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Andy Reid met the media to talk about rounds 4-7 of his 2011 NFL draft class, but before some of his comments I wanted to highlight the positions that he sees these players in. That's not always obvious when a guy is drafted, especially in the case of linebackers or offensive lineman, both of which the Eagles took several.
It doesn't seem like he's sure what they'll do with Casey Matthews yet. Andy said he's seen time at all three positions and could see him playing anywhere. It's something he'll sit down with Juan Castillo and discuss this offseason (more on him after the jump). He said that Julian Vandervelde played both center and guard in college, but primarily guard and will provide competition there. Jason Kelce looks like he's going to stay focused on center. Brian Rollie will be a weakside/nickel linebacker. Greg Lloyd is a MIKE LB. Finally, he mentioned that Stanley Havili is a bit of an "all around" back, but will be focused on competing at fullback.
I like what he had to say about Brian Rolle
And Brian is a rare breed, man. He's not real tall. He's put together like no other and he makes plays all over the field. If you look at the linebackers he's one of the finest athletes in that group.
He also said that one of their aims in this draft is to get some more young, versatile lineman to provide some competition.
"Howie and I both thought it was time to bring in some new guys. And we've spent so much time on the defensive line and bringing in the young guys there that we felt it was time now to make sure we get back and fill in here with some young guys on the offensive line and they give you some flexibility here. With the exception of Kelce they're two-spot guys; the other two can also play other positions."
I think we all agree that it was time to pump some new blood into the offensive line. Guys like Nick Cole and Max Jean Gilles aren't terrible, but they're not starters either and eventually you've just got to get some bodies in and see if any develop. Obviously they'll expect Danny Watkins to start, but Kelce and Vandervelde are here for competition.
On Casey Matthews
"Well we'll see. Howie and I are going to sit down and go through all of that and we'll work that out. He gives us flexibility and I know he can step in and be a linebacker. He's highly intelligent. He did that at Oregon in the nickel package-you saw him making the calls all of the time. You know he can do that and at the same time, he played well in their base package, so you get to see him do that. I have confidence he can play whatever position very easily."
Finally, he was asked about taking a corner that many see as a guy that still needs to develop and may not be ready to start right away.
"Well I didn't make it that cut and dry, but what I was saying is that this was obviously a kid that was good enough to play in the Senior Bowl. You're looking at a kid that is really only two years at that position, so he doesn't have a lot of cornerback miles on him. I think what he'll do is he'll continue to get better. I think you'll see him progress even throughout the season, but he's a pretty good football player and he'll compete in there to start. He's got to present a lot of competition there, but what I think you'll see with him is a lot of continued process. We'll see how he does here. We drafted a pretty good corner last year, who made a couple starts for us, so we'll see how he does. We'll see how things work here."
He later reminded us that the team "is not a finished product."
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