The Eagles are looking long and hard at ILB prospects. It would seem that DeMeco Ryans is in his final year as an Eagle. Ryans is still solid, but age is starting to catch up to him. We could see signs of his decline last season. He’s never been a blazer, but the speed he had earlier in his career is gone.
The latest ILB for the Eagles to check out closely is Christian Kirksey of Iowa. He was a 3-year starter and 2-time team captain for the Hawkeyes. He played on the outside for them, but at only 6-2, 233 he projects to ILB for the Eagles.
Did not see this reported but I'm told Christian Kirksey/LB/Iowa visited the Eagles earlier this week…sctrpt: http://t.co/F252XC5Uz7
— Tony Pauline (@TonyPauline) April 25, 2014
Kirksey is a solid prospect, but he’s not dynamic in any way (size, athleticism, production, etc.). I think he goes in the 4th or 5th round. Kirksey could develop into a solid starter. At the least, he should be a good backup and STs player.
There is a lot of projection when you watch tape of Kirksey. He played OLB for Iowa and they have that player line up over the slot receiver most of the time. Since the spread is so common in college football, that meant most of Kirksey’s snaps for the last 2 years came out in space.
The first thing that jumps out at me is how hard he plays. Kirksey will chase the ball all over the field. If there is a pile, he will dive on it. He wants to be in on every play. He will attack blockers in front of him. If that is a RB or WR, Kirksey is going to win. If it is a TE, things go 50-50. He needs work on shedding blocks of OL, but there is no lack of effort or physicality.
This MIN game shows Kirksey playing a lot in traffic because the Gophers aren’t a spread team. Solid showing by him.
Kirksey could end up being a potential replacement for Ryans, but there will be options. The Eagles have checked out closely/met with several prospects.
Ryan Shazier – Ohio State
CJ Mosley – Alabama
Telvin Smith – Florida State
Christian Jones – Florida State
Preston Brown – Louisville
Jordan Tripp – Montana
Jordan Zumwalt – UCLA
Lamin Burrow – LSU
Expect the Eagles to add an ILB, whether as early as the 1st round or as late as the 5th. They want more speed in the middle of the field.
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For PE.com, I wrote about some mid-to-late round prospects that could be of interest to the Eagles. There should be some names in there that I haven’t covered so far. At a certain point, you get tired of discussing the same handful of prospects over and over.