For the third time in 4 years the Eagles used their top pick on a DT. This time it was a second round pick in the form of Trevor Laws from Notre Dame. The Eagles have actually taken a defensive lineman within the first two rounds for 4 straight years now. With the emergence of Trent Cole as a pro bowl end, Bunkley and Patterson solidifying the interior, the drafting of Abiamiri last year, the signing of Clemons this year, and finally the drafting of Laws the Eagles have built themselves the foundation of a very young and very pedigreed line. As I said, this is a line stocked with first and second round picks.
As for Trevor Laws, let's start with a scouting report.
BIOGRAPHY: Three-year starter who led Notre Dame in tackles as a senior posting 112/8/8. Set the single-season record for tackles by a defensive lineman at the school. Junior-year totals included 62/9.5/3.5.
POSITIVES: High-effort, penetrating tackle with an outstanding head for the game. Competitive, goes non-stop, and hustles about the field. Plays with good pad level, slides off blocks laterally, and makes plays everywhere on the field. Disciplined and stays with assignments.
NEGATIVES: Lacks bulk and engulfed at the point by blockers. Marginal quickness.
ANALYSIS: Laws is a competitive defender with limited size and growth potential. Productive on the college level, he could find a home as a three-technique lineman in the NFL.
You'll see pretty much this same report on Laws anywhere you look. There's not a lot
of mystery or disagreement over Laws. He was a tremendously productive college player and he's got a great motor. As a bonus, he played both DE and DT at times in college. The problem is that he doesn't have the size of the top DTs and generally lack those great physical gifts of the elite DTs in this draft. It's interesting, because you often hear that about defensive targets the Eagles go after. That was what everyone said about Trent Cole, but it's also what they said about Matt McCoy. Guys with flaws and weaknesses, but guys that play with tremendous heart and passion. In the case of Cole, it was a home run. In the case of McCoy, well you know...
An interesting note about Laws is that he blocked 3 kicks last year. So hopefully he could make an impact on special teams as well. Another thing many scouting reports talk about his Laws' fundamentals. He's been able to overcome his less than ideal size with solid techniques and a decent arsenal of moves to sue on interior lineman. In many ways, he's the anti Broderick Bunkley. Bunkley is a guy with tremendous brute strength and physical ability, but lacked almost any moves or technique. Laws doesn't have Bunkley's upside, but he's probably more NFL ready.
Laws should provide depth and play very quickly. I expect him to be part of the rotation and there to give Bunkley and Patterson an breather right away. Laws is another piece in a very young front 7 that's backed up by a secondary that still includes both Asante Samuel and Lito Sheppard.