Draft sets up well for Eagles' needs

USC safety Taylor Mays could be available to the Eagles when they make their first-round draft pick. (Jae C. Hong/AP file photo)

Some notes and thoughts from the Scouting Combine and beyond ...

*  As Les wrote on Twitter, leaving the combine, it's hard not to feel even more strongly that this draft sets up well for much of what the Eagles need -- defensive backs and defensive linemen, especially. The depth in this draft on defense is as good as it's been in a long time. Where it does not set up well for the Eagles is in guards or centers.

* Agent J.R. Rickert said injured center Jamaal Jackson is progressing well, but he is not expected on the field until mid-August at the earliest, following knee surgery.

* Yesterday ended the media access for the players and team personnel, but the combine continues through Tuesday. Defensive linemen and linebackers are on the field today and defensive backs go tomorrow. NFL Network has live coverage each day beginning at 11 a.m.

* Terrell Owens, who is again looking for a team, promised big things for whomever decides to sign him, via his Twitter feed. "Cn't wait 2 start working out! Whoever i play 4 this yr, we're gonna b legitimate contenders!! I'm excited about the opportunity!"

Ravens coach John Harbaugh said that Baltimore is interested in Owens. That would be a strange landing spot since you might recall Owens could have been a Raven before he became an Eagle, but ended up with the Eagles after negotiations between the 49ers, Ravens and Eagles. The case went to arbitration, but the teams agreed to a deal before a decision was reached, with the Eagles sending Brandon Whiting to San Francisco and a fifth-round pick to Baltimore.

Ray Lewis was among the Ravens who were not very happy with TO at the time. "Sooner or later he's gonna have to run into me one way or the other. It's hard to respect guys that pose and do things like that," Lewis said on Sporting News Radio. 

Of course, that is all a long time ago and plenty has happened since, but it would be interesting to see how TO would be received in Baltimore.

* With 14 teams expected to employ 3-4 defensive schemes this season, nose tackles have become a valuable commodity, both in the draft and free agency. Three of the six teams that used the franchise tag on players this year put it on nose tackles. A fourth, the Steelers, also had put the franchise tag on their nose tackle, Casey Hampton, before signing him to a 3-year deal. 

"It's just a tough position to find a player," Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli said. "Not everyone wants to play that position and it's a very, very difficult position. It takes a very different kind of person and I mean that in a good way. The one difference is that there are different types of 3-4s. Everyone just talks about the 3-4 and the use of a nose. It depends on how you play your 3-4. That has an impact on the type of nose you're looking for, so it's an incredibly valuable position."

* And for those of you who follow local players in the NFL, Tampa Bay has given a third-round tender to wide receiver Maurice Stovall, a product of Archbishop Carroll, according to the Tampa Tribune. Stovall was originally a third-round pick and this would give him a salary of $1.176 million in 2010, more than double his salary if he accepts the one-year offer. If he leaves for another team, the Bucs will get a third-round pick.

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