This is a kid I would love to see the Eagles get. I think he would be great value if we could get him in the fifth/sixth round. Most mocks have him projected in 6th round or later. In the pro football weekly evaluation article they have on PhiladelphiaEagles.com they have him rated as a late sixth round grade.
I just don't see it. He earned first team all ACC honors in 2008 as well as being named ACC defensive player of the year. I see a good football player who was obviously coming back from some serious stuff that still played at a pretty high level being not anywhere near 100 percent (he suffered broken bones in his foot and hand in 2010 not to mention not really being able to prepare for football the same way while going through cancer treatment.)
The kid was a beast in 2007 and 2008 before being diagnosed and going through treatment in 2009. Look at some measurables and stats.
Weight: 244 pounds
2010: 65 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 4 INT, 4 passes broken up, 2 FF
2008: 110 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, 6 Interceptions, 8 passes broken up, 2 fumble recoveries, 2 forced fumbles.
2007: 97 tackles 12 tackles for loss, 1.5 sack, 4 passes broken up, 1 INT, 2 fumble recoveries, 2 forced fumbles.
As you can see his numbers took a noticeable dip from 2007, 2008, to 2010 after he spent a year battling and beating cancer. But when he was at his best he was a production machine racking up tackles,sacks, and getting his hands on the football.
Over the last two seasons Herzlich has 10 interceptions from the linebacker spot which is very impressive. He was split out wide a lot in coverage at BC and in watching tape you can see just how athletic he is in coverage. This is something the eagles don't have. He is a big linebacker who can cover the tight end, a major weakness that has plagued the Birds for many seasons now.
Also you can see he is a pretty big guy. He had the physicality in his game in '07 and '08 as you see when you watch film, but he definitely looks smaller and less physical coming off the treatment in '10. As the year went on though he was said to really play more and more physical.
Herzlich is a team leader. Apart from the obvious fighting cancer and beating it side he also was always known as a high character hard working guy. He is very instinctive with a high football IQ. He also has a non-stop motor and is extremely competitive. He sounds like a Andy Reid type of player.
Now the obvious question is can he ever regain the form of a surefire first round draft pick, maybe even top ten. I don't think thats the question at all. I think it's less of an if but more of a when. This kid seems like he will let nothing stand in his way of greatness, not even cancer. I'm don't just like the kid becuase of the story or publisity stunt, he is a heck of a football player.
It all started for me when I was comparing him to Casey Matthews who could come off as early as the third round. I didn't watch enough tape on Casey Matthews but from what I saw I was only slightly impressed for how high he is projected (granted I only watched two games). I personally would much rather have Herzlich in the fifth/sixth than Matthews in the third.
Let me know what you think. I am attaching links to two game films of Herzlich from this year because his stuff from '08 is just rediculous and he is was not that same player this year. I also will attach two of Matthews to compare.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JC3-0qs_iNk&NR=1 vs virgina
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjWeyfzATkk&feature=related vs nevada (bowl game)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c40PSj7ERO0 vs Cal
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0K4JFPwwTU&NR=1 vs Auburn (championship game)