[Note by JasonB, 02/25/11 9:51 PM EST ] Wargeist has some great stuff here on possible Eagles targets later in the draft.
Ok, this is my second post so I'm going to try and add as much quality as contained in my first post. I've been reading a lot on the later round players. Personally, I'm more interested in rounds 3 to 5 than the first two rounds. Yes, the first two rounds are very important to grab an impact player, I agree with that. After watching more game film than highlight reels, I can see that this draft is very deep at some parts and we can get quality talent in the 3rd, 4th and 5th rounds and should the CBA be reached and we trade for more picks in that area, I think we could have an excellent draft. I'm not really going to go into offensive line and cornerback because I feel we'll address those needs in the first two rounds.
As I said before though, I spend a lot of time watching game film when I've got nothing to do. As a football player myself, I love watching film. I play semi pro football in NJ and I love to analyze film on my opponents on both defense and offense. I play tight end for my team so I watch more defensive film than anything but if there is offensive film available to me, no doubt about it, I will watch it and I enjoy breaking it down. A lot of people like to watch highlight reels and see some amazing highlights and go, "Wow! That guy is amazing! I hope we draft him!" well, no. Everyone looks good on a highlight reel. Its the entire game film that tells you how good a player is for the full 60 minutes. He can come out of the gate swinging and die off in the second half or he can keep swinging for the full 60 minutes and be the greatest player he can possibly be.
Anyway, after looking at a lot of mock sites, watching tape on prospects and looking at all the mock drafts being posted lately, I just want to throw my two cents about who I think are solid late round prospects that could work on our Eagle's roster.
I'll start with running backs. I think there will be at least 3 or 4 running backs going late that, should Jerome Harrison leave, could step in as the no. 2 running back on our roster. One in particular, could end up being a return specialist only though and I expect that particular prospect to go much later anyway. Ok, lets get on with my late round RB prospects. These are in descending order, by the way.
#1. Kendall Hunter, OSU, 5'8'', 197lbs- I like the kid. He reminds me of an MJD style of runner with his size. He can hit the seam, he gives an excellent second effort, doesn't shy away from contact and also, he has very good hands out of the back field which is obviously a very valuable trait in our system. The only thing I dislike about him is his inconsistency. In '07 he finished the season with 696 yards. The next season, in 08, he finished with 1555. After that, in 09, he dropped back down past his lowly '07 numbers to 382 yards on the season. I would give him a pass because he was injured for 5 games and he never fully recovered when he came back as I could tell by his numbers after the injury.
Then he sprung up in 2010, almost breaking his college career high of 1555 yards and 17 TD's but missed slightly with 1,548 and 16 TD's. I feel at the next level, with the right coaches, the right system and if he added on a few pounds, he would be a solid number two running back not only for the Philadelphia Eagles but for any team that drafts him. I could see him challenging the guy ahead of him on the depth chart for sure but he has to show that he can maintain his consistency as a running back. I see Hunter going in the mid to late 3rd early 4th.
#2. Derrick Locke, Kentucky, 5'8'', 186lbs- I'm torn about putting him higher than Dion Lewis but this kid has ridiculous speed, balance and burst and is also rumored to have run a 4.21 40. I like his vision and his lateral movement is on par with DeSean Jackson. Solid hands out of the backfield as well. The only problem I have is the Darren Sproles comparison. He's not afraid to get hit but you'll never see him try to take someone on. He averaged 5.3 yards a carry and 9.4 yards a reception in 2010. Finished with 887 yards rushing, 10 rushing TDs and 318 yards receiving. He's an outside runner and a pass catcher. I prefer the trifecta but 2 out of 3 isn't bad(3 being the in between the tackles power runner.) I see him going in the fourth but if he has a solid combine and runs a great 40, I wouldn't doubt teams fall in love with him and snag him in the 3rd.
#3 Dion Lewis, Pitt, 5'8'', 195lbs- I really like Dion Lewis. With the departure of LeSean McCoy from Pitt, their run game didn't really miss a step. Dion Lewis stepped in and two college seasons scored 30 touchdowns and ran for 2,860 yards, granted he rushed for 700 yards less in his 2010/11 season but he still remained solid and had a nose for the end zone. I think he could fit the Eagles should we address the need late. I see him going in the late 4th round.
#4, unfortunately, Noel Devine, WVU, 5'7'' 160lbs- Ok, I don't really see him as a running back in the NFL. I see him as a return man. I also see him going very late. So, instead of telling you about Noel Devine's stats and whatnot, I'm just gonna tell you if he's gonna be a running back at the next level, he needs to hit the gym hard but I think he could be a good addition in the return game. Another Darren Sproles kind of kid. His size is the only thing really holding him back. 6th round. If he has a good combine, early to mid 5th.
I'm gonna bounce around on here and go from Offense to Defense. Now I'll be addressing possible replacements for Q if he leaves. This isn't a super deep class for them but there are a few who can go 3rd and 4th and still make an impact and I think these two are the most realistic options.
#1. Tyler Sash, Iowa, 6-1, 210lbs- He's got a nose for the ball, he's big, he's tough, he's strong. I see this kid going in the 4th unfortunately. 13 interceptions, 3 forced fumbles and 216 tackles in 3 years is a solid performance. Great tackler, can stand his ground against bigger running backs and has hands. I think he's going to succeed at the next level and also think he would be a great sleeper pick. I really hope that we draft either of the two safeties mentioned on this list if theres no intention of keeping Q.
#2. Robert Sands, WVU, 6'5'', 221- I don't care how many times anyone has heard me say it, this kid is an animal. The only problem I see with him is that he has to work on being faster over the top with the quicker receivers. I think the kid has the dimensions to be a damn good Strong Safety. His range is also ridiculous. He flies to the ball, whether he's deflecting a pass, intercepting a pass or tackling the ball carrier. He's also a relentless tackler. I would be ecstatic if we made this pick in the 3rd or 4th round. He needs to make better plays on the ball because he has a habit of dropping picks. See Robert Sands v. Pitt '09. There's also an example of his relentless never give up tackling in that video. I think he could fix the hands problem and I think he'll end up solid in the NFL and I would love to see the guy in an Eagles uniform.
Ok, yes, we need an outside linebacker. Unfortunately, there are so many damn 3-4 outside linebackers that its sort of tough to find. I think I may have found one, and only one in my opinion, worthy of stepping into our 4-3 and possibly cracking the starting lineup. Lawrence Wilson, UCONN, 6'1'', 226lbs. This guy is a solid tackler but he needs to work on fighting off the blocks. He's racked up 123 tackles, 4 sacks, 3 forced fumbles and 1 interception in 2010 but like I said, he may be a sound tackler and he is also solid against the pass, he needs to work on fighting off the blocks. When he came on the blitz and was picked up, he was out of the play completely and if it was a run, it was a big gainer. That needs to change. I see him going in the fifth and if he's there, I think its a bargain.
Also, what about that FB/ILB guy Owen Marecic? Put him behind Weaver/Schmitt or Bradley if he stays in the middle. I like the guy. Great character, great work ethic and is very intelligent. Where would you rather him play? Would you even want him on our roster?
For now, I'm gonna stay away from Defensive Ends and Tackles because theres such a significant drop off from the first and second rounds it would be too hard to find a great DE or DT later than the third in this draft class. I also think that our offense, aside from the line(which I didn't address because in the opening paragraphs I said I figured CB and OL would be addressed in the first 2 most likely) is pretty solid as it is depth wise aside from the uncertainty at a no. 2 RB.
Anyway, those are my guys to look at in the later rounds. Lemme know who you guys feel could step into the OLB position for us. I really couldn't find any true outside linebacker. Let me know who your later round prospects are.