Five Eagles Combine Takeaways
With the 2015 combine in the books, here are five Eagles-related takeaways.
1. One area that doesn’t generate a lot of buzz but deserves attention is the offensive line. The Eagles did not spend a single draft pick on a lineman last year, and as we’ve discussed, the current group is getting older. The roster lacks developmental prospects, and that needs to be addressed in late April.
Which brings us to one name you should be familiar with: Oregon’s Jake Fisher.
Fisher (6-6, 306) showed good agility, leading all offensive linemen with a time of 7.25 seconds in the three-cone drill. He has the measurables (33 3/4-inch arms) to play tackle at the NFL level and has the athleticism to succeed in the Eagles’ scheme. It would not be surprising at all if the Birds had him higher on their board than other teams.
There’s of course the Oregon connection, but Fisher makes sense on a number of different levels for the Eagles.
2. A common argument we’ve heard in this space is that the Eagles need to address their secondary early and often in the draft. The problem? It might be really difficult to do so if the board plays out a certain way.
It’s a weak safety class, and many analysts don’t believe that first-round prospect Landon Collins (Alabama) is a scheme fit.
At cornerback, Michigan State’s Trae Waynes tested off the charts and is unlikely to be there at No. 20. Washington’s Marcus Peters has off-field questions. And LSU’s Jalen Collins started only 10 games in college.
There’s still a long way to go, but as things currently stand, if the Eagles are going best player available, addressing the secondary in the first round might be a longshot.
3. What the Eagles do at RB and WR will be fascinating. By all accounts, the running back class is loaded. Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah didn’t run a fast 40 (4.60), but performed well in a number of other categories:
There are other intriguing names who didn’t test all that well, like Alabama’s T.J. Yeldon.
At wide receiver, West Virginia’s Kevin White ran a 4.35, virtually guaranteeing that he won’t be around when the Eagles pick at No. 20. The same can be said for Alabama’s Amari Cooper, who ran 4.42. Devin Funchess (6-4, 232) has the size, but ran only a 4.70. There are other talented players with good measurables like Ohio State’s Devin Smith and Auburn’s Sammie Coates.
The Eagles spent two draft picks on wide receivers last year (Jordan Matthews and Josh Huff), but they can get out of Riley Cooper’s contract after 2015, and Jeremy Maclin is a free agent this offseason.
It would be no surprise if they added both an RB and a WR at some point in the draft.
4. Another group that appears to be deep and talented is outside linebacker. A name to keep in mind: Kentucky’s Bud Dupree.
The 6-foot-4, 269-pounder helped his stock and compares from a measurables standpoint to Connor Barwin:
Dupree had 21 sacks the past three seasons and was asked to drop into coverage at the college level. He’s a name to keep an eye on in the coming weeks.
5. The inside linebacker spot is tough to figure out. Mike Mayock told reporters that he thinks the Eagles need a thumper next to Mychal Kendricks. In other words, he doesn’t see a Mychal Kendricks-Eric Kendricks reunion.
Eric Kendricks measured in at 6-0, 232, but showed good athleticism:
Another name to keep in mind: Clemson’s Stephone Anthony. At 6-3, 243, he tested well in a number of different categories.
Anthony was a co-captain last year and is benefitting from the pre-draft process. He seems like a good bet to go in the first two rounds.