Friday, December 26, 2014

Eagles reportedly to host LSU DT Brockers

With the draft just about a month away, now is the time for teams to host specific prospects at their facilities.

Eagles reportedly to host LSU DT Brockers

LSU DT Michael Brockers is expected to be a first-round pick in April. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
LSU DT Michael Brockers is expected to be a first-round pick in April. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

With the draft just about a month away, now is the time for teams to host specific prospects at their facilities.

As it's been explained to me, teams are allowed to have 30 prospects in for official visits. However, there are no restrictions on sending scouts or coaches to visit schools or prospects' home towns to work them out. And teams can have Local Days for players that are within the suburban area of the facility.

Every year, I keep track of the reported draft workouts and visits. And I'll do so again this year. Look for that post later this week.

It's important not to read too much into these visits. They are just another part of the process, as teams do their due diligence before deciding which players to select in late April.

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But to say the draft visits have no significance at all is not accurate. Last year, players like Jason Kelce, Curtis Marsh, Casey Matthews and Brian Rolle all were linked to the Eagles in one way or another before they were drafted.

Keeping all that in mind, a couple of these reported visits have started to trickle in (credit to Bleeding Green Nation for first linking them).

LSU defensive tackle Michael Brockers (6-5, 322) has 11 visits scheduled, including one with the Eagles, according to Aaron Wilson of Scout.com.

NFL Network's Mike Mayock has Brockers ranked as his third-best defensive tackle.

And in his latest mock draft, ESPN.com's Mel Kiper has the Eagles taking Brockers at No. 15:

No team was softer up the middle than Philly in 2011, and in Brockers the Eagles get a big, active player who can both take up blocks and penetrate. He weighed in at 322 pounds at the NFL combine, heavier than I've ever had him listed, but I don't see him as a prototype 3-4 nose tackle. My guess is he'll play a little lighter once he gets into camp, and the Eagles will benefit, particularly against the run. This is like a baseball team -- they need to build out the middle of the field on defense.

Last week, I rounded up some mock drafts and gave my take on which positions make sense for the Eagles to focus on. The middle of the Eagles' defense was soft in the back end last year, but the defensive tackles played very well. However, it could still make sense for the Birds to draft a DT, play him as a rotational player in 2012 and project him as a starter the following year. If he's especially effective as a rookie, he can take snaps away from one of the veterans (Mike Patterson or Cullen Jenkins).

Tommy Lawlor over at Iggles Blitz doesn't see Brockers as a fit for Jim Washburn's system and projects him as more of a run stuffer than a pass rusher.

Meanwhile, the Eagles will also take a look at Montana cornerback Trumaine Johnson, according to Wilson. Johnson (6-2, 204) has good size for a corner. He ran a 4.61 40 at the combine. Before that, Mayock had Johnson listed as his No. 4 cornerback prospect, but he's since dropped him out of his top five.

As Wilson explains, Johnson was arrested last October for obstructing a peace officer, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. He was tased with a stun gun.

Going back to my Friday post, I would not be surprised to see the Eagles draft a cornerback early. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is signed only through 2012, Asante Samuel will likely be traded this offseason, and Nnamdi Asomugha turns 31 in July.


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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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