Eagles Notebook: Sizing up the draft/combine
The NFL draft is still two months away, but the combine is underway in Indianapolis so let the dissections begin.
The Eagles have needs all over the field — in the secondary (cornerback, safety), along the offensive line (injuries make this a great unknown) and you can never have too many linebackers (especially with an expected transition to 3-4) and they might even look at a quarterback or two.
With team brass huddling up under clear Indiana skies this weekend, let’s take a look at some potential fits for the Birds at pick No. 4:
Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M: The most talented offensive lineman — and maybe player — in the draft is unlikely to slip down to No. 4. But Andy Reid does hold the first pick, so stranger things have happened. Keep your fingers crossed. Joeckel, a left tackle, would be the ultimate insurance policy for Jason Peters.
Star Lotulelei, NT, Utah: The experts say to throw out the numbers and just watch him play. Lotulelei was the top defensive lineman in the Pac-12 and seems to be rising up draft boards quickly. He’s been compared to the Ravens’ Haloti Ngata.
Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama: Perfect plug-and-play pick since the Birds may lose either (or both) Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (free agent) and Nnamdi Asomugha (bust). Milliner, a big physical corner (6-foot-1, 185 lbs.) is undergoing shoulder surgery right after the combine, but will be 100-percent by training camp.
Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon: This could be a little high for Jordan, but don’t be surprised if this is the pick. He played under new head coach Chip Kelly, and assistant head coach Jerry Azzinaro, at Oregon and possesses game-changing speed (4.6 in the 40) for someone his size (6-foot-7, 240 lbs.).
Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida: Born in Philly, this would be a nice homecoming for a kid who never stayed in one home very long, much like Michael Oher. Since Floyd is more an edge rusher than an interior pass-rush threat, he could thrive in a 3-4. He was the top DT prospect coming out of prep school.