The draft is roughly a few days away and while we have been keeping busy on BGN with piles of draft profiles, it is time to add some more fun before the big day. I have offered my opinion on the draft in comment sections and on Twitter and have obviously done my evaluation on the several players that we have spotlighted. That said, I get emails and Twitter questions all the time about my opinion on certain areas of the draft and I figured a new Saturday series over the next four weeks would be a good way to explain my outlook. I want to start a discussion, so I will address a few topics per weekend and we can go from there. The following is strictly my opinion. Here we go:
Anthony Barr: There has been plenty of love for Anthony Barr these days. I get it. He's tall, athletic and potentially moldable with pass rushing success in his college career. I come from the school of better safe than sorry, but I totally understand the love for Barr. However, if teams are passing on him so much that he gets to the late teens or early 20's, there is a reason why. He is still very new to the position, Dion Jordan proved last year that a player of their caliber is not as versatile as you would think and he does disappeared for stretches in literally every game he played last season.
That said, I wouldn't be disappointed if the Eagles took him at No. 22. It makes perfect sense on the surface. However, I do get a bit cautious around linebackers that have a lot to learn. If you remember, I was not blown away by Dion Jordan to the point that I would have spent the No. 4 pick on him last year. Although, if he was there at No. 15 I would have pounced like crazy. Jordan is a much better prospect than Barr, in my opinion. Jordan's coverage ability supersedes anything I have seen from Barr on tape. It's also why the Eagles looked to acquire him earlier in the offseason. I still think a second round pick, a player and may a conditional pick gets a possible Jordan deal done. I would not be comfortable dealing No. 22 for Jordan, as I noted last week because of the power it yields. So clearly, I am not really gunning for Barr at the pick. I would rather trade down or get a Brandin Cooks if available. My gut says they will trade down and get either trade back in the first and take Kyle Fuller or move into the 2nd round.
Pierre Desir and Kevin Pierre-Louis: I interviewed both guys on Thursday and I have to tell you, I am so impressed by their intelligence and love for the game and their families. These guys have high character and have chips on their shoulders. Desir has a family to take care of and he's from a small school that most don't know where it is. Pierre-Louis was one of the top tacklers in the country, but his size has been an issue for scouts. Before you dismiss either player, know that they are good guys that have a ton of talent. I suggest reading the Desir interview later today and the Pierre-Louis article from Friday. Both possible Day 2-3 targets for the Eagles.
No. 22: I have basically limited the selections for the Eagles in my brain at No. 22. The guys that I think it will come down to based on their philosophies are Brandin Cooks, Odell Beckham, Marqise Lee, Anthony Barr and Kyle Fuller. Those are five guys that could be there and fit the Eagles mold. If they stay at No. 22, I think one of those guys will be an Eagle. If I had to list my order of want for these players, I would probably go Cooks, Fuller, Barr, Lee, and Beckham. I think those five guys just make sense for them. They are all talented prospects.
Pass Rusher: Barr is obviously the guy most fans have pegged. However, Jeremiah Attaochu, Marcus Smith and Demarcus Lawrence are second round guys that make a ton of sense of the Eagles. I would be fine with any of the three of them as a rotational pass rusher. Those guys are the reason that I think the Eagles either trade back into the 2nd round or trade up with their current 2nd round pick. Call it a hunch.
We are nearing the end of the draft profile series and I want to thank everyone who really followed the work. It took dozens and dozens of hours, but it was so worth it. Here is what is left on the schedule:
The Final Two and Big Board (5/5-5/7)
M 5/5: Bruce Ellington, WR, South Carolina
T 5/6: Will Sutton, NT, Arizona State
W 5/7: Mike Kaye's Big Board