January 21, 2017
Throughout the season, as long as you were watching college football action on Saturdays, we would profile five players to watch who could make some sense for the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2017 NFL Draft. The college football season is over, but since the week of Senior Bowl practices is coming up this week, let's take a look at five guys we missed who will be down in Mobile, Alabama.
To note, the Eagles currently have eight draft picks in the 2017 NFL Draft, listed here.
Lamp played LT at WKU, but most see him as a guard at the next level. Interestingly, NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah sees Lamp as the 16th best prospect in this draft.
Lamp carries weight well on his 6-foot-4 frame. He excelled at offensive tackle in college, but I believe it would be in his best interest to move inside to guard at the next level. This is one of the more technically sound linemen you'll see at the college level. He is quick out of his stance and he bends really well. He keeps his hands in tight and consistently stays on balance. He is always very patient and doesn't overextend. In the run game, he runs his feet on contact and generates movement at the point of attack. He was lights-out against Alabama. His lack of ideal height and length could be an issue in the NFL but that would be alleviated with a move to guard. Overall, Lamp is very strong, consistent and reliable, which should allow him to get on the field right away.
Here's Lamp's game against Alabama. To note, Alabama could have as many as five players in their front seven drafted on Day 1 or Day 2 of the draft.
Earlier this week, we reported that the Eagles are considering moving on from Jason Kelce, which would prompt Isaac Seumalo to slide in at center in his place. We did not mention this in our report, but the Eagles are also potentially moving on from Allen Barbre, which would come as a surprise to some, since Barbre can play a number of positions and isn't exactly breaking the bank.
If indeed the Eagles go that route, Lamp is a player who could slide in as a starter at LG. He would also have the ability to kick out to LT in a pinch. But would the Eagles draft a guard that highly in the first round?
Earlier this year, we profiled Utah's LT, Garett Bolles. Utah's LG, Asiata, is a pile-moving run blocker. Here's his game this year against Washington, who has a very talented interior defensive line.
If you'll notice, Asiata puts a lot of guys on the ground. He too ends up on the ground quite a bit. But certainly, more often than not, the line moves in Asiata's favor at the point of attack.
The question for Asiata will be whether or not he can handle quick interior pass rushers, which the Senior Bowl week of practices has a way of exposing every year.
A few weeks ago, we profiled five free agents who might make sense for the Eagles this offseason. Among them was 6'7, 275 pound Devin Taylor, who the Lions selected in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft, which was during Jim Schwartz's tenure.
In his time as the defensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans and Buffalo Bills, as well as his time in Detroit, Schwartz has employed some rather large defensive ends. For example:
As you can see, Taylor was the tallest of the bunch. At the University of South Carolina, Taylor played opposite college mega-star Jadeveon Clowney, and still only managed 18.5 sacks over four years. Similarly, Hall played opposite college mega-star Myles Garrett, who is likely to be a top three pick, and could go No. 1 overall, like Clowney did. Over his four-year career at Texas A&M, Hall had just 15 career sacks.
I don't love Hall as a player, but he fits a "Jim Schwartz type."
Garcia has great length at 6'6 with long arms, and he's both agile and coordinated in pass protection, which is clearly his strength. Against National Champion Clemson this season, Garcia didn't allow a single pressure:
To note, Clemson had 49 sacks in 2016, behind only Florida State and Alabama.
Garcia would be a pick who likely wouldn't play right away, as the Eagles are set at OT for at least one more year, assuming Jason Peters doesn't retire. And they'd probably have to take him in the second round. However, the Eagles are going to have to address the OT position at some point, depending on whether or not they think Halapoulivaati Vaitai is a long-term starter at RT.
If/when the Eagles move on from Connor Barwin this offseason, they're going to have to add to their pass rush stable, and McKinley was productive at UCLA. In 2016, he had 61 tackles, 10 sacks, 18 tackles for loss, 6 batted passes / pass breakups, and 3 forced fumbles.
A highlight reel:
There will be questions as to whether McKinley can be effective as a 4-3 DE because of his lack of ideal size, but if he's there in round two, his appeal as a pass rusher may be worth the gamble.
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