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Draft chat: Will annual talent show benefit Birds?

Inquirer football writers Bob Brookover and Marc Narducci ponder the picks.

Reggie Nelson, a 6-foot safety from the Unversity of Florida, might fill for a need for the Eagles if he's available with their first-round pick.
Reggie Nelson, a 6-foot safety from the Unversity of Florida, might fill for a need for the Eagles if he's available with their first-round pick.Read moreAP Photo / University of Florida

Mike C: What do you think of Garrett Wolfe or Steve Breaston in the later rounds for the Eagles?

Marc Narducci: I would like to see a bigger back than Wolfe, who had a great career at Northern Illinois, but is only 5-7 and less than 185-pounds. As for Breaston, I think he'd be a good second day pick, although I worry about his consistency to catch the ball. He can also return punts but you have to wonder if he would be an upgrade over his former Michigan teammate Jason Avant

Bob Brookover: Personally, I'd rather see the Eagles use some of their later-round picks on defensive players rather than a smaller running back and a guy who probably projects as a third receiver at best. I do like the fact that Breaston can return punts because I'd like to see some real competition for that job in training camp.

Pete: Think this draft could help the Eagles this year? Still hoping last year's picks make an impact this season.

Bob Brookover: I think it's unlikely that many of the players drafted this year will have an impact because there's not many openings for starter positions. As for last year's class, Bunkley better have an impact or the Eagles will be in real trouble. Gocong needs to also make some sort of contribution and it wouldn't hurt if Bloom became a solid returner.

Paul: Is it likely that we go another season with Dhani Jones in an Eagles uniform ?

Marc: I don't think the Eagles will keep Dhani and if they do, then the defense could be in trouble.

Bob Brookover: Paul, I don't think Dhani will be in Eagles green. I wouldn't be surprised if he was released before the summer was over depending on what the Eagles see in the first minicamp from Gocong and Takeo Spikes.

John H:: Who do you think the Eagles will draft?

Bob Brookover: John, at this point I think the Eagles are going to go after a defensive player and I think the best available players are going to be safeties and cornerbacks. If Reggie Nelson is there, they may take him. Brandon Meriweather would be a fascinating pick.

Marc Narducci: I think the draft will only help the Eagles if they they can get a productive safety, a corner for the future and a big running back. If Brian Leonard of Rutgers was available in the second or third round, I would have to think long and hard about drafting him. As for last year's draft, it still remains to be seen because Winston Justice likely won't play much if the Eagles' tackles are healthy. Bunkley is the key. He has to recover from a disappointing season and Bloom and Gocong have to show that they can stay healthy to compete for playing time.

Joe T: What do you think of Jarvis Moss?

Marc Narducci: A lot of people think Moss, the Florida DE, reminds them of Jevon Kearse. Both are on the light side with good speed. I think he can be a decent NFL pass rusher, but playing the run may be difficult. I also doubt he will be available when the Eagles pick at 26.

Bob Brookover: Joe, Moss is a pass rusher who doesn't have great size. His strength is rushing the passer and the Eagles have always liked those guys in the past. I wouldn't be shocked if the Eagles took him if he slipped to 26th.

Paul: If you were Matt Millen and you are incredibly fortunate to have employment after picking wideouts 3 out of 4 years (Rogers, R. Williams and M. Williams) you have the testicular fortitude to draft Calvin Johnson ??

Marc Narducci: I doubt Millen will draft Calvin Johnson even though he may be the best player in the draft. Detroit has too many other needs. This is a team that allowed 63 sacks last year. Detroit seems to like Clemson DE Gaines Adams, but I would go after Wisconsin OT Joe Thomas

Bob Brookover: Paul, great question. I might do it if I knew for sure that I could get John Beck from BYU in a later round to be my future quarterback. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Lions trade down.

Jack: Who is the one player you would like to see on the Eagles in this draft?

Bob Brookover: Jack, I'd love to see the Eagles take a linebacker with the first pick just because I think they could really use a play-making LB who is ready to step in when Trotter is done playing. Getting Spikes was a nice move, but Trotter and Spikes are both over 30 and guys get old fast in this league.

Marc Narducci: Jack: If I had my choice it would be Miami TE Greg Olsen. I think the Eagles would have to trade up for him, but with L.J. Smith not signed past next season, I think Olsen would be a great fit. I also think he will be a better pro than college player because he played for such a horrible offense at Miami.

Don: I agree that Bunkley is key here with regard to inside penetration. He looks as if he should be a beast inthere. Merriweather looks like a good pick in 1st round. One thing that troubles me. I think Ryan Moats has some talent. I keep hearing about how complex the Eagles' offenses is. Can't it be too comnplex sometimes. I think Andy is too much in love with complexity sometimes. I hope he keeps out of things and let Marty calls the plays. I still suspect that was Reid's hand in that funky goal-line call against the Saints.

Bob Brookover: Don, one of the things Westbrook talked about last year was that Mornhinweg simplified the offense and they focused on fewer plays with more reps in practice. That seemed to work well. I know a lot of coaches weren't happy with Moats last year. He needs to step up his intensity if he's still here, which I'm not sure he will be.

Marc Narducci: Don, I think Meriweather would be an excellent pick. As for Moats, he may have talent, but he doesn't always hold onto the ball or remember the plays. I would prefer a bigger back such as Tony Hunt or Brian Leonard.

Bob Brookover: One other thing, Don. I don't think Andy called that play against the Saints. It was the same play they ran during the regular season to get a first down late in the game against Washington and Marty called it then.

Jake: What is the most interesting development do you see in this draft?

Marc Narducci: I think where Brady Quinn will be drafted is the most interesting. Many have him going No. 3 to Cleveland, which desperately needs a QB. If Cleveland somehow trades for KC QB Trent Green, then Quinn could slide. I know Minnesota at No. 7 and Miami at No. 9 would look at him. I just worry about Quinn's lack of accuracy. It reminds me a little of Eli Manning.

Bob Brookover: I think the most interesting thing early will be what Detroit does. As someone else asked, can they really afford to take Calvin Johnson, who might just be the best talent in the entire draft? I'm also interested in seeing how many trades actually get made because there's a lot of rumors flying right now. Would the Chiefs really trade Larry Johnson?

Jasper: Do you foresee any changes to the offensive line ? Another year for Justice, Jean -Gillies to ride the pine ?

Bob Brookover: I don't see any changes on the offensive line. It wasn't broke, so don't try to fix it. Justice and Max Jean will just have to wait.

Marc Narducci: Unless there are injuries, I don't see any changes in the offensive line. I can't see Max Jean-Gilles beating out Herremans and Shawn Andrews so there is nowhere else to play. If William Thomas and Jon Runyan stay healthy, the same thing goes at tackle.

Derrick: How could the Eagles get Brian Leonard I was with him at the combine he will be gone no later than mid second round

Bob Brookover: Derrick, you may be right. The Eagles, if they really want Leonard, could probably trade down into the early part of the second round and select him, but I think they want to use their first pick for a defensive player.

Marc Narducci: Some people project Leonard for the third round and I think that is a mistake. His combination of intelligence, strength and better than advertised speed should have him got somewhere in the second round. I think the Eagles might have to trade up to get him, but I also think it would be worth it. I'm a Leonard fan and think he can play HB or FB.

Tony: What do you think of Ted Ginn Jr?

Marc Narducci: Tony: I think he is one of the most unpredictable players in this draft. He ran great times at his pro day, but he has had foot problems. If healthy, I think he can have an immediate impact as a return man while learing to be a good receiver. I think he could go anywhere from No. 7 to the end of the first round. there is such a wide range on him.

Bob Brookover: Tony: If Ginn hadn't suffered that injury in the title game, he was a high first-round pick without question and he'll still in the first round, but probably a little bit later than he would have if the draft was held in December.

Don: I certainly defer to you on that goal-line call. You are in a position to know that. I agree with what's been said about Hunt and Leonard and the fact that it's 2nd round or bust. I can't see them pulling the trigger to get one of those guys in the 2nd round. I'll shut up now. Great chat.

Bob Brookover: Thanks Don.

Joe: Griffith or Meriweather? Pros & cons?

Bob Brookover: Joe: Carriker is a real talent whose got the size to move inside to defensive tackle. He'll be gone before the Eagles select.

Marc Narducci: Both Griffin and Meriweather are about the same size and each run in the 4.45 range. I think Meriweather is a better hitter and has a better nose for the ball. If I had a choice, I would take Meriweather.

Joe: I'm a Nebraska grad. What do you think of Adam Carriker

Bob Brookover: PC2: Meriweather probably has more talent. Griffin, based on their college histories, is the safer pick. I've just like the fact that Meriweather is a guy who can play safety and cornerback.

Marc Narducci: I love Carriker's motor and at 6-6 and 292, he has plenty of room to put weight on that frame. I also like the fact that he can play the run as well as rush the passer. I think he will be a productive pro and long gone by the time the Eagles draft at 26.

Josh: If the Iggles do draft a linebacker on the first day what are the odds that Trotter is not with the team on opening day ? I got the feeling after last season that the coaching

Bob Brookover: I don't think the Eagles are taking a linebacker with the first pick, but even if they do I think Trotter will still be around as long as he shows he can still run and move well during the team's minicamps. Trotter, by the way, is working his rear off to get in shape. He's at the NovaCare Complex four times a week working out.

Marc Narducci: Josh: I think Trotter will be on the team regardless of who the Eagles draft. He did wear down late in the year and I think the Eagles won't have him on the field as much next year, but he is still their guy in the middle. Pete: Got a hunch about a possible Eagles surprise? Trade the pick for unhappy Chicago LB? Draft LJ Smith's replacement?

Bob Brookover: Nice hunch, Pete, but I don't see it happening.

Marc Narducci: Pete, I said that earlier in this chat. The player I like the most for the Eagles is Miami TE Greg Olsen, but he won't be around at 26 so the Eagles would have to trade up for him. I would swaps first and throw in a No. 3 to move up to get Olsen. You would have to move to about 13 in my opinion. Also, the Eagles won't trade the pick for Chicago's Lance Briggs. He has too big a price tag.

Mike C.: Speaking of L.J., what do you think about the TE from Delaware?

Bob Brookover: Patrick from Delaware is probably going to be drafted in the third or fourth round. The Eagles like him, so if they do feel the need to get someone just in case they don't re-sign L.J., he might be an option.

Marc Narducci: I like the TE from Delaware, Ben Patrick. I just spoke to him the other day for a story we are doing on Saturday. He's just under 6-4, 254 pounds and runs a 4.75. Many feel he will be the third TE in the draft, but if the Eagles want him, they may have to get him in the second round. He could be the third TE taken.

John: What do you see the Giants doing?

Marc Narducci: John, the Giants have many needs, linebacker, corner, receiver. I have projected that they would chose Paul Posluszny in my mock draft, but they could go several ways. Since they have done so little to improve the team, the Giants draft will be crucial because I feel they need to get at least two starters from it.

Bob Brookover: John, I see the Giants going 5-11 and firing Coughlin. Oh, you mean in the draft? Sorry. I wouldn't be surprised if they drafted a linebacker, possibly Beason from Miami or Posluszny from Penn State. They also need help at WR because they're getting old at that position.

Dan C.: Any chance they pick a cornerback who can potentially replace Sheldon Brown in the secondary/ Am I alone in thinking Sheldon's a little over-rated? (You could comprise a long highlight reel of WR's catching TD Passes on Sheldon's watch)

Marc Narducci: Dan, I think the Eagles would eventually like Sheldon to play the slot receiver instead of outside. I also think the Eagles have to begin adding depth to the corner position. This is a solid draft for corners and if Aaron Ross of Texas somehow slips to 26, the Eagles will have an interesting decision.

Jerry: Can the Eagles get an immediate starter from the draft?

Bob Brookover: Dan, I wouldn't be shocked if they took a cornerback. This draft has a lot of good corners and the Eagles like Chris Houston from Arkansas, who is known for playing press coverage. Sheldon didn't have his best season and his greatest strength is covering slot receivers and coming up to the line of scrimmage to make plays. I still think Sheldon is a good football player.

Marc Narducci: Jerry, Since the Eagles lost just one starter (Donte' Stallworth) and replaced him with Kevin Curtis, it will be difficult, but not impossible. There might be starting spots at strong safety and possibly one of the outside linebacker positions.

Bob Brookover: Jerry, I think it's possible whoever the Eagles draft could be a starter, but it's unlikely, especially picking at 26th. Bunkley was the 14th pick last year and didn't start. It's all going to depend on what position the drafted player plays.

Tom: What is the closest thing to a sure thing in this draft? Bob Brookover: Tom, I'd say whoever drafts Calvin Johnson is going to get a great receiver.

Marc Narducci: There is never a sure thing in a draft, but Georgia Tech WR Calvin Johnson looks like the closest thing to a sure thing that we have seen in a while. I expect Tampa Bay to make a big play for him and whatever team drafts him, he should be an immediate impact player.

Dan C: This may be a tough one to answer, but I'm asking anyway: Is there anyone out there in the later round you're hearing the Eagles may have interest in? Last year, I did hear Jeremy Bloom rumors, I also heard Brian Westbrook rumors in 2002.

Bob Brookover: Dan, nobody that I've heard, but I'd be surprised if the Eagles didn't go heavy on defensive players in this draft. Marc Narducci: I haven't heard too many names, but one to consider is Btrandon Siler, the LB from Florida.

Gary: Is it a lock that Oakland will draft JaMarcus Russell

Bob Brookover: I don't think it's a lock until the two sides get a deal completed, but I think the Raiders would be foolish not to take him.

Marc Narducci: Gary, Nothing is a lock in the NFL draft, especially with Al Davis holding the first pick. Davis loves strong-armed QBs and Russell's arm is as strong as anybody currently in the league. I think the Raiders will take him, but Calvin Johnson could be a special player and also may be difficult to pass up.

Jim: Regardless of the draft, what do you think of the Eagles this year

Marc Narducci: Jim, I think the Eagles are capable of exceeding what they accomplished last season. I think the defense has to be more consistent, and of course players have to stay healthy, beginning with Donovan McNabb, but also extending to Takeo Spikes. Also Kearse has to bounce back from the left knee injury. There are a lot of questions, but on paper, I think the Eagles can stack up with anybody in the NFC.

Bob Brookover: Just looking at their schedule, I think the Eagles have an outstanding chance of repeating as NFC East champions, but they'll still have a tough time getting back to the Super Bowl. The Saints appear to be a team on the rise. I think we'll have a real good read on the Eagles after they play the Bears at home.

MJK: Like Brandon Jackson RB Nebraska as a mid rounder - Would Eagles have any interest ??

Marc Narducci: MLK, I would like a little bigger back. Jackson is just under 5-10 and weighs around 205. I think there are also issues holding onto the ball. I would pass on him, but that's only me.

Bob Brookover: To be honest, MJK, I don't know too much about him and haven't heard his name mentioned by any one over at the NovaCare Complex.

MJK: What's the Eagles take on Tony Hunt - any interest ???

Bob Brookover: I know the Eagles like him. I don't think they'd take him before the third round.

Marc Narducci: MJK, I think there should be interest. Even though he doesn't have explosive speed, I love his size. I agree with Bob that I don't think they would take him before the third round, but I also don't know if he would be there then. I would rather have Brian Leonard.

Bob Brookover: Thanks everybody. Great questions and enjoyed chatting with you.

Marc Narducci: Thanks everybody for participating. Enjoy the draft his weekend.