Eagles to work out Cal safety

The Eagles are among the teams scheduled to hold a private workout with California safety Chris Conte, according to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post.

Conte (6-2, 197) began his college career as a cornerback and didn't become a regular starter until his senior season, but was an All-Pac 10 first-team selection in 2010.

Conte's potential as an NFL prospect seems to vary. According to NFL.com's scouting reports, he'll likely be a late-round pick or undrafted free agent.

But Conte has apparently done quite a bit to improve his stock during recent workouts. Wilson says he's drawing third-round grades, and Russ Lande of The Sporting News recently named Conte one of his risers:

It was easy to see that Conte was highly productive in college because of his intelligence and physical style, but there was some worry about his limited athleticism. He proved, however, that those concerns were unwarranted, both at the Combine and at Cal's pro day. He has many of the tools to become a solid defensive starter who also contributes heavily on special teams, making him an intriguing third- or fourth-round pick.

Whenever player movement is allowed, the Eagles will have some decisions to make at safety. Regardless of what rules are put into place, Quintin Mikell is scheduled to become a free agent.

If the Birds let him walk, they'll be in the market for a new starting strong safety. Kurt Coleman, a seventh-round pick last year, could be the guy. Remember, Coleman got a late start last offseason because of NCAA rules. He's a player that really could have benefited from a full offseason of team workouts and one-on-one coaching, but we know that's not going to happen. The Eagles could create competition by adding a strong safety via free agency or through the draft.

Assuming he's healthy, Nate Allen will be the starting free safety. He ruptured his patella tendon late last season, but Andy Reid told reporters last week that Allen should be ready for the start of 2011.


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