Update [2007-3-7 9:54:36 by BleedGreen]: As an update to the story below, I spoke with a Ole Miss blogger, Uncle Tony from Down at Southern Tony's Halls and he had a few things to add about the tremendous character of Patrick Willis.
Paul Poz may be the local favorite to take at LB in the first round, but most scouts say that Ole Miss LB Patrick Willis is the better player. What I find most intriguing about Willis is that he plays on the inside, while Poz is an OLB. We already have some young guys that may develop into something on the outside, but with Trotter rapidly declining we have nothing up the middle.
I talked to some people from the Ole Miss fan site Rebel Faithful and got some very glowing reports of Mr Willis.
He's a leader on and off the field and goes full speed when he hits the field. Both in practice and in games. He's definitely a fan favorite at Ole Miss and will be for a long time. He will not be replaced, someone will fill his position, but he's not the type of player you replace.
We all know that character is big for the Eagles and it's good to hear such glowing things about Willis as a person. He could very well impress the Eagles more in his combine interview than his workout...
One commenter had some further insight on his character.
Another commenter feared for Eli Manning's(another Ole Miss alum) health should Willis be drafted by the Eagles.
They also shared with me his highlight reel on YouTube. Now, I realized that these are just his highlights but there's some skills on display here that just can't be taught. First off, he hits like a ton of bricks, he seems to have little trouble shedding blocks, and most importantly the guy seems to have serious sideline to sideline speed for an ILB. That's something that was severely lacking with Trotter last year. A guy with this kind of speed playing in the middle would open up alot of options for Jim Johnson to do other things with his safeties and OLBs that he couldn't do last year.
Pay special attention to the 2nd highlight on here where he bodyslams an LSU RB that comes up the middle...
So... what are your thoughts on Patrick Willis? I must say, I love what I've seen from him. My fear is that he won't be around by #26. This may be a guy we need to jump a few teams to get.