Eagles Draft Buzz Thread: 4/22
Between now and the draft, we’ll have daily threads with the latest mocks, buzz and relevant links. Check back throughout the day for updates.
3:05 p.m.: Oregonian columnist John Canzano believes Chip Kelly is going after Marcus Mariota.
Covered Chip Kelly long enough to know he gets what he wants. And we all know what he wants in the draft. There’s a visor at the poker table
— John Canzano (@johncanzanobft) April 22, 2015
Mariota spoke about Kelly today.
— John Clark CSN (@JClarkCSN) April 22, 2015
Marcus Mariota on his draft positioning: “Its pretty wide open.” He says his agent told him: “Dude I have no idea.” pic.twitter.com/fTywvTYHhs
— John Clark CSN (@JClarkCSN) April 22, 2015
1:35 p.m.: As Adam Caplan notes, today is the last day for pre-draft visits (though private workouts can continue through next Wednesday). The Eagles are using the final day to bring in BYU outside linebacker Alani Fua, according to Aaron Wilson of National Football Post.
Fua ran the 40-yard dash in 4.73 seconds at the NFL scouting combine, bench pressing 225 pounds 18 times with a 34 1/2 inch vertical leap. At his Pro Day workout, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.57 and 4.6 seconds. He bench pressed 225 pounds 20 times and had a 9-11 broad jump…The 6-foot-5, 238-pounder started nine games last season. He started nine games in 2013. Fua is projected as a middle-round draft target.
1:19 p.m: A new name connected to the Eagles at No. 20 from NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein: Miami WR Phillip Dorsett.
Dorsett might be the toughest player to account for in space in this entire draft and Chip Kelly understands how to create space for his weapons.
1:07 p.m.: Doug Farrar of SI.com has the Eagles going with Washington CB Marcus Peters.
Peters may very well be the best cornerback in this draft class, and he’d most likely be a top-15 pick were it not for the issues with Washington’s coaching staff that got him kicked off the team in 2014. Peters then went back to Oakland, thought it all through, apologized to his former coaches and was invited to participate in Washington’s pro day. That put a lot of concerns to rest and pushed the focus back to Peters’s game tape—which, for any team looking to add an aggressive press cornerback to its roster, should be sufficiently impressive.
10:33 a.m.: Todd McShay of ESPN.com has the Eagles taking Alabama safety Landon Collins at No. 20.
The Eagles could go with a wide receiver here, possibly one with size like Jaelen Strong. But Collins is a good value at this point in the draft and fills a need at strong safety by replacing Nate Allen opposite free safety Malcolm Jenkins. Collins is built like a weakside outside linebacker and is very good against the run, while athletic enough to hold up in coverage for the most part. As I mentioned in the Titans’ section, I’m not ready to rule out the possibility of the Eagles making a move up the board to draft Mariota. The cost might prove too much, but the fit between player, coach and scheme would be perfect.
9:08 a.m.: Mike Florio of PFT on the possibility of Chip Kelly pulling off off a three-way trade to land Marcus Mariota.
Unless and until Bradford signs a new contract with the Eagles, he’s vulnerable to be traded again. Despite the public proclamations after Bradford arrived that Kelly is the only “chip” in town, rumors persist that Bradford could be a temporary member of the Eagles.
Meanwhile, the Browns have made it clear that the want Bradford, offering a first-round pick to the Rams for Bradford and reportedly/presumably offering a first-round pick to the Eagles the morning after he was shipped to Philly.
So with the Browns holding the No. 12 and No. 19 selections in the draft and the Eagles holding Bradford’s rights and pick No. 20, how about a trade that would send Bradford to Cleveland, Mariota to the Eagles, and a total of three first-round picks to someone in the top five?
8:56 a.m.: Andrew Kulp of the 700 Level looks at San Jose St. DL Travis Raciti as a potential fit in Philly.
Matt Barrows for The Sacramento Bee reports the Eagles had an official pre-draft visit lined up with Raciti. The San Jose State product posted a huge sophomore season in 2012 with 13.0 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks, but since registered 10.5 tackles for loss and 5.0 sacks over his last two seasons. Raciti is listed as 6’5”, 285 pounds, and could translate to a five-technique end if stays at that weight. He did not receive an invitation to the combine, and may go undrafted altogether.
8:45 a.m.: Mel Kiper lists the top needs for each team heading into the draft. Here’s his take on the Eagles:
Top needs: S, G, CB, WR
Obvious: They could really use a strong safety. And while I don’t list QB (I do think a healthy Sam Bradford can succeed under Chip Kelly), it’s fair to say it’s still an open question.
Quiet: I think Jordan Matthews is now clearly the most talented WR on the roster. The depth chart doesn’t look bad, per se, but they could use another weapon.