a dump on the floor and it would instantly have more football knowledge than you.

          • gil

            You are that dump on the floor.

          • UWotM8

            And I still have more football knowledge than you.

    • travis papa

      I’ve been all for Murphy in either a trade back to the early 2nd or absolutely with the 54th pick. As one of his coaches I believe it was put it. 15 sacks doesn’t happen by accident. Tape production measurables all say 1st rd. Just bc he had a bad 40 doesn’t make him a 4th rd guy. Dock him 1rd to the 2nd for a slow 40 and a bad wk

  • JosephR2225

    Murphy is a Day 3 player? At one point he was slotted in the late first/early second.

    • Glenn

      At the senior bowl, some people were projecting late first round. It looks like now he is a late second round, with a possible slide to early third round. No way is he a day 3 player.

      • RIP illa

        Those scouts were projecting him as a late 1st rounder pre Senior Bowl practices…before he did not show much of anything and got handled by almost everybody he went up against. After that, his stock has been in steady decline.

        • Joe L

          Aside from disappearing at the Senior Bowl, then running a 4.9 at the combine he hasn’t done himself any favors.

    • Gil

      Yes, Murphy was actually projected two months ago as a mid FIRST ROUND pick….so he would be a great pick for eagles in second round.

      • Glenn

        I think he would be a good pick in the third round, where this guy looks like he will be available. He wouldn’t be a great pick in the second round, if he is projected to go late third/early fourth. That wouldn’t be smart. As people posted on here, he didn’t do well in the Senior Bowl, and ran a 4.9, and has below average speed on tape. That is a good reason to slide to the fourth, and maybe why he may struggle at the next level, as he did in the senior bowl.

  • Ian Farley

    i have said before i don’t think they see Corner or Safety as a must fill vacancy right now. Their signings in the secondary say that. Obviously they wouldn’t pass a top 15 talent like Hasean or Gilbert at 22 but i don’t seem they actively drafting one in Rd 1.

    with that said, Barr is likely gone, and they are stuck with a WR in the first because of the value. Trading out sounds great but may only be an option if a QB needy team wants up, and there is at least Bridgewater and Carr left.

    My gut says they value the positions in this order. But they want the most talent, regardless of position.
    1. OLB
    2. WR
    3. NT/DL
    4. Safety
    5. OG

  • All Things Bad@ss
  • robo40

    Murphy is a steal in Round 3. No way every team overlooks his tape enough for him to drop to 4.

  • BleedGreenJames

    Marcus Smith would be incredible. I’m a big Miami Hurricanes fan and he was an absolute terror in that bowl game. Could be a Justin Houston type steal. They have nearly identical physical traits. Also, Charlie Strong coached defenders tend to do well for themselves at the next level.

  • Joe L

    Barr may take a year to develop given his relative inexperience, but to me his ceiling is far and away the best as far as pass rushers in this draft. I’d love to have him.

    • peteike

      def, and most of the guys on D will need a year or two anyway so it would be huge to get him. Incredible athleticism

      • Joe L

        He needs to add strength in his lower half so he can turn speed into power better, but even at 255 lbs he’s got the frame to get to 265 lbs and still be ridiculous.

  • Dominik

    Great to read something about my countryman Edebali. Don’t think we’re interested in him because of his size, but I obviously will keep an eye on him. Good point about the familarity with McGovern, thought about that one too, but I think the size keeps him from our board. He tested well, but I don’t think it will help.

    It’s a shame Bjoern Werner wasn’t a scheme fit last year (although the Colts thought otherwise). :)

  • NickS1

    Sometimes I think Chip is trying to turn the front 7 into the Monstars.