Eagles Droppings 4/12: Top OT Visits, Other Visits and Runyan Speaks on McNabb
By Lance Epstein
Eagles Intrigued By Top OT Prospect:
One of the more surprising workouts leading up to the NFL Draft by the Eagles is offensive tackle Anthony Davis out of Rutgers. On Davis' twitter account, he tweeted that he finished visiting the Eagles facilities today.
"Just got done workin out for the Eagles," Davis wrote. "Killed it."
What makes this workout a shocker is that many experts project Davis as a top ten talent. There are varying opinions on the order of the top four tackles in the draft. NFL Network's Mike Mayock and ESPN's Scouts Inc. both have Davis as the 4th-best tackle prospect in the draft. However, with 11 picks in the 2010 draft, the Eagles could maneuver their way up the draft to grab him if they truly covet Davis or if he falls.
Davis (6-5, 325) has the athleticism to play left tackle, but can also play the right tackle position as well. Although he would prefer to play the left tackle position, probably because they usually receive more of a payday.
In his last season at Rutgers, Davis became one of the premiere left tackles in the country. He gave up only two sacks all season long.
The question that begs to be asked here is why would the Eagles be interested in another tackle with Winston Justice and Jason Peters locked in long-term? Well, Justice's play down the stretch was not very promising. After receiving his extension midway through the season, his play took a downward spiral. Davis can be a dominating tackle, whereas Justice is just a solid starter.
As for Peters, he made the Pro Bowl, but he was overweight and did not deserve it. Maybe the Eagles think that if he does not shape up and play better in 2010 that Davis could ultimately replace him.
Certainly, the Eagles could try to make Davis into a right guard like they when they drafted Shawn Andrews out of Arkansas. Davis certainly has the athletic talent, speed and strength to be an elite guard.
Miss St. LB Visits Eagles
According to National Football Post's Aaron Wilson, Mississippi State linebacker Jamar Chaney visited the Eagles today. On Wednesday, Chaney will be visiting the Atlanta Falcons.
A few short weeks ago, Chaney (6-1, 242) was projected as a third-to-fourth round pick, but a league source says that he has been one of the fastest rising players in the draft and is expected to go in the second round.
At Chaney's Pro Day, he ran a 4.48 40-yard dash, which was an improvement from his 4.54 40-yard dash that he ran at the combine. Of course, one team very interested in the speedy linebacker has been the Oakland Raiders, who had extensive talks with him at his Pro Day. Besides his forty-time being impressive, he had an eye opening 10-4 broad jump, 6.90 three-cone drill and a 4.29 short shuttle.
On top of his great numbers, he was named the Senior Bowl’s Most Valuable Player on defense. Furthermore, Chaney's impressive numbers have been very comparable to NFL stars Patrick Willis and Jerod Mayo.
However there is a major concern with Chaney due to the fact he broke his leg in 2008, which cost him the entire season. Still, Chaney was productive at Mississippi State by registering 285 tackles, three forced fumbles and two interceptions.
Additionally ESPN ranks Chaney as the 8th-best linebacker in the entire draft. Nevertheless, the Eagles have to be careful on taking a linebacker this high in the draft. They do not have a particularly strong track record of success with second round backers. They have failed with Matt McCoy, Barry Gardner and Quinton Carver.
Also, Chaney has the speed to keep up with running backs and tight ends but he does not possess the ideal bulk against the run. In addition, Chaney needs to work on his short yardage tackling.
On the other hand, he is a good leader on the field and has the natural instincts that scouts rave about. While the Eagles could use a linebacker, they might be willing to take one later in the draft since they have more pressing issues.
Va Tech DE Visited NovaCare Center:
A source close to the Virginia Tech's athletics department said hybrid defensive end/linebacker Jason Worilds visited the Philadelphia Eagles along with three AFC East teams as well (Dolphins, Jets, Bills).
Many scouts envision Worilds playing in a 3-4 defense as an outside linebacker given that he has a knack for getting to the quarterback. However, the Eagles see the ultra-athletic Worilds as a defensive end in their 4-3 scheme.
In 2009, Worilds recorded 49 tackles (11 for losses), 32 quarterback hurries, 4.5 sacks and one force fumble. His play earned him second-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors and even pushed him into declaring for the draft with one year of eligibility left.
Worlids (6-1, 254) had a nice combine where he ran a 4.64 40-yard dash, had a 38-inche vertical jump and bench-pressed 225 pounds 24 times. While he had a good combine, his Pro Day blew many teams away. He ran a 4.47 forty, had a 9-10 broad jump and ran a 4.07 20-yard shuttle.
His impressive skills and performance has all but locked Worlids as a second round pick. Still, he has room for improvement. ESPN has him as the 10th-best outside linebacker in the draft because he must learn to better indentify the ball carrier out of the backfield and gain strength seeing as bigger offensive linemen often engulf him.
The Eagles could use another pass rushing threat, especially at defensive end due to the team only having four players at the position. Moreover, Victor Abiamiri might not be with the team much longer if he doesn't improve leaps and bounds heading into next season.
Unfortunately, the Eagles need a player that can be an every down defensive end. Worilds has impressive numbers over his career, but he is a speedball type player like newly acquired and Virginia Tech alum Darryl Tapp. If the Eagles are going to take a defensive end early in the draft expect them to go with one of three players: Arthur Moats, Alex Carrington and Corey Wooten. Northwestern's Wootton (6-7, 272) was a projected first round pick until he blew out his knee in 2008. If he recovers, he has the size, speed and athleticism to be a every down DE in the NFL and a steal.
Runyan Speaks on McNabb:
A couple days ago, former Eagle Jon Runyan was asked on NFL Sirus Satellite Radio why head coach Andy Reid would trade his former teammate Donovan McNabb to the Washington Redskins. Runyan replied with this:
"Coach Reid knows what Donovan's limitations are."
SI's Peter King reiterated that Runyan did not say to take a shot at the six-time Pro Bowl quarterback. What Runyan apparently meant is that Reid has the upper hand when the team's square off considering he knows McNabb's Achilles heel and can exploit that.
This is the first time anyone has come out and told this side of the argument. The Eagles have a big-time advantage over McNabb and the Redskins. Reid will gear his defense to prevent the deep ball and make McNabb beat him with his accuracy.
Of course there has been a ton of people saying that McNabb will tell the Skins defense coordinator what the Eagles are running on offense. Plus he knows the ins and outs of the Eagles defense.
Not so fast. The Eagles will change the offense to benefit Kevin Kolb's biggest asset, which is accuracy. The Eagles will run more two tight end formations and put more men in motion. As for the defense, the Eagles always have new wrinkles in store. Plus the Skins have faced Reid's defense for 11 years, they already know what is coming.