Eagles Droppings: More Prospects Visit, McNabb's 4th Becomes 3rd
By Lance Epstein
After three long days, there is finally some news on the Eagles that does not pertain to them trading McNabb or any player off of their roster; in fact they are looking to add.
According to Chris Steuber of scout.com, the Eagles had Alabama cornerback Javier Arenas visit the NovaCare Center today. In his four year career at Alabama, Arenas had six interceptions and 148 tackles. Even though those numbers are not great, he had two of those six interceptions in the grandest stage of them all, the 2010 BCS National Championship game against Texas.
Additionally, Arenas (5-9, 197) returned seven punts for touchdowns, which is a SEC record. ESPN.com has Arenas ranked as the 74th-best overall prospect in the draft and the No. 11 corner. Steuber has him ranked as the 14th-best corner.
One of the reasons Arenas is not ranked higher is because he lacks the ideal size at only 5-9. Also, besides his size deficiency, he often mistimes his jumps when the ball is in the air.
However, Arenas could be a steal in the third round. He loves to practice as he won the Jerry Duncan "I like to Practice" Award. Additionally, he does not shy away from making a tackle, has good recovery speed and reads the quarterback's eyes well in coverage.
The Eagles desperately need help at cornerback right now with Sheldon Brown being traded to Cleveland and Asante Samuel calling out the front office, possibly leading to him being traded. While I expect the Eagles to take a corner in the first two rounds, they could be in the market for two new corners. Arenas could be available in the third round and turn out to be a diamond in the rough.
Do not overlook the fact that he can be a kick-off returner as well. Currently Ellis Hobbs is the starting right cornerback and the kick-off return specialist. The Eagles might not want to risk having him get injured out on special teams, so Arenas could fill that void.
More Prospects to visit:
According to National Football Post's Aaron Wilson a source told him that the Eagles have scheduled a visit with Stanford running back Toby Gerhart. Gerhart (6-0, 231) is ranked as the 7th-best running back and No. 74 player overall in the draft according to ESPN. In his career he ran for 3,522 yards and 43 touchdowns.
This past season, Gerhart was nominated for the Heisman Trophy and finished second in the voting. During his senior season, Gerhart rushed for 1,871 yards and 27 touchdowns. Despite losing to Alabama's Mark Ingram in the Heisman, he won The Doak Walker Award as the nation's best running back.
Most scouts view him as a fullback in the pros, but at the combine he ran a 4.55 and had a 38-inche vertical, which means he could easily play running back.
With Mike Bell only on a one-year contract, Gerhart makes a ton of sense. He is an inside runner that will lower his helmet and just smash opponents. Also, with Kolb now at the helm, the Eagles might be looking to run the ball a little more since they have a young quarterback under center.
Another player who Wilson said is expected to visit on Wednesday is Arizona State OLB/DE Dexter Davis. Last season, he registered only three sacks, but his previous three seasons he combined for a total of 27. Davis (6-1, 244) ran a 4.64 40-yard dash at the combine.
He is a bit undersized to be a defensive end, but the Eagles have tried to do this once before with Chris Gocong. Like Gocong, Davis projects better into a 3-4 defense then he does in a 4-3. The reason is that he does not change direction very well nor is he a good enough athlete.
He is projected as a late round pick, but do not be surprised if he goes undrafted since his lack of agility prevents him from being a linebacker and his size is too small for a DE.
Finally, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch a source says that Missouri wide out Danario Alexander recently visited the Eagles. Unfortunately, Alexander injured his knee at the Senior Bowl and cannot work out for teams. Still the 6-foot-4-inche wide receiver led the nation with 1,781 receiving yards.
Alexander would give the Eagles a taller threat to use in the red-zone. Currently the only Eagles wide-out with his size is Hank Baskett, who is only under a one-year contract.
He could be a nice project for the Eagles since they gave Brandon Gibson to the Rams last year in exchange for stopgap linebacker Will Witherspoon. Alexander is expect to go anywhere from the late 3rd to the 5th round.
How the 4th Rounder in 2011 Becomes a 3rd:
On Sunday the Eagles traded Quarterback Donovan McNabb to the Redskins for the 37th overall pick in this years draft and a 4th rounder in 2011. However, that 4th rounder can change into a 3rd rounder if McNabb makes the Pro Bowl and takes 70 percent of the snaps for the Redskins.
So fans should hope McNabb stays healthy and vote for him to make the Pro Bowl even though he is a Skin because it benefits the Eagles.