Too early to take a look at some mock drafts?
ESPN's Mel Kiper released his first mock today. He has the Eagles taking Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly at No. 15:
The Eagles were really weak up the middle in 2011, and Kuechly is the top interior linebacker available in the draft. Since Brian Dawkins departed, safety has also been a perpetual question mark, so I could see that being considered here. But in Kuechly you get a player who can fill a massive void in the defense. He's a guy who can come in and start immediately; he's got exceptional instincts, is a very good athlete, demonstrates great form and can fly around making tackles in the middle of the field. He's just a machine. Last year, few teams were forced to utilize lesser talent at linebacker than Philly, and Kuechly can help fix that problem.
Meanwhile, several NFL.com writers put out mock drafts this week. Elliot Harrison has the Eagles taking Arizona State linebacker Vontaze Burfict:
The Eagles were eyeing Kuechly because they need a linebacker like a math major needs "Star Trek." But with Jerry Jones not exactly being a wingman, Andy Reid has to take Burfict instead.
Note: Harrison has the Cowboys taking Kuechly at No. 14.
Chad Reuter of NFL Network has the Birds taking Kuechly:
Head coach Andy Reid typically does not address the linebacker position this early in the draft, but the team's problems in the middle of the defense -- and Kuechly's production and instincts -- may be too much to ignore.
And finally, Bucky Brooks of NFL.com has the Eagles going with Baylor wide receiver Kendall Wright:
The uncertainty surrounding DeSean Jackson's contract status could prompt the Eagles to snatch the most explosive WR in the draft.
NFL.com has a few other mocks up if you go to their landing page.
BRINGING JENKINS BACK
The Eagles made several free-agent additions last offseason. Among the most successful was the signing of defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins. Jenkins finished the season with 5.5 sacks (third on the team) and 24 hurries (tied for third).
He also played the run well and provided a much-needed veteran presence.
I remember Jenkins being surprised at Lehigh that there wasn't a bigger market for his services. During last weekend's broadcast, Troy Aikman mentioned how much the Packers missed Jenkins this year. And several Packers players and coaches echo those sentiments in a story by Jason Wilde on ESPN Milwaukee.
Jenkins is reportedly due a $5M roster bonus in March. Wilde asked him about the possibility of being released and returning to Green Bay.
"I’m going to stay away from even commenting on that one," Jenkins said. "You kind of move on. Right now, I'm an Eagle, and that’s my mindset. I'm going to continue to be an Eagle until they don't want me to be an Eagle anymore. That's my main focus right now. I'm not worried about any of the other ifs, ands or buts."
My take? I'd be surprised if the Eagles even considered letting Jenkins go. He was one of their best defensive players last season and has shown he can thrive in different schemes. The Eagles' defensive line, with Jason Babin, Trent Cole, Jenkins and Mike Patterson, was one of the biggest strengths of this defense in 2011.
I'm guessing whoever the coordinator is will find a way to use Jenkins.
THE VIKINGS FILL AN OPENING
The Vikings are expected to make Colts defensive backs coach Alan Williams their new defensive coordinator, according to a report by NFL Network's Jason La Canfora.
There had been some talk last week that the Vikings could take a look at Juan Castillo or Steve Spagnuolo for their opening, but it appears they've found their man.
And if you missed it from earlier, the Eagles reportedly worked out quarterback Trent Edwards earlier this week.
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