Every year, after I draw my own conclusions about the Eagles’ draft (gave them an A-plus this year), I like to check in with a few NFL personnel people and ask them how they thought the Birds did. Usually, you get some mixed opinion. Not this year. Talked to several scouts and every one of them gave the Eagles rave reviews for their draft. Here’s one scout’s breakdown of their eight draft picks:
On first-round WR Jeremy Maclin: ``A home run. Maclin was a tremendous get at 19. He’s a top-12 pick. He’ll need to learn how to run routes. That’s the one concern. The routes they ran in the spread weren’t even routes. They ran to open areas. Option routes. If the linebacker runs here, you run there. If the safety runs there, you run here. That kind of stuff. So, he’s going to have learn how to run routes and convert routes and do all that stuff. It ll be a learning curve, but nothing he can’t handle. He’s a bright kid.
``How tough is he? I think he’s tough enough. But he is explosive. He is a three-way player (wide receiver, punt and kickoff returner). He has really good hands. He is sudden. It was a really, really good pick. I really like him.’’
On second-round RB LeSean McCoy: ``Another home run. Everybody says he’s not smart. Everybody says he’s not big enough, strong enough, fast enough, all those things. The guy is a football player. He’s going to be a great compliment to Westbrook. He’s very similar to Brian. He can run. He’s got good vision. He’s got balance. He’s got excellent hands out of the backfield." Asked if he can block well enough at this level?, the scout said: "It’s not his forte. But he’s willing. He’ll learn how to do it.’’
On fifth-round TE Cornelius Ingram: ``A double. Ingram’s athletic. Really good hands. Gonna be a flex tight end. A receiver. More of a hybrid receiver, not a blocker. L.J. Smith without the stone hands. Skillwise, he was probably a third-rounder. They got him in the fifth. Whether he comes back from the knee or not, that’s a good pick there.’’
(his blocking) You don’t want him to be a point-of-attack blocker. He’s going to have to be a backside guy. If he makes it, he’ll earn his money catching passes.’’
On fifth-round CB Victor Harris: ``Another double. Once again, a good pick at where they got him. The complaint about him is that he can’t run. More of a Cover-2 corner. Smart. Not as tough as his former teammate, Brandon Flowers, who the Chiefs drafted last year. Not as physical as Flowers, but a similar style player. Not as=2 0fast as Flowers, and Flowers isn’t particularly fast either. The big liability with him, the reason he stayed on the board so long, was his foot speed. But he’s smart. He’ll make plays because of his intelligence. And he’ll know he can’t come up and bump and press Terrell Owens. Because he’ll lose. He’s gotta know who he’s playing against. But he’s smart enough to do that.’’ Asked about the possibility of his being moved to free safety, the scout said, "I don’t think so. I don’t think he’s physical enough. He’s physical for a corner. But I don’t think he’s physical enough for a safety.’’
On fifth-round OL Fenuki Tupou: ``Probably a single. We didn’t like him. But the fifth round was a good place to take him. Has good size. Played in a pass offense at Oregon. Not the quickest feet. He’s kind of a developmental guy. If he pans out, great. If he doesn’t, no great loss. He was a tackle at Oregon and that’s where I’d start him out. But if he can’t hold up out there, then I’d move him inside.’’
On sixth-round WR Brandon Gibson: ``A single. He’s a possession-type receiver. Good hands. Good route-runner. Productive. All those things. Not the fastest guy in the world. He’s a third (wide receiver), at best. Probably a fourth or fifth.’’ Asked about Gibson's disappointing season year, the scout said, "That was more the team and the quarterback than him.’’
On seventh-round G Paul Fanaika: ``Just a roll-th e-dice, developmental guy. He’ll probably end up on the practice squad.’’
On seventh-round LB Moise Fokou: "We liked him. We had him (rated) in the fifth, top of the sixth round. Just a good, solid football player. Doesn’t have any of the ``wow’’ factors of speed or thumping or anything else. He’s just a good all-around player who’s limited in a lot of areas. He’ll be a productive (special) teams player for them.’’
To read our earlier post on what we're watching at minicamp, as well as other Eagles notes, click here.