Hobbs: 'Here for a Reason'

The Eagles acquired Patriots cornerback Ellils Hobbs (right) for two fifth-round picks today. They also drafted Virginia Tech CB Victor Harris (not pictured). Do the moves mean they'll rethink their stance about trading disgruntled Sheldon Brown? (File photos)


The Eagles finally drafted a player, in the fifth round, Florida tight end Cornelius Ingram, a former quarterback who was among a group of TEs the Eagles were said to be interested in.Spread offense guy, interesting as a receiver, missed season with ACL tear, no clue about blocking. Then they drafted a corner/safety, Virginia Tech's Victor "Macho" Harris. And it would not be an Andy Reid draft without an offensive tackle, as they added Oregon's Fenuki Topou, who started 23 games. The Eagles traded their fourth fifth-rounder to New Orleans. The Eagles had acquired that pick earlier in the day from the Giants.

In the sixth round, the Birds selected wide receiver Brandon Gibson from Washington State. The Eagles began their trio of seventh-rounders with guard Paul Fanaika, from Arizona State and then traded away a pick to the Colts. The Birds' final pick was Maryland outside linebacker Moise Fokou, with the 230th selection.

So, that's Fenuki and Fokou -- weren't they the twins in that Austin Powers movie? 

Not surprisingly, as he entered the auditorium for his postdraft press conference, Reid made a joke about Fokou's name. But it wasn't the joke most of us would have made -- no, Andy joked about the first name, about "Moses parting the Red Sea."

Long before all that, they shed the first two of what had been six (!) fifth-round picks to the Pats for corner Ellis Hobbs, a New England starter. Does this portend a Sheldon Brown trade?

Sheldon, contacted Sunday afternoon out on South Carolina's Lake Wylie, said he didn't know, but he hoped so. Certainly, as Brown pointed out, this puts the Eagles in a better position to be able to trade him, should anyone inquire.Yesterday, Eagles coach Andy Reid said he thought Brown was too much a team guy to come in and cause problems.

Brown said he has heard that "the Eagles are saying no to everyone who asks" about him, but he hopes this will change things. "Over the next few months, if they got an offer, they would be in a position to trade me," he said. "It's a good thing, from that perspective."

Hobbs, who turns 26 next month, was a third-round pick in 2005. Hard to believe the Pats couldn't have gotten a little more for him. Hard to believe the Pats wanted to get rid of him, just because they drafted Darius Butler and signed Shawn Springs. Maybe they felt they owed the Birds one after getting Greg Lewis so cheaply.

Reid said Hobbs' acquisition "doesn't have anything to do with Sheldon's situation," that "you can't have enough corners in this league."

But asked about Brown's point, that the increased depth certainly made a Brown trade more possible, Reid said he "didn't want to get into all that."

On a conference call, Hobbs said that he agreed the move must be related to Brown's unhappiness with his contract.

"Obviously, you bring me in for a reason," said Hobbs, who started alongside Asante Samuel with New England until Samuel signed with the Eagles last year. "One of my former teammates is there; I'm pretty sure he's spoken well of me. I know that situation over there, dealing with Sheldon, and how that stuff is going. Like I said, you bring somebody in for a reason, but everything has to be earned out there, nothing's going to be given ... I just look forward to getting out there and showing Philadelphia and the organization what I have."

Hobbs also made reference to his own contract situation. He has one year remaining on his deal and indicated he would consider sticking around longer than that in Philadelphia.

“If we could make this my home then I would definitely love to be here," he said. "I know that it is not going to come easy. Like I said, you have to go out there and prove it. Nobody wants a paper champ. These guys have seen me and the coaches say that every time on film there I am. I’m showing up on the film and making plays. I feel I have proved myself enough in this league that I can sustain a position and do my thing in the NFL, but I definitely haven’t done enough to be out there as a player where I am that guy and that’s where I want to get to. Understanding that, I definitely want to try to make this my home.”

Here is more on Hobbs:

Height: 5-9

Weight: 195

Age: 25

Years pro: 5

2008: Started all 16 games, with 47 tackles, 11 passes defended, three interceptions and 1.5 sacks.

2007: Started all 16 games, with 63 tackles, 12 passes defended, one interception and one sack.

2006: Played in 15 games with nine starts, with 44 tackles, four passes defended and two interceptions.

2005: Played in 16 games with eight starts, with nine passes defended and three interceptions.