Chip Kelly and his coaches have ideal player types. They want tall, athletic OL. They want OLBs that can rush, cover and play the run. They prefer tall, long CBs that can press. And so on.
Wanting those players and finding those players are 2 different things.
Teams have a limited set of choices. As I like to joke, they can’t just go down to the Player Store and head to the LB aisle. “Let’s see if pass rushers are on sale this week or if maybe they’ve got the brand new models in. They’re expensive, but man are they cool.”
While Kelly and Bill Davis might want complete OLBs, they’ll have to settle for what they can get. The same is true at most positions. Safety is another such spot. Davis has talked about the fact he wants to get to the point where there is no FS or SS, but rather similar players that are the Right Safety and Left Safety.
That is a great goal, but the draft isn’t loaded with Safeties who are complete players. The Eagles brought in Deone Bucannon for a visit. He’s 6-1, 216, which is big for a Safety. He is a physical hitter with some coverage limitations. This shows you that the Eagles are being realistic.
Would you rather have a Safety that has okay ability vs the run and pass or would you rather have someone who can be a physical presence and then needs work on his cover skills?
There is no right answer, per se. The argument for a guy like Bucannon is that he can at least stand out in one area. He might have some issues, but that might be worth it if he can be a difference-maker at what he does well. You hope that the player then develops skills in the area where he is deficient. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t.
The Eagles are being reasonable with their expectations. They have talked to a pair of OL that at 6-3, 310. They looked at Will Clarke, a DT/DE tweener, as a potential OLB. They’ve shown interest in CBs that lack the Eagles preferred size.
The interesting part of all this will be to see where the Eagles make compromises, so to speak. And then it will be interesting to see how those players work out over time.