We’ve been tracking the players the Eagles have shown interest in for the past couple of months. In the last couple of days, a couple of interesting names surfaced.
Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix has met with the Atlanta Falcons and the Philadelphia Eagles.
He has also visited the Baltimore Ravens and Detroit Lions and met with the Tennessee Titans.
The wording is key here. It doesn’t sound like there was a visit. They “met” with him. That could have been at the Combine, at his Pro Day or in a private workout. I would bet for sure the Eagles met with him in Indy. And we know Chip Kelly was at the Alabama Pro Day so they could have talked to him a couple of times.
Most people don’t think Clinton-Dix will make it to pick 22.
I’m sure the Eagles would have interest in Clinton-Dix. He is an outstanding cover Safety. He is very good in downfield coverage. He has good man-to-man cover skills. Clinton-Dix is a solid hitter and tackler. He is aggressive, but doesn’t have much pop. I think Clinton-Dix makes sense in the 20 to 30 range, but there is some speculation that he could go as high as the Top 10. I just don’t see him as being that good.
Less notable, but actually more interesting is news that LB Telvin Smith visited Philly. Credit Aaron Wilson again.
Florida State linebacker Telvin Smith visited the Denver Broncos this week and has also visited the Carolina Panthers and the Philadelphia Eagles, according to league sources.
Smith has worked out privately for the Atlanta Falcons, New England Patriots, Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the entire NFC South interested in the speedy all-around linebacker.
Smith is one of the fastest linebackers in the draft with a 4.52 time in the 40-yard dash with some projecting him as a strong safety candidate.
The 6-foot-3, 218-pounder is a projected second-round draft target.
Would Smith be an ILB or S for the Eagles? At the Senior Bowl, Smith was adamant that he was a LB and had no interest in moving to S. I thought this was dumb at the time, but the more I’ve watched him, the more I understand.
Smith doesn’t have typical LB size, but he excels as a run defender. He’s actually better between the tackles than out in space. He will use his hands to take on blockers. Smith plays bigger than he is and does a better job of shedding blocks than LBs that are bigger than him. He plays with a lot of emotion and is fun to watch.
Now for the downside…he reminds me a bit of Ernie Sims. Smith flies around the field and he will miss some tackles because he is out of control at times. There are some other plays when Smith will wrap up his target, but fail to get the guy cleanly to the ground. This doesn’t happen often, but does have to be noted.
I like Smith. He is an impressive player most of the time. He can read plays and flow to the ball under control. He is fearless. Smith would run through a brick wall if he thought that would help his team win. I love his burst. Smith can really accelerate.
Here he is in action.
I don’t think Smith is great in coverage. He might have a S/LB tweener body, but he has LB skills. In that sense, he might remind you of Thomas Davis, who has had a great career for the Panthers. Smith is taller, but not as thick as Davis.
My guess is that the Eagles would see Smith as an ILB. He does have long arms and big hands. He would add speed to the middle of the defense, which certainly needs it. And any person who watches Smith play will love the attitude he would bring to the defense.
As for value, the article refers to him as a 2nd round pick. No way I see that. I look at Smith as a 3rd round player. He could be a Nickel LB and STer or he could turn out to be a solid starter. I just think there are too many questions/concerns to take him in the 2nd round.