The Eagles have added some talent to their defense during free agency, but one area they have avoided is pass rushing depth. While Trent Cole and Connor Barwin have played well against the run, their pass rushing last season was not up to par. With the draft just weeks away, Philadelphia is expected to bring in young talent during the annual selection process. Outside linebacker is one the positions the team is likely to add to in May and South Dakota's Tyler Starr may be option on Day 3 for the Eagles.
An All-Northwest Iowa selection as a senior and a solid basketball player in high school, Starr committed to South Dakota in 2009. He redshirted in his initial season and did not play as a redshirt freshmen as well. In 2011, he played on the defensive line and ranked 10th in the nation with 14 sacks. He also had 51 tackles and seven forced fumbles.
In 2012, the redshirt junior played in 11 games at outside linebacker. He finished the season with 74 tackles (seven for loss), four sacks, two forced fumbles and two pass breakups. Starr was named a Missouri Valley Football Conference Defensive Player of the Year and played in 12 games (11 starts). He finished his final season with 71 tackles (15 for loss), nine sacks, four forced fumbles and an interception.
He was invited to the East-West Shrine Game.
Weight: 250 lbs
Arm Length: 32 1/2"
Hands: 9 1/2"
40: 4.95 seconds
Bench: 24 reps
Vertical: 32.0 inches
Broad: 116.0 inches
3 Cone: 6.64 seconds (top for LBs in 2014, second all-time)
Shuttle: 4.15 seconds
Starr is a relentless pass rusher and has a bit of nastiness to his game. He was used in coverage and did a pretty good job on tight ends. He is long and bends very well with solid hips (as seen by his fantastic 3 Cone). He uses his good burst well and is a solid athlete. He capable of using his body control and length to get to the quarterback. He is good at wrapping up.
He lacks technique for the most part when it comes to pass rushing and seems to be out of places several times per game. He tends to play a bit too loose and can get taken out by blocks. He could stand improve his strength as it does not seem like he manages to get off blocks frequent enough against the run. He is a bit of a project from a small school and limited technique.
The Eagles recently signed a similar player to Starr in Bryan Braman. However, Starr is younger and cheaper, which could mean that he would a solid first year redshirt and then replacement for Braman. Adding Starr would give Billy Davis an interesting project and fourth or fifth outside linebacker to mold into a possible starter. He will likely be a solid fourth or fifth round pick with the potential to slide into the end of Day 2. If the Eagles believe Starr could add something to the defense, perhaps they add him with pick No. 86.