Friday, April 18, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

4/23: Eagles draft buzz

Every day, from now until the draft, I'll round up the latest Eagles buzz on MTC. Here is today's installment.

4/23: Eagles draft buzz

Georgia cornerback/return man Brandon Boykin could be a Day 2 target for the Eagles. (AP Photo / Chris O´Meara)
Georgia cornerback/return man Brandon Boykin could be a Day 2 target for the Eagles. (AP Photo / Chris O'Meara)

Every day, from now until the draft, I'll round up the latest Eagles buzz on MTC. Here is today's installment.

***

Let's start today with three Eagles draft thoughts:

1. I spent much of the weekend watching prospect video, and one player who stood out was Cal linebacker Mychal Kendricks. Kendricks has been linked to the Eagles in many two-round mock drafts, and for good reason. He was constantly around the ball in the games I watched with 25 tackles (15 solo) against Stanford and USC. Kendricks' speed (he ran a 4.47 at the combine) shows up on the field.

He had 14 tackles for loss last year and 14.5 the year before. Kendricks also was very effective as a blitzer in 2010 with seven sacks. Speaking to the Daily News, NFL Network's Mike Mayock said some teams are looking at Kendricks at the WILL position, which would make sense for the Eagles, considering they traded for DeMeco Ryans to play the middle. If the Birds don't end up with Boston College LB Luke Kuechly in the first, I could definitely see them taking a shot on Kendricks in the second. He could compete for a starting job right away and provide depth in the middle. The main question with  Kendricks is his size (5-11 1/8, 239), but that didn't hold him back en route to becoming the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year. Good players come in different shapes and sizes.

2. Another name to keep in mind on Day 2 is Georgia cornerback Brandon Boykin. In last year's Outback Bowl against Michigan State, Boykin made a tackle for a safety, returned a punt 92 yards for a touchdown AND caught a 13-yard touchdown on offense. Hard to imagine impacting a game in more ways than that.

He could fill a couple needs for the Eagles: slot cornerback and return man. Joselio Hanson had an OK year in 2011, but I think that's a position which the Eagles could try to upgrade. NFL Films' Greg Cosell said Boykin (5-9, 182) is one of the two best slot corners in the draft. From what I saw, he played inside and outside and was an outstanding tackler. He shares the SEC record with four career kickoff returns for touchdowns and was a team captain last season.

3. Make sure you go to the blog front and check out my posts from the weekend. One guy I really like the more I watch is Syracuse defensive end Chandler Jones. It's worth noting that NFL.com incorrectly had his weight listed at the time I wrote Friday's post. Here are how Jones' measurables stack up to Jason Pierre-Paul coming out of college:

  Chandler Jones Jason Pierre-Paul
Height 6-5 6-5
Weight 266 270
Arm Length 35 1/2 34 3/4

I'm not saying Jones will be as good as Pierre-Paul, but many have called him undersized. I don't see it that way.

Jones missed the first part of last season due to injury, but in the final seven games, he had 4.5 sacks, 7.5 tackles for loss and an interception. He's athletic, plays with great energy, is constantly around the quarterback and finishes plays. Based on the games I've watched, it's tough to figure how a team would prefer North Carolina's Quinton Coples over Jones.

Defensive end is not a huge need area for the Eagles, but Jones could fit the "best player available" mantra. He's versatile enough to get on the field as a rookie and could eventually move into a starting role, likely at left defensive end. By the way, one more fun fact: His brother is UFC fighter Jon "Bones" Jones.

MORE DRAFT LINKS

Rob Rang of CBSSports.com has the Eagles going with LSU defensive tackle Michael Brockers in the first round:

Despite finishing a disappointing 8-8 a year ago, the Eagles enter the 2012 draft with as stocked a roster -- on paper -- as there is in the league. Head coach Andy Reid has long been a proponent of building through the lines. Brockers offers intriguing upside and a potential starting option should Mike Patterson's recovery from brain surgery not go as smoothly as hoped.

OurLads.com also thinks Brockers will be the pick:

Brockers will help get push up the middle to force the ball to the edges. Started 14 games in his career. In 2011 had 9.5 tackles for loss.

The Eagles have representatives meeting with Houston linebacker Sammy Brown in Texas today, according to Aaron Wilson of Scout.com. Brown (6-2, 243) is expected to be a late-round pick or undrafted free agent. He had 13.5 sacks last season and led the nation with 30 tackles for loss.


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Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
About this blog
Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for philly.com. His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at skapadia@philly.com or by clicking here

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