4/18: Eagles draft buzz
Every day, from now until the draft, I'll round up the latest Eagles buzz on MTC. Here is today's installment.
Before we get started, be sure to check out my post from earlier today with draft analyst Matt Waldman.
Many of you have asked about running backs and wide receivers who could potentially help the Eagles in the mid-to-later rounds. Matt did a great job of providing some names that could fit.
Meanwhile, Peter King of Sports Illustrated released his mock draft yesterday. It's worth noting that King was one of the few who nailed the Danny Watkins pick last year. This year, he's got the Birds ending up with North Carolina defensive lineman Quinton Coples (6-6, 284). Coples played both defensive end and defensive tackle with the Tar Heels. Writes King:
One coach used these words to me about Coples: "Gifted. Sporadic." We're getting to the part of the draft—mid first round—where beauty's in the eye of the beholder, and teams reach for pass rushers who often don't pan out. Philly D-line coach Jim Washburn is as demanding as they come, and Coples will have a chance to make the Eagles more formidable up front.
King has guys like Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly and Notre Dame wide receiver Michael Floyd going off the board before the Eagles pick.
SI.com's Don Banks also has the Birds taking Coples:
Though a defensive tackle like Michael Brockers or Dontari Poe are options here, the Eagles probably wouldn't pass on a prospect with rare pass-rush skills. Coples has critics when it comes to his inconsistent motor, but Eagles defensive line coach Jim Washburn doesn't take the quiet approach to those sort of issues.
I took some time last night to watch Coples and was not impressed. He's big and athletic - two traits that can't be taught - but just didn't make many plays and seemed blockable in the games I watched. You know how the Eagles like guys with great motors? Coples was the opposite of that. At times, he seemed timid and didn't always finish plays.
Having said that, we can't rule him out completely at No. 15. Both King and Banks are right to mention Washburn. If he is impressed with Coples and convinces Andy Reid and Howie Roseman he can mold the prospect into a legitimate pass-rusher, maybe the Eagles take a shot. Coples has the versatility to play inside or outside and the kind of size the Eagles do not have among their defensive line group.
It'd be a risky pick, and I'd be surprised if they took Coples, but as always, can't rule anything out with this team.
MOVIN' ON UP?
Les Bowen referenced this over on Eagletarian, but in case you missed it, Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net and SI.com is hearing from sources that if the Eagles move up into the top 10, it would be for Cox, not Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
As I wrote last week, Cox looks like a player who would be a great fit on the Eagles' defensive line. But he also has versatility, which could make him appealing to a number of teams before he gets to 15.
It's tough to tell what the Eagles would have to trade to move up, given the new CBA and lower rookie salaries. Teams with those high picks won't be as willing to trade down as in the past. But if you use the old trade value chart, the Eagles would be able to get up to around the eighth pick by giving up their first-rounder and just one of their second-round selections.
The wild card is Asante Samuel. The Eagles could include the veteran cornerback in a potential deal.
MORE DRAFT VISITS
Cornerback Janoris Jenkins (5-10, 193) recently visited with the Eagles and told Aaron Wilson of Scout.com that he enjoyed his time with Andy Reid.
"Coach Reid is a great guy, very cool, very straightforward," Jenkins said. "He kept it honest. He told me what he liked about me and some of the things he didn't like. He told me I was a great cornerback and doesn't think I'm a bad guy. He just said I made some mistakes."
Jenkins spent three years at Florida before being kicked off the team for multiple run-ins with the law. He spent last year at North Alabama. Greg Cosell of NFL Films calls Jenkins the best pure man corner in the draft, and NFL Network's Mike Mayock has him ranked as his fourth-best cornerback.
Meanwhile, the Eagles have reportedly hosted a couple of wide receivers/returners.
Florida International's T.Y. Hilton (5-10. 183) visited the Birds, according to Rotoworld's Evan Silva. He had 72 catches for 1,038 yards and seven touchdowns last season. Hilton also averaged 23.3 yards per punt return (scoring once) and 30.4 yards per kickoff return. He's expected to be a mid-round pick.
Fresno State's Devon Wylie Tweeted that he's visited the Eagles too. Wylie (5-9, 187) ran a 4.39 40 at the combine. He averaged 15.4 yards per punt return and scored twice last season. Wylie is expected to be a late-round pick. Thanks to Bleeding Green Nation for the link.