Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports
If you're a regular in the comments, you've undoubtedly seen a few discussions pop up about how the Eagles will need to find a nose tackle for their new defensive system. So they have to draft Star Lotulelei some say? But others retort, no need, you can just grab a guy late. Today's draft profile might back up the latter argument. I got the idea for this profile from Fran Duffy, who works for the Eagles. Follow him on twitter, he knows his stuff re: the draft.
T.J. Barnes, NT, Georgia Tech. HT: 6-7 WT: 345. Projected round(s): 6th-7th
He's just a giant. He doesn't show up on the stat sheet a lot, but he does eat up blockers and fill space, which is a big part of what you look for a NT to do. He was a backup for 3 seasons but dropped a lot of weight prior to last year and got the starting job when DT Logan Walls graduated. Was named All-ACC honorable mention for 2012.
There are certainly questions as to whether he's athletic enough to be a 3 down lineman in the NFL. He doesn't seem to be a plug and play in year one kind of guy, but could potentially be developed into a good space eater if he continues to get stronger and still slim down some more.
Paul Soliai - He would probably represent the ceiling for Barnes, which would be great BTW. Solai was a better prospect coming out than Barnes is, but it's hard to find guys with his kind of size to compare to.
Again, they'd probably still need to find a sure starter at NT for this season, but Barnes has enough upside that he could be worth a late round pick. There just aren't many guys that have this kind of size. If he gets motivated enough, he could be a rough guy to handle for the interior of an offensive line.