The Eagles have been meeting with and checking up on a lot of players in the last month. Let’s take a look at who they are and why the team might like them or at least want to check up on them. This will get updated over the course of the next month. And let me know if I’ve missed anyone.
PLAYERS THAT HAVE VISITED PHILLY
* S Deone Bucannon – Washington State – 6-1, 216
The Eagles could use a big, physical presence in the secondary. That’s Bucannon’s specialty. Could be a 2nd round target.
* WR Mike Evans – Texas A&M – 6-5, 231
Most expect Evans to go Top 10 or close to that. My guess is that the Eagles would have interest in trading up for him if he fell in the 15 range and was affordable.
* DE Taylor Hart – Oregon – 6-6, 284
The Eagles need depth at DE. You can’t count on Joe Kruger. Hart is big and athletic. He could be an excellent backup.
* OG Trey Hopkins – Texas – 6-3, 305
An overlooked player that is starting to get some attention. The Browns are bringing him in for a visit. Good run blocker.
* WR Cody Latimer – Indiana – 6-2, 215
Junior WR had a great season (72-1096-9). Played in one of the fastest offenses in the nation, so it makes sense that the Eagles have some interest in him. Excellent size/speed prospect who could be good value in the 3rd round or great value in the 4th.
* CB Jaylen Watkins – Florida – 6-0, 194
The least known of Florida’s 3 DB prospects entering the season is now going to be the first one drafted. Watkins was very good at the Senior Bowl and then stood out at the UF Pro Day.
PRO DAYS / WORKOUTS
* LB Jeremiah Attaochu – Georgia Tech – 6-3, 252
The Eagles saw Attaochu at the Senior Bowl, but he wasn’t able to work out at the Combine due to a torn hamstring. The Eagles are set to work him out in the next couple of weeks. I don’t think Attaochu is in play at pick 22, but if the team moves back, he could be of interest. I’d love to get him in the 2nd round, but I’m just not sure he is going to fall that far. I’m a big fan and would love to see the Eagles land him. Attaochu is a good athlete, but he’s also a physical, violent player.
* TE Asante Cleveland – Miami – 6-4, 260
Who? Cleveland caught all of 14 passes in his Miami career. This is a weak TE class so the Eagles are probably trying to find some UDFA targets. Miami has been a TE factory over the years so that’s a good place to look, even for a lesser talent. Here’s the note.
Tight end Asante Cleveland looked good, according to an NFL official in attendance. Cleveland met with Eagles officials Tuesday and has a visit scheduled with Arizona.
* QB Garrett Gilbert – SMU – 6-4, 221
QB Coach Bill Musgrave went to SMU to watch Gilbert work out. Gilbert is the son of an NFL QB. His dad Gale was a backup for Buffalo during their glory days. Gilbert began his career at Texas before going on to SMU. Gilbert was a 5-star recruit coming out of high school and we know the Eagles like to take chances on those guys if they fall in the draft (see Bryce Brown).
QB would seem to be set with Nick Foles, Mark Sanchez and Matt Barkley, but you never know when a player you really like is going to fall to a spot where he is just too good to pass up. We don’t know if they like Gilbert, but they are at least curious.
* Tennessee OL
The Vols are loaded with OL prospects this year. None are super-talented and guys that will go early, but they do have multiple players that will get drafted. Here’s the note of interest.
Most of the attention during pro day was on Antonio Richardson, Ja’Wuan James, James Stone, Zach Fulton and Alex Bullard who made up the Volunteers’ offensive line last year. All have the possibility of being drafted this year especially Antonio Richardson, who is projected to go in the first or second round while Ja’Wuan James has the possibility of going in the second round. Richardson made a few mental errors in the position drills and he was pushed harder by the scouts than any other player. Richardson said that there are about 16 teams that have contacted him.
Regardless, he did show why he is projected to go so high in this year’s draft in his performance. “I tried to show the scouts that I was healthy and that I have my explosiveness back.” Richardson said. “You don’t really know anything until draft day though, it’s hard to see who’s showing me more interest than others.” Ja’Wuan James agreed with Richardson in that you have no idea what the scouts could be thinking. “It’s weird not getting feedback from coaches right away. I came out to show that I can fit any scheme and that I’m a versatile lineman.”
Offensive line coaches Tom Cable from the Seattle Seahawks and George Yarno from the Jacksonville Jaguars worked the offensive lineman hard, putting them through multiple tough drills and were obviously thinking hard about drafting one of the five. All eyes were on the lineman today, but after almost an hour, only representatives from the Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks, New Orleans Saints, Jacksonville Jaguars and the New York Jets were left watching and talking to the lineman at the end of their workout.
The Eagles need depth on the OL so it makes total sense for them to be checking on the Vols. No word on if they were focused on one particular player.
* OG Trai Turner – LSU – 6-3, 310
The Eagles met with him at the Combine. Here’s what he noted.
“I never had a specific favorite team. It was a blessing to be there. San Francisco was my most intense meeting, the questions they asked. You are only in the room for 15 minutes, it’s rapid-fire. They talked about (former Tiger) Eric Reid and what a high-character guy he was.
“I was in a meeting with the Jets going over my film. One of the coaches said, ‘Dang, you like to hit people, don’t you?’ I said ‘Yeah’, and the coach said, ‘Well, don’t hit me.’
“Some were funny and some were intense. The Eagles asked me a lot about Coach Miles, what kind of guy he was, what did he do at practice, game rituals.
Interesting that the Eagles were picking his brain about Coach Miles. My guess is that they were trying to see what Turner thought of Miles and how he did things. Chip Kelly is a unique and demanding coach. If a prospect didn’t handle tough coaching well at the college level, he’s not likely to fit into Kelly’s program.
* OL Laurent Durvernay-Tardiff – McGill – 6-5, 300
The Eagles were one of a handful of teams at his Pro Day. The Canadian prospect played at the Shrine Game and opened some eyes down there.
* Washington’s Pro Day
The Eagles were there. The players they were most likely focused on were QB Keith Price (UDFA), TE Austin Sefarian-Jenkins (Day 2) and RB Bishop Sankey (Day 2). Safety Sean Parker had a poor workout and measured in smaller than expected.
* Utah State’s Pro Day
The Eagles were there, most likely checking out CB Nevin Lawson and CB Tay Glover-Wright. Both guys ran well. Lawson is the better of the duo and the Eagles have already seen him at all star games.
* Missouri’s Pro Day
Chip Kelly went there himself. I’m sure he was checking out DE/LBs Kony Ealy and Michael Sam. I don’t like either guy for the Eagles. I don’t think they are athletic enough for OLB. While both guys struggled at the Combine, Ealy looked much better at his Pro Day. If Kelly wants a big body for ROLB, maybe Ealy is a legit target.
* Virginia Tech’s Pro Day
Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Bill Davis all over Kyle Fuller/CB/Virginia Tech at pro-day….
— Tony Pauline (@TonyPauline) March 19, 2014
Fuller would make a ton of sense. Bill Davis introduced Fuller to Chip Kelly. That’s interesting. I’m sure Davis and Kelly were also checking out OLB James Gayle and DB Antone Exum. Kelly might have taken a gander at QB Logan Thomas. He reportedly had a strong workout, which makes total sense. Thomas is physically gifted. He just doesn’t play well in games. Some think Thomas is worth trying to develop. I think I’d only touch him as a TE prospect.
* RB Jerick McKinnon – Georgia Southern – 5-9, 209
Lavelle Westbrooks and Jerick McKinnon were the focus of pro-day attention at Georgia Southern.
Westbrooks ran the forty in similar times to his combine performance. The players ran on grass, and most had Westbrooks clocked at 4.65s, though some watches did read 4.60s. He did a solid job in drills, but most scouts feel Westbrooks will be a last-day/late-round pick.
McKinnon stood on his combine numbers and looked good in both defensive back and running back drills. He was fluid, smooth and for the most part looked natural in the secondary. Westbrooks played some DB early in his GSU career.
The Dallas Cowboys ran the secondary drills while the Philadelphia Eagles and Oakland Raiders headed the running back drills.
Sending Duce Staley to run a prospect through drills shows more than mild interest, especially since the Eagles saw McKinnon at the Senior Bowl.
* DE/LB Will Clarke – West Virginia – 6-7, 270
Another nugget from Tony Pauline.
In a bit of a surprise, Will Clarke was put through an extensive battery of linebacker drills by the Philadelphia Eagles. And though most have Clarke pegged as a defensive end, from all accounts he looked real good working out at the new position.
Clarke is a real interesting guy. He is huge and a good athlete. WV played him at DT and DE. I don’t think he is consistently physical enough to be a 2-gap DE for the Eagles, but I hadn’t considered trying him at OLB. He was very good at the Shrine Game when lining up out wide and rushing off the edge.
* NT Zach Kerr – Delaware – 6-1, 323
Pauline noted that Jerry Azzinaro went down to Delaware to attend Kerr’s Pro Day. That’s not a long trip so we can’t make too much of it, but the Eagles do need depth at NT. And Kerr was at the Combine so he is a legit prospect.
* LB Scott Crichton – Oregon State – 6-3, 273
Scott Crichton sat on his combine numbers, running only the 60-yd shuttle. He did both linebacker and defensive end drills, and I’m told he did a lot of linebacker drills. The Philadelphia Eagles and Indianapolis Colts worked Crichton through the battery of linebacker drills and the 270-lb athlete looked exceptional, easily changing direction and effortlessly moving around the field.
Obviously Kelly is going to be familiar with Crichton from his Oregon days. Kelly may have tried to recruit Crichton. He did have to coach against him.
* Florida State’s Pro Day
Chip Kelly was down there to check out the Noles in action. Too many guys to list. I hope he focused on S Lamarcus Joyner and ILB Christian Jones. I’m sure he watched WR Kelvin Benjamin closely as well.
* Ohio State’s Pro Day
Kelly on the prowl again. And too many guys to list them all. The biggest names would be CB Bradley Roby, who could be a target at pick 22, and ILB Ryan Shazier, who also could be in play there.
* Lousiville’s Pro Day
Kelly was on hand to check QB Teddy Bridgewater, LB Marcus Smith and S Calvin Pryor. Many expect Bridgewater to be an early pick, but there is talk in NFL circles that he could slide into the 20s or even the 2nd round. Geno Smith part 2? Would the Eagles have interest in him? I prefer the idea of him sliding and some other team trading up to get pick 22 to take him.
Pryor could be an Eagles target at 22. Smith is either a 2nd or 3rd round target.