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NFL Combine 2018: Eagles interview at least 6 top offensive tackle prospects

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The Eagles love to invest in the trenches.

Temple v Notre Dame Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

NFL teams are allowed 60 15-minute interviews with draft prospects at the Combine every year. This obviously allows them to get to know the players a little better.

Some of the interviews that the Philadelphia Eagles have conducted have already leaked out in the media. And it’s no surprise to see that a number of them involve players at one of the Eagles’ biggest positions of need: offensive tackle.

(It’s also no surprise because offensive linemen, running backs, and special teams players are the first three position groups to arrive at the Combine.)

The Eagles are likely set at starting offensive tackle in 2018 with Jason Peters expected to retun and Lane Johnson locked in at right tackle. Halapoulivaati Vaitai has shown the makings of a viable swing tackle but he hasn’t played so well that he should automatically be considered a long-term starter. The Birds could afford to add another tackle to the mix as high as their first-round pick at No. 32 overall.

Here’s a look at the tackles the Eagles have reportedly interviewed so far.

Mike McGlinchey

McGlinchey is Mike Mayock’s No. 1 rated offensive tackle in the 2018 NFL Draft. Here’s what Mayock had to say about his fellow Philadelphia native.

Yeah, he’s one of my favorite players in the draft because I know the kid, and that helps me with evaluation. I know what kind of kid he is. He’s Matt Ryan’s cousin. I saw this kid play football and baseball at Ben Carter High School. I know the kidwell. I did Notre Dame games when he was young, and I’ve been around him when he works out in the weight room.

So the reason I have him as the No. 1 tackle in the draft, and by the way, I believe very much that those other tackles -- Orlando Brown, Connor Williams -- are in the same category as players, but I love two things about Mike McGlinchey. I love that he got coached by Harry Hiestand at Notre Dame, which tells me when he comes out, he’s going to be ready to play. I don’t care if you put him at right tackle or left tackle, he’s going to be ready to play.

And, number two, his work ethic and passion for the game of football is unparalleled. So I know what I’m getting with that kid, and that’s why I bang the table for him.

BGN Radio’s John Barchard, who is attending the Combine in Indianapolis, said McGlinchey came off as very likeable. Here are some excerpts from McGlinchey’s media interview.

“Playing for any team in the NFL is a dream come true. Obviously as strong as my ties are in the city of Philadelphia and around the area that would be a dream come true situation. Super Bowl champs… passionate city. Everything I do, everyone I love is back at home in Philadelphia. Like I said any team that would pick me would be great, but it would be pretty special to go home too.”

“I did I had a formal interview with them on Tuesday night. We were just talking ball, I was talking with [Eagles offensive line coach Jeff] Stoutland quite a bit. We went over a lot of film and he gets eccentric sometimes. It was really cool for me to sit in there and let him get as intense as he gets trying coaching me and learn things. This is a cool for us to be out here. We are among some of the best and brightest minds in football for the next week or so. And I get to talk to all of these people which is so cool to me. Im trying to do my best to present myself in a way that is enticing teams to pick me, but at the same time I’m trying to learn a lot of things as well. Picking these coaches brains that have been in and around football for so long and are so well respected”

“Philadelphia is a blue collar town and its a place where passion is something that they take a lot of pride in. Whether it’s for their sports teams, their families … it’s a different place. There is not a lot of places like Philadelphia where you can get people that are as close, as passionate and are willing to say whatever the hell they want right to your face. So it’s one of those things where it taught me who I was. It’s where my roots are, it’s [ingrained] in my family, the way that we were raised, the competitiveness… the passion that I have for this sport. The loyalty that the Eagles fans have for their team and obviously the rest of the sports teams in Philadelphia kinda makes you [want to] have that kind of loyalty too.”

Here’s a scouting report on McGlinchey from NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein.

Draft Projection: Round 1

Sources Tell Us: “Notre Dame will even tell you that McGlinchey is better on the right side than the left side. He’s just more comfortable and consistent there so that’s probably where you play him. I think everyone tries to beat him up too much. He’s going to play in our league and be a decent starter.” - -AFC team personnel executive

NFL Comparison: Jared Veldheer

Bottom Line: McGlinchey will need to add more strength and mass to his athletic frame in order to hold up against NFL power, but his technique and instincts are pro-ready. He could be a polarizing prospect based on inconsistencies from his tape, but he gets guys blocked at a much higher rate than he loses his rep. McGlinchey should become an early starter at either tackle position, but his ability to handle bull rushers and power at the point of attack will define the type of career he has.

Orlando Brown

Brown has NFL bloodlines; he’s the son of his father with his same name (aka Zeus). Like his dad, Brown is a massive man. He measured in at 6-7 7/8 inches, 345 pounds with 9 6/8 inch hands, 35 inch arms, and an 85 1/8 wingspan.

Not that I’m trying to rush Lane Johnson out of his right tackle spot, but can you imagine the 345-pound Brown lining up next to a 335-pound Brandon Brooks? (Brooks is the heaviest player on the Eagles’ roster). That’s a lot of beef right there.

Brown is Mayock’s second ranked offensive tackle.

Here’s what BGN’s Ben Natan recently wrote about Brown.

Orlando Brown might do some serious rising during the draft process. At 6’8” and 345 pounds; Orlando Brown has immense size for the tackle position. While he might want to lose some weight to pick up some quickness, Brown is an very good athlete who plays with a nasty streak. Son of the late Orlando Brown Senior, teams will be intrigued by his upside and NFL bloodlines.

Here’s a scouting report on him via NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein.

Draft Projection: Round 1

Sources Tell Us: “He’s really big and he’s really long. In the NFL, big guys with long arms can play a long time so you don’t have to be the most skilled or the most athletic. He would make me nervous to put out there at left tackle without any help.” - Former NFL offensive line coach.

NFL Comparison: Max Starks

Bottom Line: Tackle with rare size and length whose massive frame can work for him in pass protection and against him in the run game. Brown will be tough for some evaluators to back because his footwork isn’t always pretty and his athletic ability is below average, but he typically gets guys blocked and he clearly understands how to use his size and length to his advantage. Brown’s physical traits and nasty demeanor give him a chance to become a good starting tackle on either left or right side.

Tyrell Crosby

Crosby is ranked fourth out of Mayock’s top five tackles. As you can see, there is some question what position he’ll play in the NFL.

Here’s what BGN’s Ben Natan wrote about Crosby.

Tyrell Crosby is going to be a player who goes higher than many think. Crosby has great size at 6’5”, 320 pounds and he moves like he weights thirty pounds lighter. He is an excellent run blocker with great feet to move on the edge. After the combine, expect a lot of people to be in on the Oregon product.

Scouting report via NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein.

Draft Projection: Rounds 2-3

Sources Tell Us: “I think he will be a pretty good pro if he gets with the right team. If you are strong you can play in the NFL. He can improve his feet and learn tricks and shortcuts to help in that area. Coaches can slide protections to him. But you can’t coach that size and power.” - Retired NFL offensive lineman

NFL Comparison: Jermey Parnell

Bottom Line: Crosby won’t be a favorite of evaluators looking for a pretty tackle who wins with athleticism and technique, but he will appeal to teams who covet size, length and strength as he puts big checkmarks in those boxes. Crosby is a bulldozing right tackle prospect who can generate good movement in the run game, but he still needs to prove he has enough foot quickness and technique to sit on an island and handle quality pass rushers. He has NFL starting talent but his draft stock will be strongly influenced by how he performs at the Senior Bowl and Combine.

Martinas Rankin

Rankin is Mayock’s fifth-ranked offensive tackle. It sounds like he might not be exactly cut out for the position in the NFL.

Here’s what BGN’s Ben Natan wrote about Rankin.

A 6’5”, 305 pound senior; Martinas Rankin is a blue collar type of offensive lineman. He might not have the most impressive size or athletic ability; but he is a very good technician who plays incredibly hard.

Scouting report via NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein.

Draft Projection: Rounds 2-3

NFL Comparison: Justin Britt

Bottom Line: As a left tackle, Rankin will struggle with edge speed and as a right tackle he may have issues as a run blocker handling the power he will face. While he offers tackle flexibility and may get an early look at right tackle, his best position might be at center where his instincts and intelligence will stand out. The further Rankin kicks inside the better he will be. He may be average as a tackle or guard, but he could become a good NFL starter if he gets his shot at center.

Chukwuma Okorafor

Not gonna lie, this guy’s name is way too close to “[Jahlil] Okafor” for my liking.

Okorafor is not on Mayock’s top five list. I know BGN’s Benjamin Solak is not really high on him.

Here’s what BGN’s Ben Natan wrote about him.

At 6’6” and 330 pounds; Chukwuma Okorafor is a humongous presence on the perimeter of a line. While he is a bit slow footed for the position; his nomination of arm length, strength and play style makes him the exact type of nasty you want in the run game.

Scouting report via NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein.

Draft Projection: Rounds 2-3

Sources Tell Us: “He got started in football a little late but I still think he should have some of these issues cleaned up by now. He’s big and he has talent so he’s probably going to play early on.” -- NFC team executive

NFL Comparison: Donovan Smith

Bottom Line: Okorafor’s size and potential will likely get him drafted earlier than where the tape says he should go. While he has plus physical traits, inconsistencies with balance and instincts could be a challenge to correct. He has the feet to handle speed rushers, but multi-move rushers could eat his lunch early on. If Okorafor improves his footwork and technique issues, he’ll be a quality NFL starter at either tackle spot.

Jamarco Jones

Here’s BGN’s Ben Natan on Jones.

Jones was a highly recruited guy out of high school and turned into a solid blocker for Ohio State. Jones will not overwhelm with physical tools, but his long arms and general playing strength make him a dependable part of a line. Jones might get outshone by his peers at the combine, but he could end up having a very steady career.

Scouting report via NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein.

Sources Tell Us: “He has holes like they all do but I think he’s safer than Mike McGlinchey as a pro. Ohio State’s scheme doesn’t give you as many pro-style looks as Notre Dame, but I think he’ll fit in well as a pro.” -- NFC team area scout

NFL Comparison: Michael Oher

Bottom Line: Jones isn’t overly impressive and doesn’t have many “wow” features, but he gets his job done. He lacks desired NFL height, but makes up for it with longer arms and good upper body strength. While his body control needs improvement, he has proven to have the slide quickness and lateral agility to handle duties on the blind-side. Jones has the talent to become a solid to good NFL starter.