Draft Daily: Close-Up On LSU WR Odell Beckham Jr.

NCAA Football: Outback Bowl-Iowa vs Louisiana State

The Eagles took five players in the first five rounds of last year’s draft.

After each selection, head coach Chip Kelly stood at the podium at the NovaCare Complex and explained the pick. When describing four of the five players, he used some version of one of his favorite words: versatile. The only player who didn’t draw the label was QB Matt Barkley.

So it stands to reason that the guy who won college football’s Hornung Award, given to the nation’s most versatile player, would be on the Eagles’ radar heading into May’s draft. That player is LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. Read more »

Draft Daily: Close-Up On Louisville OLB Marcus Smith

NCAA Football: Louisville at Connecticut

The Eagles have done little to hide the fact that they’re big fans of Dolphins edge defender Dion Jordan.

Last year, Chip Kelly indicated that Jordan was high on the team’s board and would have been the pick had Miami not traded up to the No. 3 spot. And more recently, the Birds have been rumored to be looking to trade for Jordan in his second season.

Connor Barwin and Trent Cole manned the OLB spots in the Eagles’ 3-4 last year. The defense could use more pass-rush from that pair, but overall, the transition to a new scheme was smoother than expected. Cole, however, will turn 32 next season, and the Eagles have little in the pipeline to eventually replace him.

That brings us to May’s draft and a player who in some ways could be described as a poor man’s Dion Jordan: Louisville’s Marcus Smith. Smith is one of 30 prospects to make an official visit to Philadelphia, per FoxSports.com. Read more »

Draft Daily: Why USC WR Lee Makes Sense At No. 22

NCAA Football: Southern California at Arizona State

Against Chip Kelly’s Oregon squad in 2012, USC wide receiver Marqise Lee caught 12 balls for 157 yards and two touchdowns in a 62-51 loss.

He lined up all over the place in that game – outside, in the slot and in the backfield. He drew a pair of penalties in the end zone and gave the Trojans excellent field position on multiple occasions with tremendous kickoff returns.

“He may be the best receiver I’ve had the opportunity to coach against,” Kelly said at the time, per USC’s Web site. “He’s impressive on film, but even more impressive when you watch him in person.” Read more »

Draft Daily: Indiana WR Latimer a Fit?

NCAA Football: Indiana at Illinois

Chip Kelly has made it clear that when the Eagles are scouting wide receivers in this year’s draft class, they’ll be looking at one factor above all else: Can they get open against man coverage?

Kelly explained that there are different ways to accomplish that.

“It can come in a lot of different ways,” he said last month. “It can be the speed element of it. It can be the power and size element of it. There’s a lot of different ways to cut it. There’s certain guys in our league that have both and that’s why they’re elite. They have the size element of it, they also have the speed element of it. There’s a lot of different ways to do it.”

Indiana wide receiver Cody Latimer has the size element. At 6-2, 215, he possesses the physicality to out-muscle defensive backs and make plays on the football. And while Latimer didn’t run at the combine because he was recovering from foot surgery, he reportedly posted a 4.44 at his Pro Day. Read more »

Mayock: Forget WR, Eagles Should Draft ‘D’

NCAA Football: Russell Athletic Bowl-Miami vs Louisville

By all accounts, this year’s wide receiver class is loaded.

With DeSean Jackson gone, the Eagles will undoubtedly end up with at least one new pass-catcher in May’s draft. But according to NFL Network’s Mike Mayock, the team would be wise to address the other side of the ball in the first round.

“Forget wide receiver and the whole DeSean Jackson thing,” Mayock said, per NFL.com. “Whoever is the highest-rated defensive player on their board, they have to draft him.” Read more »

Eagles Pre-Draft Prospect Tracker

NCAA Football: Vanderbilt at Texas A&M

[Updated 4/21]

It’s information-gathering season in the NFL.

That means in the coming weeks, all the way up until May 8, the Eagles’ decision-makers will be doing their best to learn everything they can about the draftable prospects on their board.

In this space, we’ll keep track of pre-draft visits. Teams are allowed to have 30 prospects to their facilities. Meanwhile, they are allowed to hold as many private workouts on the prospects’ home turf as they want. And of course, they can attend as many Pro Days as they want also. Read more »

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