The Senior Bowl practice will begin this Monday morning in Mobile, Alabama and I’m sure the Eagles coaches and player personnel people will be their watching and evaluating. The Birds are in search of a defensive coordinator and a defensive line coach, but they need to find players at the same time.
It’s time to start talking about the upcoming NFL Draft which will take take place in late April regardless of what’s happening with the CBA negotiations. Kiper says the first round could include as many as 12 defensive linemen. Let’s take a look at Mel Kiper’s top 25.
Mel Kiper’s Top 25:
1. Nick Fairley – Auburn – DT – He’ll be a monster in the middle of a 4-3 defense. Quick off the ball with great upper body strength and playmaking ability.
2. Da’Quan Bowers – Clemson – DE – Great outside pass rusher with tremendous explosiveness at the snap of the ball.
3. A.J. Green – Georgia – WR – Big, fast and physical playmaking wide receiver. Can do it all at the receiver position. Work short over the middle, go deep and make the great catch.
4. Patrick Peterson – LSU – CB- An incredibly gifted cornerback and kick returner. Has great size and speed with quick feet. Could be shut down corner.
5. Marcel Dareus -Alabama – DE – Classic 3-4 defensive end who can rush passer and shut down the run.
6. Prince Amukamara – Nebraska – CB – Great size, speed and instincts. Will make plays. Has great hands.
7. Robert Quinn – North Carolina – DE – Great motor with tremendous athletic ability. Could succeed in 3/4 or 4/3.
8. Blaine Gabbert – Missouri – QB – Strong arm, good athletic ability, but may be volatile. Small city quarterback.
9. Von MIller – Texas A & M – LB – Great 3/4 pass rusher, who can put pressure on quarterback and cover.
10. Ryan Kerrigan – Purdue – DE – He could succeed in a 3/4 or 4/3, because he makes plays.
11. Julio Jones – Alabama – WR – Great size, good speed, tremendous competitor.
12. Akeem Ayers – UCLA – OLB – Very active with tremendous motor with good size for 3/4.
13. Adrian Clayburn – Iowa – DE – Good size and athleticism for 3/4. Raw with big upside.
14. Cam Newton – Auburn – QB – Great arm strength and athleticism. Will need to learn the pro game, some what of a project.
15. J.J. Watt – Wisconsin – DE – Great versatility and never stopping motor.
16. Drake Nevis – LSU – DT – Active defensive tackle with great quickness and speed.
17. Mark Ingram – Alabama – RB – Tough, patient and great effort running back. Can be work horse.
18. Nate Solder – Colorado – OT – Huge athlete with great frame to get bigger. His size can be plus or minus.
19. Gabe Carimi – Wisconsin – OT – Great size and versatility. Could play LT or RT but needs better footwork.
20. Ryan Mallett – Arkansas – QB – He has great size and great arm. Needs to develop a better touch on short throws.
21. Anthony Castonzo – Boston College – OT – Good technique and footwork, but he needs to get stronger lower body.
22. Mike Pouncey – Florida – O/C – A great athlete for the position. Strong with good technique. A better guard than center but could play both. He would be a great pick for the Eagles. His twin brother Maurkice is already getting raves as a center for the Steelers.
23. Cameron Heyward – Ohio State – DE – Great size for 3/4 defensive end spot. Can be dominant but most stay motivated.
24. Jake Locker – Washington – QB – Great arm and skills in running pro style offense but he didn’t have good season. Runs a 4.4 forty-yard dash. Could make major move up the draft board.
25. Ben Ijalana – Villanova – OT – Great athlete for the position. Can play OT or OG. Has great footwork and technique.