A number of 2014 NFL draft offensive prospects spoke to the media at the NFL Combine this week. The Eagles have a lot of needs on the defensive side of the ball but don't think they'll hesitate to draft a talented offensive prospect if the right one is available. Here are some highlights of the interviews. There are few Eagles connections to be noted:
KR/WR/RB De'Anthony Thomas used to play for Chip Kelly at Oregon. He's also good friends with Eagles star receiver DeSean Jackson. Thomas attended the Eagles' playoff game against the Saints this year in support of Jackson. Maybe it won't be too long before they're on the same field together.
"I feel like we have a great relationship. When I arrived at Oregon, [Kelly] was a great coach to me and I learned a lot from him," Thomas said. "Just to see him leave Oregon was really tough for me, but I stayed strong and I finished my college career and now it's getting ready for this Combine."
Another former Oregon player of interest is tight end Colt Lyerla. The troubled talent quit the Oregon football team this past fall amid major off-the-field character concerns, which BGN's Mark Saltveit discussed at length yesterday. Teams will have to decide if Lyerla is worth the risk. Lyerla says he would love to be reunited with Kelly in Philadelphia.
"I think the biggest thing for me is just to be honest and to show remorse, where remorse is due, and just do my best to prove that I've changed and I'm changing and I've matured since I made those mistakes," Lyerla said. "I feel like me and Chip had a good player-coach relationship, and I'd love to play for the Eagles, so we'll see what happens," Lyerla said.
Running back Ka'Deem Carey out of Arizona compares his game to a mix of current Eagles star running back LeSean McCoy and Adrian Peterson. That's quite the combination. Carey grew up an Eagles fan. Can you guess who his favorite RB is?
"My (favorite) running back is Brian Westbrook because he catches, he blocks. He does it all."
One draft prospect is familiar with Eagles QB Nick Foles. Pittsburgh's Tom Savage overlapped with Foles at Arizona for part of his college football career.
"I talk to (Foles) all the time. He’s a good buddy of mine. He says to stay patient. Block out the noise ... have fun and enjoy it because it’s a lifetime opportunity."
Depending on what happens in free agency with Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin, the Eagles could look to add a wide receiver in the draft. More specifically, the Eagles could covet a big body. FSU receiver Kelvin Benjamin, who weighed in at 6-5, 240 lbs (4% body fat), fits that mold. According to Les Bowen, Benjamin has spoken with the Eagles. That doesn't mean very much at this point but it's fun to think about the possibility.