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Eagles Show Interest in CB,DE


Eagles Visit Wilson and Fitzgerald
By Lance Epstein

Lost in all the Donovan McNabb trade drama, the Eagles actually got down to some other serious business this week. According to NFL.com's Gil Brandt, the Eagles sent new defensive backs coach, Dick Juaron (were only one of six teams to send a defensive back coach) to check out Boise State corner Kyle Wilson's Pro Day.

Wilson impressed the Eagles and many teams at his Pro Day as he ran a 4.2 40-yard dash, bench 25 reps at 225 pounds, jump 38 inches, ran a 6.7 three-cone drill and raw jumped 10 feet.

Furthermore, Wilson showed great balance and did not use any extra movement (meaning he won't use extra motions which would slow him down and allow WRs to beat him). Additionally, he can play both press coverage and in a zone, which means he can play in almost any defense. His pro day almost certainly makes him a lock in the first round of the draft.

Wilson can play immediately as nickel corner, which helps the Eagles who had problems with their depth at cornerback last year.

At Boise State, Wilson had 11 interceptions (three last year-- two went for touchdowns) but really came on to the national scene at the Senior Bowl. In the Senior Bowl practices, he shut down the wide receiver corps so by that it caused Detroit Lions wide receiver coach to say he was being a pain in the butt.

His performance at the Senior Bowl, has propelled him up the draft rankings according to some of the NFL Draft gurus. NFL Network's Mike Mayock ranks him as the second-best cornerback in the entire draft, behind only Florida's Joe Haden (projected to be a top 10).

However, not everyone agrees with Mayock's rankings. ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. believes that Wilson is only the fourth-best corner in this draft and does not even have him on his top 25 prospects list. That said, Scouts Inc. on ESPN.com has Wilson ranked as the 22nd-ranked player in the entire draft and the like Mayock, the second-best corner.

Even though Kiper does not think as highly as every other expert on Wilson, he is still expected to go in the top 25 in the NFL draft. This could mean he will be there for the Eagles at 24.

While he could be there at 24, I do not expect him too. The Houston Texans at 20, really need a cornerback since Dunta Robinson decided to sign with the Atlanta Falcons. Also, teams like the Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans have needs at cornerback and all of them pick before the Eagles.

Even so, drafting a corner (if the Eagles elect to stay at 24) makes a ton of sense. Last week, Andy Reid admitted that they have been receiving calls on the 31-year-old starting corner Sheldon Brown. Furthermore, last year Brown has demanded a new contract or to trade him. Since Brown is on the wrong-side of 30 and starting to break down, Philadelphia might be willing to address and make drastic changes to the position.

As I have gone back, watched the tape and highlights of Wilson, I believe he can be the best cornerback in this entire draft when all is said and done. The "best-cover corner" in the entire draft, Haden did not impress me at the combine. He ran a slow 40-yard dash and did not have good balance. Even though he had a good Pro Day in his comfort zone, his struggles at the combine were alarming whereas Wilson has seemingly gotten better every time the scouts see him.

Wilson does not have ideal size for the position at 5-10 and 190 pounds but his fluid hips, balance, speed and cover skills will be a nice addition to the Eagles secondary.

Eagles Scouting Kansas State DE

According to Scouts.com's Chris Steuber, Kansas State's defensive end Jeffrey Fitzgerald has scheduled a visit with the Eagles.

The 6-4, 270 pound Fitzgerald was a transfer to the Wildcat program from Virginia. In his two seasons with the Cavaliers, he registered 12 sacks. This past season he recorded seven sacks.

Scouts.com has him ranked as the 14th-best DE prospect in the draft, whereas ESPN.com has him as the 30th-best prospect. Furthermore, Fitzgerald was not even invited to the combine.

However, the reason that Reid and the organization are intrigued with him is because he can play both defensive end and defensive tackle, much like the recently released Darren Howard. Fitzgerald can come in on third down and be a pass rushing threat at DT like Howard did for the Eagles.

In the 5th round or later, Fitzgerald could be a diamond in the rough that can be part of the DE/DT rotation.

Other News:

National Football Post's Aaron Wilson is reporting that University of Buffalo safety Mike Newton is working out for the Eagles later this week. The 5-10, 197 pound safety is an under-the-radar prospect, who is ranked as the 31th-best prospect at the safety position by ESPN.com.


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