The Eagles closed out the first day of the NFL draft yesterday by selecting Penn State running back Tony Hunt in the third round with the draft's 90th pick.
"He's a little bit different than Brian [Westbrook] and a little bit different than [Correll Buckhalter] and a little bit different than Ryan Moats," Eagles coach Andy Reid said. "That gives us a nice blend of football players in there."
At 6-foot-1 and 233 pounds, Hunt gives the Eagles a true big back, the kind of runner a lot of people think they have needed for a while. Reid seemed to like the idea of having that kind of back.
"Hunt is a bigger guy than we've had here," he said. "Coach [Joe] Paterno pounded him in that [Penn State] offense, and he responded to that very well."
Hunt, the fourth all-time leading rusher at Penn State and MVP of the Senior Bowl earlier this year, rushed for a career-high 1,386 yards and 11 touchdowns in his final season with the Nittany Lions. He also showed he could catch the football throughout his career, pulling in 88 passes for 799 yards and three touchdowns.
Reid said he wasn't concerned that Hunt did not have a great 40-yard dash time in his pre-draft workouts.
"I look for good football players," he said. "If 40 times meant that much, Duce Staley wouldn't have been the great running back that he was."
The Eagles, who added an extra pick yesterday after trading their first-round selection to Dallas, used their second pick of the second round - 57th overall - to take Notre Dame's Victor Ikechukwu Abiamiri, a 6-4, 267-pound defensive end who led the Irish with 101/2 sacks last season.
"Victor is a big defensive end, very physical with nice pass rush ability," Reid said. "He'll be another good defensive lineman to add to the stockpile we have."
That stockpile already included Jevon Kearse, Darren Howard, Trent Cole, Juqua Thomas and Jerome McDougle. Of that list, McDougle probably has the least job security right now. Abiamiri said he just hoped to learn from the veterans.
"I just wanted to go to a situation where they had a lot of veteran players that I can learn from," he said. "That is where the Eagles are at right now. They have a lot of veteran guys like Kearse and Trent Cole who have experience playing that position."
With the extra pick they received from the Cowboys in the third round, the Eagles took Nebraska linebacker Stewart Bradley (87th overall). Bradley, 6-4 and 254 pounds, is projected as a strongside linebacker who can be a major contributor on special teams. He returned to play in all 14 games for the Cornhuskers last season after playing in just five games as a junior because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament.