4/16: Eagles draft buzz

Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill is expected to be the third quarterback taken in this month's draft. (Dave McDermand/AP file photo)

From now until the draft, I will put together a daily post each morning, rounding up the latest buzz surrounding the Eagles. So be sure to check MTC for fresh content before noon.

The big rumor over the weekend came out of Cleveland. Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer reported that the Eagles were among three or four teams that have expressed interest in trading up for the Browns' No. 4 overall pick.

It's difficult to determine how serious the discussions might have been. Andy Reid and the Eagles have several connections in Cleveland: president Mike Holmgren, GM Tom Heckert, coach Pat Shurmur and offensive coordinator Brad Childress. So it makes sense that the two teams would talk leading up to the draft. And as I've pointed out many times, with two second-round picks (Nos. 46 and 51), the Eagles definitely have options to move into the top 10.

Getting to No. 4, however, would be trickier. The Redskins gave up the sixth pick in this year's draft, two future first-rounders and a second-rounder for the Rams' second overall pick. But that selection had added value because of Robert Griffin III and the market for his services.

The obvious question here is: Who would the Eagles want to move up for? The first name that popped into my head when I heard the report was Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Perhaps Reid and the Eagles are enamored with Tannehill and believe he can be the successor to Michael Vick. Franchise quarterbacks are tough to find, and if the Eagles believe Tanehill can be that guy (even though he only started 19 games at QB in college), maybe they would be willing to make a bold move for him.

However, Sam Lynch of IgglesBlitz.com made a good point on Twitter. Considering the close relationship between Reid and the Browns' decision-makers, it seems somewhat unlikely that they'd have dramatically different opinions of Tannehill's abilities. If the Browns thought Tannehill could be a franchise quarterback, they'd just take him at No. 4. Instead, it appears they're willing to pass on him.

It's worth noting that Dan Pompei of the National Football Post wrote on Sunday that a buzz is building around the league that the Eagles are going to take a quarterback high:

A buzz is building in NFL front offices that the Eagles are going to take a quarterback fairly high. If they don’t make a move for Ryan Tannehill in round one, the Eagles could wait until the second round and go after Kirk Cousins or Brandon Weeden. Such a move could indicate the Eagles have concerns about Michael Vick’s ability to stay healthy and how he fits in Andy Reid’s offense.


It's difficult to pinpoint other prospects the Eagles would target at No. 4. In our mock draft last week, I had them taking Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick with the 15th pick. But could they covet LSU corner Morris Claiborne, who also has value as a return man? Maybe. I don't see them making a big move for players like USC offensive tackle Matt Kalil or Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon.

As Cabot points out in her report, don't expect any team to trade up for the fourth pick until draft day. The Vikings could be looking to deal the third pick too, so it doesn't make sense to swap with Cleveland until you're sure the player you want will be available.

Update: One more link to pass along. SI.com's Peter King says the Eagles are not interested in moving up anywhere between picks 3 and 8:

It'd cost too much, and I sense their interest in Tannehill has been overstated. Philadelphia has sniffed around the quarterback position through the offseason, which could be a sign they've cooled on Michael Vick as their long-term solution at the position, and the Eagles have been linked to the Texas A&M quarterback because they sent quarterback coach Doug Pederson to the school to work out Tannehill two weeks ago. The Eagles might pay something to move up for Tannehill, but it won't be much, and the move won't be far.

I find it interesting that King didn't say anything about picks 1 and 2. Does that mean the rumors about them having considered a move to the second spot for Robert Griffin III were legitimate? That's obviously not happening now after the Redskins acquired that pick, but worth noting nonetheless.

Also worth noting how often things change this time of year. A couple weeks ago, King thought it was possible the Eagles could make a bold move for Tannehill.


Michigan State defensive tackle Jerel Worthy told NFL Network's Charley Casserly the Eagles have called him about setting up an official visit.

Mike Mayock has Worthy (6-2, 308) listed as his second-ranked defensive tackle, behind Mississippi State's Fletcher Cox.

Speaking of Cox, he told Jordan Raanan of BleedingGreenNation.com that the Eagles sent Jim Washburn to Starkville, Miss. to work him out. Cox could be a first-round target for the Birds, but I'm not sure he's going to be there at the 15th pick.

Meanwhile, according to Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News, cornerback Janoris Jenkins will visit the Eagles on Monday. Jenkins (5-10, 193) spent three years at Florida before being kicked off the team because of multiple run-ins with the law. He spent last season at North Alabama.

From a talent perspective, Greg Cosell of NFL Films calls Jenkins the best pure man corner in the draft. Mayock has him ranked as his fourth-best overall cornerback prospect.

Moving to the offensive side of the ball, Illinois lineman Jeff Allen is scheduled to visit with the Eagles, according to Jeff Dickerson of ESPN Chicago. Allen (6-4, 307), who can play either guard or tackle, projects as a second-round pick. 

The Birds also had a visit scheduled with Purdue offensive tackle Dennis Kelly, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. Kelly (6-8, 321) is expected to be a late-round pick or undrafted free agent.

According to Aaron Wilson of Scout.com, the Eagles recently conducted a private workout with Tulsa's Damaris Johnson. Johnson (5-7, 175) ran 40s of 4.42 and 4.52 seconds at his Pro Day. He is the NCAA's all-time leader with 7,796 all-purpose yards, helping Tulsa as a runner, returner and receiver.

But Johnson also comes with off-the-field issues. He was suspended for all of the 2011 season after pleading guilty to felony embezzlement associated with $2,610.67 worth of merchandise at a Macy's where his girlfriend worked.

And finally, on Friday, I talked Eagles draft with Jon Marks of 97.5 The Fanatic. Click here if you're interested in listening to the interview.

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