Brandon Graham, the Eagles' newest defensive end, will be introduced to the media today at 4 p.m. at the NovaCare Complex. But the Michigan product was last night's news. Let's look ahead to Day 2 of the NFL draft, and specifically the second round where the Eagles have two picks.
The Eagles own the fifth pick (37th overall) and the 23d (55th) in tonight's second round. The four teams picking ahead of the Eagles first are the Rams, Vikings, Bucs and Chiefs. St. Louis, obviously, took Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford first overall last night. Minnesota traded out of the first round. Tampa drafted DT Gerald McCoy at No. 3. And Kansas City grabbed safety Eric Berry with the fifth selection. That gives the Eagles some idea where they stand with the board reset.
Where will they go? Will they continue to address their needs on defense and take a defensive back? Will they get an offensive lineman to help protect Kevin Kolb? Will they simply take the best players on their board? There is also the possibility they trade No. 37 and get back one of those third round picks they gave up for Graham. Anything is possible.
It should be another night of drama, nevertheless. Here are the positions the Eagles are most likely to fill tonight, and the best available players left on the board:
Chris Cook, Virginia (6-2, 212)
Brandon Ghee, Wake Forest (6-0, 192)
Jerome Murphy, South Florida (6-0, 196)
Dominique Franks, Oklahoma (5-11, 194)
Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, Indiana (Pa.) (6-0, 207)
Cook is the next best guy on the board, but Murphy has been steadily rising up the ranks. NFL Network's Mike Mayock has been pushing the kid. I think we can trust Mike as a talent evaluator. Owusu-Ansah would be an intriguing prospect and one the Eagles could get at No. 55. They're not afraid of taking lower college level players with high picks (see: Bryan Smith and Chris Gocong).
Nate Allen, South Florida (6-1, 207)
Taylor Mays, Southern Cal (6-3, 230)
Chad Jones, LSU (6-2, 221)
Morgan Burnett, Georgia Tech (6-2 209) 4.51
Allen is better suited to the Eagles' defensive scheme, but Mays is a more athletic player. Could be a tough call if the Eagles go safety with the 37th pick. We know that the Chiefs aren't in the running for either player.
Rodger Saffold, Indiana (6-5, 316)
Charles Brown, Southern Cal (6-6, 303)
Bruce Campbell, Maryland (6-7, 314)
Vladimir Ducasse, Massachusetts (6-5, 332)
Jared Veldheer, Hillsdale (6-8, 312)
Yesterday, I had the Eagles trading down and taking Saffold. If he's still there at 37, I'm not sure if the Eagles can pass. Andy Reid reiterated again last night the importance he places on the big guys up front on both sides of the ball. It wouldn't be uncharacteristic for the coach to go DE-OT 1-2.
Brian Price, UCLA (6-1, 303)
Terrence Cody, Alabama (6-4, 349)
Lamarr Houston, Texas (6-3, 305)
Linval Joseph, East Carolina (6-5, 328)
Lot of talent left here. The Eagles worked out Price. Cody would fill a hole, although he's probably better suited to play nose tackle in a 3-4.
Sergio Kindle, Texas (6-3, 250)
Daryl Washington, TCU (6-2, 230)
Koa Misi, Utah (6-3, 251)
Jason Worilds, Virginia Tech (6-1, 254)
Kindle should go in the first couple of picks tonight, but if he fell it would be hard for the Eagles to pass up a possible step-in-right-away-and-start strong-side linebacker.
Sean Lee, Penn State (6-2, 236)
Brandon Spikes, Florida (6-3, 249)
Donald Butler, Washington (6-1, 245)
Jon Asamoah, Illinois (6-4, 308)
Toby Gerhart, Stanford (6-0, 231)
Montario Hardesty, Tennessee (6-0, 225)
Jonathan Dwyer, Georgia Tech (5-11, 229)
Dexter McCluster, Mississippi (5-9, 172)
Ben Tate, Auburn (5-11, 220)
If McCluster is there at 55 I think the Eagles may have to take him. I can't get out of my mind sitting next to Eagles offensive coorindator Marty Mornhinweg at the Senior Bowl and him repeatedly pointing out McCluster as he made play after play.