Eagles Wake-Up Call: Cornerback At No. 22?

NCAA Football: Youngstown State at Michigan State

Going into the combine, some mock drafts had the Eagles taking a cornerback with the No. 22 pick in the first round.

The two most popular names attached to the Birds were Oklahoma State’s Justin Gilbert and Michigan State’s Darqueze Dennard. But after the defensive backs went through on-field testing Tuesday, it’s possible neither guy will be around when the Eagles pick.

Gilbert, specifically, put forth an impressive performance. The 6-foot, 202-pound corner ran a 4.37, the fastest time for any defensive player at the combine. Gilbert is the favorite to be the first cornerback off the board and will more than likely be gone by the time the Eagles pick.

Meanwhile, NFL Network’s Mike Mayock thought the 40 was big for Dennard (5-11, 199). The Michigan State standout ended up running a 4.51. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Notes On Barr, OLB Prospects

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Linebackers took center stage along with defensive linemen at the combine Monday. Some notes to pass along:

— Could the Eagles be within striking distance of UCLA’s Anthony Barr on draft day? Mike Mayock, for one, doesn’t believe Barr is a top-10 player.

UCLA’s Anthony Barr is Mayock’s No. 3 linebacker, but Mayock doesn’t think Barr is a top-10 pick. While Barr is a good pass rusher, Mayock said that “when he doesn’t win with speed,” he has issues. Mayock also said Barr is best against the run as a chaser: “He’s not real strong at the point of attack.”

Some pundits disagree. Mel Kiper, as an example, has Barr going sixth overall.

The 6-4, 255-pounder out of UCLA recorded 23.5 sacks and 41.5 tackles for a loss over the last two seasons while playing outside linebacker. This after starting his college career on the offensive side of the ball as a running back and wide receiver. He estimated that he dropped into coverage about 30 percent of the time last season, and said he fared pretty well. Rushing the passer, though, is his primary objective. Read more »

Draft Profile: Missouri DE Kony Ealy

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Moments before the media made a mad rush towards the podium to listen to Michael Sam speak, Missouri teammate Kony Ealy took to the same mic and addressed a much more modest gathering of reporters.

“I mean, I’m fine,” said Ealy of the spotlight shining elsewhere. “The whole decision with Mike Sam, he’s got his own thing going, I got my own thing going.”

Sam has garnered most of the media attention for obvious reasons, but it’s Ealy — who played right defensive end opposite Sam at Mizzou — that is largely considered the better pro prospect. Read more »

Combine Notes: The Buzz Around Indy

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A few notes to pass along after wandering around the combine for a couple days:

“The Eagles won’t spend.”

That was a quote from the representative of a free-agent defensive player, whose client will likely command somewhere between mid-level and high-end money. Asked for his reasoning, he said that was the general understanding out there about the team’s approach to free agency. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: ‘Best Draft In Ten Years’

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NFL analyst Mike Mayock opened his conference call with reporters Tuesday by offering the following:

“From my perspective, this is the deepest and best draft class I’ve seen in probably 10 years. That’s been reinforced by most of the general managers and scouts that I’ve talked to throughout the league. I had one GM tell me the other day that having a top 20 pick this year is very similar to having a top-10 pick last year,” he said. “I think there is more depth. I think there are certain positions that are stacked.” Read more »

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