Friday, August 1, 2014
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Eagles notes: Birds interested in OLB prospect, reportedly contacted Bills about RB C.J. Spiller

As the NFL draws closer and closer to the draft (we're still more than 3 weeks away), more and more information/smoke is emerging.

Eagles notes: Birds interested in OLB prospect, reportedly contacted Bills about RB C.J. Spiller

Former University of Florida defensive end/outside linebacker Ronald Powell. (AP Photo/ Phil Sandlin, File)
Former University of Florida defensive end/outside linebacker Ronald Powell. (AP Photo/ Phil Sandlin, File)

As the NFL draws closer and closer to the draft (we're still more than 3 weeks away), more and more information/smoke is emerging. Add another player to the list of prospects whom the Eagles are showing interest.

Eagles interested in Florida OLB Ronald Powell

Back in February, we profiled three former elite high school pass rusher prospects who had disappointing college careers. They were:

• Ronald Powell, OLB, Florida (6'3, 237): #1 overall Rivals.com high school prospect in 2010.

• Devon Kennard, OLB, USC (6'3, 249): #8 overall Rivals.com high school prospect in 2009.

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• Aaron Lynch, DE, South Florida, (6'5, 249): #28 overall Rivals.com high school prospect in 2011.

According to a source, Powell is getting very serious looks by the Eagles.

Powell is an intriguing prospect. His college career hit a bump when he tore his ACL during the spring of 2012. Powell missed the entire 2012 season, but returned in 2013, when he had 4 sacks. Unless you're Adrian Peterson, there's a belief that it takes 2 years or longer to fully recover from a torn ACL.

The first thing you notice about Powell is that the Gators lined him up both as a 4-3 DE (on both sides), and as a stand-up LB when they went to odd man fronts. Here is Powell's game against Georgia, via draftbreakdown.com.

Powell's two standout plays from that game happened on consecutive plays. First, here's Powell in a 3-point stance exploding off the snap, getting under the OT's pads, and hitting the QB as he throws. This is where you see why Powell was a former major high school recruit.

Here's Powell on the very next play, standing up as a LB, and coming on a blitz. Very well done.

In 2012, the Eagles used a 7th round pick on another former #1 overall Rivals.com prospect in Bryce Brown. Like Brown, Powell could be a high-upside kind of player, but at a position of need.

NFL.com's Nolan Nawrocki, of Geno Smith and Cam Newton fame, had this to say about Powell.

BOTTOM LINE

Powell is a physically gifted, inconsistent, college “Buck” (hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker) with crude strength and athleticism. Has developmental value as a stand-up rush linebacker, but must dedicate himself to the craft and realize he’s no longer the big man on campus.

The Eagles' evaluation of Powell should be geared more toward learning about his character and medical concerns than his physical ability.

Eagles inquired about Bills RB C.J. Spiller

According to Geoff Mosher of CSN Philly, the Eagles reached out to the Bills about possibly trading for RB C.J. Spiller.

The Eagles contacted the Bills this offseason with hopes of trading for versatile Pro Bowl running back C.J. Spiller, according to two league sources familiar with the situation. The Bills weren’t interested in moving Spiller, both sources said, and talks never heightened into an offer.

Darren Sproles is more of a pass-catching running back, while Spiller is a "running back" running back (yes, I typed that correctly), who is OK as a receiver. The move to acquire Sproles made sense, as he is likely to be utilized more as a receiver than a runner. Trading for Spiller would have been more confusing.

LeSean McCoy led the NFL with 314 carries and 366 total touches. It makes sense for the Eagles to lighten McCoy's load, but Bryce Brown and Chris Polk form a good backup tandem, and Spiller is more than just a backup RB.

Very interesting. Are you drinking your smoothies, Shady?

LeSean McCoy pokes fun at Tim Tebow

TMZ.com was harassing LeSean McCoy at the airport, asking him a bunch of dumb questions about Will Smith, Rocky Balboa, Tim Tebow and Vince Young, but they got him to make fun of Tebow on video. When asked who is the most talented player currently not on an NFL team (and suggesting maybe Tebow), McCoy replied, "My son is 2. I'll take my son over Tim Tebow."

Follow Jimmy on Twitter: @JimmyKempski

Jimmy Kempski Philly.com
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